Tuesday, April 26, 2016

For a land tax

John Key is apparently looking at a land tax on foreign property owners (including kiwis overseas) to cool the housing market. Good - but why stop at foreigners? There are New Zealand speculators who are driving up house prices, shouldn't they be taxed too? More generally, a land tax targets the wealthy directly, and in a way that can't be avoided by sharp accountants. If the government is worried about hitting ordinary New Zealanders, it can recycle some of the revenue as lower-bracket income tax cuts to ensure that only the rich and foreigners are worse off. It secures the tax base and redistributes in one hit.

But National will never do that, because its MPs own too many investment properties in Auckland and too many farms. So instead we'll get a half-arsed solution (and probably one easily dodged by playing corporate shell games), while ignoring the obvious one right in front of us.

Meanwhile Labour is doing its usual bullshit by crying "flip-flop". Which just shows again how they stand for nothing and how hollow and devoid of principle they are now. A left-wing party shouldn't complain when a right-wing government is forced to take progressive action - it should cheer while demanding (and promising) more. Labour's inability to do this again demonstrates how they're so caught up in the game of politics that they've lost track of where the goals are. Someone needs to put them out of their misery.