Lets talk about tax policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, September 14th, 2017 - 282 comments
Categories: ACC, bill english, capital gains, China, class war, Economy, gst, john key, labour, national, same old national, tax, water - Tags:

As we reach the business end of one of the most fascinating and most unpredictable election campaigns on record it is becoming increasingly clear what the last couple of weeks will be all about.

National and its proxies will be pressing every button possible to suggest that Labour will indiscriminately raise a number of taxes.

This is the fall back position for right wing parties throughout the world.  If things are going rough then target base greed and use ridicule to turn enough people around.

National has shown three attack modes:

  1. If Labour is too specific with its costings of its policies then National will misrepresent the figures and suggest that Labour does not know what it is doing and there is this big hole.
  2. If Labour does not provide a plethora of data and figures then National makes all sorts of outlandish claims that Labour is not being straight up with New Zealanders and will tax your grandmother’s farts and why won’t they deny this.
  3. And keep claiming Labour is the tax and spend party, although more and more people are realising that our country needs to increase spending to fix some pretty massive holes.

The first mode has worked well in the past with a pliant media accepting National’s claims at face value.  This time things have been different, with Joyce’s claims being ridiculed by everyone with access to a spreadsheet, apart from the Taxpayer’s Union.  Although if some of the pundits are right and the recent Reid Research poll is accurate we have a lot to worry about the health of our democracy.

All approaches demean the body politic.  The problem is that when people become disgusted with politicians they become disgusted with both camps, so there is nothing for National to lose.  Meanwhile their core supporters celebrate the attack on the state and the verification of their selfish ideology so this is a veritable win win.

And so we have the current National’s onslaught, aimed at turning some swing voters’ prejudice and ignorance.

And as I survey the current campaign my initial response is an incredulous “you have to be freaking kidding” to their claims.

Firstly the claim that Labour is not being straight up with Kiwis.

Here is the really silly thing.  Labour is proposing a Tax Working Group to look at our system and in particular see what can be done about our housing crisis.  It has a couple of bottom lines.  The family home and the land associated with the family home will be protected.  And the bright line test period, introduced by National, will be extended to five years.  Otherwise it wants the experts to consider and make recommendations and then the Parliament will have to decide what to do.

What is this Communist inspired Tax Working Group you ask.  Well National set one up without telling anyone this would happen.  Then they increased the rate of GST and the take by $1.6 billion despite promising during the campaign not to do this.  And they lied claiming that the tax cuts would be fiscally neutral when it is clear the cuts would be anything but.

So Labour is promising to review the tax system and try and do something about the housing crisis and is being attacked for it. Yet National also had a working group, told no one about it, and broke a campaign pledge not to raise taxes.  So can someone tell me why Labour should be vulnerable on this issue?

Secondly the assertion that Labour is going to raise taxes on all sorts of activities.

Labour has announced the following policies:

  1. Cancelling the currently programmed tax reductions.  Please note everyone this is not a tax increase, it is maintaining taxes at their current levels.
  2. A visitor tax.  This will affect no New Zealanders, the money will be used to improve infrastructure and address environmental damage caused by excessive numbers of tourists.  I bet that if National is returned a similar tax will be put in place within six months.
  3. A regional fuel tax.  This is because Auckland is screaming for an income flow that it can use to fund badly needed infrastructure.
  4. A water tax.  I recently bought a bottle of New Zealand water in China for 60c.  A similar bottle in New Zealand would have cost $2.50.  This is absolutely crazy.  Of course we should be collecting a royalty from overseas corporate entities including Oravida.  And again wait for six months and see if National in power introduces something not too different.
  5. Increasing the bright line test from two years to five years.  This will capture more land speculators and make them pay their fair share of tax.

As for a capital gains tax well in April 2015 John Key said that a CGT was not the answer to New Zealand’s housing crisis.  Nek minnit, in May 2015 we had a two year bright line test CGT.  And National complains that Labour may introduce a CGT?  They did it themselves and they never told anyone they would do this.

And just to keep this debate honest here are the 18 taxes that National never talked about but introduced.  They suggest that Labour has all these malign dishonest plans for tax increases.  From National’s history they clearly have had very malign dishonest plans to increase taxes, at least for the poor citizens of this country.  Here are some of them:

  1. GST increase from 12.5% to 15% (after promising not to do so)
  2. The bright line CGT that is not a CGT
  3. The Border Clearance Levy
  4. Increased taxes on KiwiSaver
  5. Compulsory student loan payment increase from 10% to 12%
  6. Increased tertiary fees
  7. The 2012 ‘Paperboy’ tax
  8. Civil Aviation Authority fees rise
  9. Additional fuel tax increase of 9 cents with annual CPI increases locked in for perpetuity
  10. Road User Charges increased
  11. New annual student loan fees introduced
  12. Massive unnecessary ACC levy increases
  13. Prescription fees increased by 66%
  14. New online company filing fees imposed on businesses
  15. Creeping expansion of the scope of Fringe Benefit Taxes – National tried to tax car parks and plain-clothes police uniforms
  16. Lowering of Working for Families abatement threshold and increasing the abatement rate, taking money out of the pockets of families
  17. Imposing a $900 Family Court fee
  18. GST on digital purchases

And perhaps they can answer this question.  They claim Labour is going to introduce an inheritance tax. So under the current law if a beneficiary is transferred the former family home, transfers a share to their partner and they then decide to sell it one year after it was transferred to them, do they pay Capital Gains Tax under the bright line test?

Finally the incompetence allegation has already been disproved by expert after expert after expert.  Joyce could not even name a taxi driver who supported his claims.  As a question, why should we even tolerate the thought that someone so incompetent and so dishonest should be returned as our Finance Minister?

It is a worry if our democratic system can be affected by transparent lies that the liars may be returned to power.  Any functioning democracy should be able to rely on political parties having a respectful debate based on truth.

Update: in a smart tactical move Labour has promised no new taxes will be introduced until after the next election.

282 comments on “Lets talk about tax policy”

  1. cleangreen 1

    Classic attack from Crosby/textor again so why is Nactional using foriegn spin doctors?

    “If Labour is too specific with its costings of its policies then National will misrepresent the figures and suggest that Labour does not know what it is doing and there is this big hole.
    If Labour does not provide a plethora of data and figures then National makes all sorts of outlandish claims that Labour is not being straight up with New Zealanders and will tax your grandmother’s farts and why won’t they deny this.
    And keep claiming Labour is the tax and spend party, although more and more people are realising that our country needs to increase spending to fix some pretty massive holes.”

    On Radio NZ Espiner was doing this same thing to NZ First now, an interview with Winston Peters!!!!

    Maybe Guyon Espiner appears to be now a Crobsy/Textor operative – possibly?

    We need to get politics out of media presnters hands otherwaise we are promoting corruption again even more.

    • tc 1.1

      ESpinner has always been a tool of the right, you don’t get that morning gig at RNZ unless you bow down to Griffin and co.

      Just look at the soapboxes afforded DP players Hooten/Farrar and the so called tamed ‘lefties’ like Pagani and Williams. They’re all singing for their supper.

      JC must make Griffins blood boil with his fact based approach and if national go I’d replace Espinner with him.

    • weka 1.2

      Peters was a rambling mess and a bully in that interview. I wouldn’t be worrying about Espiner so much as the possibility that a senior politician who might have huge influence in the next govt appears to not be able to answer some straight forward questions. And by not be able, I mean was bordering on incompetent.

      One thing I did learn though, Peters still intends to talk with the party with the biggest vote first.

      • Bearded Git 1.2.1

        yep peters was useless….he used to handle these things better

      • lurgee 1.2.2

        Agree that Peters was hopeless. He exhibits significant narcissistic /psychopathic traits – arrogance, lack of empathy, resorts to aggressive bluster, inability to accept responsibility. Scary to think he (probably) gets to choose who is going to be PM. It will come down to who can flatter his stupendous ego with the most baubles.

    • lurgee 1.3

      Maybe Guyon Espiner appears to be now a Crobsy/Textor operative – possibly?

      Good, and indeed, grief.

      Is EVERYONE you disagree with a fully paid up part of the Illuminati?

      Are you growing ‘special crops’ on your seven acre block? Might explain the paranoia.

  2. BM 2

    Simple question, when my folks die will capital gains tax have to be paid on their house?

    • weka 2.1

      I hope so. Mine too.

      • BM 2.1.1

        Don’t think you’d find many agreeing with you weka, this is the stuff people need to know before they vote.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Why?

          • Alan 2.1.1.1.1

            lame

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ll assume from that that you have no actual debate analysis.

            • tracey 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Joyce has ruled out a rise in GST. Last time national promised that it went up by 2.5%. Ergo it is going up to 17.5% if National wins. Right?

