Well, up until now, it's everyone's fault except ours! Food prices, fuel prices, credit crunch and drought
- Tax Cuts on 1 October - base rate and threshhold changes - top tax rate threshhold out to $80k
- Tax at minimum wage drops by 1/4; at the average wage by 1/6; at the top rate by 1/8th
- Super is up - Winston will be grinning!
- $63.6m extra for Early Childhood Education - welcomed by me, but I need to see the details
- Rail & ferry services - he's talking this up! Big push for rail in Auckland - electrification & tunnels under the harbour - no specifics in $$$'s though
- Broadband investment - no "monopolies" allowed - $500m over five years as part of a ten-year plan
- Increases in business tax filing threshholds - hopefully IRD might be easier to deal with!!
Cullen finishes with a self-congratulation on being the first Finance Minister since 1948 to present nine consecutive budgets.
Key is speaking now, referring to "Michael Cullen's ninth and final budget" - Key says "He read it, but he didn't believe it". Has just called the tax cuts for the average family as "the same as a family block of cheese" and referring to the two-year wait for Stage 2 as`"a long time between toasated sandwiches"!