Bridges targets middle class by committing to changing income tax brackets in line with inflation; Robertson says Bridges has found Joyce's fiscal hole in his backyard

Bridges targets middle class by committing to changing income tax brackets in line with inflation; Robertson says Bridges has found Joyce's fiscal hole in his backyard
Simon Bridges by Jacky Carpenter.

National is committing to adjusting income tax brackets according to inflation if elected into government.

The idea is to prevent taxpayers from moving into higher tax brackets when their incomes aren't keeping up with rising living costs. 

While the change would see taxpayers save money, the Government could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue a year. 

Delivering his state of the nation speech in Christchurch this afternoon (Wednesday), Leader Simon Bridges explains his party would amend the Income Tax Act so that within a year after every election Treasury would advise the Government on how the thresholds should be revised. 

“Assuming inflation of 2%, someone on the average wage would be $430 a year better off after the first adjustment, $900 after the second and $1,400 after the third," Bridges says.

“A family with two earners - for example, one earning $80,000 and the other $40,000 - would be $600 better off a year after the first adjustment, about $1,300 after the second and $1,900 by the third."

Bridges expects people earning between $50,000 and $75,000 to be the largest beneficiaries of the change, in proportion to income.

He says the first adjustment would cost the Crown $650 million a year, based on 2% inflation.

"We can afford that by managing the books prudently and spending wisely," he says.

“We will include a veto clause so the Government of the day can withhold the changes in the rare circumstances there is good reason to. But it will have to explain that decision to New Zealanders...

"By 2022 New Zealanders on the average wage will move into the top tax bracket. That’s not right or fair."

That fiscal hole... 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has responded to National's announcement, questioning how it is going to afford it.

“Taking their estimate of $650 million a year for this policy, on top of that Amy Adams needs to find billions of dollars over the next five years to reach her debt targets, there is a massive hole in roading expenditure, and we’ve got Nikki Kaye saying she’s going to spend hundreds of millions more on teacher salaries," Robertson says. 

"It just doesn’t add up, unless there are massive cuts to core areas like health, housing and education.

“Simon Bridges seems to have found Steven Joyce’s fiscal hole in his back yard.

"New Zealanders will also be wondering if this policy is really worth it. If we take the numbers at face value it is worth $8 per week to the average earner in 2021. For someone on $40,000 a year it would be $1 per week.

"For the cuts to services that would be needed to pay for it, this is small change."

The big picture

Bridges reiterates that if elected, National would also:

  • Repeal the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
  • Ensure no increase in petrol taxes during its first term
  • Have no new taxes in our first term
  • Repeal a Capital Gains Tax

“Over the next four years, New Zealanders will be paying almost $10,000 more per household in tax than they would have been under National," he says. 

Given there are 1.75 million households in New Zealand, according to Statistics New Zealand, this would mean the Government would receive $4.4 billion less tax revenue a year under a National-led government. 

Put in context, it received $80.2 billion in tax revenue in the last financial year, and reported a surplus (or operating balance before gains and losses) of $5.5 billion. 

Bridges' has made his tax indexing announcement as the final report from the Government's Tax Working Group, detailing suggested changes to the tax system, is expected to be released in February. 

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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11
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No details on how the $650m hole will be filled. But those who vote National won't care as long as the lolly scramble has started.

I dont understand why this should be something that National can use as a sweetner! that the brackets must be adjusted for inflation is an obvious conclusion. Labour can actually agree with National on this very obvious matter and disarm their "sweetner" as you call it.

How would you pay for the lost tax take? Cut education? Health? Benefits? What is this bad spending Bridges refers to?

National has ruled out new taxes.

Government debt. But don't worry, the boomers will be dead before it explodes.

Lost tax take? How about using accurate language. An inflation indexed tax table will keep the government tax take increases roughly in line with inflation, assuming that wages are increasing at the same rate as inflation. This is a reasonable assumption. In the past, wages have actually been slightly ahead of inflation, so the government will benefit in a similar manner with an increasing tax take as the wage earner will benefit.

Arguing that indexing is losing tax take is ludicrous. All it does is to keep the tax take at a similar % of GDP rather than increasing tax take as a % of GDP each year which happens without inflation indexing.

Government will get less tax under the proposed changes, even Bridges acknowledges this:

"He says the first adjustment would cost the Crown $650 million a year, based on today’s estimates."

