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Most New Zealanders Don't Want Tax Cuts Paid For By Cuts In Public Service Spending

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

23 June 2008 - One of the first issue-based polls since the Budget shows that 60% of New Zealanders don't want tax cuts bigger than those in the Budget if they have to be paid for by reduced public service spending or increased government borrowing.

The poll, conducted by UMR Research, also shows that 71% of New Zealanders would prefer to keep taxes at current levels than have higher user charges for public services.

Only 33% would support tax cuts larger than those in the Budget if that meant cuts to public services or an increase in government debt. Just 23% preferred paying higher user charges to fund larger tax cuts.

"The survey shows New Zealanders value strong public services and don't want them cut to pay for larger tax cuts," says PSA National Secretary, Brenda Pilott. "They say strong public services should be a major election issue and we believe their voice should be heard."

"Tax cuts don't grow on trees," says Brenda Pilott. "The money to pay for them needs to come from somewhere, and New Zealanders are saying that they shouldn't be paid for by cutting public services."

The UMR Research survey, conducted two weeks after the Budget, shows women are slightly more likely than men to value strong public services. 63% of women are opposed to larger tax cuts that would be paid for by cuts in public services or increased government borrowing. This compares to 57% for men.

The survey also shows that close to half of New Zealanders, 49%, think political parties should release details of how they will pay for their election promises "as soon as possible."

"Elections are about choices," says Brenda Pilott. "But people can't make informed choices if parties won't say how they expect to pay for their promises until just before election day."

This is why the PSA sent letters to the eight political parties with MPs in Parliament. The letters asked the parties to reply to six questions including their views on strong public services and how they would pay for tax cuts.

The parties were asked to respond by set a deadline. This is so their answers could be published in the next edition of the PSA Journal that will be sent to each of the union's 55,000 members early next month.

Labour, National, the Greens, the Maori Party, the Progressive Party, New Zealand First and United Future have all replied. ACT has not.

The full UMR Research survey and the answers to the PSA's six questions from - Labour, National, the Greens, the Maori Party, the Progressive Party, New Zealand First and United Future - are being issued along with this release.

The poll was conduced from June 6-11 by UMR Research. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 per cent with a confidence level of 95%.

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