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Tax cuts suggested as New Zealand government heads to election

Staff Writer | February 8, 2017
New Zealand Finance Minister Steven Joyce has hinted at tax cuts in his first government Budget, and the last before September's general election, to be delivered on May 25.
Steven Joyce
Oceania   New Zealand Finance Minister Steven Joyce
Joyce, who was appointed Finance Minister in December last year, said Wednesday the government was committed to reducing the tax burden on lower and middle income earners when it had "the room to do so."

A key element of the Budget would involve investing in the public services and building infrastructure.

"New Zealand businesses have generated 328,000 new jobs since 2008, and average weekly wages have grown by 26.1 percent, more than double the rate of inflation," Joyce said in a statement.

"Budget 2017 will seek to give businesses the confidence to keep investing and keep growing, to provide more opportunities for New Zealand families," he said.

"As the economy grows, we have a little more headroom to invest in better public services. However, as always, our focus will be on achieving better results, and not just tipping in more taxpayers money."

Joyce said the Budget would "continue a relentless focus on reducing debt as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product)."

"A key part of building a resilient economy is creating the necessary buffers to deal with the next economic shock. The government remains committed to its target of reducing net debt to 20 percent of GDP by 2020-2021," Joyce said.