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Reaction to Labour tax package

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, July 15th, 2011 - 179 comments
Categories: capital gains, election 2011, gst, labour, wages - Tags:

The family: Anne Mason and David Hall welcome the income tax cut and the GST-free fresh fruit and vegetables: “Every little bit helps because prices have gone up outrageously”

They calculate that they would save $10 a week from the GST policy on top of the $20 a week from their two income tax cuts. $30 a week, nothing to be sneezed at. They own an investment property and are a bit worried about the capital gains tax on that. But the simple solution is not to own an investment banking on the capital gains, which is a form of speculation anyway. If the investment doesn’t generate a revenue stream that makes it worth owning in its own right, you need to look for a better investment.

The landlord: David Whitburn says that he will never pay any capital gains tax on his investment properties “That’s because I’m not selling, ever. My children will inherit these places,”

Let me say this slowly: That’s fine. Labour’s policy is not anti people owning capital assets including rentals. It is anti people making a living off capital gains and not paying a cent in tax while people making their income other ways have to, which effectively means the capital gainers are getting their public services subsidised by everyone else. And it creates a mis-allocation of capital where capital gain is favoured over investments that generate a viable profit stream.

If Whitburn never plans to realise any capital gain from his investments, then he will have run his investments on a profitable basis, probably by valuing his properties lower (unless you believe he could charge his tenants higher rents but just isn’t now out of the goodness of his heart). If Whitburn is running his investments for a profitable revenue stream and not for capital gain, that’s a good thing.

The working mum: Mele Peaua who works as a cleaner on the minimum wage and is thrilled by Labour’s tax package “I need to get them to eat more healthy food. How can we have a better life if the children are not healthy children? I work two jobs and have no time at home for the children. I have to keep looking for more jobs and I am not at home for the children. Ten dollars more per week would give me great joy.” The removal of the 15 per cent GST on fruit and vegetables would be a great help, she said. “The price will go down and I will be able to afford the fruit and veges. My family will have a better life, better school and be healthy too.”

People like Mrs Peaua are the backbone of this country. They have been screwed over for the past 3 decades. Add in Labour’s $15 an hour minimum wage and there’s a big gain for Mrs Peaua’s family in line if a Laobur-led government gets elected.

The high-earner: Lawyer Casey Plunket doesn’t want to pay an extra 6 cents in the dollar on that part of his income over $150,000 “Such a tax rate would make it more attractive for people to work in Australia. Most of them will still be paying tax in Australia at higher rates but they will be earning much higher incomes. We need every advantage we can over Australia to keep our higher-earning and more-productive people in the country.”

Leaving aside the question of whether or not high earners are really more productive than low income earners (I wonder if Casey works as hard as Mrs Peaua, I doubt it), Casey’s got a fundamental problem in that he would pay a lot more tax in Australia. Labour’s tax package materials include this graph, which shows 98% of people paying less tax under Labour than National and 78% paying less tax in New Zealand than in Australia, including anyone on an income over $150,000.

Casey, all hysterical over a small tax increase on the top few dollars of his income, is, ironically, opposed to a tax cut on his fresh fruit and vegetables: “The crazy thing about removing GST on fresh fruit and veges is that people like me also get that break. I am happy to pay the GST on fresh fruit and vegetables. I don’t need that tax break.”

Again, Australia has GST off food (and CGT!) so these people who are threatening to ‘flee’ there are in a dream world, or, more likely, trying to bully and trick us into keep on subsidising them.

The rich guy who isn’t a selfish prick
: Sellwyn Pellet made $8m on a business and didn’t have to pay a cent in tax and says “Clearly, it you go to Otara, Waitakere, or Whangarei, or any of these hard hit communities with low income it looks really bad [that they’re paying tax and he isn’t]. So i think it’s time that people like me stepped up to the plate and paid more tax”

Like the Morgans, Pellet is proof that you can be wealthy and not be a sociopath who is devoted to hoarding every cent they can get for themselves. In fact, that’s true of all the great entrepreneurs. It’s only those that are driven by pure greed that have a problem with paying their fair share.

As for National, I think this cartoon tells us the truth, and explains why National has been unable to generate a coherent line:

179 comments on “Reaction to Labour tax package ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    What happens to the graph when you factor in rebates, tax credits, welfare payments and GST ?

    • Peter 1.1

      Sorry, cannot tell you exactly (these figures seem hard to find but it would be good to know), but when you consider that wage and salary earners pay income tax and then GST out of their after tax income they need a few tax credits. After all there are a bunch of people earning untaxed income and a bunch more not incentivised by the tax system not to maximise profit.

      As far as it goes I am not aware of National or Labour making changes to welfare payments so the comparison here seems fair. All welfare payments are taxed as far as I am aware. I would be very surprised if you find that the vast majority of GST is paid by anyone other than wage and salary earners, after all it is designed to be paid by consumers.

    • mik e 1.2

      When you look across the ditch Australia has a far more generous family assistance packages than we do ,many of them brought in by little Johnny Howard like the $4,000 for each new child born in Australia family tax credits up to $140,000 then while they have lower gst they have higher petrol taxes health care taxes and state taxes. The right always neglect to tell the full truth about taxes the further right the less truth you find ie Cactus Kate about HK &Singapore not having a CGT thats true but they have horrendous land taxes of 40% which is why they don,t pay much income tax.

      • Cactus Kate 1.2.1


        Utter bullshit. An “horrendous” 40% land tax? http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/welcome.htm Go find it and come back when you have something sensible to say.

        40% of government revenue may come from land taxes (which is what you shoudl have said) but when 2/3rd of people don’t even pay a cent in income tax, and you have no capital gains tax with a maximum rate of personal tax at 15% (which very few people pay because look at all the deductions http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/pdf/pam61e.pdf) no one seems to actually mind.

        • prism

          HK & Singapore as you refer to them sound like cartoon versions of heaven Cactus Kate. While people sit on their clouds there being spiritual they don’t need the earthly services we pay tax for. Where does the money to run the country comes from? That would be a start in understanding your tax system.

          What happens to the poor, their education, opportunities and so on. Is their tax for them? I remember seeing tall apartment buildings for the poor and sewerage pipes going down the outside from top to bottom leaking here and there. It was thought that is where a serious infection was caught.

        • MrSmith

          Lawyering people with petty bullshit makes you look like a Wanker Cactus. 

  2. freedom 2

    what do welfare payments and GST have to do with tax rebates and credits?

  3. Zaphod Beeblebrox 3

    Spot the flaw in Mr Plunket’s argument, my year 10 son spotted it straight away.

    “I don’t need that tax break”

    “Such a tax rate would make it more attractive for people work in Australia”.

    So if you don’t need a tax break why is a tax increase so dire?

    • prism 3.1

      To paraphrase Groucho Marx – A child of ten could understand that. Hey send for a child of ten!

    • seanmaitland 3.2

      lol, not often I see someone admitting to having the intelligence of a ten year old……

      Seeing as you don’t understand it – the average person would save maybe $5 a week if GST is cut on fresh produce. Someone earning say 170k, would be paying $461 a week more in tax if it went up to 39cents.

      Your kid has plenty of time to be able to understand this – for you, I would be heading back to uni or school if you can’t understand simple maths.

      • felix 3.2.1

        Err yeah Sean, that’s how it works.

        The market gives a small handful of people most of the money so they pay a lot more tax than most to help out the vast majority to whom that same market gives bugger all.

        At the heart of the idea is that not too many starve. Cool eh?

        Glad you’re getting the hang of it.

        • st oliver

          No felix anyone under 50 g a year in this country effectively pays no income tax beacuase the claw it all back through govt welfare. The top ten percent of income workers pay 72 percent of all income tax and are actually likley to consume less state funded services than the other 90 percent. So how is that fair?

          • felix

            Because they have all the money, durr.

          • handle

            Read Dimpost debunking those false figures from the lying Nats and their manure-spreader Mr Farrar – http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/dpfs-graph/

          • KJT

            Absolute Bullshit.

            So the wealthy do not benefit from;

            An educated and healthy work force.
            Police to protect their property.
            Government policies on workers and immigration to keep their employees wages down. Infrastructure including roads, rail and power.
            Public utilities
            The opportunities to get ahead in a functioning society.
            Protection from those they have impoverished.
            Cheap tertiary education for their spoilt kids, and state subsidised private schools.

            Accountants, Lawyers, Bankers and similar, on high incomes, also benefit from job creation schemes, such as legal aid, finance and tax avoidance.

            Etc, Etc.

            In fact, not only do they benefit from our functioning society much more than the poor, they are much bigger users, and beneficiaries, of tax paid resources.

