The eternal tax-cut mirage

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, November 21st, 2016 - 94 comments
Categories: election 2017, national, tax - Tags: , , ,

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.

Didn’t happen.

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.

94 comments on “The eternal tax-cut mirage ”

  1. Ad 1

    Labour will have to have a message at least as simple and attractive.

    • r0b 1.1

      Jobs and houses.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Tax cuts, and houses.

        • Except nobody believes “and houses” coming from National.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yet people believe Labour’s “affordable” $500,000 houses? (Which will be “affordable” $700,000 houses by the time the first lot is actually completed in 2019?)

            • Matthew Whitehead

              The Labour policies have problems and likely need more elements integrated to address the issue on other fronts. But if pursued aggressively enough, and if Green policies get thrown into the mix, they will at least make a dent.

              National is literally just tinkering around the edges to say they believe there’s a problem when actually at least half the caucus thinks high house prices are a good thing.

    • Anne 1.2

      Election bribe tax cuts.

      Wherever and whenever. Whether it be the debating chamber, being interviewed for radio or TV, at public meetings, in ordinary conversation. Always refer to them as “election bribe tax cuts” starting today through to election day. At that goes for all the oppo. members not just the leaders.

      With a bit of luck by election day everybody will be thinking of them as the “election bribe tax cuts”. Covert psychology.

    • Bearded Git 1.3

      …and clear…no equivocation.

  2. Tory 2

    And at the end of the day the voters will decide

  3. Cinny 3

    It appears to me from reading comments re tax cuts over a huge variety of sources, that the only ones interested in tax cuts are the wealthy or business owners.

    The majority of people don’t mind paying tax as long as they are able to access the social services they are paying for, good health care/hospitals, quality education, school pools, reasonably priced food, mental health support, a decent pension, government contributions to the super fund, support during natural disasters or climate change issues and so on.

    I feel it would be better to offer a lift in the minimum wage than a tax cut.

    • dukeofurl 3.1

      The wealthy elite hardly pay any taxes to start with.
      Holiday homes are bundled up into family trusts with tax advantages when its available for rent. Even the family home can be used this way with rent owing becoming a debt which is forgiven.
      Vehicles are leased through business and this has now spread down the corporate tree with the full vehicle running costs paid by the business under the Aussie import of ‘notational leasing’

      • indiana 3.1.1

        …so are you going to o one of the following?
        1. Copy what these wealthy people do so you can be wealthy too?
        2. Wait for the right morally elected government to be finally be elected and make you wealthy?
        3. Advocate that there should be no wealthy people at all…everyone should be equally poor so that we are not tempted by wealth?

        • ropata

          How about electing a government with a moral compass that will close the loopholes and unethical tax havens.

        • AB

          Why would he try any one of those silly options when there are so many others available?
          I think he might be after an option that is balanced and sensible. Maybe something grounded in ethics and that fulfils people’s desire to have a happy, healthy, productive life for themselves and for everyone else in their community.
          Right wingers need better imaginations.

        • left_forward

          I agree with the Duke, so I would answer:
          1. No, I will continue to practice ethical citizenship and make a fair contribution to the society that I depend on for health and wellbeing (including nurturing the environment that sustains my and our wealth)
          2. No, I will continue to wait for (and actively encourage the creation of) a government with a moral social compass
          3. No, I will continue to advocate for equality with a fair share of health and wealth distributed to all independent of their circumstances

        • Draco T Bastard

          The rich are the problem – not the solution.

          As such, it is unethical to become rich.

          So, why should we copy unethical behaviour?
          In fact, why haven’t we made it illegal yet?

        • Lloyd

          Taxing the rich doesn’t mean we all become poor. In fact if your tax the rich, give it to the poor, then they spend the money immediately and the economy grows – everyone becomes a little wealthier, eventually, even the top tax bracket members of the economy.

          Post WWII Germany’s top tax rate was around 90%. Comparisons of Germany with the growth of other European economies at the same time are interesting….

          Regressive tax cuts which increase economic inequality are a drag on the economy. Simple.

