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‘Landlords’: Heckler interrupts Finance Minister Nicola Willis’ media conference

Editor Written by Editor · 1 min read >

The Minister of Finance has been heckled by a man who repeatedly shouted “landlords” at her as she hosted a press conference.

Nicola Willis was answering journalists’ questions after a lunch at the Auckland Business Chamber when the man began interrupting her.

Willis was saying “one of the reasons we were elected was to ensure that, when we are investing, it’s going to the right places”.

The heckler called out: “The landlords.”

Somewhat thrown off, Willis continued “and for us, our priorities are …”, and the man interjected with his quip again.

He called out “landlords” two more times before saying “entitled people getting more entitlements”.

Willis turned to him and asked him to quieten down.

“Sir, would you like to talk with me afterwards? I’m very happy to have a chat,” she said.

He said: “I’ll keep quiet.”

Finance Minister Nicola Willis. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Finance Minister Nicola Willis. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Willis tried to answer questions put to her by the media but the man continued heckling her.

“School lunches?

“People in wheelchairs?

“Will the landlords get enough to eat?”

Willis says economic outlook won’t stop income tax cuts being delivered

Willis was firming up her Government’s commitment to delivering income tax cuts, despite the underperforming economy.

We will stick to our commitments to lower personal incomes tax,” she said at an Auckland Business Chamber event this afternoon.

Willis didn’t provide more detail, but told the Herald she would deliver relief consistent with National’s coalition commitments.

National and Act agreed to ensuring “the concepts of Act’s income tax policy are considered as a pathway to delivering National’s promised tax relief, subject to no earner being worse off than they would be under National’s plan”.

Under National’s tax plan, income tax brackets would be adjusted to the extent a minimum wage worker would receive an extra $112 a year, someone on the median wage would receive $800, and someone who earned $100,000 a year would receive an extra $1,043.

National campaigned on ensuring these changes would take effect from July 1.

Act ultimately wants to see the income tax system flatter, so there are three, rather than the current five, tax brackets.

It wants to introduce a new tax credit for low to middle-income earners, who would otherwise be left out of pocket if Act got its way and lifted the bottom income tax rate from 10.5 to 17.5 per cent.

Willis didn’t elaborate on how she might incorporate Act’s approach into her revamp of the income tax system.

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