Pearls before swine some may think, as Bill English could never have the gumption to argue for a flat tax. He has none of the backbone needed to argue that just because people earn more, does not mean they should pay an ever higher proportion of their income to the state. You do not consume more of what the state spends its money on just because you earn more. Too many of the envy brigade on the left would say it is "giving money to the rich" when in fact it is letting people keep more of THEIR money.
Flat taxes are common in former communist countries like Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia and Slovakia. Indeed even former Yugoslav republics of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia Hercegovina have adopted it. Hong Kong has close to a flat tax system.
So moving towards a flat tax IS good policy, it isn't extreme, it isn't uncommon, it is a sensible way to show New Zealand as a low tax small government economy, and it would help attract people. It does mean getting rid of the two top income tax rates, and that means some proper culling of the state. Not the limp wristed "efficiency gains" that haven't delivered.
It means abolishing agencies and functions.
It means saying the government needs to do less.
You'd think a government with ACT in it, might start to do something about it. Wouldn't you?