Hands up who wants to trust an “expert panel”?

David Cunliffe says that Labour will make sure there is an “expert panel” who will determine whether or not the house you are selling is your residence, before applying the capital gains tax.

Key said National would release its fiscal plan next week but reiterated any tax cuts would be modest and aimed at low and middle income earners.

He hammered the point that Labour would add five new taxes and tried to reprise the “show me the money” moment from his 2011 debate against Phil Goff asking Cunliffe if his capital gains tax would apply to houses in trusts.

But Cunliffe avoided answering, turning the topic instead to Labour’s broader tax plan. His advisers told media in the break that the tax would not apply to the family home if it was in a trust.

Speaking to media after the debate, Key clarified his attack on Cunliffe regarding Capital Gains Tax applying to family homes that were owned by a trust.

“My read of the [Labour policy] is that if you own a family home and it’s in a trust, under Labour you will be subject to a capital gains tax because that policy says that you don’t pay a capital gains tax on a family home… if you are the owner/occupier. 

“But, of course under a family trust the trust is the owner.

Key said he’d received a “ball park” figure from an unnamed tax specialist that 300,000 Kiwi homes were in trusts.  

The latest Census figures showed that was closer to 215,000.

But Cunliffe rejected criticisms that he was not across his own policy during the debate, after he was unable to answer Key’s allegations regarding homes in family trusts.

Cunliffe clarified to media after the debate that Labour’s policy placed emphasis on the “family home” rather than legal ownership.

“I’ve learned to check my facts and John Key got it wrong. A family home does not incur capital gains tax [under Labour], whether it is owned by a trust or not.”

Cunliffe said an “expert panel” would decided whether a homeowner was selling a primary residence. 

Talking on the nature of the debate, which saw more interaction than last week’s one, both leaders said the town-hall style was more engaging.

Got that, if you sell your house you have to be interviewed by a clipboard wielding panel of busy-bodies who will decided whether or not your house is subject to capital gains tax or not.

According to REINZ there are around 6000 residential house sales every month.

Even in the unlikely event the “expert panel met every day in the month they would still have 200 sales to review each and every day. Working on 20 working days per month that would actually be 300 sales to review.

Labour’s capital gains tax will drown the bureaucracy in paper work, and slow down sales int he market significantly…no one is going to settle on a property where its tax status is at issue. The difference between having the “expert panel” stamp of approaval and not is tens of thousands of dollars at Labour’s proposed 15% capital gains tax.

 

– Fairfax

 


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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

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