Heather du Plessis-Allan: Auckland climate tax a potential PR failure

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 1 Dec 2021, 5:15PM
9th equal: New Zealand
9th equal: New Zealand

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Auckland climate tax a potential PR failure

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 1 Dec 2021, 5:15PM

I cannot wait to see how this climate tax idea goes for Phil Goff. 

My guess is it won't go well because no one likes paying anything labelled as a new tax and climate taxes are a special sub category of taxes we hate.  

The proposal is that Auckland rate payers will be hit with a 3.5% rates-increase next year.  

On top of that, they’ll be hit with a 2.4% climate tax - that almost doubles their rates bill to nearly 6%. 

I think this is a mistake by Phil Goff because he didn’t need to label this a climate tax.  

All it’s going to do is pay for busses and cycle lanes and new electric ferries and urban Ngahere, or trees which is pretty much what you’d expect a council to spend your rates money on because that’s what they’ve been spending it on for donkey’s years: infrastructure, public transport and city improvement.  

Sure, Aucklanders would grumble about a 6% rates-increase because that’s what you expect from ratepayers but they’d pay it like they have for donkey’s years. 

So why you’d split out normal council spending and label it a new tax, is beyond me. 

This feels like a potentially massive PR failure.  

As I said earlier, people hate climate taxes.  

Just look at the reaction to the ute tax. That’s a climate tax. It’s one of the very reasons farmers started the Groundswell protests.  

Look at what happened in Paris when the French president proposed climate taxes; People put on yellow vests and started rioting in the streets. I’m not saying that’s going to happen here.  

But I am saying climate taxes are not popular, and labelling anything a climate tax feels like asking for people to reject it.