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Your Views: Aussies get tax cuts- what about us?

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today that next week's Budget would not see a massive outlay of cash.

In a warning that will further dampen hopes of a personal tax cut, Dr Cullen distanced himself from Australia's budget yesterday, which included $35 billion of tax cuts.

This forum debate has now closed. Here is a selection of your views on the topic.

Hello voters of New Zealand! Here's the good news - there will be heaps of freebies on election day. But the bad news, if Labour gets voted in again, is that you guys will have to work your butts off the next 2 years and 364 days. Didn't Helen and Cullen tell you guys that there is no such thing as a free lunch?

Gail (Waihi)
Give middle- income earners a tax break. Tthey are the ones struggling the most, no help with doctors fees and paying far too much tax. Sometimes both parents having to work just to get the bills paid! All costs have gone up...power phone and food plus more and more things are now user pays especially for this group ! This government is making us pay for everything!! We would be better off on the dole!

This is not sustainable. Global marketplace is the word. Workers will cross borders to where the best deal is being offered, and those left behind will fall into a vicious circle.Mr. Cullen has no obvious understanding of economics, and seems to believe in his super-human powers. I am not personally distraught about it as the writing has been on the wall since they came to power. New Zealanders need to realise that they cannot have their cake and eat it. I'm off to Australia & about 80 per cent better off (that's right, I can work for about 7 months and earn the same as 12 in NZ). I know what I will be doing with my spare time, what about you?

Being a Kiwi that has recently moved to Australia, I was somewhat surprised to hear the cynicism from my colleagues in the office this morning. Most say, 'too little and purely a pre-election gesture for a government that is behind in the polls'. Perhaps the Federal Government should be throwing some of that money back into the public system to improve their public services...quite frankly from my experiences so far, there may be more opportunity, but the grass certainly isn't greener...

Forget about tax cuts. We have a main city clogged with traffic that can't move, and an economy that encourages our brightest stars to head overseas to pay off their student loan. An anti-family housing market that is impossible to afford if you are just getting into it. Lets sort all these issues out. An economy with this many issues is not going to attract world class exporting companies until we address the issues. Tax cut, or no tax cut.If we invest all our surplus money into building world-class infrastructure, and public services such as police, health, education, then we can attract exporting companies that will create high value products to export to world markets and make us wealthy. Lets do something different to what National and Labour have done for the last 50 odd years. Lets make a change and become an example for the world.

Tm (Wellington)
I am 36 and a registered electrician earning 20nz an hour, taxed to the max when working overtime. My sister in law works at a Target shop in QLD and earns 19.50aus an hour plus benefits on top. Now do you see why all skilled workers are going to Australia. The house prices here are ridiculously high and creating a huge wealth divide between have and have nots, the rentals in Australia are reasonably inexpensive and for much bigger homes. And when the Australians want a highway they use dynamite instead of people sitting behind desks ,taxing the hell out of the petrol ,shuffling paper and debating the road system while the prices increase.

Haere Mai, Come to Aussie guys. Great weather, loads of work, and plenty to spend your hard earned bucks on. Wages are higher, food is cheaper and owning your own home isn't a dream! Lower interest rates even though they have gone up its still lower than N.Z What the hell are you waiting for.......... The grass definitely is greener!

We have what we voted for, because of a minority of unmotivated individuals looking for a silver bullet or a magic pill that are unwilling to take responsibility for there own future we have dragged this country into a level of unproductiveness that separates us from the rest of the world by an increasingly staggering gap. We either work together to ensure that we vote for a government that genuinely supports hard working entrepreneurial individuals or we may as well all line up for the benefit and wait to for the last man standing to bake the bread for all of us.

What Labour has done is to help families / people in poverty, who were in severe hardship. Yes the wealthy and childless funded this. National also wanted to help families / those in poverty. The only difference is they also wanted to give billions more money (mainly to the wealthy -top tax rate dropping to 30 per cent) which would mean poorer / middle income kiwis. This would also mean much higher interest rates / inflation meaning a large portion of even middle-income people would have even greater difficulty affording a home.Thanks to Labour and their financial conservatism National and Labour both have the ability to give a break to those that helped fund these past costs and redirect the country. This will happen next election with tax cuts and huge tax bracket changes.Oh and I am a Labour supporter who is married with no kids and receives nothing from WFF. I think social responsibility comes before my tax cuts, which will be delivered in due course. Families were the priority.

Steve (Auckland)
Should Cullen give us tax cuts? That depends on whether Labour wants to be in power after the next election. If Cullen reins in excessive spending and returns income to the taxpayers who generate it, he may have a chance. Otherwise Labour will be voted out and National will implement these policies. Either way, we win (I hope).

