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Taxpayer Update: Centre right down in new poll 📊 | Tax relief under threat? 😱 | Luxon's new action plan ✅

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NEW POLL: Bad news for centre-right parties in in latest poll 📊

Christopher Luxon's coalition partners won't be overjoyed with their results in this month's hot-off-the-press Taxpayers' Union – Curia poll. Meanwhile, a boost for the centre-left comes mainly from increased support for the Greens and Te Pāti Māori, with Labour gaining no extra brownie points following Chris Hipkins's "everything on the table" announcement on tax policy.

Compared with last month's poll, National is down slightly to 37.1% (-0.3 points) while Labour is up slightly to 25.7% (+0.4 points). The Greens take third place on 14.6% (+3.3 points) while ACT is on less than half that, dropping back to 7.2% (-2.8 points), NZ First on 6.3% (-1.1 points), and Te Pāti Māori on 4.6% (+2.1 points). 

For the minor parties, our poll has TOP is on 2.1%, Outdoors and Freedom on 1.3%, Vision NZ on 0.8%, Democracy NZ is on 0.4%, and the rest combined is 1.5%.

Here is how these results would translate to seats in Parliament:

National is down one seat on last month to 47 while Labour is steady on 32. The Greens continue to rise with today's result translating to 18 seats (up three) while ACT has fallen to 9 seats (down four). NZ First is down one seat to 8 while Te Pāti Māori is unchanged on six seats. 

The combined projected seats for the centre-right of 64 seats is down six from last month. The combined seats for the centre-left has increased by three to 56 seats. On these numbers, National and ACT would require the support of NZ First to form a government. This assumes that all electorate seats are held. Given the higher support for Te Pāti Māori in this poll, Parliament would have no overhang seats. 

For favourability ratings, major voting issues, party best at dealing with particular issues, and to find out how to get access to our full polling reports (including geographic breakdowns), head over to our website.

Tax relief under threat? 😠

Just seven months ago, New Zealanders overwhelmingly voted for a Government that would cut wasteful spending and deliver meaningful tax relief for Kiwis. 

So far, despite a few wobbles, Christopher Luxon and his team have largely stuck to the mandate. However, with the centre-left and media commentariat ramping up the rhetoric that "now is not the time to cut taxes",  some are predicting the Government will drop (or water down) Nicola Willis's promised tax relief package.

☝️The establishment doesn't want Kiwis catching a break from tax hikes ☝️

We say the 'pundits' need to get out more. Outside of Wellington's bubble, households are struggling, and 14 years of finance ministers not adjusting income tax thresholds for inflation now sees even those on minimum wage working 40 hours a week paying the 30% marginal income tax rate. How is that "kind" or fair? The Taxpayers' Union seems to be the only ones standing up for New Zealanders and injecting some balance into the debate. I made the case that we can – and must – have both responsible spending and tax relief in a column in The Post last week. Kiwis cannot afford for the Government to U-turn on this election promise for the sake of the "lanyard class" clutching their pearls at the idea of job losses in Wellington.

Economic and political gas lighting 🔥

The supposedly 'unbiased' pundits in the media will tell you that National's tax cuts are 'inflationary' and 'irresponsible'. The inflationary spending is coming from Wellington, not you! To blame inflation for not giving households a break only makes sense if you live in an ivory tower.

You may have seen Jordan's email yesterday that spells out exactly why it is so critical that the Government holds firm on tax relief. With the media hammering every effort being made to tackle waste, we think it time to remind Nicola Willis that the public is behind her.

If you haven't already, take just 30 seconds to email Nicola Willis telling her to hang in there and deliver her tax relief in the May budget.

>> Tell Ms Willis to stand firm and deliver tax relief <<

What gets measured, gets done ☑️

The Government has released the sequel to its "hundred day plan" – a 36-point "action plan" setting out its objectives for the next 3 months in office. Some say it's a gimmick, but if it works, who cares? We think it’s a pretty good list.

The main positive takeaways are that the Government is re-committing to deliver its personal income tax relief – for now at least (see above). It also plans to deliver a budget that cuts wasteful spending, slashes red tape, and sets better targets for improving our public services.

There's a few fishhooks buried in the detail, like its plan to introduce rego and fuel tax hikes, but overall, it looks like the coalition partners have largely got their heads in the right place.

Local democracy restored on Māori wards 🗳️

Also this week, in a big win for democracy, the Government announced it would repeal Labour's law that prevented local communities from having their democratic say on Māori wards on local councils.  

Here at the Taxpayers' Union, we think it is wrong for politicians to decide the rules for how they are elected. The only people who should set these rules are the people they are elected to represent – the voters. The restoration of the ability for local communities to petition for a referendum provides an important safeguard against self-interested politicians screwing the scrum for their own political purposes.

