Monday, September 10, 2018

We've been had

When Labour formed a government last year, there was an expectation that they'd finally do what National had refused to, and introduce a capital gains or wealth tax to remove the richs' tax loopholes. But their tax working group apparently isn't going to recommend anything of the sort:

The Tax Working Group is understood to have stopped short of recommending a broad-based capital gains tax, in an interim report due out within days.

The working group chaired by Sir Michael Cullen was tasked with designing a capital gains tax for consideration by the Government, but is expected to push back any firm recommendation to its final report which is due to be published in February.

It had been widely expected that the Tax Working Group (TWG) would recommend a broad-based capital gains tax on the likes of sharemarket and property investments as the centrepiece of tax reforms on which Labour would fight the next election.

However, doubts began creep in earlier this year that the Government would ultimately back the plan, amid concerns the new tax would be unpopular and would cause rents to rise without delivering much in the way of extra revenue for at least a decade.

The tax working group has also ruled out environmental taxes, so that basicly means that the entire exercise has been a waste of time. Rather than designing us the tax system we needed to reduce inequality or pollution, we'll simply have paid Michael Cullen a thousand dollars a day for nothing.

Which invites the question of Labour: if you're not going to fix this, what is the fucking point of you? This is supposed to be a core issue, what you stand for. But if you're just going to sit there and do nothing about it, people might start to wonder whether there is any point to your being in government, or why they bothered to vote for you in the first place.