Simon Bridges: National won't introduce new taxes in its first term if elected into government, and will reverse any laws passed introducing a potential Capital Gains Tax

Simon Bridges: National won't introduce new taxes in its first term if elected into government, and will reverse any laws passed introducing a potential Capital Gains Tax
Simon Bridges by Jacky Carpenter

The National Party is committing to not introducing any new taxes in its first term if it gets into government in the 2020 election.

Leader Simon Bridges also says that if the Tax Working Group (TWG) recommends a Capital Gains Tax be introduced, and the Government passes legislation before the election for this to be implemented after the election, National would repeal this law.

“I believe Kiwis pay too much tax already,” Bridges said in speech on Monday.

“Michael Cullen’s Tax Working Group has announced it is putting together two options for a Capital Gains Tax. Even the Tax Working Group has conceded that this won’t fix the housing market but will lead to higher rents for those who can least afford it…

“A Capital Gains Tax is a tax on small business owners and entrepreneurs, people who have worked hard for decades to grow the value of their business, paying tax and employing people, only to get whacked with yet more tax when they sell for retirement…

“A Capital Gains Tax would also affect everybody’s KiwiSaver, directly taxing people saving for their retirement.”

The TWG's terms of reference specifically exclude it from considering applying a Capital Gains Tax to either the family home or the land beneath the family home. This takes about 42% of the average household’s wealth off the table.

Cullen on CGT: 'it’s not unusual for there to be disagreements'

Robin Oliver, the former Inland Revenue deputy commissioner who’s part of the 11-member TWG, last week said that it was unlikely the group would be to be able to meet its key task of designing a capital gains tax because the group can’t agree on it.

“We will try to reach agreement. We may or may not do so,” Oliver reportedly said.

Asked by to respond to this comment, TWG chair Michael Cullen said: “The Group is working through a number of complex issues surrounding the design of a system to extend the taxation of capital income so it’s not unusual for there to be disagreements from time to time.

“We are still at the stage of testing various design concepts ahead of the report in February so we’re not yet in a position to call for a raising of hands for or against a final recommendation.”

$2.4b of additional taxes introduced by Govt over 4 years

Bridges in his speech went on to say: “If this Government reined in its wasteful spending it would be able to continue increasing funding for core public services without more taxes.

“Nobody’s doubting that this Government has good intentions but those good intentions have consequences that are doing more harm than good.”’s calculations indicate that the additional taxes introduced and proposed under the Coalition Government will generate $2.4 billion over four years.

Just over $1 billion of this will be generated by higher petrol excise taxes. While the Coalition Government is increasing petrol excise taxes by a total of 10.5 cents over three years, the National-led Government hiked these by 17 cents over nine years.

($ millions) 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Total
Happening $ $ $ $ $
Petrol excise 91.9 245.0 367.5 367.5 1,071.9
Regional fuel tax - Auckland  160.0 160.0 160.0 160.0 640.0
Bright line test extension ... ... 10.0 30.0 40.0
GST on low-value imported goods _ 66.0 100.0 112.0 278.0
Ring-fencing rental losses _ 10.0 125.0 190.0 325.0
Totals 251.9 481.0 762.5 859.5 2,354.9

See this story for more analysis of these figures.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Finally something from the opposition they still exist !!!

I'm not sure I'd call that "something". "Nothing" maybe...

I think this clown Bridges is only fooling himself

Hurrah for the B-Team!

(Bennett is looking much better though, good for her).

“A Capital Gains Tax is a tax on small business owners and entrepreneurs". Is that what they are called now? Entrepreneurs??

Most advanced countries have Capital Gains Taxation
I guess therein lays the answer Mr Bridges believes

If small businesses and entrepreneurs need Capital Gains to stay profitable or to stay afloat, then I'd suggest that they have serious profit issues, and should perhaps explore doing something else.


No mention of what they will cut to implement this policy.

Have they not been watching the libs getting smashed in Australia? The message has been "back pocket this, back pocket that" for a few years now and it's not cutting through with the electorate.

This policy will play well with those who were already voting National, but it won't swing anyone back.

Also, they ran on this before - and even on not increasing GST - but then increased GST, added a "levy" etc. So are they more serious than last time or less?

You know National stand for ethics
Look at Crusher & Mr I don’t recall JK
Mowiss Willumsin. Billy English
I rest my case your honour

Sounds irresponsible to say this so far away from a election!


