NZ Election 2020: Judith Collins defends tax cuts policy despite poll showing the majority of voters don't want them

National leader Judith Collins is defending her party's tax cuts policy despite a new poll showing the majority of voters don't want them, saying Labour is "just going to borrow more anyway".

A TVNZ Colmar-Brunton Poll released on Wednesday showed 57 percent didn't think tax cuts were right at present, and only 34 percent were in favour of them.

National's tax plan means those who earn $90,000 per year would get $58 a week back, while someone on the minimum wage would get $8.

Collins told Newstalk ZB on Thursday the poll result showed voters were "fearful".

"They think - 'maybe the Government needs my money'. I tell you what, these guys - they're just going to borrow more anyway," Collins said. "They can't even give me a fiscal plan to show me how'd they'd actually do it."

At Wednesday night's Newshub Leaders Debate, Labour's Jacinda Ardern said a "sugar hit" wasn't what New Zealand needed.

"It is irresponsible - that, again, is only going to add to the debt that we need to keep a lid on," she said.

"We need to be investing in our people; investing in their skills, investing in their ability to then go into high-wage jobs."

Collins responded by raising the issue of the COVID-19 wage subsidy. Earlier in the debate, the National and Labour leaders were asked whether it was fair that large companies had taken big chunks of taxpayers' cash through the wage subsidy only to lay off staff and post profits.

"I look at this with tax cuts for average earners - and I say if it's irresponsible to give them $3000 of their own money, then what in the world was it to give people like The Warehouse all that money in wage subsidies, and every New Zealander - they're having to pay for that," Collins said.

Judith Collins.
Judith Collins. Photo credit: Newshub.

"That's irresponsible."

Ardern pointed to Labour's tax policy, promising a new bracket of 39 percent for those who earn above $180,000 - what they say will raise about $500 million.

"We will put in a new top tax rate that helps us bring in extra revenue - so we don't cut services," Ardern said.

"I will never, ever say that $500m is inconsequential."