Rich list: Bludging bastards with their protective layers of bought politicians

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Our Inland Revenue Department has a “High Wealth Individuals Unit” (HWI Unit) which collects information on the wealth of “people who have, or are in control of wealth over $50 million”

For the 2014 year, the HWI Unit has identified over 212 people who meet this criteria and furthermore these 212 HWI’s control, or are closely associated with, 7,009 “entities” – mainly companies and tax-haven trusts – with control in some cases shared with other HWI’s.

The most appalling – but not surprising – fact is that 87 of these HWI’s declare a personal income of less than $70,000 – the income above which the top tax rate kicks in.

This information is missing from the NBR’s rich list published last week which focuses solely on celebrating the “success” of the wealthiest but failing to reveal that the average wage or salary earner pays much more personal tax than these money-sucking parasites.

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How do these HWI’s get away with paying less tax than the rest of us? Why is it that the vast majority of us pay tax on every dollar we earn and every dollar we spend while for the wealthy tax is essentially voluntary? Why is income from shares, investments, dividends and capital gains exempt from the same tax levels paid by wage and salary earners?

These same rich listers enjoy all the benefits of living here: driving on our roads; visiting our museums and art galleries; subsidised doctor’s visits; ACC entitlements, national superannuation etc but pay pocket money to maintain them. They use our community facilities and enjoy the benefits of everything we pay for through taxes but won’t cough up themselves.

They are the ultimate bludgers, protected from taxation by successive Labour and National governments who need their donations to run election campaigns.

When GST was introduced by Labour’s Phil Goff in the 1980s one argument Labour gave in its favour was that the rich would no longer be able to avoid tax – they would pay the same as the rest of us. The reality is the opposite. The rich pay less than 5% of their incomes in GST but our lowest-income families pay 14% of their income on this vicious tax-on-the-poor.

Typical descriptions of the parasitic rich-list elite is that given to the first, Graeme Hart, described as a “self-made billionaire”. Yeah right! Like the others Hart has simply learnt cunning ways to exploit the wealth created by the workers in the businesses he owns. His companies pay their workers as little as they can get away with rather than the most they can afford – all for the purpose of enriching Hart.

New Zealanders on the list were on average 7.4 per cent wealthier than they were in 2014 while back in the real world the minimum wage increased by 3.4% this year. One media story reported Hart’s wealth went up by $63 every second last year – even when he was sleeping – while the minimum wage went up by a miserly 50 cents an hour to $14.75.

Minimum wage workers pay about 26% of their incomes in tax (income tax and GST) while the rich listers wouldn’t even get close to double figures.

Bludging bastards with their protective layers of bought politicians.

55 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely agree John.

    These parasitic scum are the real scroungers in society, living off the honesty and struggle of the low waged working person, bleeding the country dry in the process!

    Re John’s final statement -“Bludging bastards with their protective layers of bought politicians.”

    I think if we delved deeper, we will find the same “bought politicians” are also playing the same dirty, corrupt game as the unscrupulous mates they protect!

    Where’s a good guillotine when you need it?

    • Hmmm a guillotine…complete with scaffold for the public viewing… we could get a certain ex – PM to celebrate civic service by hammering in the first nail to officially declare the project under way….only problem is…with his incompetence with a hammer…it would never get built.

      Therefore we would have to contract a large construction firm to get the job done.

  2. Many are often thieves and guilty of treason with the in house trading that has gone on with selling off the public’s ( taxpayers ) state owned assets.

    But instead of exposure for these fire sale deals and the ripping off of the public we get some egghead sycophant coming on the airwaves or a govt lackey telling us its for ‘ our own good to balance the deficit and cut cost to deliver a cheaper service.

    Then they put the prices up.

    Telecommunications and electricity ring a bell , here ?

    The original line from the traitor Roger Douglas about ‘ choices’ and ‘ flexibility ‘ and competition delivering cheaper services ‘….

    35 years we’ve put up with this crap….as well as the above theft of the public by these filthy rich exploiting corporate bludgers with their sense of entitlement.

    • Its interesting that even Vladimir Putin had most of those oligarchs who made a killing when Russia opened up its economy tried in court and imprisoned for doing the same thing for the same reasons – theft of the public coffers.