So no 'taxes' but will probably open the gates for more immigration leading to:

- Higher accommodation costs.
- More 3rd world unskilled labour to drive workers wages further.
- Increased infrastructure deficit.

But hey, no 'new taxes'!!

So will labour. I don't know if you if you have noticed - but not a damn thing has changed.

So will labour. I don't know if you if you have noticed - but not a damn thing has changed.

Yes, not really any difference between Labour and National. Borh will refuse to admit that the economy is driven by immigration and the bubble- / debt-driven consumption effect. Tourism, dairy, and agriciulture are really just side shows.

How pessimistic
Why, the great Fonterra is the backbone on NZs e con omy
How can you say immigration & bubbles in the same sentence
Your National party membership will be revoked


Why stop at winding back a (terrible) CGT, though?
I mean, why not wind back all those great taxes National increased or imposed.

“A Capital Gains Tax is a tax on small business owners and entrepreneurs, people who have worked hard for decades to grow the value of their business, paying tax and employing people, only to get whacked with yet more tax when they sell for retirement…
Winding back the increased taxes on fuel during their time would definitely help small business, right?
Similarly decreasing the GST rate back down to 12.5% would also help them out, too.

“A Capital Gains Tax would also affect everybody’s KiwiSaver, directly taxing people saving for their retirement.”
Didn't they impose more direct and indirect taxation on KiwiSaver in 2013ish?

Great memories these idiots have.


Bridges has offered no commitment to roll back any taxes already implemented since the election. This is a telling admission that our infrastructure was starved under their watch.

Add to the above table the $2bln pa tax cuts that were heading our way until Cindy canned them. Bridges polling will be telling him that tax issues are hotting up. Cullens increasingly cranky diatribes on CGT are gifting the nats a platform ......... 'just make a near enough is good enough guess each year on the value of your small business, IRD will be sweet with that!'.


..polling with who? Remuera and Ponsonby perhaps, certainly not the populace at large..and especially not the younger generation or rising renter class.

The Nats just keeps pushing me further away...especial as the consequences of 9 years of smile and wave everyone through become more and more evident.

Probably you are right in that their polling is of the subjective kind. Probably that tends to be true for all the parties. But Middleman is right in saying that the prospect of a future tax grab creates a argument for the opposition to exploit. And he is right too about Dr Cullen’s tendencies to be punitive towards those he perceives as having more than they should, wealth that is. I mean he was part of a government that introduced & then increased GST only then next time round, to whack up income tax over the top of it. Whatever Dr Cullen decides and dictates, the result will be an increased tax take for the government. That is his mantra. That is his maxim. And the electorate saw and got wind of this prior to the election causing a hasty 180 just in the nick of time. The electorate will still be watching, I know I will be, and so National has a real reason to attack the government accordingly, makes perfect sense

Frack even for the older generations with still functioning memory this statement would have them polling low, No new taxes? Yeah what about the GST increases that occurred and the massive national debt ballooning for generations to pay down the last time National said no new taxes. They also said no asset sales, and 10 new bridges. They added more fuel levys as well. Mr No-bridges needs to put his thinking cap on as his memory is worse than someone suffering a severe traumatic brain injury.

I'd rather that $2b was spent on improving dilapidated infrastructure. Hospitals and schools need that money before you and I do.... unless of course, you're going to spend your tax cuts on schools and hospitals?

So they going to scrap fuel tax and all of the transport projects it provides including public transport projects. All the while pumping thousands of new people onto the existing over capacity infrastructure. Great idea.
The party for short term thinking (or selfish thinking)


Hmmm, National still on the back foot it seems. Still talking about how awful the COL are, not about, well, you know, fixing stuff. How to cut through the Gordian knot of neediness and whining?
"We neeed more immigration. We neeed more foreign capital. We neeed more houses. We neeeed to spend more than we earn. We are only a poor weak country that doesn't know how to build houses."

Is it just me that finds Bridges embarassing? Unfortunately, his style of argument reminds me of my own style when I was 12 or 13.

It's not just you. I find it strange he hasn't been rolled yet.

But it's not so strange after thinking about it for a minute. He's National's best hope for connecting with millenials. There is an inter-generational political dichotomy which the party must overcome to survive the next 10 or 15 years.

I think Bridges being in charge has more to do with changing demographics and populist, identity politics than policy and actual leadership skills.


The thing is he would ever connect with millennials though because his views are far too conservative for that generation. For example, how well do you think his views align with most millennial's?

