National Revenue spokesman Paul Goldsmith says his party will not be supporting a new tax bill, despite saying on Monday the Opposition will “broadly” support it becoming law.
“Looking through it, we’re broadly supportive of it all – I would have to have a look at some of the precise details,” he told Interest.co.nz.
He said there was one area around changing the rules around taxpayer information, so it can be used more efficiently.
“[But] broadly speaking I think we will be comfortable.”
However, speaking at the Bill’s first reading on Tuesday, Goldsmith and other National MPs were striking a much different tone.
“We will not vote for this bill for a simple reason and that is it is fundamentally an annual rates bill that sets the taxation rate and those taxation rates are the same as they were last year,” Goldsmith says.
He says his party won’t support the Bill because the Coalition Government reversed the tax cuts National had put in place last year.
Despite this, he says National is supportive of many of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018-19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) Bill’s provisions.
The Bill would make KiwiSaver available to people aged over 65 for the first time – Goldsmith says it was the National Party who came up with this idea.
He also agrees that adding in two new KiwiSaver contribution rates of 6% and 10% is a good idea and reducing the time people can take a “contribution holiday” for from five years to one is smart policy.
“But we will oppose on the basis that it represents a real missed opportunity to give New Zealanders a little bit more money in their back pockets through tax cuts that they so richly deserve,” Goldsmith told Parliament.
His concerns about this aspect of the Bill were not raised when he spoke to Interest.co.nz on Monday.
Speaking in support of the legislation, Labour’s New Lynn MP Deborah Russell slammed National for not supporting the Bill.
“It is a sad, sad day in the history of this House because, for many years, we have worked collaboratively across the House on tax measures.”
She says in the past, the details have been debated “tooth and nail” at select committees, but “by and large when it has come to voting in the House, tax bills have been passed unanimously, with all sides agreeing.”
Despite National’s opposition, with the support of Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and ACT, the Bill will still become law in early 2019.