      But here we have radio announcers sing their praises.

      So who are the more dishonest among the thieves?

    • “Many are often thieves and guilty of treason with the in house trading that has gone on with selling off the public’s ( taxpayers ) state owned assets.”

      In addition to fleecing through theft of SOEs, a certain irrigation scheme being implemented in Canterbury springs to mind.

      https://tinyurl.com/nc9r5f6

  3. The law of survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog. The bell curve. Natural selection.
    All logical fallacies used by them to protect their secret . And that is of societal worthlessness.
    Great Post @ John Minto.

  4. Some of the rich aren’t even listed because they are hiding in the dark. We all thought PNAC stood for Postal Network Access Committee.

    NOPE

    It stands for PROJECT for the NEW AMERICAN CENTURY. Check it out. (Particularly those sites with names such as Snoopman and Edward Snowden)

    We can bring the (NZ) Postal Network Access Committee (clever clever) names into the light and pop them on the SECRET rich list.

  5. Great work John. The Elite pricks scratching each others backs.
    Greed abounds in the slippery slimy ways.

    And now I just heard that Key has OK ed the US etc. ? bringing their military into our country to train. Will the insanity and disgust ever end ? ? ?

    • Jonkey probably was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. In too deep.
      Serco – civilian enforcement. Military – powerful enforcement and once they’re in they don’t go home just replaced with a rotation handover.
      The reason for this, from what I can piece together, the architects of the Project New American Century are trying to provoke a war with Russia and China. New Zealand along with Australia and certain pacific nations are becoming strategic pawns.

      • It seems the Chinese yuan is about to make its entrance onto the stage as the new world reserve currency.
        No wonder all the PMs are out in the Pacific. They’re looking for the lost WWII gold to pay for all the warships and personnel. Wonder if we will see a quick exit from NZ of the bludging bar stewards.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URdw61JtS4I

  6. Bloody right there John. (Welcome to the shakin’ city by the way, it needs a bit of stirrin’ down here!)

    I cannot believe that over 100 years since both Marx and Engels postulated on the distribution of wealth and capital, their theories are being proved yet again. In spite of the two major world wars and countless fights and battles since, supposedly giving the world a democratic and representative way of government, all that has happened is the monarchies that were overthrown after WWI have simply been replaced by these leeches whose main function seems to be to stop the flow of money.

    Also, John, remember that the unemployed, the sick and elderly on social benefits ALL pay tax as well. The means of production, the workers, are all on the bottom of this sick, sick pyramid scheme. Politicians long ago sold out their principles to money…

    And Mary, a guillotine would be very stylish and entertaining but there is easier access to AK47s and Molotovs…

  7. It all has become rather disheartening really.

    And it doesn’t look like this shambles will end any time soon as the thieves control the means that enable them to flourish.
    No point looking at Labour to change the way as they are about as likely as National to do so.

    The political system needs a giant lurch to the left of the political spectrum to correct the vast imbalance that has been going on for thirty odd years.
    Who is likely to do so, well NZ First have started to see a gap and of course Mana has always been honest in its endeavours for the under dog.
    I do hope Mana can keep in the political race.

  8. along with their wealth…..the list should also show their tax contribution…..then we would know who to target………….

  9. Well said John.

    But, what these rich bastards do not realise, is that all their $$$ cannot buy them the things that really matter in life. Happiness and health, for example.

    Usually, they fall into the trap of thinking that they can use their wealth to buy those things also, but many of them they end up living hollow, empty lives.

    An example of this is the wealthy people who die ‘premature’ deaths. Senator Ted Kennedy was one such…. the US medical establishment assembled an elite panel of oncologists to design a state-of-the-art treatment plan for this ‘important’ man when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The result? He survived EXACTLY the ‘average’ length of time for people with his condition. All the money in the world could not extend his life by one day! (This is true… look it up).

    I take comfort in that. ‘Karma’ catches up with everybody, and wealth makes no difference. Steve Jobs is another example…. untold billions of untaxed profits stashed in dodgy tax havens by Apple Computer was useless to him when the Grim Reaper came knocking. nobody can buy their way into ‘heaven’ (if such a place exists), and nobody can extend their own mortal life with money.

