tax

A reader analyses Len’s crazy tolls idea

tolls

Hi guys

I thought I’d ‘run the numbers’ (and a very quick calculation, nothing exciting) regarding the proposed Auckland toll.

Now, for the time being, I won’t point out the lack of actual authority here. I have a far simpler question: is this actually value for money?

Forgetting the multi-cost option, the basic proposal is for a $2 toll per trip (regardless of distance).   Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union slams Joyce for his expanded corporate welfare programme

Since the opposition is asleep at the wheel the job of holding a spendthrift government to account falls upon the shoulders of the Taxpayers’ Union.

They are holding Steven Joyce to account for his expanded corporate welfare programme.

Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare, Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money, a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:

“Mr Joyce defends over $3 billion in subsidies to KiwiRail and Solid Energy under his watch by saying that they are state owned. Bailouts are not the role of ministers as shareholders. Since 1986, state-owned enterprises have had a statutory duty to operate as a successful business and to be as profitable and efficient as comparable businesses not owned by the Crown. The whole idea of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 was to bring an end to bailouts and permanent deficits.”

“Instead of putting a failed business in the hands of receivers, Mr Joyce defends throwing good money after bad by blaming the previous government for buying KiwiRail. That was three elections ago. Elections are supposed to count for something. $3 billion in taxpayers’ money cannot be handed out in subsidies with ministers bobbing and weaving about responsibility for the amount and wisdom involved. The Treasury Benches come with a full ministerial responsibility for every single dollar of taxpayers’ money spent under your watch.”    Read more »

Public Health Activists Playing #Dirtypolitics [UPDATED]

Well, well, well, looks like all the crying from academic activists in the field of public health is just a big fat smokescreen.

They just don’t like anyone taking a look at what they’re really up to.

WOBH has highlighted over the years various troughers gouging the public just so they can travel the world to fancy conferences. It started with tobacco troughers, but has quickly spread to troughers looking at alcohol restrictions and obesity/fat taxes.

Now we see the real agenda of the public health activists. Global taxes on products they don’t like.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has an alarming blog UN Health Conference Bans Media Day After Kicking out Public and Then Passes Massive Global Tobacco Tax in Secret.

After booting the public from its meetings on Monday, the World Health Organization’s tobacco control convention ramped up its assault on transparency on Tuesday when the press was also banned from the Moscow conference.

Shortly after the media was removed from the convention, the United Nations’ health agency secretly passed the world’s first ever global tax – an outrageous scheme requiring nearly 180 countries to apply a minimum tax on tobacco products.

All indications were that the global tobacco tax would not pass until Thursday or Friday, if at all. Without the public and the media there to watch, delegates ratified the tax almost immediately.

When I, and a handful of other accredited journalists, showed up for a Tuesday morning press briefing, we were told that the briefing was cancelled and the press was no longer allowed to attend any convention events at all.

The rest of the convention, which cost world taxpayers nearly $20 million, will now take place in secret, behind closed doors. It’s a chilling and disturbing attack on the freedom of the press – especially given the impact decisions made at the convention will have on people throughout the world.

Read more »

Corporate bludgers costing Kiwi households up to $800 per annum

welfare

Bludging is rampant in NZ society.

But it is corporate bludging that is most outrageous.

And it is costing us a pretty penny. The Taxpayers’ Union has released a new report into corporate welfare and bludging.

The Taxpayers’ Union has launched new a report, Monopoly Money, which examines the cost and case for New Zealand’s extensive corporate welfare programmes. The report follows recent comments by TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, who questioned the Government’s corporate welfare programme, despite having been involved in companies that have received grants in the past.

The report, which examines the cost of corporate welfare examines government spending since the 2007/2008 budget, shows:

  • Since National took office, corporate welfare has cost taxpayers $1-1.4 billion ($600 – $800 per household) per year
  • If corporate welfare was abolished, enough money would be saved to reduce the corporate tax rate from 28% to 22.5%
  • If applied to personal income tax rates, the saving would allow the 30% and 33% income tax rates to be lowered to 29%
  • Alternatively, the 10.5% rate (applicable to the first $14,000 of income) could be reduced to 7%.    Read more »

NZ has the 2nd best tax system in the world

Not sure from which perspective it is the best, but it is nice to know we have a system that’s relatively simple and doesn’t cost much to run – relatively speaking

New Zealand should do more to promote its tax system after an international survey ranked it as the second most competitive in the developed world, a tax expert says.

The international tax competitiveness index, compiled by a United States think tank, the Tax Foundation, compares the competitiveness of the tax systems in 34 countries.

The index rates New Zealand highly thanks to its “relatively flat, low income tax”, a “well-structured property tax”, no capital gains tax and a “broad-based value-added tax” (GST).

Oh deary me… so if Labour and the Greens had a go at stuffing around with GST and CGT, we would definitely not have come in the top ten.   Read more »

Tagged:

Alex Swney charged with $2m tax evasion

Alex Swney, former head of Heart of the City appears to have been falsifying invoices and absconding from paying tax.

Predictably the long arm of the Inland Revenue has caught up with him.

Auckland’s Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney has been charged with tax evasion totalling almost $2 million.

Swney, 57, who heads the publicly funded organisation, faces 39 charges laid by the Inland Revenue Department alleging he did not pay $1.8 million in tax. Penalties of $1.4 million was also allegedly owed.

