A couple of things came up in discussions I had this weekend about Labour’s economic plan that I thought were worth a reminder.
First, among developed countries we stand with only Switzerland and Turkey in not having a capital gains tax. That’s it. Australia’s got one, so has Canada, Norway, Germany, you name it. A lot of people don’t realise that this is not some radical tax dreamed up on the left of politics in New Zealand, it is part of taxation regimes around the world, because it is fair and reasonable.
The other question is around exemptions. As far as I know (and David C will correct me if I am wrong) that Japan is the only developed country who include the family home in the CGT. Exemptions are part of the CGT picture around the world. Tax accountants look at every tax and try to find ways through them. But that is not a reason to avoid putting them in place. We believe that CGT, along with the other initiatives Clare highlighted earlier today are the basis of a plan to bring some fairness and long term sustainable growth into our economy.
One final thought. Labour was rightly asked for detailed policy on the economy. We have provided that. What is National’s policy? Serious question. Can we expect something different? Or Is it just a continuation of the drifting and short term thinking of the last three years? It would be good to know. As the ad says, now’s good.