              • srylands

                Sure but it was in exchange for large personal tax cuts, including ridding us of the punitive 39% top rate.

                If labour were to announce a broadly tax neutral package, I would vote for them, e.g

                15% CGT – no exemptions

                1% land tax – no exemptions

                17.5% GST

                20% flat rate income tax

                At a guess that would be about revenue neutral – maybe even without the GST rise.

                If they coupled that kind of package with a promise to deal to the regulations crimping urban land supply, they would win the election. So why don’t they? Lack of ambition.

                This madness of “exempting” the “family home” from tax is insane – all it does is fuel yet more house price inflation.

                And BTW the answer to water quality is efficient nitrogen regulation and tradeable water rights – not a water ‘tax’.

                • McFlock

                  So, basically, if Labour introduced a tax plan that generated the same revenue but extracted more money from poor people and less money from rich people to do so, you’d vote for them.

                  🙄

                • DoublePlusGood

                  How is a 39% tax rate on the top level of income punitive? What exactly do you think it punishes?

                  Also, a 20% flat income tax is not ‘broadly revenue neutral’, and you raising GST again would further fuck the domestic economy.

                  • Craig H

                    It punishes income earners vs business owners who shelter their money under a company with a lower tax rate, so they pay less tax. So, not really a punitive tax, but the wrong people end up paying more of it.

                • Tracey

                  Madness ay. What a non emotive conclusion. NZ does not have punitice rates by comparisson to other cou tries. Act and Nats are all about such comparissons when they want to deprive children, the mentally ill, the disabled etc.

                • Tracey

                  You know GST rises hurt the lowest paid the most and that the lions share of those cuts went to high earners which economist say does NOT stimulate an economy in crisis cos those foljs save or pay down mortgages.

                • mikesh

                  I think you would need to throw in a UBI, as the taxes outlined above seem too regressive otherwise.

              • srylands

                BTW I thought you had disappeared long ago tracey. Welcome back to The Standard. Good to see you again.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.2

            Because you can’t claim expenses back on a family home so it’s grossly unfair hitting up the family home for tax.

            Take for example my folks may have bought a house for 200k spend 100k on it in improvements and general maintenance when they die the house gets sold for 350k.

            Capital gains tax at 33% gets charged on the 150k difference, that’s $49,500 in tax, the government has taken all the gain, less real estate fee my folk’s house has lost money.

            That also doesn’t include years of rates, insurance and interest from mortgage payments.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Like I said, I think having an exemption if people continue living in the home i.e. it’s still a family home, seems reasonable. But if that’s not the case, then it’s no longer a ‘family home’ once the owners have died, it’s a house that will be sold, or used as a renta,l to generate income.

              What you are saying is that that income should be tax-free. You still haven’t said why.

              btw, where are you getting the 33% rate from?

              • BM

                What you are saying is that that income should be tax-free. You still haven’t said why.

                Because you can’t claim expenses on a family home like you can with rental or other investments

                Do you think it would be fair if you were selling a product for $100 dollars which cost you $50 to make but you had to pay tax on $100 dollars?

                btw, where are you getting the 33% rate from?

                No one knows what the rate will be so I used 33%, could be 50%.

                • Pat

                  Oh dear BM…still being disingenuous…any CGT only applies to the increase in value over and above inflation so your production example is completely useless…it would be fairer to say should you pay tax on that product if between the time of manufacture and its sale the sale price (and therefore profit) increases….and guess what?…you do!

                  • srylands

                    “any CGT only applies to the increase in value over and above inflation”

                    Is that labour Policy? Or are you assuming? Because many countries, tax nominal capital gains, including the USA.

                    “Under the federal tax code, the increase in an asset’s price is determined as the nominal amount (i.e., not adjusted for inflation). When an asset (often a stock) is sold above its purchase price, a gain is realized and is taxed.”

                    https://taxfoundation.org/inflation-can-cause-infinite-effective-tax-rate-capital-gains/

                    • Pat

                      it was stated recently though I cannot recall when and where, however my assumption equally as valid as your own….and I can post overseas examples as well

                      “Previously investors had to pay tax on all of the capital gains an asset made, minus any gains that had been eaten away by inflation. Howard did away with the inflation adjustment, and instead halved the amount of capital gains tax investors would have to pay.’
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11920662

                    • Tracey

                      Ask Joyce he claims to know the Labour intended tax policy inside and out

                    • Andre

                      It’s in the Greens proposal. As far as I’m aware, Labour never got as far as making CGT a definite proposal, let alone delving into the nitty-gritty of what it would be.

                      “Our policy on capital gains tax
                      inflation adjusted
                      realisation-based
                      applies to assets sold in New Zealand
                      includes a blanket exemption for the family home
                      treats capital gains as income for tax rate purposes”

                      https://home.greens.org.nz/tax

                    • boggis the cat

                      And this is why the richest Americans never take payments in stock or share options…

                      (The quickest way to debunk such claims is to consider what is really happening. The wealthy prefer paying ten percent on selling shares to thirty percent on normal income streams.)

            • Andre 2.1.1.1.2.2

              When I had to pay capital gains taxes on my home in the US, any expenses the IRS considered an improvement got added to the cost basis. Their view of what was an improvement (rather than maintenance which couldn’t be added to the cost basis) seemed quite broad.

              In lieu of inflation adjustments to the cost basis, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.

              I would hope and expect that a similar approach would be taken here as well, although I prefer the Greens proposal to explicitly adjust the cost basis for inflation.

              • BM

                That’s what you’ve got to do to make a capital gains tax remotely fair, especially if every house in NZ is going to get taxed.

            • Brigid 2.1.1.1.2.3

              Shame your folk’s house isn’t a sentient being then isn’t it.

            • KJT 2.1.1.1.2.4

              I put my money in business investments instead of houses. I paid tax on all the money I invested and I pay tax again on any interest (increase in value). Why should houses be any different?
              Also. Someone in Auckland whose house value rises, due to infrastructure and immigration, we pay for through taxes, PAYE on hard work should not escape tax on that income, Which they have often contributed nothing to earn.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.1.2.5

              They have said a family home is exempt from any future changes. You were talking inheritance. How are your dead parents harmed by the imaginary tax that Joyce invented for Labour?

              • boggis the cat

                Are you saying that intergenerational wealth transfer is somehow different from the claim that wealth is derived from ‘working hard’? Heresy!

                Poor people are poor because they’re lazy, and not because they didn’t start out with a raft of advantages denied to those born to parents who were also poor. If that weren’t true then the whole house of cards that props up wealth disparity would fall apart.

                Next you’ll be asserting that banks shouldn’t be bailed out when they lose their own money because that’s a clear ‘moral hazard’. Only ordinary people experience ‘moral hazard’, and poverty and potential homelessness builds up character. Unless you’re a wealthy person and your banker friends gambled your money away, because uh… Did we cover that poor people are poor because they’re lazy?

            • alwyn 2.1.1.1.2.6

              How can you possibly make these claims?
              Why are you assuming 33%? Why are you assuming that the base will not be increased for improvements? Why don’t you think the estate agents fee is deductible?
              You can’t say what will happen. Neither can anyone else except, I fear Grant R.
              That is because they weren’t willing to tell us what they were planning. They wouldn’t tell us, damn them.

            • mikesh 2.1.1.1.2.7

              In that situation I think the $100,000 should be built into the original cost of the house, so the the capital gain would only be $50,000. They would need to keep good records though.

            • mauī 2.1.1.1.2.8

              Take for example my folks may have bought a house for 200k spend 100k on it in improvements and general maintenance when they die the house gets sold for 350k.

              I think more realistically boomers bought a house for $100k in the 1990s, now it’s worth $600k and they’ve made a mint. Any right wing kids are terrified that some of their share might be taxed.

              Anyone expecting a profit from house maintenance and improvements is crazy or a builder who knows what they’re doing.

        • Union city greens 2.1.1.2

          I agree with Weka.
          Why should anyone get huge cash windfalls and pay no taxes on them?
          Under labour and the greens, you won’t pay cgt on your family home. Only the greedy want that extended to investment properties or their parents house.

          • One Two 2.1.1.2.1

            That’s a thoughtless position to verbalize…

            Yourself and Weka are misguided on this issue!

            • DoublePlusGood 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Why? Capital gains are income, and should be taxed. Not taxing capital gains creates a distortion that encourages overinvestment in property instead of productive industry.

              • mikesh

                Capital gains are not income. They are simply increases in the value of an asset. No goods of services have been produced in return for that increase so it seems odd to say that there has been income created.

                • KJT

                  It is extra money for doing nothing. Income.

                  If it is OK to tax “hard working Kiwi’s who pay PAYE, why is it not OK to tax the “lucky”. Who get paid for doing nothing.

                  • mikesh

                    [It is extra money for doing nothing. Income.]

