Government elected to fix the tax system

I used to think James Shaw would be good for the Green Party. With a business background, he would, I thought, be the voice of reason amongst the whacky Greens. As it turns out, he is whackier than most of them. He lost me when he supported Metirea Turei’s benefit fraud, because that is a criminal offence and he should see that. Now he wants to fix a tax system that, by the admission of the prime minister and the minister of finance, works perfectly well as it is. quote.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says the Government was elected to fix the tax system – and that means considering a capital gains tax (CGT).

end quote.

Firstly, they were not elected. The election was held and then the results were thrown into the dustbin by a bitter old man with 7% of the vote.

I think that completely destroys his argument anyway, but let us move on to his next stupid statement. Jacinda had to backpedal furiously in her 2017 election campaign because Labour started losing traction when she talked about introducing CGT. Only by promising not to introduce any new taxes during her first term did Jacinda drag Labour’s support up to 37%. quote.

While the National Government introduced the bright-line test, essentially a CGT on properties sold within two years of purchase, the current Government extended that to five years.

But Mr Shaw told The AM Show that needed to go further and the Green Party has long said introducing a CGT was fundamental to creating a fairer society.

“We have always believed that it makes sense for people who flip properties for a living to pay tax on that income just the same way that you and I who earn a salary or a wage pay tax on that income,” he said. end quote.

Another party leader shows a disgraceful lack of understanding about fiscal and taxation issues, but given that Shaw was previously employed at PWC, he has no excuse. The whole point of the Bright Line Test was to do exactly that, to catch people who ‘flip properties.’ In other words it was to ensure that property speculators are caught in the tax net. CGT catches people who are NOT speculators… including a fair few who simply live in their own house. quote.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern scrapped Labour’s capital gains policy a week before the 2017 election in the face of immense criticism and attack ads from National.

But, despite that, Mr Shaw reckons it was central to the Government’s mandate.

“That’s what we got elected to do, if you go back to the election campaign, we have got a majority of votes in the house for fairness and transparency and all of those good values in the tax system.” end quote.

It never ceases to amaze me how these people can twist the facts to their own way of thinking. They have no mandate whatsoever for changing the tax system, as I suspect Mr Shaw will soon find out.

Here is the bit you really need to worry about though. quote.

Mr Peter’s [sic] position also looks like it may be softening, with the politician saying: “When you’re presented with a new set of circumstances, then it’s wise to actually consider it before confirming your former opinion.”

Newshub end quote.

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but Winston seems to be setting himself up for approving a watered-down version of CGT. It would not surprise me. He may placate farmers by exempting them as he has already left racehorses out of the CGT net. Think about that. You may have to pay CGT on your home because you used one room as a home office, but sell a racehorse and you don’t pay it. Talk about friends in high places (17 hands high) and everyone else gets left to rot.

Jacinda and Grant have both said that the tax system currently works well. You know what they say. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.