- Ignores and denies housing crisis.
- Opposes legalization and decriminalization of cannabis.
- Doesn't appear to care about environmental concerns.
- Rejects public transport projects and alternative modes of mobility that young tend to favor.
- Promotes mass immigration which could potentially make first job positions harder for young New Zealanders to secure, not to mention increasing rental / housing competition.
- Holds conservative and religious views.

He'd appear like a dinosaur in their eyes. Not to mention he comes across smarmy and lacks the Teflon coating that Key had. I'd say he's got almost no chance of connecting with them.

His views would be understandable if he was 80 years old. To an extent he seems to be appealing to the National Party rather than being focused on winning an election. That seems to indicate how stable his leadership really is.

In your opinion he’s perfect for National leader then
Totally out of touch is a requirement

Not sure if he would connect. For nine years, John Key refused to spend any of his enormous political capital to tackle low productivity and stagnant wage growth. Bridges and the current senior National MP's all smiled and had their snouts in the trough while National pumped the economy with cheap labour and cheap money (indirectly by denying RBNZ of the tools they needed), resulting in the current mess. I'm not voting National until the current crop gets flushed out.

The reason Bridges is there is because he plays sycophantic puppet to leadership very well
He has limited intellect in my opinion

Witherspoon !
To the deans office boy !
Yes I agree Simple Simon is embarrassing

Keep those land prices high simple Simon, awesome way to win votes .. HIGH Land Prices for Everyone!
HO HO HO, Merry Christmas~!!!

“Why should a family in West Auckland who are trying to make ends meet have to pay $15 extra every time they fill up their car” - they must have bloody big fuel tanks in West Auckland.

60 or 65L tank is fairly common in anything bigger than a Corolla. 65L x 23c is $15, and the Akl regional tax is half that already.

Bridges is a tool and he wont be the Nats leader by the time the election comes round so this is like reporting on banning bigfoot from immigrating here.

John Key promising not to raise GST:

National's not going to be raising GST. National wants to cut taxes, not raise taxes."

Haven't voted for them since.

Don’t forget the John Key Line “No New Taxes” then he adds another tax to petroleum which then increases the GST amount taken per litre as well
Never let a chance go by ol Lordy never let a chance go by
If Bridges really wants to become leader he must learn the ropes
Try being holiday home caretaker for rich foreigners like Mowiss Willumsun

I never heard Johnny Key say “We will open immigration massively even further than the UK” either

This is the type of promise you make if you know you won’t be in government after the next election. It’s a Hail Mary. He knows he won’t win without this kind of gimmic so he makes a promise he knows he can’t keep. It really doesn’t help that national has labelled reversing tax cuts and excise increases tax increases. So even if they adjust booze or change a labour tax cut they will be breaking his promise.


So National want the housing speculation to continue. I wont be voting National in that case.
We have a visitor from the states who is wating to sell his house at present and is expecting capital gains tax.
Thank goodness for the foreign buyers ban, otherwise we are absolute mugs in this country.
Would the banks go to 15 times income for loans, I doubt it.

Can't they come up with anything more inspiring than 'no new taxes'. Yawn

Yeah man, they often say things like "We'll make this free for you!" and "People who qualify for this won't have to pay!"

They're basically snake oil merchants! We can fix what ails ya!

How can this be a headline. A bit of a non-event statement.

So, not too many favours for Simon says ay? It's early days yet. The coalition will strangle itself eventually. It already is with Kiwibuild. It's mainly Kiwiplan still but they're promising to build.
New Zealanders are pretty lucky people really. Even the ones with nothing have something. If you want to see people with nothing there are a thousand cities out there worse than ours you can check out.
Our problems are mainly self-inflicted. We're too lazy, too tired to work, have too many children when we own nothing & have have far too many born again Maori mothers demanding to be treated special. Maori's aren't special. They're mostly angry, with most of that anger directed either towards themselves or their tribal neighbours. Look at the Tauranga-Hauraki beef that's been going on for centuries. Perhaps Mr Bridges (and his erstwhile deputy) might be just the right people to step into that gap. Ay?

