Labour and Capital Gains Tax – Is it a surrender if you fail to fight?

By   /   April 26, 2019  /   29 Comments

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None of Labour’s arguments to explain their failure to deliver a Capital Gains Tax stack up.

None of Labour’s arguments to explain their failure to deliver a Capital Gains Tax stack up.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the government couldn’t get agreement with its coalition partners and Finance Minister Grant Robertson likewise says Labour’s desire for a CGT was a victim of MMP politics – if NZ First wouldn’t agree then there was no possible deal.

Tax Working Group chair Michael Cullen was closer to the mark when he said it was sunk by “vested interests”.

But the simple truth is Labour made no effort whatever – not even a token effort – to campaign for a CGT or explain why it was essential to reduce inequality. Instead Labour left the field open for Cullen’s “vested interests” to run a campaign demonising CGT as the government taking money from hard-working kiwis.

After Labour surrendered (is it a surrender if you fail to fight?) Ardern says she personally supports a capital gains tax but then makes a mockery of this with the statement Labour will not advocate a capital gains tax under her leadership.

This is our hand-wringing, Women’s Weekly Prime Minister at her natural worst.

The people for whom this Labour failure means the most are wage and salary earners who continue to carry the tax burden while the corporate and the comfortable pay peanuts.

Labour long ago gave up looking out for the victims of free-market capitalism. Ardern’s announcement is confirmation that under her leadership neoliberalism and growing inequality will remain unchallenged.

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29 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    Well it’s just gutless. When you’ve got to take money off the rich to give to the poor, the tax working group put all the research in, every i dotted, every full stop is there. All they had to do was go and read it but now there’s a different tune today. The Labour Party front bench are not so cocky today.

    It’s very interesting when the Coalition is talking about growth and putting out press statements claiming saying cash injections are the best stimulus. Now the government runs this ridiculous argument that a Capital Gains Tax would not stimulate the economy. It’s seems now what Jacinda had to do is embrace her governments own policies and try and stimulate the economy.

  2. reason says:

    Jacinda Ardern …. the kinder face of cruelty.

    She reminds me of Obama in some ways.

    Obama talked the talk about corporations not paying their fair share of tax….. but when it came to the Walk …. he repeatedly did that with Johnny ‘offshore’ Key …. on rich mens golf courses.

    The people want change …. and we get continuation of a rigged system.

    Poverty and inequality are not natural …. they are engineered by those running the game.

    • MickeyBoyle says:

      Correct. As I have mentioned throughout the week, every single inequality and welfare measure has significantly worsened since this government began. This is not a government of kindness or fairness, its frankly a disgrace. But who cares though eh, as long as our darling Jacinda can smile in those magazines and get recognized internationally for acting like any decent human would have, after the Christchurch massacre, that’s all that appears to matter. Sorry to all those struggling and dieing out their due to poverty and hardship, you don’t really matter. We just like to say you do every three years, so we can get your vote, sad but true. I have never been so thoroughly disappointed in a Labour government. Shame on them.

    • Keepcalmcarryon says:

      Exactly. “Let’s do this” vs “can we fix it” it’s not a coincidence -team Blairite runs aspirational but ultimately hollow slogans, they stand for nothing, lipstick on a pig.
      What is interesting to ponder is what our backlash will be- Obama’s fine words and abysmal failure to change the system gave the world president Donald Trump.
      Where will our protest vote go?

    • New view says:

      Had never thought of that analogy but it fits. I believe they could have implemented part of that study and got away with it politically. We will never know. What we do know is we can expect more of the same if they think it will get them re elected. I don’t believe what they achieve is that important to them.

    • Paddy O. says:

      Ditto that.

  3. Castro says:

    They stack up perfectly if you “realise” (the truth) that the Wage Slave Labour Party is a right wing neo-liberal party of the propertied class, no different to the Transnational Capital Party, and has been since Rogernomics.

    I had though Minto more intelligent, but it’s hard to see the truth on the property ladder, eh?

