New Zealand is a socialist nirvana *

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, September 13th, 2016 - 65 comments
Categories: national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

david seymour-1-2

Fellow participants in the struggle to improve the plight of ordinary people. We can now officially give up the class struggle. Or at least David Seymour thinks so …

He claimed on Morning Report this morning that National is no longer hiding its socialist streak but is bragging about it.

According to Seymour, Stephen Joyce announced that the top earners now pay more of the tax share than they did under Labour and this is a very bad thing. The top 10% now pay 37% of the tax take and under the socialist regime of Helen Clark it was only 35% so things are only getting worse.

And he was deeply upset at transfer payments that are being made to the poor.  Rich people as well as poor people should be given payouts according to Seymour’s logic.

He talked about relief for top tax earners. It must be that the leafy streets of Epsom are full of people on the top tax rate sleeping in their cars because of all the tax they are paying.

No doubt Seymour will not rest until the top 10% only pay 10% of total tax.

He does not seem to understand that the reason the wealthy are paying more tax is because they are earning a greater share of total income.

His analysis is appropriate for a party polling at 0.5%.

65 comments on “New Zealand is a socialist nirvana *”

  1. Richard McGrath 1

    “He does not seem to understand that the reason the wealthy are paying more tax is because they are earning a greater share of total income.”

    They earned 25% of income in 2014, according to the Morgan Foundation, yet pay well in excess of this in tax.

    Perhaps David Seymour would be happier if they paid 25% of the tax grab, rather than 37%.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Who cares what a sock-puppet with 0% electoral support thinks? Everything he believes has been debunked by reality.

      • mosa 1.1.1

        As a de facto Nat MP he gets to much air time, no one votes for ACT they are irrelevant.
        Seymour would not know a socialist if he passed one on the footpath.

    • Sabine 1.2

      would that be the foundation of that guy who is on record for not paying taxes at all?

      really? you think Gareth Morgan should start paying his 25% tax?
      I agree with you.

      • Richard McGrath 1.2.1

        “…you think Gareth Morgan should start paying his 25% tax?”

        In the short term – yes, as part of a flat tax arrangement for everyone (which would kill the tax avoidance industry).

        In the long term, reduce all income taxes – it’s a punishment for working and earning.

        • framu

          “a flat tax arrangement for everyone (which would kill the tax avoidance industry).”

          not really – there would still be attempts to minimise what amounts you declare

        • Sabine

          So how about we raise some taxes on Capital Gains? How about we raise some taxes on dividends? and the likes?

          or how about we close down all the loopholes and make ‘charities’ and ‘foundations’ taxable? OH yeah, fun could be had.

          I can hear all the Remuera Gents and Ladies scream ; T’is not fair, i did nothing to earn this money, how can it be taxed!”

          Frankly there is no way Gareth Morgan and the likes of himself included would ever pay taxes.

          • Richard McGrath

            “So how about we raise some taxes on Capital Gains? How about we raise some taxes on dividends?”

            Whatever you tax, you discourage – you advocate punishing successful businesses and their shareholders.

            “…or how about we close down all the loopholes and make ‘charities’ and ‘foundations’ taxable?”

            I agree that many loopholes should be closed, and tax laws simplified hugely.

          • jpwood

            Dividends are already taxed at the marginal rate of the shareholder.

            • Takere

              Its how the 282 rich kiwis who are worth $50m+ who’ve declared their income to IRD is only $70,000 but, by growing the value of their business(es) and investments therefore into shares in these businesses. Drawing down these dividends which are taxed at 17.5% marginal tax rate evading the 33% tax rate is how the rich get richer and the rest of us have to work for it to support them.

        • Chris

          People on the lowest incomes are punished the most for working and earning. They’re often sent to jail.

        • left for dead

          income taxes – it’s a punishment for working and earning.

          The first thing I would suggest is (every non-dependant) be given the same rights as corporations with regards to income Tax, right-offs.
          If a corp’ can be classed as a person then every person should have the same Tax right-off ability as any sole trader, at the very lest.

          edited: oh silly me does that mean the top 10% would pay more to make up the difference and or pay a living wage. this part should be a the bottom, my poor editing, excuse me.