          • Jum

            St Oliver


            ‘st oliver
            16 July 2011 at 11:54 am

            No felix anyone under 50 g a year in this country effectively pays no income tax beacuase the claw it all back through govt welfare. The top ten percent of income workers pay 72 percent of all income tax and are actually likley to consume less state funded services than the other 90 percent. So how is that fair?’

            The top 10 percent pay zero to little income tax because they can afford accountants and have government mps in their pocket.

            The one thing I know about rich turkeys is that they know how to access free everything at the cost of the workers who pay all their tax.

            Pxss off turkey.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    There are a number of angles Labour’s proposal can be attacked on, and I am sure will be.

    1. Letting the genie out of the bottle.

    Sure, Labour has left enough loopholes in this proposal for most with access to intelligent accountants to avoid it, or dare I say even profit from it. However, I imagine many people will feel nervous about future governments extending the CGT to cover assets such as the family home etc.

    2. Optimistic assumptions.

    The income from the CGT is very much back-end loaded. Thus, the government is required to borrow more in the short term with the hope that in the future there will be enough income from the CGT to pay the money back. However, income from a CGT is never guaranteed. If there is another period of recession within the next decade similar or worse to what we have just experienced, then the country could be left with considerable debt. Also, it is important to understand the net present value (NPV) of the future expected income. The consequence of an NPV calculation is that future income is usually lower in value due to the effect of inflation, lost interest opportunity etc.

    3. Convoluted and complex.

    The implementation and administration of this policy will require an army of new IRD personal, plus an army of valuers to value acquired assets, and an army of new accountants to help avoid the tax. This also means plenty of loopholes to be exploited that will erode the expected tax income.

    4. Strange inconsistencies.

    On one hand the government is taxing the rich more. On the other hand they are giving the rich tax breaks through the $5000 tax free income and the GST removed from F & V, which all tax payers benefit from, even those who don’t need it. Surely it would be cheaper to give low income people vouchers for F & V and make the $5000 tax free income apply to only those who need it.

    • These are attacklines TS and do not necessarily reflect the reality:
      1.  There are loopholes but fewer than there used to be.  Labour has repeatedly said that the family home will not be included.  Are you afraid that a future National Government may include the family home?
      2.  There is always a risk that economies will tank.  If it does all tax takes are reduced.  NPV is just a mechanism to work out the appropriate amount of tax and electronically can be calculated speedily.
      3.  If your argument that complexity is a bad thing is correct then there is an argument for getting rid of all taxes except possibly GST.  You ignore the beneficial effect of changing investor behaviour and also that the tax flow will allow us to keep our power shares.
      4.  Altering tax rates is simple.  Sure everyone gets a tax cut except the highest earners but what is wrong with that?

      • Vicky32 4.1.1

        There are loopholes but fewer than there used to be.  Labour has repeatedly said that the family home will not be included.  Are you afraid that a future National Government may include the family home?

        I heard Kathryn Ryan interviewing Phil Goff on this issue this morning, and she kept stressing that Labour in future would include the family home, no matter how many times he told her they wouldn’t. Then she read out emails in which people kept saying “What happens in the future when they include the family home?” So that appears to be the agreed-on reaction line…

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.2

      Good summary. The ATO seems to have sorted most of that out however, do you not have faith in the IRD?

    • Bunji 4.3

      1. Can you imagine the political damage including the family home would do? I can’t imagine anyone being that politically stupid to add it. Only Japan has the family home included, even though all the OECD countries have capital gains tax except Turkey, Switzerland & us. It ain’t gonna happen.

      2. At the moment our economy is the most positively geared between economic growth & tax take in the OECD. We do great in boom, bad in bust. Spreading the tax base with a CGT will actually slightly decrease positive gearing.

      3. This is actually closing a massive loophole in our tax system. As BERL economist Ganesh Nana had it on Nine-to-Noon this morning – he’d rather play on a playing field with 5 holes instead of 50. There are exceptions, but closing a river with a dam with a few holes in it will still catch a lot of water. There has been the suggestion that spending on accountants will decrease, as with a fairer tax system that covers everything there won’t be as much point in trying to avoid tax.

      4. Vouchers for the poor’s F&V? Can you imagine the cries of bureaucracy gone mad that you’d be making if a leftie suggested that? The claims of unfairness of I pay for this, while others get? It’s a tax system restructure. You no doubt approved of National’s (non-revenue neutral, despite claims) “tax switch” – why reduce people’s income tax rates only to charge them more GST? It’s all about trying to put the incentives where you want them. Away from property speculation, and toward productive investment. Toward healthy food (reducing health costs), tax break for 98%, and a more progressive system. It’s just fair.

    • Tangled up in blue 4.4

      Thus, the government is required to borrow more in the short term

      Do you mean ‘continue to borrow’ in the short term or that overall borrowing would have to increase?

      Isn’t the first $5000 free & GST cuts funded by the top tax rate increase?

      • Lanthanide 4.4.1

        The top tax rate increase funds the GST taken off fruit and vegetables.

        The CGT funds the tax free bracket.

        The tax free bracket starts at $3000 in 2013, and increases to $5000 in 2014, in line with the CGT first being implemented in 2013.

        I think Labour is somewhat vulnerable on this, as people are just talking about $5000 tax free. But they don’t mention that that isn’t until 2014, when people are crying out for this tax cut now (eg, they elect Labour and expect the taxcut in April 2012).

        • Secret Squirrel

          “Our policy has been fully costed by independent experts BERL. They estimate it will raise $78 million in the first year, rising to $2.27 billion in year 10.”

          Labour admit they will need to borrow more in the short term, until they introduce the CGT, and for some time after – $78m won’t cover much.

          And this presumes we don’t have another recession, and here Labour’s plan is very vulnerable. If we get another recession in say 2015, similar to what we are just coming out of, it will severely impact on CGT revenue.

          • Blighty

            another recession would screw over National’s projections too.

          • Lanthanide

            “And this presumes we don’t have another recession, and here Labour’s plan is very vulnerable. If we get another recession in say 2015, similar to what we are just coming out of, it will severely impact on CGT revenue.”

            And National has even less of a plan, because we won’t have the dividend from our assets any more.

          • seanmaitland

            $5000 tax free would cost $1.6 – $2 billion per annum, and is $10.10 per week in the hand extra than people currently get.

    • TS, a few rejoinders:

      Letting the genie out of the bottle” – more like lancing a boil. Hurts (some) at first, people get used to it. Also, tax exemptions are routine in almost all cases so I see no reason why Labour – compared to National and ACT – would remotely feel the need to make a CGT conform to some simplified ‘purity’ that those on the right seem so keen on. (Actually, maintaining exemptions is consistent with having fruit and veges as exemptions in GST – contra your point 4 about ‘inconsistency’ – and see my comment on that below.).

      Optimistic assumptions” – I think this is a far better description of the forecasts underpinning the last budget. Didn’t you read any of the commentary on the budget? There was near unanimity that it depended upon highly optimistic Treasury forecasts. And that unanimity was not incorporating the possibility of another recession, just a not so quick recovery from this one.

      Convoluted and complex” (and various armies appearing out of nowhere) – perhaps the armies can simply be redeployed from their current labouring over turning income into capital gain, administering the ludicrous tax havens we call trusts, administering the hopelessly complex company laws (which, of course, assist business people in playing shell games), etc..

      Strange inconsistencies” – it’s only an inconsistency if you think the aim is primarily to tax rich people. It’s actually perfectly consistent if you think the aim is primarily to help those who are struggling (through ensuring a government has the tax base to support social services while also ensuring that those on low incomes don’t have what meagre resources they have unnecessarily plundered). That is, you’ve made the fatal mistake of swallowing National and ACT’s claims that the introduction of a top tax rate is an ‘envy tax’ put in place solely to ‘punish the successful’.

      You shouldn’t be so gullible, TS.

  5. clandestino 5

    Nice summary, that Casey tosser made me very angry this morning however.

    The truth is, people like him will not be missed. We have more lawyers than we know what to do with. His ‘income’ is arguably the ill-gotten gains of a messy, broken system in any case, where lawyers defy the laws of economics by co-operating to keep fees high, despite overwhelming supply. His selfishness even extends to fruit and veges, he doesn’t get that despite him not paying GST, he can’t eat any more, but someone like me on $16 an hour fucking well could.

    As for CGT, gotta say I prefer a low land tax and low income taxes, and don’t understand how that couldn’t be a vote getter if income taxes were significantly reduced including a tax free threshold. Having said that, it’s better than the status quo.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The problem with a land tax is that it needs to be paid every year, like rates. This hurts people who are asset rich but cash poor.

