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'If you've got a $7.5 billion surplus you are over-taxing' - Bridges calls out Government after opening of books

National Party leader Simon Bridges is criticising the Government's "over-taxing" after Finance Minister Grant Robertson yesterday opened the books.

Mr Robertson described a "strong surplus and low debt" in announcing the Government's surplus had increased to $7.5 billion for the 2018/19 year - up by $2 billion from last year and $4 billion higher than forecast.

But Mr Bridges has come out swinging at the Government again over what he says are taxes hitting Kiwis in the pocket.

"If you've got a $7.5 billion surplus you are over-taxing your people. It is wrong," Mr Bridges told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

He also said there was a strong case for tax relief in New Zealand, but called out the "incompetent" Government saying "they would turn in their graves before they gave tax relief to New Zealanders".

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New Zealand’s surplus has climbed to $7.5 billion, officials announced today. Source: 1 NEWS

"Good grief, I mean, you've got a situation where Grant Robertson's wallet is bulging and Kiwis are finding it tougher because he's taxed and cost them out of it," Mr Bridges said.

He said keeping up with bills with costs like electricity and rent going up, and petrol taxes meant it was harder, even for people in Auckland on good money.

"Grant Robertson is to blame here," Mr Bridges said, adding that as Finance Minister he had "piled on" taxes to landlords and $1.7 billion more in petrol taxes.

"You've got $7.5 billion surplus, and on the other side of it you've got a $1 billion health deficit, you've got surgeries that are taking longer and fewer of them than the year before, you've got a situation where literally not infrastructure is happening in housing and infrastructure - that is criminal."

Mr Bridges said it was important to be getting spending and investing priorities right, adding if he was prime minister, his government would focus on health, education and infrastructure, including housing.

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The National Party leader talked about what he took away from the Government opening of its books. Source: Breakfast