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  • rmacculloch

The IMF should apologize for its NZ Mission Chief stating our IRD supports Capital & Land Taxes (when it doesn't)

In order to achieve maximum embarrassment to the government, our bankrupting One (Sided) News channel splashed on TV screens its headline news story featuring International Monetary Fund NZ Mission Chief, Evan Papageorgiou, calling for a comprehensive tax on capital gains to be introduced in our country, as well as a land tax which should 'increase the progressivity of income tax' - widening the gap between lower & higher tax rates. He said, "We've recommended (capital & land taxes) repeatedly, [and] yes, I know that politicians don't pay attention .. Treasury & IRD also have similar opinions, there is a quite a lot of good enough advice out there to influence the public debate."

I do not know of a single Inland Revenue Report or statement from its Commissioner, Paul Mersi, that has expressed the opinion that capital gains & land taxes should be introduced. Can the IMF front up & state why it declared our IRD to be in support of such taxes? The IRD published last year its "High Wealth Individuals Research Project" which former Revenue Minister David Parker presented to my economics class, but that was only a data collection exercise, measuring the "effective" tax rates of high-net-worth families. It made no policy recommendations whatsoever & did not, anywhere, express the opinion that capital and land taxes should be introduced in this country.

The IMF is welcome to tell me I'm mistaken & our Inland Revenue Service does formally support these new taxes. Unless it comes up with evidence, it should retract what I believe to be a false statement made to between 500,000 and 1 million NZ'ers watching One News at 6pm. As for the IMF line that it "knows" our politicians "don't pay attention" to this issue, what again is it on about? That was point of the Cullen Tax Review. Former PM Ardern was on the verge of introducing these new taxes but pulled back at the last when she decided they'd be unpopular. David Parker & former Finance Minister Robertson were itching for them to be introduced. How could our politicians not have paid more attention to this issue?

More broadly, the IMF has become a waste of time. Sending staffers around the world to lecture countries how they should run their affairs is past its sell-by date. Does the IMF think that we are too stupid to work out what's good for ourselves? That we don't know how to follow "good advice" here in NZ because we're so ignorant? How patronizing. Go back to Washington and fix the finances of the US before you tell us how to run our own country.



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