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Budget in surplus but little else for taxpayers to crow about

 Budget 2014 is now public. The Taxpayers' Union had two people in the budget 'lock-up' crunching the numbers before the embargo was lifted at 2pm.

Overall we give the budget a score of six and a half out of ten.

We're disappointed that Finance Minister Bill English has failed to commit to giving New Zealanders meaningful tax relief.

Points for getting the books back into black, but deductions for not addressing the long term fiscal issues facing New Zealand.”\

While there’s a little bit of fat trimming here and there, overall its more of the same tax and spend. To fix our long term problems of an excessive tax burden, Bill English needed to wield an axe to superfluous spending. He’s failed to do so.

Compare this Government’s approach to Australia. Despite Australia’s dire fiscal outlook, its Government is reforming things such as the retirement age to make the public sector sustainable.

Over the next four years, the New Zealand Treasury forecast $7.6 billion in fiscal surpluses and this year, just $15.5 million is allocated to tax relief.

That represents $4,935 per household of over taxation. Instead of committing to giving that money back, the only tax cut in this budget is to cheque duty. That’s a tax cut of one dollar a year per New Zealander.

In answering a question from the florr during the lock-up, Mr English told journalists and analysts that he has the balance about right. We don’t agree. What’s needed is an early and clear commitment to a program of reducing tax and compliance costs.

Of $4,935, Kiwi taxpayers get back $1 per year. And that’s only if you still use cheques!

No wonder John Key has hinted at tax cuts during the election campaign. This is a tax cut that benefits only the one per cent who still use cheques.  What’s next, removing excise tax on fountain pens?

Taxpayers' Union
Taxpayers' Union