So United Future has launched its tax policy, which David Farrar describes. On the face of it he is offering a step forward. Three tax rates, of 10, 20 and 30%. It's far more radical than Labour, and I think more radical than NATIONAL would consider. After all it gets rid of the 39% tax rate, something National has been too scared to talk about because it doesn't have the courage or intellectual robustness to fight it (even though it opposed it in the first place). Give him credit, he has announced a comprehensive policy. ACT has announced half a policy (get rid of 39% and have a tax free threshold), National none.
However, for that you might ask Peter Dunne a few questions:
- You're the Minister of Revenue. You have kept the current government in power for two terms, indeed you are PART of it. If you have such a radical approach to tax, why haven't you withdrawn providing confidence and supply and helped initiate an early election? (of course the Greens would probably step in). Do you like having it both ways or is the only policy that matters the completely wasteful Families Commission?
- Would you achieve this with spending cuts? If so, where, given you are responsible for creating an obvious bureaucracy to abolish.
- Given you're meant to be a party in the centre, should we expect you'll only back National if it implements a version of you're moderately worthwhile tax cuts? If not, why not?
Most importantly, a vote for United Future in 2002 and 2005 proved to be a vote for keeping Labour in power. In 2002 many opponents to Labour voted United Future to give Labour an alternative coalition partner to the Greens. In 2005, half of those voters returned to National because it had a chance of winning.
In 2008, you might wonder why anyone who wants a change of government would bother casting a party vote for a party that has helped kept Helen Clark in power for two out of her three terms, and whose most well known achievement has been creating a useless bureaucracy. The people of Ohariu-Belmont might also ask what he has done for them. I certainly don't know.