Blog

Closing Housing Tax Loopholes Would Solve Demand AND Supply Problems

In a new report the Auckland housing market has now been ranked as the fourth most expensive in the world (behind Hong Kong, Sydney and Vancouver), with houses worth 10 times the average household income. What is even more worrying is that other centres such as Tauranga are rapidly catching up. 

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You Don’t Have to be a Leftie to Care About the Environment (or Inequality)

You’d think that the Green Party would have welcomed TOP Policy #3: Polluters Pay given that it shares their vision for a cleaner greener New Zealand, but sadly it doesn’t look that way. This blog from Environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage makes it clear that the Green Party are reluctant to welcome newcomers into the environmental space. We dealt with leader James Shaw’s comments (which appeared to be contradicted in Eugenie’s post) over the weekend.

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Good Cows, Bad Cows

Our environmental policy is a rebellion. It tells polluters that the free ride to despoil the environment is over. You want to keep polluting beyond industry best practice? Then expect it to cost you. However if you produce tangible evidence of significant reduction in pollution and you could financially gain. This will all come about as we simply put a price on the head of pollution – the rest will be solved by market forces.

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Why is the Green Party shunning a win for the Environment and Economy?

Newshub’s coverage of TOP Policy #3: Polluters Pay contained the usual responses from the usual suspects, such as Fed Farmers, which we will look at tomorrow. Most extraordinary was the response from James Shaw at the Green Party – that reducing stock numbers in certain catchments wasn’t economically viable. He was later contradicted by his Environment spokesperson who claimed they also advocated fewer cows, but for now let’s take the comment at face value. There is plenty of evidence that in many cases de-stocking may be possible without any loss in farm profit.

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Immigration challenges in the tech sector

TOP Policy #2: Smarter Immigration talked about clamping down on some of the immigration rorts that are letting in too many low skilled people to the country. But we also talked about making it easier for Aotearoa New Zealand to be the place that talent wants to live. 

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“House Prices Cool Off” – Yeah Right

The latest Weekend Herald led with the headline “House Prices Cool Off”. Given that house prices in our largest city are already grossly unaffordable, you could be fooled for thinking that meant prices had stopped climbing, and might even be falling.

Fat chance.

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Want a fair New Zealand? Then Stop Your Cheatin’ Ways

Met a builder out on a stroll this weekend, told me how much he liked TOP’s flagship policy on closing income tax loopholes.

“I’m sick of working for buggers who want me to quote a price for a “cashie” on their mansions”, he said, “They are proud of how little tax they pay, how the property market has made them rich. It sticks in my craw to think these guys, who are just so well-off, can’t get cheating the tax system out of their minds, it’s sick”.

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Tribute to John Key

The sudden departure – and now fast fading memory – of John Key’s term as Prime Minister, reminds us that even the most popular of politicians can, within a few weeks, be nothing in the public consciousness. Before he disappears totally from our attention however I think an assessment of his legacy is relevant as a setting for where New Zealand governance heads next.

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The Enemy is Babyboomer Denial

While most New Zealanders agree that making New Zealand fair again is a priority – there is, amongst those reluctant to invest to make that happen, a common theme. It is best described as the denial of a portion of the babyboomers and older (those aged over 53). There is a cohort of this group who fall victim to intemperate and righteous indignation at the suggestion that they have had a free ride and that has driven in the rise in inequality.

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TOP’s policy to make New Zealand fair again; Some numbers

Take 8% of your gross income, and that’s your tax cut. Take 1.5% of the equity in your house and that’s the additional tax to pay. This gives you roughly (and I mean rough) the order of magnitude of how closing the loophole in the income tax regime affects you.

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