Bob Jones on Capital Gains Tax

Bob Jones is derisory of the efforts of Labour in pursuing rich prick envy taxes, and in particular capital gains tax.

I reminded my friend Stuart Nash of that three years ago after, as shadow revenue minister, he telephoned me triumphantly about gaining the front page of Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper. His plaint: farmers pay little or no tax.

“There’s a bloody good reason for that,” I told him. “They don’t make any money.” Their constant reinvestment of their income in productivity enhancement to stay up with the play, be it fertilisers or whatever, benefits us all.

Much of the current clamour arises from the false perception that residential investors are creaming it, buying and selling houses and paying no tax on profits. If they’re doing that, namely trading, then their gains are taxable. Permanent investors, however, are akin to farmers, constantly reinvesting in their properties and achieving lousy net returns but looking to long-term security. Show me a rich residential investor and I’ll eat my arms uncooked. As with farmers, be grateful for residential investors, for if they didn’t exist we’d all be paying to meet the cost of the state filling the ensuing rental housing gap. 

A point well missed by the envious members of the Labour party.

Other countries have capital gains tax is another cry. That’s excellent news for New Zealand in giving us an advantage in the competitive quest by all nations for foreign investment. But it’s also a fallacious argument. Other countries have capital punishment, compulsory military training, public floggings, bullfighting, military dictatorships, compulsory prayers; I could go on but since when is what others do our guide? And with taxes, well, other countries have inheritance taxes, stamp duty on every transaction, payroll taxes, tariffs on imports, land tax, and so on ad infinitum. They’re certainly no example in their implicit inefficiencies and inherent costs to society.

Labour’s promise to introduce capital gains taxes reeks of hypocrisy and the negative envy politics of yesteryear, which kept them out of office so long. My first column last year was on taxation.

I observed that my life-long study of tax reform proposals from diverse factions, always without exception, amounted to tax the other fellow. So too with Labour when it inconsistently says it won’t tax the family home. It didn’t say why but I can tell you. It’s totally self-serving as it wouldn’t be elected.

They might not tax the family home but they will certainly be applying the capital gains tax against the many small businesses operated in New Zealand.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.