An earlier post by Mike Smith on inequality referred to a claim by Geoff Vincent that 12% of the taxpayers were paying 49% of the the taxes. Now this was patently a spinners interpolation on the tax data and shouldn’t be part of the debate.. A comment by DH has a look at that bullshit. I figured it was worth highlighting it here. My brief scan of the data and argument from a cafe in the sunshine of Dunedin* says that it /inequality-and-the-rich/is a more accurate point to argue the progressive tax debate from. That is that the top 12% of actual taxpayers pay about 30% of the actual taxes.
Some of you guys need to spend a little more time researching & less time bickering IMO. I found this site when googling for info on NZ taxes after reading the Herald commentary by Nightingale. No-one here seems to dispute the figures which I find a little puzzling. The 12% paying 49% of tax claim is correct only on paper, by any real analysis it is false and demonstrably so.
The 12% figure was likely calculated from the Treasury report here;
(It’s actually 11.2% without rounding but the report adds up to 12% & 49% for the top five groups)
Note that the percentage of taxpayers in each income bracket is worked out from the total of 3,374,000 ‘taxpayers’. Well that 3,374,000 includes 314,000 welfare beneficiaries on the DPB, dole, invalids & sickness, 550,000 OAPs collecting super, the 236,000 at the bottom of the report who declared zero income, part timers, casual workers etc etc. The number of real taxpayers is likely less than 2,000,000 and if the true figures are used it will push up the 12% to a more believable 18-19% paying 49% of the tax.
Also note the report gives stats on extra GST paid by income bracket which allows one to work out how much GST each group pays. The GST burden is carried mostly by the middle income groups.
Work it out in terms of real tax and the top 12% pay about 35% of income tax and when GST is added to the tax intake they pay around 30% of tax. Not so disproportionate then is it.
The recent claims about nett taxpayers was also fiction, for similar reasons.
That is closer the reality than the self-serving crap that Vincent was peddling. It is hardly disproportionate in a group that like myself actually has disposable income. Most of us would prefer that the elderly weren’t starving in the streets, that we didn’t have to live in secure compounds surrounded by barbed wire, and that our less fortunate family members don’t have to be supported directly by ourselves with the fawning and favoritism that involves. Those that don’t? Well I view them as congenital sociopaths that we should really look at providing more treatment for. But that is my personal view….
* That is a purely gratuitous gloat after reading this morning moans by people on face book about the weather I have missed up north.