In his speech yesterday Phil Goff articulated Labour’s position on tax in no uncertain terms and came out very strongly against wealthy tax dodgers :
“Too many people on good incomes avoid and evade paying taxes. It’s not right that some top earners pay a lower percentage of their income in tax than those on the average wage. Some of them move to live as tax exiles, avoiding their responsibility to the country that gave them an education and a start in life – while still expecting and getting their knighthoods.”
People who take from New Zealand but don’t give back are bludgers, wherever they live and whatever their bank balance.”
The biggest bludgers are the ones who avoid tens of thousands in tax and make the rest of us shoulder the burden. And, all the while they cry for more tax cuts. Goff firmly rejects them:
“Labour is still ready to work with the Government, ready to build consensus around tax changes, ready to make changes that will be sustainable. The offer is there that we will work with them on tax policy, but it is a conditional offer.
The test Labour will apply to tax proposals is whether they are fair, and help the productive sector. There is no way, for example, that Labour will agree to a deal that saw hard-pressed families face a rise in living costs through higher GST while the benefits of personal tax cuts went overwhelmingly to those on the highest incomes.
All New Zealanders need to share the benefit of tax changes – not just the privileged few at the top. Loopholes that allow high income earners to avoid tax have to be closed.”
What encourages me about this speech is not just the good policy on tax but the deeper message. Labour will not kowtow to the wealthy elite who parasite on this country. They stand for the working Kiwi (and the ones who want to work but can’t find a job) who have been ignored by this government. Goff has utterly rejected the logic of the Right that government has to be all about putting more money in the pockets of the rich, taking it from the rest of us if need be. It’s a message that Labour will govern for the many, not the few.