Tax Freedom Day at last

June 1, 2019

We’re nearly half way through the year and have only just got to Tax Freedom Day:

A media release from the Taxpayers’ Union says:

From today until the end of the year you are finally working for yourself, and not the taxman, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
 
‘Tax Freedom Day’ marks the day on which New Zealanders have collectively worked enough to pay off the cost of government for the year.
 
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “For the average New Zealander, getting to work on Monday represents the first day they’re working for themselves.”
 
“This year’s total government expenses have been forecast to suck up 41.5 percent of the economy. That means, if a taxpayer wanted pay off their share of government expenses as soon as possible this year, they would have to work sacrifice all their wages from January the 1st, until today, June 1st.
 
“Today is worth celebrating, but it’s a shame we had to wait so long to pay off the politicians’ expense card. Unfortunately, government spending increasing faster than economic growth means the continuation of the trend of a later Tax Freedom Day.”
 
“Some other groups chose to observe Tax Freedom Day earlier this year. But our chosen date – based on OECD figures – takes into account local government and spending paid for with debt, meaning it reflects the full burden of government on taxpayers.”

And on the eve of Tax Freedom Day, the government pushed through an increase to fuel taxes under urgency:

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the passage of legislation hiking the price of petrol at the pump to see that more than 50 percent of the price paid will soon be tax. Union spokesperson, Jordan Williams says:

“Clearly ‘wellbeing’ is just marketing fluff.  Petrol taxes are highly regressive – they hit the poor, those in regional New Zealand, and those who live on outer suburbs the hardest. It’s one of the cruelest forms of tax.”

“Rushing these new petrol taxes through Parliament under urgency is disgraceful. They are a total breach of the Prime Minister’s ‘no new tax’ election promise.  And Labour know it.”

“Pain at the pump underscores the fact that big-ticket Budget announcements come at a real cost, regardless of the fuzzy wellbeing language the politicians use to promote them.”

Petrol was more than $2.45 a litre when we passed through Omarama earlier this week. Tax is already too big a contributor to that.

Taking more money from everyone and adding to the cost of everything will not contribute to wellbeing.


Tax Freedom Day

June 2, 2015

Today is Tax Freedom Day:

Today marks the first working day New Zealanders stop working for the Government and take home what they earn. According to the OECD, New Zealand’s government outlays as a percentage of GDP is 41.4% this year, making the 2015 ‘Tax Freedom Day’ fall on Queens Birthday Monday. Last year Tax Freedom Day was four days later, on 4 June.

Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman, Ben Craven, says:

“Today is the day where taxpayers begin working for themselves rather than working to support the burden of Government.”

“While 2015 Tax Freedom Day for New Zealand is earlier than it was in 2014, total Government outlays as a percentage of GDP remain higher than the OECD average.”

“Despite the positive trend, there is still a long way to go before this Government returns to the earlier Tax Freedom Days enjoyed under the last Labour Government. We should be aiming to have paid off all of our taxes by April, not having to slave away for politicians into June.”

“While the Government is doing a reasonable job of managing the books, the growth of local government spending appears to be squandering most of the efforts to trim back the tax burden.”

OECD data on government outlays as a percentage of GDP can be found here (Annex Table 25). . .

Four days earlier than last year – we’re going in the right direction but need to keep moving that way and moving faster.


Quote of the day

May 7, 2015
For those who aspire to live in a high cost, high tax, big government place, our nation and the world offers plenty of options. Vermont, Canada and Venezuela all offer you the opportunity to live in the socialist, big government paradise you long for.  – Marco Rubio

By one calculation, today is Tax Freedom Day:

Staples Rodway says tax system needs to be more responsive to economic growth

This year’s Tax Freedom Day – the notional day of the year when New Zealand taxpayers stop paying tax and start earning for themselves – is May 7th, two days later than 2014 and four days later than 2013.

