By Todd Muller
Whilst out and about in our community last week, a gentleman mentioned to me on his doorstep that he believes the government has a tax problem. While I agreed with him at the time, upon reflection my view has changed ever so slightly.
The reality is that the government doesn’t have a tax problem. The government has a spending problem, and as a result of that spending problem you and your family are the ones with a tax problem.
This is a government that cancelled National’s $1000 tax cuts for hardworking New Zealanders on the average wage so that it could spend more.
Between increases in fuel tax, GST on your fuel tax (yes, a tax on a tax) and rates rises, communities are paying tax at eye watering levels. You are working harder, but getting no further ahead. The government won’t change their spending priorities, so you need to change yours instead.
We also have a Tax Working Group toiling away behind the scenes looking at how they can surgically extract more of your hard-earned cash from your wallet.
This week, when the government’s books were opened, it showed tax revenue of $80.2 billion – up 6.1 per cent on the previous year. It showed revenue from petrol excise tax of $1.9 billion – and that's not taking into account the 3.5 cents increase that came into effect on October 1. That increase is expected to earn the government about $100 million more.
The question needs to be asked: If the government is so awash with tax dollars, why won’t they offer some relief to hard working families who are feeling the pinch?
And if they really must continue to ratchet up our taxes, can they at least fix our bloody road?