John Key's guilt trip - RePress


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Friday, March 20

John Key's guilt trip

John Key’s call for higher income earners to give their April 1 tax cuts to charity is an admission that National’s tax package is not fair to the lower paid and is bad economics, Labour Leader Phil Goff said today.

In a speech at a Philanthropy New Zealand conference yesterday John Key said well-off New Zealanders should donate some of their new extra income to charity.

“Asking higher income earners to give to charity doesn’t make up for the $730 million John Key’s tax package is taking out of the pockets of low income people.

“In National’s package, announced before Christmas, a family earning $57,000 loses $14 a week compared with what they would have got under Labour, while New Zealand’s top paid executive got $500 a week extra in his pay packet.

“What John Key is admitting is that his tax package wasn’t fair to families on lower incomes and wasn’t smart economics, because putting money in the pockets of the less well off protects jobs.

“These tax cuts, if spread more evenly, would have had the biggest, most immediate and cost effective impact on stimulating demand and keeping business and jobs going. As well as making economic sense it is the fairest solution as low income earners are the most vulnerable in a recession.

“John Key should also make it clear who he suggesting give up their tax cuts to charity. Those people earning $70,000 a year, those on $80,000? Doesn’t he realise those people are already donating to sports clubs, schools and charities? Or does he have another income level in mind?

“And how much difference does he think that will make to families at the bottom of the heap struggling to make ends meet?” Phil Goff said.

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