National’s 2017 campaign strategy is now out of the bag. An earlier report by Richard Harman (paywalled) that Bill English was predicting a Government surplus in the billions is now being backed up by discussion of a possible tax cut in next year’s budget.
From the Herald:
Prime Minister John Key has signalled National will campaign in 2017 on a $3 billion package of tax cuts.
Last week Finance Minister Bill English ruled out offering tax cuts in this year’s Budget and said it was not currently in the plan for the 2017 Budget either, although that could alter.
Speaking to Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning, Mr Key said tax cuts had been ruled out in the short term because it was a choice of spending $1 billion on tax cuts “to deliver very small amounts” or spending that money on healthcare and other areas.
However, he signalled National was working on a more substantial package of cuts for 2017. “We are not ruling that out for 2017 or campaigning on it for a fourth term in 2017, but having a bigger one, to be blunt, than $1 billion.” Asked how much was needed to deliver meaningful tax cuts, he said: “$3 billion, I reckon.”
The figure of $3 billion sounds large although it is not when you compare it to the total tax take. But you have to question why National would do this instead of doing any number of beneficial things. Such as (in no particular order):
There are many, many more things that could be done with this money.
Stand by however as National pushes the greed button and ignores the many things that the state should be doing in the pursuit of short term political gain.