Willis doubles down on National's tax policy at conference

Source: 1News

National's deputy leader Nicola Willis has renewed her party's pledge to slash taxes and tackle inflation at this year's National Party Conference.

Speaking to party members on Saturday, Willis took aim at Government spending, blaming high taxes for the country's "economic malaise".

If elected in 2023, Willis promised to scrap taxes introduced by Labour, including the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax, the 39% top tax rate, and the proposed extension to the Bright Line Test.

She also doubled down on the party's plan to index income tax thresholds introduced in March, which would effectively act as a tax cut.

"We will deliver those tax reductions in our first term of Government," she said. "It’s our commitment to you."

It comes after National faced criticism from both sides of the political aisle over their tax policy this week.

ACT, Labour and the Greens have all hit out at the policy, with ACT saying it would be inflationary due to an increase in the amount of cash in the economy.

“National and Labour can spend all the time it wants arguing over whether the National Party’s policy of tax indexation is in or out – but the argument should be about whether this is good public policy. ACT says it’s not,” said ACT leader and finance spokesperson David Seymour.

There were reports that National would be shelving plans for tax indexation, and a tax calculator designed for people to work out their tax savings based on the policy had vanished from the party's website on Thursday.

READ MORE: National accused of pulling u-turn on flagship tax policy

However, Willis' speech on Saturday squashed any doubts National would be moving forward with their policy to cut taxes.

"You can expect to hear more from us on tax reduction next year," she said.

"National is committed to providing as much tax relief to working New Zealanders as we responsibly can."

The conference is the party's first since leader Christopher Luxon took the helm, with hundreds of party members flocking to Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre for the event.