Bill English has introduced a number of stealth taxes over his time in office, to partly balance the loss his tax cuts for the rich has generated.
The latest in this budget will be prescription costs and raising the price of Early Childhood Education (again). We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if there are any other fish hooks.
These hidden taxes (or ‘charges’) are paid by the many, to counter his cuts for the few.
Last year it was a tax on your employer’s contributions to Kiwisaver – meaning less goes into your saving pot, and more into the Government’s coffers.
Previously it was a big rise in your ACC charges, and increased ECE costs previously as well.
Additional Student Loan charges can be added to the list.
Of course the biggest of them all wasn’t really stealthy, but was paid disproportionately by the poor: the promise-breaking GST increase.
As ever they ‘broaden’ the tax base – which is just Right-speak for taxing the poor instead of the rich who can afford it. Like ‘incentives’ usually means punishments – less carrot, more stick.
But I guess stealth tax rises goes well with their policy of stealth cuts to services as well. Bill cuts the budgets, but leaves it to be the civil servants’ fault when they have to cut the jobs – including the frontline that National promised not to touch: police support, teachers, biosecurity, conservation, diplomats, plus lots of backoffice – forcing the front line off the beat and into paperwork to cover those tasks.