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Tax Justice Aotearoa starts campaign in support of CGT

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, April 8th, 2019 - 168 comments
Categories: capital gains, class war, tax - Tags:

Tax Justice Aotearoa has started a public campaign in support of a capital gains tax.  It is a coalition of various trade unions, churches and community groups.  

Its reason for being is described in this passage:

Tax Justice Aotearoa NZ seeks a fairer society through tax reform. We represent the growing number of people who wish to see greater transparency, equality and fairness in national and global tax systems. Founded in August 2018 and linked with the global Tax Justice Network, we provide analysis, ideas and information to create an informed dialogue about how tax builds societies where all people flourish.

There is a petition that you can sign.



168 comments on “Tax Justice Aotearoa starts campaign in support of CGT ”

  1. mikesh 1

    A non sequitur has no place in advertising.

  2. vto 2

    I think it is pretty simple…

    if there is to be no capital gains tax
    then there must be no income gains tax

    f&$k them

    one of us earns a measly $22/hour and pays tax on it
    while a family member walks away with $22 million and pays no tax on it

    how the f&%k does that work?

    • WeTheBleeple 2.1

      Same. Paying tax all my life. Family member owned and traded dozens of houses got to be a multimillionaire and didn’t pay tax. Same with businesses he’d pad out and flick for profit.

      Where’s the fairness in that? I worked just as hard and even harder.

      As for the grotesque earnings of corporations, we need legislation – NOT IRD investigating ways to retrieve tax earnings… Make them pay up or get out. All of them.

      Everyone pays tax, or nobody pays tax. Anything else is bullshit.

      • infused 2.1.1

        It’s people like you who are so full of shit. And VTO above.

        If you have family members selling ‘dozens’ of houses, they will be paying tax. If they are not, then it’s illegal.

        Same with businesses huh? Give me some evidence of SMBs walking away with shit tons of non-taxed earnings.

        As for you working harder? Give me a fucking break.

        • WeTheBleeple

          It was a simple scheme to climb into thirty odd years ago when he started. A house is used to leverage a loan for another house that leverages a loan for… you guessed it, another house… And these are mostly rentals you hold em and fold em as the market climbs which has pretty much been the trajectory because of the ease of loans against ‘surety’.

          It was a free for all till the flipping laws came in recently. It’s still a free for all in some regards but that’s what’s under question.

          Business flipping is similar, buy it, pimp it out (strip it down make it look hot), sell out.

          How much?


          “This is what it shows: In the year to June 2017, if the average holding time for the lower quartile sales was 10 years (some will be longer, some shorter), then the 10 year capital gain on those sales was about $1.8 billion.

          But the numbers are very much larger for owner-occupiers. For the same timeframe (the year to June 2017) owner-occupiers who sold realised $7.9 billion in gains, avoiding more than $2.6 billion in taxes.”

  3. cleangreen 3

    VTO that is sensible logic you speak.

    So there should be a low tax for anyone on a low wage income economy and a high tax on those with ‘excessive incomes’.

    That is fair.

    • mikesh 3.1

      There is nothing logical about comparing “apples” with “pears”. Capital gain is not income.

      • vto 3.1.1

        yes it is

        money is money, no matter how you come into it

        • cleangreen


          No capital gains are ‘income silly, it is the same as ‘speculative hedging”

          Are you smoking to much pot and cant think clearly?

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        ho ho ho ho ho
        Your mind powers will not work on me, boy!

        Capital gains are indeed the income we are looking for… to tax 😛

      • Incognito 3.1.3

        What is Capital Gain

        Capital gain is a rise in the value of a capital asset (investment or real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price. The gain is not realized until the asset is sold. A capital gain may be short-term (one year or less) or long-term (more than one year) and must be claimed on income taxes.


        What is Income

        Income is money that an individual or business receives in exchange for providing a good or service or through investing capital.


        Ergo, Capital Gain = Income


        • SHG

          your logic is awful.

          capital gain is increase in value
          increase in value is not money
          all income is money
          ergo capital gain is not income

          • Incognito

            This is the key part, from the quote:

            The gain is not realized until the asset is sold.

            At that moment, “capital gain” becomes “money” becomes “income” becomes “taxable”.


  4. solkta 4

    Capital gain is not income.

    Of course it is income. People wouldn’t attempt to make a capital gain otherwise.

    • Andre 4.1

      Capital gain is income at the moment it’s actually realised.

      Up until the moment the asset is sold and and the capital gain realised, the capital gain is a hypothetical construct. Which is why Cullen’s Foreign Investment Fund tax and Moggie’s proposed Comprehensive Capital Tax are deeply flawed and irritating as fuck to deal with.

      • mikesh 4.1.1

        A capital gain and the sale of a property are separate events. Saying that one “realises a capital gain” is simply playing with words.

