Friday, June 24, 2005

David Slack strikes again

First it was the Treaty quiz, now its the automatic tax-cutter. Just enter your income and your desired rate of tax, and it will tell you both how much extra you will get in the hand every week, and how much it will cost the country. It will also present a series of options on what government "waste" you can cut - and tell you exactly how little of your tax cut each will pay for.

This sort of tool can only be good, and the more people who play with it the better.


I'm impressed! I put in ACT's policy and apparently it will only cost $3.5b instead of the $5.5b that Treasury calculated. What great news!

Posted by Blair : 6/24/2005 03:14:00 PM

So, how many hip-hop tours will you need to pay for that?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/24/2005 03:31:00 PM

I should say that it's a simple mechanical application of the one percent change scenario offered by Treasury at : It allows for the rebate on the two lowest tax tiers , but makes no adjustment beyond that, so it;s illustrative rather than precise. As Blair demonstrates, though, that understates things.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 03:46:00 PM

I put in my salary with a flat 20% tax and the calc was $3.1Billion required That 38% of the $8 Billion surplus ( plus the half Billion Cullens just found in the bottom draw yesterday)Either the calcs a load of crap or the idiot behind this cant add

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 04:16:00 PM

This whole thing proceeds on the assumption that National would do what Don Brash has said he would do when interviewed about this: he would cut out dopey spending, trim the bloated bureaucracy and achieve efficiencies to cover the cuts. It has nothing to do with the surplus, but seeing you raise it, the preamble to the calculator makes my perspective on that clear: we’re dealing with a surplus that’s already committed and won’t be there next year.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 04:59:00 PM

Well it's "committed" because Cullen has earmarked it for stuff like the Super fund and capital expenditure. Since ACT plans to scrap the fund and borrow to fund CapEx (like most governements do), all that money can be taken into account.

I do agree however that National's plans, being a watered down version, will not work and are likely to blow out the budget. God help us if they coalign with NZ First.

Posted by Blair : 6/24/2005 05:16:00 PM

It's also worth saying that:

1) All David's calculator works out is your income tax. So if you want to find out what you actually pay in tax you will have to add petrol tax, excise tax on alcohol, excise tax on tobacco (amongst a whole bunch of other less noticeable taxes, fine and levies) and then GST on top of all that.

2) David's figure for the amount appropriated each week in income tax consistently understates the amount as compared to the 'Pillage Calculator on the front page of the Libertarianz site. Why? I don't know, you'll have to ask David. Our sums were worked out when the 'Pillage Calculator' was set up. God knows what his methodology was.

Posted by Peter Cresswell : 6/24/2005 05:39:00 PM

The cuts are being offered on income tax, so income tax is all I'm counting. The rest is pure application of the current tables, less the two income tier rebates. Your pillage calculator would be reporting more if it includes the ACC earner levies.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 06:00:00 PM

Also the weekly figure is rounded to the nearest dollar, as is the cut

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 06:02:00 PM

"ACT plans to scrap the fund and borrow to fund CapEx"

Because it worked so well for Muldoon, no doubt.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 09:56:00 PM

It works so well for most governments, because most of them do it in a sustainable way. Muldoon's policy was Think Big, which was not sustainable.

Bear in mind also that most CapEx under ACT would involve the private sector, so the risk to the taxpayer would be minimised.

Posted by Blair : 6/25/2005 02:53:00 PM