Free Press, 19 February 2019 - The Envy Tax

Tue, 19 Feb, 2019

Save The Date

ACT’s 2019 AGM, Annual Conference, and relaunch all rolled into one will be on Sunday, 5 May in Auckland. Please save the date – more details to come shortly.

ACT Launches Capital Gains Tax Campaign

Today, ACT launched its campaign against Labour’s envy tax. We've kicked off with two short videos on why the capital gains tax is the antithesis of New Zealand culture, and five practical reasons to oppose it. Our goal is for one million people to see this campaign. If you are opposed to this envy tax, you can help by signing the petition and donating to the campaign.

Defining Issue

In an achieving society, you can give up some spending today knowing you’ll be rewarded tomorrow. By double taxing saving and investment, a capital gains tax says don’t bother. If you’re a taker, this tax is for you; if you’re a maker, this tax is on you. Rarely does a government draw such a clear line in the philosophical sand.

It Won’t Solve the Housing Crisis

As economist Rodney Dickens points out, since 1993 per square metre construction costs have increased by 212 per cent, and the price of Auckland sections by a whopping 903 per cent. The housing problem is not a tax problem, it is a land use regulation problem.

James Shaw Goes Full Spectrum

In this interview last Friday morning, James Shaw appears to suggest that the capital gains tax should apply to the family home as well as any other investments. It’s more honest than a selective capital gains tax, but politically impossible. The real question is: what on earth has this got to do with the environment?

Where’s that Blue-Green Party?

In the past week, the Green Party has suggested a comprehensive capital gains tax, blocked genetic engineering solutions to deal to possums, and proposed to blow up the Government’s Budget Responsibility Rules so it can really get out your cheque book. This would be a perfect time for a nascent blue-green party trying to register 500 financial members to pipe up, but not a tweet.

Teachable Moment

The difficulty for the blue-green idea is that, even when the real Green Party reverts to its communist, Morris dancing, anti-technology type, ACT and National already have sensible critiques. There is not the political real estate for a blue-green party that some imagine.

Millions of Gay Possums

If you have even wondered how genetic engineering can eradicate possums, so did we. Geneticists create possums that only produce male offspring. They are released into the wild, creating millions of sons who only beget more sons. At some point, all possums carry the gene, and they are all male. They look around at each other and realise their species is finished.

More Charter School Success

Te Rangihakahaka Centre Science and Technology was an iwi-led charter school that only existed for one year. In that year it nearly doubled its National Standard achievement rate to 61 per cent from 36 per cent. Now it is being throttled down from a maximum roll of 200 students to only 100. The unilateral abolition of charter schools remains this Government’s worst policy - so far.

Tomorrow’s Schools Review

The Tomorrow’s Schools Review may be worse. It proposes to remove all powers from community-elected Boards of Trustees and put them under the control of 20 new Crown entities called ‘Education Hubs.’ This will destroy the last of the autonomy of legacy charter schools that became state schools, but it will destroy the autonomy of all schools. When you process all the implications, it is the single greatest assault on freedom in New Zealand in decades.

Public Meetings

ACT is holding a series of public meetings on the subject and you can see a schedule of them here. The largest one, we anticipate, will feature presentations from the authors of the proposals, critiqued by Gary Hawke and Richard Prebble. It will take place at 7:00pm, Thursday, 7 March at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell.

Freedom Ain’t Free

ACT is fighting for a freer society that respects and rewards achievement on multiple fronts. We do not receive taxpayer funding for our campaigning activities, and we need your help. Please give generously to support our work.

Best Speech in the House

David Seymour’s speech in reply to the Prime Minister’s Statement at last week’s opening of Parliament was widely regarded as the best of the five leader’s speeches. Decide for yourself here.