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Key Shows True Colours With Vintage Right-Wing Tax Agenda

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Contributor:
Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

What is so attractive about GST to the Government that they seem to be dedicated to raising it? If a government is raising a tax and offering all sorts of other monetary incentives to 'compensate' for it then why bother doing it in the first place? It is simply because they have crunched the numbers in private and know that GST is the taxman's friend and the numbers are always going to be in the Governments favour.

Gone are the days when governments just put up taxes if they needed to. In the MMP environment they need to placate other coalition partners and in these thoroughly modern times there needs to be a sales job done on the whole plan with lots of softening up and 'leaked' details to avoid any nasty surprises.

 GST is great because most of the population have no choice but to pay it. The icing on the cake is the double dipping tax on tax that they get from the likes of fuel, tobacco and alcohol. So great is the desire to raise GST that the subtle sales job has been going on for a while now. The Tax Working Group softened us up to the idea and came out with a range of more extreme measures which made many of the public uneasy. The Government then comes to the rescue with a seemingly more moderate package that when all is said and done is screwing more money out of us.

The fact that a National Government is prepared to raise family support means they want this change badly. The tax cuts on offer to middle New Zealand are definitely in the realm of Cullen's 'chewing gum' tax cuts that National spent long deriding when they were in opposition. 

A totally predictable tack is the hinted at lowering of the top tax bracket. The poor darlings in the $100,000+ salary band are doing it tough and are in dire need of help to maintain their subsistence lifestyles.

With the signalled canning of the right to claim depreciation on residential investments it is a bit of an insult to our intelligence to claim that the funding of the tax cuts to the rich is in part being paid for by closing this tax allowance. Do they think that investors are just going to turn around and say "that’s fine we will just have to pay the extra tax". Investors are not wired up that way. They will just move to the next loophole and exploit it. Clever investors pay little or no tax. This will not alter no matter how much a Government changes things. So the promised tax take overall is not going to be anything close to what it is calculated to be. We will never know this because it is lost in the numbers.

 If the Government was serious about reforming the tax system they would come up with a way that middle class New Zealanders with families don't need to be heavily subsidised by the Family Support system just to keep their nostrils above water.

Blue Collar workers are even more heavily subsidised while at the same time working longer hours for less money. The social costs of this are never calculated.

If the National Government can come up with a wage, salary and tax regime that means that all New Zealanders whether they are a scrub cutter, office administrator, or senior manager can buy a house, raise a family, educate their children and have enough leisure time to enjoy this beautiful country of ours then I will support it wholeheartedly.

But please do not insult our intelligence with what is essentially tax cuts for the rich and tell me that it is a good thing and somehow a revolutionary step.

It is simply a conservative government doing what it does best. Keeping the working class firmly in place and throwing enough crumbs at the middle class so they think they have a share of the fat cats pie. In reality power and money in New Zealand are in the hands of a few and that is the way it is going to stay unless enough New Zealanders rebel against the way things are. The last 25 years has seen our reasonably egalitarian society evaporate into an atmosphere of imported right-wing ideology.

Any system where the rich minority get richer while the majority in monetary and social terms get poorer and rely on handouts is fundamentally wrong. If you want to be revolutionary Mr. Key then fix that. We don't need public relations spin, just enough to live on and feed, house and educate our families, without the need for Government handouts and years of unpaid debt. If that means higher taxes then so be it but don't raise taxes on us just to further fund the lifestyles of the rich and famous.          

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