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No major tax sweeteners on the way: PM

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/03/2017

Bill English © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Bill English Prime Minister Bill English says Kiwis should not expect National to take a big tax cut sweetener into this year's election.

However, he said his team would instead use a range of measures to offer Kiwis economic assistance, while also looking to pay down national debt and restarting contributions to the government super fund.

"I wouldn't expect some big sugar shock [tax cut for] the middle to higher income range," he said on TVNZ's Q+A programme.

"We want people to be able to share the benefits of [New Zealand's] growth right across the board.

"So that ranges from lifting the minimum wage, which has just gone up 50c, or will go up from the first of April, through to the opportunities we have with government surpluses."

Mr English also defended his proposal to raise the age of eligibility for national superannuation from 65 to 67 in 2040, with the change starting in 2037.

Labour, the Greens and NZ First have attacked the move amid warnings of "intergenerational warfare" because it will be the younger generations who will face having to work for longer.

Mr English didn't agree that the move to delay the introduction of the raise in the age of eligibility was protecting the Baby Boomer generation and a chunk of older voters favourable to him.

"The age groups 60, 65 through to 70, a much higher proportion of them are now in work and in that sense they are paying their own way, which is a great thing," he said.

"[But] each generation bears its own burdens.

"Any number of 60-year-olds can tell you how devastating it was to have 18 per cent inflation when they were trying to save a dollar back in the early 80s."

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