      • mikesh 5.1.1

        A case can be made that an asset rich person who can’t afford the tax on the land that he occupies should sell up and go pitch his tent elsewhere.

        • Lanthanide

          And a case can be made that many pensioners in their 70’s and 80’s who rely on the pension and a small amount of savings would be severely disadvantaged under such a tax. This makes it very hard for you to win elections and easy for the opposition to pledge to repeal the tax.

    • Frida 5.2

      He made me VERY VERY angry too (and I’m a lawyer………)

      What complete and utter arrogance his statement epitomised. I’m 100% sure that I am no more productive (in fact probably considerably less so) than, for example, my 66 year old father who has worked menial jobs (often more than one at a time) all his life.

      I’m glad I wasn’t face to face with Mr Casey Plunket when I read his comment this morning.

      • mickysavage 5.2.1

        Agree with you Frida.
        I am happy to pay the extra tax.  After enjoying the benefit of a state funded education including receiving a student benefit while at University I think this is the least that I can do.
        What is that saying about 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name? ; )

  6. I agree with your comments about Selwyn Pellett.  He is an extraordinarily successful businessman but one with a heart and a brain.
    He summed up very simply yet eloquently the problems that property speculation was causing to NZ, “we are borrowing more and more from Australian Banks to buy the same houses off each other”.

  7. queenstfarmer 7

    Labour’s apparent new embrace of reducing taxation is to be congratulated. However, like the Republicans in the US, there is a gap between their desire to cut taxes and their desire to keep spending (albeit the Republicans do want to reduce spending whereas Labour’s policy is to increase spending at the same time).

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Where is Labour’s policy of increasing spending?

      GST off fruit and vegetables is a revenue cut.
      $5000 tax free is a revenue cut.
      R&D tax credits is (essentially) a revenue cut.

      • queenstfarmer 7.1.1

        Borrowing to “invest” in overseas shares (Cullen Fund), borrowing to “invest” in Kiwisaver, more spending on WFF… But the lolly scramble hasn’t begun in earnest yet.

        • Lanthanide

          Seems like they’re not “increasing” spending, simply continuing with the same spending path.

          National is too. They haven’t proposed to stop spending on Kiwisaver, WFF, and will resume contributions to the Cullen fund in ~2018 or something.

          • queenstfarmer

            No, Labour has said (for example) it will reinstate the borrowing-to-invest Cullen fund contributions.

        • Blighty

          what do you mean more spending on WFF?

          Borrowing to invest via the Cullen Fund is just a longer term version of what National is doing with the earthquake costs now – spreading the cost over time by borrowing now, holding the cash, making a nice return, and then using it to meet future costs.

          If you look at Treasury’s Cullen Fund model, earlier contributions means higher returns that exceed the cost of borrowing, all of which means we’re better placed to pay for superannuation in the future. Just like the government borrowing now for future earthquake costs.

          • queenstfarmer

            Whatever the Canterbury costs – which are incurred anyway – Labour’s policy is to increase spending above that, which was my point.

            Why the sensitivity at the suggestion Labour will increase spending?

            • bbfloyd

              qsf..it’s not sensitivity, it’s irritation because your claim is bullshit and you know it. do you really expect people here to roll over and accept what amounts to tawdry right wing trolling?

              way to steal other peoples lines by the way.. have the tories no imagination whatsoever? i don’t think i’ve ever actually heard anything come out of a tories mouth that had a shred of independent thought attached. would like to be surprised by that happening, but i ain’t holding my breath in anticipation.

              • queenstfarmer

                Which of the 3 specific examples I gave were wrong? I am always happy to stand corrected if something I have said is factually wrong.

                way to steal other peoples lines by the way
                Please enlighten me – which line(s) did I apparently steal, and from who? (I really am intrigued!)

                • QSF – Here’s where you’re wrong.

                  If you do the maths, borrowing $2 billion to invest in the Cullen Fund would have seen a net return to taxpayers over and above the cost of borrowing of $350 million. This sounds like a good investment to me.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Not at all. You are talking about a “would have” (which is another argument).

                    The question was, which of my statements above about Labour’s policies were wrong. Again, I’m happy to be corrected…

                    • You are talking about a “would have” (which is another argument).

                      I was talking about an actual decision taken by National, to the detriment of the NZ taxpayer. Bill English did indeed decide not to put $2 billion into the Cullen Fund, he did indeed decide to bail out South Canterbury Finance, he did indeed make the decisions that have left us poorer as a nation.

                      You seem to be implying that borrowing to invest in the Cullen Fund is poor economic management, when in fact the track record indicates exactly the opposite.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      TEISG, I wasn’t even commenting on the issue you have raised.

                      If you read this sub-thread, you will see that bbfloyd claimed that something I said was wrong, and I simply asked what exactly it was that is allegedly wrong.

                      So far, there has been no answer to that simple question.

                      [edit: I’d also like to know what lines I’ve apparently stolen!]

                    • OK, fair enough. Sounds like we are talking past one another … that’s been known to happen on Teh Internets!

    • mik e 7.2

      Queens street farmer the Republicans do exactly the same as National both Reagan and the Bushes ran up huge deficits and borrowed and hoped things would come right then gave tax cuts to the rich just like National

      • queenstfarmer 7.2.1

        Which makes it ironic, does it not, that Labour is now doing the same thing: borrowing to pay for tax cuts.

        • Colonial Viper


          Labour is increasing taxes on the wealthy to pay for tax cuts for everyone.

          CGT and top income tax goes up

          GST on fresh fruit and vegetables, $5K tax free, R&D tax credits are all taxes going down.

          But you already knew that 😛

          • Secret Squirrel

            According to Labour the top income tax approximately covers GST on fruit and veg.

            $5k tax free will not be covered by CGT for 5+ years, and if there are financial hiccups it will take longer.

            I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

        • mik e

          Not so ironic queenstfarmer their borrowing just $2billion more so we can hold on to to the $6billion worth of assets that National want flog off at fire sale prices that are returning nearly $800million a year, If or when those assets are gone wheres National going to find that income they haven,t explained that one yet, but I bet you it will be more borrow and hope

          • Secret Squirrel

            Revenue gained to pay for Labour’s spending increases – this table shows the projected bottom line numbers (net additional revenue in billions):
            2012: 0.122
            2013: -0.384
            2014: -0.648
            2015: -0.466
            2016: -0.283
            2017: -0.127
            2018: 0.238
            2019: 0.565
            2020: 0.977
            2021: 1.359
            2022: 1.752
            2023: 2.131
            2024: 2.515
            Total 7.781

            It doesn’t break even until 2018 – all going well. Average over 13 years 0.6b.

            Included in that is guesses for gains on tax avoidance (no indication how they plan to do that) of 0.3b per year, total 3.2b. Raising the top tax rate is likely to increase attempts at tax avoidance. If you discount that you end up with 350m a year on average. That’s nothing compared to current borrowings, it may not cover interest.

  8. I think Labour are going about their tax proposals about as badly as possible. Itseems to be all about trying to get enough votes to win, and nothing about sensible policy development and implementation.

    I’m not against CGT, it’s worth considering seriously. And not being used for political convenience.

    I’ve looked at the wrong way and the right way to implement CGT – or to implement any policy:

    Wrong way and right way of doing CGT.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Ahh, it’s Pete G. I wondered why the flimsy waffle coming from SS was so familiar.

      Probably I’m a bit slow in clicking to this.

      • What’s waffly about questioning the structuring of a potentially major change in taxation around attracting votes?

        I think that getting CGT right is far more important than being used as a flimflam of election politicking. It’s Labour that’s being flimsy here.

        • felix

          “What’s waffly about questioning the structuring of a potentially major change in taxation around attracting votes?”

          As usual you mistake criticism of what you’re actually doing with criticism of what you’re trying to do.

          Your article is a bullshit sandwich. That statement has zero to do with the validity of questioning the structuring of anything except your article.

          • Secret Squirrel

            You’re being waffly.

            What is your reaction to Labour’s tax package? Do you think it’s about the right balance? Do you think it will prevent avoidance well enough?

            • felix

              Those questions have nothing to do with your article.

              Besides, as I’ve noted there’s little point getting involved in a discussion with you as you run away as soon as your ideas are challenged.

              Again and again you start discussions to which I respond, and as soon as you can no longer argue your case without contradicting yourself you disappear from the thread, never to be seen again.

              You say you can’t spend all your time here responding, but you seem to have plenty of time every day to start new discussions with no intention of following them through.

