Key says personal tax cuts still on Govt agenda
By Christopher Adams
4:00 PM Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

Prime Minster John Key has indicated personal tax cuts, as well as wider tax reform, will be on the Government's agenda this year.

At his first press conference since returning from a summer holiday, Key said it was "quite clear" that the Tax Working Group had identified some "big holes" in the New Zealand tax system.

"Shoring up the tax base and ultimately lowering personal tax rates are important," said Key.

He said the Government remained "vigilant" on the issue of company tax rates.

The final report from the Tax Working Group would be delivered within the next few weeks, Key said.

One of the main themes for the Government in 2010 would be economic growth, Key added.

"While the global recession is behind us, it's clear from the international economic position that the world's economy is still fragile - so the Government has a lot of work at hand."

When asked if any of the recommendations put forward in the first report of Don Brash's 2025 Taskforce would be carried out, Key said: "They may do."

In its first report, the Taskforce - set up to advise the Government on how New Zealand's economy can catch up with Australia's by 2025 -recommended lowering the minimum wage to the level it was at ten years ago, slashing government spending and abolishing universal free doctor's visits.

"Nobody believes we'll catch up with Australia in the next 12 months," said Key. "But over the next 12 to 15 years we need to have that objective."

Key said he would lay out more of his "thinking" on the economy at his first set piece speech of the year, to be delivered at the opening of parliament on February 9.

By Christopher Adams

From here.