At the start of question time today, I wondered why Bill English didn’t front for questions in Parliament. I knew his planned trip to speak at the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce was postponed due to airplane issues. I figured he must be stuck in Wellington with time on his hands.
Perhaps he didn’t want to personally front up and admit he’d got it wrong in a previous interview about the budget.
So in Parliament today, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne fronted on Mr English’s behalf and admitted the Finance Minister had not understood the Child Tax Credit changes his Government rammed through under budget urgency. Dunne confessed that Mr English had got it totally wrong in the Post-budget radio interview on the changes to the child tax credit, labelled ‘the paperboy tax’.
Mr English said in the interview that interest on savings would not be taxed under the new regime – when in fact the opposite is true.
The frightening thing is key government Ministers do not appear to know what was happening in the Budget.
They have already backed down on some of the teacher changes, taking money from contingencies to cover that gaffe. Now they’re admitting they didn’t understand their own tax policy either.
We need pro-growth tax changes in New Zealand. This Government prefers tinkering with a system that is not working, and what is becoming increasingly clear is that they are not even on top of their tinkering.