Judith Collins today said "you can believe me" over her assertion National will not adopt ACT's tax policy if elected, while doubling down on her claim Labour would be “bullied” into a wealth tax by the Greens after Jacinda Ardern repeatedly ruled it out.
Ardern again called Collins' claim an attempt to spread "misinformation" before the election on Saturday.
When asked about the issue on the campaign trail, Collins said it wasn't her party that was bringing it up.
"We’re not the party that brought up the wealth tax actually. The coalition partner of Labour, the Greens, did. And then of course we’ve had James Shaw just the other day saying, yes, it’s something they would be looking at after having been told by the Labour Party they wouldn’t be doing it," she said.
When reporters pointed out that Ardern has categorically ruled out negotiating with the Greens on a wealth tax, Collins doubled down.
"I think she is wrong. The fact is she has a minister last night saying, yes, it is. We know the Greens have been able to bully Labour in the past - just think about the Green School."
Ardern was also asked about the wealth tax on the campaign trail today and National's view it will be on the table should Labour and the Greens form a government.
"My only frustration is that the National Party continues to use misinformation in its campaign. My view is that they should be courageous enough to debate real issues and fact, not fiction," she said.
Collins was challenged by a reporter that her stance on ruling out implementing ACT tax policy of a flat tax post-election is essentially the same as Ardern's with the Greens.
"But you can believe me," Collins replied, adding, "I’m not someone who takes a box of chocolate biscuits to the negotiating table to show subservience."
Labour's finance spokesperson, Grant Robertson, also dismissed the wealth tax idea this morning on TVNZ1's Breakfast.
“Misinformation and lies about the wealth tax is a pretty desperate thing,” he shot back at National.
Yesterday on TVNZ1’s Q+A, Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson told voters their party was needed in the next Government to push Labour on climate and inequality issues.
Shaw also told Breakfast in September that the party's proposed tax policy was not a “bottom line” in coalition talks.
The Greens' wealth tax policy would see New Zealanders with a net-worth greater than $1 million pay out one per cent of their wealth as tax.
Those worth more than $2 million would pay two per cent.
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