Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Monday, August 25, 2003

Of Tax

As a little introduction to this whinge. Let me begin by saying a few things:- I do not come from a wealthy family. I come from a hard working family, who live in the suburb of Manurewa, and we could probably be classed as Lower-middle-class. My Dad is a Christian School teacher (so don’t think State School pay rates!) and up until recently my mum did not work. So this is not a rich kid moaning about how unfair it is to pay tax. Our family has worked and saved for what we have. Ok?

Ok I’m not a happy chappy about this situation. here’s the problem.

19% income tax.

12.5% tax on every item one purchases.

High rate of tax on petrol one buys.

High rate of tax on tobacco one buys.

High rate of tax on alcohol one buys.

Secondary tax (if you have more than one job) of 33% (yes one dollar out of every 3 you earn).

But my real problem is this. If I pay so much tax, why can I not expect a police officer around at my house when I get burgled, in 30 minutes rather than the whopping 19 hours average that it takes in Counties Manukau. Why cannot police investigate when I get burgled, or when someone rams into my car and takes off? If, (as I believe it is) the job of the government is primarily to protect it’s citizens and their property, then why the heck can they not manage it with taxes as weighty as these.

Why is 1/3 of government expenditure on the ridiculously named “Social Welfare”. Why should the government get 12.5% of the money I spend on food, and necessities... come to think of it anything at all. Why should I pay more tax (33%) for being a hard-worker who has two jobs? Is this creating incentive to work hard? Why should I be taxed at a higher rate if I earn more than a certain income? Since if I earn 100,000 I will still be paying a heck of a lot more tax even if I pay the same percentage of tax as someone earning 20,000. This is so wrong. It is a disincentive to do well for oneself. Not only that, but the government will tax you on the interest you earn in your bank savings! A disincentive to save! And you can’t even die dammit without your inheritence money being taxed by the government. Yes! You're taxed for dying already! “Oh I’m sorry sir, we’ll have to take some money off you, please don’t die in future.” Well at least it used to be this way, I’m not sure if it there still is a ‘death dues’ tax. Maybe one of you brainy people could find that out.

I am by no means arguing for no tax. But give us a break! We should pay income tax. But all this other stuff is becoming ridiculous. It is the result of moving away from God. When the church does not flourish, the state must provide for the needy (the deserving and the undeserving), and taxes will have to rise as a result.

Story of the Week

Via Anita comes this very topical tale. (Please note the alliteration.)

A tale for our times??.

Classic Version:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

The Modern New Zealand Version:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate like him are cold and starving.

The TV crews show up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video of the ant in his comfortable warm home with a table filled with food. New Zealanders are stunned that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty. The Greens, the trade unions and the Coalition Against Poverty demonstrate in front of the ant's house. TV1 News, interrupting a cultural festival special from Ngaruawahia with breaking news, broadcasts them singing "We Shall Overcome." Dun Mihaka rants in an interview with Pam Corkery that the ant has gotten

rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share." In response to polls, the Labour Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. With the help of United Future and Jim Anderton's mob, the bill is quickly passed into law. The ant's taxes are reassessed and he is also fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as helpers. Without enough money to pay both the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. The ant moves to Asia, and starts a successful agribiz company. The TV stations later show the now fat grasshopper finishing up the last of

the ant's food though Spring is still months away, while the government owned house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he hadn't maintained it. Inadequate government funding is blamed, Margaret Wilson now is appointed to head a commission of enquiry that will cost $10,000,000. The grasshopper is soon dead of a drug overdose, the NZ Herald blames it on

obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity. The abandoned house is taken over by a gang of immigrant spiders, praised by the government for enriching New Zealand's multicultural diversity, who promptly terrorize the community.

Who says we don't live in a democracy?


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