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National and its no tax promises

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, November 27th, 2018 - 38 comments
Categories: capital gains, Economy, gst, john key, labour, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, tax - Tags:

BLiP used to have this very popular regular post where he listed porkies that John Key had said over the years.  A few of them involved tax.

National promised that New Zealanders could wave goodbye to higher taxes before the 2008 election and then imposed a myriad of them including the infamous increase in GST which John Key confidently said they would not do.

The promise received this comical relief in Parliament in 2015.

And it deserved this cynicism.  After all there were 18 new taxes the last Government imposed.  And this included five increases to the Fuel Excise Duty and Road User charges.

Perhaps the most startling new tax was the introduction of a two year bright line capital gains tax for real estate.  It was necessary.  The country’s real estate market was getting out of control.

And since then, thanks to the tax, Labour’s strengthening of it, tighter lending rules and reduced immigration the market has started to stabilise.

Yesterday Simon Bridges gave a speech which again had the tried and trusted theme of no new taxes.  According to him National is National is ambitious for us and our families, and will develop policies that help us get ahead and fight against needless costs being imposed on us.  Such strong rhetoric …

And he promised to repeal any capital gains tax that Labour imposes.

Although the terms of the actual commitment are fairly rubbery.

So today, I am making a commitment to you – if the Government legislates a Capital Gains Tax, like the Tax Working Group has signalled it will recommend, before the next election, then we will get rid of it.

Given that Labour promised not to introduce a CGT before the next election the commitment seems somewhat hollow.

There were other somewhat incredible claims.

The typical car now costs $15 more to fill up than this time last year thanks to new taxes, a slumping dollar and higher oil prices.

The impact is real. We hear it every day.

We’ve heard from a mother in Canterbury who can no longer afford to take her Down Syndrome son to a special school in the next town over because she can’t afford the petrol.

Another person has told us how they are buying their parents petrol vouchers for Christmas so they can afford to go to their regular hospital visits a 45 minute drive away.

And a hearing clinic in Auckland says people are not turning up for appointments because they can’t afford the visits, or the petrol to get there.

Ah anecdote verses data, wins every time.

As mentioned by Selwyn Pellett the claim is difficult to substantiate.

To put this into perspective the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax is 10c a litre and applies to Auckland only and for the rest of us the Government has increased the existing RUC by 3.5c a litre.

There were other passages from Bridges’ speech that were jaw dropping.  Like this one:

If this Government reined in its wasteful spending it would be able to continue increasing funding for core public services without more taxes.

Nobody’s doubting that this Government has good intentions but those good intentions have consequences that are doing more harm than good.”

Looks like giving nurses and teachers overdue wage increases and fixing our hospitals so that sewerage does not leak out of the walls are not considered to be to be core public services.

It is the same old song book the right use again and again.  No new taxes.  Then they get into power and forget quickly what they promised.

Hopefully this will not happen in the foreseeable future.  Simon Lusk is reporting National’s polling has it in the mid 30s and it has taken a 10 point hit since the election.

So the chances of National being in a position where it can break its tax promises are not good.  At least in the foreseeable future.

38 comments on “National and its no tax promises ”

  1. Martin C 1

    Bridges has the memory of a frog.

  2. peterh 2

    So he thinks hes a tadpole you might be right

  3. Chris T 3

    Both parties always make stupid promises like this in opposition.

    You can say whatever you like in opposition and never really have to worry about backing it up

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Can you list Labour’s “stupid” promises? Go ahead.

      • Enough is Enough 3.1.1

        Jacinda promised no new taxes, then brought in a regional fuel tax.


        Building 100,000 homes and cutting immigration were a couple of very clumsy policies which haven’t shown to be complete bullshit yet but will almost certainly prove to be.

        • McFlock

          Read your own damned link. She promised the tax working group findings wouldn’t be implemented this term. The other announced tax policies, such as the regional fuel tax, were still on the table.

      • Mr Marshy 3.1.2

        No new taxes …. apart from the regional fuel tax. There’s a start for you

      • Gosman 3.1.3


      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 3.1.4

        That this government would be different from every other government.

      • Gosman 3.1.5

        Labour promised to set a Suicide reduction target. I see no movement on this front.

        I also see no significant move on their promise to restore 2.3 billion dollars of health cuts.

        • Michelle

          Gee Gosman they cant fix up 9 years of mess and destruction and social diviseness all in 12 months give us a break

      • Chris T 3.1.6

        The backup fuel pipe to the airport

        The ditching the 90 day trial

        The 30000 drop to immigration

      • Herodotus 3.1.7

        The stand-alone KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will be priced at $500,000-$600,000
        KiwiBuild homes will only be sold to first home buyers. To avoid buyers reaping windfall gains, a condition of sale will require them to hand back any capital gain if sold on within 5 years.
        2 broken promises !!!!
        Residential construction firms could hire a skilled tradesperson on a three-year work visa without having to meet the Labour Market Test if they pay a living wage and take on an apprentice for each overseas worker they hire.
        Not required now
        In total, these changes are estimated to reduce net migration by 20,000-30,000. Without these changes there would be up to 10,000 more houses needed and up to 20,000 more vehicles on our roads annually
        So as net migration has dropped ONLY 7,400 there are 7,000 more houses required in the last year to meet the needs and ONLY 15,000 extra cars on the road
        Whist BLip’s list was worth reading re National, we need the same to keep this govt true to its word, as there is a growing trend of Labour replicating National for the wrong reasons.

