Friday, May 31, 2013

Two thirds of NZ's richest people are not paying the top tax rate---so why are we surprised?!

The New Zealand Herald headline claiming that two thirds of NZ's richest people are not paying the top rate of tax. They hide their earnings to make it look like they are receiving less than NZ$70,000 a year. Why would we be surprised? Hasn't it always been this way? Think about it. They employ clever taxation accountants and hide their income. They know how to do this. It is ingrained in their psyche. They have a belief that it is their right; that they have contributed to the NZ economy so why shouldn't they get a 'break, in this case, a tax break. They look down on the rest of us-----oops stop! I am sounding trite and in 'their view' ignorant. Well, guess what ----most of NZ thinks the same way. I applaud people who make it in the business world and who help to provide employment for ordinary New Zealanders, but I do not respect people who go out of their way to 'shift their earnings,' so as to make it appear that they are MR and Mrs 'average,' in order to cheat the rest of NZ out of paying their fair share.
 OH, I can hear their bleating; in a chant that is far more reminiscent of those they accuse of 'ripping off' the system to the tiny amount of a few thousand dollars at the other end of the economic spectrum. Let's face it----the rich fight far harder and more effectively to keep what they believe to be theirs, than the poor do to just hold their heads above water.
New Zealand used to be seen as a place where the huge majority of citizens had a reasonable living standard. The gap that exists between the rich and the much larger poorer sectors of society is steadily growing. Is this not a recipe for social disaster? How about we support the efforts of the IRD to garner the taxation that should be paid, from a perspective of a level playing field. If the 'upper-end bludgers' bleat about that and threaten to leave NZ for greener pastures, then let them do just that. All I am asking for is that most Kiwi of qualities, albeit it a retro-quality----is a fair go for all.

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