Inequality and crime go hand in hand. There is enough research now to make that abundantly clear. We can have more police to catch people who take what they want but will never be able to afford to buy. We can introduce harsher sentences. We can build more prisons. But we will never have a safe place to live until we address the root cause – some people have far too much and others not near enough. Continue reading
The 1st of October 2016 marked 30 years since Roger Douglas and his Labour government dropped the tax rate for New Zealand’s wealthy from 66% to 48% (and later 33%) and gave the rest of us GST.
GST was a bad idea in 1996 and it is an even worse idea today. It means that everything we pay money for is 15% more expensive than it needs to be – from doctors visits, to prescription charges, to school uniforms, to food. Continue reading
GST was first introduced in 1986. Most workplaces used typewriters. Businesses were coming to grips with the fax machine. EFTPOS was still in its trial phase.
There was no internet in New Zealand. Share trading and currency speculation were not a significant feature of the economy. Personal overseas shopping had to be done in person, overseas.
Three decades on GST is no match for the global marketplace that is now accessible to everyone with a PC and an internet connection. No amount of tinkering will change that. Continue reading
The Labour Party leadership contest is hotting up. Far be it from the Alliance to give Labour advice on choosing leaders. However, the Centre/Left is coming off a crushing election defeat, and crushing election defeats are something the Alliance does know a thing or two about, unfortunately. We have been crushed by Left, Right, and Centre over the past decade.
We believe now is a golden opportunity to take stock and perhaps change direction. One thing that has emerged from the election is that the Centre/Left needs to work together, or at least work out ways to rub along – not try to run each other into the ground. Trying to get enough votes to govern alone is counter-productive. Continue reading
ACT has thrown company tax rates into the election circus. The reaction from other parties has been muted to say the least. No one seems to know how to respond.
The Alliance Party has never been afraid of controversy. Let’s look at company tax rates, and trust tax rates too for that matter. But let’s look at them from the viewpoint of reducing inequality and increasing the common good, as opposed to enabling companies to increase their profits per se. Continue reading
Voters beware, if the government levies little or no taxes it will have no money. And if the government has no money it can provide no services.
Jamie Whyte’s announcement that ACT will push for a top tax rate of 24% and work towards a flat tax of 17.5% is like a red rag to a bull to the Alliance Party. New Zealand has been there, done that, in the 1980’s. It didn’t work. New Zealand is still counting the cost – entrenched unemployment, low wages, high housing costs, intergenerational poverty and inequality.
Flat tax is, quite simply, the enemy. It is unfair and unjust. It drastically reduces government income to spend on services that benefit everyone. Continue reading
It seems like the Labour Party has fallen prey to the baby boomers’ panic over national superannuation with its announcement that it will raise the age of entitlement for superannuation to 67 years.
Baby boomers are now staring old age in the face, and with it loss of earnings from paid work, disability, and eventually the need to be taken care of – but by whom? Until the early 1980′s the top marginal tax rate was over 60%. It is now 33% and still the wealthy complain. Continue reading