    So, in the end, what good does their wealth do them? A flasher coffin than what many people can afford, and a special plot in the cemetery.

    • Yes but its the suffering they cause in the meantime such as global wars and poverty and childhood deprivation.

      If your a bit squeamish about it – think of it this way – your helping them to be better people by doing them in court for tax dodging.

    • Woody Allan famously said something along the lines of “money will not buy you happiness but it does ease the pain”.

    • Over the years I have observed that the people who seem to live the longest are the least medicated. It might explain why doctors don’t live as long as the rest of us. The rich can afford all the drugs money can buy (and the doctors who are probably well funded by the drug industry), and in fact end up living a shorter life than if they had done nothing. In other words, the parasites sucked the life out of them in the end. Karma.

  10. A List of Parasites lets see. International banks, Property speculators, Land bankers (asa hobby farmers and lifestylers) and Land Lords.
    All these and other parasite rich listers flout and abuse the system thats rigged in their favor. Consecutive corrupt Govts maintain corrupt immoral laws for the benefit of there mates including corporations and royalty.
    Until we the people get to vote on policy we have no real democracy just more fascism.
    Guillontines? be a nice touch but tradition says spies are shot Traitors are hung. Non participation, civil disobedience and outright REVOLT is whats needed here. Once we were warriors now we are slaves.

  11. I’m forced to ‘watch’ Paul Henry three times weekly at a client’s house Mr Henry asked the MBR’s editor how the rich got their money and that smug git said “hard work” – I was really glad I was running water to wash my client’s dishes as I just couldn’t help snorting. Can’t imagine they got their millions from caring (literal or figurative). Mr Hart’s big break? – buying a government organisation! Hmm – lots of hard work there….

  12. Just for clarification, in NZ we don’t pay tax on wealth, we pay tax on income.

    Based on http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Net_Tax_Paid_by_Households,_estimated_for_the_tax_year_ending_31_March_2015.png, the top 14% of NZ income earners pay 73% of the total net tax take, so it seems they are more than paying their share.

    Also, wealth doesn’t necessarily equate to high income. Much wealth can be concentrated in the hands of retired people who have paid their fair share of taxes in years past. I don’t begrudge such people their lifestyles.

    • the top 14% of NZ income earners pay 73% of the total net tax take, so it seems they are more than paying their share.

      Incorrect. As per usual, that equation leaves out GST (and other indirect taxation) which boosts the amount of tax paid by everyone else, and which the top ten percent can avoid with some clever accounting.

      Also, wealth doesn’t necessarily equate to high income. Much wealth can be concentrated in the hands of retired people who have paid their fair share of taxes in years past. I

      You seem to have overlooked the fact that the top 10% own 51.8% of wealth in NZ, as detailed in this Statistics NZ report;

      Perhaps a more revealing statistic is that at the halfway mark, the bottom half of the population collectively owns a mere 5.2 percent of total net worth, although this takes into account the considerable negative net worth of 6.5 percent of the population.

      Perhaps a more revealing statistic is that at the halfway mark, the bottom half of the population collectively owns a mere 5.2 percent of total net worth, although this takes into account the considerable negative net worth of 6.5 percent of the population.
      Page 8: Table 2 Percentile distribution of net worth ownership

      Top 1% – 16.4%
      Next 4% – 21.3%
      Next 5% – 14.1%
      Next 40% – 43%
      Bottom 50% – 5.2%

      Ref: http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/people-and-communities/families/wealth-and-disparities-in-new-zealand/wealth-disparities.pdf

      Note that half the population has only 5.2% of the wealth?!

      So as usual, apologists for the top hoarders of wealth leave out important bits of information to try to sway the reader.

      Question is, “Lion King”, why would you do it? Unless you’re connected to one of the wealthiest families in New Zealand? Otherwise, if you’re not, I hope you realise that don’t care for you as much as you seem to care for them.

      • Just so I read that table correctly Frank. Is that really 40% of taxpayers are in fact net tax takers? Surely not?!