Good to see Simon Bridges saying something at last!
Any thinking person in NZ realise that this Coalition is shockinginly bad for NZ!
Let’s gkve 40 million to Papua New Guinea that’s right 40 million dollars of taxpayers money for what purpose?????
Let’s blow money on Pike a River for what reason, as a PR exercise that’s all!!!
Let’s plant trees that we are. Or able to so we throw them away.
Let’s blow money on 150 plus working groups, just because we haven’t got the intellect to run a country, so we can always blame it on someone else.
Let’s make Michael Cullen in charge of a Tax Working Group That costs millions and decides nothing!!!
Cullen was an absolute disaster for NZ and pathetic to give him any say
Labour Coalition is a shocker and The on,y ones that can’t see that are people who are blind!

5/7, perfect impression of angry old man yelling at clouds.

Eight more years. Get used to it. National is rudderless and has no policies of any consequence and I voted for them. The coalition must be hurting you The Boy as you certainly are squealing a lot. As house prices continue to drop in Auckland and Christchurch I can only presume you will get louder in your squealing.

Wow, TM2 seems to be the only National supporter in the comments section...

Yeh the only one with any sense on this site. Cannot even imagine the COL dealing with an Earthquate problem. Must have a appoint a committee of inquiry into how it happen never mind the problems in real time

Oh aren't you special. No, I can't imagine National having the ability or gumption to tackle:
- housing affordability
- water quality
- homelessness
- immigration
- climate change
- Chinese influence in the Pacific
- stagnant wages for teaching & nursing professionals
- education reform
- transport infrastructure
- sustainable energy

Maybe the government will fail on each of these, but better to try rather than sticking your head in the sand and pretending we're all rock star here in Godzone. Lol what a joke, we're so complacent.

Of course, you're aware that the number of working groups for this new government was basically the same as the number of working groups National stood up on their entry. Of course you're aware of that, eh.

If they are proclaiming that TM2 is the only one with any sense, I would dare say they aren't even aware of where babies come from let alone the number of working groups the National Party implemented and ignored.

Here's the list of National's from their first 6 months.

Why did National need a tax working group? Did they not have any plans?

New Tax Working Group to assist government May 2009

They were worried they would get through their term(s) not ignoring enough things.
That's a bad reputation for a politician to have; being capable of doing something.

My point was actually to highlight that the vast majority of commenters on this site are left leaning (90% ?). I don't want get into a political argument wether this is right or wrong but it doesn't correspond to polls

Yvil. In most countries a party with 45% voter support would receive extensive media coverage of an announcement that has the potential to be a significant influencer on our economic future. But given the way NZs coalition fan club media has this afternoon largely buried this story it's probable most people are unaware. is one of the few non political exceptions that both understands the import of such announcements and publishes unbiased analyses or sincere opinion pieces on them.

Actually annoyingly most media published this non news. Might as well have published a politicians opinion on the sky colour. Absolutely useless and irrelevant to NZ economy, (as it is made up arse gravy), and irrelevant to everyone's day to day lives, (oh Simon Bridges wants to be in government, that may be why he thinks people should care about his cheap knock off lying slogans). In reality people don't care as ego does not make everything he says important. He could be talking about his stomach being jiffy from a taxpayer funded lunch, should the media publish his bowel movements as well.

so exempt "small business owners and entrepreneurs'"then, apart from the gains they make on property. Everybody knows the untaxed gains on property is what this is all about, small business is a red herring.

why would you believe a party that has done this before , anyone remember a JK
Labour has unearthed a video of Prime Minister John Key on the campaign trail in 2008 ruling out a rise in GST if he won the election.
The video surfaced after Mr Key signalled in his speech to Parliament yesterday that the Government is likely to raise GST to 15 percent from 12.5 percent.
In the video, taken during a press conference in 2008, Mr Key was asked to rule out a hike in GST after suggestions the next government would have no choice but to raise GST to 15 per cent, and raise taxes.
Mr Key's response to the question was: "National is not going to be raising GST. National wants to cut taxes not raise taxes

Simon has such a massive crush on John Key that he mimics his voice and mannerisms, why would his integrity be any different?

Geez, what a tired old lot. Is this all they've got? - no new taxes, extra love for the property-owning crowd, looking the other way on water quality, pretending there's no housing crisis?

Wake up fools - this hands off approach is what lost you the last election and is really just code for "we're too lazy to engage our brains & govern". Labour in 2020 it is.

phooey. A political system where each party reverses the policy and laws of the previous government whenever power changes hands (as it will when we get bored next of our country's lack of progress). Tedious and unwelcome - please work harder mr Bridges.

"I'm still alive, please notice me" says Simon Whatsisname.