Capital Gains fiasco

The recent shambolic release of the Capital Gains Tax Working Group Report has attracted vociferous criticism. The opponents were forewarned, well informed, literate and taking no prisoners.

Labour’s response and defence was pitiful, with one commentator recently observing they look like rabid socialists with idealist, ideological Marxist mindsets.

CGT chairman Michael Cullen, retainer to push the Labour cause, is hardly the sign of impartiality or objectiveness, showing the current Labour bunch don’t have the nous to address issues. Mr Cullen’s fiscal track record is dubious at best.

A limited Capital Gains Tax may possibly have merit - extending the bright-line test, looking at reintroducing land tax for farms, orchards, lifestyle blocks, commercial buildings and rentals, fully taxing profits on short-term share sales, ring-fencing losses on rental properties and taxing all Charitable Trusts may get most Kiwis onside.

It is plain English stuff, not mealy-mouthed claptrap. If acceptable, implement any changes gradually. Making incomes under $20,000 tax free and ensuring top-end tax rates do not kick in until $70,000 are other measures that might help.

As an aside, I am sick of ex-politicians like Cullen, Palmer, Bolger, Shipley and co making hay in public life at the taxpayer’s expense after retiring from politics.

R Paterson, Mount Maunganui.


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