How many sheep make a farm?

Continuing our look at the CGT fiasco from someone who has a column in the Herald and who is prepared to ask Ardern hard questions on air. Obviously, Mike never gets a straight and honest answer, but at least the questions are being asked by someone in the media. Quote.

[…] The examples Bridges is running are real, and the Government saying they haven’t yet made up their minds not only isn’t true, but also shows lack of leadership.

Why they haven’t been honest I don’t know. Why they can’t defend their corner leaves me equally bemused. And the fact they’ve kept Michael Cullen on at a grand a day is an outrage.

If you can’t argue your case, you don’t have a case.

[…] Perhaps the best example Bridges raises is the lifestyle block, of which there are over 400,000.

Now to be fair that includes businesses, and in that number is the fatal flaw made by those who argue for a CGT, asking why should business be exempt when salary and wages are included.

So lifestyle blocks first.

Why, asks Bridges, does a 2 hectare holding in Southland worth a couple of hundred thousand attract a tax, when the $8 million mansion in Remuera doesn’t?

Fair question I would have thought.

Then we get to the line between a lifestyle block and a farm. What if farms are exempt because Winston Peters, who already hates the tax, decides his support comes only if you slice out farms.

If you plant your lifestyle block with trees or get some sheep on board, is that a farm? And who decides?

And in that is the greatest flaw of all in the original CGT idea. […]

And then to businesses. What, ask the critics, is the difference between salary and wages and paying tax on them, as opposed to the business owner who currently gets to walk with the profit, upon sale?

In a way if you have to ask that question you don’t understand business.

Owning a business is not about salary and wages, it’s about risk and lost sleep and debt and a lifetime worth of energy and effort to not only build something lasting and successful, but also adding to the productive economy.

To equate that to clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 5, with all the leisure, support and safety that someone else’s business offers you, is to fail to understand what’s required to take the leap in the first place.

The small business person, whether a farmer, retailer or manufacturer, is the hero and life blood of this country. The employee is someone who comes and goes as they choose.

And maybe that’s the greatest weakness the Labour cabinet has.

One of them, possibly two, has ever actually owned a business.

The rest are running on theory, and their handling thus far reeks of the lack of understanding, which is why Simon has got traction.

And if he’s smart, he’s got a bit over a year to hammer it home and get himself back in the game. End quote.

A Newspaper


Having spent time as a government employee, a self-employed consultant, a small business owner and a wage worker in a large business, gives one a reasonable ability to see different perspectives.

How people like the bulk of the politicians on the left can hope to understand the impacts on the hundreds of thousands of small New Zealand businesses is a mystery. They have never experienced, or have any concept of, the hours, the stresses and the sacrifices that many make to ensure that their staff are paid each week, the taxman is paid on time, the creditors are all happy and so forth.

It is so much easier to pull one’s snout out of the trough periodically and pontificate about it being “fairer”.

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