Trougher thinks we need more taxes


Over the weekend The Nation ran a story by Torben Akel about whether we needed more taxes to live longer.

While most would say ‘Yeah Right’, sadly there’s one person out there who seems to spend all day arguing the need for more taxes to save us from ourselves.

To regular readers the name of Nick Wilson will be familiar. He’s an old trougher from Otago University’s Department of Troughers in Wellington. The last time he was in the media he was banging on about his ‘new’ research looking at google street view images of smokefree signs on hospital doors.

Nick Wilson was also slammed by the Taxpayers’ Union for claiming a salt tax would reap $450 million. Wilson didn’t seem fazed by the research that showed a salt tax would result in a 2,500% increase in the price of salt for Kiwi consumers.   

“Taxpayers are sick of academic activism inhibiting informed debate on what should be an area of serious public policy discussion. Otago University should be embarrassed to have a public health academic make such public but demonstrably ridiculous claims about a revenue matter which is outside his sphere of expertise.”

There’s no surprise that Nick Wilson is the go-to academic trougher who will be guaranteed to argue for more taxes. After all, he’s argued for tobacco taxes, a fizzy drink tax, a fat tax, salt tax and alcohol tax.

Economist Eric Crampton from the New Zealand Initiative rejects Wilson’s comments completely. He says, “Targeted interventions seem a lot better than punishing everyone else.” Good call.

But troughers like Nick Wilson would rather have everyone punished with more taxes.


– 3News/The Nation

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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.