27 November 2019

Wed, 27 Nov, 2019

CHILLING WORDS

While a CGT has been indefinitely taken off the table by Labour, there are still a number of new taxes they may be considering according to this Newsroom piece by Peter Dunne. Wealth taxes, inheritance taxes, extending the ‘bright line’ test, and raising the top personal income tax rate among them.

Speaking to a tax seminar, Russell, a tax expert in her own right, observed that the failure to proceed with the capital gains tax – something she admitted was a personal disappointment – meant that there were other issues now requiring attention to make New Zealand "the most equal country in the world – full stop" as she described it.

How does a country become the most equal in the world? Communism – full stop.

AMNESTY FAILURE

There’s no satisfaction in saying “we told you so” when the buy-back scheme has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars so far but has completely failed to meet its objectives. We are no safer than we were prior to March 15, but a number of firearms owners and sports shooting enthusiasts are enjoying shiny new gear, and business must be booming down at the gun shop.

Last night I accompanied David to a speaking event at the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association and heard first-hand the very deep concerns of members over current and further proposed gun legislation, how this would affect their sport, the ability of small clubs to operate under additional bureaucracy, the stigmatising of gun owners, and the feeling of abandonment by their traditional support parties. Clubs are the best environment for gun owners to keep an eye on each other’s welfare and to flag any unusual behaviour, yet these organisations which are run by volunteers will come under threat if legislation makes it all too difficult for them to operate. David spoke on the series of events that led to the gunman obtaining the weapon used on March 15, the parliamentary processes that have followed and are still to come, and what ACT proposes to do to turn around some of the worst aspects of new legislation.

INDOCTRINATION

An NZQA English exam question with a piece subtly poking at agricultural practices in the South Island raised heckles immediately with farmers, and didn’t go unnoticed by a number of students who also read it as being anti-farmer. We’re told by members of the academia that there’s nothing to see here; the question merely related to identifying linguistic methods used by the writer. But it’s there, and we recognise it immediately. Even the reporting journalist has used the phrase “tension between farming and environmentalism”. Why assume there’s a tension? It’s insidious and subliminal indoctrination that farming is the antithesis to environmentalism. Farming and conservation have co-existed for decades, as long as I’ve been watching Country Calendar. Let’s hope next year, in the interests of balance, they will find a piece of poetry or prose that is a sceptical one on the climate change emergency. Then see who criticises it as being ‘irresponsible’.

IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS?

As for every action there is a reaction, perhaps that is why ACT has traditionally fared better while in opposition. If the increase in party membership and signups to assist with volunteering is anything to go by, it follows that we should see a lift in the polls. Two recent public polls show ACT with 2-3 MPs if an election was held today. If every other political party in parliament continue on the same path of introducing more taxes, handouts, regulations, concessions to non-contributors, and pandering to identity groups, we will have plenty of ammo to continue fighting right through to Election 2020. It is looking positive.

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