Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Wellbeing Budget delivers for world's richest man, but taxpayers lose

“Jacinda Ardern’s vaunted Wellbeing Budget will improve the fortunes of the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, but taxpayers will lose out”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“New Zealanders could end up subsidising Amazon by around $375 million through the Screen Production Grant for its Lord of the Rings television show.

“Labour and National governments have been locked into a costly race to the bottom to secure television and movie productions and the photo opportunities that come with them.

“But the return to the country from one dollar of government spending could be as low as 70 cents. Far from improving our wellbeing, the subsidy scheme could be making New Zealanders poorer.

“Every dollar spent on subsidies for television and movie productions is a dollar the government can’t put elsewhere. The evidence shows that we would be better off scrapping the Screen Production Grant and allowing taxpayers to keep the money.

“Rather than continue to spend hundreds of millions on a failed television and film subsidy scheme for Hollywood, ACT would end corporate welfare so that every New Zealander can pay low, flat taxes.

“ACT’s Freedom to Earn tax plan would implement a flat rate of income tax, and a company tax rate, of 17.5 per cent paid for by reducing low-value government spending. This would make New Zealand the most attractive place in the world to work and do business and provide opportunities for all New Zealanders.

“Moving away progressive taxation and political vote-buying through corporate welfare schemes would mean higher productivity, wages, job growth, and real wellbeing.”