    You say cutback, we say fight back! (Yeah, right.)

    • Michal says:

      I don’t quite understand this comment.

      ‘I had though Minto more intelligent, but it’s hard to see the truth on the property ladder, eh?’

      Is this about Minto owning his own home? I just don’t understand it.

  4. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Not having a CGT is now a bottom line for Labour while Jacinda is the leader.
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@pro/2019/04/17/542639/no-capital-gains-tax-while-ardern-leader
    So if you want CGT, don’t vote Labour… i.e. vote National, the only realistic alternative. Oh wait. This is exactly why I don’t think “Party Politics” works.
    An alternative system I propose would be we completely abolish ALL political parties (and even make membership of such unlawful). Instead, people democratically vote for regional representatives who (presumably) act toward promoting their electorates (i.e. voters). These elected representatives then go into parliament and make their case for any additional government expenditure (i.e. outside their entitled distribution) which is then voted upon by the other MPs. Needless to say, deals will be struck between MPs (e.g. “I’ll only support your proposed project, if you support mine”) to get a discretionary project over the line. Literally ALL parliamentary votes are “votes of conscious”, since no political parties exist. They ALL nominate and vote for a leader, but this leader has no real influence over parliamentary decisions – i.e. acting really only as a national/international spokesman for the Government (similar to the Speaker role currently).
    Still far from perfect (and likely rife with problems that will require extensive tweaking), but it can’t be much worse than the current system that mostly revolves around dividing voters into “us vs them” and solving nothing of consequence.

    • David Stone says:

      I have long thought that this was probably the way the westminster system that modern democracies took their cue from was originally envisaged. Parties came along afterwards and corrupted the concept.
      I’m quite sure that if parties were outlawed, and representatives were all independents elected by an electorate where they were a local well known identity; and they went to parliament without preconceptions or bias or hidden agendas to govern like the comity of a club to jointly and openly discuss and act on the issues of the day, that democracy would be greatly enhanced. All political parties should be outlawed.
      D J S

    • Norm Grey says:

      Thanks NITRIUM. There’s much to consider in what you have said.
      How could you proceed with this idea and get more pros and cons which would need consideration and solving.
      This is a different direction and my brain is “whizzing” over the possibilities/difficulties/impossibilities and advantages!!
      You have made my Sunday!!

  5. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    As slimy as Tony Bleh…

    JAFA…

  6. mosa says:

    What a complete waste of money this whole TWG has been.
    Cullen knowing how governments don’t work would have known that the CGT was a non starter from the begining.
    A whole bunch of well paid neo liberals sitting around pontificating on how to present ideas on maintaining the whole crooked system while looking like they are recommending a fairer tax system to the public.
    Unless the NZLP returns to its true origins it will never be effective in delivering for the people it claims to be governing for.
    Currently there is no real alternative to the current corrupt neo liberal system even with parties like NZF whose leader lied at the last election that he would get rid of neo liberalism.
    The more things change the more they stay the same.
    If the greens has any sense of the betrayal they have been associated with they would leave this coalition and force a general election.
    It won’t happen but something has to change to challenge the current narrative.

  7. esoteric pineapples says:

    When you believe in something, you fight for it

    • mikesh says:

      I don’t know why she said she believed in it when she was about to dump it. Saying that has just left her open to criticism.

  8. David Stone says:

    ” Ardern says she personally supports a capital gains tax but then makes a mockery of this with the statement Labour will not advocate a capital gains tax under her leadership.”
    It isn’t a mockery, She can fairly say it is here belief but that she is not an autocrat, and recognises that neither a majority of parliament nor a majority of the public is in favour of it; nor is likely to become in favour of it. And therefore in honesty and in political reality it should be put out off the agenda as a future policy and attention given to other maters.
    A blind commitment to a policy that is never going to succeed would be terminal for any government, except a totally deceitful one with a deliberate plan to introduce policies that they well understood beforehand would never be voted in by an electorate that knew in advance what the intended programme was. We all know about that.
    D J S

  9. DOC HORRORDAY says:

    “Let’s do this”, = switch modes, swap leadership with containment, disappoint them again, sit there saying hands are tied.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duPkzPwUlX4

    • bert says:

      Nothing to do with Jacinda, all to do with Winson. Why blame her if she was never going to get enough votes? It’s not like National when they railroaded their coalition parties into passing policy, today we have a democracy, for 9 years we didn’t.

