“Today is ‘Tax Freedom Day’ according to accounting firm Baker Tilly Staples Rodway, who calculates the date based on the country’s tax bill for the year being paid before you start pocketing your salary or wages.

“Tax Freedom Day falls two days later than in 2022, and two weeks later than 2017 when Labour took office, this is because the tax take has grown faster than the economy.

“Every year Tax Freedom Day gets later and later, as Grant Robertson taxes more and more. Core Crown tax revenue increased by almost $33 billion from 2017 to 2022. Treasury forecasts it to increase by another $7 billion in 2023.

“The problem is that higher taxes on working, saving, and investing mean people do less of those activities, leaving us all poorer.

“Last week’s Blowout Budget just showed us all that we could pay less tax if the Government wasn't trying to buy votes.

“The Government spends billions on handouts for businesses whether it is subsidies for the video game and film industries, or handouts to big multinationals like Bluescope for climate projects they should be funding themselves.

“ACT’s Alternative Budget – A Time for Truth, cuts $38 billion over four years, without touching frontline services, and lets people keep more of what they earn with 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.

“The problem is that politicians make promises to get elected and taxes grow to fund them. ACT is reversing that trend, our budget shows how more money can be provided to essential areas that help all Kiwis – teachers, general practices, defence – by slashing wasteful spending on handouts and bureaucracy.

“The alternative is you keep getting taxed more so that the same government departments can continue with bigger budgets for the same goals they fail to meet. Layers of handouts, built-up like lasagne, one bribe at a time, will continue.”

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