          John Key would shoot himself in the foot if it generated more votes for his inept government.

          Sorry, John Key is shooting us all in the foot while appealing to the thoughtless greedies.

      • Cinny 3.1.2

        Mhmm loopholes everywhere that can be a breeze for any whom are either trained or hire creative accountants or win at all costs lawyers.

        It’s a bit rich supposedly telling off Zuckerberg for tax exploitation when the outgoing PM allows such loop holes and laws to even exist.

        Money is not as important as some may think to the average kiwi. Sure we don’t like to suffer or be in debt, but being rich is not about money, it never was.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          And when the PM won’t reveal his own tax contributions, as one of the richest people in the land.

      • KJT 3.1.3

        “Scum” rising to the top.
        Not “Elite”.
        The “Elite” contribute. Not take!

        • greg

          let be clear the henry fords ,jame fletchers contributed what we have today is a rentier elite who want the rest of us to pay tribute to live while they gouge society

  4. Andre 4

    The right wing treats it as axiomatic that tax cuts increase growth and are an all-around economic good thing. But is there any solid evidence for that?

    There have been times over the last few years I’ve been really bored and gone looking for actual evidence. Found a lot of “models” starting from shaky assumptions, a few studies that clearly rely on cherry-picked data, and very few studies that appear dispassionate and solidly-grounded. At best the evidence appears inconclusive.

    In my mind I keep returning to the family of a good mate growing up. Owners of a smallish contracting business. When there was a change in government policies that amounted to a tax increase, they just said well, if we want to keep the good life, we’ll have to go and earn more. And they did, by doing things they didn’t really want to do but increased the size of the business. When the government changed and their taxes went down, they didn’t really need the extra business and let it scale back to a scope they were happier with.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1

      “The right wing treats it as axiomatic that tax cuts increase growth and are an all-around economic good thing. But is there any solid evidence for that? ”

      There’s a fair bit of evidence that tax cuts for the rich (which are the normal sort implemented by the Nats and co) don’t help.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        I was kinda hoping for some nibbles from RWNJs before hitting them with stuff like that.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Scroll down and they are running through this post like rabid dogs…

          • Andre

            Yeah but all the argument seems to be about the electoral effects, not the economic ones. Except for a few lefties arguing for tax cuts at the bottom end of the income scale (and increases at the top).

    • Nic the NZer 4.2

      I will give you a response but it is that you will struggle with evidence here as the question is not well formed. It doesn’t have a simple coherent answer either way. The problem is that the question doesn’t specify growth of what?

      Maybe we can answer by specifying growth of GDP. Do tax cuts support growth of GDP? I have an example of that exactly Australia went through the GFC with no recession (negative GDP growth) via a tax cut at the onset (similar for the US but with lesser effect relative to the scale of the US recession). Or on the reverse the UK went through a double (or tripple) dip recession by cutting spending (which shows up as a negative tax cut in GDP accounting). The same on a bigger scale for Greece which has lost a quarter of its 2008 gdp due to austerity (the IMF forecast at the time argued the opposite would happen but thats a different story).

      Now you will probably say tax cuts and spending increases are different in what parts of the economy they target. And that may be true but says more about what kinds of tax cuts or spending, its not a general rule.

      Actually in accounting terms its indesputable that tax breaks (or spending increases) increase GDP. But this is complicated somewhat in terms of the actual GDP result to expect which much more reflects the surplus of deficit decisions of the non govt sector. To put this another way the GFC happened when the non govt sector stopped running such a large deficit (with increasing private debt) and tried to run a surplus (repaying some of that debt). The implication of this is if you want more private debt then go ahead have the govt try to run a surplus, if you want the private sector to have capacity to pay down debt then the reverse.

      • Clump_AKA Sam 4.2.1

        So debt must rise faster than GDP growth? Sounds like a truism to me

        • Nic the NZer

          No, this is not necessary at all. As long as GDP is nominally growing then the debt ratio will typically be falling. Or in reverse Greece has a huge govt debt to GDP ratio as its GDP shrank so much.

