Long-time Labour stalwart Judith Holloway writes that Jacinda, and Labour’s, Dilemma is Winston Peters.
Judith says ‘What a pity that we (I mean the Labour Party) are stuck in the situation where our terrific Prime Minister feels she has to roll along with Winston Peters and his bourgeois, self-interested NZ First members who have called a halt on the eminently sensible and fair-minded need to institute a Capital Gains Tax.
This is so clearly against the principles of egalitarianism and common justice that were behind the founding of the Labour Party and which most of us members still wish our organisation to stand by. What can we do now?
We admire Jacinda. We appreciate her charm and grace, her sincerity and kindness, and her articulation of most of the principles we hold dear, but this is a wildly inappropriate mistake.
She must take back what she said about how the Party will not, while she is Prime Minister, ever again plump for a Capital Gains Tax.
The next leader must bring in CGT
Unless she is planning to resign as Leader and get on with some other career. That would be her right. But most of us would then expect the next Leader to pick up the cudgels of instituting a CGT immediately.
I attended a talk by an economist, Dr Deborah Russell, MP (Labour) for New Lynn and a ‘tax specialist’, in which she attempted — with all sorts of graphs on a whiteboard –- to explain, despite the reasoning behind the decision taken by the Tax Working Group, that it would not be a good idea to institute a CGT.
I couldn’t follow the ‘reasoning’ at all. I
One of the graphs briefly shown to the audience for this talk showed how Iceland (with a very progressive tax system) is the country whose economy is the most egalitarian in the world.
NZ ranks low in equality stakes
NZ’s place on the graph was about sixth place in the world at the opposite end of the scale, as one of the most unequal countries.
I can only imagine which countries were more unequal than us! (Couldn’t read them on the graph.) Is this or is it not a shocking statistic? How can our Labour-led coalition Government possibly allow such a statistic to stand? Surely the Greens are also upset…?
Will Labour find another way?
Should we wait, though, to see if Jacinda and her confreres will now think of a good way around this dilemma?
Maybe put up the tax payable on all income (both through wages and profit) across the board – say, from 33% in the top bracket to 66%? And make it payable at source – not after the numbers have been manipulated by creative tax accountants.
Will Labour find another way?
We have to ask, how is it that millionaires can get away with paying just a third of their income in tax (IF they pay it – which is not a given!) while people who are struggling on the lowest level of income – say, working for $20 per hour – can’t afford to decently feed and clothe their kids?
This situation is shameful and scandalous. And it must be changed.