              It’s not good enough from a politician claiming a new, consultative, communicative, inclusive way of doing politics. Anyone considering taking you and your party seriously should have a close look at how you conduct yourself on this site.

              In short, your words don’t match your actions Pete George. Poor show.

              • This topic is on reactions to the labour tax package, not catty little agendas.

                You obviously don’t want to reveal your reaction.

                • felix


                  If you think it’s a “catty little agenda” to expect you to back up what you say, follow through with your arguments, and engage in honest discussion about the ideas you raise…

                  … then you’re just another politician.

                  I’ve wasted enough time sharing my thoughts with you. It gets us nowhere as you refuse to engage in a two-way dialogue.

                  Apparently your so-called “new way of doing politics” is just a ruse to allow you a louder voice with which to shout your messages in the traditional one-way communication style.

                  Jeez Pete, even some of the large parties engage more honestly than you. So much for your new way.

                  If you were to take this opportunity to carry on with some of the many discussions you’ve run away from recently, I would take it as a sign of good faith, and a sign that I should regard you as anything other than a spammer.

                  • If you were honest you’d admit you’ve made no attempt to “engage in honest discussion”. I’ve asked you what your reaction was to the package and you’ve made no attempt to do that, you’ve just waffled about why you won’t.

                    I don’t mind if you don’t want to waste any more of your time doing that.
                    There are people and places who genuinely will engage in honest discussion.

                    • Secret

                      The problem is that you do not appear to have the slightest understanding of what you are talking about.  For instance you suggest that there has been no analysis of the actual figures for the tax take but if you have a look at Labour’s material you will see that it has been costed to a T.

                      Arguing with you is like arguing with a postal worker (no slight intended to postal workers) about the best method to use when engaging in brain surgery.  Except you seem to think that your opinion is just as valid as the opinion of a brain surgeon.

                      By all means debate the issues.  Get right into the specifics without this continuous “Labour and Greens bad” and “bloody politicians” lines that you have.  But your method of arguing is very frustrating.  Perhaps that is the intent. 

                    • The problem is that you do not appear to have the slightest understanding of what you are talking about.

                      Like when you didn’t have a clue about valuation day?

                      If you’re going to try and diss me for not knowing enough at least wait a day or two after a faux pas like that.

                      Labour only supplied the detailed figures to media in press kits, they weren’t readily available to us public plebs.

                    • felix

                      “If you were honest you’d admit you’ve made no attempt to “engage in honest discussion”

                      Are you asking me to pretend this is the first time we’ve engaged? You know full well that we’ve had this same conversation many times.

                      Do you want me to embarrass you by linking to previous discussions you’ve run away from? I’ve tried to let you retain some dignity by not doing so, but if you insist on this re-writing of recent history I’ll be forced to show you up to keep the record straight.

                      As I said above, based on your past behaviour I have no reason to believe you have any intention of having a discussion in good faith. Why should I follow you into yet another dead-end thread?

                      So let’s not waste time with these distractions. Let’s get on with the conversations we are already engaged in. We could start with the one about the definition of “mainstream” politics vs “niche” politics if you like. That was at a very interesting point when you last reneged. Would you like a link to the thread?

                      Or we could go back further and carry on the discussion about what happens when no parliamentarian opposes the ruling party. That was getting warm too.

                      You choose. I can provide links to either.

                    • Are you from the “must close off every discussion” police? Maybe not, you don’t seem to keep niggling at other threads you claim to be unfinished.

                      We could start with the one about the definition of “mainstream” politics vs “niche” politics if you like. That was at a very interesting point when you last reneged. Would you like a link to the thread?

                      I call you on that.

                      If you came back to it a day or two later I may have missed it, I don’t actually go back and check up on your every post just in case you’ve been left unsatisfied. But it’s not about that, is it.

                    • felix

                      “Are you from the “must close off every discussion” police? “

                      No, I’m from the “why should I believe you have any intention of a good faith discussion when your actions to date suggest the opposite, please sort it out if you expect people to take you seriously” police.

                      “If you came back to it a day or two later I may have missed it, I don’t actually go back and check up on your every post just in case you’ve been left unsatisfied”

                      No Pete, you run away from these threads in mid discussion whenever the debate gets too close to an uncomfortable truth that you don’t want to confront. It’s not days later, it’s often while you’re still on the site, happily posting on numerous other threads.

                      It’s also a lie to say that you don’t go back and check the threads regularly, as your continued posting in this very one proves.

                      You’re a politician now Pete, and you can expect to be held to account for the things you do and say.

                      So man up and follow through with your arguments.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      S.S. talking about having honest discussion?

                      Dude gimme a break.

                    • felix, your said “You choose. I can provide links to either.”

                      I chose.

                      You’re the one that’s not fronting up. Again.

                    • You responded half a day later demanding I jump to your questions. I’m sure if I could be bothered I could find threads you have not gone back to – like you didn’t notice my response here here because you were too busy chasing your agenda.

                      I suggest you go back to my last post on that thread and study the meaning niche that I provided. If that isn’t clear to you look it up in a dictionary or on the internet.

                      Then come back here and try to pretend you are doing something clever again.

                    • felix

                      You’re capable of following threads over several hours. You’re doing it now. You did it on this thread yesterday.

                      I responded to your last post. Your concepts are not at all well defined. I’m trying to distil the truth in them.

                      You need to define what “mainstream” means if it isn’t defined by numbers. You haven’t.

                      You also need to define what “niche” means if it isn’t defined by numbers. You haven’t.

                      Your explanations of your use of both terms rely on the numbers of people involved, and in spite of your insistence that they don’t, nothing you’ve actually said demonstrates otherwise.

                      Please continue. We’ll get to the bottom of this in time.

                      I’m off to the tip so you’ll have all afternoon to think about it, but I’ll be very disappointed if I come back and find you’ve run away again.

                    • felix – funny but futile 🙂

                      Check with your father-persona for a niggle that won’t disappoint you.

                    • felix

                      Ah well, my hopes weren’t high.

                      It seems we’ve already come to the point in the discussion where you are unwilling to admit to what you’ve been implying, so I may as well lay it out for you.

                      The reason you think Peter Dunne is “mainstream” while the Greens are “niche” – despite the electoral record consistently showing that Peter Dunne appeals to a far smaller niche – is that you’re not talking about numbers at all.

                      When you use words like “niche” and “fringe” and “mainstream” you’re actually talking about your perception of a type of person. And you think some types of people’s votes/values are more important than others.

                      That’s why you think a party with 0.87% of the vote is a more valid representative of NZ than a party with 7%. Because Dunne is more representative of people like you.

                      You think you’re normal – like most of us do – so you think of people who you agree with as normal, mainstream, ordinary kiwis. You think Green voters are a bunch of weirdos and you don’t think they represent what you think of as “normal” society.

                      Here’s the thing, Pete: There’s nothing wrong with you thinking that. The trouble with your argument is that you don’t want to say it out loud.

                      You don’t want to admit that you place a higher importance on the values and ideas of people you agree with (which is quite natural btw) because to do so would put the lie to your bullshit about wanting politicians to be blank slates with no ideas who can simply reflect the wishes of everybody equally with your “new way of doing politics”.

                      See when you talk about “the voters” as a homogeneous group which can be read and consulted with and have its needs catered to as if it were a single entity, you’re really just thinking about the people you agree with. That’s why you think it should be easy; you’re not anticipating any significant disagreement. It’s just “common sense”, right? It’s just “what everyone wants”, right?

                      Not. We all want different things, we all have different priorities. That’s why we vote for different people to represent us.

                      Fact: Anyone in NZ can vote for Peter Dunne’s party, but seven times more think the Greens represent their interests better.

                      Fact: Peter Dunne is in Parliament due to the support of a tiny niche of geographically concentrated voters in Ohariu.

                      Fact: You’ll get a lot more respect and support if you’re honest your beliefs and priorities, than if you continue with the falsehood that you can equally represent the multiple and contradictory wishes of the whole of society.

                  • Jum

                    @felix …
                    18 July 2011 at 1:03 am

                    Excellent comment.

          • Secret Squirrel

            My reaction to the package is similar to others. Like:

            Tax policy ‘a very poor piece of work’ – expert

            PricewaterhouseCoopers chairman John Shewan joined Firstline this morning to explain why he’s “really disappointed” with the tax package, which he says “turns the New Zealand tax system into a camel…how badly affected you are depends on what side of the hump you’re on on a particular day”.

            Mr Shewan says while he’s not opposed to a capital gains tax, Labour is going about it the wrong way and the tax package as a whole is “extraordinarily complex”.