          Also for example all the govt debt held by the govt it could decide to write that off with no impact what-so-ever on anything important. This should highlight how any mechanism where the govt is able to effectively lend to itself (when the central bank is part of the govt) makes the govt infinitely solvent.

          This in turn means the govt could if it wishes spend without accumulating debt (or taxing). In fact the NZ govt did fund part of the MJ Savage era housing policy in this manner.

  5. tc 5

    Tax cuts or a monorail eh…..shonkys enjoying this as he gets to be at his snake oil salesman best rather than deal with sheepgate, housing, poverty, dirty politics cycling back into the limelight etc etc.

    This allows the msm to run the distraction so wtf are they really up to.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Who made the Arab Spring into an Arab crisis?

    Crucially, decades of authoritarian rule in the Arab states now in crisis or breakdown have eroded their social contracts and constitutional frameworks.

    Significant material rewards were provided, as even authoritarian regimes generally find it cheaper to co-opt society rather than to rely wholly on coercion, but these shrank as economic cronyism deepened and productivity and investment in all sectors of the economy – other than oil and real estate – declined from the 1990s onwards.

    The reallocation of state resources and economic opportunities towards privileged elites and social sectors in an era of prolonged financial contraction further “hollowed out” state institutions.

    Which sounds remarkably like what we’re seeing here in NZ under National.

    Tax cuts are offered as a bribe but are never as high as promised. Meanwhile, the rich get richer, government institutions are turned into profit making businesses and sold to the rich and essential public services are under-funded and cut so as to make it look like the government can cut taxes even more.

    • ropata 6.1

      It all works great if the exploitable workers meekly obey their betters, a few crumbs might trickle down

      • Garibaldi 6.1.1

        But The workers are “meekly obeying “, and have done so ever since the Employment Contracts Act (ECA) was introduced by the ……… Party. When the …… Party got back into power did they abolish the WCA? Not on your Nelly.
        The ……. Party are still neoliberal to this day.

  7. Murray Simmonds 7

    Tax cuts are easy to fund. Just borrow yet MOAR offshore to fund them. No problem. It has worked up until now, so why not next time?

    Mortgaging future generations of New Zealanders to pay for our present re-election? Not a problem. Many of those who will be paying for our tax cuts/re-election in 2017 haven’t even been born yet . . . . so they won’t be protesting much. Heh- heh. And akshully, many of the current “would-be protestors about our flagrant abuse of the rights of future generations” will have lost all their teeth, or even died before the bill comes due, so they won’t be protesting much either. Heh-heh-heh.

    Jeez, I’m so clever.

    Yours lovingly,

  8. mosa 8

    Tax Cut Bribe alert.

    Drop GST and help everybody.. simple and no bribe necessary.

  9. The Real Matthew 9

    Tax cuts are often a vote winner as they put money in workers pockets. Unions are largely despised in society because they take money out of workers pockets.

    Given the likely size of the upcoming surplus (due to brilliant economic management) it is entirely possible that tax cuts and a rebuild can both be managed.

    • KJT 9.1

      Fisiani has been joined by another satirist.
      Union members averaged 2% pay rises last year. The most powerful union in the country, the managers and directors old boys club, got 4 to 17%.
      Well worth paying union dues, old boy!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Tax cuts are often a vote winner as they put money in workers pockets. Unions are largely despised in society because they take money out of workers pockets.

      Except that tax cuts don’t put money in the pockets of workers – it puts it into the pockets of the rich as the increase prices to grab the extra money about.

      Being in a union does put more money in the pockets of the workers as they get higher pay rises more often.

      And that is why the rich like tax cuts more than they like unions. Tax cuts make them richer while unions make the workers richer and less exploitable.

      • indiana 9.2.1

        How come then union membership is declining, if being in a union is so great? Based the brand that you are more likely to get a pay rise being part of union, you would think that union membership would be increasing exponentially.

        • Draco T Bastard

          How come then union membership is declining, if being in a union is so great?

          Probably because of the lies about how bad unions are spread by people like The Real Matthew and other RWNJs.

