There is some merit in implementing a ‘luvvies tax’ like that suggested by Toby Young at the Telegraph after a bunch of ‘luvvies’ made a video chastising the government for not implementing a Tobin Tax.
[T]he most objectionable thing about this video is the notion that a bunch of luvvies possess the moral authority to chastise bankers, politicians and the rest of us for not giving¬†even more¬†money¬†to the European Union. David Yates, the film’s director, was at the helm for the last four Harry Potter movies and has a “first-look” deal with Warner Bros. I would conservatively estimate his total earnings over the last decade at over ¬£25 million. Very few “greedy” bankers earn that kind of money. If Yates and other Hollywood types are genuinely concerned about “extreme poverty” and “climate change”, why not campaign for a Luvvie Tax? Better yet, why not cut out the middle man and simply donate 0.5 per cent of their earnings directly to the EU? I’m sure Jos√© Baroso can find a good use for it. A new fleet of¬†Mercedes S400 BlueHybrids¬†for European Commissioners, perhaps.
I’ve never understood why showbusiness types think their political views should be taken seriously simply by virtue of their fame and fortune. What insight do members of the entertainment industry possess that members of the financial services industry lack? What’s the chain of reasoning here? I’m on telly a lot, therefore I’m wise? You may disagree with the Chancellor’s views about the Financial Transaction Tax, but at least he’s a member of the elected government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Who elected Bill Nighy to speak for the people of Britain? I mean, apart from Richard Curtis?
Do me a favour Nighy, Yates and all the other Labour luvvies involved in this “campaign”. If you want to create jobs, take early retirement.¬† Read more »
David Farrar discusses a “living tax” proposal for offshore companies who pay little or no tax in New Zealand…like APN and Fairfax.
This old fashioned concept of paying tax on profit must be disposed of. We should demand a fair tax system. Let‚Äôs calling it a living tax ‚Äď the level of tax a company should pay so that it no longer feels wretched and is helping fund a civilised society.
I think a 15% tax on revenue would be a fair living tax. ¬†Both the Herald and the Dom Post have repeatedly run stories and editorials comparing tax to turnover, not profit. So we should start the living tax campaign with them. Here‚Äôs how it would work:¬† Read more »
A reader emailed this today:
Labour and the Greens are making a lot of noise at present about the widening gap between the rich and the poor.¬† So I have put a few thoughts down on this matter.
1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Labour and the Green Taliban talk much about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.¬† What they are in effect doing is driving a wedge¬† into our society as they harp on about this and are in effect creating a divide in our society.¬† Those who are poor should hate those who are successful because the implication the left want to spread to their useful idiots is that those who are successful must have done so by taking the resources off the poor and exploiting them.
2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The left harp on about the fact that those who earn the high salaries are not paying their fair share of tax.¬† This is utter bulls**t.¬† Those earning $100,000 are paying significantly more multiples of ¬†tax than the people earning $40,000 or $50,000.¬† Someone earning $200,000 per annum is probably paying in excess of $60,000 income tax per annum.¬† It is bulls**t to say that person is not paying his / her fair share.¬† The reality is that the 12% are paying 75% of the tax.¬† Effectively to prop up the spending promises of successive Governments, but especially the last Labour Government.
3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The rich cannot help but get richer.¬† If I have $1,000,000 in assets and invest those assets at 5% (very modest I know but hold with me) then in 12 months I will have $1,050,000 in assets.¬† If I have $1,000 invested a 5% then in 12 months I will have $1,050. The rich cannot help but get richer. That is a fact of life.¬† Of course those with the $1,000,000 use their money to create jobs and capital investment so the whole pie for society can grow bigger.¬† 22 years ago I came back to NZ without a cent to my name.¬† In that time with very hard work, careful management and setting goals I have managed to accumulate a reasonable asset base. More about that that later.
4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The good news is that here in NZ we generally have equal opportunity to succeed.¬† That is what counts.¬† True some have more opportunity than others and different circumstances.¬† But I ask this.¬† Is it possible for a kid from NaeNae or Otara to become a partner in a law firm, a business owner, a policeman, a teacher, an artist, a member of the military, a civil servant, or even the Prime Minister.¬† The answer is yes. That kid can do whatever he/she wants so long as they have a game plan, some life goals and the intelligence.¬† All jobs have different pay scales and the outcomes will be different, but it is the opportunity that counts.¬† While Labour and the Greens seem intent on focusing and splitting the nation with their envy of success, and hatred of the poor,¬† the National Government is getting on with doing what it reasonably can to ensure all our kids can follow their life dreams.¬† What the Labour/Green envy and hatred does is tell the kids from Otara and NaeNae that you can‚Äôt be successful because you are poor.¬† The Labour and Greens suppress self-responsibility and ambition and think only the Government can help those at the bottom of the heap. ¬†¬† Read more »
Dave Armstong has written a column that is online at Stuff.co.nz.
He thinks that, though loony, Labour’s Facebook Ban is actually on the right track. apparently the new standard for corporate tax isn’t the law, it is some sort of arbitrary moral code dreamed up by leftists.
Labour’s revenue spokesman, David Clark, a bright young star under David Shearer but a supernova under Mr Cunliffe, decided that if Facebook didn’t pay its fair share of tax (it paid $28,000 tax in 2012 – less than is paid by a demoted backbench Labour MP), a “back pocket” threat would be to shut them down.
