INDEPENDENT NEWS

Don Brash outlines National's tax priorities

Published: Wed 17 Mar 2004 11:15 AM
Don Brash outlines National's tax priorities
National Party Leader Don Brash has moved to clarify his party's position on tax in a speech to the Institute of Directors in Auckland this morning.
"Our position has been misrepresented by an increasingly desperate Labour-led Government," he told a full house of more than 250.
"National's top priorities for tax reductions are tax relief for low-to-middle income families, and a cut in corporate tax rates to boost business investment.
"National is committed to lower tax rates as part of a coordinated set of policies to build a more prosperous nation. That is in stark contrast to what we're about to see from Labour, which is a calculated public relations exercise aimed at shoring up their potential support.
"For this audience, the good news is that the company tax rate will come down. The bad news is that reductions to the top personal income tax rate will be gradual.
"Our first objective is to provide tax relief for low-to-middle income families. It is likely that the Labour Government, having done nothing for four years but harvest the fruits of other people's work, will finally and reluctantly provide some tax cuts in this area. It is likely to be too little, and it will certainly be too late. National will assess what more needs to be done after the Budget.
"Secondly, under a National Government, there would be an immediate cut in the company tax rate to 30%, to match the Australian rate, and if the Australian company tax rate goes lower, so will ours. We are determined to encourage firms to invest, boosting productivity and employment, and ultimately the income-generating capacity of the country.
"Thirdly, for those on higher incomes I am making it clear that there will be no large one-off tax cut. What there will be is a gradual and sustained reduction in tax rates over a number of years.
"In effect, what my colleagues and I are doing is asking those in the higher salary bracket to be patient. Clearly, we want to give ourselves, as a Government, some room to provide relief for the very large numbers of people in the middle income brackets," says Dr Brash.

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