A reading often used at weddings concludes with the words, in marriage the little things are the big things.
This also applies to politics.
Petty issues become more important than major ones.
So it is with the suggestion that car parks provided for employers be subject to fringe benefit tax.
A tax system should be fair and there is no doubt that a free car park is a fringe benefit.
But would the costs, to the IRD and employers, justify the money raised?
I doubt it and Finance Minister Bill English says that if compliance costs prove too onerous the Government may reconsider the proposal.
The government got rid of gift duty in its first term because the costs didn’t justify the revenue it brought in. It would be silly to impose other taxes where the benefit isn’t worth the cost in this term.
National has an ambitious Business Growth Agenda, it shouldn’t be sabotaged by petty taxes.
Rural Women NZ”s creed begins:
Keep us, O God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, and deed. . .
That’s good advice for governments too.