        • Henry Filth

          Oh, that’s fairly simple, indiana.

          I think there are a lot of organizations where joining a union is likely to get you fired.

          And I think that it’s hard to join a union when you’ve been forced into being a “self-employed contractor”

        • NZJester

          How come then union membership is declining, if being in a union is so great?

          Maybe because of all the roadblocks being put in the way of the Unions getting access to talk to the workers about what they can offer and the carefully worded statements from bosses that infer they will be less likely to get promotions if they join one without coming out directly and saying that to them.

    • halfcrown 9.3

      Are you taking the piss or being sarcastic?

    • Cinny 9.4

      Hey Matthew, once you’ve been caught in one lie, it makes it very hard for people to believe anything you say or may have said…

      1. “Tax cuts are often a vote winner” says whom Matthew?

      Not according to the findings of economists Allan Drazen and Adi Brender

      “we find that in developed countries and established democracies election-year deficit spending and tax cuts are punished at the polls. A worsening of the government’s fiscal balance in the election year actually reduces the probability that the leader is reelected.”

      2. “Unions are largely despised in society” no, no, they are largely despised by business owners and management because they look after workers rights.

      Tell me what percentage of Teachers are in the teachers union Matthew? Are they despised? Nurses as well? Or are they supported by the public?
      Tens of thousands of union members in both of those professions are well supported by the public rather than despised for belonging to a union.

      3. “Given the likely size of the upcoming surplus” – Matthew did English forecast this mystery predicted surplus?
      Because he’s failed us many times before via surplus, outgoing government has only had one surplus in eight years.

      In fact “English had played down the Government’s goal that it would come into surplus by 2014/15, with Treasury instead predicting a $684m deficit.” we’ve been let down before.

      You were saying….???

    • Clump_AKA Sam 9.5

      As opposed to business taking money out of workers pockets?

      Probably the most important thing learnt from this web baord is the left need a new class of commentator. Or possibly read a bit more. Just look like writers block sometimes. Happens when you don’t read new stuff. Me personally I read Japanese anime, watch mostly.

      I mean seriously T Barstard, 100% tax on 250k. That will need one hell of a sales job.

      I tried to make the point earlier on another web baord that when you use a fantasy model. It all ends in recession. So I refuse to pay myself over $250k and pay myself a tax free bonus.

      All this hoarding is a recession signal

    • Paul 9.6


  10. Jenny Kirk 10

    The Real Matthew – you forgot to put “sarc” at the end of your post.

  11. Murray Simmonds 11

    The Key Government:

    Borrowing hand-over-fist to pay for Tax Cuts/Election Bribes.

    That is, borrowing “Like there is no tomorrow, because under the Key Government and its policies, there will be no tomorrow.”

    But akshully, i mean, you know, Hey! The future generations will THANK us for borrowing to get national re-elected in 2017! [Always assuming there AKSHULLY ARE any future generations.]

    I’ll be alright, though, for the rest of my lifetime. Max’ll be OK. and . . . um, so will , um, whats-her-name, my daughter . . . .Thats all that matters.

  12. mosa 12

    Is this guy Matthew for Real….. or just another wind up toy.

  13. roy cartland 13

    Why doesn’t Labour bloc campaign on tax cuts, and deliver them only to those that need them? Poor workers for instance. AND increase public spending. The billions not wasted on new highways and weapons can easily cover both.

    • ropata 13.1

      Good point, I think one of the parties is advocating zero tax up to $5000 pa. It could actually work, and it would make a lot of peoples lives easier, who currently struggle

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      How about: Because it doesn’t actually work?

      There’s a reason why poor people spend all their money: It’s because the prices are set to ensure that poor people spend all their money.

      Now, if prices were actually set by how much it cost provide that good/service then it might actually work. But, as they’re set by the greed of the person setting the prices, then it won’t.

      • whateva next? 13.2.1

        It does work for the Tories though, election after election in the UK, until Murdoch decided he like Blair better than Tories

      • Macro 13.2.2

        so right Draco. Give the poor a pay increase – and watch the prices of food etc go up accordingly. They are a cynical bunch supermarkets.

