New jobs tax could not be more poorly timed

Labour’s Income Insurance Bill is a slap in the face to the squeezed middle who are getting smashed by the cost of living crisis, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The day after Labour announces the biggest Budget spend-up in New Zealand’s history, they are setting the stage to hike taxes on every worker and business in the country.

“Unbelievably, the foundations for this ‘jobs tax’ are being pushed through under urgency just hours after the Finance Minister announced his cost of living band-aid.

“Labour is simply taking with one hand whilst throwing out scraps with the other.

“If you’re on an average wage of $72,000, you could be worse off by $1,000 a year under the jobs tax scheme – and you wouldn’t get anything from the Government’s cost of living package.

“Workers on $50,000 might receive the temporary handout of $350, but they would lose almost twice that amount – $695 a year – after Labour clips their jobs tax ticket.

“With the economy losing momentum and interest rates rising, the last thing we need is another tax on small businesses. A strong economy is the way to deliver higher incomes and more choices, but targeting businesses will just punish investment and create fewer opportunities for Kiwis.

“Prices are growing twice as fast as wages, and this tax will reduce take-home payments even further.

“Kiwis are going backwards and the Government’s only instinct is to spend, spend, spend – and create new taxes to fund their addiction. Labour is clearly determined to bring in this jobs tax.”

Budget 2022 confirms Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s spending is out of control

“Not content with a record $6 billion per year spending spree that he planned, Labour has raided future budgets – spending $2 billion from Budget 2023 and $0.4 billion from Budget 2024,” says National’s Finance Spokesperson Nicola Willis.

“That’s before you count climate spending and the cost of living payment – which are on top, taking the total spend-up to more than $9 billion per year of government spending.

“At a time when unemployment is very low, Grant Robertson is running a deficit of $19 billion.

“Having announced by far the biggest increase in spending in any Budget, ever, Grant Robertson expects New Zealanders to believe that he will keep his increases to $2.5 billion for the next two years. That is hard to believe.

“Inflation is at a 30-year high of 6.9 per cent, will remain above 5 per cent next year and is expected to stay high for years, not getting back down to below 3 per cent until 2025.

“While Labour might want to blame inflation all on offshore factors, Treasury has confirmed that inflation is being driven by domestic factors.

“Today’s forecast confirm that Labour’s economic mismanagement means Kiwis, the economy and outcomes are all going backwards.”

Note: Total spending allocated in Budget 2022 is set out in Table 2.6 on page 31 of Treasury’s Budget and Economic Fiscal Update.

This is the Backwards Budget

Budget 2022 confirms that New Zealand is going backwards under Labour faster than ever, Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon says. “Kiwis, the economy and outcomes are all going backwards under Labour and today’s forecasts confirm the situation is only going to get worse before it gets better.

“Labour’s spending addiction means the books are going backward. Not content with a $6 billion spending spree, they’ve also raided future budgets – spending $2 billion from Budget 2023 and $0.4 billion from Budget 2024. And that’s before you count climate spending and the cost of living bandaid – which are on top.

They’re pushing out surpluses and shifting the goal posts to clear the way for more spending by lifting debt limits.

“With inflation at a 30-year-high and prices running laps around wages, Kiwis are experiencing the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. The forecasts today show inflation is rampant for years to come.

“More and more Kiwis are falling behind each week, squeezed by growing costs and a Government that refuses to offer them meaningful income tax relief while ramming through the biggest spend-up in New Zealand history.

“Labour’s cost of living package is a temporary band aid. The squeezed middle are paying the price for Labour’s economic mismanagement.

“And despite smashing the record for government spending, outcomes are going backwards. They’ve added more than 10,000 bureaucrats to the public service, yet outcomes are getting worse.

“Under Labour, wait times for surgery and specialist assessments have blown out, literacy and numeracy achievement rates have hit alarming lows and violent crime and gang numbers have exploded.

“New Zealand is going backwards, fast. We simply cannot afford this Labour Government.”