“David Parker’s only way of defending the dodgy methodology in his tax system fishing expedition is to create a new definition for what ‘income’ means,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“When questioned by the AM Show about the report’s misleading method of counting unrealised capital gains, Parker said that any appreciation in the value of assets should be considered income “If you earn your income and the value of an extra house every year that’s not income to you?” He said in response to questioning as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“The answer is no, it isn’t income. Income is defined as money received in exchange for labour or products. If you’re not selling anything, then you can’t earn income from it. Unrealised capital gains are profits that exist on paper in the theoretical possibility the assets are sold, but not in reality.

“This shows exactly what the point of this study was. It is a tall poppy driven fishing expedition designed to find people who have money and take it from them. Parker thinks the Government is better at spending your money than you are, but the past five years of Labour have proven that’s not true.

“We tell kids to listen to their teacher, work hard, get good grades so they can get good jobs, save their money and invest wisely. Labour says if you do all that we’ll tax you harder. It is tall poppy syndrome in the tax code.

“There are major problems in New Zealand society; health, education, roading infrastructure – the Government is spending a billion dollars a week more than when Labour entered office and all of these areas have gotten worse and worse. There isn’t a single tax that will make a bit of difference, it’s wasteful government spending that needs addressing.

“The challenges New Zealand faces can be addressed. But in order to do that there needs to be a strong economy built around creating conditions for prosperity, giving people the opportunity to get ahead.

“The growth needed to lift incomes is strangled by too much regulation and red tape. ACT will get rid of it, whether it’s RMA regulations making it too hard to use land and discouraging investment, productivity-sapping workplace relations laws making it impossible to employ staff, or banking laws like the CCCFA that make it too hard to get finance.

“ACT would also reduce government expenditure, and in turn reduce the amount of money the government takes from hardworking Kiwis. For example, a nurse with one child earning $70k will keep around $2,300 more of their income with ACT’s policies.

“Labour is saying if you work hard and invest you deserve to be punished. That’s wrong. We need to put the values of aspiration in our tax system, making it fairer, simpler and more competitive. It’s not only possible, it’s essential.”

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