Good on Nanaia Mahuta for adopting a Down to Earth Kiwi policy by putting punitive taxes on Russia
Almost a month ago, we wrote a blog advising the Kiwi government to "Tax Russian imports to NZ - don't make them illegal". The reason was that our government was resorting to bans at the time. We pointed out that tariffs would be a better policy since, for example, "the implications of punitively taxing Russian vodka (& other such imports) would be that NZ gains tax revenues, paid for by Russian businesses. We could appropriate money away from Russia's war effort & use it for our own purposes! All whilst Kiwis still enjoy drinking their vodka, should we so wish".
We also pointed out, however, that you don't want to apply such policies to imports for which Kiwis have "inelastic demand", since that would mean part of the tax rise may be passed onto us. That is, one would want to apply tariffs to Russian goods & services for which we could easily find substitutes should Mr Putin seek to rise prices.
Anyhow, today Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Trade & Export Growth Minister Damien O'Connor announced that they ARE slapping Russian goods with a 35 percent import tax over alleged war "atrocities" committed in Ukraine.
Good on them. It's a sensible economic policy, at last, from Labour. New Zealand just took some money away from Russia's war machine. You never know who reads your blog, but maybe we had a little bit of influence!