Newshub-Reid Research poll: New Zealanders want tax relief for everyone

As the Labour Party tries to reset the conversation on cost of living relief, Newshub can reveal a vast majority of Kiwis want tax relief for every single New Zealander. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll found more than eight in 10 voters support a tax-free threshold. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stuck it to the banks on Monday.

"I think questions need to be asked to management of these banks as to whether or not they're serving their communities well," she said.

Ardern's peeved with their profiteering.

"What we're seeing currently I don't think is justifiable."

Westpac has posted a billion-dollar profit and ANZ recently posted $2.3 billion, up 20 percent. 

"Are they demonstrating social license?" asked Ardern. "Are they demonstrating a commitment to the communities they are serving by taking profits such as those in these current times?"

Fresh from an appalling Newshub poll result and sick of being smashed about over the cost of living crisis, Ardern is fired up and ready to go, telling attendees of the Labour conference on Sunday: "Bring it on."

Ardern's tackling the issue that will define next year's election head-on.

"Front and centre right now, we have the extraordinary challenges of a cost of living crisis."

She announced on Sunday a childcare subsidy to take the pressure off parents. 

But Newshub can reveal what voters really want is tax cuts - for everyone. 

"I think we're third world when it comes, you know, to the taxes in this country," one New Zealander said. 

"When you look at general wages and how far they go, it doesn't go far at all."

In New Zealand, every dollar you earn is taxed. The first $14,000 is taxed at 10.5 percent. Every dollar you earn over that up to $48,000 is taxed at 17.5 percent, and then everything up to $70,000 is taxed at 30 percent. Between that and $180,000 it's 33 percent, and then every dollar over $180,000 is taxed at 39 percent.

In Australia, their tax rates are higher but they have a tax-free threshold. You don't pay a single cent of tax on your first $18,000.

Geoff Nightingale was on the Government's Tax Working Group. He said the cost would be exorbitant, but it would be progressive.

"It's quite an expensive way to deliver relief, tax relief, to everybody," he said. "For my money, you're better to target the system for the people at the lower income."

But voters overwhelmingly want it.

In our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll we asked, would you support a tax-free threshold in New Zealand? The results show 84.5 percent said yes, 9.1 percent said no, and 6.4 percent didn't know. 

Newshub-Reid Research poll: New Zealanders want tax relief for everyone
Photo credit: Newshub.

The Government has taken aim at National's proposal to drop the top tax rate, giving the top 2 percent a tax cut, but not ruling out tax relief for lower-income earners at next year's election. 

Asked if the Government would consider a tax-free threshold, Ardern said: "I would just say it is quite a different proposal than what we've seen coming from the Opposition at present because it's inverse, it focuses on those on the lowest incomes". 

Let the tax off begin.

Jenna Lynch Analysis

Shot have been fired. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is sick of being the only scapegoat for the cost of living crisis so she's trying make the banks the new boogeyman.

Bashing the banks is never going to be unpopular, especially when they're pumping up mortgage rates - crippling family budgets - at the same time as boasting record breaking billion dollar profits. 

Westpac though is hitting back, saying, actually the only reason it made a profit was it sold off its life insurance business, and without that, its profit was down two percent. 

While the PM is having a lash, there's no sign she's going to take action and regulate the banks to force them to be kind. 

So cost of living responsibility falls back to Government. Labour hasn't done its tax plan ahead of next years election, but a tax free threshold, helping those at the bottom seems like a very Labour way to do a tax cut.

These poll results show 84.5 percent back it. It's a good way to win back the love of the electorate - watch this space.