Greens play rich versus poor

Russell Norman is promoting a Capital Gains Tax in part by playing the rich versus poor card.

Capital gains tax would hit rich, not poor  (ODT)
Rich people benefit from not having to pay a capital gains tax, Green co-leader Russel Norman says.

Class politics like rich versus poor is dirty politics, and it often ignores complexities.

I think we should have a good look at the merits and drawbacks of a Capital Gains Tax, but rationally and not emotionally.

Dr Norman said the research highlighted those on lower incomes earned money from wages which were fully taxed while the largest proportion of capital gains was earned by those at the upper end of the income spectrum and this income was untaxed.

This ignores a number of things, including:

  • People on relatively low incomes also benefit from untaxed capital gains
  • Most people on high incomes pay much more tax than those on lower incomes already
  • Capital gains are often used to finance retirement, including health care and care of the elderly, which reduces costs to the state
  • “Rich” people benefiting from capital gains often use that money for a wider circle of people who aren’t “rich”, for example for children’s education, parent’s care

It’s far from being a simple rich versus poor argument. Argue for CGT on it’s merits, not by promoting rich envy.

Ironically Green voters tend to be reasonably well off people rather than poor people.

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1 Comment

  1. It is funny how those who benefit most from our society scream when they are asked to pay their fair share.

    I earn 150 k by working hard i pay 30% tax. Someone earns 100k just by hanging onto a house or shares expects to pay no tax on their income. That is not envy. That is totally justified disgust for greedy bludgers.

    It is the rich that are envious. They are so envious of the little left to the poor that they are trying to grab more with reduced taxes(for themselves only) , asset sales, reductions in State services and welfare

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