Monday, July 17, 2017
New Zealand's leading opposition party has said it would ditch plans by the government to lower taxes if elected.
The Labour Party said that it would not support the ruling National Party's proposal to cut taxes for higher earners.
"Our package is targeted at families on low and middle incomes, and we're not spending NZD400m (USD294m) on an unaffordable tax cut for the top 10 percent of income earners, like National wants to, while public services face cuts and our people face a housing crisis," said party Leader Andrew Little.
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Bill English, said in June that taxes for individuals would be lower if his party is re-elected on September 23.
Speaking to the National Party conference, he said that a "priority will be further raising take-home incomes and reducing taxes."
He described measures announced at the Budget as being a key first step in this direction. In the May 24 Budget, the Government announced that the lowest tax bracket, under which a 10.5 percent tax rate applies to income up to NZD14,000, would be increased to NZD22,000. The next tax bracket, which features a 17.5 percent rate, would also be hiked, from NZD48,000 to NZD52,000. There is no tax exempt threshold in New Zealand.
As the changes would apply from April 1, 2018, the measures would likely only proceed if, as expected, the Government wins the September election.