Budget increases taxes on those in need

ACT regrets an enormous lost opportunity to cut tax for some of those most in need.  Instead, the government has delivered those households a $1200 a year tax increase.

"Currently, the average smoker smokes 10.6 cigarettes per day, taxed at 67c each, making $7.09 per day or $2,588 per year," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Budget 2016 splashes out on fat corporate welfare cheques

Funding for $761 million in corporate welfare via 'Innovative New Zealand' is an insult to taxpayers, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"Bill English needs to ‘just say no’ to Steven Joyce’s corporate welfare addiction," says Mr Seymour.

"There is no public appetite for hand-outs to businesses. There is no pressure from the opposition or the media. So who’s been pouring poison into Steven Joyce’s ear?

The biggest thing that’s not in the Budget

Budget 2016 is National’s eighth Budget to ignore New Zealand’s largest fiscal problem, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“People of my generation don’t expect to get Super at 65, but we would like to know what’s happening. It’s sad that the Government has effectively banned a discussion, let alone action.

“In our lifetime we will go from five taxpayers per superannuitant, to two taxpayers per superannuitant.

“While an impotent opposition has allowed this Government to ignore the issue, history will look back unkindly on our failure to make a plan.

Budget 2016: Do you feel rich at $70K?

People earning $70,000 aren’t rich, and shouldn’t be taxed as though they are, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“No-one on a five-figure salary should have to pay a 33% tax rate. Seventy thousand was once big money, but inflation and rising wages have pushed more and more workers into this top tax bracket.

“These aren’t rich pricks. These are hard-working Kiwis paying off mortgages and raising families. Yet National taxes them at 33%. The top tax bracket shouldn’t cut in until someone earns at least $100,000.

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools to open in 2018 and 2019

Students and parents will be offered greater choice in education as a result of Budget 2016’s funding for around seven new Partnership Schools|Kura Hourua, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education David Seymour says.

The schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017.

“The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says.

“Last year, for example, we received 26 applications, well in excess of the funding available.

Under-Secretary welcomes independent entity to support Partnership Schools

An independent Partnership School support entity, E Tipu E Rea, has been established to support new, existing, and prospective Partnership School sponsors and will receive a conditional funding grant.

“The development of an independent support entity shows the maturation of the policy, bringing Partnership Schools into line with international charter school models,” Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education David Seymour says.

“England has the New Schools Network, New York has the New York Charter School Centre, and New Zealand now has E Tipu E Rea.

ACT welcomes cross-party support for Partnership Schools

ACT, National and the Maori Party have pledged to vote down Chris Hipkins’ Charter Schools Abolition Bill.

“Labour’s mean-spirited bill sought to close down all eight partnership schools and force 900 students to go elsewhere,” says ACT leader David Seymour.

“This is despite the very promising initial results from these schools.  It’s crazy that Labour wants to close schools that deliver outstanding NCEA results for kids who have struggled in the state system.

Finally Labour gets it - land supply is key to housing

It’s great to see Labour supporting ACT’s policy of removing the Auckland urban boundary, says ACT leader David Seymour.

“Artifically restricted land supply has always been the source of housing unaffordability.  But until now the debate has been driven by hysteria over foreigner buyers and speculators.

"Hopefully this is a turning point and all political parties will focus on the real solution - freeing up land and increasing housing supply by removing red tape.

'Hi-tech' funding is more corporate welfare

Increased funding for the commercialisation of ‘new Kiwi hi-tech’ is just more corporate welfare, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Under this Government, corporate welfare continues to rise. So far, Joyce’s programme of corporate welfare has included payments for sheep given to a Saudi businessman, rockets launched off the Coromandel, and a boat-building company owned by the world’s seventh-richest man.

“Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow” says Key on tax cuts

ACT Leader David Seymour says the Prime Minister lacks credibility on tax cuts.

“The Prime Minister is trying to have it both ways. He campaigns from the right by noncommittally hinting at future tax cuts, but governs from the left by refusing to end tax bracket creep, let alone cut tax today.

“Even a $3 billion tax cut in 2018 would barely cancel out the $2.1 billion cost of bracket creep since the last round of tax reforms.  It would be more of a ‘tax reset’ than a tax cut.

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