Election 2023: ACT Party leader David Seymour says Labour's campaign slogan makes him 'nervous'

David Seymour has hit out at Labour's election slogan, questioning whether the party is competent enough to deliver for Kiwis. 

Labour leader Chris Hipkins announced the 2023 campaign slogan on Sunday, which is "In it for you".

"While I've only been in the job six months, I hope New Zealanders know I'm in it for them and I understand the challenges they're facing," Hipkins said in a statement on Sunday.

But the slogan didn't go down well with ACT Party leader Seymour and Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick, who were appearing on AM as part of their weekly political panel.

Seymour told AM co-host Lloyd Burr Labour's slogan makes him anxious.

"It makes me a little bit nervous that Labour is 'in it for us' because if you look at just about everything they've tried to do, it's been damaging. The issue isn't who are they in it for, it's, 'Are they competent to deliver for anyone?' 

"You look at KiwiBuild, they have half a billion dollars of RAT tests they don't know what to do with, these are the guys that set a target of letting people out of jail now the streets are totally lawless - these are the guys that have spent $100b extra of borrowed money, created inflation, made life unaffordable. So when I hear the Labour Party wants to help me it makes me quite nervous, because it's not 'who are they in it for' it's 'are they capable of doing anything?'" 

Swarbrick also wasn't a fan of Labour's slogan, as well questioning who the party was actually "in it" for. 

"The reality is political parties are going to be coming out with a lot of gloss and a lot of advertisements and a lot of rhetoric and obviously these slogans throughout the election, but what is important is that we dig beyond those election slogans and rhetoric," she said.            

"When I see that slogan there from the Labour Party about 'in it for you', again, let's dig a little bit deeper. 

"In the context of this past week, the advice that was released from the Budget document dump we saw that Labour considered but decided not to move ahead with a wealth tax or capital gains tax or otherwise. So when I hear those words 'in it for you', who is 'you?'" 

Last week, Hipkins made the captains call to rule out a wealth or capital gains tax under his watch.

Debate continues over wealth tax

Swarbrick went on to talk up the Greens' guaranteed minimum income policy and said "you" - 99 percent of New Zealanders - would benefit from it.

The tax policy announced by the Greens last month guarantees every New Zealander's income will never fall before $385 per week after tax, regardless of their situation. The minimum weekly income for a couple is $770 and $735 for a sole parent.

But the Greens' plan also introduces a new 45 percent tax rate for income above $180,000.

Seymour was quick to hit back at Swarbrick's comments about the Greens' guaranteed minimum income policy. 

He asked Swarbrick whether she would be happy or sad if billionaire Bill Gates moved to New Zealand.

"These guys actually beat up," Seymour said of the Greens. "They say it's only a small number of people so it's OK to take their money. 

"I think culturally that's completely wrong, I think we need to start celebrating success and rather than saying, 'It's OK to take people's money because it's only 0.7 percent.' I see that as a form of bullying.

"It's anti-the culture that New Zealand needs. We want to attract successful people here, we want successful people to stay here whereas these guys see success as almost being bad and an opportunity to take their money off them."

Swarbrick was quick to hit back, saying New Zealand has an economy that is fundamentally unfair.  

She pointed to the Newshub-Reid research poll, which showed that 53 percent of Kiwis want a wealth tax.