Wellington come (soon as we can) Adelaide
Gobsmacked, disgusted and about to move to Adelaide.
Wife and self, no children, both professionals, tech/ reg.nurse, now almost 60, one overseas hol, v.few nz hols and hardly ever eat out, saved our best but your latest revelation crystallises our view that have realised we are fools in 'supporting NZ and investing in it' (and not through real estate!) This is it Cullen, what is wrong with you?

JBP in the UK
I've read the comments on NZ & Aus tax cuts etc with interest. I gave up on NZ permanently in 2000, lived in Australia for 5 years (became a citizen), and currently live and work in the UK. In the UK, I am paid twice what I could get in NZ - and the cost of living here is not twice. In Australia, I was also better off. When I retire, within a few years now, I will return to Australia, not NZ. It is a fairer society, and a better managed wealthier economy.

Frank from Brisbane (formerly Auckland)
Stop complaining. Go to Australia if you don't like it in NZ.

I am sick of Cullen's excuses. After six years of the best economic conditions in anyones living memory, the average NZ'er is no better off. If that is the best he can do after six of the best years, then God help us if he in charge during six hard years. And regarding Aussies natural resources, it's just an excuse and he knows it. You mention Australia and he says they have natural resources. Ok, what about Singapore. They have no natural resources, yet 60 per cent of their people don't pay taxes and their growth is 10 per cent. Oh but that won't work here because... Well then what about Ireland - oh but that won't work here because... I'm sick of his excuses.

Election next year,time then for tax hungry Cullen and the labour lot to go

It is easy for Kiwis to speculate that things are so much better here in Australia. But there are a lot of expenses which are not so obvious until you actually live here. Other writers have alluded to these in this column. The grass certainly isn't greener here (pun intended) for a lot of working people and the recent IR laws are particularly draconian. So think twice and think again before you make the decision to leave New Zealand.

Helen and Cullen: Look at big brother across the ditch for ideas on how to kick start an economy. Your stealthy communist approach to rule in NZ should be exposed for what it is. You have no idea what tax cuts mean Cullen, why should you Dr. Cullen. I see little connection to your PhD in history. The grass is greener across the ditch - and it will be as long as our modern day robin hood team remain in power. Encourage people to work. Reward people who do.

Happy Ex Nzer
I left NZ for Australia 5 years ago and got about 50 per cent better standard of living. Currently Australia has a shortage of professional workers of all kinds. A lot of you seem to say you want to move. Then do it now while the job market is good. Canberra particularly needs IT workers. Check out for Canberra house prices. for tax rates. If your situation will improve then don't let silly nationalistic pride get in the way of making your life better.I have a NZ student loan, but the interest writeoff is nowhere near the tax difference, increased pay rate and 9 per cent super, Family tax benefit support for families and first home owner support. It's sad, but NZ doesn't support people who produce stuff.

I agree in principal with the negative views written about this Labour champagne Socialist Government. However any political party in power or campaigning to be the next elected has the same agenda. Ask this question of yourself first, and it will put your disgust in perspective, whether you like it or not. Question: are mainstream voters valued more than the party? Answer no, no, always, party first, idiots always second. Whether it is good for the country or not is irrelevant. Of course we endue the endless spin, but this doesn't change the facts. Party first. Governments nurture and try and find more votes this is what political parties are all about. And we are well aware of the ridiculous vote getters which all cost us money. Our money the government doesn't have any. This is why the hardest working pay the most taxes, and feed the doll bludgers and handout voters. This is mandatory and used by all political parties and worse driven by them. How the economy or wealth of a country is channeled is just that, the political philosophy dosen't change. Votes, super 4 us, perks 4 us and bugger them.Sorry but it's true.

We were planning to return to NZ in July, after several years in Hong Kong. However, we have decided to move to Australia, as the country seems so much more progressive. The Labour Government in NZ has this high and mightly "we know best" attitude. It's time for a change NZ. Kiwis need to be able to make their own decisions and have some control. Reduce the public service, reduce public spending and reduce taxes. As it is now, there is no reason why any thinking, skilled person would want to live in NZ.

Si (Auckland)
It would be nice to get a break for once. It's been one way traffic lately with increases in all aspects of living in NZL. There's not much point spending the time to enter in to a debate, the Labour Govt does not listen (how many times have we heard what the people of NZL want when it comes to tax cuts every year). Nothing happens. Vote National.

Grant James
Australia can afford tax cuts and New Zealand can't. We are a farm; Australia is both a quarry and a farm, and China (and then India) pay billions of dollars for what's in the quarry. When New Zealand voted to stay out of the Australian Federation it was never to know that all those minerals in Australia would be discovered and then the rest of the world would want to buy them. The Australian economy ( particularly Perth's and Brisbane's)is sitting pretty.

