Herald Editorial gets into Cullen

Editorial: Replace tax credits with tax cuts – 19 Oct 2007 – Opinion, Editorial and reader comments from New Zealand and around the World – nzherald

Cullens ideological hatred of tax cuts comes in for some scrutiny from the NZ Herald in its editorial.
[quote]”Not the kind of programme you would expect to see from a Labour-led Government,” Dr Cullen sniffed.

Well, not from this one. Almost its first act was to raise the top rate of personal tax not because it needed the money – the Treasury was running Budget surpluses – but because Dr Cullen, Helen Clark and Jim Anderton had been backbenchers in a Labour Government that flattened the tax scale and they were determined to restore its former bite on higher earners.[/quote]

Cullen uses phrases “tax credits” and “tax relief” which are fantastic for a wordsmith to analyse. Both phrases intimate and point to some “tax pain or too much tax in the first place if we are to receive the munificent bounty of the chosen party and Dear Leader. That’s great but why doesn’t Cullen just lesson the pain or stop taking so much, then he wouldn’t have to give us back any of our money he never needed in the first place.
[quote]This Labour-led Government likes to give selective tax favours in the form of credits, not cuts. Tax credits mean the tax is collected, flows through the system and is returned as a payment such as “family support”. Many wage earners get all their tax back in such payments. Why not leave it with them in the first place and save the cost of collecting it and processing their payments?

The reason Dr Cullen’s brand of Labour Government does not take the cheaper option is social principle. They believe universal benefits create a shared stake in the state that is socially healthy, not to say politically valuable for Labour. That is the reason tax cuts are anathema to them. We are paying a high price for their principle.[/quote]

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