This is a general policy statement.  It should be read in conjunction with our Monetary PolicySpecific tax policy proposals are outlined in our FamilyBuilder Policy.

New Zealand is over-governed, over-regulated, and over-taxed - yet under-funded where it matters.

These statements are not revolutionary - they're just common sense.

Our best young people are incentivised to leave New Zealand to work overseas.

Our tax and welfare systems combined can discourage people who are on benefits from re-joining the workforce.

Our health, education and superannuation systems are at risk of under-funding in the long term.  They can only be sustained by a growing economy.

If elected to parliament, New Conservative will work with any willing coalition partners along the following lines:

Tax Principles

There is a sweet spot for taxes in any mixed economy like New Zealand's.  If taxes are too low, not enough revenue is raised.  If taxes are too high, economic activity and growth are discouraged, leading to lower tax revenues.  Get tax settings right, and the economy thrives, while the total tax take grows.

New Conservative believes that tax rates are on the high side, and seeks to take incremental and responsible steps to reduce the tax burden.

We believe that steadily reducing the tax take as a percentage of GDP would be healthy for the New Zealand economy and society.  This can most easily be achieved in the context of sustained economic growth.

Families (the basic building block of society) are disadvantaged by current income tax policies, and accordingly we propose reform in this area (see our FamilyBuilder policy).

Income tax bands should be adjusted for inflation (not doing so is tax increase by stealth). 

New Zealand has enough taxes already.  We oppose the introduction of new taxes, including capital gains taxes, inheritance taxes and wealth taxes.

The Auckland Regional Fuel Tax should be abolished.

Infrastructure Spending

Government no longer invests in infrastructure, and does not adequately maintain the infrastructure that we have.

Government spending needs to be re-directed towards future infrastructure, and towards properly maintaining current infrastructure (including roads, bridges and waterways).

100% of revenues from fuel excise duty, road user charges, vehicle licensing (and the like) should be spent on roading infrastructure.

Critical transport infrastructure (especially roads, bridges and ferries) needs to be reviewed for resilience (including in the face of natural disasters).

Large Infrastructure Projects

Too much government spending is tied up in large projects with costs and timelines that spiral out of control.  This does not need to be the case.  Lessons and management skills should be sought from overseas projects which have been completed on time and within budget.

Some large projects become political "footballs" which are supported by one side, and opposed by the other.  Cross-party agreement is much better.

New Conservative would support every current and planned major project being scrutinised for viability.  We believe some must be halted.  Those that remain should enjoy cross-party support, and be managed in a way that ensures they are completed on time and within budget.

Current Expenditure

Increased spending on infrastructure is only possible in conjunction with regular review of current expenditure (day-to-day government spending, which dwarfs capital expenditure), with a view to reducing costs.  This should be a constant and healthy practice of all governments (in the same manner as for families and businesses).

Accountability for Spending

The centralisation of government spending needs to be reversed.  Regions and local communities should be given a greater say in how government money is spent in their area - with accountability for outcomes.

Both elected officials and unelected bureaucrats need to be held accountable for spending outcomes.

Large projects and grants need a correspondingly high degree of financial transparency and scrutiny.  For general grants, this includes monitoring against objective measures (outcomes).


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