Election 2023: Chris Hipkins calls National 'desperate' for trying to find four new taxes to pay for cuts

National has admitted it's going to rely on four additional revenue measures - AKA taxes of some form - to pay for its tax cuts. 

The party is set to announce its plans on Wednesday, but is tight-lipped about what it might tax.

"I'm so excited that you're so excited about our tax plan," leader Christopher Luxon said on Tuesday. 

The leadership duo are guarding the tax policy as closely as a top-secret Government Budget, only confirming the date. 

"We will be announcing our tax plan tomorrow," National's finance spokesperson Nicola Willis said.

But there have been a few teeny little nuggets.

"There will be four additional revenue measures in our tax plan. They will be specific, they will be targeted," said Willis.

Additional revenue measures are a political euphemism for more tax.

Labour's revelling in it after years of tax attacks from National.

"I will tell the Member what is desperate: Spending two years saying tax cuts are affordable and now desperately trying to scrabble together four new taxes in order to pay for them," said Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Parliament.

Grant Roberson said: "Nicola Willis even put out a media statement saying the Government should rule out any tax increases. Clearly, a bit of a change of heart there."

So the speculation starts.

Churches and charities are currently tax-exempt, meaning businesses like Sanitarium or churches like Destiny don't pay tax. 

In 2018, the Tax Working Group noted an increasing number of businesses were shifting to charitable organisations to enjoy the tax-free status.

Luxon wouldn't say if National will tax churches and charities, saying people would have to wait until Wednesday when the tax plan is revealed.

Willis said: "We won't be giving a yes or a no to any guesses you make today."

The 'not no' answers prompted National's spin team to do a damage control dart around journalists, stating churches and charities were off limits.

The Prime Minister, however, is mulling the idea now its been brought to light.

"It's not something I would rule out," said Hipkins.

"I think businesses, I think the Sanitarium is the one that gets raised all of the time, I am certainly open to looking more at that."

As the National Party puts out speculative tax fires, the Government is fighting a fiscal fire of its own.

Labour failed to tell the Climate Change Minister that it was cutting climate funding. 

"I would have expected to know if there were going to be changes made that might make it harder for us to hit our emissions targets," said James Shaw.

The Prime Minister couldn't really care less.

"They are not necessarily all things that are in James' portfolio area," said Hipkins. 

The cuts announced on Monday included $260 million from the Climate Emergency Response Fund which has been chucked back in the general government money pool. 

But the Prime Minister is doubling down - no need to tell Shaw, he believes.

Hipkins said almost every aspect of government activity has an impact on climate change. 

The Finance Minister, however, said he would apologise to Shaw.

"He definitely should've known," said Grant Robertson.