    • Michelle 3.2

      Stop making excuses for national chris every time they (national) get in Maori and Pacific peoples socio eco position is worse of and our health stats go through the roof cause this tory government cuts public funding and who does that hurt the most? they did it last time they were in power. ( remember closing the gaps later called reducing inequities cause of the white backlash). But who created those gaps chris ? and they did it again and they will continue to do it as long as mugs in our country keep voting for those bastards

  4. Ad 4

    This is the only attack line they can come up with that could resonate enough to shift some polling points.

    It’s good consistent ground for their base philosophically.

    Since it’s National’s only useful attack line, if it fails they are well and truly fucked.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1

      National are stuck in the same opposition rut labour found themselves in for years.

      No vision for the future, just criticism of others. They’ll say it’s about keeping their powder dry to election year, but by then it’s too late.

      Chat around the deloittes top 200 awards last week was what a good job the government are doing in comparison to the opposition

      • tc 4.1.1

        That’s not too hard. Just stop flogging off assets and services to private players whilst rebuilding what the haters and wreckers destroyed.

        The difference is that simple IMO.

        The real trick will be breaking the neolib construct and genuinely lifting the lower deciles up in real terms by going after the rent seeking corporates like banks.

      • mike 4.1.2

        iam still waiting on nationals brighter future and the something special

  5. millsy 5

    National will end up changing for the hearing clinics and the hospital appointments. They will also close the special school “in the next town”. That is what Bridges isn’t telling you.

    In the 1990’s National slashed health services and closed hundreds of hospital in the reigons to pay for tax cuts.

    In the 2010’s, National closed hike prescription charges to $5 an item, forcing the chronically sick into further poverty to pay for tax cuts.

  6. Kevin 6

    And now he is talking about reducing income tax. The very thing that created most of the mess this country is currently in.

  7. DJ Ward 7

    Almost every promise requires tax.

    The free fees promise costs every man, woman and child $200 a year.
    So a family of 4 has to pay $16 a week extra in tax.
    Shane Jones spend costs about the same, another $16.

    A $200 million teacher pay rise will cost around $45 a year.

    Ideally we should have tax settings perfect.
    Taxation increases with inflation, expenditure tracks inflation.

    Unfortunately politicians vote bribing the electorate creates distortion perpetually needing correction by the other party.

    Once you put all taxes together I’m surprised we have any personel money left to argue about.

    • SPC 7.1

      The $900M pa for the free fees, is the reason why National can make the promise. They just end the free fees.

      Funny thing is they said the government should have used the free fees money to pay more to teachers and nurses (and in this they are right) – but clearly they do not intend to do so themselves if in government 2020.

      Amongst the reasons why free tertiary education is wrong

      1. they need to afford improved staffing and pay to teachers and nurses first
      2. they needed to restore student allowances to those doing masters study first, so people can afford to study.
      3. it is stupid to train people for free who then work overseas because of stress and low pay in nursing and teaching here (see 1). Interest free tertiary debt for those who stayed here at least meant we kept them or they back the debt at interest if they worked overseas.

  8. Mr Marshy 8

    Wow – you socialists must have a huge man-crush on Key , left politics over a year ago and yet you are still reporting on him. I think you are secretly in love with him … very cute …

  9. SHG 9

    Key Derangement Syndrome still alive and well

    • DJ Ward 9.1

      They secretly love ponytails but are too scared to express their feelings. They were hoping Key could normalise ponytail grooming like handshakes but he left before the dream was realised.

  10. Timeforacupoftea 10

  11. Muttonbird 11

    Does this commitment to “get rid of it” from Bridges apply if a CGT is implemented? It’s one thing to say they’d reverse legislation, but would they reverse an up and running CGT?

  12. gsays 12

    I can’t help but observe that the mum in Canterbury that needs to travel to another town for her son’s needs, perhaps had to travel because the tories closed her local facility.

    Our domesticated tories we tolerate seem to lack the imagination to envision a Tobin tax, a Hone tax, a Financial Transaction Tax.

    That would bring a welcome addition to the balance sheet they so slavishly revere.

    Beyond that it is pathetic, especially coming from a lawyer.

  13. Michelle 13

    wave goodbye to your assets , wave goodbye to your public services ,wave goodbye to owning a home, wave goodbye to your privacy, all under john

  14. R.P Mcmurphy 14

    they say no new taxes but one should add up all the fees and charges increases they have imposed all over the board.

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