        • Andre

          Ok, personal example. In 1987 I paid approximately 1.2 times New Zealand’s then median income for a part-interest in a property. Last year the property was sold and my share came out to approximately 11 times New Zealand’s median income.

          Before buying the property, I had 1.2x the median income as easy cash and no property. Now after selling the property I have 11x the median income as easy cash and no property. How on earth can that extra 9.8x the median income I now have not be considered income?

          Particularly when I could have just let that money sit in interest earning accounts and re-invest the interest (on which I would have paid tax), and it would now be worth maybe 4x the median income.

          • patricia bremner

            Excellent example Andre.

          • mikesh

            Well, bully for you. I assume you also had some income during that period, otherwise how did you survive.

            • Andre

              You have yet to explain why that capital gain I realised is not income.

              And thanks for your concern, yes that property was just part of my financial affairs. The point of detailing it here isn’t to brag about how well I’m doing, it’s to illustrate how capital gains becomes income and should be taxed as such.

              FWIW, as a US citizen, I’m still liable for US tax even though I’m resident in NZ. So that means I’m about to pay a six-figure tax bill to the US solely on the basis of that capital gain, even it was the NZ government that made that gain possible and the US had nothing whatsoever to do with it. However, if NZ had a CGT, then the NZ government would have taken a fair cut, and because of tax-reciprocity arrangements the US probably wouldn’t get much if any of it.

              • mikesh

                It doesn’t actually “explain” anything. It just tells us what happened. Saying that you made some income is just your interpretation of those events. I would have said that you sold an asset for what it was worth (so no profit), but that the value of that asset was influenced by capital gain, which couldn’t be taxed because it was bound up in the asset.

                Your interpretation shows the danger of simplistic thinking.

                • Andre

                  My time has value. When I sell 40 hours of my time to someone that wants my technical expertise, I have just sold an asset for what it is worth (so no profit). After all, there’s plenty of other things I could do with that time that I value just as much as earning money.

                  Why should selling one kind of asset (my time) be taxed, while selling a different kind of asset not be taxed?

                  • mikesh

                    When you sold your time you produced something. Capital gain produces nothing. That’s the difference. Income needs to be supported by production. It would be rather silly to say that the community’s income has increased without a corresponding increase in production. Government wants a share in the community’s production, which is why they tax income and not capital gain.

                    • Andre

                      Yet a significant part of that capital gain was due to improvements made to the property. Made using time from some of the part owners that was unpaid at the time. So the capital gain is partly deferred payment for time put into improving the property. Why should that be untaxed?

                      Whether or not income is due to producing something is a bizarre basis for deciding whether it should be taxed. Indeed, I would guess most people would say that producing something is more valuable to society than doing nothing useful. So we should encourage producing things by taxing income from producing things at a lower rate and taxing income derived from doing nothing productive at a higher rate.

                      Furthermore, a lot of jobs today are frankly bullshit jobs that produce nothing, and nobody would be worse off if those jobs disappeared (except those who get their income from doing those jobs). Should income earned at those bullshit jobs be tax-free because they produce nothing?

                    • KJT

                      Even more reason to tax capital gains, which is unearned and causes an economically dysfunctional allocation of investment/effort, rather than taxing earnings from productive work, which we want to encourage.

                    • mikesh

                      If the gain is due to work done then to that extent it is not a capital gain. Unpaid labour should be taxed if it is paid indirectly by an increase in the value of an asset. A gain of this type is really a markup rather than a capital gain. It is no different from the markup added to a can of baked beans by a supermarket owner before offering it for sale

                    • mikesh

                      Bullshit jobs don’t invalidate the theory. They are indication that the operation of the economy itself is not perfect.

                    • KJT


                      It doesn’t matter what the definition is in the study of economics, 101.

                      We are talking about the real world, here.

                      The economics that reflect reality, understand that capital gains, and the effect of finance, are not simple transfers. Divorced from productivity.

              • Paul Campbell

                Yes this happens to me too – I lived in the US for 20 years and still have to file taxes there – there’s a tax agreement between the two countries where you don’t pay tax twice, but you do pay the difference between the tax rates in one in the other, with 0% CGT in NZ I pay 20% in the US, I’d much rather pay that money in NZ.

                Remember that in almost every other western country a CGT is a LOWER tax – for example in the US capital gains are nominally taxed at your marginal rate unless you meet a minimum investment time – long term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate called the “CGT” rate, short term ones (house flipping for example, or day trading) is not.

                Tax fairness is an important reason for having a CGT, but there are other reasons, in NZ we invest too little money in new businesses because of the tax advantages of real-estate investment – long term our economy will be better off if we invest in our own businesses rather than having them bought by Aussie pension funds

        • ankerawshark

          Call it what you will Mikesh, but its time to tax it……………….

    • mikesh 4.2

      It is true that “money is money” – how could it be otherwise. However not all money is income.

      • solkta 4.2.1

        It is only considered not to be income by fuckwits who don’t want to pay tax on it.

