Continued promises of tax cuts "irresponsible" when quake rebuild crucial

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The National government is acting irresponsibly by continuing to promise tax cuts when earthquake reconstruction and preparedness should be top priority, the PSA says.

Prime Minister John Key has confirmed tax cuts remain an option ahead of next year’s general election.

PSA general secretary Erin Polaczuk says this is "financially irresponsible" and the government should get its priorities straight.

"When Kaikoura remains cut off, crucial infrastructure needs rebuilding and serious questions are being raised about our preparedness, it is not time for tax cuts," Ms Polaczuk says.

"If National has money to spare then it should be invested in rebuilding our communities - and building our resilience by funding the public service to respond.

"That $1.7 billion could go to GNS to conduct research, to Geonet for 24-7 tsunami monitoring, and to strengthening our emergency response, including primary health and social services.

"It could go to properly funding Radio New Zealand, which proved a life-line for many people in the early hours of Monday morning.

"Or it could go towards rebuilding our transport networks, keeping freight moving and helping regional economies to bounce back."

Ms Polaczuk says working people need a fairer deal from the tax system, but not like this.

"Regardless of the tax cuts, families will still be paying more than their fair share.

"We want a better tax system, with across-the-board reforms and a broader tax base.

"We urge the government to manage the economy responsibly and for the benefit of all New Zealanders."