30 May 2024

Budget 2024: Tax cut details to be unveiled

5:28 am on 30 May 2024
Composite of Nicola Willis, money and GDP statistics.

Finance Minister Nicola Willis will reveal changes to income tax brackets today. Photo: RNZ

New Zealanders will find out just how much they will pocket from the coalition government's tax cuts when the full 2024 budget is unveiled this afternoon.

The government has already made a series of pre-budget announcements to clear the decks for today's tax relief set piece.

National campaigned on giving families on average incomes with young children up to $250 a fortnight, but the exact detail of today's tax relief will depend on what the three coalition parties have also agreed.

Finance Minister Nicola Willis has already confirmed changes to income tax brackets would be announced today.

She has since said people will be happy with what they get, although voters RNZ has spoken to have a gloomier outlook.

Tax sceptics

People in Whangārei, Auckland and Christchurch were sceptical about the tax cuts making a difference in their lives.

"Definitely not. We have our own business. Moved back from Australia four years ago, and dying to get back there now," one man said.

"Not much from this government, at all," a woman said.

"I expect nothing and I'm sure I won't be disappointed," another man said.

Almost everyone RNZ spoke too said things felt tough and many suggested the money for tax relief would be better spent on other things.

"I'd far rather see hospitals, nurses, doctors, schools, rather than give us tax cut," one woman said.

"We've got rental property, but I don't want us to be better off, we're fine. I want people who are struggling to be better off," another woman said.

"It would be lovely if it could be going to those with the children who need it," another woman said.

Concerns over further cuts

Both Labour and the Greens have raised concerns about the potential for further cuts in today's budget.

"Every time they say we had to make tough choices, we had to cut this or we couldn't fund that, the real question is why was the $2.9 billion they prioritised for landlords more important than the things they've said they're not funding," Labour leader Chris Hipkins said.

"They're making tough choices to hand $2.9 billion in tax cuts to landlords. That money could go a really long way to fixing our education, healthcare and housing systems," Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick said.

There will be a lot of action both in and outside of Parliament today as Te Paati Māori organises a strike to protest the coalition's policies affecting Māori.

"Thousands of people from all over the country will be turning up," co-leader Rawiri Waititi said.

"It's mokopuna friendly and making sure that our people's voices are heard and we're looking forward to an awesome, positive day."

Journalists and economists will get their first chance to look at the budget later this morning, before the details go public at 2pm.

The coalition has promised a tax calculator will go up on the Treasury website, so anyone can work out exactly how much they will get.

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