The one single attribute of the New Zealand Consumption Tax going under the generic title of GST is its universality and simplicity.
Douglas was extraordinarily lucky or as I believe very astute in that when he wrote it over thirty years ago, keeping it simple in compliance, assessment and application were basic.
Yes there are minor issues around it applying to rates and therefore a tax on a tax but for its understandability and collection via self administration along with the fact that there are not interminable court actions to review its application, is remarkable.
VAT, Aus GST, and other taxes on consumption and there fore widely based, have nothing approaching the simple NZ model. Food is exempt in the West Isle but when the title suggests it is a tax on "goods" and "services" replacing the plethora of variable 'state taxes', any exemption is fraught and will do little to reduce the cost of living. The main argument for the various spurious efforts that come around on a regular basis in NZ.
Now the Media Party and the various desperates who rely on them to try and derail the NZ political train have latched onto water exports and in particular the bottled option that has been portrayed as a terrible injustice being perpetrated by foreign corporations.
BS, the total volumes both current and projected is literally a drop in the bucket.
Any suggestion of a royalty on bottled water exports is also fraught and will be a nightmare to levy, apply and enforce.
Just think for a moment as to where and when such a levy will be applied. Extraction, bottling or when it crosses the border.
Then decide what actually constitutes water being exported, will it include milk, beer, carbonated flavoured drinks, water used in production or creation of goods and there will be as many more as there will be lawyers seeking work.
Carbonated water vs pure,
Milk, will the tax on water inputs include rainwater falling on pasture, water collected on farm and sprayed on grass to increase growth or just the now so called free water that costs considerable sums to actually apply.
Water content in exported milk assessed when dehydrated milk is exported,
Even down to the water consumed to create the one point five liters of H2O in the plastic bottle, tax the total or just the bit in the plastic.
Hosking made simplistic the solution when he claimed "Governments can do anything", well Mike here is the news, MMP means they can do sweet bugger all if faux outrage generated by the ignorant does not agree. Look at the sad and irrational attempts to review the RMA nightmare in the face of the halfwits with agendas making unreasonable demands.
Worst case scenarios have some rather unpalatable cost escalations possible in any attempts to tax the very small volumes of pure water that cross our border currently.
One Commenter on Farrar's Blog summed up the misconceptions and ignorance that this faux debate has fired up with a call to make farmers pay a fair price for their water. There in a Nutshell (pun intended) is a summary as to why it is all total garbage, for starters, define "fair".