But this shouldn't just apply to Māori wards. Voters should get to have their say on things like rural wards or new-fangled voting systems such as the Single Transferable Votes.

Wasteful councils think the solution to their spending problem is... more spending! 🤦‍♂️

Completely lost in the news cycle this week (there's a surprise!), big city councils Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, and Hamilton, have been lobbying the Government to borrow even more! Apparently capping their net debt levels at 285% of their annual revenues wasn't high enough!

The very same politicians that are looking to hike rates up by as much us 20% this year claim that the only reason why they are pushing up against that debt cap, is because it isn't high enough.

But a quick look at the figures tells the real story.

The Infrastructure Commission noted in their briefing to the incoming minister earlier this year that plenty of public money is being spent. It's just not being spent very wisely:

"New Zealand currently spends around 5.5% of GDP on public infrastructure –  higher than Australia and the median OECD country. However, New Zealand ranks near the bottom 10% of high-income countries for the efficiency of that spend. New Zealand’s biggest infrastructure challenge is one of investment efficiency."

Maybe, just maybe, these councils' inability to deliver sufficient infrastructure doesn't have anything to do with a lack of funding, but instead a lack of prudent financial management?

Who's to say that even if the debt ratio gets raised, these same councils won't be coming back and asking for more. Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate, for example, doesn't even think that being able to borrow three times council revenue would be enough:

“We think there could be some movement in the debt ceiling. But even if we lifted it up to 300 percent, it really wouldn’t solve all our issues. We’re talking about a much bigger challenge.”

But then Southgate also thinks it is perfectly appropriate for her to spend $10,000 on an ANZAC day junket to Belgium at a time when she's asking ratepayers to cough up 19.9% more in rates, so perhaps she isn't the best person to ask when it comes to quality of spending?

More false choices thrown around by desperate public servants

If you've opened a newspaper over the past month, you might have seen the chatterati going berserk over hundreds of poor public servants losing their jobs thanks to the new Government's 'cruel' and 'heartless' cuts.

This week, the latest media meltdown occurred when a leaked document showed that department heads at the Ministry of Health chose to disestablish 135 roles over cutting executives' payhow dare they!

We agree – Executives at the Health Ministry should have their pay docked, or at least frozen to cut down on unnecessary spending, but that doesn't mean those extra jobs shouldn't be axed as well.

Recent figures from the Public Service Commission show that the Ministry of Health was hiring like crazy at the back end of last year – adding an extra full-time 78 roles to their roster in just 6 months!

No wonder most of those public servants don't want to go – they just got here.

Taxpayer Talk – MPs in Depth Series: Carl Bates 🎧🎙️

Carl Bates Pod

This week on Taxpayer Talk is another episode in our MPs in Depth podcast series where we get to know Parliament's new MPs. In this episode, Jordan sat down with National Party MP for Whanganui, Carl Bates. 

Carl joined the Young Nats aged just 12 and less than 30 years later was elected to Parliament as a National MP. Prior to entering politics, Carl had an interesting and successful career from an incredibly young age. Aged just 18, he was appointed as an independent director at an aged care facility and at 22 was appointed as the acting chief executive of Quality Health New Zealand, managing to turn the failing organisation around. Carl is a chartered accountant, he also started his own professional services firm and served on a director and chairman on a range of small and large companies both in New Zealand and internationally.

Listen to the episode on our website | Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeart Radio

That's it for this week,

Yours aye,

Callum Callum Signature Callum Purves
Head of Campaigns

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union 



Media Mentions:

The Post
Government needs to hold steady on cuts to public service and taxes

Its wrong when they do it, but not me

Hawkes' Bay App
Hastings District Council salary costs are just under $40m

Newstalk ZB News Fix: Afternoon Edition – Public spending [1:30]

SunLive Commission 'trampling over democracy' – lobby group

NZ Herald It's time Luxon led like a CEO

NBR Callaghan Innovation spends $173,000 on rebranding as 30 jobs cut

NZ Herald Lobby group claims Tauranga’s commission ‘trampling over local democracy

Press Releases:

Government puts an end to Labour's hijack on democracy

Ratepayers need competent councils, not more debt

Taxpayers' Union welcomes Government's new action plan

Ratepayers, not unaccountable bureaucrats, should be responsible for heritage listings

MP expense information leaked to the Taxpayers' Union – will be made public tomorrow (April fools)

Unelected commissioners need to learn their place

New Report: Fire And Emergency Levy Increase Unjustified, Performance Review Needed

Revealed: Callaghan Innovation Wastes Over $170,000 On Rebrand As Staff Call Out Job Cuts

Government KPIs Show Progress But Lack Ambition

MPs Must Not Take Pay Hike While Kiwis Go Backwards

Showing 1 reaction

  • Callum Purves
    published this page in News 2024-04-09 13:30:17 +1200

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