December 10, 2023

Hipkins formally corrects record in Parliament over tax haul mistake

It was his first chance to do so.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has formally corrected the record in Parliament for a mistake he made during a previous appearance in the House. 

In his first Question Time performance as Prime Minister last month, Hipkins responded to a question from ACT’s David Seymour by saying the Government is taking less tax out of the economy as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP).

However, Treasury figures show that in 2017, Crown core tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 27.7 percent. The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) last year showed it was 30.2 percent in 2022 and forecast to be 29.9 percent in 2023.

The day after the exchange, Hipkins acknowledged he had got it wrong and said he hadn’t expected a “pop quiz” on the accounts.

Tuesday is the first day since then that politicians have been back in the House for Question Time. Last week was a recess week for Parliament.

Hipkins rose to formally correct the record with a point of order.

“In one of my answers to a supplementary question from David Seymour, in response to the question concerned, I said that Government tax revenue as a proportion of GDP had declined under this Government. It hasn’t.” 

The HYEFU at the end of last year showed that core Crown tax revenue was projected to be $118.1 billion, up from $108.5 billion in 2022. That was the first time it’s crossed the $100 billion threshold. 

Expenses have also grown from $125.6 billion in 2022 to an expected $129.3 billion this year.

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