Blog

Robertson Needs to Show Tax Working Group Not a Tax Grab

The Tax Working Group (TWG) reported back last week, and the debate has already divided into two camps. Roughly half of New Zealanders, about the same number that vote National, will write this whole thing off as a tax grab. A typical left-wing exercise in the politics of envy, all part of their eternal plan to “eat the rich”.  The other half will support it for the opposite reason.

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Nothing's going to change for Generation Rent

The Government’s reforming tenancy law—but almost nothing’s changing for Generation Rent.

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Let’s Talk About Tax, Baby*

Talking about tax just got a lot more interesting.

Reading the Tax Working Group (TWG) interim report was eerily like reading The Opportunities Party policy pages. While the devil is in the detail with all matters of tax, on a high level the Tax Working Group has put many TOP policies squarely on the table for public debate:

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Goodbye to Capital Gains Tax – and Good Riddance

 

It appears that the Tax Working Group is quietly dropping the idea of a Capital Gains Tax, although the Labour-led Government is still talking up the possibility. This isn’t surprising. Despite the fact that the Government’s Terms of Reference didn’t leave the TWG with a lot of room to move, experts will struggle to find much evidence to support a Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

 

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Has there ever been a bigger no brainer than legalising, taxing and regulating cannabis?

Has there ever been a bigger no brainer than legalising, taxing and regulating cannabis?

Even former Prime Minister Helen Clark agrees citing overseas examples: “Follow the evidence, see what is working.”

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Prisons are a Colossal Waste of Money

Well done to Andrew Little for raising the thorny criminal justice conversation. Those who care about wasting taxpayer money should be calling for him to be bolder.

Here’s why: we already have the 2nd highest prison population in the world. Yet if we do nothing we will still need a $1b new prison every 2-3 years. Every new prisoner costs $100,000+ per year.

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An Open Invitation to form a Political Party with Principles - Gareth Morgan

Since the announced closure of TOP there has been a flood of comment, gossip, hypotheses and even advice on how to resurrect that party. Almost all of that 3rd party conjecture is blissfully unaware of what the purpose of that political party actually was. I don’t expect clarification to have any impact on the acuity of the political gossip columnists and purveyors of fake news, but setting the record straight (once again) might at least enlighten some as to the agenda

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Political Point Scoring

It seems Winston Peters has not taken long to get comfortable in his new role as Acting Prime Minister. His recent comments aiming to get housing affordability down to 5 times the living wage certainly speaks of a man not just looking to occupy his seat in a caretaker capacity, but rather shape it with his own identity. Obviously housing affordability must improve, but to claim such a target is achievable “before not too long” is simply absurd. The median house price across the country is currently $562,000, or 13 times the living wage, and much higher in our main centres. To achieve his proposed level of affordability the living wage would need to more than double to over $40 p/h. Considering minimum wage hikes up to $20 p/h are predicted to cost around 30,000 jobs by 2020, it’s not unreasonable to question our ability to cope with such an increase. Sure, he’s not saying these changes will happen immediately, but something will have to drastically change in order to drive such wage increases. Nothing in the Government’s current policy suite comes remotely close to achieving this.

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Canada To Legalise

Hats off to the Canadian Government for following an evidence-based approach to Cannabis reform. Yesterday they passed a landmark law that will legalise the recreational use of cannabis nationwide and will provide a regulated market for its sale and supply. Cannabis use is a health issue and the Canadian Government will treat it as such, rather than relying on their criminal justice system which simply exacerbates the issue, as we have seen in New Zealand. 

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What to do with Water Bottlers

I would imagine the reaction of most New Zealanders would be pretty similar if you said it’s a good idea to allow overseas companies to bottle and sell our fresh water, and that they shouldn’t have to pay for it.

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