Ardern argues in defence of more complicated taxes

Some people (including me) hoped that a decent review of New Zealand’s tax (and welfare) system would lead to simplifications. Complexities add to costs, and they tend to lead to distortions and unfairness – rich people are generally more successful at finding ways around complex tax law.

Jacinda Ardern keeps pushing more ‘fairness’ as a primary reason for tax reform, and she did this again in Parliament yesterday, but she also appeared to concede that this justified a more complicated tax system.

David Seymour: Is it possible that a proposed capital gains tax could be revenue-neutral?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: That is certainly the request that we made of the Tax Working Group. It was to consider options around making the package revenue-neutral.

That sounds lie a very fuzzy lack of commitment to ‘revenue-neutral’ tax changes.

David Seymour: Why would a Government request advice that would make a tax system more complicated, to get the same amount of revenue?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Two points: firstly, to make the tax system fairer—which seems like a pretty good reason to members on this side of the House—and secondly, almost every member of the OECD manages to deal with what is being asserted to be complicated; why can’t we?

Ardern didn’t dispute “a Government request advice that would make a tax system more complicated” – in fact she justified it  “to make the tax system fairer”.

The more complicated it is the greater the chance of unfair anomalies and loopholes.

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24 Comments

  1. David

     /  6th March 2019

    Smart guy, clever question.

    Reply
    • Ardern already looked flustered by then, and seems to have been caught out by simple questions.

      Reply
      • David

         /  6th March 2019

        Best questions are carefully crafted like this, cant fault the logic or the fact and it would be a buggar of a question to answer.
        They have had the report/pre report for months now and if she is flustered its because Labour took a 6 week holiday and came back to work with nothing more than 110 million of pork announced on Waitangi Day. Its a very lazy government they could have firmed up their thinking instead of hitting the beach.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  6th March 2019

          He obviously knew the answer before he asked it. He is a very clever young man.Had she attempted to bluff her way out, he would have had a field day.

          Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  6th March 2019

    ‘The more complicated it is the greater the chance of unfair anomalies and loopholes’

    Tax is always like that…look at tax havens and trust law.

    Too complex for the average man….the domain of the …wealthy elite.

    As the only country in the OECD without a CGT,we must be exceedingly…clever.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th March 2019

    Morons in charge. A new tax to make rents dearer and leave millionaire mansions untouched does not make the system fairer.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th March 2019

      See below. Hit by the Random WordPress Wilkinson Effect.

      Reply
    • Ray

       /  6th March 2019

      CGT was going to help with house prices and give more fairness, was the Labour call before they ended up running the country.
      But homes are exempt, as is art, vintage cars and jewellery.
      Guess what the rich prick Labour luvvies own.
      No mention of “good looking” race horses or boat yet but I am sure Winston is looking into that as I write!

      Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  6th March 2019

    You’d like something added to specifically tax millionaires’ mansions? 😐

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th March 2019

      No, I’m a simple soul who would just avoid making worse what you claim to be making better.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  6th March 2019

        I don’t care one way or the other. I’m just reading the claims & counter claims. I think your suggestion about taxing millionaires’ mansions might be a good one.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  6th March 2019

          Bring back the window tax!

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  6th March 2019

          That would be half of Auckland.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  6th March 2019

            So it would be a great policy for Labour to run with and guarantee losing the next election.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  6th March 2019

              Well, obviously you’d set the taxable level at above a million, otherwise you could end up taxing some state house residents & assorted dug in beneficiaries !
              Christ, Alan ! 🙄

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th March 2019

              What I would do is certainly not that obvious.

            • Gerrit

               /  6th March 2019

              Most expensive state house in New Zealand. Would not be surprised that some in Orakei, Parnell, Owairaka, Glen Innes, etc. were worth over a M$1

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11981063

              Just imagine if this and all the others worth over a million were sold, how many new state and KiwiBuild houses they could construct.

  5. Corky

     /  6th March 2019

    Jacinda:

    ”And secondly, almost every member of the OECD manages to deal with what is being asserted to be complicated; why can’t we?”

    Fairness..and because every other country has a CGT… two examples of the socialist mentality. That’s certainly no way to run a country.

    Reply
  1. Ardern argues in defence of more complicated taxes — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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