He appeared in Auckland District Court today where he denied all the charges and his lawyer David Jones, QC, did not apply for continuation of name suppression.

Mr Jones indicated the matter would progress to a judge-alone trial.

Heart of the City has income tax exemption on the basis that it was created to develop or increase amenities for the Auckland public.   Read more »

Show us the detail Colin! (ctd)

While it is evident that as a minor party, the Conservatives will have little effect on fiscal policy, the real issue is where this Party sits on the political spectrum. The Conservatives are quick to pan the disease of ‘entitleitis’ in the left, they are subject to the same malady when it comes to large families.

Not only would the first $20,000 of income be tax free, but there would be an unknown tax free increase for each dependent and he would also support income sharing between spouses. If this were to replace Working for Families, there would still be a huge gap in government revenue. These policies are not costed and the offset suggested “we will make savings” is simply not good enough.

This from Colin Craig’s “Ask Colin” on Conservative Party website – $20 K tax free increased for each dependant  & income splitting- so blow out lot more than $6.4 billion:

Hi Colin

What is your parties view income sharing?

If my wife and I both earned half of my current salary each our household after tax income would be $10,000 greater!

We are being penalised for choosing to have my wife stay at home and raise our 3 under 5 children (rather than sticking them in day care!)

Regards
Brendan

Read more »

Facts matter Josie

Yesterday on The Cauldron, Josie Pagani and I set about each other over taxation.

Her claims were that the “poor” pay more in tax than anyone else…my contention was she was talking rubbish.

Lindsay Mitchell points out who was right and who was wrong.

The topic for discussion was tax cuts. Cam said that half of people already pay no tax (or words to that effect). That tax cuts for them would be ‘smoke and mirrors’.

Josie Pagani mounted an absolute denial saying that low and middle income people pay more tax than wealthier people relative to their income.

Time to remind ourselves that

…households earning under $60,000 a year – which is half of all households – are expected to pay 11 per cent of income tax. “When we take income support payments into account, as a group they will actually pay no net income tax at all,” Mr English says. Read more »

Cunliffe all over the place on capital gains tax

The Fairfax embedded Labour fanboi and sometime political reporter finally comes clean on how the MSM like to pick up their pay cheques without doing any work.

The last sentence in the article says Labour is being dragged into the mire by a clever National by forcing it to explain the detail of its policy!

But by dragging Labour down into the mire, explaining detail of its tax plan, National had its best day of the campaign since its official launch 11 days ago.

Seriously, you actually wrote that, it’s on paper, there is a record of it!

Explaining details of policy is now being dragged into the mire!

Reporting on hacked emails, some of them forgeries is high principled good journalism though.

If you want a proper explanation with detail that treats you like a grown up with a brain stop here, if on the other hand you want to know what a bunch of middle aged gossips with not a lot to do thinks well stick to the MSM.

Forget for a moment the rights, wrongs and details of Labour’s capital gains tax. National is cock-a-hoop.

After days and days dominated by dirty politics, it has shifted the focus – for a day at least – and put Labour and its leader, David Cunliffe, on the defensive.

The issue flared after the Press leaders’ debate on Tuesday when Cunliffe ducked answering Prime Minister John Key when he asked if under Labour a family home held in a trust would be hit by a capital gains tax (CGT) – and then claimed it would.

It was Key’s best “hit” of the night, leaving Cunliffe looking awkward and trying to change the topic.

It is a mystery why Cunliffe did not come back in the second half of the debate and call Key out on misrepresenting his policy, after his advisers confirmed the family home in a trust would be exempt.

Read more »

Why We Need A Low Flat Tax Political Party

I don’t care about any other policy when I vote than the comparative taxation rates.  The rest of the election issues are woolly woofter nonsense to me.  The lower the tax rate the better, which is counter-intuitive for someone in my industry as the size of my wallet depends entirely on people wanting to find solutions to paying these higher taxes.   Lower tax makes us redundant.

Bill English loves tax.  He must do as in his time as Finance Minister he has not once looked like making the slightest amount of tax reform that New Zealand needs to make it more internationally competitive.

So when ACT released their company rate policy to slash company tax from 28% to 12.5% it was immediately poo-pooed by the farmer from Dipton.

“You can’t open up too big a gap between the company tax rate and the personal tax rate. You just invite people to dodge taxes by setting up structures that make them look like companies instead of people.”

Right.

So the top tax rate on individuals is 33% and the company tax rate in New Zealand now is 28%.  The trust rate is 33%.  There currently is a 5% differential between a company rate and the top individual rate.

Thing is, all his farming mates (including himself) actually can and have paid less taxes by setting up structures that make them look like companies instead of people.  You know, the married couple on a small farm who operate it themselves.  Everyone knows what they are doing when they set up a structure in this way.  It is to pay less tax.

But Bill of course doesn’t want anyone else to be able to do this.

Well I have news for him.  Everyone who can do this already is.  And the salary and wage earners in New Zealand cannot actually tell their bosses they want to be contractors and set up companies so they never will be able to take advantage of it.

ACT of course needs to now come out and say that they have taken the Finance Minister’s fabulous advice and propose that company and individual tax rates should be the same – 12.5%.  That’s what their policy at the last election was and it was a damn good one.  A growing proportion of New Zealanders are not even net taxpayers at all.  Why should the already beaten up middle classes take the brunt of excessive government spending. No matter if it is packaged in Bill English blue or David Parker red?