  10. Marc says:

    Prepare for more such backdowns from what Jacinda and Labour said during the election campaign, and also from what that ‘coalition agreement’ contained.

    Jacinda Dear has discovered the political world stage, so that will please the powers there are, and the MSM.

    See also how much time the ‘news’ spent on the visit of Prince William here, whom Jacinda accompanied.

    There will be other things left undone in the too hard basked, as it will upset more vested interest holders.

    • Chris says:

      Labour doesn’t have a too-hard-basket. Instead it’s got a despite-anything-we-say-we’ve-already-decided-we’re-not-going-to-do-it basket.

  11. mike says:

    i wonder if there was another reason the elephant at the heart of our fire economy and the level of private debt could cgt burst bubble land ?

  12. WILD KATIPO says:

    ‘…Tax Working Group chair Michael Cullen was closer to the mark when he said it was sunk by “vested interests”….

    ——————————

    And that’s the blunt truth.

    ——————————

    …’ But the simple truth is Labour made no effort whatever – not even a token effort – to campaign for a CGT or explain why it was essential to reduce inequality. Instead Labour left the field open for Cullen’s “vested interests” to run a campaign demonising CGT as the government taking money from hard-working kiwis.

    After Labour surrendered (is it a surrender if you fail to fight?) Ardern says she personally supports a capital gains tax but then makes a mockery of this with the statement Labour will not advocate a capital gains tax under her leadership’….

    ——————————

    The problem is , John , that this govt didn’t expect to win. Their policy’s are ‘on the hoof’. They are trying to walk the fine line between change and not alienating those who voted for them. And many who did, – were not necessarily Labour voters. Many voted NZ First who were swing National voters.

    As I said in Mr Bradbury’s post, its going to take time. Much of it. I cant see how the overwhelming last 3 decades of neo liberalism , – let alone the decade of John Key and his corrupt National govt and their destructiveness will be laid to rest any time soon. People have got used to the notion of a self centered predatory mentality that views their fellow countrymen as units to be exploited. And that’s the real issue here.

    Even Jeremy Corban with his ‘policy’s for the many not the few’ in England is not having an easy ride because of peoples inherent self interest. Its going to take a power of change to change peoples views on how they view others.

    The only other option is we go back to a Bridges/ Collins led National govt. And that is completely out of the question. Sadly , this is where we are in 2019. And it is sad. But its just as much the public’s fault as it is this govt’s. Govt’s will go where the majority leads them.

    Its time we took responsibility and own that fact.

    For our own part that we , as citizens , – played in the conditions we see today.

  13. Marc says:

    Murderers Jacinda shakes hands with:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5PV0XOlf4

  14. sumsuch says:

    There are other routes for the people, John. Witness the Living Wage, and now opened up, taxing the rich. PR is on the side of NZers in that respect. None of us give a shit about taxing the rich direct.

  15. Craig H says:

    If Labour wanted a CGT, it wouldn’t have bothered with a tax working group because it already had a CGT policy. The point of the TWG was to find alternatives to CGT, not recommend it. It is hardly a surprise that CGT has now been ruled out completely because Labour got nowhere with it as a policy before, explicitly refused to entertain the notion in the lead up to the 2017 election, and then almost lost the 2017 election on it when Little resigned as leader and Ardern mused about it.

    Separately, CGT can’t reduce inequality, it can only reduce the rate at which inequality grows.

  16. Marc says:

    If you don’t like it, fight it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OMtAQpuSF0


 
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