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Cunliffe’s Compulsory Opportunity

Cunliffe’s Compulsory Opportunity

Blog: Dr Jamie Whyte, ACT Leader

The Greens have described their carbon tax proposal as a “green tax cut”. They justify this on the ground that the funds raised from this tax will be used to reduce other taxes. They are being tricky. There is no net tax cut in the proposal. And the new tax they plan to add is the green tax, not the taxes they would reduce.

Now Cunliffe is playing similar tricks in the way he describes his proposal to make employees’ contributions to Kiwi Saver compulsory. In the Herald this morning he is quoted as saying that Labour’s “aim is to … offer [retirees] the opportunity to have a little more than the basic standard of living”.

The opportunity? People already have the opportunity to save through Kiwi Saver or in other ways if they want to. Cunliffe’s policy adds no opportunities that people do not already have. Rather, it removes opportunities. You lose the opportunity to do anything else with the money that Cunliffe will force you to put into Kiwi Saver.

Describing a compulsion as the provision of an opportunity is a standard Orwellian trick of authoritarians. Cunliffe should be ashamed of himself.


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