“An unscientific poll yesterday of 846 readers asking whether they would be happy to pay more GST if it meant they paid less income tax found 46.9 per cent in favour, 43.9 per cent opposed and about 8 per cent undecided.” – Stuff
“Unscientific poll” I take to mean one of their online polls, and we all know those lean to the Right (hint: factory workers, retail workers, and cleaners don’t spend their days at desks on the internet). So, it’s already interesting that the numbers are so close.
Then there’s the “if it meant they paid less income tax”. That’s not going to be the reality for Kiwis on low and middle incomes, the money is going to be funnelled into tax cuts for the rich.
This shows there is significant political risk for John Key in putting up GST – which is why he is going to do it on October 1st, as long before the election as possible.
Meanwhile, John Armstrong looks at Key’s GST flip-flop:
National is not going to raise GST. National wants to cut taxes – not raise taxes,’… What he had been saying, he insisted, was National would not raise GST as a means of reducing the Budget deficit.
Key should be asking himself why he bothered to mount this defence. No sooner had he done so than Labour dug up quotes from Finance Minister Bill English seemingly similarly ruling out increasing GST after receiving Treasury advice shortly after the election to do so and then clearly reiterating that position in a speech two months later
Key has promised there will no increase in GST unless the “vast bulk” of people are better off as a result through associated cuts in income tax, compensating increases in benefits and national superannuation payments, and adjustments to Working for Families entitlements.
However, until the detail is announced in the Budget – still three months away – people will simply have to accept his word that will be the case. Denying an obvious flip-flop on the Government’s part does not make it any easier to convince them to do so.