Opposition leader Simon Bridges says National’s relentless opposition to a capital gains tax has forced the Government to back down after 18 months of waiting and a $2 million tax working group, but the Government can't be trusted on tax.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this afternoon that the Coalition Government will not proceed with the Tax Working Group's recommendation for a capital gains tax, saying the parties have been unable to find a consensus on it.
Mr Bridges said while the Government has backed down on a capital gains tax, there are still a range of taxes on the table, including a vacant land tax, an agricultural tax and a waste tax.
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she personally still wants a capital gains tax and that our tax system is unfair. New Zealanders simply can’t trust Labour when it comes to tax," he said.
Mr Bridges said the New Zealand economy has suffered while the Government has had a public discussion about a policy they couldn’t agree on.
"Put simply, this is political and economic mismanagement," he said.
“Investment has completely slowed down while business owners worry what the future looked like. That has made New Zealanders worse off."
The economy was growing at four per cent two years ago and is "rapidly heading down to two per cent," he said.
"They have no economic plan to speak of at all because the Government has sapped the confidence out of small business owners and mum and dad investors.
“In the Government’s so called year of delivery, they’ve dropped their flagship tax policy," Mr Bridges said.
“The big question remains, what are they doing to encourage the economy to grow?"
Mr Bridges said National won’t introduce any new taxes "in our first term" and will index tax brackets to inflation.