Labour leader Phil Goff says his party would raise the threshold at which the top personal tax rate applied - to above $100,000.

The pledge comes on top of strong indications from Mr Goff that Labour would restore the top tax rate to 38 per cent if it was returned to Government at next year's election.

The 38 per cent top rate kicks in now at income over $70,000 but National is expected to cut the rate to 33 per cent in the May 20 Budget.

When Mr Goff was pressed on TV3's The Nation he said he was comfortable with the 38 per cent level. Yesterday he moderated the high-tax message by saying it would apply to fewer people - to income over $100,000.

He also said it might not be a rise in tax - it might be phased in.

Finance Minister Bill English said yesterday it was "just the same old Labour Party coming back - put up taxes, borrow a lot and hope people vote for you."