            Labour’s tax plan sends ‘perverse signals’ – accountant

            The Chairman of Accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers, John Shewan told AMP Business the plan unfairly targets the better off.

            “To me this package sends a signal that if you’re in the top 10% don’t hang around,” he said.

            “We talk about fairness, it’s probably not well known that half of New Zealand households pay no net tax at all, the top 10% pay about 60% – 65% of net tax and the top 2% pay over 20%. In terms of fairness we’re saying that very top group needs to pay more? To me that sends some very perverse signals.”

            He said Labour seems to have ignored most of the advice it was given by the Tax Working Group and believes its strategy would get a mark of “three out of 10” if it was to be reviewed by the OECD.

            But they’re just experts – Labour plan to consult experts is in the future.

            Also from the “perverse” article:

            Cunliffe said he was not afraid of wealthy Kiwis moving away from the country.

            • Lanthanide

              John Shewan is measuring the tax against a theoretical CGT which is impossible to implement.

              He wants it to cover all property, no exemption for the family house, and wants it to be levied continually, not just when the asset is realised. The first will never pass politically (only Japan has that), and the 2nd also wouldn’t pass politically and is fraught with it’s own problems – how do we determine the true capital gain on your investment property in any given year? The whole point of a realisation tax is: 1. when the tax is due, you actually have money to pay for it, and 2. when the asset is sold, you have a definitive number on the value of the asset, because you just sold it, and assets are only truly worth what someone else is willing to pay.

            • mik e

              So what your saying is the ones who organize their tax right not to pay any tax or little as possible deserve to get away with it .Read Gareth Morgan + about 70% of economists in this country and abroad. and stop making excuses for tax dodging . Your excuse should be why should any one pay tax then. One of the best excuses I have heard so far its my money and I,ve already paid tax on it now i,m putting all my hard earned money into property why should I pay tax on this .Well every body else in any other form of business has to eg retailers invest in product on sell are taxed every time they sell something just because the investment is bigger does it mean you pay nothing or less, I think not its an unfair advantage and its the reason this country has a $172 billion debt in this area as well the rest of us tax payers are subsidizing your businesses to the tune of $500milion a year while you build untaxed capital gain.

            • Colonial Viper

              Forget John Shewan’s opinion, it’s just one mans perception and we can easily get another.

              • Jim Nald

                John Shewan – who? what?

                As John Key would say …

                “He’s one [accountant], and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview.”

            • Colonial Viper

              Who cares about PwC, they were always second rate and you’ll note that none of the other big players back their point of view.

              Plenty of ‘experts’ out there mate – John Key said so – and these guys worthless opinions are a dime a dozen.

        • bbfloyd

          no.ss, lanth is right. your (opinion) is utterly devoid of anything of substance. it is no more than poorly disguised party political bigotry.

          if you don’t enjoy being lampooned(and that’s about all the response you ever get) then i suggest you open both eyes and give considered opinions.. unlike some who seem to need proof that any opinion is grounded in reality
          (got a link?), most of us here understand that opinions are just that. a personal viewpoint. but i would suggest that an informed opinion is relatively easy to spot once the eyes are open.. just as bigoted ranting and critisism is easy to spot.

      • kriswgtn 8.1.2

        lol thought u had clicked Lanth

        His poor arguments and attempts @ diversion-snapped him straight away

  9. Alwyn 9

    I was intrigued by the idea that “Ten dollars more per week would give me great joy”.
    Presumably when National put up the minimum wage from $12.75 to $13.00 that was also very good for her, rather than the chickenfeed that the Labour party seemed to think it was?
    I fear that if Labour ever get to introduce these ideas, and at least it won’t be in the next term of Parliament, we will become like Australia. If you live there it is necessary to have an Accountant to do your tax return. If you try and do it yourself you will almost certainly end up paying to much tax, or break the law in doing your return, or most probably both.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      The minimum wage going up 25c/hour gives you $10 gross per week. Before tax. You only get $8.046 in the hand after income tax and ACC is paid.

      $8.046 is less than $10, so Labour’s tax policy will benefit her more than a 25c rise in the minimum wage.

      • Alwyn 9.1.1

        In that case I suppose we have to find a state of pleasure that is 20% less than “great joy”.
        Perhaps the increase in the minimum wage made her very happy? Does that sound about right?
        However, if, as my local, (Labour), MP claims, food prices have risen by about 25% in the last three months she would have been just as well of with the Minimum wage increase, ne c’est pas?
        Oh what the hell. It’s still cold but it’s the first non-gale day for a week. I’m going for a walk. Life is too short to spend a fine day playing word games on a blog.

        • Lanthanide

          Labour is going to introduce the $5000 tax free and also continue to raise the minimum wage.

          They’ve mooted putting it up to $15, but I don’t think they have firmly committed to that yet.

          So this lady will have “great joy” in that she gets a tax cut and a pay rise, whereas under National all she got was a measly pay rise and tax cut that was soon eaten up by the GST increase.

      • freedom 9.1.2

        i would like to add that the GST hike wiped that out even with the generous tax cut of about $1.60 a week actually received instead of the ‘north of $50 a week’ cuts promised by Key.

        Now Alwyn, quibble the figures, go on. Please do, because it only highlights how disconnected things are from reality when people justify the value of a Policy on the fact that a minimum wage earner is better off because they get an extra $2 a day.

        $2 a day for doing jobs that are often dangerous. jobs that are frequently demanding both physically and mentally. Jobs generally more difficult than many professionals would realise but more importantly, that they are jobs many professionals would be reluctant to admit they personally could not do and definitely would not do week in week out for minimum wage.

        It might be amusing when a boss gets his hands dirty as the cameras roll and the one-liners flow, but when the tv crew goes home and reality returns, the lives on the grindstone that drives this economy know full well they don’t have a choice and $10 a week bloody well does matter

        • Deadly_NZ

          The tax cuts north of $50.00 never were for you it was just a number put out there to con the voters and here we are almost 3 years later and the country is massively in debt the only people that got the ‘north of $50.00 tax cuts were KY’s mates, and the rich in general, all who don’t need the money, they just want more and more, they are rapacious.

          • Colonial Viper

            Key didn’t tell us at the time, but when he said north of $50 he was talking only to his mates on $100,000 p.a. upwards.

    • bbfloyd 9.2

      so a 25c pay rise covered all the price increases that that woman had to cover? food, clothing, rent, childcare, rent, electricity, to name some of the basic items that this woman is paying much more than her puny 25c payrise can cover.

      have you got an informed opinion on this issue? or are you just another poor basher? you sound like one. apart from the crass oversimplification your argument rests on bigoted and ignorant assumption on issues that you havn’t the slightest knowledge.. typical tory asshole..

  10. Treetop 10

    I don’t need to analyse any graph to know why the country is in such a pooh.
    1) A short term thinking PM, if I don’t win the election I’m gone after only three years.
    2) A short term thinking Minister of Finance, borrow now, cry later as the debt has got too big.

    Labour to the rescue with their long term stratergy to save the country from being sold off.

    CONGRATULATIONS Labour for having the insight to give all NZers a better future compared to what the current government has on offer.

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    I see the Labour Party still hasn’t noticed that the global economic system is falling apart, due to peaking of resources and environmental.collapse, so they carrying on churning out irrelevant nonsense.

    But being politicians, they wouldn’t notice anything happening in the real world, would they?

    It’s the same for the corporate media, of course. They keep up the pretence that the system has a future, even as it collapses.

    The big unaswered question is: Are the Labour party just ignorant fools or are they lackeys of global corporations? The evidence indicates a mixture of both.

    Such interesting times.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      If Labour went all doom and gloom as you propose, they wouldn’t be elected anyway. So there’s no gain to be had in taking that approach.

    • KJT 11.2

      Cmon. Labour is progressing in the right direction, finally! Give them some credit.

    • bbfloyd 11.3

      afktt….do you ever listen to yourself? attributing the kind of blind stupidity is doing no more than exposing your own limited thinking. it’s actually a common theme i’ve been hearing from all the reactionary morons on these sites.

  12. Jeff 12

    This poorly thought out policy will have another ramification. Suddenly, owning an investment property has become a whole lot less attractive to investors. Some have stated they will need to increase rents by 6-10% to cover. I would suggest that many small time property investors will now simply not bother. Who will fill the gap and house the 30-40% of New Zealanders who do not own their own home?

    • KJT 12.1

      If they all sell up it will drive house prices down. Other landlords will buy the cheaper house and/or more tenants will be able to buy. All good!

      • Jeff 12.1.1

        But what about the requirement for new housing stock ?….. And how do you think the erosion of a persons wealth is “all Good?

