ed:..if we all remember – john key promised the focus for his government – were he to be re-elected – would be to do something about poverty/inequality..
and save for a paltry $20 per week increase in benefits for some families – with more clawbacks/hooks than a long-line – he did sweet fuck all..
so now it is down to english/joyce to do something about what can no longer be ignored..
recently i had a conversation with a die-hard/life-long tory – who conceded that ‘something must be done’..about the poverty that blights our (once egalitarian) society..
i was surprised to hear this – and i am sure that keys’ initial (albeit broken) promise ‘to do something’ was in part fed by demands from his tory party membership..
‘cos tory they may be – but not all of those who vote for national are heartless bastards who delight in the sight of homeless families/children forced to live in cars…
..and who actually recognise that ‘something must be done’..
but what..?..and this brings me to my call that the first (however many) thousands of dollars will be made tax-free..
it sticks in the craw of most tories to increase benefit-levels – but the introduction of a tax-free band ticks most of their boxes..
(aside from the fact that new zealand is one of the few oecd countries not to have a tax-free band on incomes) ideologically such a move could hardly be argued against by most tories..
it would help/’benefit’ everyone – and would be a tax-cut by another name – and at the same time would put more money in the hands/pockets of the poorest..
and would actually make a significant improvement in the lives of those struggling the most..
..it would remove the nonsense of the government giving an unemployment benefit..and then taxing it..(!)..(kafkaesque-nonsense in anyones’ mind/ideology..)
plus it would have the additional benefit of taking the wind out of labours’ sails…
such a move on the part of english/joyce would leave little/labour gape-mouthed/floundering in their wake..and could well win/secure the election for the national party..
which brings us to the (tory/economic)-rationales for such a move…
it would be easy as falling off a log for joyce to argue (as michelle boag did on a political talkshow last weekend)..that such a move/putting more money into the hands/pockets of the worst-off makes economic-sense/is ‘good for business’..also
this because of the simple fact that any monies accrued by the poorest is instantly churned back into the economy – through the tills of retailers/service-providers..
it is a win-win idea for everyone..
so it is for all of the above reasons – that i think it is odds-on that english/joyce in their upcoming budget will introduce a tax-free band on the first ?-thousand of income – for all new zealanders..