        EDIT: that’s the table Lionking provided? So, should have probably asked him. Sorry

        • Yes, you are correct. The lowest 40% of income earning households pay zero tax, and in fact get a net tax benefit. It’s virtually the equivalent of a tax free threshold of $50,000 for households.

          • Yep, thought so. In fact, the “surely not” was meant to be sarcastic. I’m surprised that John still pulls the same argument every turn he can. He’s been taken to task over his claims here and on the Mana Blog before.

            Again, there goes their “the top earners are not paying their fair share”, which we all knew was a bogus argument.

            You’re correct on GST as well. Those earners that spend $50, $60 or $80K+ on a car for example, pay more in GST in that one transaction, then some do over a few years.

            • Those earners that spend $50, $60 or $80K+ on a car for example, pay more in GST in that one transaction, then some do over a few years.

              Except that the “$50, $60 or $80K+ on a car” can easily be put through the company books, and the GST retrieved as a business expense.

              Oldest trick in the game.

              • Only problem there is that quite a large number of people who can and do afford a purchase of that, or higher, magnitude, are in fact simply employed and earn a salary. Just because you earn over $80 or $100K annually doesn’t mean you own/run a company and “put it on the company”.

                • ICD, there are plenty of ways to minimise your tax obligations if you can afford a half-way decent accountant and tax-lawyer.

                  That’s why so many millionaires claim to earn $70,000, when in reality their wealth is a hundred times that amount.

                  It’s called tax fraud, and there are billions being avoided by the rich listers.

                  So your sophistry is wasted here.

                  The only question I have is what’s your skin in this? Tax layer? Accountant? Act member? Rich prick?

                  I don’t think many low or medium income earners would be so concerned for the Rich Listers as you and Lion King are…..

                  • “It’s called tax fraud,”

                    To make this claim I assume you have evidence? If so,the IRD will be very interested to hear from you.

                  • No skin in this game at all James, just utterly over the likes of you and Mr Minto continuously bleating on about wealthy rich pricks. Just because you have income and/or wealth doesn’t make you a rich prick and/or a mate of John Key.

                    As if only those that have companies to hide behind and are ripping of poor workers are the ones that can earn (a) way more than the average income and (b) accumulate some wealth.

                    I’m just a hard working guy, doing 50+hours a week on a salary that is fortunately well above average, all through education and training in a trade. Nothing fancy to see here.

                    I’m just seriously past Mr Minto’s and your argument, debunked time and again, that those on high incomes do not pay their fair share. We do, trust you me. I pay more on income tax than some people earn, so please, spare me.

          • Just to re-cap, LionKing, because it seems you’re ignoring the evidence I presented above;

            Perhaps a more revealing statistic is that at the halfway mark, the bottom half of the population collectively owns a mere 5.2 percent of total net worth, although this takes into account the considerable negative net worth of 6.5 percent of the population.
            Page 8: Table 2 Percentile distribution of net worth ownership

            Top 1% – 16.4%
            Next 4% – 21.3%
            Next 5% – 14.1%
            Next 40% – 43%
            Bottom 50% – 5.2%

            Ref: http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/people-and-communities/families/wealth-and-disparities-in-new-zealand/wealth-disparities.pdf

            And, you omitted to mention that the “top 14% of NZ income earners” earn 42% of taxable income – nearly half the income in this country.

            You can ignore these truths – but they are real nonetheless.

            • “And, you omitted to mention that the “top 14% of NZ income earners” earn 42% of taxable income – nearly half the income in this country. ”

              That’s off topic, which is why I haven’t responded.

      • The ‘top ten percent’ can no more avoid GST than the ‘bottom 10 percent’. Not only that, but higher income earners likely spend more, and therefore pay more GST.

        • Lion King –

          The ‘top ten percent’ can no more avoid GST than the ‘bottom 10 percent’. Not only that, but higher income earners likely spend more, and therefore pay more GST.

          Rubbish.

          Tax evasion in this country is estimated to be as high as $6 billion.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10871292

          You’re spouting ACT dogma, and doing a piss-poor job at it.

          Add to that the “black economy” – worth an estimated $20 billion (http://www.kpmg.com/nz/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/press-releases/pages/tax-politics-target-black-economy.aspx) by KPMG – and your crocodile tears for the rich comes across as a bit of a wank.