Play with your nomenclature though if it makes you happy.

Of course, going from no inflation index to using an inflation index will reduce the increase in tax take. It is very likely to get the tax take INCREASE after the indexing to be more in line with the increase in GDP instead of the tax take growing faster than GDP. This is not rocket science. Indexing to inflation keeps the nominal tax burden constant assuming wages grow consistent with inflation. This keeps the after tax income consistent year over year, as well as keeping the real taxation rate constant. Without inflation indexing, the real taxation rate increases every year, and the after tax real income decreases every year. This isn't nomenclature, this is reality.

Thank you for conceding there would be a reduction in tax take.

I feel like maybe perhaps you did not understand his point...
Hypothetically inflation is 1%, every dollar over $50 is taxed at 20% and every dollar below $50
Is taxed at 0%. You made $100 last year and paid $10 in tax. This year due to inflation you made $101. Without inflation indexing you pay $10.2 of tax on your new income. With inflation indexing you pay $10.1. Regardless if the government would make less that it could have, it will still make more than it did in the previous year.

I guess the question is whether the income assumptions include increases in tax take that are modelled off past tax bracket creep or explicitly forecast it.

presumably they budget on cost inflation... do they budget on income inflation tax bracket creep?

Of course they do. That's MY point. And my question is how will the government fund the reduced tax take (when compared with not indexing brackets to inflation).

My point is the government gets less than it would have, I think you agree with that? So if the government has less money to spend on health, education etc... what will fill that hole? Taxes, debt or spending cuts.

Bridges acknowledges a $650m hole but doesn't tell us how he will deal with it.

10
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Don’t be suckered kiwis
Nationals JK also promised no new taxes
Until he added another tax to fuel in the name of a new levy
Until he increased GST up another 2.5%
They are politicians not truth tellers

So if the government desperately need money, they can use any tactics to get the needed money? using bracket creep is simply a dishonest way of raising additional tax. Both parties must admit that and be honest about it. Last time National was calling this a "Tax cut" and labour was attacking it as such. Both dishonest descriptions. If you need more tax because your expenditure are increasing faster than your income intake, then you will need to raise new taxes or reduce expenditure. Let people chose. Dont use deception.

Tax, borrow or cut spending are the options but you, like Bridges have not indicated which option you would choose. I'm fine with moving the tax brackets as long as those doing it explain how the resulting lower tax take will be funded.

If I were in power I’d slowly introduce a financial transaction tax. Flat percentage across the board, start at something very negligible and then slowly increase the rate each year to a point where I can bring in a tax free income bracket at the bottom end. But I’m not in power and don’t know what I’m talking about.

Inflation and relativity

> Labour can actually agree with National on this very obvious matter and disarm their "sweetner" as you call it.
Would be logical and fair ; therefore will not happen.

no detail on the new thresholds either.
unless I missed something
just figures plucked and we are supposed to vote for it

I haven't crunched the numbers but I understand they would move the brackets by inflation (2% estimated inflation for the example).

e.g 10.5% tax rate was to $14,000 would be to $14,280
14.5% was to $48k would be to $48,960
30% was to $70k now to $71,400

These movements would be annually adjusted based on inflation.

Heavy - but isn't that they way Govt's operate ? No explanation needed about how the hole will be filled from the killing off the oil, gas and coal industries etc ? At least National is planning not to steal more of your money when you're actually not getting any richer in real terms, as compared with not producing an income for the country (and having to set up committees to figure how to tax you more - oh actually they are going to fill it).

CGT, 5 year bright line, increase fuel tax and cancelling the tax cuts National had promised.

16
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Hallelujah. Lets stop rewarding govts for inflation and bracket creep.

The question is, why did National not do it any time during their nine year tenure? They had nine years of opportunity to do so, rather than solely leave it for campaigning on while in opposition.

On a related note, Greater Auckland does a good analysis on Simon's campaigning to rescind the fuel tax: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2019/01/31/what-happens-if-you-get-ri...

A 10% rate rise for (one would imagine in many cases) many of Simon's natural voters in Auckland. While it seems a better option than a regressive fuel tax, will Simon's voters like a 10% rate rise?

How generous, you promise to keep taxing me at the same rate for income on my labour rather than regressing the income tax by stealth. How about taxing all forms of income the same so you can lift some pressure off labour taxes? Or even better bring back land taxes so our natural resources are bearing the burden rather than lining the pockets of the wealthy and the banks.