        • cleangreen

          100% solkta and Alana.

          Mikesh is really screwed up in the head.

          Any ‘speculation’ produces profit is a taxable income period.

          This is a global position used for taxation.

          Only a handful don’t think this way and Mikesh is one of them.

        • new view

          Solkta If it turns out that the cost of it cancels out any benefits would you still want it. If you do then it’s envy tax and only a fuck wit would keep pursuing that.

        • mikesh

          If you have a brain then I would suggest you use it, instead of calling those of us who do use their brains fuckwits.

          • KJT

            Those who produce semantic sophistry, to avoid tax on gains, at the expense of those who earn their money with hard work, may not be idiots, but the are being disingenuous.

            • mikesh

              It is those who call capital gain “income” who are employing “semantic sophistry”. I have given concrete reasons in various parts of this thread why capital gain is not income.

              • Shadrach

                And I’m impressed with your patience, but you are arguing against mindless, entrenched ideology. Meanwhile, NZ’ers have given both fingers to this stupid idea. https://www.msn.com/en-nz/money/personalfinance/new-zealand-doesnt-want-a-capital-gains-tax-poll/ar-BBVIz0J?ocid=spartanntp.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  But not “stupid” for every country.

                  Such a wealthy country, Norway – why do they have a 27% CGT (excluding sale of the principle home)?


                  • Shadrach

                    It takes a particular form of stupidity to run that argument.

                    Norway have a flat personal income tax rate of 23%, in addition to a tax threshold surtax. You have to be earning the equivalent of around NZ$100,000 (K598,050) before your tax rate goes above 26%. Their corporate tax rate is 23%, considerably lower than ours. Their VAT ‘general rate’ is 25%.

                    So sure…let’s run a considerably lower personal tax rates for people earning $100k, lower business tax rates and a much higher GST rate. Then you can have your CGT.

                    • KJT

                      And a State share of the economy over 60%, 41% of GDP is from tax revenues, which they paid for by keeping income earning assets in State hands. And a CGT,

                      If idiots like you hadn’t sold or stolen every tax payer built income earning asset the New Zealand Government owned, we could, like Norway, kept our social supports and infrastructure, without extra tax.

                      As usual Shadrach, you are looking from the wrong angle.

                    • Shadrach

                      Tax Justice Aotearoa starts campaign in support of CGT

                      Oh the burn! KJT advocating an economic system that survives partly on fossil fuel revenues. 12% of GDP and over one third of exports!

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      Tax in Norway is 41%of gdp, in Nz only 32%.

                      Your characterisation of Norway as having low tax on income and companies is incorrect, they have taxes in addition to the basic rates. Plus a wealth tax.


                    • Shadrach

                      “Your characterisation of Norway as having low tax on income and companies is incorrect,”
                      I didn’t characterise it as any such thing. I was highlighting the cherry picking contortions required to argue for a CGT based on Norway’s economic success. Like all successful economies, Norway doesn’t have a single bullet. Mind you, their substantial oil revenues help. No doubt those using Norway to support their pro CGT arguments will have to reassess their opposition to fossil fuels.

                  • SHG

                    Yes we should be like Norway, with their massive state exploitation of fossil fuel resources… and whale killing

                    yep. surefire vote-winners there

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      Other Scandanavian (and certain other continental European) countries lack both those things, have high tax and high government spending, and have much better social outcomes than NZ, UK etc.

                      It is more a cultural outlook, than simply luck of oil wealth.

                      Remember – “sharing is caring”

                • KJT

                  Chicago school economics is not mindless entrenched idiocy?

                  You have already blown your credibility, Shadrach.

                  • Shadrach

                    The arguments presented here for a CGT are mindless ideology. That’s why outside your own echo chamber so few people buy your bs.

                    • KJT

                      Just the majority of successful economies in the world, that have a CGT.

                      “Capital gains are not income”. Tui add.

                      Reality has thoroughly debunked the Chicago school and Neo-Liberal economics.

                      Try to keep up.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Just the majority of successful economies in the world, that have a CGT.”

                      So what? See my comments above about Norway. They have a CGT. And a 25% VAT. Are you advocating for that too? And a 23% business tax rate? I’ll bet you’re not. And I’ll bet you’re totally ignorant about the tax systems of all those other economies.

                    • KJT

                      As are you about real life economics.

                      But, just like your blinkered view of Israel, i don’t expect any relation to reality in any of your statements.

                    • Shadrach

                      Are you advocating for a 25% GST? A 23% business tax rate? Anytime you’re cornered you run away from answering KJT.

                    • KJT

                      Cornered in your fevered imagination.

                      With rules you make up yourself.

                      You must have been fun to play chess with. Making up your own imaginary rules as you go along.

                    • Shadrach

                      Are you advocating for a 25% GST? A 23% business tax rate? Or having 12% of GDP and over one third of exports in oil?