        • Blighty

          what evidence do you have that it is landlords in the game only for capital gain (and on such narrow margins that losing 15% of their capital gain would make it untenable) that drive housing supply?

          In my experience, hardly any new builds are rentals, apart from some apartments.

          Remember, you can still be a landlord with CGT, it just remains 15% less capital gain. IF your business model relies on speculating that the value of your capital will rise and your sums are so tight that 15% is life or death, you’re in the wrong business.

          • freedom

            It is the existing properties falling into fewer and fewer hands that has driven people out of the market. New builds are never built for the sole purpose of becoming a rental. (I will mention though an apartment block is a slightly different scenario)

            Few individuals have the drive to see a new-house-build through and these days that is more usually a project done enmasse by a development company anyway. These are then transferred into the market bit by bit as folk decide the suburb is not for them, or the house isn’t what they wanted or they get made redundant and have to move out of the area. But sure enough you return to a housing development within five years and i strongly suspect at least half would have become rentals.

        • aj

          Jeff @ 11:10am

          Would you agree that the erosion of every person’s wealth is not good, or just people who are already wealthy?

          Because there is ample evidence that the majority of workers are going backwards over the last 30 months, but the top 10% are making out like bandits.

          So, I agree with your comment, but point out that the Nats have already eroded far more people’s wealth than Labour tax plans ever will

      • MrSmith 12.1.2

         KJT, respectfully. Why would anyone buy a house if it was going to depreciate year by year , do you think the banks would lend you money on something that will depreciate?, (please don’t bring out the car/boat example) we may as well all rent then you’ll say, but if the landlords investment is going to depreciate why would she/he invest (unless he/she can be compensated for the loss of capital by ever increasing rents), so we may as well all pitch a tent. 

        The fractional reserve monetary system is inflationary and until the system is changed, we will be stuck in the never ending inflationary cycle, most people on the right understand this, thats why they have most of the money, sorry but I can hear their laughter from here.

    • Treetop 12.2

      The oppertunity for people to buy their first home will be more attractive as homes would probably become cheaper.

      The government could increase their housing stock.

      The government could increase the accommodation supplement.

      • Jeff 12.2.1

        Andthereby increase Government exenditure and create a need for even more taxation

        • Treetop

          Redistribution is necessary. Wait until you are struggling, you will see live very differently.

          • Treetop

            life not live

          • Jeff

            gee does that not sound a lot like communisim.

            I have struggled having lost job, marriage, house and have over a number of years clawed myself out of “struggle street” through a mixture of retraining, damned hardwork and desire

            • felix

              It is commun1sm. We’re all commun1sts here.

              Are we done now Jeff? I wouldn’t stick around too long or we’ll redistribute your assets and turn your kids into hippies.

            • framu

              well – its a good thing that there was a functioning society there to provide the infrastructure for you to do those things to improve your own lot.

            • Colonial Viper

              through a mixture of retraining, damned hardwork and desire

              Who subsidised your retraining mate?

            • Treetop

              Jeff, meaning of redistribution:
              1. The act or process of redistributing
              2. An economic theory or policy that advocates reducing inequalities in the redistribution of wealth

              While you are there do a search for communism.

              Nice to see that you got back on your feet. Hope you do not get dealt the health card with multiple conditions.

            • Vicky32

              I have struggled having lost job, marriage, house and have over a number of years clawed myself out of “struggle street” through a mixture of retraining, damned hardwork and desire

              You forgot to mention luck!

    • Blighty 12.3

      when the Randian superhero landlords quit the market or go to Aussie (which also has a CGT) will they be taking their rental properties with them?

      No. They’ll be selling them, at lower prices, and renters will be able to become homeowners not renters.

      Landlords do not change the supply of housing that is available, just who owns it and how it is paid for.

      • mik e 12.3.1

        The big Aussie banks won,t like that the amount they lend will go down their profits will go down their risk will go up because lending on an income producing property is far less risky than to a family with children who are seen as liabilities.

        • Lanthanide

          Rentals don’t “produce” income. They get rent from the tenant. If you have no tenants, you have no rental income to pay the mortgage.

          If you’re forced to reduce the rent very low to attract tenants (maybe your house sucks, or maybe there’s oversupply), then the rental may not be enough for you to pay the mortgage with, and so you have to sell the house.

          To be honest, I think the average mortgage on an investment property, especially if it is highly geared, would be more risky to the banks. A family that owns a house will typically do everything they can to prevent foreclosure. On a rental, there isn’t as much impetus to pull out all the stops.

    • freedom 12.4

      i still await someone to explain why rents will go up? apart from the obvious greed factor of course

      it’s not rocket science surely, you only pay tax when selling the investment, so that does not nor should it affect rent paid during the ownership of the property, unless of course you expect the tenant to pay your tax debt that is due to your purchasing a property that you did not need.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.5

      Suddenly, owning an investment property has become a whole lot less attractive to investors.

      That’s the whole friggen point you moron.

      Who will fill the gap and house the 30-40% of New Zealanders who do not own their own home?

      Well, you never know, they may be able to afford to buy their own now.

  13. Jim Nald 13

    Bill “hodge podge” English had said CGT is the right thing to do.
    But, this morning radio, he is expressing sour grapes.

    • Jeff 13.1

      You seem to forget that Phil Goof as recently as February this year said Labour would not inroduce a CGT

      • Jim Nald 13.1.1

        Good on him for reviewing and having had a rethink about CGT.

        Phil was not going to get my vote on Nov 26. But I am now considering giving my vote to strengthen Labour’s announcement yesterday which has taken into account Alliance’s and Greens’ policy proposals.

        Better to be in a car in which the driver is willing to reconsider, think and go for a more progressive route for NZ. Key and Double Dipton have their own self-interest fingerprinted all over unfair tax cuts, engineered debt and asset sales – they’ll take off when they’ve taken care of their own pockets and leave us stranded to deal with our economic woes.

        • Lanthanide

          A vote for Labour has the potential to do more than a vote for the Alliance does.

          I’d recommend you vote Green though.

    • He probably had hoped for a simple fine wine, and not have the bunch stomped on by politicians stampeding towards the election.

  14. Tom Gould 14

    “there are in a dream world, or, more likely, trying to bully and trick us into keep on subsidising them.”

    So true, and they are very good at it, and make a lot of money out of bullying and tricking ordinary folks, which is ironic I guess?

  15. Ianupnorth 15

    On a side note I was researching something else and found an interesting table on p. 9 of this document http://www.cafonline.org/pdf/International%20Comparisons%20of%20Charitable%20Giving.pdf
    To cut to the chase it points out that in most OECD countries there are contributions made by both employees AND employers towards ‘Social Security’ – in the UK this was called ‘National Insurance’ – everyone has their NI number which is needed for your tax returns and when you claim any benefit.
    New Zealand has no similar scheme; in Aussie employers pay 5.7%. – when you look at the total income taxation take NZ doesn’t actually take anywhere near the levels of other countries
    NB I note the report is from 2005 – I accept figures maybe out of date.

  16. randal 16

    full credit to the other side.
    el blingo. no tax and spend.
    find out how to do more with less.
    tough times lie ahead.

  17. I see that Casey Plunket, Chapman Tripp lawyer and serial complainer, is actually a partner in their tax team and specialises in the sort of structured finance that proved so hugely successful at preventing economic meltdown in 2008:

    Casey is a partner in our tax team focusing on corporate transactions, managed funds and structured finance transactions.

    Quality. But the real question is, in the context of his comments is he a lawyer or more of a lobbyist? Because I’m sure some of his clients will be using the arbitrage between the Australian and NZ tax rates to minimise their obligations to society.

    • Ianupnorth 17.1

      To be fair to the tory git (Casey) he clearly shows his allegiances on his page
      The man is a mean spirited, greedy, tight arse IMHO.

    • Jum 17.2

      The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

      Casey advises the New Zealand Government on tax matters and has assisted US investors such as Edison Mission, Brunswick Corporation, Heinz and many US and Australian private equity funds with structuring New Zealand direct investments.’ (their website)

      He is a fifth columnist. Chapman Tripp also advises this government on how to sell off as many of our assets as possible for as little as possible to foreigners. Farm land is like a gold strike to carpetbaggers like Casey aka Crafar farms. He and his firm have no loyalty to New Zealanders.

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        He and his firm have no loyalty to New Zealanders.

        They are citizens of a wealthy elite, not citizens of NZ.

  18. toad 18

    Green-Labour capital gains tax could cause big economic migrant problem for Turkey.

