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.