TODAY |

Ardern accuses Muller of spreading 'blatant misinformation' during spirited tax debate

Jacinda Ardern today accused Todd Muller of spreading "blatant misinformation" during a spirited debate on tax in Parliament.

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National’s leader repeatedly asked the Prime Minister if her Government intended on raising personal tax. Source: 1 NEWS

National’s leader repeatedly asked the Prime Minister if her Government intended on raising personal tax, and if she agreed with the Green Party's proposed wealth tax policy.

"Will she rule out increasing personal tax rates while she is Prime Minister?" he asked.

"In this House I am responsible for every statement and policy we have announced and I’m happy to answer questions on that. I am not responsible for other parties' tax policies and nor has Labour released its own," Ms Ardern began her reply.

"When we have, I am happy to debate it. In the meantime, I urge the member not to continue to spread the blatant misinformation to New Zealanders that he has to date."

The Prime Minister didn't elaborate on what "blatant misinformation" she was referring to and Mr Muller pressed on with his line of questioning.

"Does she stand by the other statement from her speech from the throne that, ‘Building a truly prosperous country means sharing the wealth generated by our economy with a wider range of New Zealanders'?"

Ms Ardern attacked the previous National Government's record on tax in her response.

"We cut and cancelled that member’s unfair tax cuts, increased the transfers through the family tax credit, introduced best start, increased minimum wages and made sure those on the lowest income do have a higher income.

"I am happy to debate our record and stand by my statements in this House. What I am not happy to stand by is the misinformation from that member," she said.

Mr Muller finished the debate on the issue by asking the Prime Minister if she will rule out a wealth tax while she is in power.

"Again, members only need to look at our reputation in this House. We have not introduced any such tax. I am not responsible for any other parties tax in this House. I therefore will not be answerable to any other parties' tax policy," Ms Ardern said.

National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith released a statement shortly after question time today saying the Finance Minister was being "slippery" on tax.

“In Parliament today, Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson were refusing to rule out increases to personal income taxes. We know they’re desperate for higher taxes to pay for some of their spending.

“That should be concerning to all hard working Kiwis and businesses who risk being whacked with higher taxes if Labour are elected for another three years," he said.

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The proposal would see a wealth tax on millionaires and that money would be used to help Kiwis in poverty. Source: 1 NEWS

The exchanges come after the Green Party announced a sweeping new policy it says aims to reduce poverty in New Zealand ahead of the 2020 General Election.

Part of the policy would see a new tax introduced of one per cent on an individual’s net wealth above $1 million and two per cent over $2 million.