Former banker Bruce Wills and current head of Federated Farmers has joined the chorus attacking NZPower. He invokes how horrible life was before 1984, as thought this had something to do with NZPower. You can read the full list of his horrors here. Among them was this gem:
Prior to the 1980’s economic reforms, the entire New Zealand tax system was a dog’s breakfast. The largest tax burden fell upon wage and salary earners who, in 1983/84, carried 64 percent of the burden. Today, it is less than 40 percent.
As one commenter noted, there was no GST in 1983/84. Duh!
Willis goes on:
Personal income taxes were eye-wateringly high with 66 percent as the top rate and that started at $38,000 ($106,817 in today’s dollars). Tax avoidance and evasion were rife due to copious tax shelters, dodges and “cash jobs”.
And he thinks that’s not happening today? Farmers don’t use tax shelters, dodges and “cash jobs?” Puhleeease…
It would be interesting to know if real farmers would rather have lower power prices, or banker Bruce as their spokesman. I’m not so sure that this latest addition to the NZPower naysayers chorus has much in the way of real arguments. His reaction seems more based on specious history and knee-jerk ideology.