• Create a simple two-rate tax system: 17.5 per cent and 28 per cent
  • Less tax for every earner
  • Have NZ in surplus next year, pay down debt faster
  • Scrap the rental tax and bright-line test
  • Pay good teachers more
  • Share GST with councils for infrastructure
  • Increase defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP
  • Gradually increase the superannuation age
  • Reduce wasteful spending by $5.3 billion in 2023
  • Reduce bureaucrats to 2017 levels and scrap ‘demographic’ departments
  • Extend the Mixed Ownership Model to all SOEs
  • Scrap remaining COVID rules that no longer make sense
  • Welcome overseas investment from OECD countries
  • Carry out serious reform of the RMA
  • End the oil and gas ban, repeal the Zero Carbon Act
  • Reintroduce 90-day trials, moratorium on new minimum wage hikes, scrap social insurance scheme and Fair Pay Agreements
  • Liberalise genetic engineering laws
  • Introduce a Regulatory Responsibility Act

“New Zealand is an island nation of pioneers. We’ve travelled further than any people in history to give the next generation a better tomorrow, but modern Budgets don’t reflect the spirit of aspiration that gave birth to our country,” says ACT Leader and Finance spokesperson David Seymour.

“If elections are an advance auction in stolen goods, then today’s Budgets are the time to divide up the loot.

“Labour and National use Budgets as an opportunity to reward their political supporters. The question is always, ‘who gets what?’ Budgets should answer the question, ‘who do we want to be as a country?’

“Recently, the Minister of Finance said cutting taxes ‘isn’t a good use of resources.’ His choice of words says a lot. He believes your money is a government resource even before it’s taxed.

“The result of this obsession with dividing, instead of creating, wealth is a gradual decline of our country’s living standards.

“The results are sobering. Former communist countries in Eastern Europe that we once felt sorry for have overtaken us for productivity. Australia attracts 80 per cent more foreign investment per capita. Nearly one-in-four of those born in New Zealand now live overseas. New Zealand as it currently conceives itself, a rich world country that’s a great place to bring up kids, is slipping away one Budget at a time. We need real change.

“ACT would reshape the income tax system to restore fairness, reward success and deliver much-deserved tax relief to hard working New Zealanders.

“Kiwis have had a rough ride over the past few years and they’re continuing to be squeezed from every direction. This has been exacerbated by relentless borrowing and spending from Government, prices are rising because there’s too much money chasing too few goods.

“Kiwis feel like they’re working harder for less. New Zealanders deserve to be rewarded for hard work, instead they feel like they’re swimming against the tide and watching those who do nothing reap the rewards.

“That’s why ACT has released an aspirational Budget for the future, for rebuilding, increasing productivity and growth. It’s the opposite to Labour’s approach of taxing people they don’t like and giving handouts to others.

“ACT would create a two-tier tax rate system where anyone earning $70,000 and under would be taxed 17.5 per cent and those earning above would be taxed 28 per cent. This would restore fairness and reward the workers.

“We would increase spending where it’s needed, including rewarding good teachers, increase the budget for Defence to protect us against an increasingly volatile geo-political situation and share GST with councils so we can improve infrastructure and encourage development.

“We’d also cut wasteful spending, bringing the public service back to the size it was in 2017, reducing budget allowances and scrapping funds that let politicians pick winners for photo ops.

“Our fully costed alternative budget would ensure that your taxes are spent wisely. Taxes would go towards services like health, education and law and order. They would provide the things that Kiwis needs for communities to thrive.

“Our budget would ensure that we have a healthy economy and thriving communities, while rewarding those who contribute and work hard. Our budget will mean Kiwis want to stay here, instead of needing to go overseas to get ahead.”

ACT's Real Change Budget can be found here.

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