Phil Goff interviewed on TVNZ's Breakfast this morning
Phil Goff interviewed on TVNZ's Breakfast this morning - 2nd August
TRANSCRIPT: Labour Leader, Phil Goff interviewed on TV ONE's Breakfast at 7:20am this morning.
The full length video interview can also be seen on tvnz.co.nz at, http://tvnz.co.nz/Breakfast
PHIL GOFF interviewed by CORIN DANN
Corin: Time to talk politics now. Joining me in the studio this morning is Labour Leader Phil Goff for his weekly catch up. Mr Goff. We've just had about inflation the impact on people at the bottom I guess of society in New Zealand, really doing it tough. What could a Labour government do to help?
Phil: Well I think that's at the heart of the tax package that we put out. We're talking about instead of taking the tax off the top, you know all of us on high incomes got huge increases with tax cuts in the last cuts, you know I got several hundred dollars a week, John Key got a thousand, but somebody on the medium wage got $14. Now you take those prices we've just seen on your programme. That doesn't even cover filling half a tank of gas with the price increase. Those families are missing out. That's why we're saying that with Labour's tax cuts it's gonna come off the bottom. The first $5000 tax free. That includes people like superannuitants and students. It means that that's another $1000 per household. That's a way that we can help in practical terms for those families struggling with the cost of living.
Corin: Reality is though, that the people who pay the most tax in New Zealand are the people at the top. They're paying the highest, basically most of the tax. If you introduce new tax to penalise them, is there a danger they will leave? I mean they're growing the whole pie aren't they?
Phil: No look, we're talking about a top tax rate of 39 cents, in Australia it's 45 cents, and Labour's 39 cents doesn't come in until you earn the first dollar after $150,000. So I think you know people that are on good incomes can pay a little bit more given the tragedy in Christchurch, given the economic situation that we're in. But look you know if the most tax is being paid by people at the top, that's where most of the income is coming. And I remember what Sam Morgan said when he sold his company for 700 million dollars, he said it's quite wrong that I pay not a cent in tax on that 700 million dollars in profit I've just made, when other people are paying tax on every dollar.
Corin: But people like him will be less incentivised to create wealth, because that is a danger when you bring in higher top tax rates isn't it?
Phil: Not at all, I mean Sam Morgan, you just ask Sam for himself, he would have gone ahead and set up Trade Me. He thought himself that it was unfair that he and his colleagues could make 700 million dollars and pay not tax on it. Selwyn Pellet was on the media the other day he made eight million in the last couple of years selling shares, he said I paid not a cent of tax on that, but every one of my employees pays tax on every dollar they earn. So it's about fairness. It's not about punishing people that have got get up and go. I'm all in favour to that. But you know with the Capital Gains Tax if you're paying 15% you're keeping 85%, that's not unfair.
Corin: The Capital Gains Tax though what do we make of the terrible poll results for you over the last couple of weeks, 27 in that One News poll, 29 in TV3's. This shows that maybe the public doesn't want this Capital Gains Tax?
Phil: No well the TV3 poll was well before the debate began and the TVOne poll was before the formal announcement, and if you take another poll, the Herald digipoll that has us up to 36/37%, we were up for 5% in that. If you take the real polls that have occurred this year, they're called bi-elections and Botany a safe National seat, we took the poll up 29% in Te Tai Tokerau up to 41%.
Corin: So you think that the next polling session will get that Capital Gains Tax announcement, do you think you can make improvements?
Phil: Well yeah that's what we're aiming to do. But what we're doing is what's right for New Zealand. We don't want to sell our assets, and that's what the government is proposing, that's what this election will be about. Sell the assets or not sell the assets. We have come up with a programme to pay down the debt without selling the assets, and a fairer tax system for all New Zealanders.
Corin: Labour Leader Phil Goff, thank you very much for your time.