                      You’ve been caught out cherry picking KJT. It’s as simple as that.

      • patricia bremner 4.2.2

        True mikesh. “not all money is income”
        Then it is wealth, and I believe we should also tax wealth as they do in most countries.

        • mikesh

          Realised capital gain is only a small part of wealth. There may be something to be said for taxing all wealth, but taxing the part represented by capital seems unfair.

        • ankerawshark

          Patricia 100 ++++

      • mikesh 4.2.3

        I call it what it is. And it’s not income so taxing it seems inappropriate.

        • Wensleydale

          If it’s not income, Michael, what is it? Cheese? A goat? A Fijian holiday for two at a five-star resort?

          • mikesh

            It’s capital. What else. I suggest you learn the difference between capital and income.

            • Wensleydale

              I would, but I’m far too busy riding my goat around Fiji and eating cheese.

            • KJT

              Only an economics definition. The effect. Someone has more money, is the same.

              • SHG

                That’s like saying “murder is only a legal definition”. It’s kinda important.

                • KJT

                  It is more like the distinction between murder and manslaughter.

                  Both result in a corpse.

                  BTW. Economists do not agree on the definitions of income, and CGT.

                  For a long time the role of banking was down played in most economics, considered as a facilitator of transfers, which played no real role in productivity. Keynes, exploded that one.

    • mikeshI 4.3

      MMost people invest in assets for the rental income they provide. Capital gain is serendipitous.

      • mikesh 4.3.1

        I apologise for using the pseudonym “mikeshl”. That was a typo.

      • KJT 4.3.2

        Bull. Certainly not those investing in Auckland houses.

        And from the screams from federated fuckwits, many farmers are not investing in a farming business. They are be farming capital gains. They even publicly, if inadvertently, admitted it

        • mikesh

          They can’t live on capital gains. They must be earning income as well, otherwise how are they able to survive.

          • KJT

            There is a family next door to me, living on the capital gains from their Auckland house.

            So. Next piece of theoretical bull.

      • Andre 4.3.3

        Yes, that is what their accountants have coached them to say in order to evade New Zealand tax law.

  5. Alana 5

    When Sam Morgan sold Trademe for $700 million he paid no tax; but a salary earner would pay tax. Where is the justice in that? Simply tax all income.

    • mikesh 5.1

      Sam sold a business worth $700,000 for $ 700,000. There is no profit in that.

      • vto 5.1.1

        you like your semantics eh mikesh…

        of course there is profit when he increased its value from $0 to $700m – that is the profit.

        look mikesh – if you think there should be no tax on capital gains, that is fine. Just as long as there is no tax on income gains as well.

        Problem sorted.

        • mikeshI

          Income comes from using our resources to produce goods and services. The cash connection arises only because we usually sell our products for cash. The justification for income tax arises from the fact that the government needs us to use some of our resources to in the provision of public goods. Capital gain is not based on the provision of goods and services.

          • mikesh

            See my comment at 4.3.1.

          • vto

            semantics is all you have … and semantics from only very recent history as well…

            “The justification for income tax arises from the fact that the government needs us to use some of our resources to in the provision of public goods.”

            You do realise of course that government never used to tax income at all, and only taxed capital, usually through land and others taxes? Try a bigger and longer picture than just recent neoliberalism mikesh, it will provide more cred.

            And just to repeat from post above;;….

            “one of us earns a measly $22/hour and pays tax on it
            while a family member walks away with $22 million and pays no tax on it

            how the f&%k does that work?”

            How does that work mikesh? In a local community? Where you expect the cleaner to clean the capitalist’s big home and pay tax on that cleaning income, while the capitalist makes truckloads more money and pays no tax? Do you want to live in a community with such growing resentment of the people on the hill? Where the divide becomes ever greater? Where that resentment turns to anger then to hate?

            It is completely unbalanced mikesh. One of our family earns $22 per hour and pays tax on every cent, while another walks away with $22million and pays nothing.

            If you think that is fair then you can get f%#ked

            • mikesh

              Yes. I would certainly agree with land taxes as a substitute for CGT, or even as a substitute for income tax. I have never made a secret of my liking for land taxes.

              The person who has walked away with 22 million has handed over an asset worth that much. So you may as well get fucked as well if you don’t think that’s fair. Better you ask yourself how she finished up with an asset worth that much in the first place place.

              • McFlock

                But if she produced nothing to walk away with $22mil more than what she paid for it (i.e. the capital gain), then she finished up with it by producing nothing. Why not taxt that $22mil? It’s not like she earned it.

                • mikesh

                  But it’s not like the rest of us have a claim on it either.

                  • McFlock

                    Of course we do, as a nation. That magical income suddenly appeared because of the conditions and infrastructure developed by the nation. As an example, for the past fifteen years residential investors have been profiting off government mismanagement of the housing market.

