Mike's Minute: The wealth tax isn't dead just yet

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Oct 2020, 10:51AM

Mike's Minute: The wealth tax isn't dead just yet

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Oct 2020, 10:51AM

It's just not credible. Ruling out a wealth tax conversation is just no credible. And so said James Shaw, clearly exasperated as Jacinda Ardern sat on this show yesterday doing exactly that.

In that is the Greens, and the Green voters' dilemma. Has it been ruled out or not? Do you trust Ardern or not? Could they throw caution to the wind and test us by acquiescing in negotiation, simply swallowing the rat, and hoping that 3 years later we've all got over it.

This all, of course, assumes that the Greens are there as of Saturday and if they're not, Labour have enough votes to counteract a two-party combo from National and ACT. But as part of the last week push, this is talk or a distraction Labour, especially, don't need.

If we believe Labour, that means the Greens are wasting time on the policy, and they are being disingenuous in trying to convince you to vote for them based on the tax.

On a broader measure, it’s the great weakness of their "no bottom lines only top priorities” stance. You have no idea whether any of it is going anywhere. And what do you do if your top priority, like a wealth tax, is dead in the water?

What the Greens need to do, of course, is use what could be a balance of power to force Labour's hand. It's entirely possible on Saturday night Labour will be short of a majority, it's highly likely in fact. And they will need the Greens if they are there. The Greens could force a minority confidence and supply deal. Faced with that, how much pressure is there on Labour at that point to cave on tax, give them what they want, and get across the line?

People fear tax, and rightly so. That’s why Labour have stuck with 39 cents at $180,000 plus, despite deep down wanting a whole lot more. Make no mistake, you only spend the way they have by taxing at a rate they are not, and are too afraid to try with the electorate.

The Greens have a trump card, as they sit this week on the edge of survival or oblivion, they'd be idiots not to force the issue. And on forcing the issue, they're creating a nightmare for Labour.

The policy you ruled out, but did you? The tax you're not having, or are you? Is it really dead in the water, or not?

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