Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
National’s tax cut package will deliver nothing to the majority of Maori families struggling to make ends meet, says Maori Affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia. “Nearly three quarters, or 71 per cent, of taxpayers in the Maori electorates earn less than …
31 March 2009 Media Statement
National’s tax cuts offer nothing to most Maori families
National’s tax cut package will deliver nothing to the majority of Maori families struggling to make ends meet, says Maori Affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia.
“Nearly three quarters, or 71 per cent, of taxpayers in the Maori electorates earn less than $40,000 a year, and under National’s tax plan not one of those taxpayers who has a family will get one cent extra,” Parekura Horomia said.
“In my Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate 74 per cent of Maori taxpayers earn less than $40,000 a year, which means only 26 per cent of Maori workers with children to support will get anything. Now how is that fair?
“Under National’s tax cut package someone on the Prime Minister’s salary of $393,000 a year gets $120 more a week, someone on the average wage gets $18 a week and a taxpayer with a family on less than $40,000 misses out altogether. It’s not fair that those on big incomes are the winners and struggling families are the losers,” Parekura Horomia says.
“It’s particularly rich given Mr Key and his Maori Party colleagues have made a big song and dance about slashing public sector bosses’ bonuses and refusing pay increases for their MPs – yet are slipping thousands of extra dollars into their back pockets through the tax cuts at the same time.
Labour’s Associate Maori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta said what was particularly distressing about the Government’s failure to help Maori families in need, was the inaction of the Maori Affairs Minister on this issue.
“I asked Pita Sharples, through a written parliamentary question, ‘what, if any, advice has the Minister provided to the Minister of Finance on the effect of changes to the tax rates on Maori, by title and date?’
“And the answer was ‘none’. So not only did the Maori Party vote for tax cuts that give nothing to most Maori families, claiming its confidence and supply agreement with National forced it to vote that way, we now discover its co-leader failed to even try to influence National to take a different course,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
“Labour is not opposed to tax cuts, but opposes a programme that is not fair for all. If fully implemented, National’s tax package would be worth $800 million a year, but a third of this money would go to the top three per cent of taxpayers. Under Labour’s tax package, Maori would have fared much better.”