                    No. Income is what you get when you produce something, or provide a service, which someone pays for.

                    [If it is OK to tax “hard working Kiwi’s who pay PAYE, why is it not OK to tax the “lucky”. Who get paid for doing nothing.]

                    When you sell a property, or some other asset, you are not being ¨paid for doing nothing¨, you are receiving cash in exchange for a property. As to whether it is OK to tax workers, I have no idea. I would prefer to tax unearned income myself. However, a capital gain is not income, either earned or unearned.

                • weka

                  “Capital gains are not income. They are simply increases in the value of an asset. No goods of services have been produced in return for that increase so it seems odd to say that there has been income created.”

                  True, until the asset is sold and the gains are used as income.

                  If people never do that, I’m fine with them not being taxed. But as soon as they want to change the asset into usable cash, then that income should be taxed.

                  • mikesh

                    [True, until the asset is sold and the gains are used as income.]

                    You are not using the ¨gains as income¨, you are simply spending the proceeds from a sale.

                    [But as soon as they want to change the asset into usable cash, then that income should be taxed.]

                    What income?

                    • weka

                      ‘Income’ is money that comes into the household. Some income is exempt from tax, but most ‘incoming’ money is expected to be uses to make a contribution towards the state.

                      Spending the proceeds from a sale IS turning an asset into income. Or are you suggesting that people shouldn’t pay tax on other kinds of investment income too?

                    • mikesh

                      [Income’ is money that comes into the household. Some income is exempt from tax, but most ‘incoming’ money is expected to be uses to make a contribution towards the state.]

                      Not all monies coming into a household are income. Economists, for example, regard welfare payments as transfers. They constitute income only inasmuch as they are somebody else´s income (the taxpayer´s) which has been transferred to the the beneficiary, who pays no tax on it (if a beneficiary receives a $200 benefit from which $30 tax appears to have been deducted, all that has happened is that he has received a benefit of $170. The rest is a (useful) fiction). It is the same when a property transaction includes a capital gain. Since the buyer receives nothing in return for the portion of the price that constitutes capital gain he simply transferring part of his income, on which tax has already been paid, to the seller.

                      [Spending the proceeds from a sale IS turning an asset into income. Or are you suggesting that people shouldn’t pay tax on other kinds of investment income too?]

                      Not true. The transaction involves selling a property worth, say, $500, 000 for $500,000. There is no income to be seen in that. The non taxable capital gain would have come about before the sale took place.

              • One Two

                CG are not income, as expressed below

                Fundamental misunderstanding such as this that, are problematic

                Talking about taxes of any kind without addressing the root question…

                ‘Why are they necessary’ …

                And then addressing the cause, not the symptom..

                Taxes such as CG on property are a reaction, they are not a solution…

                • DoublePlusGood

                  Oh sure, the money just magically appears in your bank account and it isn’t income because faeries did it.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.2.2

            Then again, why shouldn´t they?

        • billmurray 2.1.1.3

          BM, 9.45am,
          I am a Labour person, cannot stand the Greens or the MoU.
          OF course we need to know Labours tax plans.
          You are right and proper for asking.
          Well said.

    • Pat 2.2

      worried about your inheritance BM?

      • BM 2.2.1

        What it means is that basically, every home in NZ will have to pay capital gains tax if this is the case.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          No. We could have a policy where there are exemptions, for instance if family are living in the home.

          But what is wrong with paying tax on income earnings? Is it the intergenerational issue? I have some sympathy with this, given that neoliberalism wants to impoverish subsequent generations. My parents will probably spend most of their wealth on health care and support before they die, thanks to the dismantling of social security in NZ, and that will certainly impact on the quality of my older aged life. I still don’t mind if their estate has to pay tax on earnings though, because there are so many people in NZ who simply don’t have enough to live on and my parents have lived pretty comfortable lives.

          • mikesh 2.2.1.1.1

            There is nothing wrong with paying tax on income, but capital gain is not income, so whether we should pay tax on it is, at the very least, debatable.

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Bullshit, sophistry.

              If it increases your wealth. It is income.

              And. Why should work income attract tax and not income from an increase in land value, which is not even earned.

              .

              • In Vino

                +1 KJT
                Fascinating to see how people convolute meanings to suit themselves.

              • mikesh

                Winning the golden kiwi increases my wealth, but that´s not income.

                • boggis the cat

                  In New Zealand you don’t get taxed on gambling. Lotto, the TAB, etc. are effectively voluntary taxation in the first place, so that policy makes sense.

                  However, as soon as you put that money in a bank or otherwise invest it, you do pay tax on the earnings: that income from the increase in your capital gets taxed. Just as all return on investment from a business (profit) is also taxed.

                  A capital gain is income.

                  Exempting property creates an incentive for money to be directed into property instead of something with a real return. If you buy a house then sell it at a profit you have not created any wealth, and if your profit outpaces inflation then you are effectively taking money out of the productive economy.

                  • mikesh

                    [However, as soon as you put that money in a bank or otherwise invest it, you do pay tax on the earnings: that income from the increase in your capital gets taxed. Just as all return on investment from a business (profit) is also taxed.]

                    The increase on money in the bank is interest, not capital gain, and you, quite rightly, pay tax on it. Interest the yield on your original investment and counts as income.

                    [A capital gain is income.] I assure you it is not. I have made various comments further up on this question and I don´t want to repeat them here.

                    [Exempting property creates an incentive for money to be directed into property instead of something with a real return.]

                    This is possibly true. However the yield on a property investment is just as ´real´ as the yield on a term deposit at the bank, and you should pay tax on it. By ´yield´ , of course, I mean the rental income that you receive when you lease that property to a tenant, no the capital gain when you sell the property.

                    [If you buy a house then sell it at a profit you have not created any wealth, and if your profit outpaces inflation then you are effectively taking money out of the productive economy.]

                    However the house remains in the ´productive economy´. That´s what is important.

                    • boggis the cat

                      The increase on money in the bank is interest, not capital gain, and you, quite rightly, pay tax on it. Interest the yield on your original investment and counts as income.

                      What do you think that money is? It is capital. You invest that capital and the interest you get on it — the return, or gain, on that capital — is then assessed and taxed.

                      This is possibly true. However the yield on a property investment is just as ´real´ as the yield on a term deposit at the bank, and you should pay tax on it. By ´yield´ , of course, I mean the rental income that you receive when you lease that property to a tenant, no the capital gain when you sell the property.

                      Why are you trying to make a distinction there? A gain on a property bought then later sold is no different from a gain on a bank account, or a gain from holding shares, or any other form of investment.

                    • mikesh

                      [What do you think that money is? It is capital. You invest that capital and the interest you get on it — the return, or gain, on that capital — is then assessed and taxed.]

                      Capital sometimes is in the form of money. However capital is properly the resource you have available for investment, as opposed to what you need for day to day needs like food, shelter, etc. ie for consumption.

                      [[This is possibly true. However the yield on a property investment is just as ´real´ as the yield on a term deposit at the bank, and you should pay tax on it. By ´yield´ , of course, I mean the rental income that you receive when you lease that property to a tenant, no the capital gain when you sell the property.]

                      Why are you trying to make a distinction there? A gain on a property bought then later sold is no different from a gain on a bank account, or a gain from holding shares, or any other form of investment.]

                      There is a difference. Interest is a payment for a service, namely, the service of lending money. Capital gain is based, not on service, or on goods produced, but on the perception that the asset sold has increased in value for some reason. A gain from holding shares could be either.

                    • The increase on money in the bank is interest, not capital gain,

                      OH, FFS

                      Interest, capital gain and returns from investment are exactly the same thing – money for nothing. Which, I note, has been banned by all major religions throughout the world for at least two thousand years.

                      Why do we refuse to learn the lessons that the ancients taught us?

                    • mikesh

                      [Interest, capital gain and returns from investment are exactly the same thing – money for nothing. Which, I note, has been banned by all major religions throughout the world for at least two thousand years.]

                      Interest and returns from investment are forms of rental income, interest being the rent paid for the use of money, investment returns being the rent for the use of assets which comprise the investment. Neither increases the value of the interest/investment, though the amounts involved may be added to the principal investment and increase the investment amount. Of course one might question the legitimacy of rent, but that is a separate issue.

                      Capital gain is not rental income, or any sort of income accruing to the seller of an asset, though it may well be considered a transfer, from the buyer to the seller, of the buyer´s own TAX PAID income.

                    • mikesh

                      If capital gain is income then Jacinda could introduce a tax on it in her first term. Since we already have income tax Jacinda would not be introducing a new tax, in that case, if she taxed capital gain.

                      Still, I doubt if she would be that devious.

                    • Capital gain is not rental income, or any sort of income accruing to the seller of an asset, though it may well be considered a transfer, from the buyer to the seller, of the buyer´s own TAX PAID income.

