Screaming taxes

There’s a lot of screaming about taxes on the union left. Here’s an example from Mike Treen in Too Little, too late? at The Daily Blog:

I remember watching a televised debate in despair between John Key and David Cunliffe in the 2014 election where Key baited Cunliffe over wanting to increase taxes and the then Labour Party leader David Cunliffe had no answer. I wanted to scream at the TV screen.

“Just tell the people you will reduce taxes on ordinary kiwis and hit the rich who pay little or no tax today. Tell the people that John Key is a liar because he increased taxes and charges on most people when he had run on a promise to reduce taxes for everyone. The only people to actually get a tax cut were his rich mates.”

That in depth understanding of tax comes from National Director of Unite Union and spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

And his take on the current political situation:

The only thing going for Labour at the moment is the high likelihood that we will have a deep recession before the next election. National’s self-cultivated image of being competent economic managers will be dealt a significant blow. Whether it is enough to see them defeated is another question.

For that to happen Labour needs to significantly lift its game. We need less of Andrew Little the shifty lawyer and more of the Andrew Little I remember when he was a union leader speaking to mass rallies of workers with force, directness, clarity and vision. I assume he is still there somewhere.

He wants Labour and the country run like a union.

 

 

Leave a comment

44 Comments

  1. kittycatkin

     /  10th February 2016

    Mike Treen’s first statement is old, tired and inaccurate.His ideas in the second half are so ridiculous that they don’t deserve the compliment of an answer.

    I wonder how he’d feel about the top rate of tax in Sweden which was once 101% so that people had to pay the government for the privilege of working. I wish that I was making this up ! What would happen if a husband and wife both found themselves in this tax bracket ? What was the Swedish government thinking, when someone decided to charge people more in tax than they were earning ? ‘Right; you’ve earned 100,000 kroner-that’ll be 101,000 kroner in tax, please.’

    Reply
    • mrMan

       /  10th February 2016

      “which was once 101%”

      Got a citation for that?

      Reply
      • mrMan

         /  11th February 2016

        C’mon Kitty. Or is it something you read in a children’s book?

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  11th February 2016

          Look it up for yourselves. The writer, Astrid Lindgren, was the one whose case had immense amounts of outraged publicity when it was revealed that she was being charged more than 100% income tax. The tax was changed, amybe as a result of public outrage, I forget now how that came about-it’s just amazing that it ever came in. How to make people emigrate to a place where you’re not punished for hard work. In the UK income tax was once appalling, but even there it was never more than people earned-with the possible exception of when people worked overseas, were charged income tax in that country and were then charged income tax on their overseas earnings when they came back to England as if they’d earned that money there. Entertainers like Noel Coward were caught by this as a horrible surprise. He was charged for a crime that he had no idea that he’d committed. (and was acquitted) Other people were also hit with this injustice.

          Yes, it’s likely that a children’s book would have adult income tax in it, isn’t it ? I did a thesis on children’s literature and have many books of and about it, and not one has that as a theme.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  11th February 2016

            It seems to have been 102% in her case; as a self-employed writer, she was charged income tax and employers’ tax, which meant that she was (obviously) earning less than nothing.

            Reply
            • mrMan

               /  11th February 2016

              So you looked it up and found you were wrong. You can skip the citation if you want.

            • kittycatkin

               /  12th February 2016

              I was wrong in thinking that it was 101% not 102%-hardly a major error, and to anyone in this invidious position 1% would probably not make much difference. Google it for yourselves, I was right that it was more than 100%, anyway, in spite of your rudely expressed doubts.

            • mrMan

               /  12th February 2016

              But it wasn’t a 102% tax rate, it was an anomaly where multiple taxes compounded. One womans tax bill adding to 102%, not a tax bracket rate.

          • mrMan

             /  11th February 2016

            “Yes, it’s likely that a children’s book would have adult income tax in it, isn’t it ?” (i assume this was sarcasm)

            Funnily enough there is, it’s called “Pomperipossa in Monomania” and written by none other than your afore mentioned Astrid Lindgren.

            Reply
            • kittycatkin

               /  12th February 2016

              So I discovered, but it’s the only one I have ever heard of, and I would guess that it isn’t really one but a satire like the Politically Correct bedtime stories. It’s hardly something that most children would find interesting.

  2. Oliver

     /  10th February 2016

    We need to put those rich criminal freeloaders in jail with the other scrum of society. Good on Labour for doing something about it. We shouldn’t be harbouring these terrorist in our country.

    Concerns about the rich avoiding the top tax rate through income sheltering devices such as family trusts were raised in a 2010 report by the Tax Working Group.

