No tax cuts -- it's inflation adjustment, stupid.
A colleague has done some sums, and he reckons Cullen's high-end tax cuts aren't actually tax cuts at all -- what they are is just partial inflation adjustments.
Since Labour came to power 9 years ago, the top threshold (if it had kept up with inflation) would now be $75,000. All they did was raise it from 60,000 to 70,000.
The 33 % threshold has been raised from 38,000 to 40,000. A minor adjustment for inflation.
So, nothing to see here ... move along ...
They're certainly borrowing to pay for what they say is a cut -- this budget signals a savage turn into deficit spending, sucking credit out of capital markets for genuine investment -- but looked at like this Labour will simply be borrowing now to fund the last nine years of theft and overspending.
UPDATE 1: Radio NZ News reports the 21% band is from earnings of $14K to $40K (not to $48K). Says Richard McGrath in the comments here: "What Cullen doesn't tell us is that earnings in the band $14K through to $38K will be taxed at 21% instead of the current 19.5%, a TAX INCREASE. Someone earning $38K will get less than $12 a week tax relief. Cullen's chucking crumbs to the peasants. What a miserable prick."
UPDATE 2: NBR have details of Cullen's auction of your stolen goods, but appear to have missed the substantive point raised in the main post above.