          • vto

            if no capital gains tax
            then no income gains tax

        • mikesh

          The person who purchased the site paid $700,000 because he expected the site to produce sufficient future income to justify that price. However since tax will be paid on that future income, why would you wish to tax the capital gain as well?

          • McFlock

            I work 30 hrs a week. If I got a second job for ten hours a week, the government taxes that income stream as well.

            And it was $700,000,000.

          • KJT

            Bull. Again.

            No. Because they expect muggins who pay taxes, to improve services and pay for extra people, to drive demand, so that someone else will pay $1400 000. in a few years.

            If the buyer was paying for future ongoing income, the asset price would reflect what it could earn.

            Farm and house prices are far higher than any future earnings, apart from capital gains, can justify.

        • mikesh

          There is justfication for income tax inasmuch as the government needs to divert part of the community’s productive resource to it’s own use. Capital gain is not supported by use of productive resources.

          • vto

            what on earth does that last sentence mean?

            • mikesh

              It means that capital gain is not supported by productive activity. The asset is still the same as it was when first purchased.

              • Stuart Munro.

                The lack of productivity suggests that capital income should be taxed more than productive income – having failed to do so goes some way to explaining NZ’s lackluster productivity growth over the last few decades.

                • mikesh

                  I would certainly like to see unearned income taxed more heavily. But when I mention “unearned income” I mean the income derived from the employment of capital e.g. rent and interest. Capital gain is not in itself income. I’m referring to what are sometimes called “coupon clipping” activities.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Yes it is, which is why most countries tax it.

                    Your argument is very like the NRA one going around, that the recent shooting was not conducted with MSSA. They might not have met the quibbling legal definition, but in practical terms, they emphatically were MSSA. And in the same way, capital gains are income, and no practical person will deny it – only hopeful monsters dedicated to a lifetime of tax evasion even try.

                    • mikesh

                      Keynes said something about “practical people” regurgitating the ideas of some defunct economist.

                    • KJT

                      As you regurgitate the economic theory that couldn’t predict the GFC.
                      In fact they believed that it was impossible.
                      Because their models had become more and more divorced from reality.

                      I prescribe a course of behavioral economics.

                    • mikesh

                      Actually, the economist whose theories I most subscribe to is Michael Hudson. Hudson was one of the few economists who did predict the GFC. However, that has nothing to do with this particular issue.

                      In your case I prescribe a course in taxology.

                    • KJT

                      Actually did.
                      Along with Managerial Economics, Business accounting, including tax law and practice, BTW, Teaching, Engineering, Environmental technology and others, like building and another trade, along the way. I get bored easily.

                      If we are going to play this game.

                      And, i prefer these people. http://evonomics.com/

                      However everyone from Marx and Smith to Chang, King, Steglitz, Robert Reich, have useful insights.

                      The Chicago school, Friedman and Von Mises etc are notable for elegant theory, which fits in with the promotion of wealthy interests, but bear no resemblance to reality.

                  • Capital gain is not in itself income.

                    My salary is not in itself income.

                    Weird – it’s almost like asserting it doesn’t actually make it so…

              • KJT

                With money that requires those of us who do produce something, to work more to pay it back.

                Capital gains take from everyone to make a few wealthy.

                There is absolutely no reason why they should escape tax,.

                And very good economic efficiency reasons why they should be taxed.

                Which is why most countries, do.

                • mikesh

                  Capital gains take from nobody (exept perhaps from the purchaser of the asset).
                  Capital gains may make a few wealthy but they don’t take from anybody, apart from the purchaser of an asset I suppose.
                  Capital owners pay tax on the income yield from their assets – and pay tax.
                  Capital gains taxes are inefficient since reducing people’s capital reduces their capacity to earn income.
                  The capital gains taxes that other countries collect seem pretty inefectual.

                  • KJT

                    “Capital gains take from nobody”.

                    As businesses have to pay higher interest because of the risk incurred by high asset prices.

                    Farmers go bust, pollute, or run the land down, because the prices they have to pay for land, are too many multiples more than farm earnings.

                    The extra roads, services and infrastructure we pay for, for extra people, so capital gains earners can keep making more money.

                    The rise in interest rates to try and keep housing inflation down. Which hurts businesses, and householders with existing mortgages, alike.

                    Take from nobody. My fucking arse.

                    • mikesh

                      The purchaser of an asset pays for any capital gain built into that asset. Nobody else is involved in the transaction.

                      As far as all that other stuff that you mention is concerned, you’re dreaming if you think a capital gains tax will remedy any of it.

                      I wish you would leave your “fucking arse” alone and start using your brain instead.

                    • KJT

                      It won’t fix it alone, but will certainly help.

                    • KJT

                      You are technically correct on your separation of capital gains, and income. If we take the strict economics definition.

                      There are economists that agree it should be taxed, however. In fact we already do. It is just that some forms escape. Often by lying to the IRD, about intentions.

                      However we are talking about the real world effects here.

