“If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it of reasons for gratitude…Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.”
— Theodore Dalrymple (@theodalrymple) March 28, 2019
The government is not going to adopt a capital gains tax .
The backdown has cost $2 million and 18 months of uncertainty but Simon Bridges point out there will be more taxes:
“While the Government has backed down on a Capital Gains Tax, there are still a range of taxes on the table. They include a vacant land tax, an agricultural tax and a waste tax.
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she personally still wants a Capital Gains Tax and that our tax system is unfair. New Zealanders simply can’t trust Labour when it comes to tax.
“The New Zealand economy has suffered while the Government has had a public discussion about a policy they couldn’t agree on. Put simply, this is political and economic mismanagement. . .
The government asked a question, the answer to which its three constituent parties couldn’t agree on.
Remember James Shaw saying:
“The last question we should be asking ourselves is, ‘can we be re-elected if we do this?’ The only question we should be asking ourselves is, ‘do we deserve to be re-elected if we don’t?'”
Labour and the Green Party had to swallow a big dead rat, served to them by Winston Peters:
. . .It wasn’t even an hour after the Prime Minister had put the final nail in the coffin that is the capital gains tax (CGT) when RNZ asked Mr Peters whether Labour will be expecting his party’s support on another issue in return for losing this flagship policy. Mr Peters fired back: “May I remind you, the Labour Party is in government because of my party.”
No reading between the lines necessary. . .
New Zealand First is polling under the 5% threshold, it couldn’t afford to alienate the dwindling number of its supporters.
The capital gains tax, if not dead, is buried while Ardern is Prime Minister, but the threat of other niche taxes is still live.
The Auditor General is going to be keeping a closer eye on the Provincial Growth Fund:
Auditor-General John Ryan said Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) officials had been told to improve the management of the fund after an initial review found the risk of some payments going astray.
“We carried out some preliminary work to review how [MBIE] was administering the fund,” he said, adding that the review resulted in recommendations to improve the management of payments from the fund.
“The fund also requires appropriations to be managed by multiple government departments and organisations, which increases the risk of unappropriated expenditure.” . .
The spending of any and all public funds ought to be given very close scrutiny.
The size of the PGF – $3 billion – makes it even more important to ensure that money doesn’t go astray, especially when there are so many questions about the rigour, or lack of it, applied to the hand-outs.