Alf is pleased to report that none of his constituents has expressed outrage at the proposed car-park tax.
This may well be explained by Eketahuna’s serious lack of public car parks. The citizens here can park for free on the main street.
It’s not the same in Auckland, obviously, which is what makes Eketahuna a more attractive place to live than Auckland, except, maybe, if you want to go boating or yachting or some-such.
Auckland’s parking costs no doubt explain why Small Business Minister and Act leader John Banks has popped up to criticise the Government’s proposed taxation of employer-supplied carparks in Auckland and Wellington as “petty”.
According to the NZ Herald (here), this criticism makes it more likely National will pull the unpopular policy.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Mr Banks told the Herald. “I’m very hopeful that it’s going to run out of steam.”
If the Government doesn’t pull it, the Herald points out, Banks could be forced to vote for a measure he opposes as part of Act’s agreement with National to support confidence-and-supply bills.
Alf is confident that if it comes to that, Banks is perfectly capable of putting the agreement ahead of his personal opinions, because without the agreement he would not have a ministerial job and the trappings that go with it.
Banks nevertheless hopes it will be withdrawn before it comes to that.
“I think it is very damaging for small business, particularly in CBD Wellington or Auckland,” he said.
“CBD Auckland is struggling. Small business in the Queen St and precincts are really hurting. It is not easy.”
It looked like the Government wanted to tax “everything that moves” and most things that moved made money for the country and paid taxes, he said.
“If you kill something that moves, there’s no tax, no jobs, no investment, no confidence and CBD Auckland is out of business.”
The measure is part of the Taxation (Livestock Valuation, Assets Expenditures, and Remedial Matters) Bill, in the name of Revenue Minister and United Future leader Peter Dunne.
And when it was it introduced to Parliament?
Does Banks read his bills?
Apparently not. He just votes on them.
And when did he vote on this one?
Well, it was given a first reading on 29 November 2012 (see here).
At the end of the debate a party vote was called for on the question
…that the Taxation (Livestock Valuation, Assets Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill be now read a first time.
And can you guess which way Banks voted?
Sure you can. He voted with the ayes –
Ayes 112 New Zealand National 59; New Zealand Labour 34; Green Party 14; Māori Party 2; ACT New Zealand 1; Mana 1; United Future 1.
Noes 8 New Zealand First 8.
Bill read a first time
The finance and expenditure committee will continue was scheduled to hear submissions on the bill today.
Dunno what Banks is doing today.
Don’t much care.
But maybe he could read the bill, if he has a spare moment. There might be other nasties in there for his constituents.