Before the 2008 election National promised tax cuts on average “north of $50 a week”:
National leader John Key believes tax cuts of the magnitude it promised in 2005 are credible under today’s economic conditions.
Before the 2011 election National instituted a “tax switch”:
He said the Government would not increase GST “unless it saw the vast bulk of New Zealanders better off”.
Instead, for the majority the GST increase swallowed the cut.
Before the 2014 election National promised tax cuts again, albeit somewhat delayed:
Tax cuts are coming for most New Zealanders … but you’re going to have to wait for three years. The lure of tax cuts was one of the few fresh carrots offered by National in the lead-up to last night’s election, with Prime Minister John Key announcing less than three weeks out from polling day that a government led by him would put an extra $5 to $15 into the pockets of about 2 million Kiwis.
And now, before the 2017 election, National is determined to get some more mileage out of its one-trick pony:
Tax cuts are still on the table, despite the huge bill for the damage caused by the Kaikoura earthquake, Prime Minister John Key has signalled.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it. Whatever the circumstances, the eternal mirage of tax cuts!
Some economists are casting doubt on whether tax reductions are feasible, given a mounting list of spending plans, including $1 billion on prisons.
Tax cuts are possible, anything is possible, but they would be stupid. Quite apart from the still unknown cost of the quake there is the desperate need for more state-owned housing, for public transport, for reducing emissions and transitioning to a green economy, for planning for an aging population, for paying down the record debt that National has run up, and more. A responsible government would be addressing these issues instead of flashing election bribes – again.