                      It is income. They have more money after the sale than what they had before the sale and the cost of the asset is taken into account.

                      And you’re making a hell of an assumption that the buyer has paid tax on the money that they’re using.

                    • mikesh

                      [It is income. They have more money after the sale than what they had before the sale and the cost of the asset is taken into account.]

                      The historical cost of the asset is not important. What matters is the value of the asset at the time of the sale. We assume that the buyer paid only what the property was worth, so there was no actual profit. The capital gain occurred before the sale and did not count as income because it was intangible. The seller, and after the sale the buyer, would not have been able to eat it, or use it to mow the lawns.

                      [And you’re making a hell of an assumption that the buyer has paid tax on the money that they’re using.]

                      True. But it will be true most of the time, if not all the time. Some-one will have paid tax on that income if not the buyer.

                    • mikesh

                      As this thread seems to be headed for the archives I think I should at this point clarify my own position regarding the taxation of land. I have demonstrated above that the ¨unfairness¨ argument doesn´t really have a leg to stand on. However there are other arguments which should be considered.

                      The public interest in land, I believe, doesn´t cease when that land passes into private ownership; the state, I believe, retains the right to receive a share in the returns from land. This could probably be best achieved either through a land tax, or by taxing ¨the risk free return¨ on property, as suggested by Gareth Morgan. The state would better served by receiving a regular income from one of these sources than by receiving an occasional ¨lump sum” from a tax on capital gains. In fact a landlord paying a proper tax regularly on his rental shouldn´t need to pay tax on his capital gain since, when the property is sold, the new owner would simply continue paying the tax. The ¨risk free rate of return¨ idea would ensure that each owner, whether landlord or own-your-own householder would be paying a ¨proper¨ tax on his property.

                      Incidently, I can see no reason why, regardless tax method employed, even a capital gains tax, family homes should be exempted.

                • Actually, it is income. But because it’s the government that gets the income from the playing of Golden Kiwi and it’s used to fund community services then it’s not considered income for tax purposes.

                  It is, quite simply, a voluntary tax.

                  • mikesh

                    I guess it is a tax, sort of. Though even without the donations I do not think winnings would be taxable. Tax free bonus bonds may have been a better example.

        • marty mars 2.2.1.2

          Key often started his crap with,’what it means is… ‘ good to see you learned on the knee of the masterbaiter.

        • Pat 2.2.1.3

          as the family home has explicitly been exempted that is obviously not the case, however even if ALL property was subject to CGT any tax is only payable on the inflation adjusted increase so a (small) percentage of the profit involved in any sale….it is not a net loss as being painted.
          As with small business sales any agreed price will take into account the fact that a percentage of tax has to be paid by the vendor and the price will reflect that…and before you claim inflationary impact…I say bollocks….most small businesses have virtually nil goodwill value and value is determined by turnover/profit

          so your inheritance is quite safe BM, though it may be a little less than you hoped just as it may be if the market falls…ce la vie

          • BM 2.2.1.3.1

            The family home is my home, not my parents home.

            • Pat 2.2.1.3.1.1

              so then you have no need to worry then do you…your parents may have cut you out of the will and left it all to the Labour party.

              • BM

                This is why the left can’t be trusted.

                • Pat

                  or maybe your parents can’t?….are you sure your a beneficiary.?…time to invite mum and dad round for dinner

                • tc

                  Yes dear and the right are paragons of trust, honesty, transparency and integrity.

                • KJT

                  Why do I have to pay tax on my income? After all I made it through hard work over many years. FIFY.
                  Unlike Auckland home owners who were just lucky. Now about that tax on other unearned income? Inheritances!

                • This is why the left can’t be trusted.

                  Instead of spouting partisan gibberish, how about making the case for why wage and salary-earners should be paying tax on their incomes, but you shouldn’t have to pay it on the capital gain of expensive assets someone hands you. So far, you don’t seem to have anything beyond “Well, people are greedy.”

                • Tracey

                  Do you wear glasses BM? I ask cos I am worried that having only one eye leaves you suceptible to toal blindness when poked with a stick or other accident.

            • left_forward 2.2.1.3.1.2

              You’ve got your own home!!
              What’s it like?

          • alwyn 2.2.1.3.2

            “any tax is only payable on the inflation adjusted increase”.
            Can you point me to the place in Labour Party policy that says this will be the case? I can’t because they won’t tell us what they propose.

            • Pat 2.2.1.3.2.1

              News Flash…..its moot

              • alwyn

                Yeah.
                I see that Labour has just hired Ron Ziegler. He was Nixon’s Press Secretary during the Watergate denouement if you don’t remember him.
                His most famous statement was “This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative”.

                I guess Jacinda will have to get used to saying it over the next 10 days or so, won’t she? Grant will pull her lead whenever the phrase is required.

    • Simple question, when my employer pays my salary, will income tax have to be paid on it?

      • tracey 2.3.1

        Nice post Mickey.

        On yours but probably not on your employer’s if they use accountants and lawyers to fix up their affairs.

    • mickysavage 2.4

      Under current policy settings put in place by this Government possibly.

    • tracey 2.5

      Cant you make yoyr own way BM? My advice to your folks is sell it before they die. Rent using the capital they obviously have or you wouldnt be worried and live the life they spent years saving for.

      • SpaceMonkey 2.5.1

        Could you gift it? Given John Key’s government changed the rules to enable 100% gifting for all them foreign trusts…

      • Pat 2.5.2

        30% of kiwis access the RCS in any case which places a clawback on estate assets under current settings

      • The Rock 2.5.3

        Your advice to an elderly couple is to sell up their home and go renting? I suggest you email Jacinda Ardern immediately with this advice, its a game changer

        • Tracey 2.5.3.1

          It is not a policy proposal but a reply to a national supporter worried he will be taxed on his parents home when they die. Troll him for being so ghoulish and valuing his inheritance ahead of their wellbeing and care. And by suppirting National he supports poor pay for carers of the aged, substandard hospital care, long waiting lists etc…

    • Muttonbird 2.6

      Money, money, money, money…

  3. Keith 3

    Actually, let’s talk about what tax cuts have bought us, namely a dysfunctional public sector that has negative spin offs like people dying waiting for health treatment, climbing crime rates, untreated mental health problems, kids going without and homelessness.

    Then talk about integrity of which National have none. English is as bigger liar as his predecessor if intentional misleading defines the truth from lies, Todd Barclays reprehensible behaviour and 450 text messages speak volumes.

    Fuck it, I am over Nationals dishonesty, immorality and non existent ethics and the desperate lies to cling to power. It has to hammered home, why believe these consummate liars, ever?

    But most of all you know if they get back in, housing will be worse, child poverty will be worse, water pollution will be worse, transport will be worse, poverty and disparity will grow and we will spend the next 3 years going nowhere.

    Is that all National can offer?

    • garibaldi 3.1

      Correction Keith….we will spend the next three years accelerating in our societal decline.
      Hope you don’t mind my tuppence worth.

    • Siobhan 3.2

      “Actually, let’s talk about what tax cuts have bought us”..exactly.

      Labour should be explaining why tax is not a bad thing; its what pays for mums hip operation, a decent teacher for the kids and the road you drive to work on.
      Hopefully when Labour get in they will start Civics at schools and get to some social re education about the benefits of increased taxation/spending.
      Then again their dedication to ‘historic spending levels’ as set by National, suggests maybe they won’t.

  4. tracey 4

    In campaign 2008 when jobs were being lost National promised a job summit if elected. No plan and no detail on job creation. They didnt get in, right?

  5. tracey 5

    As an aside Mickey. My father and step mother pay over 1400 a month for private health insurance. That suggests to me that anyone over 70 who cannot afford this, most kiwis(?), have to rely on the system that National has run down. Coleman considers the Otago DHB to be succeeding cos they have reduced their debt caused by under funding. Success for a hospital board surely is not measured this way in a country priding itself on a thriving economy?

  6. millsy 6

    Lets not forget that:

    National told Public Trust to scrap its free will service, forcing people pay big bucks to private lawyers get their wills done.

    Power prices have shot up since National sold parts of the power companies.

    Family Court changes that require parents pay $800 for mediation sessions before they can access a judge.

    Legal aid changes that make it available to only those who have next to nothing.

    Mass user-pays in education, with school charging for things that they never used to charge for and the government doing nothing

    • Adders 6.1

      Thanks, Millsy, for drawing attention to the often-overlooked changes made at the Public Trust.

      Other overlooked “indirect” taxes introduced under the National party-led government during the last nine years include the Telecommunications Development Levy ($50 million per year) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Levy, passed on to business and individual customers via the telecommunication companies.

      Also, three road tolls have been introduced under National: the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road, the Takitimu Drive Toll Road, and the Northern Gateway Toll Road.