LOL.

So, a step in the right direction should be met with derision as long as all of your desired steps are not met? Where is your derision for the lack of tax reform by the current govt? The current govt vetoed an inflation adjustment to the income tax, thereby increasing the pressure on labour taxes. You should have extreme hatred for the tax policies of the current government as they have increased the labour taxes with their repeal of the inflation adjustment, thereby increasing the pressure of labour taxation.

Land taxes, that will work out so well for the rural farming community... Let me guess, you also want to exclude the primary home residence from this land tax. From a practical perspective, a land tax has quite a few unintended consequences. Defining exceptions (aka loopholes) to the land tax will introduce other unintended consequences.

I'm in favor of a comprehensive capital gains tax, with no exception for a primary home. An exception would be if one buys a new primary dwelling within something like 90 days after a sale, which would shift the capital gain onto the new primary home. Sadly, no party wants to institute anything resembling a fair capital gains tax.

I'm annoyed because it's being announced like he's doing income earners a favour. When really he's just stopping a rort.

Land taxes aren't bad for farmers because it means they could afford to buy their own farms without monstrous amounts of debt, the interest savings against the reduction in debt due to land taxes are similar to what's taken in the land tax, so the losers are the banks and the wealthy landowners, and the winners are actually those who work the land. And no, I think any loophole is a bad idea especially for land tax. Georgism is the solution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_and_Poverty

Capital gains tax is a substandard improvement. I'll take it because it's the best we can expect.

land Taxes? thats want happened in english wasnt it? its history repeating itself. and if the land losses values can you get a tax refund on that?

This would be a huge mistake. We would all be very slightly richer every 3 years but the government would be significantly poorer. We would end up being the next Greece (or almost every other country with high government debt).
Had this policy been in place in 2008 I reckon the government would still be posting big deficits now and the economy would have tanked years ago.

10
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A smaller government would be the best thing that's ever happened to this country.

How many low tax governments have ever achieved this? Most just pay for tax cuts through more debt. Even the last National government barely cut anything in their 9 years apart from essential services spending like health.

You're right, National quadrupled our government debt, sold our power companies, sold our state houses, and increased GST all to fund the removal of the top tax bracket for the rich.

I don't understand the National supporters line that Labour are going to cripple us with taxes, when what they were doing was going to cripple us with debt? Which is worse?

Taxes if you are a rich. More money in your pocket and if the government runs out of money all those inessentials like education, benefits (excluding universal super), health (we rich have insurance) can all be cut.

Actually, Singapore and HK manage to do it aka low tax governments with great public spending. Take a leaf from their book.

They do not even rank in the top 10 for quality of life.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/quality-of-life-rankings

I just do not know where you get the information from to state National cut our health services.

The facts are Vote Health increased every year under National even after adjusting for population increases and inflation.

Real per capital in increases every year.

The increase in the recent Labour budget was less in $ terms than the previous increase. Seems the issue was not as desperate as they made out.

"More for less" sounds like Trump's catch cry. Even the faithful now realise he was living in lalaland.

If government needs more tax, they should be honest and upfront about it. Increase the tax rate. But using bracket creep is just dishonest and sneaky. I am not raising this as slander to Labour. National should have done this in their 9 years in power. Yet they did nothing. I think your are seriously wrong to look at everything from the viewpoint of your political party: whatever National do is horrible where is everything Labour does is just marvelous (or vice versa). Bracket creep is just wrong. Supporters of any party should support it being stopped.

I don't care what party it is, I think bracket creep is great. $430 a year is only $8 per week for an average income earner. Not that much really. But for the government it is more than a $1 billion a year that can be used to pay down debt. Then when the next recession hits, the government has the power to stimulate through tax cuts or increased spending.
So to me bracket creep is like a rainy day savings scheme for the economy. Without it we will no doubt end up like most other high debt countries that are going to be screwed completely in the next recession. But at least we will have an extra $8 a week in the hand...
The only way the last National government got back into surplus was through bracket creep. Funny that they now think it is bad...

