(National Party media release)

New reports from IRD and the Treasury conclude the obvious: Labour’s economic mismanagement has hurt everyday New Zealanders while the rich have got richer, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

Today the IRD has released a research project analysing gains in the capital gains and incomes of high-wealth New Zealanders from 2015-2021. Treasury has also released reports on the distribution of wealth and tax in New Zealand.

“These reports highlight the impact of Labour’s sugar-hit economics. The Government’s decision to embark on a money-printing, borrowing and spending frenzy has led to massive capital gains for some, at the expense of everyday workers,” Ms Willis says.

“That’s not a result of tax policies, it’s the result of Labour’s deliberate monetary and fiscal policy decisions.

“The IRD research shows that in 2017 the wealthiest New Zealanders made economic income of $1 billion. However this soared to a staggering $14.6 billion in 2021 as Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s policies took hold.

“This is the direct result of the Government’s decision to allow the Reserve Bank to print tens of billions of dollars through its extended quantitative easing programme and the massive blow out in its own spending, up $1 billion a week since Labour came to office.

“National’s economic management approach of more conservative monetary policy, more disciplined spending and a greater focus on productivity had the direct opposite result during our last period in office. Treasury concluded between 2010 and 2018 the share of wealth held by the wealthiest New Zealanders actually fell.

“The Minister for More Tax, David Parker, can keep flogging the dead horse of a capital gains tax as much as he likes, but it doesn’t change the fact that the main driver of inequality under Labour has been its own economic policies.

“The practical issues with imposing a capital gains tax have not changed. National continues to oppose a capital gains tax.

“The solution to New Zealand’s economic problems is not more tax. The solution is a government that will bring spending under control and demand more accountability from agencies including the Reserve Bank and that will allow lower and middle-income earners to keep more of what they earn. That’s what National will deliver.”