Peter Dunne’s vacuous views that NZ tax system ‘utterly flawed’

In an article on February 8th, 2018, the just retired member of Parliament Peter Dunne headlines – ‘The fundamental problem is the current tax system is utterly flawed’ (https://www.interest.co.nz/…/peter-dunne-argues-tax-system-should-be-reformed-focu…)

For 70% of this meandering, vacuous article I wondered just where Peter Dunne was going with his inflammatory subject line?

After all, for someone who was the Minister of Revenue for “nine” years, what self-confessions was he making about his failings as Parliamentary leader of the country’s tax system?

The only salient point it seems, when you finally reach it, is that Peter Dunne supports a tax system designed to ‘disincentivise exploitative behaviour in the interests of the planet’s future’. He makes no attempt to postulate just how NZ might invoke taxes to deal with environmental issues, be this by duties; GST; income tax write-offs, etc?

What is bemusing is that environmental sustainability is indeed at the forefront of the new Government, and this very briefing was included in the Government’s Terms of Reference to the Tax Working Group in December 2017. Namely, “What role the taxation system can play in delivering positive environmental and ecological outcomes, especially over the longer term”.

Yet Peter Dunne does not seem to connect with this, even though he makes an offhand reference to the Tax Working Group, or he overlooked this? His point about an environmentally friendly tax system is commendable, however, it is already under consideration. While Peter Dunne has resigned, it seems his electioneering antics remain with this over-hyped, paper-thin article.

Note: See my Blog Article New Zealand Tax Reforms on the Horizon? – What will come out of the Governments Tax Working Group.

AUTHOR:

Andy Archer, Director, ACUMEN Limited

February 2018

 

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