    New figures obtained under the Official Information Act show a sample by Inland Revenue of 184 of those individuals, taken between 2009 and 2011, found 49.5 per cent had declared they had earned $70,000 a year or more. The rest declared they earned less. Those who earn more than $70,000 are in the top tax bracket and pay 33 cents tax in the dollar.

    The 2010 tax changes had given more money to the wealthy, not low and middle income earners, he said. “Yet here we see a proportion of the very wealthy are cheating on their taxes.”

    Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg said tax avoidance was a worldwide issue which had led to the loss of more than $3.1 trillion in annual tax revenue.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  10th February 2016

      Yes, we should round up all the rich people and put them in jail. We could call it The Great Leap Forward.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  10th February 2016

        Not the rich who accumulated wealth through their own initiative…just those priveleged insider traders and huge beneficiaries of crony govt patronage.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  10th February 2016

          Be sure to wear your black arm band while you are choosing who gets arrested.

          Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  10th February 2016

          The envy and sense of entitlement is strong in this one……..

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  10th February 2016

            Reply
          • Timoti

             /  11th February 2016

            Hate of da Fillfy Witch is also stong. I see Flavour Fav from Public Enemy has sold out to da power. Dees boys are like anyone else, once day tasted da power, day don’t want to fight the power, cause day are da power….. I don’t blame them.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  11th February 2016

              is that da power of money..Uncle T…that clip was 1989 ,27 years on the clock man ,like most popular musos enjoys some of the lifestyle money can buy.

      • Kevin

         /  11th February 2016

        Worked for Pol Pot.

        Reply
  3. Might not be such a bad idea to run the country like a union …?

    What would it mean? Compulsory citizenship?

    Paying union dues? Like taxation?
    Getting membership benefits? Like redistribution?

    What exactly are the downsides of this proposition?

    Reply
    • alanw45

       /  10th February 2016

      The country doesn’t have an employer to stand over and shake down?

      Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  10th February 2016

      Might not be such a bad idea to run the country like a union …? What would it mean?

      The Labour party is run like a union and look at the disjointed mess that is…….

      Reply
  4. Pantsdownbrown

     /  10th February 2016

    “Concerns about the rich avoiding the top tax rate through income sheltering devices such as family trusts were raised in a 2010 report by the Tax Working Group”.

    Is this by any chance the same 2010 report by the Tax Working Group that suggested: “The top personal tax rates of 38% and 33% should be reduced as part of an alignment strategy and to better position the tax system for growth”…………..

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  10th February 2016

      I have no idea PDB, but I’m guessing that it is.. So what’s your point?

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  10th February 2016

        Don’t you think it hypocritical of yourself to quote a report that actually says the higher tax rates in New Zealand should DECREASE………

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  11th February 2016

          That was suggestion to encourage the rich to declare all there income and not commit the crime of tax evasion buy hiding income in trusts.

          Reply
          • It would be absolutely fine to have tax decreases on higher incomes if everyone earning them paid tax on their real income.

            Gareth Morgan estimated some years ago the whole shibang could be run on a flat tax rate of 25% if anomalies in Corporate Tax and Trusts (like Sanitarium et al) were sorted out and everyone just paid.

            Reply
            • Now we are talking a low flat tax, a sales tax [it helps make the balck economy pay its way], smaller government and a tax free band of the first 25-30 K so people get a livable income before paying taxes.

            • @ dave1924 – can you explain the “a sales tax [it helps make the black economy pay its way]” part please? I don’t get it?

              We have a sales tax don’t we? Is that what it accomplishes?

              And for my beggared mind, can you put your +ve or -ve on it?
              Does “Now we are talking” mean, “Yeah, Now we’re talking!” or “Now you’re talking the same old socialism”?

              I need guidance here …

            • PnZ:

              Yes we have a sales tax called GST – just putting it in the package of low flat income tax and smaller government as it is a pillar in my view of a tax base

              the comment about it “helps make the black economy pay” is referring to the fact that cash jobs, criminal activity etc generates earnings which don’t get tax at the Income tax level, BUT a lot of those untaxed black economy earnings flows through the economic system as purchases of goods and services and then is taxed. No GST style tax then few of those dodgy earnings gets taxed

              Now we are talking – because a flat tax structure with an untaxed starter income is something I support. couple it with a sales tax i.e. GST and a smaller government then people can get on with their lives without endless Government interference

            • @ dave1924 – Now we’re talking! I don’t have any problems with government employees losing their jobs, so don’t get me wrong, but what happens to those made unemployed by a reduction in size of government? We are talking a fairly large portion of the workforce here, aren’t we?

