The Taskforce was established as part of the National-Act support agreement following last year's election. The Taskforce's purpose is to recommend ways in which New Zealand can close the income gap with Australia.
Taskforce head Don Brash was initially defensive after last week's report received a drubbing. But on Friday he admitted the Taskforce had got it wrong.
"We misread the mood of the public," said Brash in a Taskforce press release. "There really is no appetite for the types of reform we were proposing."
The press release went on to say "The Taskforce members now accept that our original recommendations were wrong, and that the radical reforms we initially proposed would, if anything, widen the income gap with Australia. For that reason we have decided to issue a revised version of the report."
The initial reaction to the revised report has been largely positive. Prime Minister John Key said last night: "This looks good. I'm confident that if these recommendations are implemented we'll be on our way to catching up with Australia."
Even Labour leader Phil Goff admitted the revised report was impressive. "It's hard to argue against the findings, really. If the Taskforce's plan is followed we'll have parity with Australia within five years, ten years tops."
The main recommendations of the revised Taskforce report are:
- Australia to slash government spending
- Australian tax rates to be sharply reduced
- abolish Australian compulsory superannuation
- Australian state assets to be sold
- Spending on health and education in Australia to be sharply reduced
- take a hatchet to Australian federal and state red tape and regulation.