                      To say that capital gains have no effect on real world distribution of wealth and income, with no effects on anyone apart from buyers and sellers, is just a self serving nonsense,

  6. Ad 7

    Pretty damn late for a government sock puppet to arrive, months after the launch, and well after everyone on talkback has chewed it up to cat-sick constituency.

    Hopefully they have compelling spokespeople who can tilt this.

    The near-silence from our Minister of Finance is a deafening lesson in leadership.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Don’t you think Ad that this might be a good time? National has hammered the possible negatives for a long time. Now would be a good time for the positives to appear as later this month the Tax Plan proper will be published by the Government. Maybe poor old Simon will have to retract his Eyeore behaviour.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        A lot of unnecessary damage has been done by the government refusing to front or even run defence for Cullen.

        This is the signature Finance policy of this government. Yet there has been a complete lack of detectable advocacy strategy or comms strategy from them about it.

        So this government wants to kill CGT completely or water it down to near immateriality.

        This is further demonstrated by the government choosing to go into an election with it – twice.

        The sweet spot they are aiming for is negligible political effect, with maximised income into the government coffers.

        Everything else is smoke.

    • Anne 7.2

      He’ll be keeping his trap shut as much as he can until after he’s delivered his budget.

      Anything he says between now and then will be distorted, misquoted and misinterpreted by the Nats and their media acolytes. Duncan Garner will be in his element and so will the Hosk and the other fellow whose name escapes me at the mo. 😉

      Oh yes, Hooton.

  7. A 8

    Capital gains is one of the few ways I can see of getting ahead. The very last thing this country needs is more tax.

    • vto 8.1

      It’s not more tax you egg, it’s the same amount


    • tc 8.2

      Classic rwnj I’ll informed meme parroted ad naseum.

    • AB 8.3

      “Capital gains is one of the few ways I can see of getting ahead”
      Yes – in a country of mostly modest wages, it is. That’s why rental properties are so popular among the middle class. The issue is that, by definition, it’s not a form of “getting ahead” that is available to all. If we all owned rentals, who would we rent them to?
      In reality therefore, some people’s “getting ahead” depends on others “staying behind” – and there is no justice or humanity in that.

    • ankerawshark 8.4

      A if you make money on your property you will still get ahead. You will just pay some tax on it that’s all

    • mikesh 8.5

      It is more tax. I assume the person paying for the capital gain, namely the purchaser of the asset, will not be receiving an appropriate rebate.

      • McFlock 8.5.1

        No, because they’ll purchase at a price for which they would expect their own capital gain.

        • mikesh

          However they are paying with tax paid income though the capital gain produces no ” real” income. So if a CGT is paid as well then more tax is being paid.

          • vto

            no mikesh, the amount of tax pulled out of the economy will remain the same at around 35% of GDP. Various other tax rates are intended to be amended to ensure the mix remains at 35%.

            There will be no more tax.

            • mikesh

              Probably. But the need to reduce other taxes in order to equalize the tax take proves my point.

          • McFlock

            They only pay the CGT if they get a “real” gain from selling it. So they’re paying tax on all their income, rather than getting income from capital gains tax-free.

            Otherwise they don’t get a capital gain, do they.

          • mikesh

            I probably didn’t word that very well. I should have said that a capital gain is just an increase in the value of an asset. (Real) income comes about through the production of additional goods and services available for purchase by the community.

            • KJT

              Still sophistry.

              Looks like income, feels like income and in many cases, swapped by forgoing income, to avoid taxes.

              The arguments against CGT, basically boil down to “I shouldn’t have to pay tax on my investement income, even though you pay tax on yours, because I am special!”

              • mikesh

                Sophistry? Not st all. How can a capital gain be income when it is simply an increase in the value of a asset. You can’t spend it since it is tied up in the asset itself. You can’t knock off a chimney from your rental property an use it to purchase a pair of shoes.

                • KJT

                  There are whole towns full of retired farmers living off capital gains.

                  Can’t live on my Kiwi saver until I am 65 either.
                  Why am I taxed on the interest?

                  Pull the other one.

                  • mikesh

                    I don’t think they are “earning” any capital gains after they have sold their farms and retired. When they were “earning” capital gains they couldn’t spend them, so those gains were not taxable. Even when those gains were “realised” they didn’t suddenly become income.

                    • KJT

                      You still haven’t advanced any credible reasons why capital gains shouldn’t be taxed, apart from, “they are not income”.

                    • mikesh []

                      Actually, I have given other reasons. The duplication of tax is one that springs to mind. I think I have also mentioned the discounted future income argument, though maybe on some other post. I halvel also mentioned the unfairness of taxing CG while leaving other capital untaxed (including unrealised capital gain). I have been somewhat remiss though in not pointing out the TWG’s contention that CGT will do little to alleviate inequality.

                    • KJT

                      When I am “earning” Kiwi saver, i can’t spend it either, but I am sure as hell paying tax on the gains.

