NZ Election 2020: Judith Collins insists wealth tax warnings are 'absolutely responsible' despite Labour ruling it out

National leader Judith Collins is insiting her wealth tax warnings are "absolutely responsible" despite Labour categorically ruling it out ahead of the election. 

Collins has been warning voters against voting for Labour because she's convinced it will bow to the Greens in coalition negotiations and agree to introduce a wealth tax, which is a Green Party policy. 

The Greens want Kiwis with a net worth of more than $1 million to pay 1 percent of their wealth above that threshold to the Government as tax. Those worth more than $2 million would pay out 2 percent as tax. 

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and finance spokesperson Grant Robertson have repeatedly ruled it out, but Collins is still not convinced because Green Party co-leader James Shaw said he would expect it to be part of negotiations. 

"Yes I do. I don't know how those negotiations are going to go of course, that depends on the election on Saturday," he told RNZ on Monday. "You've got to give voters a chance to have their say."

Ardern on Sunday described Collins' speculation as "the last roll of the misinformation dice", and slammed the National Party for continuing to "use misinformation" in their election campaign.

But Collins insisted on Tuesday she is not being irresponsible by telling New Zealanders Labour will introduce a wealth tax, because she says Labour cannot be trusted to keep its promises. 

She pointed to failures in Labour's KiwiBuild housing programme, the fees-free study policy not meeting expectations, and plans to build light rail from Auckland CBD to the airport not making it across the line. 

"I think it's very difficult when we look at the track record like KiwiBuild, fees-free, light rail - all these sorts of promises that have been made," Collins said. 

Asked if Ardern can be trusted, Collins said: "I think we also had the promise of ending child poverty and we now see 4100 more children living in material hardship, and that was before COVID, so actually no, not really."

Even if Labour wins a majority at the election on Saturday, Ardern is not ruling out working with the Greens anyway, and Collins thinks that's because Labour wants someone to blame for unpopular policies. 

"If the Greens get over the 5 percent threshold, then Labour will take the Greens with them. Jacinda Ardern's made that very clear - that's what she wants to do. The reason for doing that would be to blame the Greens."

But Labour has also made it very clear that a wealth tax is not on the cards. 

"To be clear: Labour will not be introducing or negotiating a so-called 'wealth tax'. Any suggestion that Labour would pick up other parties' tax plans is wrong," Labour's website says

Labour's only tax policy is to introduce a new top tax rate of 39 percent on income earned above $180,000 which is expected to generate $500 million a year. 

Still, Collins is not convinced. 

"It is absolutely responsible to tell the people of New Zealand what is planned for them if a Labour-Greens Government gets in or even a Labour Government, because they will take the Greens with them," she said. 

"[Ardern] said light rail would be started by next year. Has anything happened? No. Almost everything she has failed to deliver, so why would I suddeny now start believe anything she says on any of her promises?"

Collins also struck out at NZ First leader Winston Peters for selling himself as the 'handbrake' on a Labour-Greens Government. 

"More and more people are saying, and they do the mathematics, there is no way that National and ACT can make it," Peters told The AM Show on Tuesday. 

"So, we better get back and buy ourselves some guaranteed influence in the next Government because we don't want a Green and Labour nightmare, with a massive lurch to the left. That's going to happen."

Collins rejected Peters' analysis. 

"The only reason the Greens and Labour formed the last Government was because New Zealand First put them there. Let's be under no illusions: they're not a handbrake, they're the enablers of the Greens-Labour vision," she said. 

"There is no point voting for people who will enable a Greens-Labour Government."