The only way

September 15, 2014

As the election gets closer and polls get tighter some people are beginning to think about getting clever with their votes.

Bill English just told Jamie Mackay on the Farming Show that if people want a National-led government they should vote for National and leave the coalition permutations up to the politicians when the votes are counted.

It’s the party vote that counts and the only way to get a strong, stable government is to give National your party vote.

It’s also the only way to keep the country on course.

National’s clear economic plan and careful financial management is taking New Zealand in the right direction. ntnl.org.nz/1lQaKiR #Working4NZ


A little more or a lot less

September 9, 2014

National will continue with the economic plan that’s working if voters back it:

A re-elected National Government will return to surplus this financial year and stay there so we can reduce debt, reduce ACC levies on households and businesses and start modestly reducing income taxes, Finance Spokesman Bill English says.

“National’s clear economic plan is working for New Zealand by successfully supporting higher wages and more jobs, and ensuring government spending is invested wisely to deliver better results,” he said when issuing National’s Finance Policy today.

“National is working hard to ensure the economy grows sustainably into the future, supported by more savings, productive investment and exports. This will provide opportunities for Kiwi families to get ahead here in New Zealand.”

As set out in the Budget, a National-led Government will restrict average Budget allowances for discretionary new spending and revenue measures to $1.5 billion a year over the next three years. Within this allowance National will:

• Allow around $1 billion a year for new spending, including between $600 million and $700 million a year more for health and education. This total new spending is consistent with the level of new spending in our last two Budgets and it’s well below the $2 billion to $3 billion spending increases under the last Labour government, which had little to show for them. 


Clear and simple

September 5, 2014

National will be announcing its economic policy next week.

When it does the leader and finance spokesman will understand it and agree on the details, which is more than Labour seems capable of.

But then in another contrast with Labour, National’s economic plan is clear, it’s simple and it’s working for New Zealand:

Join the team that's working >> http://nzyn.at/teamkey


Answer’s maybe and that’s final

September 5, 2014

David Cunliffe has given five different answers to the question of whether or not CGT will be due on the family home when your parents die.

The answer is maybe and that’s final as far as he’s concerned because whether it is or whether it isn’t he’s got a problem.

If it is it will be a death tax by stealth which would be politically unsellable.

New Zealand families will be distressed to learn that Labour would force them to sell their deceased parents’ home within a month of their death or face a punitive capital gains tax, National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English says.

“The more David Cunliffe tries to explain his complicated capital gains tax, the more he ties himself in knots and confuses New Zealanders,” Mr English says.

“Last night on NewstalkZB, he contradicted his finance spokesman by saying Labour’s capital gain tax would apply to a family home after the death of a parent, unless it was sold within a month.

“In other words, he would force families to rush through the sale of their parents’ family home at a distressing time in their lives, or penalise them with a new tax.

“Just hours earlier, on RadioLive David Parker said the capital gains tax would not apply.

“If David Cunliffe and David Parker cannot get their story straight, it is little wonder that New Zealanders are confused and uncertain about Labour’s higher tax agenda.

“This is just one of five new taxes Labour and the Greens would impose on New Zealanders. This would stall New Zealand’s good economic momentum, creating uncertainty and costing jobs

“By contrast, National’s clear economic plan is successfully supporting higher wages and more jobs. It is steering New Zealand back to surplus this year and ensuring government spending is invested wisely to deliver better results,” Mr English says.

But if CTG isn’t levied on the family home when your parents die the tax take won’t live up to their projections which will leave a big hole in their budget.

Voters have a right to know the answer before the election.

Prime Minister John Key stepped up his attack on Labour’s capital gains tax today, suggesting it will create a headache for grieving children who inherit a house on the death of their parents. . .

Mr Key said: “You’d have to say by any definition it’s a complete and utter mess.”

Mr Key said Mr Cunliffe had yesterday told New Zealanders “that if they don’t sell the family home of their deceased parents, then within one month they will have to start paying a capital gains tax”.

“‘That is a horrifying thought for New Zealanders to be put in that position. Probate wouldn’t even come through within one month.

“I think everyone would accept the number one priority when your parent or parents pass away is not whether you should be out there flogging off the family home so you don’t have to pay a capital gains tax, it’s dealing with all the emotions and stress and issues that go with losing a loved one.”

Labour’s policy states the tax is payable only on the gains since inheritance and only when the home is sold.

Mr Cunliffe this morning said the fine details of when an inherited home would be liable for the tax would be worked out by and expert advisory group.

“Other countries have a range of periods — Aussie uses two years, some countries from the point of death, others from the point of settlement.”

Mr Key said Labour should have the answers now.

“We are now a couple of weeks out from an election this is a key policy for Labour and they can’t tell New Zealanders when it comes to their number one asset, their family home, how it will be treated.”

Will Labour's Capital Gains Tax (one of five new taxes) punish Kiwi families when their parents pass away? Let's ask them.


CGT complicated, complex and costly

September 3, 2014

Prime Minister John Key floored David Cunliffe last night when he couldn’t answer whether or not Labour’s capital gains tax would apply to homes owned by trusts.

