Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand is planning to raise income taxes on the the nation’s top earners if her ruling Labour Party wins October’s general election sources in New Zealand indicate.
In moves already being derided as ‘stereotypically Red in nature’ by some in New Zealand, the nation’s tax threshold, if raised, would affect all those earning over NZ$ 180,000 – around NT$ 3.5 million.
At present, New Zealand’s highest level tax rate is 33% on all those earning NZ$ 70,000 or more.
The Labour Party claim this would affect just the top 2% of earners in the country.
“Our plan strikes a balance as we recover from COVID-19,” Grant Robertson, Finance Minister said in Wellington.
If put into play the tax increase would reportedly raise around NZ$ 550 million according to Robertson – a rate that still places New Zealand in the bottom 30% of income tax rates with Robertson adding that the rate is also lower than Australia – a benchmark comparison used by Kiwi politicians whenever New Zealand introduces controversial new policies.
The ruling Labour Party is currently well ahead of the New Zealand Nationals, a centre right party, in the polls as a result of a well managed anti-COVID programme, and is predicted to win the October 17th elections by a large majority barring any spike in the virus over the next month.
“No country in the world has ever taxed itself out of recession, but Labour’s first instinct is to raise your taxes,” opposition National Party spokesman Paul Goldsmith said of the ruling party’s announcement.
Prime Minister Ardern meanwhile, in backing the defended tax hike said “This is the totality of our tax policy,” before claiming that her party will make no further tax increases should they win another term.