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Andrew Dickens: Green's tax policy is barely worth the paper it's written on

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 12 Jun 2023, 12:57pm

Andrew Dickens: Green's tax policy is barely worth the paper it's written on

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 12 Jun 2023, 12:57pm

It must be election year because the signature polices are coming out to play.

The latest is the Greens wishlist policy of more taxes on more stuff and income owned by well off people.

Which, in my opinion, is barely worth the paper it's written on.

Three reasons: first of all, as James Shaw told Mike this morning it's not a bottom line policy for coalition formation. And Labour is not politically stupid, well. They might be, but they’re not that stupid, and they know this will not aid them forming a government.

I mean, this thing isn’t happening. This is virtue signalling; this is them saying “this is what we would do if we could, but we can’t, so we probably won’t.”

Secondly the policy is a radical and revolutionary change to the very foundations of New Zealand’s economy and people's economic planning. And New Zealand is no longer a place where revolutions happen. We're cautious and afraid of change and like turkeys we don't vote for Christmas. So why should any ambitious generation vote against a system that has benefited many generations before them.

Who’s going to take the hit? Newbies? No one.

And thirdly, the tax changes as proposed are not confined to the very rich. The impact will be felt for those earning $125,000+. And in case the Greens have not hung around normal people lately, $125,000 is not the rich. $125,000, well, it’s pretty good, but you are not the rich with that. You are part of the squeezed middle, already balancing our high cost of living with trying to build a future for your family.

They may approve of more taxes in principle there's no way they'd vote for them.

But like clockwork the rich have come out caterwauling about the policy like whimpering snowflakes. The politics of envy, the rich will pay for everything, government is the enemy of ambition, poor us.

Which I find distasteful and reeking of their privilege they don't seem to recognise they have.

It comes from a generation with free tertiary education who have never been burdened by educational debt, people who grew up with free healthcare. Unlike most countries in the world they've never had a capital gains tax, they've never paid death taxes, or stamp duty. Or significant numbers of tolls or levies.

Tell any investor overseas that our landlords could write their investment property loan interest rates off and they're gob smacked. No wonder the young can't get on the property market while the rich get richer. Our tax rates have always been low. We've never had the extraordinarily high top tax rates that caused rock stars to relocate to Monaco.

New Zealand is a good and cheap place to be rich and a tough place to be lower middle class and lower.

New Zealand's economic settings were made back in the day when we all paid near enough the same, and we all had ambitions for a bach and maybe an investment property to retire on. And there's no way we're turning our back on that no matter how many other New Zealanders it affects.


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