  7. Adrian 7

    Ive noticed that the Nat attack adds don’t include GST rises under Labour.
    Everything else is there, icluding taxes no-one has ever heard of. Curiouser and curiouser.
    Its a long bow but maybe, just maybe like last time the Nats are going to raise it again,
    or more likely it was left out because they don’t want voters reminded of their duplicity,
    but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  8. Ad 8

    Fantastic post Mickey well done.

  9. Ad 9

    Robertson has just announced:

    No tax changes until after 2020 election.

    Smart.

    • Hanswurst 9.1

      Pathetic. I don’t see how it can strengthen the party’s credibility for it to claim one day that it needs to introduce tax changes at the earliest possible stage in order to combat a housing crisis, thus doubling down in response to attacks on its fiscal credibility, and then transparently cave in to those very same attacks the next.

      Looking at the attacks from National, they have always been about credibility as well as money in people’s wallets. Any ammunition that Labour has taken away from National in terms of the latter has been more than compensated by what it has given in terms of the former. Bill English will head into the next debate armed with attacks along the lines of, “One moment she says she will, then she gets one bad poll and says she won’t,” and, “Her deputy goes out on national broadcast and articulates the Labour policy on tax, and is smacked down by his new leader. Then it turns out that he was right all along. Who is even running the show at the Labour Party? It’s a shambles!”.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        It’s the winning of the election: older European white people with houses. Better known as the most regular voters in NZ.

        The hardcore socialists won’t like it, but so what they’re voting for the tanking Greens.

        • Hanswurst 9.1.1.1

          From a pragmatic perstpective, I hope that your first sentence is correct. Unfortunately, I have strong fears of a near future featuring the smug face of Steven Joyce and the inexplicably bland visage of Bill English hammering Labour on weakness, unreliability, flip-flops and knee-jerk policy.

          Nothing to do with hard-core socialists.

          • Ad 9.1.1.1.1

            Yes it’s a choice:

            Have the entire middle class and farmers and National continue to orchestrate successfully against you – and stick to your policy platform …

            Or change tack, deflate the fear, and hold the voter support.

            Labour are being much more pragmatic this time around: throwing Little under a bus comes to mind.

            Both times tough but right choices in order to win.

            • Hanswurst 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, English’s line just now seems to be that Labour has changed basically nothing at all. There could be a number of reasons for that I suppose, but one could certainly be that you’re right. I hope so.

            • KJT 9.1.1.1.1.2

              As a member of the well heeled middle class, I can see that if I want a decent country to live in, and a future for my kids, more taxes are inevitable.

              Probably be cheaper for me in the long run. Get the indigent youngsters out of my basement into good jobs and “When I want that hip operation at 70”.

              Even capitalist self interest favours the left. Business is always better with a left wing Government. Customers can afford more.

              • boggis the cat

                It depends on the business, really.

                If you’re loan sharking, debt collecting, running a temping agency, or various other businesses that thrive on bad times for the majority, then National are doing an excellent job.

                • KJT

                  Agree. If you are building, producing goods, market gardening or doing anything else useful, you are always better off with customers with higher wages, and a Government which spends into communities, instead of into large companies.

        • Bearded Git 9.1.1.2

          labour needs the greens so dumb comments like this dont help

      • Muttonbird 9.1.2

        I guess for New Zealanders the alternative is a National government unwilling to do anything about “a housing crisis”, ever.

    • ianmac 9.2

      “No tax changes until after 2020 election.”
      Hells bells. Just in time. A good move because it negates those planks of fear that National has been peddling.
      ( And Mr Davis will have to re-correct his correction from a week or so ago. 🙂 )
      Wonder how Bill will handle this?

    • billmurray 9.3

      Ad, 10.40am
      Not smart!.
      Wait for the Polls.

  10. Alan 10

    FFS labour, make up your mind!
    Jacinda was adamant yesterday, now Robbo says “we have listened to the people”
    Flip flop

    • mickysavage 10.1

      Citation please.

      • Ray 10.1.1

        And we used to laugh at a previous PM because he was poll driven.
        Labour showed a real lack of listening to the people on this till now.
        Three more years of neoliberalism here we come.
        Vote Green

        • Enough is Enough 10.1.1.1

          +1000

        • Ad 10.1.1.2

          Vote Green only if the best to hope for is mere political survival.

          Vote Labour to both raise your expectations, and get rid of National.

          • Bearded Git 10.1.1.2.1

            bollocks we need the greens there for a progressive government

          • DoublePlusGood 10.1.1.2.2

            That just doesn’t even make sense – if you want to get rid of National, a Green vote does the most towards increasing the likelihood that happens.

            • red-blooded 10.1.1.2.2.1

              Bullshit. The Greens can’t be part of a new government if Labour doesn’t poll higher than the Nats. That’s the guts of any change in government. If you’re a committed Green, then vote for them. If you’re wavering, a Labour vote is more likely to bring about a change in government. (And while I’d prefer a Labour-Green coalition, I still argue that Labour-NZF will be head and shoulders above any Nat-based outcome.)

              • You_Fool

                LAB+NZ == Nat+NZF

                Don’t delude yourself, there will be absolutely no difference between a Labour lead government with Winnie First or a National lead government with Winnie First. They will look the same, act the same and pass legislation the same. The only way you get an actual change (i.e. something different to what we have now) is by having a Lab/Grn government; even a Lab/Grn/NZF government will be a change (although not as big a one), so if you truly want change then party vote green. Any other vote is a vote for what we have right now.

    • Enough is Enough 10.2

      WTF

      This is a terrible look. It has shown the National attack ads have worked and really unsettled Labour.

      There was no need to flip flop on this.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Labour can win wiithout farmers.

        Labour can’t win without farmers and the entire property owning middle class.

      • Pat 10.2.2

        disagree….obviously the nat attack strategy is having a negative impact and this should at least blunt it….whether it should have been done from day one is another debate, but either way the country cannot afford another 3 years of corruption and lies

      • Bearded Git 10.2.3

        terrible because bill has just lost the election. smart move by jacinda…too many people on both sides of the political spectrum were criticising the lack of tax certainty

      • Gabby 10.2.4

        It has shown that Labour have learnt to stop being stupid. What had got into them that induced that little orgy of enthusiastic tax brainwaves from all and sundry, is a mystery.

      • billmurray 10.2.5

        Enougth is Enougth 11,05am,
        Its called panic stations

    • billmurray 10.3

      Alan, 10.47 am
      flop, flip, FLOP will be the result.

  11. ianmac 11

    English to John campbell last night justified the GST to 15% because they found themselves in a huge hole because of the global meltdown and they had to do something to correct.
    But hang on Bill. You knew long before the 2008 election that there was a problem yet you went into the election not telling us of your plans.
    And wasn’t the 15% to fill a gap because of the tax drop?

  12. tsmithfield 12

    This is not a good look for Labour. By cauterizing one gaping wound they have opened up another. That of trust and competency.

    Firstly, if Labour can change their position on a whim as seems to be the case, then how can they be trusted not to change their position again if things start getting a bit tough in terms of meeting their budgets?

    Secondly, how can Labour appear at all competent if they desperately need taxes such as a CGT one minute to help solve the housing crisis, and then suddenly not need it the next minute.

    I think it would have been more credible for them to hold their current position. This change smacks of panic and confusion. It will not go down well with voters.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      I guess they’ve decided the greedy people of New Zealand (National voters) need their hand held a bit longer which is a shame because it prolongs the hardship faced by so many.

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        Oh I think they will find a way. Just double down on the amount of tax to be levied from the new taxes they have announced. No problems. Increase the amount they intend to levy on the regional fuel tax for instance. Impose the levy on other regions etc. Increase the water levy to 4 cents per litre. Have they ruled out an increase on GST?

        They will find a way to milk more tax out of NZers.

        You see, by Labour changing their position, it doesn’t close off the opportunity for National to attack them on tax as I have shown in the first paragraph. It just makes Labour look panicked and incompetent.

      • Gabby 12.1.2

        The opposition don’t get to hold anybody’s hands.

    • The decrypter 12.2

      Nats unleashing the hounds ploy has worked a treat for joyce. back to our burrows we go!!

  13. AB 13

    Progress on doing something about the real causes of the housing crisis delayed because of the demented screeching of the privileged.
    A shame – but that’s what happens whenever wealth and power is too openly challenged.

  14. Warren Doney 14

    I think Labour should have hit National hard on it’s borrowing record compared to the last Labour government. Way too late now though.

    Labour may be known as the party of tax and spend, but National should be known as the party of borrow and pretend. Because it’s basically true, I think it would have been a very effective way to back foot National.

  15. Antoine 15

    Robertson said “there will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of government _beyond those we have already announced_”. What is covered by that last clause? The 5-year bright line test, the water charges, the regional fuel tax?

