Tax cuts talk is irresponsible and unimaginative electioneering

Any personal income tax cuts offered by National this election will come at the expense of our desperately underfunded public services, the PSA says.

Prime Minister Bill English began the National Party’s regular rhetorical onslaught of tax cut election promises on RNZ earlier this morning, claiming concern for rising cost pressures on households.

"If the Prime Minister really wants to make life easier for low- and middle-income New Zealanders, he could start by meeting the shortfall in the health budget, which is at least $1.85 billion after nine years of neglect," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"With mental health workers stretched thin and facilities unfit for purpose, there are much better targets for public spending than tax cuts, even if you accept the Prime Minister’s so-called ‘social investment approach.’

"Other agencies like the Department of Conservation are struggling to serve their core function of protecting New Zealand’s natural areas after years of declining budgets.

"Before dangling personal tax cuts in front of voters, the Government must get the basics done right. A strong public service ensures that people can get the support they need when they need it, and that is much more important than an extra ten bucks a week in the pocket.

Ms Polaczuk says that this kind of electioneering does a disservice to voters, and is a way of papering over the cracks in the Government’s books.

"If National really have run out of ideas and are back to tax cut whispers and nudges, the Prime Minister is welcome to come and talk to PSA members about the vital public services they maintain and the serious concerns they have for its future."