OK, let’s cut to the chase.  How well did he (our Prime Minister, John Key) do, and what do I think of each of the changes?


  • GST to 15% (a “we are seriously looking at” should be read “we are gonna do it, but want you to feel like it’s been eased in”):  GOOD1
  • No Capital Gains Tax: GOOD
  • No land tax: MISSED OPPORTUNITY (although also politically safe, and also better for me personally with no land tax).
  • Changes to property tax rules: GOOD (I think.  I will assume they mean removing deprecation etc).
  • Welfare Changes like reapplying for dole every year or so, encouraging part time work on DPB etc: GOOD (if not a tad weak – but politically more palatable).
  • Discussion document exploring minerals on crown conservation land of high wealth/low eco value: GOOD (the riskiest move of all politically, but still good).2
  • Adding in that any funds from the above form a “conservation fund”: EXCELLENT (win-win)
  • New “lets fix the tax system”: Rhetoric sounds fine so far, and I would like to say GOOD, but I just don’t know yet.  Will update in future posts after the budget.
  • Other minor changes (Holidays Act etc): All fine so GOOD I guess.

NOTES

  1. I think consumption tax (GST) is one of the fairest taxes there is.  It encourages saving (a good thing), taxes even the black market/illegal activities (since when they spend the profits they pay GST), and wealthy spend more, so pay more.  I do understand as a percentage lower income spend more of their income (like almost all of it in many cases), but that’s not a reason not to raise it, that’s something to balance up with other tax changes.
  2. I have to say I am VERY pro sustainability, and believe over consumption is the biggest issues facing the world.  But, unlike this blog the world ISN’T actually black and white, and a blanket ban actually serves no one.  Having discussion around this issue is the right way to start.

Black and White Version: A definite pass here (not with merit though, not yet).

Hattip: Kiwiblog, for the best summary (better than the mainstream media) of the changes. I even agree with most of what he says! :-)

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