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The Letter: 19 May 2014

The Letter
19 May 2014

20 cent Company Tax Rate

Last week Jamie Whyte, using Treasury’s figures, issued a fully-costed Alternative Budget showing how by removing $4 billion of corporate and middle class welfare the top personal and company rate could be reduced to 24 cents. Jamie Whyte has used last week’s budget figures to update his alternative budget. It shows the National government could have reduced company tax to 20 cents.

It would double growth

Using widely accepted economic models a top personal tax rate of 24 cents and a company tax rate of 20 cents would double New Zealand’s standard of living in just 15 years. Not even the government claims that its new election year spending will lift growth. As Jamie Whyte said at a campaign meeting on Sunday, reducing the company tax rate is good economics but not good politics because companies do not vote. National’s budget just transfers money from one group to another. Electorally it works because the groups that receive money, families, are popular and numerous and those who pay, higher income individuals, and business are not popular.

Entitlement politics

The idea that people are entitled to other people’s money is now so widely believed, that when ACT questions the morality of entitlement neither voters nor politicians nor commentators can imagine any other way.


Jamie Whyte says he meets people who ask, “What are you going to do for me?”. Students want him to take money from others whose circumstances they cannot know about to pay for their degree. People who “believe that living in a democracy was something akin to being born into a mafia family. You get a say in who is going to be extorted and you can get your hands on a share of the proceeds”.

Our politicians are communists

To quote Jamie, “On The Nation it became clear that all my opponents, with the possible exception of Peter Dunne, did not believe in private property. On the topic of Auckland house prices, Winston Peters claimed that “we are selling our houses to foreigners”. When I pointed out that houses are not collectively owned and that individual New Zealanders were selling their houses to whomever they chose, he insisted that I was wrong about this. And, as you can imagine, Russell Norman and John Minto agreed that the government should decide who you may sell your house to – or, in other words, they agreed that it is not really your house.”

The media thinks entitlement is just common sense

The Letter does not care if Linda Clark gives media training to David Cunliffe. (It does not seem to be working). What worries us is Jamie Whyte’s observation about Linda Clark’s The Nation commentary: “Without any argument or evidence, she dismissed my detailed plans for cutting corporate and middle-class welfare and reducing tax rates as “mad”. It was just obvious to her that low government spending and low taxes is a mad idea.”

State Radio

Guyon Espiner interviewed Jamie Whyte on Radio New Zealand and claimed that ACT by lowering the top rate of tax from 33% to 24% was making a “gift” to people earning over $70,000 a year. He went further and suggested Jamie Whyte was trying to enrich himself. As Jamie says, “Of course, the government could tax all the money you earn. But it does not follow that your post-tax income is a gift from the government. You might as well argue that your TV is a gift from your local burglar because he has chosen not to steal it.” Jamie’s speech is onwww.act.org.nz

The politics of hate

In an earlier issue, The Letter predicted that Labour would come to regret joining in with Winston Peters in promoting policies that are thinly veiled attacks on the Chinese. In a multi-racial country racism is a genie that is very hard to rebottle. When our friend Michael Hirschfeld was Labour Party President, no Young Labour supporter would have thought it smart to blog as he did last week that Jamie Whyte is Jewish and that Jews care about nothing but money. But then Michael would not have approved of today’s xenophobia

The only victim of the Judith Collins Affair is…?

The only victim of the Judith Collin’s affair is Shane Taurima, the TV presenter who David Cunliffe has ruled out of standing for Labour. The TVNZ Inquiry found Mr Taurima had used his position at TVNZ to promote his Labour candidacy. To do this he used his TVNZ email account and held meetings after hours at TVNZ. The Inquiry could not put a monetary value on the use Mr Taurima made of the state broadcaster’s resources. (There is an airfare that is disputed and Mr. Taurima has repaid). In contrast, the Auditor General found that the Parliamentary Labour Party used hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to illegally fund their election campaigns. No Labour MP was “ruled out” on those occasions. Shane is a victim of Labour’s new standard. Now it is just perception of wrong doing and you are guilty. If that is the standard there are going to be a lot more Shane Taurimas being ruled out from standing.

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