Prime Minister Bill English has given his clearest indication yet that New Zealanders will be left with more money in their pockets come Budget day, but has drawn short of suggesting a dollar amount.
His comments came as Labour confirmed it would not raise taxes if it became the Government, while ally the Green Party said it was reviewing its 2014 tax policy, which would have seen most get a tax cut but those earning more than $140,000 get taxed at 40 per cent.
“Tax cuts are on the table. We will look at these in the context of these other demands, such as the growth in population and the need for infrastructure to support a growing economy,” English said on RNZ’s Morning Report.
Lower and middle income earners were the Government’s priority. Asked if he was hoping to give those earners more than $20-$30 per week, English said tax cuts weren’t “some kind of sugar shot”.
Any tax cuts were likely to be paired with a policy that would see easier or wider access to essential public services, as part of an overall families package.
“[The point] is that over time, if you’ve got a growing economy and surpluses, then you can – through a variety of mechanisms – support households and lift incomes.”
But even if tax cuts were announced in the May Budget, National would likely need to be re-elected for them to take affect.
“Most measures that you bring in, to do with household incomes, would follow the usual cycle, which is if they’re announced this year, they’d start April 1, next year,” English said.
The Government was meeting pressures on infrastructure that came with population growth.