Flat tax, flexible education fund: David Seymour rolls out new ACT policy platform

If ACT gets into power, New Zealand faces a flat tax, regulatory reform and a superannuation age hike.

Party leader David Seymour announced the plans at the party's annual conference in Auckland on Sunday.

As part of the party's rebrand, he unveiled its new logo - along with policies on tax, education and regulation.

Tax reform


"A new tax plan will allow people to keep more of the next dollar they earn, promote a culture of aspiration, and create opportunities for all New Zealanders," Seymour said.

"There is no fairness in 5 percent of taxpayers paying a third of all income tax. It is wrong that if a person's income doubles from $50,000 to $100,000 their tax bill triples."

Seymour says having four different income tax rates, as well as a separate company tax rate, leads to enormous complexity. Under ACT's Freedom to Earn tax plan, there would only be one income and business tax rate - 17.5 percent.

The plan would be funded by raising the retirement age to 67, capping Working for Families to only two eligible children, ending KiwiSaver contributions and cutting the Fees-Free scheme for wealthy families.

"ACT's Freedom to Earn tax plan would promote a culture of achievement and aspiration," he said.

"The message will be clear: You must make a contribution on every dollar, but your money is primarily your own. The Government will not take progressively more of your money as a punishment for success."



ACT's new education policy creates an education fund for parents, with $185,000 for parents to spend across schooling years on whatever school they want to send their child to.

ACT would also allow any state school to apply to become a charter school.

"Schools must be given the flexibility to respond to a diversity of needs, and all children - not just the well-off - should have a choice in education," Seymour said.

"Government should fund a range of schools, letting families - not politicians - choose what is best for them, rather than forcing students to attend their closest school."



Seymour said his "bold new legislative approach" will cut red tape and improve the quality of lawmaking.

He's proposing a 'regulatory constitution', which would force the Government to show the benefits of a proposed law would outweigh the costs.

"Governments will be required to publicly state that the regulation they are making complies with the principles of good lawmaking, or if it doesn't, why that is the case. This will improve the transparency of the legislative process," he says.

"Finally, New Zealanders will have the right to challenge bad laws in court. If the courts find that a law hasn't been made in accordance with the basic principles of good lawmaking, it can be declared invalid."