    • Lanthanide 18.1


      Labour plans to bring in CGT in April 2013 though, so “following New Zealand and Switzerland introducing taxes on capital gains last year.” is incorrect if the press release is dated Oct 2013.

      Also “underclass of bludgers” is already a term used to describe beneficiaries. You probably want something like “upperclass of bludgers”. Something alluding to scum on top of a swamp could be used as a description too.

      • toad 18.1.1

        Oops, October 2014

        • Secret Squirrel

          Toad, how differently would Greens do a CGT if they could design it?

          If the Greens go into coalition with Labour would the push for improvements? Or would they be happy to settle with this Labour version? Subject to Expert Group input I guess.

    • Vicky32 18.2

      Green-Labour capital gains tax could cause big economic migrant problem for Turkey.

      Good luck to them! I have a Turkish friend on a language forum who has told me that Turkey isn’t very welcoming to such.., 😀

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    Govt Says Capital Gains Tax Could Kill You

    Meanwhile, National Party finance minister, Bill English claimed that “People will spontaneously explode if covered in money and filling up with petrol while smoking a cigarette”.

    Labour is accusing the Government of resorting to deliberate misinformation.

    “It’s an outlandish assumption”, said Cunliffe.

    “Everyone knows that people can’t afford petrol!”

  20. prism 20

    Is that a dagger I see before me? Joky Hen thinks that CGT will drive a dagger through NZs economic recovery. Roger Kerr blames our lack of progress in prosperity on, which old saw was it, productivity I think. It would be good to hear something new and encouraging for the country in the economic sphere not this old regurgitated stuff.

    I think we could develop an event that would be exciting and both serious and amusing to commemorate the economy’s new ideas and all its everlasting cliches, combining Asian and British/Irish features. On November 5 we have our usual Guy Fawkes fire and, as the Asians do, we write something meaningful on a scrap of board, throw it into the fire and send it off to the heavens. Maybe through that we could symbolically bring new ideas forward, phoenix-like out of the ashes.

  21. burt 21

    Oh, well Labour always did like picking the winners and losers. Their last term they made the commercial property sector swim in cash by expanding the public service and building lots of flash new towers for them, this time it looks like the accountants and tax lawyers get anointed.

    But hey, the IRD will fill up all the spare building space in Wellington with tax inspectors to trawl through complicated tax returns to enforce compliance. Hell if Labour get three terms again it will be the decade of the tax practitioners sorting out the property speculators that boomed under the last Labour govt.

    This just shows how entirely based on popularity Labour policies really are and it also shows how completely stupid (and pointless) they really are. I just don’t get why Labour love such complicated tax regimes, it’s as if their only real ambition is to fill up Wellington with IRD employees and every other city with accountants and tax lawyers.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      decade of the tax practitioners sorting out the property speculators that boomed under the last Labour govt.

      CGT won’t look at property values retrospectively. The baseline value used will be at the date of enactment of the legislation.

      • burt 21.1.1

        Yeah OK sure, but the entire property speculation game ( which has always been with us and will probably always be with us) is going to change. IRD are going to get a whole new set of parameters to measure and enforce compliance and implement a whole bunch of new systems…

        So, we still get a decade of the tax practitioners sorting out the property speculators ( using a new and exciting array of minimisation/avoidance techniques ) that boomed under the last Labour govt.

        • Secret Squirrel

          CGT already applies on property speculation, and National had already substantially tightened up on it.

          • mickysavage

            National had already substantially tightened up on it

            Link please.

          • burt

            Sure, but that’s the real speculators not the mum and dad batch (or single rental property) owners.

          • burt

            The other thing is that once again the Labour rhetoric will be hollow – their “target the rich” will fail because the rich will spread their properties around their family and deposit it in trusts if it isn’t already. It will be the middle ground that takes the hammering – like always under Labour.

            • mickysavage

              Some will.  There are some rich however who pay tax and do not try and avoid it.  Failure to collect 100% of the tax does not mean that it is a failure or that you should not do it.

            • Colonial Viper

              their “target the rich” will fail because the rich will spread their properties around their family and deposit it in trusts if it isn’t already.

              If these rich have so little loyalty to NZ, why should NZ have loyalty to them?

              We’re not going to kowtow to a bunch of wealthy financial hostage takers. They are welcome to frak off somewhere without a CGT, say Switzerland or Turkey.

  22. burt 22


    I think the comparison of tax rates between Labour, National and Aussie makes no sense without the numbers of Aussies relative to the green curve. How can we possibly guess how similar the models are with only one part of the Aussie model.

  23. Afewknowthetruth 23

    I see that mentioning the truth has elicited the usual responses from those who are ignorant of the facts.

    It is, of course, the refusal of the vast majority to think outside the boxes provded for them by the system that will ensure that the unpleasant situation we are now in will develop into ‘doom and gloom’ you all keep going on about. Geology couldn’t care less which party you vote for. Geochemistry couldn;t care less which party you votr for. And neither will your grandchildren care which party you voted for. . They’ll just ask: “What was wrong with those people that they behaved so insanely?”

    The system is what is enslaving you, and the system is what is destroying the planet you live on. Those basic truths are obviously too hard for a lot of people to understand.

    So, after the coming election farce, we’ll either have a National government that is run by global corporations and bankers or we’ll have a Labour government that is run by global corporations and bankers. And everything that actually matters will continue to get worse by the day.

    • freedom 23.1

      “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood,
      let alone believed, by the masses.” – Plato

      fifteen hundred years and nothing has changed,
      you’d think humans would have woken up by now

    • Jum 23.2


      Apart from the Douglas years Labour has always outshone National. We must also remember that it was a National government that put us into global hock in the first place.

      The difference between the two parties is we expect National to be about greedy global corporations and bankers and we expect Labour to be about people and egalitarian behaviour.

      I personally am counting on Labour to be in Government this year. My expectation of them will be for them to remember why they exist and that is to always consider people over corporate profit. You can have both the wellbeing of people and an ethical profit that considers its future beneficiaries – that’s all New Zealanders’ offspring.

      Labour is on that path. How they handle the TPPA (the intended control by (American) foreign corporates over NZ) will determine just how different they are from National.

      The spirit of New Zealand may already be dead from the takeover by America’s men John Key and Roger Douglas and their business rotundtable scavengers.

      • Afewknowthetruth 23.2.1


        Expect to be disappointed if Labour gains office.

        Labour’s track record is little short of appalling: it’s only National’s even worse performace that persuades people to vote Labour.

        1. The sell off of NZ commenced under a Labour government..

        2. Free trade and integration of NZ into the corrupt global economy was vigorously promoted by Labour under Helen Clark.

        3. Micheal Cullen promoted the misinvestment of NZ money overseas.

        4. I have a letter from Phil Goff (written several years ago) telling me he fully supported the pro-globalisation, pro-corporate policies of the then leader.

        5. When in government, Labour did absolutely nothing on the major issues of our times, which are peak oil, out-of-control CO2 emissions and overpopulation, other than make all of them worse.

        Goff and company are all either incompetent fools or outright liars. That’s why I won’t be voting for any of them.

        Labour-National: two sides of the same coin. That’s why after Labour, National, Labour, National, Labour, National over the past 40 years NZ is in the worst state it’s ever been in. The Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Warburgs, Morgans etc. who are running the show don’t care whether a Labour government is elected or a National government is elected because they will remian in control of the system and will tell the government what has to be done.

        So, whichever get in at the next media-orchestrated circus described as an election, everything that actually matters will get much worse. And everything will continue to get worse until people wake up to what the political system is and how it operates.

        For some people that will be never, of course.

        • Jum


          Then, on your current diagnoses, expect NActMU back in office and allowing Douglas to finish off ‘unfinished business’. Thanks a lot.

          As for your comments:

          1. Labour has learned from that.
          2. Spare me that crap; the damage had been done by Douglas in the 80s. Clark was an outcast in that little fish and chip scrum because she was a female.
          3. NZ Super, um, that hugely increased the income for New Zealand and the baby boomers.
          4. Copy please and while you’re at it, prove he had any say in that decision. Then remember he has since said Labour has learned its lesson. He realises this is Labour’s last chance as a credible choice for workers.
          5. Your opinion, and if I remember with the forests, it was the foreign/domestic owners who deliberately cut down forests because of a dispute over carbon tax income dispersal. Also, at least they showed willing on the public transport front.