    A.

  16. Enough is Enough 16

    “Update: in a smart tactical move Labour has promised no new taxes will be introduced until after the next election”

    How is that smart???

    It has shown National is dictating and controlling the debate.

    It also kicks the can down the road in relation to the real problems we are facing.

    No new fuel tax to pay for Auckland’s Transport issues.

    No CGT to help fix the housing crisis

    No levies on foreign corporates taking our water.

    Seriously WTF

    • Enough is Enough 16.1

      Antoine may have answered my confusion. So these levies will remain. That’s a good thing

    • Ad 16.2

      As I said above, you can change a government without farmers, but you can’t change the government without the farmers and the entire property owning middle class.

      Right move.

      • AB 16.2.1

        Agreed – tactically the right move.

        But really, it just kicks the can down the road. Because if Labour wins, and does what it says it will, there will still be the same eruption of demented scare-mongering after the recommendations from the tax working group are made.

        I just can’t see a way of ever actually doing what’s necessary if ‘the left’ has to always back down from this fundamental confrontation. Under what conditions do you believe ‘the left’ can win this argument Ad?

        And does anyone know if Labour will have already known the result of tonight’s Colmar Brunton and did this in response?

        • Ad 16.2.1.1

          MMP will always soften policy.

          Mortgages are to our bourgeoisie what crystal meth is to the proletariat.

          It will take years to come down.

          English and our Reserve Bank have been gently deflating the real estate market for nearly a year now. There’s sense to the gentle approach.

          Labour are figuring that out today.

    • mickysavage 16.3

      It will take years to get the changes through. Even the tax committee will take a while to get things going. Labour has announced other taxes and cancellation of the changes so that the extra income will be there.

      The CGT bright line test is firm policy and will be introduced.

      Cancelling the East West motorway will allow money to be fed to Auckland for infrastructure.

  17. cleangreen 17

    Labour have ‘tied up’ their tax policy’

    Guess that answers Winston’s, English’s and Morgan’s call for clarity
    HAWKE’S BAY TODAY
    Labour tidies up tax policy, will delay new changes until 2020
    14 Sep, 2017 10:20am
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11922151

    Labour has decided to delay any implementation of changes from its tax working group until after the 2020 election in a bid to stop any further political damage from its tax policy.
    Finance spokesman Grant Robertson has just made the announcement, which is a reversal of the previous position of leader Jacinda Ardern.
    She had reserved the right to implement any changes without an electoral mandate at the 2020 election.
    But Robertson said Labour had “heard the call for New Zealanders’ voices to be heard”.
    “We will involve the public at every stage of the Working Group, as well as Cabinet and Parliament’s consideration of any changes that arise from it.
    “We know it is important to get this right, so we will balance the need for certainty and urgency by ensuring that any potential changes will not come into effect until the 2021 tax year.
    “This gives multiple opportunities for public input, and a general election before any new tax would come into effect.
    “To avoid any doubt, no one will be affected by any tax changes arising from the outcomes of the Working Group until 2021.
    “There will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of government beyond those we have already announced.”
    The move comes in the wake of the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, showing National on the rise and Labour on the decline.
    Labour has gone into the past two elections with detailed policy on introducing a capital gains tax.
    Former leader Andrew Little changed that and said the party in government would set up a tax working group – but that policy derived from it would be put to a mandate at the 2020 election.
    Today’s announcement effectively takes Labour back to Little’s position.

    • Antoine 17.1

      Frankly I would have been amazed if anything came out of the new TWG in time for implementation in the 2020 tax year, anyway

      A.

    • cleangreen 17.2

      I guess this was Nationals way of muffling the other parties from getting their policies out there ahead of the election?

      Labour have conceeded it was better to get this issue off the table so their other policies could see the light of day now?

    • BM 17.3

      “There will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of government beyond those we have already announced.”

      Does that mean we’re still going to get hit with a capital gains tax if labour gets elected or is that off the table?

      • weka 17.3.1

        are you being intentionally obtuse? It’s a tax review, we don’t know what it will tell us.

      • Bearded Git 17.3.2

        the cgt will be discussed in the twg a you well know….the 5 year bright line test is still policy

      • Psycho Milt 17.3.3

        Does that mean we’re still going to get hit with a capital gains tax if labour gets elected or is that off the table?

        You’re too late – National already hit us with a CGT. And as Nat apologists have been at pains to inform us since people started referring to Bill English’s many new taxes, increasing an existing tax isn’t introducing a new tax.

        Nice that they threw “or levies” in there as well – provides a nice opportunity to re-run those clips of Bill English assuring people he hadn’t introduced a new tax, it was a levy.

        • mikesh 17.3.3.1

          The brightline test doesn´t have anything to do with capital gains taxes. Its purpose is to test whether the profit on the sale of an asset is income, and therefor taxable, or whether it is a non taxable capital gain. Legally, if an asset is acquired for the purpose of resale then any profit from the sale is taxable; the difficulty however lies in the difficulty of proving intention. Under the brightline test an asset sold within two years of purchase is deemed to have been purchased for resale, regardless of intention, and therefor any profit on the sale taxable.

      • KJT 17.3.4

        I bloody well hope so. Key. 10 million in untaxed gains on his house. Courtesy of those of us who do pay taxes.

  18. One Two 18

    Talking about ‘tax anything’ without addressing root cause…

    Waste of energy and time..as well as misguided

    The conversation needs to be about debt/money and it’s influence/impact on
    ‘Tax anything’…

  19. Steve Wrathall 19

    So a week out, Labour has reverted to Andrew Little’s position on taxes. What a humiliation for its new “leader” who has spent weeks staking the reputation on her “captain’s call” for us to elect a working group. Maybe Labour should be honest and put the billboards from 2 months ago back up.

    • Nick 19.1

      Excellent move by Labour, tidied that issue up.
      When people tell the Captain that there are rocks ahead, she changes course, rather than idiots like Joyce and English whose Ego’s refuses to allow them to admit mistakes.

      • Tooth Fairy 19.1.1

        Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop….

      • Steve Wrathall 19.1.2

        Credible governments in waiting do not have messes that need tidying 9 days out from an election

        • DoublePlusGood 19.1.2.1

          The media created the mess, not Labour. They’re just finding whatever they can to desperately try and get people to go back to National.

        • tracey 19.1.2.2

          Credible govts do not need to attack others for what they did… nats ran 2 zero budgets. Dont need to make shit up to get back in. As for flip flopping. She has spent 9 years in Opposition watching the amazing teflon/rubber man getting away with it…

        • tracey 19.1.2.3

          No one used polls more than Key to help him decide what to say. When he did it people like you called him.pragmatic and kissed his feet…

        • alwyn 19.1.2.4

          “Credible governments in waiting”.
          That’s all right then. You certainly couldn’t call this disorganised rabble a “credible government” could you?
          Nine long years they have bumbled around and absolutely nothing to show for it.
          Give that the captain made the call, and a lieutenant, and not even the First Lieutenant at that has reversed it I supposed we must rechristen Jacinda as Bligh and relabel Grant as Fletcher Christian.
          Can we expect her next announcement to be something like “You’ll hang for this Fletcher Christian” and will she then be cast adrift in a little dinghy?

          • red-blooded 19.1.2.4.1

            “cos National have never flip-flopped, have they alwyn?

            “Bright lines” and foreign trusts come to mind… What rabble!

      • cleangreen 19.1.3

        Perfectly said Nick,

        Jacinda said as much as she heard our call, and admitted it today.

        That was when on the 1pm RNZ news she said “as captian I made the call, I heard your calls about the tax issue and have made the call to hold the implimation until all parties have their voice heard and will delay the implimentation until 2021′.

        National will not even discuss anything with us all as we saw in the TPPA and selling our assets and and failed to do so many more times in the last nine years.

        Remember the flag?

        Yes jacinda has is as good as her word when she said at her Auckland city Hall meeting that she will make sure ‘everyone has a voice’

        That is ‘inclussion’ (for all) and National don’t do ‘inclussion’ ever.

        Our family will vote labour/NZ First and some green now.

        @ilovejacinda.

        Keep cool we willl win.

    • AB 19.2

      The new leader cares enough about the housing crisis to have wanted to do something sooner rather than later. That’s a virtue, because leadership not underpinned by morality isn’t worth having – it ends up looking like the National Party. That it hasn’t been possible politically is a learning experience – which is fine too.

    • tracey 19.3

      Suddenly the right supporters value honesty

  20. Tooth Fairy 20

    ‘in a smart tactical move Labour has promised no new taxes will be introduced until after the next election’

    Piss off, its a back down and major kick in the guts for Labour. Now calls into question its whole budget as planned revenue will not be available.

    • Stuart Munro 20.1

      Agreed. A CGT is decades overdue – this means just kicking the can further down the road.

