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Cullen Raking It In Beyond His Wildest Dreams

Posted on 02 Apr 2008

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Heather Roy was today scornful - but not surprised - of Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen's unwillingness to even speculate on when he might consider abolishing the top personal income tax rate of 39 percent.

"Increasing the top tax rate to 39 percent allowed Dr Cullen to gather revenue beyond his wildest dreams yet, in Parliament today, he wouldn't even consider a time when he might quit over-taxing Kiwi taxpayers earning over $60,000," Mrs Roy said.

"When the Minister first announced that the top tax rate would rise to 39 percent, he stated that: 'the increase will affect only about five percent of the workforce ... the change is expected to bring in around $400 million a year for new spending.'

"But today Dr Cullen admitted that the predicted $400 million was surpassed within only two financial years of the increase coming into effect, with the Government fleecing New Zealanders of: $447 million in the 2001-02 financial year, $494 million in 2002-03, $540 million in 2003-04, $616 million in 2004-05, $699 million in 2005-06 and $$791 million in 2006-07.

"The fact is that, through the top 39 percent personal income tax rate, the Government is gathering much more revenue than it needs - as can be seen by the huge surpluses being touted by the Minister every year.

"The 39 percent envy tax was not necessary or needed when it was introduced, and it is even less so now.  It is time Dr Cullen put aside his avaricious ways and acted responsibly - he has made much more than he ever intended, and now it is time to give the hard-working taxpayers of New Zealand some relief," Mrs Roy said.


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