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Marc My Words: Are You Pleased To See Me

MARC ALEXANDER MP - 12 November 2004

++Marc's radio show guests: Jim Hopkins, UCSA President Jane Churnside,
Monday 1-2pm on Plains FM 96.9.

++Petition against Smacking Ban, more info:



A number of political parties have been sounding off about the virtue of tax cuts. United Future led the charge with the proposal to link tax rates to inflation to stop the swelling of Government coffers due to bracket creep. National, strangely silent on their tax proposals, can be assumed to support cuts - the same can be said for the ACT party. The Greens do not want tax cuts but a tax-free threshold instead. This is a strategy to prop up low earners and there would be an implicit steep rise in the progressive rates that would proportionately penalize the more successful and diligent workers. And no-one seems to know what NZ First thinks as Winston hasn't told them yet!

Whatever the approach - the call for tax reduction has been increasingly espoused because of Labour's embarrassment of riches. The latest figures show that this Government is raking in $3 million a day more than forecast. I suppose the real question is what amount did it plan to rake in?

Well, according to Statistics New Zealand the Government bilked taxpayers of $46 billion in the financial year ended June 2004, an increase in revenue of 22% while Government spending rose 5.5%! Now that disparity is more than a's a blunt instrument of unadulterated greed with a capital G!

Ever since Labour claimed back in 1999 that there would be no increase in taxes, the percentage of tax paid per household income has skyrocketed from an already high 39% to an obscene 46% - and all achieved with the well rehearsed 'straight' faces of the Labour Parliamentary line-up! What they are doing to the public would ordinarily be preceded by dinner and a decent chat-up line!

In the midst of this socialist feeding frenzy at the expense of the Kiwi taxpayer, up pops Jim Anderton, squealing for a cut in the company tax rate. While the media, political commentators and politicians from the Centre Right cheer at what appears as some much needed commonsense - hang on .let's just pause to consider a more sinister perspective.

Does company tax need to go down? Yup, absolutely. But why isn't Anderton advocating that personal tax rates go down as well? Uh-oh.there's a bubonic sized rat coming and we are expected to swallow it with the old Leninist standard 'the rich-are-too-greedy' blues! (Now that will have the comrades humming!) Because even a die-hard lefty like Anderton is smart enough to realise that if you want the Government to take in more tax, you need to help business to create more wealth. What he and his kind don't for that wealth to enrich anyone other than the Government. Hence no individual tax cuts.

Put simply, rather than increased productivity, capital re-investment and potential jobs (read: more taxpayers), Anderton's plan is nothing more than a way to widen and deepen the tax base. Without individual tax cuts it is no more than a ploy to go for an even bigger tax bite later on.

In short, the increased wealth will not be for the benefit of those who created it but for the Government to get its mitts on, so as to push for even greater government involvement in our lives along with the lure of welfare benefits to court our compliance.

I'm not one that usually subscribes to conspiracy theories but.why would any government want to diminish the empowerment of individuals by taking an increasing amount of the fruits of their labours - effectively replacing the PC unacceptability of individual greed with the OK socialist greed of this Government.

In an environment where unemployment has fallen to 4%, company taxes have increased by 18% and individual income tax by 4% just in the last year - not giving that wealth back in proportion to those who created it is nothing short of 'legitimised government theft'. I'm not at all surprised that kiwis last year spent $27 million on anti-depressants. Tax is depressing! It should not be up to the pink tainted ideologues in Government to decide how much of what we earn we should legitimately keep. It is not their call to disassociate the connection between work and reward; the market does that. But what is most insidious, in my opinion, is that with all this work and wealth being generated, average total hourly earnings, as measured by New Zealand's Quarterly Employment Survey have remained relatively unchanged!

The point is, if we really want to put more money in the pockets of taxpayers - if we're serious about raising standards of living - then the best thing we could do is to give back to the makers of wealth a greater share of that wealth.

And why is the Government so greedy? Considering that overall spending on benefits has reached an all-time high of $13.362 billion - it's all about gaining political loyalty by making people dependent on the state.

When a hand reaches in to take from your wallet, it's called theft - even if the fingers do belong to Cullen.


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