Peters on CGT: 'You can't always get what you want'

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 5:56p.m.
Winston Peters says that there was no public mandate for a Capital Gains Tax. (Photo / NZ Herald)

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says they have heard the public from "Invercargill to Kaitaia", and there is no compelling reason nor any mandate for a capital gains tax.

But Green Party co-leader James Shaw, who has said that the Government wasn't worthy of re-election if it didn't implement a CGT, has pledged ongoing support to Labour for future tax reform.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out a capital gains tax after failing to secure the support of NZ First.

She said the Government would pursue other measures - such as making sure multinationals pay their fair share of tax - to make the tax system fairer, but for certainty's sake she said a CGT was now off the table for as long as she is Prime Minister.

Peters, who has opposed a CGT in the past, told Larry Williams he wasn't going to budge on his position.

"It's a bit like the Rolling Stones song - you can't always get what you want. It's a Government where you have to work together on things you can compromise on, and some things you just have to give up."

He says that there was a very sound and reasonable discussion. 

Peters says that the Tax Working Group report was very good and comprehensive, but that the Capital Gains Tax was a worry here.

"In our view, we saw nothing with all this debate to say that it would work in our country, and we didn't change our mind." 

He says that it has always been the view of New Zealand First that there was no public consensus on the tax, but it was still worth having a discussion and seeing if things had changed. 

Peters agrees that it would be a risky political decision to have backed the change. He says that there is already effectively a CGT in New Zealand through the Bright Line test. 

However, Peters says that there is still a need to examine faults in the tax system. 

"You have traders in this country who are beating off local retailers by not paying their taxes. We have to fix up and clean our tax system. That's the positive side of today's discussion."


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