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Taxpayer Update: It's budget day tomorrow 🙏

Tomorrow morning, Jordan, Connor and I will be heading into the Budget 2024 "Beehive lock-up" to be briefed on the Budget before it's made public by Nicola Willis at 2pm sharp.

As with every Budget, your humble Taxpayers' Union will be cutting through the political spin and will send you what you need to know – the good, bad, and ugly straight to your inbox shortly after 2 tomorrow.

As expected: Wellington's Eviction Notice causes a stir 🤭

Eviction Notice Advert

Remember the advert that Stuff banned and then unbanned? Our 'Eviction Notice' giving unproductive Wellington bureaucrats their marching orders has certainly got people talking after it appeared in yesterday's NZ Herald

It seemed to have veteran political commentator Audrey Young over at the NZ Herald spitting out her cornflakes. She gave us her 'Brickbat' in her weekly missive under the headline: Why borrowing is a key Budget issue; Taxpayers’ Union falls flat with ad celebrating mass job cuts.

But says who? We agree with Audrey that losing your job is anything but a laugh. But the way Wellington are overreacting to what is small scale correction to the dramatic growth in bureaucrat numbers is not a joke either. We are yet to see any sympathy for the tens of thousands of families who are doing it tough as a result of having to pay for Wellington's 84% increase in spending under the last Government.

We run adverts like this to provoke a little controversy and get people talking about important issues like the explosion in the size of the Public Service – over 18,000 extra bureaucrats since 2017. 

And it worked...

Heather du Plessis-Allan took a potshot at Stuff for initially banning the advert on her Drive show yesterday and read out the full 'Eviction Notice' live on air. Have a listen:

HDPA Stuff Video

Cuts in Context art installation goes viral 📺🚀

Here at the Taxpayers' Union, we are always looking for weird and wonderful ways to get important messages across. I'm told our explainer video new piece of modern art we've gifted to Parliament has gone down well with the kidz on the socials...

The video's already reached more than 80,000 New Zealanders across Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and YouTube, in just a day. Watch on YouTube here.

Connor Box Stunt Video

Public Service reductions don't go far enough 👎

Connor's also been busy in the media flying the flag for taxpayers. 

And in a shock to us all, RNZ chose an academic commentator who stood with us on the side of taxpayers! Professor Robert MacCulloch of University of Auckland said that "productivity hasn't increased in the past six years" despite the increase in the number of public servants and more job cuts are needed too. Have a listen.

Connor on RNZ

Tick tock: Debt Clock outside the Beehive ⏰

The Debt Clock was back outside the Beehive yesterday to make sure Ministers preparing for tomorrow's Budget are fully aware of New Zealand's debt problem ticking time bomb.

The Government is borrowing $75 million on our behalf every day and has now racked up over $90,000 in debt for every household across the country. 

Tomorrow we'll find out the latest figures and predictions, and sadly, our ol' mate the Debt Monster will also be on hand to update the invoice for your household's share.

Debt Clock at Parliament

Unfortunately, not everyone has quite grasped the seriousness of this situation. One public servant in particular was not best pleased by our presence and used some particularly colourful language towards our staff. At least we know the communications degrees are paying off!

What to look for tomorrow: Nicola Willis' big tests 🧐

Whether Nicola Willis delivers the goods tomorrow for taxpayers will be based on the three point test summarised in our full page ad in tomorrow’s NZ Herald.

NZ Herald advert

High res version here.

The number is 49 💵

Nicola Willis and Christopher Luxon have said several times in recent weeks that personal income tax brackets have not been adjusted for inflation since 2010.

We're all feeling it!

But they haven't been shouting what that actually means in hard cash: If tax brackets had kept pace with inflation, the average income earner today would be paying $49 less in tax each and every week.

Tomorrow, that's the minimum Nicola Willis needs to deliver to the average worker if she is to keep her promise of 'tax relief'. Anything less is just short changing Kiwis.


Jordan set out our expectations on the level of tax relief in Stuff's budget preview this morning.

$49 per week would make a huge difference 😮‍💨

Last week, we asked supporters what they'd do with an extra $49 a week and I'm sad to say that many of the responses make for uncomfortable reading. 

A sample:

  • Keeping my heating on for longer
  • Meeting basic costs like rent and insurance
  • Getting fruit, vegetables or meat more regularly
  • Paying for childcare and a bit more support for my grandkids
  • Medical and dental expenses I currently can't afford
  • Saving up for warmer winter clothes

There were almost no extravagant expenses in the nearly 1,000 responses received. The Wellington bubble and some of the media commentariat really have no idea that many people are still really doing it tough. 

We sent a letter to Nicola Willis earlier today with a snapshot of the responses from our survey as a friendly reminder ahead of the tomorrow's Budget.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow. 

Yours aye,


Callum Signature

Callum Purves
Head of Campaigns
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union 


Media Mentions:

Newsroom Is that a tax boost in your pocket? (03:15)

Farmers Weekly Feds douse FENZ levy hike idea

RNZ Fast Track bill hits hurdles of public outrage (06:15)

The Post Public service watch: Ministry’s cost saving money shuffle

NZ Herald Nicola Willis’ first Budget will not be judged by tax cuts but by the question of economic credibility – Claire Trevett

The Post Budget week: Will action match the rhetoric?

RNZ Political commentators Brigitte Morten and Gareth Hughes (01:59)

BusinessDesk Exemption for Mfat on budget cuts 'isn't acceptable' – Taxpayers' Union

The Platform Film-makers follow the money on ‘disinformation’ bandwagon

NZ Herald Why borrowing is a key Budget issue; Taxpayers’ Union falls flat with ad celebrating mass job cuts - Audrey Young

RNZ Govt urged to make deeper public service cuts

RNZ Public service cuts: Taxpayers' Union urges government to axe more jobs

NewstalkZB Full Show Podcast: 28 May 2024 – Eviction Notice Advertisement (01:14:56)

The Working Group Nicola Willis, Underfunding Public Services and This Weeks Budget Predictions | GUESTS: Matthew Hooton & Brad Olsen (01:48)

RNZ RNZ News at 10pm, May 28 – ACC Chief Executive Trip (01:58)

Stuff The key questions being asked ahead of Budget day

interest.co.nz Finance Minister Nicola Willis will use Budget 2024 to rein in government spending after the pandemic-era boost

RNZ RNZ News at 7am, May 29 – MPs' Expenses (03:23)

RNZ Taxpayers Union questions MP travel spending

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  • Callum Purves
    published this page in News 2024-05-29 17:19:22 +1200

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