National, far from being their idealised “low tax party” are in fact the “stealth tax party”.
While they’ve lowered the top rate of tax and the company rate, helping out the wealthiest, there has been regressive tax after regressive tax increase on the smaller hidden things.
Well GST isn’t so hidden, but whacking that up means that our poorest 10% have effectively >17% additional income tax, due to their situation of dis-savings.
But they’ve hiked a lot more things that we all pay, like ACC levies (especially on motorcyclists), and EQC (I realise there was an earthquake, but there were options like those proposed by the Greens).
But they’re still scrimping for money, desperate for their Budget surplus in 2014-15 (usefully after the election). Their plan isn’t going so well, which is why they’ve stopped going on about how their “re-balancing” means the tradeable sector doing so well, and the current account deficit (now ballooning out again after the Earthquake Insurance money lowered it for a while). They’ve had to stop saying it’s great that Kiwis are taking advantage of low interest rates and admit that there’s a new housing bubble…
There’s a good analysis here, of how much difficulty they’re having creating some Budget sparkle, while scrimping for cash and (regressive) taxes:
“Since this time last year the Government has increased the excise on fuel, rejected a cut to ACC levies, imposed higher taxes on “paperboys” and tried to bring in the so-called car park and cellphone tax before it was roundly rubbished and axed. Then there is the increase to prescription charges.”
Of course the main driver of inflation at the moment (more than prescription charges rising 67%), is the cigarette price hike. I’m not keen on smoking, but it’s yet more tax targeted at the many not the few from a stealth tax government.
What will be hit next?
Edit: Missed taxes – tax on employer’s Kiwisaver contribution, increased compulsory student loan repayments, and removal of 10% discount on early repayment…