Thursday, October 16, 2008

"One of the highest in the OECD"

A couple of weeks ago, Russell Brown pointed people at Richard Prebble's claim in the Herald that "Government expenditure as a percent as GDP is now one of the highest in the OECD". Interestingly, the OECD has just released their latest annual revenue statistics, which show that Denmark and Sweden were the highest tax OECD countries. As for New Zealand, we ranked right in the middle of the table - 15 countries were lower than us, 14 higher. And our overall tax rate hasn't changed significantly since 1990.

In short, Prebble is simply talking out of his arse. By the OECD's measure, we are not a highly taxed nation. Sure, we have higher taxes than the US, which they look to for leadership - but its the US which is aberrant, not us.