Thursday, July 5, 2007

I'm well off - bribe me some more!

Interesting exchange over at Just Left re Labour's new big 3 - Kiwisaver, cheaper doctors' visits and subsidised childcare - over at Just Left.

This from Burt:
"I was talking to my brother today, asking him if he's into Kiwisaver. He isn't earning a lot and he currently can't afford to put 4% aside. We laughed about how the tax he pays on every dollar he earns will be contributing toward my Kiwisaver account. Naturally I thanked him for voting Labour and giving me some of his money."

This from SPC:
"Labour could well have an answer for that in 2008.

A tax cut focused on the lower tax rates (10 cents on the first 10 or 20 thousand) - so those who cannot afford to save their "4%" get it in a tax cut so they can.

Thus low income earners and high income earners then would get the same tax cut amount."

This from me:
"Yes, Labour *could* have an answer in 2008 - but won't. The low-paid already vote Labour and don't really have any other option (National sure ain't their friend), so they'll be ignored. Anything Labour hands out will be free gifts to people like me and Burt and middle-class students at the *expense* of the low-paid."

I remember being astounded to get back to NZ from Kuwait, rolling in cash and with a decent salary coming in from my new job, and find that because I had kids I was entitled to welfare! They can call it "Working For Families" all they like, it's still fucking social welfare as far as I'm concerned. Like the interest-free student loans bribe before the 2005 election, it's basically an election bribe to people who already aren't short of a bob or two, paid for by people struggling to make ends meet.

Show some bollocks, Labour - stop trying to bribe well-off middle class voters like me, and do something for the people your party's named for. You could start by making the first $10,000 of earnings tax-free.

NB: Normally I figure Labour gets enough stick from my fellow authors without me adding to it, but I'm feeling particularly grumpy with them right now because of the mailout. Russell Brown's got it well covered.


Anonymous said...

PM. Are you sure you haven't turned to the dark side. Except for the rare comment that gets up Redbaiters nose, you certainly aren’t sounding like the communist totalitarian some view you as.

Psycho Milt said...

I'm definitely at the libertarian end of the left, not the totalitarian end. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing remotely "left" about giving welfare handouts to the well off (among whom I definitely include myself), which are paid for by the proletariat. I've got no problem with the level of tax I'm paying, support a progressive tax regime, and don't need welfare. The whole point of a progressive tax regime is to leave people who don't earn much with more of what they earn, and put more of the burden on people like me who can afford it, not to extend social welfare up to my level.

ZenTiger said...

And then there's the inherent cost of administering a whole confusing series of variable welfare payments.

My only quibble with your post is that I'd plump for no tax on the first 20K, if we were not able to offer a flat tax.

That, and income splitting for married couples - thus if one person chooses to stay at home and look after the kids, then the tax free threshold is 40K, the mother is recognised as contributing and families are supported in a way that most helps the children - two parents and a better chance at being looked after.