New Zealand politics has been waiting with baited breath for National to release its methodology about how its tax on foreign purchasers (excluding Australians and Singaporeans and possibly Chinese) of luxury homes homes worth more than $2 million could earn $715 million in the first year.
There has been a certain level of incredulity about the figures, incredulity that I have shared in.
And the incredulity extended to a former Treasury Official whose previous job was to analyse these sorts of proposals.
Sure I am a hard core leftie but please trust right wing economist Michael Reddell's assessment that National's residency tax proposal does not add up. pic.twitter.com/GufPKux0NK
— Greg Presland (@GregPresland) September 14, 2023
The estimate by Michael Reddell was that the tax would raise $210 million in the first year, not the $715 million promised.
Reddell noted that National had not released its modelling. Since then there has been a sustained chorus from the media asking for the calculations so that they can see if the policy actually has legs.
As I said 11 days ago if National’s calculations are robust then National should release them. Otherwise it can expect this issue to dog it for the rest of the campaign.
Even occasional Standard commenter Matthew Hooton thought that the policy was bollocks:
“National’s tax policy was much worse than expected. It reveals a party undeserving of being taken seriously.”
Yesterday on Q&A Nicola Willis had the chance to give the media sufficient detail so that the viability of the policy could be properly investigated. But this happened:
For the sake of our integrity Nicola released all our costings and modeling for our Foreign House Buyers tax policy today, so everyone could see we are good with numbers and serious people. pic.twitter.com/gKtH4FtQb5
— Christopher Luxon ChatGPT (@rugbyintel) September 23, 2023
The look on Jack Tame’s face matched the look of every person who watched the show.
A $715 million in the first year policy being described in a couple of sentences and a basic maths calculation. This really feels like back of the envelope policy.
National is treating us all like idiots with this policy. Its refusal to release its workings and analysis about how the policy would work shows a level of contempt I am not sure I have witnessed before.
The scary thing is that if National is elected it will make the changes. If it actually works house prices and inflation will go up. If it does not work then National will cut and slash through every budget it can get away with. We should all be very, very afraid.