It is safe to assume that many average earners have loans with much higher interest rates than the government. $430 a year for most people is also money that can help them reduce their own debt. Why government debt is much more important that people debt? anyway, if your intention is to reduce debt, then government can do that by increasing the tax rate and specifying that this is what they are going to do with this specific additional tax. It is a sound financial plan for the country but one that needs people vote as well. Otherwise it is deceitful (which is exactly what National did over their time in power).
Another issue is that why a Labour government, who is championing social values, is so unable to use the said social capital that they represent to achieve positive things for NZ (e.g. encouraging volunteering labour for projects). Is Tax the only weapon in their arsenal? shouldnt they really be different to the right (personal ownership and personal rights being the front and center of the right)?
Labour and National are just the same, Labour just wanted to tax a little bit more and spend a little bit more.

Unfortunately putting more money in rich peoples hands (as this will mainly do) means more investment houses and more debt - not less.

Ahh no, i think the core observation is that people know better what should be done with their own money than the government does.

The reductio ad absurdum of your interventionist approach is that the government goes on to become more and more of the economy, absorbing more of people's incomes and spending more in proportion until we've nationalised the whole economy.

Remember our government debt is actually pretty good, it's our private debt situation that is woeful.

Great points

Without inflation indexing, eventually the effective tax rate will be the maximum marginal tax rate. Without indexing, every year the income tax is a larger percentage of the income.

What you are saying is that the government expenditure is rising faster than incomes. At some point this trend will turn us into Greece as maximum tax rate will not be sufficient to pay for the increasing government expenditures.

At some point, the government expenditures have to balance with a sustainable tax rate. It may be that this tax rate is 50%, it may be that it is 28%. It should not be increasing in income percentage terms each year.

At present if my income increases each year just matches inflation, then my after tax income will have less purchasing power each year as the government will be taking a larger percentage of my income with each succeeding year. New Zealand already has a relatively high tax revenue as a % of GDP. Maybe we will get to Greece level in the future if we continue to not index the tax table with inflation.

The huge mistake is not understanding how inflation reduces the effective income, especially when the tax brackets do not shift with inflation.

No - I am saying at some stage we will have a recession and that is the best time to cut taxes or increase spending.
I would hope the higher tax take goes into paying off government debt - as the Cullen Labour government did and the English National government did.

The essential issue is that inflation indexing is NOT a tax cut. It IS an attempt to hold the taxation at a constant real rate. Without indexing, the tax take as a % of GDP will continue to increase. As with every government, there is a temptation to spend the revenue. I very much agree, it is quite appropriate to "save" for a rainy day (or earthquake, or GFC, pick your poison). I also worry about the silent creep of inflation, and how it affects the standard of living. Our economy is kinda average at present. Our GDP growth is about half of what the Labour govt assumed prior to the election. To me, it seems that holding onto the status quo in tax take as a % of GDP is appropriate at present. This is what would happen with an inflation indexed tax table.

The problem with holding taxation at a constant rate is that the government would have no ability to stimulate the economy if needed. If they did decrease tax rates during a recession, they would need to increase them again some time afterwards. I can't see a National government ever increasing tax rates, and even Labour would struggle to do that. So they would just do what most governments are doing and rack up more debt.

Greece was letting people claim depreciation on their personal homes. Indexing brackets to inflation is pretty much the least reckless tax change National could make.

The primary issue in Greece was unfundable pensions for public employees. Work for 20 years and retire with >100% income pension for the rest of your life. That'll work out just fine... not. The endemic corruption didn't help...

terrible idea ? well since inflation is very low why? and taxes are not inflation adjusted and should be..

Labour new taxes along with T16 will stall the economy as the smart money leaves the country. Oh yes that reminds me why our new computer language design here in auckland i am taking to sweden this year and denmark but we are registering it ireland.. bye bye bye... silly little kiwis

Well, it's a start. There's still a long way back to the govt benches however. How about something for business owners - particularly medium to small businesses. These 400,000 businesses do a lot of the heavy lifting in NZ Inc but neither side of the house wants to recognise them. One's busy trying to right the wrongs of the big bad capitalists, while the other bows to big business far too often. How about something for the hard working, risk taking small business owners doing 60-80 hours a week. Please.

The meeting was for business people at the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce. Guess only the big boys count. You are quite right though - it is small businesses that are the backbone of NZ

lovely, a big give away paid for by no new taxes, and even removing some taxes, sounds totally logical and fiscally responsible.

I love lollies

Tackling the important issues of housing, climate-enviro and population I see. Try again Simon, you aint gonna connect with that.

labour party trolls out in force today i see....yes the new CGT is the highest in the world.. end of new smart money staying in new zealand.