National accounting firm Staples Rodway, which is behind the Tax Freedom Day calculations, says while Kiwi companies and individuals are paying more tax, it’s not necessarily all bad news.

Staples Rodway Auckland Managing Director David Searle says: “The key driver of the growing tax take in recent years has been New Zealand’s post-global financial crisis economic recovery. As the economy has recovered, companies are growing and paying more tax, and people are spending more and therefore paying more GST.”

Mr Searle also pointed to ‘bracket creep’, which occurs when workers move into a higher tax bracket as their wages grow, as a reason for people paying more tax. . .

However, the Taxpayers’ Union says this annoucnement is premature:

“We are delighted that others have picked up our initiative from last year,” says Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Ben Craven. “Unfortunately this version by Staples Rodway doesn’t factor in local government nor public spending funded by borrowing.”

“Using the OECD measure gives a more accurate reflection on how long New Zealanders work for the government and allows for comparison with other countries. The current burden of government is 41.4% of GDP. For comparison Australia’s is only 36.1%.”

“This year tax freedom day is Sunday May 31, representing the 41.4% of the economy that is spent by the government. Last year’s tax freedom day was on June 4.”

That is four days earlier than last year which is a small move in the right direction but a bigger move is needed.

 

 


Tax Freedom Day

June 4, 2014

Happy Tax Freedom Day:

Congratulations New Zealand, as at 10.04am today you are working for yourself. However, the fact the Government accounts for all the money earned until today means it is unlikely New Zealanders will be celebrating. The government has effectively sucked up all of our earnings for the first 154 days of the year.

OECD figures put the current burden of government in New Zealand as 42.2% of GDP. This is larger than the 30% recently quoted by Finance Minister Bill English because it also takes into account crown entities, such as SOEs as well as local government.

At 42.2% this year, the burden of government is even larger than when National took office in 2008. While core government expenditure has gone down, the wider crown portfolio and particularly local government has exploded.

We need to aspire to countries like South Korea, Switzerland and Australia. Tax Freedom day this year fell on 21 April in South Korea, 2 May in Switzerland and 11 May in Australia.

Tax Freedom Day is a day for New Zealanders to consider the egregious amount of tax foisted upon us by successive governments. Tax should be used to deliver the key functions of government in the most efficient way possible.

We should be aiming to start working for ourselves in April, not still working for politicians in June. The only way to do that is to reduce the high tax burden on New Zealanders.

We want to keep working to make sure next year’s Tax Freedom Day is earlier. Help us do it, by joining, or supporting, the Taxpayers’ Union.

This is something to keep in mind when voting.

All of the parties on the left have policies for more and higher taxes.


It’s tax freedom day

May 3, 2011

Today is tax freedom day . Business Round Table executive director says it’s five days earlier earlier than last year and one earlier than the year before:

Mr Kerr said Tax Freedom Day represents the notional day in the year when the average New Zealander stops working for the government and starts working for themselves.

The calculation was based on central government core expenditure, which was forecast to be 33.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the government’s December 2010 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update.

“The average New Zealander effectively spends one third of the year working for central government,” Mr Kerr said.

Tax ‘freedom’ actually came a little bit earlier this year than in the last couple of years: Tax Freedom Day in 2009 and 2010 fell on May 4 and 8 respectively, according to revised data.

I’d give that an improving but must do better, especially when local body rates are taken into account.

Mr Kerr said a number of fast-growing Asian and other countries have levels of government spending, and hence tax burdens, that are well below the OECD average.

“While soundly based government spending on public goods and a safety net is justified, economic research suggests that beyond a certain point government spending and taxation are harmful to economic growth.

The line between enough tax to provide for public good and a safety net and so much it harms economic growth isn’t easily drawn.

But lower tax rates can result in higher tax takes from a growing economy.


Tax Freedom Day

April 29, 2008

Today is Tax Freedom Day: Stuff

We now spend 19 more days working to pay our taxes than in 2001 and if local government and other government spending were added Tax Freedom Day would be June 4.


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