New Zealand desperately needs a fairer tax system.
Labour stands for a capital gains tax because wage earners carry the can for wealthy property investors who too often pay almost no tax at all.
We support progressive tax rates because it’s wrong for the poorest in our society to subsidise big tax cuts for the richest.
Opposition to the National/United Future Government’s new car park tax unites unions and business because its administration will cost more than the tax will collect. That’s just crazy.
And those administration costs will disproportionally hit the poor, because it’s vulnerable female cleaners working at night for minimum wage who’ll lose their safe parking (not the bigwigs).
Labour stands firmly for better public transport in Auckland. But the car park tax simply isn’t intended to deliver that.
Any theoretical revenues from the new tax are earmarked to be chucked down the deficit hole.
That’s because the National/United Future Government have staked their entire economic credibility on two measures: reducing taxes and returning the Crown’s books to surplus.
Well they’ve completely failed on the tax reduction front. John Key and Peter Dunne have introduced more new taxes than any Government since Rob Muldoon. As well as the car park tax we’ve had the paperboy and papergirl tax, the increase in GST, higher prescription charges for the elderly, pickpocketed tertiary students, and cuts to services all over the show. Last week they even announced a rapacious tax on Christchurch rebuild workers’ accommodation!
With regards to returning the books to surplus, well we’ve had 4 years of John Key’s deficits. And the only thing New Zealand has to show for forced austerity are these new taxes which make zero financial sense.
So the National and United Future parties aren’t just scraping the bottom of their own credibility barrel – they’ve dug right through and they’re on their way to Greece.
It’s time for this Government to come clean and acknowledge their trickle-down dogmas don’t work in the real world.
It’s time for a plan to make New Zealand’s tax system fairer so we can see sustainable growth in jobs and the wider economy.
And a very simple start would be dropping this costly and absurd new car park tax.
Motivated by the pressure from their traditional backers and funders, I won’t be surprised if National concede on the car park tax pretty soon. If so, expect to see Tory ministers abrogate collective responsibility as they desperately try to shift blame onto United Future and Peter Dunne for this debacle.