Mr Clark’s Facebook facepalm quickly had the libertarians up in arms – avoid all the tax you like but banning internet sites only happens in despotic Third World regimes. New Zealand does far more civilised things like helicopter raids on residents we think may have breached US piracy laws.
Mr Clark was quickly defriended by his colleagues, who doubted Labour would take such draconian action. His relationship status within Labour quickly dropped from “liked” Dunedin MP to “single”.
Mr Key found Mr Clark’s comments “interesting” and Bill English called them “nuts”. However, the finance minister conceded that multinational companies like Facebook should “pay their fair share”.
At present many multinationals don’t. They avoid tax by various legal ways, including creating subsidiaries in low-tax places like the Cayman Islands. It is these subsidiaries that receive most of the company’s revenue, on which they pay negligible tax. The company’s expenses are channelled to relatively high-tax countries like New Zealand, where a loss is made.
Like Fairfax? When did they last pay tax in New Zealand? ¬† Read more »
David Farrar busts Fairfax’s chops today, just a day after the fools at the NZ Herald decided to draw attention to their own tax issues. The NZ Herald says tax dodgers, like them, are “wretched”.
The Dom Post¬†editorial:
Taxes are what we pay for a civilised society, according to the great American Supreme Court judge Oliver Wendell Holmes.
If that is so, then aggressive¬†tax avoidance¬†is an offence against civilisation.
I‚Äôd love to know what the Dom Post defines as aggressive tax avoidance. I presume it means tax avoidance done by other companies, but not by ourselves.
Google, for instance, whose slogan used to be ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt be evil‚ÄĚ, in 2012 paid a mere $165,000 in tax in New Zealand. Amazon paid $1.6m tax on sales of $46.5m. And Apple paid $2.5m on sales of $571m. Does anyone think these companies are paying their fair share?¬† Read more »
The NZ Herald likes to point the finger at other companies and accuse them of being tax cheats.
They did it last year in March and I busted them then. Their IRD dispute is still ongoing and IRD reckon they owe $48 million. Then there is the $611 million of accumulated losses meaning that they pay bugger all tax in New Zealand anyway.
Yesterday David Farrar came out of the blocks and kicked them fair in the cods too.
Many firms that practice tax avoidance probably do feel wretched about it. But they owe it to their shareholders to pay no more tax than their lawyers and accountants say they must, and they transfer the blame to the legislators who leave loopholes for them, or who set taxes too high or spend the revenue unwisely. With the company tax rate at 28 per cent in New Zealand, lower than the top personal income rate, it is hard to justify corporate avoidance here.¬† Read more »
David Clark’s comment not just dumb, also wrong
This morning’s¬†post¬†about slapping GST on Amazon¬†covered on David “rising star” Clarkson’s dumb comment that:
¬†”It seems it would be pretty simple to speak with Amazon and other suppliers to ask them to collect GST since they collect, as I understand it, sales taxes for individual states in the US.¬†If that’s true, then it’s obviously an ideological decision from the Government not to collect it.”
Looks like the comment was not only dumb, it was wrong. Amazon is refusing to collect state sales taxes, even taking New York State to the Supreme Court. ¬†The Taxpayers’ Union has blogged:
How Mr Clark thinks that the New Zealand Government has any tax jurisdiction over companies operating in and domicile in the United States is unclear. Is he meaning that as Minister he would seek agreement from the large online retailers like Amazon to charge just New Zealanders more, and pass the money on to the government? If so, he is being optimistic.¬†Amazon for example is challenging New York State’s attempt to force it to collect its sales tax.¬†Why would Amazon (and it’s competitors) take any different view to New Zealand? ¬† Read more »
The Labour party beleives that a capital gains tax will make housing more affordable, despite this not being the case anywhere in the world.
Their claim is that every other country has a capital gains tax…and that is about the depth of their argument.
Our closest neighbour, Australia, has a comprehensive capital gains tax…how is it working with housing affordability there?
Parts of the Sydney property market are going ”ballistic” as buyers take advantage of lower interest rates to gain a foothold.
There were 693 auctions scheduled across the city on Saturday and with 459 of the results reported to the Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors, the clearance rate was 83.2 per cent.
Social media was full of tales of parents spending $1 million-plus to secure their children inner-city houses. A two-bedroom terrace in Rainford Street, Surry Hills, sold to a 23-year-old university student for $1,094,000 – $119,000 above the reserve.
On the upper north shore, Pymble Richardson & Wrench agent Don MacLennan said the lower end of his market had gone ”ballistic”. ¬† Read more »
I wonder if we could swap Bill English for Joe Hockey.
In one of his first acts as Treasurer, Mr Hockey will instruct the Australian Tax Office to send taxpayers a personalised and itemised receipt thanking them for their tax dollars and detailing where the money was spent.
The receipts will show, in dollar terms, how much of a person‚Äôs tax bill was spent on welfare, health, education and other areas.
The level of gross government debt will also be displayed prominently with a break-down per person.
Treasurer Hockey said the receipts, which will be sent at tax time starting next year, would boost transparency and hold government to account.¬† Read more »