I think the government surplus is running extremely high, and we face the prospect of increasing inflation if the economy is over stimulated with extra government spending. So you should give the 2.578 billion surplus to me and I'll put it all on red on the roulette wheel at Sky City. I mean really what's the difference? You have about as much chance of seeing any of your money back from this labour govt as you do winning. While were at it can we get some decent high speed ferries for Auckland's North shore so we dont have to spend 3 billion on a cross harbour tunnel. Just provide light rail or bus shuttles along the major road routes to the ferry terminals. If it's good enough for Sydney harbour then why the heck isn't it for Auckland.

What's the point of giving them tax cuts when they'll have no water to drink by the end of the year ;-)

Never to return to NZ
We moved to Perth 3 months ago, in NZ we got nothing from the NZ Govt and in OZ I am on 40k a year, plus 9 per cent super, plus leave 17.5 per cent leave loaded when I go on holiday) we get a total of US$406 a fortnight family assistance and rent assistance. We pay US$290 a week for renting a brand new 4 bed, 2bath home. Plus we only pay US$47 for 3 days fulltime childcare plus at the end of the year we can claim 30 per cent of this US$47 back from the tax man. Now tell me if we made the right move. Most of all my partner can stay at home and install our values on our children and return to the workforce when this kids are at school. Never to return to NZ

Glenda (Melbourne)
I noticed a lot of people complaining about student loans etc., and not getting tax cuts. I have a HECS (Oz similar to student loan) debt which, now that I am working full time and earning more than US$29,000 is added on to my tax and I lose almost 40 per cent of my fortnightly income to the ATO. Stop whingeing NZ. The govt., here in Australia has no moral backbone, is only interested in handing out money so that people have babies, can pay for child care and keep putting everything on the plastic. If you don't have kids you are supporting the rest of the nation. I can't even begin to wonder why hoards of you are threatening to come over here to work - under the AWA contracts you get no leave loading, no sick leave, no long service leave and you work until your boss tells you he has found someone he can employ more cheaply to replace you. Oh, and by the way - you can't even take him to court for unfair dismissal. Wake up to yourselves - tax cuts are meaningless if the cost of living keeps rising, interest rates keep going up - and it doesn't rain soon.

Well well, Dr? Cullen says we can't have tax cuts, and must remember that Australia are in an Election Year so does that mean next year when we are due an election? He and his cronies will give big tax cuts to New Zealanders so they can try and be re-elected. Wake up New Zealand, this Government is stealing your money and will use it next year to try and get back into power. They are stale have no new ideas and should be exposed for what they are.

I assume that those who are moaning about how unfair it is etc. didn't vote for Labour at the previous election? Keep in mind at the end of the day we have the power to get rid off Uncle Scrooge and Aunty 'we know better' Helen, by voting them out of the office. So at the next election, do vote and make your views known by voting. We all know that a combination of Labour and tree-hugger Green will result on a very PC and supporting dole-earners government.

Our political leaders are so immature! Does any of those elected half-wits at the beehive have any vision of our NZ 20 years from now? The Aussie leaders do seem to have their head on their shoulders. Our leaders have their's elsewhere - some place where the sun dose not shine!

Money has to come from somewhere
As a New Zealander living in Japan, I used to love the fact that my income tax and local tax up gere accounts to less that a 6th of my annual income. I know that if this salary was taxed in New Zealand, I would be taxed in the higher brackets for sure. However, over time, I have come to realise that I pay through the nose for services that I used to take for granted at home. Lower tax doesn't always put more money in your pockets. It just gives you money to pay for things that you used to get for free. You can easily see other costs and services lose their subsidies, and you can be stung with higher education costs, health costs and even roading costs. I don't know how most New Zealanders will fare with less tax and more user pays to be honest. Most Japanese people have large savings accounts to get them through nicely, unfortunately the same cannot be said of those at home in NZ. I think we have to think about what benefits we take for granted at home, and where the money to subsidise these things come from. What I wouldn't give to travel on the motorway for free right now.

Mikos Jones
The 'I'm getting out of NZ' brigade should actually realise that currently someone on 50K in NZ pays almost an identical amount of tax as they would in Australia. Medicare is also an additional 1.5 per cent surcharge on top of that. If the NZ family is eligible for the working family package their tax is significantly lower than what it would be in Australia. This situation will change somewhat post the new tax laws.

Cullen's education: PhD, Social & Economic History, Edinburgh
UK Commonwealth Scholar; Canterbury University; Junior & Senior University Scholar; Christ's College; MA, History.
One ponders the suitability of his role.... He is setting the country into history.Glad that I am leaving NZ in 3 weeks.

Wayne from Aus
Having seen the Govt pleading for us skilled expat Kiwi's to come back from Aus to fix the skill's shortage in NZ, but also seeing how the Govt there is busily screwing anyone who shows any initiative, I can think of only one possible answer. Yeah Right.

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