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Labour's Tax Bribe

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Marc My Words.

By Marc Alexander MP

Can I have my money back Mr Cullen?

I know what I need it for.

The greatest miracle of modern times is not that Cullen has 'found' some money to bribe the voters but that Labour expects the public to swallow the lie that they never had it! For the last five years we have been sold a procession of dead rats as Cullen - embarrassed by the wealth his government has fleeced off taxpayers - has been giving an Academy Award performance in crying poor!

Now that the Election results look set to be close, the cheque book comes out to buy our loyalty with our own money. First to come was the interest-free kickback to students that they, as well as everyone else, will end up paying more for, and now, the so-called 'tax-relief' extension to trap another 60,000 more families in the drift-net of welfare dependency.

The real tragedy with this latest of bribes is for those groups who miss out entirely; there will not be one skerrick of improvement in the fortunes of singles, couples without children, couples whose children have grown up and left home and most importantly, superannuitants. It's hard not to be cynical and conclude that this bunch of Socialists has set about to deliberately induce dependency on the most vulnerable - families with children - while further diminishing the relationship between work and reward. If you delve into the philosophy behind this financial redistribution, it is really about the apportionment of largesse based upon the Labour governments' priority to get itself re-elected, and not about fairness at all.

There was a time not too long ago when we actually saved up for things and planned ahead. We bought a house when it was financially prudent to do so. We had children when we could afford to provide the best for them. Sadly, that time has gone.

Now we do what we want when we want and if we can't afford it through our own labours, well then.let somebody else pay for it with their taxes. Trouble is.it will be at the expense of those who do want to plan to get ahead because they will have to pay even more for the privilege of being responsible citizens. We end up giving a reward for behavior we want less of and penalizing those behaviours we need more of. It is simply unfair.

Every cent taken to subsidise one is always at the expense of another.

We should be deeply suspicious of Labour's motives. Their welfare lure has been announced a couple of days before National unveils its tax policy in a ploy designed to undermine it. Clearly it has been planned for some time - even before the pronouncement of a surplus of $7.29 billion; $600 million more than anticipated.

This financial bait is aimed at extending Labour's reach into the middle-income bracket without spreading itself too thin to cover all taxpayers. It may win a few votes but it will have a hard time trying to justify why one person's take home pay should be less than another's on the same income because of a difference in family circumstances freely chosen by individuals.. Certainly those groups who miss out will resent their omission from enjoying the spoils of their own work. And as for superannuitants.they have every right to feel aggrieved for being left out of the equation and often below the poverty line.

Moreover, not all singles, couples without children, or those whose children have left the family nest are well to do. The problem with so-called 'targeted benefits' is that they tend to leave huge gaps of need. They divide as much as they relieve, and put even more pressure around the tax rate thresholds. But of course fairness isn't really what this is all about. It's about maximizing electoral gain for the minimum cost.

The Labour Socialists are using an old capitalist mechanism; if you want something, buy it at the cheapest possible price. This time it happens to be votes. Worse.it's with our own money.

What amazes me is how Cullen can tell voters that despite six years of increasing surpluses we cannot afford tax cuts but by crickey we can splurge on buying up the vote! And all without a hint of a smile - what I want to know is, how much Botox does he use and is it tax deductible?

Marc Alexander MP. United Future NZ. Friday 19 August 2005

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