The case for taxing soda is thin – a case of soda would yield as much tax as a teaspoon of the stuff

April 18, 2015
A calorie tax would come from the whisky but not the soda.

A calorie tax could be collected from the whisky but not the soda.

Alf has not been paying attention to what the fat fanatics have been up to lately.

Accordingly he missed their calls for this country to introduce a soda tax.

He was alerted to this development by the good people at the Taxpayers Union.

They issues a press statement yesterday that said:

Reacting to the call for soda taxes from University of Auckland Professor Boyd Swinburn, and University of Otago Associate Professor, Nick Wilson, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Denmark’s tax on saturated fat introduced in 2011 was an economic disaster. The Danish tax was abandoned 15 months later and did little, if anything, to reduce harmful consumption. Worse, it was estimated to have cost 1,300 jobs. Why would New Zealand want to repeat this mistake?”

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Stuart Nash is riled by shortfall in the tax take – but there’s a shortfall in his statement, too

January 11, 2015
"We're not missing a million somethings here, are we?"

“We’re not missing a million somethings here, are we?”

Stuart Nash’s grand-dad was Walter Nash, who served as the country’s 27th Prime Minister in the Second Labour Government from 1957 to 1960.

Walter is credited with being highly influential, too, in his role as Minister of Finance in the First Labour Government.

But the Nash financial genes seems to have been watered down before reaching Stuart.

Or maybe he was a bit lax when he authorised the release of a press statement aimed at throwing borax at we Nats.

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Nice one, Pete – we would like to know where the revenue-grabbing speed cameras are hidden, too

April 27, 2013

Good on ya, Peter Dunne, for having a crack at the cops over their hidden speed cameras.

He is trying to find out where in the Wellington region the cameras are being used.

Alf might encourage him to extend his campaign to cover the Wairarapa.

The story popped up on the telly last night (see here).

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Look what happened to the carpark tax … a few yelps, a quick U-turn, and it’s vanished

March 18, 2013

It took a while for the shit to hit the fan.

In the upshot, Peter Dunne has been spattered more than we Nats. Just as well.

Fairness might have been run over, too, but too hell with fairness. This was all about a threat to our getting re-elected.

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When the health-enhancing properties of booze are accepted, it will be worth batting for cheaper food

September 9, 2010

And having bought your medicinal tipple here, you can move on to the health food shop.

Alf applauds the Public Health Association and Agencies for Nutrition Action for pressing the government to take concrete steps to reduce the cost of nutritious food – particularly the basics like bread, milk, fruit and vegetables.

He will support them, provided they include whisky (above all) on their list of healthy foods along with other alcoholic beverages with health-enhancing properties.

He enthusiastically goes out to promote whisky, which by the way happens to be one of his favourite tipples, although this is neither here nor there when it comes to the serious business of legislating in the public interest to improve the nation’s health and nutrition.

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And now the party that brought us GST has a bright idea – let’s do something it has always said is wrong

May 6, 2010

It’s taken the buggers a while – they were thrown out of office, and rightly so, some 18 months ago.

But at last they have tumbled to the need to shake up their ideas.

Mind you, shaking them up doesn’t necessarily make them more attractive. Or sensible.

Among their proposals, according to the Dom-Post, is the removal of GST from food. This is a hoot, because (a) a Labour Government introduced GST and (b) at that time, and ever since, it has given us umpteen good reasons why GST should be applied to all goods and services, with no exceptions.

The Dom-Post reports –

Finance Minister Bill English has signalled a rise to 15 per cent in GST as part of a “tax switch” that will see income taxes fall.

Labour has campaigned strongly against a GST rise, which would put $2 billion a year into the Government’s coffers, but has stopped short of promising to reverse it.

An exemption on food – or other changes to the goods hit by the consumption tax – would justify Labour’s strident opposition and could mesh with the Maori Party’s similar policy on the issue.

The Dom-Post reminds us Labour has in the past strongly opposed exemptions for food, and Goff told the newspaper’s Vernon Small he still favoured a comprehensive low rate of GST.

However, as the rate increased to 15 per cent and possibly higher, it would hit low and middle-income people harder, so arguments for exemptions would grow stronger.

There’s more about Labour’s thinking in Small’s report. Go check it out.


Maori-blood defence is patent nonsense: lawyer fails again to trump the IRD by playing the race card

April 17, 2010

Alf is bemused by the case of the patent lawyer who pulled the race card to avoid a hefty tax bill.

He told the High Court at Auckland his Maori descent meant he was not obliged to pay $10.3 million in unpaid taxes.

He presented no evidence of his whakapapa.

But proof was immaterial. The Maori-blood defence should fail, even for citizens who can furnish proof of their Maori blood.
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