New Zealanders head to the polls on the 8th of November. Unlike the last election where the Nationals promised tax cuts and Labour promised business as usual this one seems to offer a lot more contest in the tax cutting stakes. Some media reports make the election seem like a tax cut auction. Not only has Labour just delivered tax cuts (just in time for the election) but the smaller parties are apparently getting in on the act with suggestions such as the removal of GST on food or a tax free threshold for income tax (apparently they don’t already have one in New Zealand). Even the New Zealand Greens seem to be in favour of income tax cuts with revenue replaced using pollution taxes (the New Zealand Greens have always seemed slightly less socialist than their Australian brethren).
New Zealand is blessed with two political parties that advocate smaller government (three if you count the National party). Libertarianz is a pretty pure libertarian outfit and has yet to place a candidate in office. The other party is ACT which is comparable in some way to the LDP in Australia except that it has actually had candidates elected to parliament. ACT has recently come out with an idea that is quite dear to my heart which is to hold growth in government expenditure to the rate of inflation (I wonder where they got that idea). In other words instead of shrinking government they would simply allow the private sector to grow faster than government.
The polls seem to tip the Nationals to win. Labours Helen Clarke has been PM since 1999. I wonder if New Zealand could survive without her.