Im pretty sure Michael Cullen proposed this in the 2000s and was mocked mercilessly by the National Party therefore it was pulled.

One thing NZers don’t understand and I can barely be bothered noting, is that NZ Govt budget will be under incredible pressure from NZ Super and health costs for older people. Future govts will be increasing the tax burden and not decreasing it.

Yep my observations are similar ...health costs and super beneficiaries costs must be about to explode. The health sector is always finding ways to treat conditions previously untreatable too. Think about what you just have to live with (or die from) 70 years ago and what can be fixed now ... but what those procedures and treatments cost. The health sector isn't just creaking right now it's developing some serious growing (aging) pains.

Inflation without bracket creep is a killer to the PAYE worker. Congrats you get a raise to the highest tax bracket...and now take home less money. Needs to be some integrated land tax on all property to lower prices and force productivity. Yes some will loose their shirts but that happens in all big changes. Overseas owners should be hit with a higher rate, as they don't vote and can clearly afford it.

If you think a raise results in you taking home less income you do not understand marginal tax rates. Don't worry, you are in bad company.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/7/18171803/ocasio-cortez-...

An inflation matching raise at year end results in less take real home money the following year. I get that this is maths, and some are not conversant with how inflation works.

As to taxing higher incomes at very high marginal rates, go ahead and try this. Expect a strong outflow of wealth from the country. Some may think this would be a very good thing. Others would understand how this would impoverish the country. I'd suggest going after the various monopolies or duopolies in NZ before going to a very high marginal tax rate.

I have just read the same article on Stuff, the comments are overwhelmingly positive (read in favour of National)
On Interest comments are mostly negative (read in favour Labour)
Without doing politics (pro-left or pro-right) I don't understand that difference. Does anyone have an idea why Stuff is more "right leaning" and Interest more "left leaning" ???

Stuff and herald comments section is full of retirees who will vote National till the end of days (maybe the odd turncoat to NZF). Tax cuts are their ambrosia and if there are no details of how to make up the decrease in the tax take who cares.

Interest comments section keep you honest and tax cuts with no details of how to fill the gap are very fishy.

There was a thread earlier regarding IQ but I have no proof to show that National supporters are lacking in intelligence other than the comments they seem to write themselves on stuff.co.nz

I wont be voting for National. They simply have no vision, no ethics & completely distorted the NZ economy over their previous term.

Bridges is going after the "greed" value again. No robust analysis, no inequality perspective & no inter- generational equity perspective.

1) "Bridges said the Government was pulling in $17 billion more in revenue than it had forecast, and was spending billions more on "wasteful" policies like free tertiary education, that it would not fund." ex stuff.co.nz. University fees are a failed policy worldwide. In NZ the young are lumbered with and sky high house prices relative to income. Inter-generational equity demands far more.

2) No mention of moving up the age for superannuation qualification so that it is based on life expectancy. This would be far more productive & allow income taxes to be relatively lower.

3) Yes, get rid of the proposed captial gains tax & leave investment in NZ distorted and unproductive, well done Mr Bridges.

4) "Repeal the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax. Ensure no increase in petrol taxes during its first term" - road users are already subsidised by ratepayers who contribute too much to transport. Mr Bridges if you want to allocate resources efficiently across the economy then you should be proposing to realign user costs closer to the real costs.

And This COL has honesty and transparency?.

about time. Since 2008 the marginal tax rate for kiwi's has risen from around 17% to over 30%. The government coffers are bulging at the seams, whilst average mum and dad taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet. Labour, the Greens and Winston First should be embarrassed with the tax increases they have introduced since getting into power.

Which tax increases?

with out the GFC you would have had a huge amount of bracket creep and it will start to come into play in the next decade. But since T1 is going to 16 % and the new CGT is the highest in the world the countries economy will stall anyway and your mortgages will increase even more.

More short sighted populism. Whether Labour or the Nats, it seems we cannot escape it.

No carbon or other taxes to deal with global warming? Less tax pay for the huge task ahead. Looks like National is carrying on its head in the sand approach to global warming.

Sigh... as Steve Keen says, the government doesn't need to run it's books like mummy and daddy's balance sheet. Government and commercial banks are the only entities that can create money into the economy. Why is nobody upset about ever increasing commercial bank issued debt. Who cares if government debt increases, all that matters is the debt to GDP ratio and whether government spending is used for productive purposes.

banks debt is strickly controlled by the RBNZ and is about to get restricture, so much so it stall the economy. RBNZ is the only entity that can create NZD.

