Labour’s Grant Robertson on tax plan move

Grant Robertson.

Labour has pulled a major reversal in how it would carry out its proposed tax plan, in an attempt to counter National's continued attacks.

The party said the recommendations of its tax working group would not be introduced until 2021, which would mean voters would have the opportunity to reject any new taxes as part of the 2020 election.

National has been hammering Labour over its plan to set up a tax working group and possibly introduce capital gains or land taxes in its first term. Slipping support in the polls, and feedback to the party, suggests Labour has struggled to counter those attacks.

The party announced this afternoon that it would legislate for any changes in its first term, but they would not be implemented until 2021.

Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said that would balance the need for urgency against the need for certainty, and would allow the public to have their say on any changes.

"To avoid any doubt, no one will be affected by any tax changes arising from the outcomes of the working group until 2021.

"There will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of government beyond those we have already announced.

"Labour will not shy away from the hard issues such as fixing the housing crisis and we are determined to do what is right, but we also know we must take New Zealanders with us as we do that."

Mr Robertson said they had heard the concerns of New Zealanders.

"We will involve the public at every stage of the working group - as well as Cabinet - and Parliament's consideration of any changes that arise from it.

"This gives multiple opportunities for public input, and a general election before any new tax would come into effect."


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