              Do you think there’s enough private enterprise to pick them all up, including, of course, their own?

              What do you reckon reduce GST to a nice round 10%?

              Also, what do you reckon about the current exclusions of GST, though they are few?

              Sun’s blazing up North here today!

  5. Blazer

     /  10th February 2016

    ‘He wants Labour and the country run like a union’…as opposed to running it like a cash cow for the elite ,born to rule minority.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  10th February 2016

      Basically he wants to improve NZ society by making the rich pay their share and stop be freeloading criminals. The guy should be awarded a medal for such a great suggestion that will benefit all of society.

      Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  11th February 2016

        The rich already pay considerably more than their share, the bulk of direct taxes in fact.

        What you really mean by “Fair” is “More of other people’s money”

        Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  10th February 2016

      Labour is already run by the unions and it’s slippery slope to oblivion is testament to that fact…….

      Reply
  6. Pantsdownbrown

     /  10th February 2016

    In New Zealand in 2011

    *Households with income of $50,000 or below paid no net tax at all. Not only did they not pay any net tax, they received around $4.40 in benefits for every $1 of tax they paid.
    *10% of households had an income of $150,000 or greater. Those 10% funded 71% of net taxation.
    *Households with an income of $120,000 or greater – 17% of households. Those 17% of households were paying 97% of net taxation.

    Don’t let the “rich people don’t pay any tax’ myth hit you on the ass on the way out the door……….

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  10th February 2016

      The rich don’t really pay that much in tax – and to the extent that they do, it’s because they get the biggest chunk of the income

      The government likes to say that the richest 15% of households (those earning over $150,000) pay three-quarters of all the “net tax” .

      The problem with this measure is that it isn’t really about tax. It does start with the amount of income tax paid by different groups – but it then does complicated calculations about how much those groups received in benefit payments, the accommodation supplement, paid parental leave and Working for Families. Those figures are subtracted from the amount of tax paid by each group, to arrive at a strange sort of “net financial contribution to the government’s books” measure.

      the richest tenth of New Zealanders pay 47% of all income tax, but that’s hardly surprising when they earn 34% of all the income. Declared income, that is – a lot of income for the wealthy gets hidden in various ways.

      But even that doesn’t give you the whole picture, because it’s only measuring income tax, and leaves out two other key parts of the tax system: GST and capital gains.

      It’s also better to look at what proportion of their income people pay in tax, rather than just the amounts, so as to avoid simply saying that the rich pay the most tax because they earn the largest incomes.

      the very rich don’t pay that much more of their income in those taxes than the poor do. That’s even though the wealthy have benefited the most from New Zealand’s health system, schools and other infrastructure, and can most afford to pay for those things to continue.

      Also capital gains (income made from selling assets such as houses and shares), because we don’t for the most part either tax or record those capital gains.

      If we did, since those capital gains will go largely to the richest tenth, the truth about tax in New Zealand is that the rich almost certainly pay less of their income in tax than the poor do.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  10th February 2016

        Sounds like you’re clutching for straws there Oliver when faced with the facts………..must do better!

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  11th February 2016

          He’s not clutching at straws, he’s plagiarized everything he writes down. Just Google any sentence he writes, you’ll find its already on some Marxist weep fest.

          Reply
      • Jesus Oliver, you’ve used Google!? You’ve found ‘facts’ online and either posted them or paraphrased them on here!? You’ve researched things on the internet!!!? You bloody little socialist scumbag. Did you build the internet? No, of course you didn’t. So what makes you think you have the right to use it!!! F*cks Sake Boy!!!

        I reckon Oliver’s response above is a well reasoned and sensible reply to PDB’s previous one, and although he mentions “capital gains” Oliver doesn’t really touch upon another huge piece of this puzzle, namely non-productive assetts and “stored wealth”.

        The “straws” that you saw PDB, looked rather like power poles to me; and I am not, repeat “not”, a command economy socialist. I saw your comment with “facts & figures” as being a useful starter of the debate, which Oliver has greatly augmented.

        So this time round it’s not Oliver “must do better” PDB, it’s Oliver has done better!

        Reply
  7. Robby

     /  10th February 2016

    Here’s an idea. Why not eliminate personal income tax altogether, before a reasonable threshold like 100k? But at the same time eliminate WFF, and all the other rebates. This will save a lot in administration costs, and should balance out. The majority of extra cash in peoples pockets will be spent here. Keep company tax as it is, the overall tax take will be higher, as the working classes will have more disposable income to spend….

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: