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Taxpayer Update: NEW POLL bad news for major parties 🔵🔴 | Government proposes more fuel tax hikes!?!⛽ ⬆️ | Nicola Willis’ inbox gets flooded 📱📩


NEW POLL: Labour hits record low but warning signs for Luxon and new Government 📊

Not good news for the two big parties in this month's hot-off-the-press Taxpayers' Union – Curia poll.

For National, it was bad luck that our pollsters were in the field during the brouhaha over Christopher Luxon's decision to shun the Premier House digs in favour of taking the Ministerial accommodation allowance and staying in his own Wellington apartment (our two cents on that below). 

Meanwhile, there's no salvation for Labour as they continue to leak support to the Greens, with their worst result ever in our poll.

Compared with last month's poll, National is down 2.2 points to 37.4% while Labour also drops to 25.3% (-2.6 points) – this is Labour's lowest score since our poll began in January 2021.

The Greens get a 2.3-point boost taking them to 11.3% – also putting them ahead of ACT who dropped back down to 10.0% (-3.7 points).

The smaller parties are NZ First on 7.4% (+2.4 points) and Te Pāti Māori on 2.5% (+0.2 points).

For the minor parties, TOP is on 2.1%, Outdoors and Freedom is on 1.3%, Vision NZ is on 0.8%, Democracy NZ on 0.4% with the rest combined making up the remaining 1.5%.

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

National is down one seat on last month to 48 while Labour is down two seats to 32. The Greens overtake ACT with 15 seats (up four) to the latter's 13 (down four). NZ First jump up three seats to 9 while Te Pāti Māori is unchanged on 6 seats.

On these numbers, National and ACT would require the support of NZ First to form a government (which is a change from last month's poll).

Luxon's favourability takes a 16-point dent

It's not just Labour taking a beating. Christopher Luxon's net favourability has plunged a whopping 16 points on last month. Just 39% of voters (-5 points) told pollsters they have a 'favourable' view of Christopher Luxon compared with 44% (+11 points) saying they have an 'unfavourable' view. That's a net favourability score of -5% compared to +11% last month. Ouch.

These numbers put Mr Luxon back behind Labour leader Chris Hipkins who, despite his party's poor showing, just maintains a positive net favourability of +2%. David Seymour has a net favourability of -8% while Winston Peters has a score of -12%.

This month we also asked respondents about their views on two National cabinet ministers. Education Minister Erica Stanford scored a net favourability of +5% and Minister of Health, Shane Reti, scored -1%.

Head over to our website to see some more bad news for the government in the net country direction and our 'government approval' rating, which have both gone back negative. You can also find out how to get access to the full version of our polling report.

One other titbit from our poll is that Labour has just overtaken National in 'which party is best at' in a single policy area, which is erm [checks notes] 'will not increase taxes on you'. 😳 This might well be why... 👇

❗😠 More fuel tax and rego hikes in Government's transport plan💰⛽ ⬆️

Earlier this week, the Government released its Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport, which sets out the broad transport policies officials work to. 

Rather than score out of ten, let's just call it a mixed bag.

First the good: A more realistic approach to road safety which focuses less on 'road to zero' advertising (those wasteful and pointless ads costing almost $1 million in video production alone) and lowering speed limits and more on actual road improvements to promote safety.

A win for taxpayers too in the tightening up of the National Land Transport Fund so that the allocation of funding going towards walking and cycling is reduced and that the funding for rail is capped at the level of revenue gained from Track User Charges (TUCs). 

Successive governments have raided the Fund – which comes almost entirely from fuel taxes and roading charges – for non-roading purposes.

We say all petrol and road taxes should be used for roads. So while there is still some way to go, the reduction in the allocation of funds for non-roading related spending is at least a step in the right direction.

But now the fishhooks... 🪝

Government giving with one hand while taking with the other 🚘💰

National is technically holding to its promise not to hike fuel taxes this term, but they're making it costly! First, they now plan a staggering hike to fuel tax and Road User Charges in 2027 that makes up for the 'pause'. Rather than paying less, motorists simply get more time until they pay a lot more.

But that's not the worse thing. Under this draft plan, from next year, the annual cost of vehicle registration will shoot up $25 from January 2025, and another $25 in January 2026.

The best way to find more funding for roads is to ensure that all money already paid in road user charges and fuel excises is spent on roads – not political pet projects like walking and cycling.

For new roads, other financing tools should be used such as tolling so that those who want the benefit of faster and better roads pay while those who live elsewhere or want to use the old road can continue to do so.

The Government can crow about tax relief (in this case "pausing" hikes to fuel taxes) but New Zealanders know it when politicians give with one hand only to grab with another. Sadly, that's the case here.

