Tuesday, March 22, 2011


While National is planning the biggest assault on government services since the era of Ruth Richardson, it is also planning more tax cuts for the rich. The Finance and Expenditure Committee - on which the government has a majority - has reported back [PDF] on the Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill and recommended that it be passed. The bill allows couples with children to split their income for tax purposes - a feature found to be explictly discriminatory in violation of the Bill of Rights Act by the Attorney-General [PDF]. The total cost of the measure would be over $500 million a year - and 78% of it would flow to households earning over $70,000 a year (which is roughly the median for households consisting of a couple with children). While not mentioned in the report, that benefit will skew heavily towards the top end - in other words, the usual story of giving the most to those who need it least.

So, the poor get to pay for the earthquake. Meanwhile rich families with kids get a tax windfall. National is looking after its base again - and everyone else gets to pay for it.