After the debate he said it wouldn’t but that’s not what the policy says:

David Cunliffe’s inability to answer the most basic questions about Labour’s proposed capital gains tax underlines key problems identified by successive tax reviews, National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English says.

“David Cunliffe’s failure to explain how he would implement a new capital gains tax, which has now been Labour policy for more than three years, will leave many thousands of New Zealanders confused and uncertain,” Mr English says.

“Nowhere in Labour’s capital gains tax policy does it exclude family homes owned by trusts. In fact, Labour actually says: ‘We will ensure trusts are not used as a means of avoiding a CGT’. David Cunliffe cannot have it both ways.

“And now Labour is trying to say the test for whether a capital gains tax applies is not whether a trust owns the property, but who lives in it. That would require Inland Revenue to confirm the living arrangements of householders in deciding whether the tax would apply.

What if there are adult children paying rent?

What if there is a boarder?

What if the boarder is a relative, for example an elderly parent?

Would it make a difference if the relative lived in a granny flat?

Would it make a difference if someone living in the granny flat wasn’t a relative?

What if there’s more than one family in the house?

“This latest confusion follows Labour previously making contradictory claims about whether the KiwiSaver accounts of 2.3 million New Zealanders would be exempt from their new tax. They now claim they would be exempt, but this is not reflected in their policy or their costings.”

Mr English says Labour’s proposed capital gains tax was already full of holes, applying only to only a quarter of the housing market, but to every New Zealand business and farm.

“All of this underlines what tax experts and independent reviews have said over the past 20 years. Implementing an extra capital gains tax would be much more complicated and confusing in practice than it appears in theory.

“By contrast, National’s clear economic plan is successfully supporting higher wages and more jobs. It is steering New Zealand back to surplus this year and ensuring government spending is invested wisely to deliver better results.

“The five new taxes promised by Labour and the Greens would stall the New Zealand economy and cost thousands of jobs.”

People who trade in property or shares already pay taxes on the capital gains.

Introducing Labour’s CTG CGT would add cost  and complexity to the tax system which wouldn’t be justified by the money raised.

Labour wants to introduce a CTG CGT and  four more taxes for the worst reason – so it can spend more.

The best way to increase the tax take is through economic growth which enables businesses to make bigger profits, increase jobs and wages.

The worst way is to increase tax rates and add new taxes which add complications, complexity and costs and put a hand brake on economic growth.


Compare the chairs

September 2, 2014

Duncan Garner chaired last week’s debate between the finance spokespeople for five parties.

He began by saying each speaker had three minutes to give a pitch and he’d accept interjections if they were witty.

The speakers largely abided by his rules and on the few occasions any tried to speak over another Garner quelled him.

On Sunday  Corin Dann chaired a debate between Finance Minister Bill English and Labour’s spokesman David Parker.

He kept control throughout, only rarely did one of the MPs try to talk over the other and Dann kept good control when that happened.

In both debates the audience heard almost every word the speakers said.

Contrast that with the Leaders’ Debate between Prime Minister John Key  and Labour’s David Cunliffe on Thursday.

Mike Hosking rarely seemed to be in control and let Cunliffe away with constant interruptions.

The result was he looked like a boor and it was difficult to hear what either he of the PM was saying.

I wondered if Hosking was worried about the perception of bias, Kerre McIvor does too:

. . . Moderator Mike Hosking could have been more aggressive himself.

There had been criticism from Labour over the choice of Hosking to chair the debate. It felt he had pinned his colours to the mast by introducing Key at a business meeting and exhorting those there to vote for him.

Perhaps Hosking felt a little hamstrung – if he pulled up Cunliffe too often, the accusations of bias would appear to have some justification. . .

That a debate could have a strong influence on how people vote is concerning.

But whether or not it does, it should allow the speakers to speak and the audience to hear what they say and it’s the chair’s role to ensure they do.

Not PC has some advice on a proper debate.

Garner and Dann showed how to do it.

The chairs in the remaining debates should follow their example.


Stay on track or stall

September 1, 2014

Finance Minister Bill English (from 15:30ish)

. . . exporters have done a fantastic job. they’ve had a high dollar, they’ve had their export markets, US, UK, Europe in massive recession and still they’ve done well. . .

. . . the last thing they want is the whole shebang tipped upside down by politicians setting interest rates, higher income tax, capital gains tax,  carbon tax and . . .  the government taking over the energy and the housing markets. . . .

Labour and the Greens will add new taxes, put on capital gains tax, carbon tax and put up income tax to pay for a lot more wasteful spending.

Our focus is on building confidence, because a new job and higher pay come from businesses who are investing and the good news is they are really starting to get some momentum and the last thing we want is to stall that momentum. . .

. . . First we spend a lot less and we don’t raise new taxes. Secondly the quality of our spending is much better specified because we’re spending for results. . . ours is focussed on getting results kids learning, more elective surgery . . . they are just throwing money at the problems.

The choice for voters is staying on track with National or stalling under a government led by Labour.

It’s a choice between National which respects other people’s money and the need to spend it wisely and Labour and its mismatched mates who want to take more of other people’s money and spend it in the mistaken belief that the quantity of the spend is better than the quality.

It’s a choice between continuing to go forwards or stalling and going backwards.


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