National’s budget slogan today
What marvellous news – tax cuts are coming…What splendid news!
Today Prime Minister John Key announced that future budgets would most likely include tax cuts.
And not before time. Low and middle income families are doing all the heavy lifting for the economy and need a break.
The two tax cuts the country desperately needs are:
- Abolishing GST – a vicious tax on low-income families (the poorest New Zealanders pay 14% of their income on GST while the richest pay less than 5%)
- Abolish income tax on the first $27,000 of income from wages or salaries
But we all know there is no free lunch – a pity someone didn’t tell that to the idle rich and the corporates – so these tax cuts need to be offset with tax on unproductive sectors of the economy which are not only distorting and damaging the country but are largely untaxed.
I’m talking about:
- A Financial Transactions Tax on currency speculators
- A robust capital gains tax where each person declares all their income irrespective of the source and pays tax the same as the rest of us
- An inheritance tax on estates valued over $500,000
Over the past 30 years the tax burden has been shifted from the wealthy and the corporate sector to wage and salary earners through income tax cuts and GST increases.
That’s got to change.
In reality most of the richest 1% don’t pay any meaningful tax despite the 150 wealthiest New Zealanders getting an increase in wealth of $5 billion last year.
Sorry but enough is enough. Low-income families can no longer afford to carry the indolent rich and the tax-avoiding corporate sector.
So tax cuts are to be welcomed – starting with GST.
(Note: John Minto is Economic Justice Spokesperson for the Mana Movement)