National 'not going to rule anything out' over potential tax change promises

National is not ruling out tax cuts, if it were to win the 2020 election.

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Mr Goldsmith appeared on TVNZ1’s Q+A with Jack Tame. Source: Q+A

National's finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith was asked by TVNZ1's Q+A host Jack Tame if income tax cuts would be off the table due to the Covid-19 economic crisis.

"I'm not going to rule anything out," Mr Goldsmith said.

Last February, leader Simon Bridges promised the party would "get rid of the regional fuel tax, and we will index for cost of living increases, but I think we need to do more".

"We believe there is a very clear case today for tax relief."

Mr Goldsmith also said last August that income tax cuts were not off the table. 

Today, Mr Goldsmith said Budget 2020 figures would be critical in the decision on income tax cuts, as was the way the Government managed the economy heading into the election. He said National had already signalled they would reduce company taxes.

Budget 2020 is set to be released on Thursday, with the Finance Minister warning deficits would run for an extended period and debt would increase "well beyond our previous targets".

Mr Goldsmith said the priority as New Zealand goes into an "economic hole" due to Covid-19 would be to "try and reduce the damage as much as we can and get the economy growing so we can get out of it".

"If we're operating at 50 per cent productivity for the rest of the year, we're going to do a lot of damage.

"The key to get out of that level of debt is getting out of lockdown as quickly as we can. We've got a lot of work to do to open up that economy."

When asked if he thought the wage subsidy should be extended, Mr Goldsmith said businesses that needed support but were not getting it, "should have some wage subsidy to those businesses who need it, but it needs to be quite tight".

"We have to try to reduce the damage of business collapse by getting cash into the businesses that really need it."