                    • KJT

                      Duplication of tax applies to any investment.
                      Doesn’t protect me from paying tax on shares and Kiwi saver earnings, however.

                      Discounted future income fails, when land is sold for so many multiples of future income, that no possible business income from it can repay the sale price. The price level is driven by the expectation of future capital gains. It is a ponzi scheme, but one that seriously skews investment, to our economic detriment.

                      I think the tax working group is not correct in saying CGT, won’t reduce inequality. Housing is one of the prime causes of poverty in New Zealand. Anything which helps reduce the expectation, of tax free capital gains returns on housing, slows the rise in housing costs.

                    • mikesh

                      “Duplication of tax applies to any investment”. So does CGT apparently.

                      Even if the expectation of capital gain drives up prices, discounted future income is still a factor. In any case CGT is not the way to deal with the problem since it will change very. You need to get rid of capital gain in the first place.

                      I can’t speak for the TWG. I’m just reporting what they said, and I assume they know what they are talking about.

            • Psycho Milt

              Yeah, good luck explaining to the IRD that your income wasn’t actually “real” income because you spent all your work time blathering at people on blog comments threads instead of producing additional goods and services like you were being paid for. It’s hard to picture that being a successful gambit…

  8. Tuppence Shrewsbury 9

    The problem with this campaign is it’s obvious that justice isn’t on the organisers minds.

    if they wanted tax justice, they’d advocate for a CGT that matched company, trust and top level tax rates while lowering all tax bands according to how much tax was brought in by the new tax.

    this bunch of work shy whingers have openly said it’s about wealthier people paying more on capital gains AND more on income so those less well off can pay less. That’s punitive and self interested.

    So really they are no better than the greedy capital owners who reduce income to pathetic levels to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

    • vto 9.1

      what a pile of horse dung

      At the moment the capital owners can make money by capital gain and pay no tax at all, while someone slaving on $20 per hour pays tax on everything.

      This CGT re-adjustment isn’t punitive and self-interested – this re-adjustment is rectifying what is already punitive and self-interested against the workers who currently pay all the tax while the lazy, bludging capital owners pay nothing.

      The capital owners need to stop bludging off the workers

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 9.1.1

        Thanks for completely misunderstanding my comment. in your normal turgidly uncomprehending way you’ve completely missed the point that I wasn’t criticising a CGT.

        I was criticising this group for their blatant self interest and bull shit posturing on “Justice”

        I’m in favour of a CGT. I’m not in favour of these morons being the public organisational voice of championing for CGT as the wider electorate is rightly suspicious of any group that has to name itself after a virtue they have no control over.

        When you see a car dealer who has named themselves honest john, do you automatically believe they are actually honest?

        I also don’t see how lumping in a desired increase in income tax against “high” earners is “Justice” because this group represent people who don’t earn that much.

        • KJT

          Sorry to bust your bubble, but I pay CGT, now, and will definitely be paying more if the top tax rate goes up.

          Unlike some, i think it is fair to pay my share of the price, of living in a functioning civilized country.

          High income earners have had considerable tax cuts since the 80’s, while those on low income, have had tax increases and welfare cuts, as well as deteriorating state services. Justice means reversing some of this.

          “Trickle down”doesn’t work.

      • ankerawshark 9.1.2

        vto “what a pile of horse dung” . 100%

      • makesh 9.1.3

        I don’t think ” lazy, bludging capital owners” pay no tax. Their assets must be yielding income on which they are paying tax. If those assets are not earning income for their owners then applying Gareth Morgan’s RFRM tax would be a better way of dealing with them. In their case such a tax would be more lucrative for the government.

    • cleangreen 9.2

      Tuppence Shrewsbury – produces biggest pile of horse dung ever here.

  9. WeTheBleeple 10

    Reading the Herald comments it seems fear, group think and ignorance are driving opposition.

    The whole “it takes from the hard working and gives to the lazy” is a stupid and blatant lie.

    Public education is sorely needed, and reporters should declare their conflicts of interest or stop stirring the pot.

    • mac1 10.1

      But those so-called hard-working people who gain income from selling properties have to call themselves hard-working because otherwise they’d have to acknowledge that their income is hardly hard-earned, but rather is unearned income.

      Then they’d have to admit that they were the lazy ones. It’s all about self-justification and greed.

      Yeah, they’ll say. You’re just practising the politics of envy. That’s their best defence. That, or ‘virtue-signalling’, which is what my parents would have called practising what is moral, and right.

      Tax ’em, and punish the bludging tax-dodgers, and late payers, who already cost this country billions.

      • infused 10.1.1

        you idiots understand its more than just housing, right? It shows your prejudice.

        • mac1

          Income is income.

          I am prejudiced against people earning income?

        • Graeme

          Yeah, ALL income from the sale of any asset (except the family home) will be treated the same and be taxable.