          As you probably quested, I’m no tax lore expert but hey why shouldn’t I be able to right down, clothing,car, an other costs.

        • left_forward

          “In the long term, reduce all income taxes – it’s a punishment for working and earning”
          The idea that taxation is theft or form of punishment is classic libertarian folly – … and the standard retort is that the income was earned on the back of a just and functioning society which provides the environment for the free trade of goods and services. Taxes are a contribution towards such a society.

        • Lloyd

          Life is unfair.
          You obviously need a job which doesn’t have any income. Try being a parent. Income taxes, applied judiciously, can be used by governments to level inequalities.
          If you have a high paying job the pay rate is not a reflection of your real value to society. Intensive care unit nurses are obviously more useful than tax lawyers. Who gets the most income?
          Why shouldn’t the tax lawyers get taxed at a much higher rate than nurses?
          Flat tax rates are regressive and tax lower income workers more viciously than the fat cats at the top of the pile.
          With robots likely to replace many workers the tax take from the employed will have to rise, just so that the poor can be given a stipend so they can keep the economy ticking over.
          remember- Income tax good. Higher taxes on big earners even better.

          • Richard McGrath

            So an intensive care nurse who works extra shifts to fill in for a sick colleague and ends up earning more, should be taxed at a higher rate?

    • They earned 25% of income in 2014, according to the Morgan Foundation, yet pay well in excess of this in tax.

      1. That’s “declared” income. If you’re a wage/salary earner, “declared” income is pretty close to your actual income – for a lot of the wealthy, it’s a bullshit figure created by clever accountants.

      2. The reason they’re paying 37% of the tax take now rather than 35% under Clark’s government is that their wealth has increased so much faster than the lower deciles, thanks to the Key government working to make the rich richer.

      3. Can’t be arsed looking it up, but the proportion of the nation’s wealth held by the top 10% is a lot higher than 37%, so maybe Seymour is right – it’s unfair and these guys should be paying a lot more tax.

    • left for dead 1.4

      Perhaps If that fool Seymour’s Having another nosy here, that nonsense on Nat Rad this morning, about the Greens propping up Labour back when. Have a look in the mirror son, no, not for that H but the hypocrisy.

    • AmaKiwi 1.5

      It is a bogus calculation until you include indirect taxes such as GST, petrol, rates, etc.

      That calculation will show the rich pay a much lower percentage of tax and the poor far more.

      You must also include income that is not currently taxed such as real estate sales.

  2. Michelle 2

    Seymour is an idiot and he needs to remember exactly how he got into parliament. He got in because of JK not on his own merit. His party was dead in the water and hopefully gone at the next election. How many party votes did Act get ? buggar all. He is only there because of the loop hole in MMP one that his tory master kept to ensure they maintain there hold on power.

  3. Sacha 3

    This one has been debunked many times. Leaving out other forms of tax like GST may make a nice catchcry for leafy whiners, but it’s a poor basis for any enlightening discussion.

    • And even then, as people above have pointed out, they’re only paying so much income tax because their share of the income has gone up! It’s a completely rubbish measurement to talk about “share of income tax paid,” because it’s a good thing to be paying more income tax, because you want more income!

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Like the the party that created it (Labour) ACT is ideologically still firmly anchored in the 1990s.

  5. Siobhan 5

    We’re done here….Can we talk about someone or something that actually matters.

    • TC 5.1


      A low intellect little rich kid dropped into a position to ‘ACT’ as if he actually has some ideas.

      A decent msm would dissect him as the vacuous trougher he is but rnz is part of nats pr machine now.

  6. Ad 6

    If he meant we have a highly interventionist government i’d agree.

    It’s just uneven and incoherent.