          There is sound reason why ACT gained 0.69% of the Party Vote – most fair-minded New Zealanders see you people as selfish rich pricks and their wannabee hangers-on.

          • GST is no more avoidable by the rich than by the not rich Frank. The most common form of GST evasion is ‘cash’ jobs. Low income people are not immune from that temptation. Tax evasion and the black economy are real, but they are most certainly not the sole domain of the wealthy or high income earners.

            • You’re taking the piss, right, LK?

              Of course the rich can avoid paying GST. Put purchases through trusts and company structures and not only do you not pay GST but you get a refund.

              You’re either woefully ignorant how GST returns work, or are deliberately bullshitting us. I opt for the latter.

              • The opportunities for putting personal purchases through trusts and companies is now very limited with the level of scrutiny from the IRD. ‘Cash’ jobs, on the other hand, are a part of the economy at both ends of the income spectrum.

    • By the way, Lion King, you omitted to mention that the “top 14% of NZ income earners” earn 42% of taxable income – nearly half the income in this country.

      And that’s just their stated income. It would be interesting to see what they have “squirrelled” away in trusts and other accounting gimmicks.

      • I understand what you’re saying, Frank, but that wasn’t the point of my comment. John’s post was confusing wealth and income, which are actually two different things. When you begin with a false premise, you will likely end up with a false conclusion.

        • No, LionKing, you’re simply trying to frame the issue to suit your particular ACT ideology.

          By ignoring Net worth ownership of wealth and focusing on tax paid, you’re only looking at the facts that suit you – not the whole picture.

          Indeed, many (most?) wealthy individuals/families structure their affairs in such a way that they “earn” less and therefore pay less tax. Any good accountant knows the tricks of the trade.

          So you won’t get much sympathy here for the top 10%.

          After all, as I wrote above; the “top 14% of NZ income earners” earn 42% of taxable income – nearly half the income in this country. (That’s from your data, not mine.)

          • Now you’re making the same mistake. John’s post was not about income inequality, it was about whether or not high wealth/income earners are paying their share of tax.

            • Hair splitting much, Lion King? Why don’t you want to discuss income inequality? The income tax chart you linked to IS about income.

  13. Income from shares and other investments is gained AFTER tax.

    If I earn $100,000 and pay $30,000 tax and then buy shares with the remaining $70,000, I have 30% fewer shares than I could have bought if it weren’t for personal income tax.

    So any money I earn FROM those shares, is going to be 30% less than what I could have earned from them if it weren’t for tax.

    Instead of me investing that $30,000 the government got to invest/spend it instead, and they get the returns from that $30,000 too, and I only get the returns from the $70,000, so they’ve taken 30% of my investment returns too.

    • Instead of me investing that $30,000 the government got to invest/spend it instead, and they get the returns from that $30,000 too, and I only get the returns from the $70,000, so they’ve taken 30% of my investment returns too.

      And in return, Peter, you get free hospitals; near-free schools; police; justice system (such as it is); roads, bridges, etc, etc. All the trappings of a modern society.

      Your taxes (and mine) actually built up this country’s modern infra-structure; power; telecommunications; roading; railways; ferries; etc. None of it was funded by corporates – our parents and grand-parents did it through taxation.

      So instead on whinging that “they’ve taken 30% of my investment returns too”, I’d be thankful you lived here and not some place like Somalia. At least here you used the internet (via copper lines) to make your post here on ‘The Daily Blog’. (Paid by taxes.)

      Cheers.

    • Ok, Peter. So go to a country where you don’t have to pay taxes.

      Enjoy their infra-structure while you’re there. (Dirt roads, no hospitals, and schools in mud huts.)

      You’ll be back here in a month.

  14. IRD have informed me the citizenry are obliged to fake a tax return if you earn $200 or more in a year. that is 54 cents a day you could earn and keep it all for yourself, thats most decent of them. $1 over and key will have is pound of flesh or a tug on your tail depending on his mood.

  15. NESARA HAS STARTED!!! Slowly at first then will gather momentum.
    Don’t worry about any negative news you might see/read. Death roll of the cabal.

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