      • Steve Wrathall 20.1.1

        Then vote for TOP. Labour has no-one but itself to blame for this fiasco

        • billmurray 20.1.1.1

          Steve Wrathall, 12.23pm
          Not TOP for me but I am now thinking F Labour.
          Perhaps NZF?.

          • alwyn 20.1.1.1.1

            My God! I can only assume that you didn’t hear old dribbling Winnie on Morning Report today.
            He remembers the period from about 1980 to 1993 reasonably well but anything in this century was just a dark haze.

            • cleangreen 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Alwyn

              A vote for TOP is a vote for national, you are welsh by the name .

              Use your vision!!

              Jacinda has heard the people so she has made a change, she said so on 1pm RNZ news go and listen!!

              Would you prefer Government not listen to you??

              If so, then National is your party.

              • alwyn

                I am not proposing that he vote for Gareth. I know him and, although he is fairly bright he really isn’t cut out to be a politician.
                He would be rather like Trump I am afraid. Not in his policies of course but in his reaction to people who don’t accept everything he says as gospel. He would be nearly as bad a politician as I would be.
                The difference is that I know it.

                No. I was horrified that billmurray could be considering a vote for Winston.

                Of course I want a Government that listens to me. That was something John Key was incredibly good at. He never let his ego get in the way of his common sense. Jacinda Ardern simply isn’t even half ready for the job though.

                “you are welsh by the name”. Perhaps by the name, but not by the nature. I am a New Zealander from way back. In fact way, way back.
                Are you really going to judge me by my parent’s choice when I was about two days old?

        • Stuart Munro 20.1.1.2

          Rubbish – this is a Gnat & MSM collusion policy. Labour stood have stood their ground.

    • The decrypter 20.2

      Woe is me. Worry bout to nights poll now. Man or mouse?–eeek.

    • Bearded Git 20.3

      wrong tooth fairy…labour put no income at all on its budget for any twg taxes

    • Crrashcart 20.4

      As far as I was aware the new budget was based on the governments current books so didn’t include any of the possible tax changes. Would have been hard to because as you nuts kept pointing out they hadn’t detailed any of the changes.

      In essence your argument is “Labour are not trustworthy because they won’t tell us their tax policy, and now they can run their budget because it included their tax policy”.

      I think you got your understanding of economics from the tooth fairy.

    • billmurray 20.5

      Tooth Fairy 12.03 pm,
      Labour thinks its a smart move similar to the MoU with the Greens.
      Labour, WTF is going on?.
      Have you all lost your F minds?

    • tracey 20.6

      No it doesnt. Re read the independent analysis of their policies. As for running zero budgets, English ran 2 in 2014 and 2015 and the sky didnt fall.

    • Nick 20.7

      TF….Any new CGT was not in the Labour budget and neither was the revenue.

  21. Tautoko Mangō Mata 21

    Anyone who thinks that tax is the most important issue of this election will be voting National or Act regardless.
    Anyone who thinks that National has failed on
    climate change
    water quality
    environmental degradation
    homelessness, housing
    inequality
    underfunding health, esp mental health, education
    selling public assets

    will not be affected by the tax beatup by National.

    • Steve Wrathall 21.1

      Except that all of these things need a credible tax policy to underpin them. Slogans and photo-ops of Labour’s latest “leader” with school kids don’t cut it.

      • DoublePlusGood 21.1.1

        Since when have National had any credible tax policy?
        Labour’s tax policy, while quite the blancmange, is at least credible.

      • tracey 21.1.2

        It is so funny after 9 years of the photo Op PM…

        • Psycho Milt 21.1.2.1

          Less than a year and already it’s as though John Key never existed for your typical right-winger. Don’t worry Steve, we on the left well remember the almighty king of photo-ops over substance, for us his memory will never die…

    • mikesh 21.2

      Clearly, the important issue this election is taxation, with particular reference to housing. TOP seems to have the most enlightened taxation policies, and seems to have good policies on all the other issues you mention except the last. Gareth unfortunately seems to favour selling assets.

  22. Pat 22

    “Except that all of these things need a credible tax policy to underpin them”

    indeed they do….tax cuts anyone?

    And what underpins that tax take? economic activity….migration fuelled growth and falling productivity perhaps…that sounds sustainable.

  23. Steve Wrathall 23

    So for three days people have been voting for a Labour policy that is fraudulent? Are you sure this one won’t be changed again before the 23rd?

    • The decrypter 23.1

      Oh god! -no more changes please, -I’m getting driven to the drink, no more taxes on that please jacinda -especially craft beer mmmm.

    • indiana 23.2

      She was right, the stardust hasn’t settled….

    • Pat 23.3

      so thats to be the latest CT line…well they’re nothing if not consistent…might pay to cash that CT cheque before next saturday

    • tracey 23.4

      Can you post your proof of this fraud? Please use Key’s promise not to raise tax and then once elected raised GST by 2.5% harming the low income earners the most, as your starting point.

      Or English paying lawyers to enable him to get an extra $900 a week from taxpayers

    • cleangreen 23.5

      Steve for Gods sake let it go and take a chill pill.

      Jacinda heard the people and made an call to listen and we believe a government that listens is better than a national Government that does not listen or invole us at all.

      Was you upset when the government went behind your back and agreed to trade your future away during the TPPA, and now again recently duringthe new TPPA11 and will sign it into law in november if elected??????????

      We could loose our country in this latest settlement with the TPPA11 and national will not allow you to know what the agreement was that they made, happy now??

      We loose our Sovereignty and your country at one foul swoop of National’s bad deeds!!

      Labour is our saviour not national there.

  24. Sanctuary 24

    Smart move? Grant Robertson, you can see the shiver running around his back looking for a spine to run up.

    What a fucking gutless wonder. Just once, I’d like us to be talking about National’s appalling record in office. Yet AFTER NINE FUCKING YEARS the chinless wonder that is Grant Robertson have contrived to allow his own political cowardice set the agenda of – yet again – the media talking about Labour, it’s vacillations, it’s inability to stand for anything when the heat goes on and it’s preference for lilly livered surrender to fighting about anything important.

    Why didn’t Labour just say it was going to raise increased revenue because the country in broken and it’ll take money to fix it? Why can’t that bunch of gutless wonders stand up for something just for once. Honestly. I can’t wait for a new influx of MPs like Deborah Russell to bring some steel to the simpering, careerist asshats like Robertson.

    GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!

    • marty mars 24.1

      JA said it was her captain’s call to do it.

      I agree with you – what about the bullshit lies from the gnats – they are USELESS financial managers of the country. ffs too much.

    • Ad 24.2

      Deborah Russell as a first term MP will do what she is told. She was fully on side with delaying implementation.

    • Steve Wrathall 24.3

      Yes, Deborah Russell may just be that proverbial “next Labour PM, who isn’t in parliament yet”. Because it looks like Ardern has shot her bolt.

    • red-blooded 24.4

      Sanctuary, how about saving some of that vitriol for someone who deserves it?

  25. ianmac 25

    Because National has very deep pockets they won’t mind re-jigging their ads. But it does take their anti Labour tax smear irrelevant. Suppose they will paint it as “Labour doesn’t know what its doing. U turn etc.”

  26. tsmithfield 26

    It’s not a retreat. It’s a tactical withdrawal. (snigger)

    • tracey 26.1

      I think you mean pragmatic. That is what it was called when the Smiling Assassin behaved this way.

  27. tsmithfield 27

    So, I guess National will now be able to claim that they have rescued taxpayers from some of Labour’s tax attacks.

    • tracey 27.1

      Yes the imaginary taxes invented by Joyce now mean Joyce is a saviour. That you find his behaviour sniggerable speaks volumes about you.

  28. savenz 28

    Good move by Labour, removes Natz scaremongering and keeps the focus firmly on full hospitals and schools under National and their 9 new taxes and assets sales like Power which if kept would be worth more than they got for it. Asset sales like State houses and actually everything Natz sold off cheap to their cronies.

    How much of NZ is being sold off and Kiwi’s have to crowd fund to buy our own beaches back these days or crowd fund legal action against Ports of Auckland stealing our harbour, that they apparently did not even need a resource consent for.

    Worldwide, consumers are trusting experts, less and less.

    Things approved by experts, Rogernomics, climate change denial reports, share market crashes, those dodgy bonds sold by banks to farmers, Leaky cladding and non treated building timber leading to leaky building syndrome, CHCH rebuild experts, economists telling us property prices were at their peak 10 years ago, migration has no impact on house prices, etc etc…

    With the tax out, Natz have lost their only axe to grind against Labour.

    What will Bill have to lie about next, maybe a TED talk on spaghetti pizza?

    Joyce can talk about the merits of extra pokies that he implemented and Sky Cities new casino?