          Rather than now where someone can say they have no intention of selling the asset (cross my heart and promise to god etc etc) and the asset magically becomes un-taxable. The current tax “exemption” on income from capital gains is predicated on a deceit and I don’t see how that is fair or honest.

          And if the business plan relies on a capital gain to turn a profit, then the intention is to sell and therefore taxable even under the current rules.

      • Stuart Munro. 10.1.2

        You won’t get that view in the Harold – real estate is a pretty big advertiser.

    • Wensleydale 10.2

      You need to take into account the sorts of people who routinely read Granny Herald. Especially given the sorts of people who routinely write for Granny Herald.

      • cleangreen 10.2.1


        Those who read ‘Granny Herald’ are sadly brainwashed fools as the herald is a corporate rag not worth the cost of toilet paper.

        Best keep distance from this right wing rag.

        ‘Scoop’ is a far more honest educator of public affairs.

  10. timeforacupoftea 11

    Capital Gains TAX is all over – can’t see it going through now as Taxlcinda’s baby Neve wants to keep her nanny employed.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1

      Given that the 4th Labour Government introduced a 10% GST, and then increased it to 12.5% (in 1989), and that the last hike (to 15%) occurred October 2010 (“to pay for income tax cuts by the [5th] National Government“), maybe it’s time for another increase.

      In order to raise government revenue to meet the increasing costs of social security/welfare, health, education etc., the government is considering increasing taxes. Which would you prefer: a CGT, or 17.5% GST?

      Problem is that each year there’s less money to go around the 50% least wealthy NZers, but they still need enough to live, if we want to be considered a developed country.

      • timeforacupoftea 11.1.1

        I would go without !
        I would like to see it go further such as 20% GST

        First $20,000 earned income tax free thereafter $20,000 and above $20,000 earned to $150,000 income tax 40% from $150,000 to as much as you want to earn $65% tax.

        GST on everything,
        You buy a House, Farm, Car etc 20% GST would be applied.
        Remove cash and move into electronic transactions only.

        Remove all excise tax’s booze fuel etc

        GST on everything ( barn the above ) and no claiming back GST for business or anyone.
        Same TAX rates for Business repeat : ( First $20,000 earned income tax free thereafter $20,000 and above $20,000 earned to $150,000 earned income tax 40% from $150,000 to as much as you want to earn $65% tax. )

  11. Ian 12

    This capital gains tax fiasco is just a diversion for David Parker to stick the boot into dairy farmers as we rescue your sorry arses once again.

    • Your heroic efforts to farm capital gains at the expense of our waterways goes woefully unrecognised by the nation, totes.

    • KJT 12.2

      We need CGT, to pay for drought relief, irrigation schemes, nitrate treatment for water, MB, unemployment from “Free trade” deals to suit farmers, income support for your underpaid farm workers, and all the other times we have “rescued your sorry arses, again”.

  12. UncookedSelachimorpha 13

    Great to see an organisation promoting a view that is opposed to the interests of extreme wealth – normally extreme wealth does all the talking in our society.

    I support any tax change that works against the extreme inequality that exists in NZ, and the proposed (fairly crippled) CGT is a small step in the right direction.

    The key thought for these discussions should always be that the poorest 40% own 3% of the nation’s wealth, while the richest 10% own 60% of the wealth. We need to change that.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1

      Completely agree with this.

    • mikesh 13.2

      A CGT would actually be counterproductive since, once it is introduced, the PTB will say “problem solved” and no further action will then be taken to alleviate inequality. This, I have always thought, is the main problem with CGT. It gives rise to sort of Gresham’s law situation, and seems to get in the way of more effective approaches.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.2.1

        “A CGT would actually be counterproductive since, once it is introduced, the PTB will say “problem solved” and no further action will then be taken to alleviate inequality”

        You could actually say that about any single step to reduce inequality.

        But I agree that this CGT is only going to address inequality slightly, and other approaches are needed as well – and if this is the best the Tax working Group and Coalition can come up with, it is pretty pathetic (and shows they aren’t much bothered by current inequality in NZ).

        The fact the extremely wealthy in NZ are so opposed to the CGT suggests it probably has some merit.

  13. mikesh 14

    “You could actually say that about any single step to reduce inequality.”
    No. I don’t think you can. It goes without saying that building more houses, state houses in particular, would be more effective: though of course there is a limit to how many houses can be built in a short space of time. However, reigning in bank lending could also be very effective. RBNZ seems unwilling to do much at the moment to reduce lending into the housing market for fear of bringing about a collapse, but if it were up to me I would impose a high reserve ratio on the banks, perhaps as much as 100%, and I would have no qualms about collapsing the housing market. I would even consider forcing the banks to write off some of the debt of recent purchasers who found themselves under water : though of course such measures would have to subject to means testing.
    Radical? Perhaps. But I wouldn’t be messing around with a namby pampy CGT

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