Tuesday, May 12, 2009

National wants to give even more money to the rich

On Friday, the government announced a review of the tax system, conducted by its big business mates (including the Business Round table, who seem to be back in charge again, just as they were last time Bill English was in government), with an open brief to "consider the medium-term direction of the tax system". Gee, and I wonder what sorts of proposals a bunch of rich pricks taken from the top 1% of earners will come up with then? Tax cuts for them, and GST hikes and service cuts for everyone else?

Meanwhile, the Herald notices that the government has also quietly lowered its medium-term goal for the top personal tax rate from 33c to 30c. So in the midst of the worst global economic crisis in a lifetime, National is still relentlessly focused on rewarding the people responsible by giving even more money to the rich. The effect of this will be a massive upwards redistribution of wealth, and a massive rise in inequality (with all its associated social ills) - just as there was in the 90's.

This perfectly highlights the essential difference between the parties: National channels all the fruits of economic growth into the pockets of a tiny elite while making everyone else worse off, while Labour distributes them much more fairly and evenly while ensuring that nobody is worse off. The latter is obviously preferable on fairness grounds. But as we've seen with its distorted definition of the Kiwi "fair go", National doesn't actually care about fairness for all - only profit for its rich mates.

(And while I'm on the topic: Keith Ng takes DPF to task for his dishonest spinning on tax cuts, and in the process highlights exactly the distributional difference I'm talking about)