“Boondoggles can be worked through” says  the contortionist Finance Minister of a cynical government on its last legs. How can New Zealanders trust a government that doesn’t believe in its own policy?” Asks ACT Leader David Seymour.

"Besides the desperate insincerity, this contortion shows Labour is cooked. The people can see a Government with nothing better to offer than a reheated policy from 2011 that nearly everyone alive has rubbished, including Grant Robertson himself.

"The country is wracked with inflation, lawlessness and division, and the people who got us here are now busy trying to change the definition of a boondoggle. It is a sad and sorry state for a Government and a country. Real change cannot come soon enough.
“Grant Robertson said this to Q+A this morning when asked about his previous statement that removing GST from fruit and vegetables is a boondoggle. He knows it doesn’t work, but Labour is desperate to cling on to power and is being driven by polling and focus groups rather than making New Zealand a better place.
“The Oxford English Dictionary defines "boondoggle" as meaning: "A trivial, useless, or unnecessary undertaking; wasteful expenditure." There’s no doubt that’s the definition Robertson had in mind when he called taking GST off fresh fruit and vegetables a ‘boondoggle’ but it’s amazing what a man can come to believe when his salary depends on it.
“The people who benefit from removing GST off fruit and vegetables are those who can already afford punnets of fresh blueberries and raspberries, the families who are looking at the price of a cut pumpkin will barely notice any difference.
“The other big beneficiary are the supermarket chains who gobble up as much as two thirds of the windfall. That is what happened when the UK took sales tax of sanitary items. It’s ironic the Government that rails against supermarkets and just completed a ‘Market Study’ into them wants to give a massive tax break to supermarkets. Then again, it did reinforce their duopoly by closing their competitors for much of the COVID period.
“On top of the fact it is poorly targeted. It reduces government revenue and increases compliance costs. It is an example of emotive rather than logical thinking. It doesn’t help the people it’s supposed to and will leave New Zealanders poorer and more bureaucratic.
“The simple, universal nature of GST is what makes it such an effective revenue collector, where would you stop with the exemptions? What about tinned fruit? Milk? Bottled water? The biggest winner would be the avalanche of lawyers and lobbyists seeking to create and exploit new GST loopholes.
“Australia and New Zealand have similar GST systems with a key difference - Australia has exemptions, and New Zealand simply applies it across the board. What's the result? Australians spend twice as long and twice as much money every year complying with GST than New Zealanders. This is the one thing we're doing better than Aussies at and Labour is trying to throw it away.
“Labour’s likely coalition partner Te Pāti Māori announced a tax policy with a $30 billion hole. Combine that with the Green Party’s wealth tax, and together they would destroy the country’s economy and drive anyone with a sense of ambition away.
“ACT has a fully costed tax cut package that is built on aspiration for New Zealand. We would cut wasteful spending by $38 billion without touching frontline services and cut taxes sensibly. This allows us to implement a two-rate tax system – 17.5 and 28 per cent. If you’re a nurse on $70,000, our tax cuts let you keep $2,500 more a year.
“We all know Labour is deeply cynical around policymaking, this is the same party who suddenly pretended to care about crime months before an election after ignoring the problem for years. Supporting policies as economically illiterate as this for a few votes is why they need to go.”

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