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Recommended tax changes 'far from an attack on the Kiwi way of life', says PM

Jacinda Ardern said calling the recommendations from the tax working group an 'attack on the Kiwi way of life' is an inflammatory statement, and urged the public to debate the tax packages "in context".

The Prime Minister also made moves to reassure small business and farmers, and went on to say the recommendations would impact between "only 0.4 per cent in year one, and 2.5 per cent in year five of the Government's total annual tax base over five years". 

She said that would only increase to four per cent over 10 years. 

"I only mention that to give a perspective of the scale, and that in my view it is far from an attack on the Kiwi way of life," she said at today's post-Cabinet news conference. 

Ms Ardern said any impact on small business and farming would be at the "top of my mind assessing options". 

The Tax Working Group released its recommendations to make alterations to New Zealand's tax system, which included implementing a comprehensive capital gains tax, adjusting the bottom tax rate, KiwiSaver tax reductions and environmental and business tax changes. 

National leader Simon Bridges said last week the findings were a "declaration of war" against farmers and targets all "hard-working New Zealanders".

"This is an attack on the Kiwi way of life. This would hit every New Zealander with a KiwiSaver, shares, investment property, a small business, a lifestyle block, a bach or even an empty section," Mr Bridges said. 

Today, Ms Ardern said she had heard some "quite inflammatory statements being made about what we're debating here". 

"This notion it's an attack on the Kiwi way of life I think is quite a broad sweeping statement."

She encouraged the public to look at the recommended tax packages "in context, and also to engage in what I know will be a robust debate and a debate worth having here in New Zealand". 

Ms Ardern said the tax working group was set up to look at fairness and balance in the New Zealand tax system, finding it "largely works well".

"But the tax experts also highlighted some areas where they found the system is not fair and not balanced, and where the structure could change."

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Jacinda Ardern encouraged debate of recommendations from the tax working group, but called some statements “inflammatory”. Source: 1 NEWS


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