  7. Pat 7

    Seymour is simply doing his masters work by promoting the false narrative the wealthy pay a disproportionate level of tax with the added bonus he at the same time paints the gov as a benign worker friendly entity

    • Sabine 7.1

      oh i know a few cash poor but mortgage rich NZ’lers that would be so deep in shit, should the market crash, that they could not even see out of it. But believe me they do feel rich, cause paper worth tells them so, and the bank gives them one credit line after the other, and they don’t want to pay taxes, cause you know they took risks.

      However, they are literally on Interest raise away from bankruptcy and misery. But hey, somone is gonna pay millions for their properties that their banks own, and then they too will tell us how we are keeping successful business from being successful by imposing taxes on them.

    • DH 7.2

      I think they’re just taking the mickey out of Labour & Greens; exploiting their poor grasp of statistics.

      “taxpayer” is pretty much any person over the age of 16 who has an IRD number. That includes welfare beneficiaries and people who aren’t working or even earning anything. The inclusion of such data skews any percentages to portray higher earners in a completely false and misleading light.

      2014 data had a total of 3,470,000 taxpayers with 312,000 having no income & thus paying no tax at all. Another 993,000 earned below $20k, most presumably being beneficiaries, pensioners etc.

      From the statistical perspective it’s dead easy to ensure 37% of the top earners paid 37% of the taxes. Just increase welfare benefits to around $80,000. Beneficiaries would then be among the top earners & thus would be paying most of the tax.

      There’s lies, damned lies… etc

  8. Smilin 8

    What an idiot cant he see NZ is being replaced by a country called Keyhole
    This country is on a fast track to hell environmentally socially and politically
    Socialist paradise be buggered just shows that the twerp knows nothing about Kirk’s govt and what it meant to actually live NZ in the last time of equal opportunity and employment

  9. Rimmer…the ‘H’ on his head says it all.


  10. Lanthanide 10

    Good to see David has the sense to turn up to a pride event wearing his normal clothes, unlike Key who has to pander and grandstand by wearing a garish bright magenta shirt he’d never otherwise wear.

  11. Lanthanide 11

    “No doubt Seymour will not rest until the top 10% only pay 10% of total tax.”

    Or, Mickey, you could actually be fair, and quote David’s own words on this subject:

    Guyon: So are you saying that the wealthy should be paying less tax?
    David: What I’m saying is that we have an arrangement in New Zealand where if you earn more money you pay more tax.

    • Hanswurst 11.1

      “So are you suggesting we make changes?”
      “No, all I’m saying is that the world is round, and some people sleep in longer on Sundays.”

      This is what politicians do. They frame a narrative that invites obvious conclusions, then, when pushed for their own conclusions and suggestions, they retreat into bland truism in order to sound reasonable and pragmatic. It’s ironic that you’ve become so taken in by your own sophistry that you are advocating falling for a trick so far beneath your critical faculties.

  12. McGrath 12

    What this shows is that NZ needs the top 10% otherwise the tax take would collapse.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1


      On Earth, higher wages at the bottom end of the market result in higher revenue too. Not least because they tend to commit less tax fraud.

      0% support…I wonder why…

      • McGrath 12.1.1

        Back in the real world, you need the well-off’s tax receipts to pay for the welfare system. No 10%, no welfare system.

        • Gangnam Style

          “higher wages at the bottom end of the market” means there will be limited need for welfare system.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If we didn’t have the wealthy we’d have higher tax receipts and much healthier society.

          • Richard McGrath

            The wealthy are very often the innovators and wealth-generators. Without them we would be equally poor.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The wealthy are very often the innovators and wealth-generators.

              Actually, they’re not. They’re just in a position to benefit from the work of the innovators via ownership of businesses and corporations.

              That’s what Piketty showed.

              • The lost sheep

                As we established yesterday Draco, no completely egalitarian society has ever moved past the stage of subsidence hunter gatherers with little or no wealth. (using ‘wealth’ in the correct sense of ‘an abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions.’)

                In ALL societies that have moved past subsidence and towards a situation of increasing wealth, the establishment of hierarchy / inequality has occurred right at the beginning of the process, and continued to develop as overall wealth increased.

