Thursday, July 14, 2011

Owning our future

Labour officially announced their tax policy today: a capital gains tax (with big exceptions, including the family home), a new top rate applying to those earning over $150,000, no GST on fresh fruit and vegetables, and a $5,000 tax-free bracket. Peter Dunne, who earns $209,100 as a Minister outside Cabinet, and who owns an investment property in Taupo, calls it a "desperate, ignorant attack on [his?] achievement". Meanwhile, 90% of us will be better off. 98% of us will pay less personal income tax, and the vast majority of us will never encounter these new taxes at all.

The numbers stack up. This is not a spendthrift plan to just keep on borrowing. Instead, its a cautious, sensible, fiscally conservative plan to balance the government's books by closing a serious tax loophole. And we don't have to sell anything to do it.

Labour is now presenting a clear alternative to the government's policies: either we can sell the family silver and see the profits go offshore, while trying to cut our way out of recession - or we can pay off our debts and support our government services by making the wealthy pay their fair share. Put like that, its really a no-brainer.