Thousands of New Zealanders tell Nicola Willis to Scrap the App Tax 📵

Less than a week since we (re)launched National's pre-election campaign to Scrap the App tax – a promise now broken by Nicola Willis – more than 4,000 New Zealanders have taken 30 seconds to send an email using our easy tool at www.AppTax.nz

App tax signatures

And we know the Government has taken notice. Have a listen to Nicola Willis on Newstalk ZB discussing the thousands of emails she has received and admitting the policy U-turn:

Ms Willis claims that the App Tax had to be "sacrificed at the altar of coalition government". If that's the case, she needs to let taxpayers know which coalition partner vetoed it.

Your humble Taxpayers' Union has been back through the coalition agreements and they don't quite support Ms Willis's claim. In fact, both partners specifically commit to supporting National's Fiscal Plan which [double checking] on page 8 includes scrapping the App Tax.

We can't let Nicola Willis fall at the first hurdle to de-couple New Zealand from Labour's tax and spend approach. Click here to send Nicola Willis a message asking her to stick to her word.

Busting myths on Labour's National's App Tax 🔨

Myth 👻 The App Tax hits the big multinational app companies like Uber, Airbnb and Bookabach who don't currently pay GST.

Fact 💁‍♂️ These companies already pay GST on their slice of the revenue, this tax will fall on the little guy providing the service, such as the Uber driver or Airbnb host, and will ultimately be paid for by you in the form of higher prices.

Myth 👻 The App Tax is levelling the playing field to ensure that businesses are taxed equally.

Fact 💁‍♂️ All businesses, including Uber Drivers and Airbnb hosts, are currently required to pay GST if they earn more than $60,000, if any business earns less they are exempt. The App Tax will unfairly punish drivers and hosts who earn less than $60,000 purely because they use an app to find customers. 

Myth 👻 People who don't use app-based services like Uber and Airbnb won't be affected by the App Tax.

Fact 💁‍♂️ Competition keeps prices lower for consumers. If apps like Uber and Airbnb are forced to hike their prices, traditional taxis, accommodation providers and food delivery services can put their prices up too!

If you share our view that the Government should be cutting wasteful spending to fund tax relief and not hiking up taxes they promised to scrap, send Nicola Willis an email by clicking here.

Taxpayers paying twice: Luxon accommodation allowance 🏠

There's no doubt that Christopher Luxon's decision to take a $52,000 accommodation allowance despite already owning a property in Wellington was a bit of an own goal. 

As shown by the latest poll (see above) it was a wise move for the PM to quickly walk back his decision.

Here at the Taxpayers' Union, we say taxpayers shouldn't have to pay twice: We pay for a premier house for the PM to live in. If it's not up to snuff to live in and host dignitaries, the solution isn't to pay for the PM to live elsewhere, the solution is to fix Premier House.

Now clearly if an upgrade to Premier House was lining taps with gold, or spending $531 on a toilet brush, we'd be the first to call it out! But even as taxpayer watchdogs, we accept that the PM's digs shouldn't be a national embarrassment. However, it is simply not credible an upgrade needs to cost $30 million.

We've now had five Prime Ministers say this place isn't up to scratch, and now we've even got the Australian Cricket Team laughing at us.

Instead of taking his allowance and living elsewhere, we say Christopher Luxon needs to take the initiative and spend what is necessary to get Premier House back up to a presentable standard.

Jordan spoke to One News about Mr Luxon taking the accommodation entitlement (this was prior to him saying he would pay it back). You can also read our statement to the media here.

Taxpayer Talk – MPs in Depth Series: Laura Trask 🎙

This week on Taxpayer Talk, Ollie sat down with ACT Party MP Laura Trask.

Laura is one of eleven ACT MPs elected at the 2023 General Election. Prior to entering Parliament, Laura worked as a pharmacy technician and in the health and safety industry. She discusses her career in helping people navigate bureaucratic red tape and her desire to make it easier for people to live their lives and do business.

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

Other News in Brief ⏰

That's it for this week, 

Yours aye,


Callum Signature
Callum Purves
Head of Campaigns

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union 


Media Mentions:

PM Luxon claiming $52,000 accommodation supplement

1 News midday Chris Luxon collects taxpayer-funded accommodation expenses [TV only]

RNZ The Panel with Jo McCarroll and David Farrar (Part 2)

1 News at 6pm 
Luxon accommodation expenses

Newstalk ZB Morning Edition: 02 March 2024 (Luxon no longer claiming expenses) (1:20)

When you hear the people sing

Newstalk ZB Nicola Willis: Finance Minister warns surplus deadline won't be reached

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  • Callum Purves
    published this page in News 2024-03-08 14:44:05 +1300
  • Callum Purves
    published this page in News 2024-03-08 14:44:03 +1300

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