                This presents a very serious difficulty for the contention that inequality is not a pre-condition of the creation of wealth.
                And to your point specifically above – if you and Picketty were correct and ‘the wealthy’ were not necessary to the creation of overall wealth, then there would be examples of completely egalitarian societies that had developed significant overall wealth.
                But there are no such examples?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  As we established yesterday Draco, no completely egalitarian society has ever moved past the stage of subsidence hunter gatherers with little or no wealth.

                  No, that was your unsupported assertion. I replied showing that such societies had existed – until they’d been destroyed by corrupt hierarchical ones.

                  • The lost sheep

                    ‘No, that was your unsupported assertion. I replied showing that such societies had existed – until they’d been destroyed by corrupt hierarchical ones.
                    You can’t have read my reply Draco.

                    The first link you provided confirmed my assertion that non-hierarchical egalitarianism is limited to hunter gatherer groupings that live at subsistence level. It does not state that any such society ever went beyond that limited state.

                    The assumptions you made for the second link second link turned out to be incorrect when I found a non paywalled copy of the article.
                    It does not say that the Halaf were destroyed by corrupt hierarchical Societies.
                    In fact it says much the opposite. They had remained stable as semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers for some time, but then ran into a crisis caused by ‘Social and environmental constraints’.( i.e. the limitations of their non-hierarchical egalitarian structure), and so they willing adopted the structures of their neighbours as a solution to their own crisis, and then gradually assimilated into a society indistinguishable from their hierarchical / unequal neighbours.

                    History is complex, and there are any variations on the theme of how hunter gatherer societies developed into more complex hierarchical states, but that complexity makes it even more startling to say that not a single one of them has ever moved past a subsistence level without hierarchy and inequality being essential elements of the change.
                    Not even in places where they had no interaction with hierarchical neighbours. In such situations they simply remain at subsistence level.
                    You cannot name a single society that developed past that point without becoming hierarchical / unequal.

                    But moving on, although it has never happened in the past, I was wrong to say it was an impossibility. I think it highly unlikely…but convince me Draco?
                    Tell me how you see the process would happen that transformed our current society into a non-hierarchical egalitarian structure, and how such a society would function in the modern world?

  13. srylands 13

    He is correct. New Zealanders have a love affair with socialism. That is why we currently have, and will have for some time, a socialist Government.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Yawn. Another trougher from the 0% with a massive conflict of interest.

    • left_forward 13.2

      I think its true that NZers at heart believe in a fair and just society, including the idea of concern for the welfare of one’s fellow man / woman / child. But to call this Government socialist is a wild spin of the truth – they clearly have little concern for the poor, the sick, the homeless, and the least fortunate in our society.

  14. adam 14

    Sheesh Mickey, You brought the wingnuts out of the woodwork with this post.

    Some real pitiful displays of ideology, put out there today.

    You know there hero, was not only payed social security, but used medicaid and lived in social housing. Ahh the libertarian right, so full of it. They can’t even face the fact that these programs help even them, and their families.

    I wonder if these ideological wingnuts actually pay for their own costs? No Doubt they will come up with some lame excuses as why they can’t even live up to there own ideology.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      I wonder if these ideological wingnuts actually pay for their own costs?

      Of course not. Can’t get rich by paying for stuff. The only way to get rich is to have others paying for you and also have them paying you for the privilege of paying for you.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Deliberate strategy straight out of the ninth floor, this. It’s a friendly ticking off, on orders from the government, designed to portray National as compassionate and centrist. It’s a continuation of the narrative that National are actually doing something for the disenfranchised.

    Doesn’t work on me but it will work on a lot of other people.

  16. Incognito 16

    It is soothing the electorate when ACT ‘moans’ that National has become (too) socialist. It is no coincidence at a time when the Government is under huge pressure because of its massive, structural, ongoing failings in dealing with major social problems in this country. It is clever politics by David Seymour IMO.

    Minor correction: it is Steven (not Stephen) Joyce.

  17. Gabby 17

    I’d love to know who thought it was a great idea to interview Seemorecoq. It’s hardly breaking news.

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