There's ongoing debate about that. One growing school of thought is that commercial banks create money every time they issue a mortgage loan (cf Steve Keen, Richard Werner). Although there are some restrictions on how much "book money" a bank can possess. The reality is banks issue loans and then go looking for reserves afterwards. If credit is tightening it’s not showing up on the RBNZ lending stats yet.

If Westpac and ANZ issue a $500k mortgage. Westpac’s customer buys a house from someone who banks with ANZ, and ANZ’s from a vendor banking with Westpac. The vendors stick it in a term deposit for 5 years. Is that debt now counted as a deposit?

I think your example can be simplified so that two customers borrow 0.5 million, swap the money and put it back in the bank, and that can be further simplified to a customer borrowing a million and then putting it back in a term deposit. So what does that look like from the point of view of the banking sector. You have to draw a godley table from the point of view of the banking sector. The borrowing involves two entries (because we're using double entry book keeping) from assets (+1 M book money) to assets (-1 M real cash). The deposit also involves two entries from assets (+1 M real money) to liabilities (+1 M real money). .. Actually I'm not sure if I understand you question "is the loan a deposit" The net effect of what you're describing is a simply an increase in both assets (book money) and liabilities (real money) with respect to the banking sector.

Bracket creep assumes you are getting regular pay rises.
Why not be really brave an just lower the bottom tax rate , or bottom threshold , so everyone get s a tax cut.

and increase the top tax rate for over 250,000 and over 1 million. It easy to implement.

Natioal lied about not raising taxes last time, who would trust them again?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3-RYMwJiWA

The way it is shaping up, again is quite some way off, methinks.

Yeah even incompetence as shown in the running of Kiwibuild probably won't be enough to lose the govt the next election

Dunno, crap by design, or crap by execution seem to be the main two options... either way we're screwed. If they were the only two choices not sure i'd bother voting.

Seems like the way to fix the issue is to put in a higher tax bracket at the 100kor 120k or 150k level. Then everyone is not in the highest tax bracket!
Would like to see CGT bring in a tax free threshold which will naturally put up other areas by 10k or so.

amazing the labour trolls come out when ever anything to do with tax is discussed with national actually this time coming up with a much needed reform

Amazing that the National Trolls conveniently ignore the fact that National had quite a long period of government to enact this change, but didn't.

Damn another ideological , student present not well thought thru, voter sweetener..
As wet an naive behind the ears as the current 'leader'
The tax brackets need to be around the middle 50% of the the TOTAL wage/ salary bill of NZ.
Adjusted over as short a period as possible, even if means some short term pressure, so the middle 50% of the income earners earn 50% of the total wage/ salary take.
This would remove all of the lower 1/2 of the middle 50% of earners from any subsidy.. which in any balanced economic and social system should not exist..
It would then sort the lack of income for the so called unaffordable items.. including making kiwi build.. or whatever political name tag given to it, affordable.
Would increase spending of the middle income earners on goods and services that the they should be able to afford.. increasing productivity, the GST take.
There would be no need to HAVE to increase min wage.. this would be adjusted as min wage earners would be dragged up behind the middle 50% of the population. Eventually adjusted so that min wage sat in the middle of the lower 25% of wage earners...
As to fixing tax limits to inflation.. thats crazy...taxation limits need to be fixed to, the wage at the bottom of the middle 50% of wage earner, maybe the middle, At the top, and maybe middle of the top 25% of earners.
Adjusted annually or bi annually.
Such a working structure would then be removed from the political football field ,

Nationals numbers don't stack up . Assuming 2% inflation, the average wage of $52000 would increase $1040. Assuming all of it moves tax brackets, (3% more ), that's $31.20 a year they are paying extra.

National voters love go on and on about how they worked hard to get where they are farming tenants. Yet National's ideology is to tax hard work via income tax, thus discouraging hard work, and to reward people who are sitting on their arses banking land, farming tenants and collecting superannuation to fuel their ride-on mowers producing exactly nothing. Labour is mostly the same except more money goes towards the baby farmers.

Even as a home owner in the top income tax bracket I think it's time for a change. This country is going down the toilet since productivity is taxed to death.

The election result would tend to suggest you are not alone , the tax cuts rejected by 51 % .