MEDIA RELEASE: National's Tax Plan Underwhelming

More money to the wealthy by tinkering at the edges of our tax system has left the Better taxes for a Better Future campaign underwhelmed by the National Party's tax plan announced today.

"This plan won't generate more revenue, which as a country we need more of to address the complex challenges we face - such as climate change, poverty and our struggling health system. Instead we're looking at potential cuts to services to fund National's tax cuts to the wealthy," says Better taxes for a Better Future spokesperson Glenn Barclay.

"While National claims their tax plan will help middle income New Zealanders' back pockets, the sum total of the policies means that the wealthy will do better than the less well off."

Glenn Barclay says that while adjusting income tax brackets in line with inflation will help those on middle incomes, it will also deliver more money to the wealthiest.

"A measure like this is reasonable, but you shouldn’t do it without introducing any compensatory taxes on the wealthy - such as capital gains or wealth tax - to pay for it," Glenn Barclay says.

"Other changes such as restoring tax deductibility for landlords and reducing the bright-line test to two years will also favour the most well off, while low income earners see little to no benefit. So we strongly oppose those changes too."

Meanwhile, scrapping fuel tax increases and the Auckland regional fuel tax raises questions about how the country will reduce its infrastructure deficit - and will only see more people driving cars at a time when Aotearoa should be encouraging sustainable transport.

"We're concerned about the fuel tax changes, given our infrastructure deficit - which needs to be funded from somewhere - and the need to push people into sustainable transport to lower emissions. This policy does the opposite of encouraging public transport use. "

Glenn Barclay did welcome the closing of tax loopholes for overseas online casinos and the ending of tax deductibility on commercial buildings, but remained cautious about a proposed levy on foreigners buying houses worth more than $2 million.

"We're not opposed to the 15% levy on mansions sold to overseas buyers, but still have questions about whether it will drive an increase in house prices - the jury's still out on that," Glenn Barclay says.

"None of the measures announced today adequately address the calls we've made as a campaign: the need to raise revenue; ask more of the wealthy;  promote good health and environmental sustainability; ease the cost of living for the least well-off; and encourage better tax transparency in Aotearoa. On all those measures, National's policy has failed."