Trading political values: PB Employment Law

The Coalition agreement has been signed, and what I find interesting is the message this sends: principles and values are no more than an optional extra to be traded away at will.

Paul Brown, Specialist Employment Lawyer

No real surprise here, given that we are talking about politicians. Given the enormous amount of borrowing Labour did in their last term, and that many people accept there has been huge underinvestment in infrastructure for the last few decades, I was – very foolishly – hoping that there would be an emphasis on the long-term future of New Zealand.

The coalition agreement put an end to that; a few superficial headlines and nothing that will make any real improvement to the long-term future of New Zealand. We simply need to find more money to catch up on the underinvestment in infrastructure, whether we are talking about children’s education, or about a hospital; they all need a huge investment.

Playing with tax rates won’t achieve anything; New Zealand needs to join 99% of the OECD and bring in a capital gains tax (CGT) – on all forms of property. It seems we are very happy to pay tens of thousands of dollars to a real estate agent, when even a small portion of this going to a CGT or sales tax, will make a huge difference to most New Zealanders over the long-term. Just look at KiwiSaver – opposed by National – which now has something in the region of $4 billion in it. Imagine the difference a decade of CGT could make.

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