Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Brash says no tax cuts for the rich

But he's still promising to cut corporate taxes, which amounts to the same thing - and as companies pay most of the tax, will result in cuts to public services.

The rest of the proposal simply mirrors Labour's policy of reducing taxes on those at the bottom of the heap - making the tax system more progressive, in other words. And to the extent that this marks a move towards the center and away from National's previous far-right policies, it is a good thing - a National party emasculated by the requirement to appeal to the majority (rather than simply pandering to the rich) will do far less damage to the country than one which tries to restart the Rogernomics revolution.

Update: Predictably, ACT isn't too happy with this departure from Rogernomic purity.

Update 2: United Future meanwhile is calling it a "tax policy U-turn, and is suspicious of whether they would stick with it if in government. I think that's an issue which has to be considered: can National - a party which has historicly existed to serve the interests of the rich - be trusted not to say one thing then do the opposite if elected? If Bill English was still in charge, possibly - he was a centrist and had expressed doubts about the dogma over tax cuts for the wealthy. But with an ideological fanatic like Brash in charge? I don't think so.