Simon Bridges to announce teaser in National's economic goals


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National leader Simon Bridges will today outline the party's economic goals and who will benefit most from the party's proposed tax cuts.
But he is keeping mum on how much people will be better off from the tax cuts, saying that will be unveiled later this year.
Bridges said the party will also target costs of living, including reversing new costs on landlords in an effort to lower rents for tenants.
But there would be no requirement for landlords to pass those savings on to tenants.
Bridges will use his speech on the party's economic agenda in Auckland today to outline the goals for a National-led government in its first term:
They include:
Economic growth at 3 per cent per annum at least
New Zealand's per capita growth rate in the top half of the OECD
Reducing the after-tax income gap with Australia
Reducing the number of New Zealanders heading overseas
Reviving business confidence
Bridges said there were five planks that make up the party's economic plan: tax relief, regulation reduction, infrastructure, small businesses and families.
National has already promised to repeal the regional fuel tax and index tax brackets to inflation, and today Bridges will outline which incomes will be bolstered by National's tax cuts.
Bridges said people were struggling with the cost of living.
"Their back pockets are hurting, and we need to do something about that.
"There are half a million small businesses and they are feeling the squeeze. They're not hiring, can't pay more in some cases and are reducing staff.
"In terms of families, tax and costs and red tape mean that more and more feel like they're treading water or going backwards.
"If you're renting, rents have gone up because of added taxes and regulation."
The Government has made a number of changes to rental laws including limiting rent increases to once a year, banning letting fees and introducing Healthy Homes standards for heating, insulation and ventilation in rental properties.
Bridges said he would scrap the Government's ring-fencing of rental losses and ease some of the Healthy Homes standards.
"If you talk to anyone from the city missions, the single biggest growth in hardship has been rent rises.
"I lay the blame at the costs and regulations the Government has piled on landlords, which has either pushed them out of the market or been passed on to the poor renter."
According to CoreLogic senior property economist Kelvin Davidson, the average weekly rent in Tauranga has hit $487, increasing the cost of a rental by more than $2000 a year.
Bridges said other policies, including Resource Management Act reform, would look to increase the housing supply.
He also wanted to allow foreign buyers back into the housing market - but only for expensive homes rather than for "affordable" housing.
"We do want to see investment, for example, in new builds and at the high end of residential property, because it stimulates the market and encourages people to come here and invest.
"But we don't want foreign investors buying $650,000 houses."

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