    How wonderful the supercity is working out for Aucklander’s, NOT! .

    Free water for business who export it in plastic bottles to China and thereby causing more pollution?

    Making Havlock North residents sick from polluted water and those in Auckland paying a fortune to metro water to drink it, while still having beaches such as Coxes Bay extremely polluted due to still no change to all the human effluent discharge after heavy rainfall?

    10 Bridges promised to Northland with the building works in the pipeline still, ha ha?

    National’s war on P?

    Vote them out!

    • tc 28.1

      Give the IRD some teeth and there’s billions to be collected from Banks, Insurance and other large business offshore owned entities with entrenched avoidance practices.

      Retrospective legislation if they weasel out and send them a bill. You don’t have to introduce new taxes, just tighten up and enforce what’s there.

      Let’s not forget all the corporate welfare that can go under a spotlight also.

      • savenz 28.1.1

        I agree TC, get more existing taxes from corporate welfare and businesses that make record profits but don’t pay them in NZ.

        Taxpayers are sick of being the expected cash cows by government and being asked to pay more taxes often hidden in user pays, for declining services.

    • cleangreen 28.2

      Yep SAVENZ

      It was so wise all the NatZ trolls are on here today condeming hard out jacinda as much as they can.

      They look comical actually.

      Did these same condemers go hard against Steven Joyce the ‘$11 billion hole man’ too???

      No of course cause it was their man.

  29. mikesh 29

    If the TWG is going to be mainly about the housing market then it seems a bit stupid to assume that own-your-own residences have no affect on that market. Exempting the family home would be like having a tax on tobacco and saying that only pipe and cigar smokers will be affected.

  30. Michael 30

    Who really believes Labour will contest the 2020 election promising tax increases? Neoliberalism = 1, Progressivism = 0.

  31. Any functioning democracy should be able to rely on political parties having a respectful debate based on truth.

    Any functioning democracy should be able to jail a lying MP but we just don’t seem to be able to do that.

      • Your point?

        He was kicked out of the Labour Party once it became obvious that he was guilty. Our electoral system didn’t allow him to be removed from his electorate seat until he was found guilty.

        Blinglish is still in the National Party and still PM despite his lies. John Key should have been jailed years ago for his lies.

        The point I’m making is that an MP should be removed immediately when they lie. Not excused or not even challenged on the lie as has been the case.

        And I really don’t care which party they’re in. If they lie as an MP they need to be jailed.

        • Tanz 31.1.1.1

          At the end of the day, what politician has not lied? If they could be jailed simply for lying,half the current MP’s, on both sides, would probably be in prison.
          Lying in politics is sadly just part of the game, as our history shows, despite good intentions. Bill is by far the most honest PM we’ve yet had, along with Holyoake and Lange. All are human and most likey, all have lied at some stage.

          • Draco T Bastard 31.1.1.1.1

            At the end of the day, what politician has not lied? If they could be jailed simply for lying,half the current MP’s, on both sides, would probably be in prison.

            And that’s how it should be.

            But I doubt it would be half either side. There’d be a couple from the Left but the evidence shows that the majority would be from the RWNJs.

            Lying in politics is sadly just part of the game

            Why would you want it to be that way? What makes you want to celebrate liars?

            Bill is by far the most honest PM we’ve yet had

            He’s well on the way to being as honest as Key but not as smooth. And all indications are that he should be in jail for perverting the course of justice as well.

            All are human and most likey, all have lied at some stage.

            That’s not a good enough excuse.

    • cleangreen 31.2

      100% DRACO.

      National = memory loss.

  32. Bearded Git 32

    Looking at all the Right Wing Trolls above screaming about the TWG change you can tell it was a smart move by Jacinda.

    Everyone now knows exactly what they are voting for in terms of Labour’s tax policies.

    This from Liam Dann in the Herald today:

    “So Labour has levelled the playing field on tax.

    They’ve still got to deal with fall-out from the “back-down” and their will be questions about the timing and whether they’ve left it too late to regain the momentum they had.

    But when it came to switching tack on unpopular policy John Key was the master – perhaps they’ve learned something from their old rival.”

    I Party Voted Green today.

    • Enough is Enough 32.1

      “I Party Voted Green today”

      Well done BG.

      We need a strong Green party in government to ensure that the future government won’t be influenced or pushed into policy positions by the National Party.

      Today’s circus shows that Labour can still be pushed around by National.

      • cleangreen 32.1.1

        We need the crime ridden National Government corrupt enterprise gone forthwith in any way we can do it will suffice.

        • Michael 32.1.1.1

          Not if we’re only going to get National-lite in its place. Might as well have the real deal, Chinese Communist Party spy-teachers and all.

  33. ianmac 33

    I wonder if the Leaders have had a heads up re the poll due out tonight which might have been a catalyst for the Labour change of policy?

  34. Craig H 34

    Personally, I’d have a land tax and stamp duty – much easier to implement. I’d also have a 5 year bright line test, and reduce GST.

  35. Well, there are obviously a lot of people interested in tax issues, understandably. Should not be a problem finding people willing to take part in a long-form discussion, or people’s assembly chosen by lot with the task of reviewing tax generally, with treasury and other “experts” and “stakeholders” there to inform and advise, but not to run the show. If the government of the day sponsored such an assembly they would need to commit to responding publicly and in full to any and all recommendations made, but not necessarily to implement them. A good recent summary of experience in participatory democracy in Australia and Canada can be found in The People’s Verdict which you can download directly from http://www.policy-network.net.

  36. UncookedSelachimorpha 36

    I think the tax position from all sides has been complete rubbish.

    I big issue is whether you think the state should be a force to reduce inequality (via taxes and spending) – I think it should be. There are powerful market and political forces that otherwise act to inexoribly increase inequality. Note that reducing inequality does not need to be a goal in itself (although I think it is a worthwhile one) – you simply have to do it if you want decent housing, healthcare, education etc.

    Why do Labour and the Greens not pledge that all new taxes will only be paid by the wealthiest 10%. The wealthiest 10% own 60% of New Zealand’s wealth. They can well afford more taxes and 60% of the total wealth is a big piece to aim at. Further, it is likely to currently be the most undertaxed wealth in the country.

    If put this plainly – will the other 90% come out in force to vote to protect just the rich?

    There is ZERO evidence that leaving the extremely rich with all their wealth, has any benefit whatsoever to society or economies. Plenty of evidence that moving decent chunks of wealth downward has enormous benefit.

    • There is ZERO evidence that leaving the extremely rich with all their wealth, has any benefit whatsoever to society or economies.

      True but we’re now getting some serious evidence that leaving them with that wealth is detrimental to society.

  37. Simon Louisson 37

    Labour has no one but itself to blame for the dogshit it has stepped into on tax.
    Why, after nine years in opposition, was it not able to take a fully-fleshed out tax policy to voters? Why on earth does it say it needs yet another Tax Working Group to decide what to do? Why did it not establish such a group in its long years in the wilderness? It has been 100% clear for years that it is patently unfair that salaries and wages are taxed and capital gains from all assets (including shares) are not. Why was Gareth Morgan able after one year to have a fully fleshed tax policy after less than a year, and Labour couldn’t after nine years?
    The tax issue is at the heart of the difference between conservatives and progressives. You have to win the ideological argument – that taxes help build societies against the conservative position that lower taxes are inherently good. Such argument can’t be won just over an election campaign where there are inevitably countless distractions. The framing of the argument has to be over at least the 3 year electoral cycle — so that every speech or discussion about health, education and welfare has to include the argument about why we need taxes and why we need progressive taxes.
    Having failed to do this, Labour has found itself hamstrung, so that even if it wins the election it can’t during this term enact a comprehensive CGT (which should include the family home above the median value), and it will then leave itself open in the 2020 election to exactly the same attacks it is receiving now.

    • Andre 37.1

      Oh I dunno. Labour could just take a leaf out National’s playbook and say the Greens demanded it as part of a coalition deal. It won’t even be the nakedly obvious sham that it was when the Nats did it with ACT, since the Greens won’t owe their presence in parliament to being gifted an electorate.

    • Pat 37.2

      In their defence I think a lot of the problem stems from ‘the future of work’ project
      Labour determined some years ago this was to be the basis of their future policy platform and considerable time and resources (limited) were devoted to that….I think that on closer inspection the issues it threw up were too big (note the lack of firm results) and it was realised a whole economy approach was needed.
      This means that not only does a modified tax system need to be created and modelled but also a transitional model….and meanwhile the housing crisis spiralled out of control and changed the underlying assumptions, so in effect they had to start from scratch.
      With the resources of government one would hope that a lot of the previous work will form the basis of what they can come up with for the next election…..one thing is certain, National haven’t and never will do this work and their only response to these issues will be austerity until crash….take your pick.

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    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago

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