Should we get a break down of what our taxes pay for?

Rodney Hide nearly managed to get it past parliament but for a veto from the government of the day.

Today he explores once again the proposal that the government fully inform us as to where our taxes actually go, in a highly personalised manner.

The biggest commotion I caused in Parliament was having the numbers to pass a requirement that every year the Minister of Finance write to each taxpayer advising them of the tax paid on their behalf and thanking them for their contribution.

Bill Birch used the government’s financial veto to squash my amendment, arguing the cost of postage was exorbitant.

Officials later conceded the concern was a taxpayers’ revolt.

Councils teeter on the edge of a ratepayers’ revolt each and every budget. Central government doesn’t. That’s because central government collects PAYE before workers even see their wages and buries GST into the price of everything.

The fuss over rates is a good thing. It keeps councils on their toes.  We need the same opportunity to know what central government costs.

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Now they’re fighting the dictionary?


My good friend John Key reckons he is honouring his election pledge about no new taxes.

When is a tax not a tax? When the Prime Minister says so.

John Key has denied going back on his word by introducing a “border clearance levy”, which will sting travellers with $22 in arrival and departure taxes.

Key deflected questions on the matter from reporters following his annual post-Budget speech.

Asked what the difference was between a tax and a levy, he replied “many”, and when pressed, to “Google it”.   Read more »

Why is it that Labour always thinks of new taxes first?

Labour never seems to think about tax cuts, or cuts to “entitlements”, instead they always look to increasing taxes or finding new taxes.

Richard Harman out lines some inside gossip that Labour are planning to tax the dead again.

Labour is looking for a replacement for its capital gains tax.

And one influential former advisor is advocating a wealth tax, particularly the return of death duties.

Instead of Bring Back the Dead…labour seem to be wanting to Bring Back Death Duties.     Read more »

Of course they are opposed to a referendum

Auckland Council and Len brown are running at a hundred miles an hour away from giving citizens of Auckland a say on how they want to tax us for using roads we have already paid for.

Auckland Council staff are opposing a public referendum on whether to charge motorway tolls or raise fuel taxes and rates to fill a multibillion-dollar transport funding gap as allegedly too costly and confusing.

An Auckland-wide referendum on ways of raising an extra $300 million a year would cost $1.5 million and the timetable for running it ahead of long-term budget decisions needed by early May would be very tight, says a staff report to councillors.

The report, which councillors will consider on Thursday, also says a referendum would not replace the council’s obligation to consult on transport funding options before setting its 10-year budget.

Running two processes asking about the same issue was likely to be “confusing for Aucklanders.”

It says a consultation document for the budget will be delivered to each household for feedback in any case, and recommends a “statistically reliable and independent” survey if councillors want greater clarity about public opinion after that.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown opposed the idea of a referendum last month, when an advisory group presented the council with options of either a motorway toll averaging $2 or higher fuel taxes and rates, saying he expected tens of thousands of people to make their views clear in submissions to the long-term budget.    Read more »


Len Brown strangles “most livable city” plan

It’s all on in the quest to squeeze money out of everything to get his train set built.   Now Len is going to put a huge dent in the hospitality industry.

Cafes and restaurants face higher costs to put tables and chairs outdoors under Auckland Council plans to recover a full rental for use of public space for street trading.

However, some cafe owners say the plan threatens to put a damper on the streetside dining atmosphere.

Their businesses would not be able to afford to put out tables and customers would refuse to pay an “outdoor surcharge”.

In a proposal to the council’s budget committee meeting yesterday, council staff said rent rises of more than $1000 for some street cafes would boost council coffers by about $1.2 million in 2015/16.

Rents on footpath space were brought in by only some of the region’s former councils and now staff wanted a uniform street trading bylaw with consistent licensing fees and a regional rental.

The proposal is that all street traders pay $360 a year for a licence plus a rent based on the commercial value of the space they use.

This means the highest rentals will be in the central city and graduated for popular suburban strips and shopping centres with fewer customers.

Yeah, you wouldn’t expect Len to take fees away, would you?  He’s squeezing the last drop out of everything he can find.   Read more »

Len Brown breaks yet another promise, ratchets rates ever higher

Len Brown has become the lying Mayor.

Another of his election promises has gone by the wayside as his council keeps on increasing rates rather than reining in spending.

Auckland Council’s budget committee has voted 16-7 for a proposal to increase rates by 3.5 per cent for each year of a new 10-year budget.

The proposal got the backing of Mayor Len Brown, who promised voters to hold rates at 2.5 per cent this term.

This is on top of the massive rates rises of the last 3 years, some way more than 10% but capped under now expired legislation. Remember too that this is average rates rises of 3.5%, there will be some with even higher rates rises.

These are the tax, spend and hope councillors.

For a 3.5 per cent increase: Len Brown, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, John Walker, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and John Tamihere.

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Come hell or high water, Len Brown’s coming for more money

He’s amazingly stubborn our Len.  He’s come up with a new way not to make rates go up.  Invent a new one

Aucklanders could pay a new charge on top of rates to fund transport projects.

A “targeted rate” is one option being considered by an independent group looking at alternative funding measures to plug a $12 billion-plus transport funding gap over the next 30 years.

Evaluating road tolls and fuel-tax rises and traditional funding methods such as rate rises and targeted rates is the job of the group due to report to the council next month.

The Herald understands that the independent alternative transport funding group is leaning towards motorway tolls. It will also provide options for targeted rates and extra rates rises.

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee reiterated the Government’s pre-election position that there would be no regional fuel taxes or tolling of existing state highways in Auckland.

Auckland Council cannot introduce motorway tolls or a regional fuel tax without government approval.

Len needs $12 billion.  And he’s coming to get it come hell or high water.  Thank goodness he can’t introduce transport related taxes / levies / rates without government approval, otherwise you wouldn’t need an iPredict stock to tell you what would happen.   Read more »

UNITE Union’s Regressive Tax On Their Members

The Unite Union love to put it about that they are New Zealand’s most far left Union.  But have a look at their fee tax structure for their 7,000 members.

Their poorest members pay a whopping 2% of their income in fees tax.

The wealthiest pay just .7% of their income in fees tax.

Rather than have a progressive system that they promote for everyone else in New Zealand their own system is purely regressive to a flat fee maximum tax.

Matt McCarten and David Cunliffe need to have a wee sit down and develop Labour’s taxation policy along the same lines.  It promises to be a vote winner in Epsom.

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A Labour party policy we can all agree with

Finally a Labour party policy we can agree with…cutting taxes…oh wait it is UK Labour not the Labour party in NZ.

George Osborne should cut income tax in next week’s Budget to kick-start Britain’s economy, the shadow chancellor tells the Daily Telegraph.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ed Balls insists that a cut in the basic rate of income tax — funded by a temporary rise in borrowing — would ultimately pay for itself as it would spark economic growth.

He says “something must be done now” as Britain is facing an economic depression “like the 1930s”.  Read more »


Poor Little Britain

Imagine a 40 per cent marginal tax rate

In the hope of raising £3.3billion by 2018, Mr Osborne announced he would limit the size of the increase in the personal tax thresholds.

Currently, everyone can earn £8,105 without paying a penny of tax. For the next £34,370 they earn they pay income tax of 20 per cent.

This means that once they have a salary of £42,475, they would pay 40 per cent income tax for every additional pound they earn.

Quite why you would stay in England paying for bludging ferals to breed in their Council houses to get hit with a 40 per cent marginal rate at around NZ$80k I do not and never will, understand.