Labour lose their nerve on tax

There’s been a lot already written and commented on today’s tax back down from Labour so I won’t go over it all, but it looks like they lost their nerve on their tax working group strategy.

Labour say they won’t implement any new taxes they haven’t already been announced until after the 2020 election, but if in government they may put legislation in place before the election, set to kick off in 2021.

Grant Robertson fronted the announcement. here’s his PR:

Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system

Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood.

“Today Labour has released its full tax plan, bringing together a number of previous announcements and more detail on the Tax Working Group. Given the amount of misinformation being spread, it is important that we have all the information in one place.

“Labour will not make any changes to personal income tax, corporate tax rates or GST.

“What we will do is reverse National’s proposed tax cuts and use the billions of dollars to make 70 per cent of families with children better off and invest more in health, education, housing and other public services.

“Our policy also cracks down on those who are exploiting weaknesses in the tax system by speculating in the housing market. Labour will end the practice of negative gearing, and extend the current bright line test that taxes the capital gain on the sale of a property other than the family home to five years.

“We are establishing the Tax Working Group to explore other options to make our tax system fairer, particularly in terms of the balance between taxing income from salaries and wages and property speculation.

“To be absolutely clear, under Labour the family home and the land around it will never be taxed. There will also be no inheritance tax.

“Labour will not shy away from the hard issues such as fixing the housing crisis and we are determined to do what is right, but we also know we must take New Zealanders with us as we do that.

“We have heard the call for New Zealanders’ voices to be heard. We will involve the public at every stage of the Working Group, as well as Cabinet and Parliament’s consideration of any changes that arise from it.

“We know it is important to get this right, so we will balance the need for certainty and urgency by ensuring that any potential changes will not come into effect until the 2021 tax year. This gives multiple opportunities for public input, and a general election before any new tax would come into effect.

“To avoid any doubt, no one will be affected by any tax changes arising from the outcomes of the Working Group until 2021. There will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of government beyond those we have already announced.

“Other highlights of Labour’s plan include ensuring multinationals meet their tax obligations, a Research and Development Tax Credit and the fast tracked abolition of secondary tax as part of the Business Transformation Programme at IRD,” says Grant Robertson and Michael Wood.

Read our tax plan here.

Leave a comment


  1. Corky

     /  14th September 2017

    People are dumb enough to vote for this. Lets see Labour tackle Amazon. They are capable of destroying us.

  2. I have a policy – if you don’t like it I have another one….Goff/Cunliffe fronting a CGT 2011-2014

    Still don’t like it we wont show it to you and its off the table BUT I REALLLLLY want to tax you rich pricks more….. Little 2016

    Trust ME!!!!! Smiling broadly and waving, we’ll tax everything including maybe/maybe not a CGT, we’ll let a working group we appoint work it out AND we will impose it before the next election if I THINK ITS RIGHT……Lets do (TAX) This!!! Smiling broadly and waving more – Ardern August 2017

    Trust ME!!!! Well we won’t tax your family home or the land it stands on… but hell yeah water, and farmers, and rich pricks and .. and … and… Ardern early September 2017

    We won’t do any of that we will appoint a working group, enact legislation to come into force after the 2020 election and we will go to the polls on it….. Robertson emerging from behind Smile and Wave being a politician….Mid September 2017

    FFS can’t they do anything right? Simple political management is beyond them – how the hell will the manage a coalition with Artful Dodger Peters???

    I was thinking of voting chaos and giving my party vote to Labour – but the tax and spend ethos and the flip flopping is unelectable….

  3. David

     /  14th September 2017

    Labour lost the election today. Jacinda is now Theresa May, she should have kept her nerve just goes to show what a delicate lightweight she is having no experience of any critiscm and ability to deal with something adverse.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  14th September 2017

      Taxation is too big an issue to make policy on the fly, I think she has made the right call in delaying until she has had an opportunity for a working party to look at it. There are implications in the social policy area as well.

      A good leader can accept when they have made a mistake and adjust accordingly. Others never admit they are wrong and are doomed to make the same mistake over and over again.

      • Gezza

         /  14th September 2017

        I think it’s a smart move. The possibility of a sneaky land tax on the family home property was extremely irritating.

  4. chrism56

     /  15th September 2017

    Even their cheerleader at the Herald sees it as a U turn to avoid losing votes:

  1. Drip fed policies adding to the confusion | Your NZ

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