    • Salsy 13.3

      That’s actually very clever…

  14. Sorrwerdna 14

    Apologies to all you out there -I think I’m one of those rich pricks that you all seem to bang on about – I have worked extremely hard all my life -started as a humble sparkie -worked hard, saved hard and did not complain or blame anyone else or government for whatever position I was . I pay more than my fair share of tax. I now seem to have all the things that a lot of the contributors seem to despise – success . Long may that continue and long may National be in power

    • Cinny 14.1

      Sorrwerdna, if you feel that wealth is measured in things then you really are missing the point.

      Success is not measured in objects such as paper and coins, houses and cars.

      Myself, I don’t want for anything, I’m very very comfortable. But that’s not the point.

      Working hard for monetary wealth is the goal of some, everyone has different priorities, excessive monetary wealth is not one of mine.

      People are angry at large corporations, apologies if you feel left out, there a bigger rich pricks out there, the top 1% of the top 1%, those that like to play god without OUR permission. Are they paying their fair share? Are they finding loopholes to avoid doing so while governments are lobbied resulting in a negligence to change any laws to close a loophole or remove a tax haven etc?

      You following me now Sorrwerdna? Because those big corporations are taking you for a ride as well. Mhmm

      “Throughout our lives, we are forced into paying huge monopolies for access to phones and internet and communication, and all that data is turned over to for-profit corporations who spy on us for our government. Even the vast majority of our elected leaders answer first to corporate lobbyists”

      Hope that helps, love Cinny x

    • left_forward 14.2

      Congratulations Sorrwerdna for your hard work and success. The National Govt, who you wish a long life for, is not supporting your objective of a fair share of tax for you – it is seeking a reduction in tax for the very wealthy, making you and probably those poorer than you (who also work hard and are also successful) contribute a higher proportion.
      But look around you at the increasingly low level of investment in health, educational, environment, and social services in your community. Don’t you want to support a fairer, safer, and more equitable society?

    • Whateva next? 14.3

      Yep, I have worked for 34 years for the health service, and get see how rich and poor, unemployed and employed, old an young, educated and uneducated can fall upon hard times, through circumstances beyond their control.
      The health service is taken for granted, but God help us all if National turn the clock back, as they are trying to do in the UK.
      Harry Smith can remind you of the days before Labour raised the tide to lift all boatswain, it just the already comfortable

    • ropata 14.4

      Good on you but there are thousands of people who also work(ed) extremely hard and yet they are living in cars or on the street. Hooray for National!

    • Macro 14.5

      Knows his Phase from Neutral – but obviously has never progressed past age 2 in Moral and Social development.
      Is quite happy to spend all his savings – sell the boat/bach or what ever to finance the inevitable hips knee shoulder replacement at age 70+ because public health is swamped and underfunded. Thanks so much National.

    • KJT 14.6

      I could be called a rich prick to. Like you i worked long and hard for my “success”, with a lot of set backs on the way.
      Unlike the “rich pricks” we talk about I appreciate the fact, despite having parents with low incomes, I was able to get an apprenticeship, and later go to University, with a student loan.
      Opportunity I would never have had in a more unequal country.
      I have no problem with paying tax, to pay back the help i had,so that others can have the same opportunities.
      To begrudge that, is just, greedy.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 14.6.1

        I agree.

        And us fortunate types should pay back, not just for the help we have had. Except for fortune or luck, anyone can face an insurmountable barrier to a given outcome. Instead of becoming an All Black, could have been born severely disabled. Instead of making a fortune, could have been brain damaged at 18 in a car crash. etc.

        There but for the grace of God.

    • Paul 14.7

      Neoliberal parasite, more like it,

    • ropata 14.8

      I know a sparky who is a lazy arsed prick that decided to pack in the trade and attempt some hare brained money making schemes, because he was allergic to an honest day’s work. He was supported by sending his wife out to work while he slept all day and did nothing to help with the kids. One of their schemes went bankrupt and they ripped off a few hard working tradies by tens of thousands of dollars. So they pissed off to a small town. His latest scheme is to join the National Party and try to get into Parliament on a fat MP’s salary.

      This is the quality of candidates running for your party.

  15. Ad 15

    Why is it impossible for Labour to say: “Tax cuts are a good idea?” They never do.

    Target them to those who would use them. And against the super-rich who will never vote for them anyway.

    Until Labour can say “Tax cuts are a good idea”, they will continue to cede a huge amount of ground to National even before the election has started.

    Inevitably they go on about good things like ‘pay back Crown debt’, or ‘more social welfare’, or ‘hospitals’ and get their asses kicked all over the park with a more effective concept like a really simple “Tax cuts are a good idea”.

    Nice after an earthquake for Little to complain about Key not ruling them out. They need things. They do.

    But Little needs a riposte that’s a whole lot more attractive to voters than “pay back Crown debt”. Hey Little: show me the money. After all, tax is my money.

    • KJT 15.1

      “More tax for millionaires” is even more popular than “tax cuts” however even labour is too scared to go against the “scum” not elite, who are now in power.

      Tax cuts are a good idea. When the cuts are for those on low incomes.

      • b waghorn 15.1.1

        the thing with key is that it may be what he’s planning
        ”Tax cuts are a good idea. When the cuts are for those on low incomes.”

        I’d be careful if I was in opposition and going to attack key on this.

      • pat 15.1.2

        whether tax cuts are a good idea will depend on existing level of taxation, operational deficit/ surplus , debt level and projection…..and where those extra dollars go and come from….and of course where you are on the lassiez faire – interventionist spectrum.

    • Macro 15.2

      Tax cuts and tax increases are what is actually required. Tax cuts for those earning less that $30,000 (anyone earning less that say $10,000 should pay no tax whatsoever, and tax increases for those at the upper end . I would even go so far as to suggest that if one canot live on less than $250,000 then they need compulsory budgetting advise. So there would be a 100% tax rate over $250,000. i.e. That would be the maximum nett income for anyone – PM down.
      As for the “superior persons” who think that their worth is greater than that – they can take themselves elsewhere.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1

        I would even go so far as to suggest that if one canot live on less than $250,000 then they need compulsory budgetting advise. So there would be a 100% tax rate over $250,000. i.e. That would be the maximum nett income for anyone – PM down.

        This is exactly what’s needed.

    • b waghorn 15.3

      yep wipe tax from the first $20k of income and lower gst pay for it by upping the top tax rate, there be votes in that.

      • Peter Swift 15.3.1

        Wipe tax from the first $20k of income for those earning under 50 thousand.
        If you earn over that, you can pay what you are.
        The top rate increases substantially.

    • Robertina 15.4

      Tax cuts are a type of dog whistle for National. It shores up the myth of the credible economic manager, and they don’t even have to follow through on them.
      And the one time they did, it was a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, with the 2010 ”tax switch”.
      Certainly not tactics for Labour to emulate.
      And Labour won in 2005 despite National waving tax cuts around.

    • Nic the NZer 15.5

      Good luck with that. Labour are *the* neoliberal party of NZ. National are the neoliberal light party of the two. Why? Which of the two is so comitted to fiscal responsibility it ran with an election losing change to the retirement age? Which wants to sequester funds again so it can deliver austerity to retirees. Which had its policy to pay (and employ) youth unemployed derailed in the media because (heaven forbid) more youths might actually take a pay check out of it than they estimated.
      National are pragmatic about its ideology. Labour is far more principaled about it.

  16. Lloyd 16

    In this post-reality world any bribe like John Key’s tax cuts can easily be Trumped.

    Andrew Little just needs to keep saying “No taxes, from day one of a Labour government”

    When asked how we can afford it, the obvious answer is,”just the same way John Key can afford it” If really pressed the answer is “just like John Key, we will borrow”.

    And like Trump, Andrew won’t have to keep his promises – but who cares, getting into power is everything.

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    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    2 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    3 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    4 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    4 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago

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