What next? The air we breathe?

EDITORIAL

Provocative, controversial, polarising . . . but you have to admit, Gareth Morgan has a knack for grabbing the headlines. His new vehicle, the Opportunities Party, has given him a platform to throw seven policy ideas into the political ring. The first of them last week was a doozy — a tax on “lazy capital”. Under Morgan’s proposal, all productive assets, including houses and land, would be deemed to have a minimum rate of return. People who don’t already declare at least that level of income, will pay more tax.

This is a man who says he does not want to be in government, just wants to influence it. Morgan labels our houses a tax loophole and wants to see us taxed each year on the equity we have built up in our homes. We are “landlord and tenant”, he says. So an Aucklander living in a house valued at $900,000, who might have $500,000 equity, would pay $7500 a year on that half-million. He claims a heavy cut to personal tax would be made to offset the new property tax, thereby benefiting the low-paid. He openly targets those he says make a lot of money from buying houses. He admits he is one of them and his own tax under this proposal would cost him $350,000.

Morgan reckons New Zealand is exceptional in not closing this “loophole”. Critics scream “capital gains tax”, political suicide in this country, but Morgan says he is after the country’s unproductive capital. People who buy a half-million-dollar car would be taxed on that equity as well.

The retired couple who live in their own home but cannot afford tax at this level? Morgan says it could be recovered when the house is handed on and sold. No, not a reverse mortgage, he shouted at Paul Henry in a heated exchange last week as Henry accused him of wanting to kill aspiration, of being a “wowsery socialist”, of promoting an “envy tax”.

“Around 80 percent of adults will be either unaffected or pay less tax as a result of this taxation reform,” Morgan says. “Twenty percent of adults will pay more tax — but don’t fret, we can afford it.” Maybe he is right — but New Zealand voters hate talk of taxes. Don’t expect a stampede of homeowners to join the Opportunities Party.

Provocative, controversial, polarising . . . but you have to admit, Gareth Morgan has a knack for grabbing the headlines. His new vehicle, the Opportunities Party, has given him a platform to throw seven policy ideas into the political ring. The first of them last week was a doozy — a tax on “lazy capital”. Under Morgan’s proposal, all productive assets, including houses and land, would be deemed to have a minimum rate of return. People who don’t already declare at least that level of income, will pay more tax.

This is a man who says he does not want to be in government, just wants to influence it. Morgan labels our houses a tax loophole and wants to see us taxed each year on the equity we have built up in our homes. We are “landlord and tenant”, he says. So an Aucklander living in a house valued at $900,000, who might have $500,000 equity, would pay $7500 a year on that half-million. He claims a heavy cut to personal tax would be made to offset the new property tax, thereby benefiting the low-paid. He openly targets those he says make a lot of money from buying houses. He admits he is one of them and his own tax under this proposal would cost him $350,000.

Morgan reckons New Zealand is exceptional in not closing this “loophole”. Critics scream “capital gains tax”, political suicide in this country, but Morgan says he is after the country’s unproductive capital. People who buy a half-million-dollar car would be taxed on that equity as well.

The retired couple who live in their own home but cannot afford tax at this level? Morgan says it could be recovered when the house is handed on and sold. No, not a reverse mortgage, he shouted at Paul Henry in a heated exchange last week as Henry accused him of wanting to kill aspiration, of being a “wowsery socialist”, of promoting an “envy tax”.

“Around 80 percent of adults will be either unaffected or pay less tax as a result of this taxation reform,” Morgan says. “Twenty percent of adults will pay more tax — but don’t fret, we can afford it.” Maybe he is right — but New Zealand voters hate talk of taxes. Don’t expect a stampede of homeowners to join the Opportunities Party.

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Peter Jones - 2 years ago
Gareth Morgan's tax idea is pure agenda 2030. This proposal alone shows Gareth's commitment to the corporate communists who are the UN. Abolishment of private property, indeed all private wealth is one of the keystones of the UN agenda.

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