Labour not ruling out new tax rate for high-income earners following Green Party announcement

The Labour Party isn't ruling out introducing an extra tax rate for higher income earners - something its political partners the Greens are pushing for.

The Green Party proposed higher tax rates for higher earners during the weekend, with co-leader Marama Davidson saying they'll only apply to "the richest" people in New Zealand.

Currently, every dollar earned over $70,000 is taxed at 33 percent - the highest tax bracket. But the Greens want everything over $100,000 taxed at 37 percent and anything over $150,000 at 42 percent.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson avoided taking a position on the issue on Tuesday. 

"I'm certainly not saying that's our policy. What I'm saying is we will announce our policy in the future… Today's not the day for announcements."

The National Party's finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says Labour is "desperate" to increase taxes.

"They want to spend more and they want to tax more, and they need to be clear about who's going to be paying it and when."

Being vague around tax has got Labour into trouble before. During the 2017 election, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had to back down on new taxes after relentless attacks.

But members of the public Newshub spoke to said they could now be onside with a higher tax bracket.

"As people earn more, they have more to give," one said.

"Definitely. There's people that are doing it hard out here," another said.

"At a selfish level, no [there shouldn't be a higher tax bracket]. From an economic, wider-governmental perspective, yes," a third claimed.

National lumping Labour in with the Greens on its new policy is unfair, but Labour isn't helping itself by not having an answer. That leaves it wide open for speculation, and Labour should know by now that tax and National's tax attacks are its greatest achilles heel.