Looks like New Zealanders are economically savvy enough about the recession to let the Government off the hook on its tax promises.
Because of the state of the Government’s books, it’s pretty obvious there must be more borrowing – the public debt will rise and there’s a real risk that credit rating outfits like Standard & Poors will want to lower our credit rating.
These pressures call for Government spending to be reined in, with implications for the quality of public services.
Previous surveys have shown Kiwis tend to prefer the delivery of good public services – especially health and education – rather than tax cuts.
A new survey gives a similar result.
The weekend Herald reports today:
Two-thirds of New Zealanders say they don’t want the Government to go ahead with the next round of personal income tax cuts if it involves further borrowing to fund them.
Actually, that’s bollocks. Alf was never asked. Nor – he imagines – were most New Zealanders.
But two-thirds of those who responded to survey questions (no details are given of the numbers polled) presumbably said they don’t want the Government to go ahead with the next round of personal income tax cuts if it involves further borrowing to fund them.
Of those surveyed, 47 per cent reportedly think the first round of personal income tax cuts that began last week should not have been made if they need to be funded by borrowing, considering the economic climate.
Bill English has previously said future economic circumstances would dictate whether the 2010 and 2011 tax cuts went ahead and taxpayers will be given an indication in the May 28 Budget.
A spokesman for the Finance Minister told the Weekend Herald: “We haven’t got any specific response to the survey other than repeating that he believes that lower taxes are good in the long run for the economy but any decision about the tax cuts proposed for next year and the year after will be made in the Budget.”
Bit of bugger, but the survey has given Labour’s David Cunliffe a platform for claiming it’s “lunacy” that the Government is it still considering going ahead with the tax cuts.
“There is no case in the current circumstances for further tax cuts. This proves that New Zealanders agree. I’m very pleased Kiwis have shown a sense of decency and fair play, even in the upper income brackets even though they stand to benefit.”
A bit rich, given the Clark Gang’s laxity with Government spending.
Not surprisingly, the bigger your income, and the smaller the demands on your household spending, the more likely it is you will be prepared to forego the tax cuts.
Households and individuals with incomes between $100,001 and $150,000 a year were the least keen about the next round of tax cuts with 70 per cent opposing.
By household type, people living alone were the least keen, followed by couples with no children and one-parent families with two children.
Sixty-one per cent of National Party voters thought the cuts should not go ahead compared with 69 per cent of Labour voters.
English is obviously keeping his powder dry. But it looks like it won’t be too hard to persuade people the tax cut promise must be broken.