          I want Labour to win because after that, if they cannot return New Zealand to an egalitarian country then I will be attacking them. I have no illusions about politics; it is run by greedy, selfish international interests. What I do know is that New Zealanders, if they have any strength of egalitarian character left in them, will watch and attack the next government, whichever it is if it steps out of line and betrays its future, i.e. its children. If it is Labour, I will be watching; if it is National the people, especially the women, deserve what they get. As for the women of this country; they should be ashamed that they are more interested in greed, by voting in National in 2008, than they are in preserving all their country’s children’s interests of a safe, healthy lifestyle.

  24. Garner on The Nation talked to Gareth Morgan on the CGT, and I pretty much agree with him.

    He congratulates Labour for bringing CGT up and putting it on the table, but says there are some many loopholes in their version you could drive a bus through them.

    He also criticises National’s initial reaction.

    Morgan says that political parties won’t do the hard things necessary unless they are made to by the public. I agree.

    The best thing that can happen now is to open up debate on CGT, and
    – force Labour to get sensible with a decent version
    – force National to also agree to the benefits of CGT and consider adding one.

    Then either way we can get what we want – and a proper non-politicised version.

    I’m not anti-CGT nor anti-Labour, I’m anti poor political process.

    • MrSmith 24.1

      “I’m not anti-CGT nor anti-Labour, I’m anti poor political process.”
      Bullshit SS/PeteG, you are a concern Troll and now an old Act party voter waffling on about poor political process, Ha!

  25. MrSmith 25

    Can someone here tell me if trusts will be subject to a CGT ? 

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Pretty sure they will be…at least thats what the NZH suggested today.

    • Page 6:
      9. Trusts: We will ensure trusts are not used as a means of avoiding a CGT.

      Pages 11-12:
      We will ensure trusts are not used as a means of avoiding a CGT. As a general principle, capital gains attained from assets in a trust will be liable for CGT. Transfers of assets into trusts should generally be regarded as CGT ‘events’.

      The Expert Panel will be asked to provide advice on outstanding issues in relation to trusts, in cooperation with the Law Commission. This will include whether CGT is applied to distribution to a beneficiary or unit holder or upon realisation even if that occurs within a trust structure. There may also be technical issues relating to Trans-Tasman treatment of assets.

      Main Residences in Trust
      The Expert Panel in cooperation with the Law Commission will explore mechanisms to ensure a family home can be protected from liability without giving up the main residence exemption.

      Some people will have their main residence in a trust in order to protect the asset from liability from things such as law suits, where the trust has no income and has no existing tax liability, rather than out of a desire to minimise their tax liability. Our view is that people who wish to protect their main residence from legal liability (and have no other tax implications) should be able to benefit from the family home exemption.

      Page 18:
      21. Are assets in a trust going to be taxed?
      Yes. We think it is important to ensure that people cannot escape paying CGT simply by hiding assets in trusts.

      22. If my family home is in a trust, will it be taxed?
      No. The fundamental principle is that the family home will not incur a CGT. We understand that people do sometimes place their family home in a trust to mitigate business or creditor risk. It’s not our intention to penalise those who have done this. Trust law is complex though, so how we manage this will be decided once we get advice from our Expert Panel.

      So much of it is up to the experts, eventually, maybe.

  26. st oliver 26

    Casey Plunket is a member of the government’s tax working group. He was raised by a solo mother in Porirua and worked as a nurse aide mainly with the elderly and infirm to put himself through univeristy in the 1980’s. He has been an adviser to Labour and National Government’s on tax administration for more than twenty years.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      And today, he is well paid batting for the rich and the wealthy capital owners. And not for the elderly, infirm, nurses aides or university students.

      Who is a CGT going to hit hardest? Those with the most invested wealth.

      Who is against a rebalancing of the tax system away from a focus on ordinary wages to a focus on capital? Those with the most invested wealth.

      That’s who Casey bats for. His clients. And only a select group can afford to be his clients.

    • freedom 26.2

      regarding his university days you hold aloft so quickly, remember this small point,
      If he attended University in the 80s then he had a stable student allowance and zero fees to pay to attend university, paid by the taxpayers of the day.

  27. chris73 27

    Dear team,

    Yesterday’s launch went bril­liantly and the first round of media has been very positive.

    We have been heart­ened by the pos­i­tive sup­port from experts, the grow­ing traf­fic to thewww.ownourfuture.co.nz linked site and won­der­ful feed­back on the video (avail­able on the ownourfuture.co.nz website).

    How­ever, as we all know the NACT team will be com­ing for us over the week­end, there will be hic­cups includ­ing a TVNZ poll taken before the launch and with­out the pol­icy details. We want to keep the momen­tum going as much as is possible.

    The key point for us is not to be dragged down into the detail on the CGT. The pub­lic don’t care and we get boring.

    We need to stay at a higher level. Let’s keep deal­ing with the why’s :- pay­ing off the debt, not sell­ing the assets and hav­ing a fairer tax sys­tem. A big part of spread­ing the word about Labour’s tax pol­icy is through our social net­work­ing sites.

    How to spread the word

    · Send the email you get on to friends

    · Share the web­site link http://www.ownourfuture.co.nz

    · Share good arti­cles from the papers

    · Retweet sup­port­ive com­ments from com­men­ta­tors and third parties

    · When tweet­ing please use #ownourfuture

    · Avatars are attached – please switch out at 3pm

    · Share the site on Facebook

    Sug­gested lines for sta­tus updates and tweets

    Gen­eral lines:

    · Labour’s plan to keep assets and pay off debt #ownourfuture

    · Labour’s bold plan for the econ­omy– most NZers will get a tax break #ownourfuture

    · NZ not for sale #ownourfuture

    · Fam­ily home exempt – tax not ret­ro­spec­tive #ownourfuture

    · Kiwis bet­ter off with Labour #ownourfuture

    · Stop Asset Sales #ownourfuture

    · Labour’s plan means we can keep our assets #ownourfuture

    · If you are in a hole, don’t sell the lad­der #ownourfuture

    · Labour: Keep our assets to grow our econ­omy not some­one else’s #ownourfuture

    · Labour’s tax reform will pay the debt down, and lets Kiwis own our future. #ownourfuture

    Let’s keep the con­ver­sa­tion going.


    Key words: The public don’t care

    Nice one Trev

  28. Jum 28

    chris 73

    Absolutely, the public don’t care. They’re too stupid to realise that America’s man John Key is selling them off along with the assets they built and/or paid for, you stupid rightwing stooge.

    What really amuses me is that you and your twisted little gnomes are really pissed that a) you didn’t do the capital gains tax first and that you are being shown up for the greedy selfish government you are or b) that Kiwis still actually care about their country; that is their only redeeming feature given they were stupid enough to vote for JKeyll and Hide in the first place.

    Meanwhile, thanks for helping to spread the word that Labour wants to save our New Zealander-owned assets, unlike you government pondscum.

    • chris73 28.1

      Labour has form when it comes to selling SOEs
      Feel Goofy has when it comes to selling SOEs
      Labour has form buying back former SOEs at inflated prices

      John Key hasn’t sold any SOEs
      John Key is telling people before the election what he intends to do (did Labour say they were going to sell SOEs before they were elected)

      John Key is more trustworthy then Labour

      And more swing voters believe the above statements then don’t believe it and thats why National will win the next election

      And no amount of bile you or anyone else spills on here will change that before the next election

      • Jum 28.1.1

        -1st paragraph – Labour has learned its lesson; most people learn when assets now owned by foreignors or private interests betray New Zealanders (obviously you have not). Goff has already stated that – are you that dim you didn’t read, hear, see that.
        – 2nd paragraph – wrong – Jkeyll has already pocketed the money from the unsold SOE assets that belong to all Kiwis in the last budget – how corrupt is that! JKeyll is not mentioning that he intends to fully privatise those assets so he is lying still. He also intends to sell off Ports of Auckland, etc and our precious Kiwibank and other iconic Kiwi assets, because the LG2002 legislation has already geared that up.
        – 3rd paragraph – Jkeyll has lied and misled throughout his time in office. He’s a moneytrader; but, if you agree with moneymen manipulating the lives and incomes of others as JKeyll has done with speculating against the NZ dollar, then I can understand why you are so greedy and selfishly blind to what America’s boy is perpetrating on NZ.

        As for your last two sentences; it goes a long way to explaining yours and JKeyll’s input into the crosby textor manipulators making New Zealanders believe lies.

        I am not spilling bile; I am just portraying, in prose, exactly how low I think you people are. Whatever the outcome of this election on 26 November, if NActMU get in again it will not be because they deserved to be in government; it will be because they have deliberately engineered the result just as they tried to do with Key and Brash, hollow men, aka 2005 and 2008.

        Your masters’ plans for New Zealand and New Zealanders post 26 November are ones of betrayal.

        There is no honour in that.

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