Saturday, September 23, 2023

Kerre Woodham: David Seymour is nothing if not pragmatic

David Seymour and ACT are nothing if not pragmatists.

After taking in the impact of the PREFU, the pre-election fiscal and economic update provided by the Government, Seymour has made some changes to ACT’s alternative budget, principally softening tax cuts to account for economic conditions.

Previously, ACT had proposed a two tier tax system with a top rate of 28%. Now it's going to get there, but it'll get there slowly and via a three tier tax system with a top rate of 33%. So few figures here for you. But ACT is advocating for all those earning under 60K to be taxed at 17.5%. Between 60 and 70K at 30, between 70 and 180K 33%, earnings above that at 39%. From the fiscal years 25/26, the 30% tax bracket would be expanded to include those earning between 70 and 180K - quite a big jump. The following year the top tax rate of 180K plus would be lowered from 39% to 33%.

Basically, what he's done is looked at the Government's books, crunched the numbers and realised we can't afford the tax cuts he proposed as quickly as he would like and has made changes. He has also delayed increased spending to defence and will speed up the rate at which the age for super will rise to 67. The age hike was to increase by two months every year from 2024, so even then that would have still been 12 years before the age of super went up to 67. The age hike was to be increased by two months every year from 2024. The latest document has increased the rate of change to three months every year. So it's eight years, not 12, if you take my maths for anything. So there's still plenty of time for people to plan and prepare for the change.

You know, if you're sitting here at 60, thinking the miserable buggars, you should still be fine. Anybody younger will be okay. They'll have time to plan. Seymour defends the refinement of the alternative budget as reflecting the challenging economic environment. He said PREFU showed Labour has no plans to pay off debt. Every year forecast, the country borrows more and more until we lose first world status, and that just is unacceptable to them. He says we can't offer the same tax cuts we previously proposed because Grant Robertson has left the cupboard bare. Which does rather make me wonder whether National can still afford their proposed tax cuts.

So do you see it as common sense from ACT? Seymour is a leader of a minor party, but he's certainly carrying himself like a man with expectations post October 14. And I didn't see all of the minor parties debate last night because #Winston Peters. I don't even know why he was there. I thought it was supposed to be the existing minor party leaders. I mean cause why not TOP? I mean, they must have a formula by which they do it, any party that's polling 5% is welcome, but none the less, I would have had more stringent rules!

David Seymour sort of looked like he didn't really want to be there, that he felt that he was slightly better than the other three party leaders. He should have been with the grown-ups, not with the children. And interesting that every single one of the leaders of the minor parties that were shown are Māori. Do we need co-governance to enforce giving Māori a seat at the table? It shows if they want one, they can jolly well go out and get one if they so wish.

Kerre McIvor, is a journalist, radio presenter, author and columnist. Currently hosts the Kerre Woodham mornings show on Newstalk ZB - where this article was sourced


Anonymous said...

Yes, Kerre, those 'Leaders' were all part-Maori and in a world where no 'full' Maori now exists, why do we need to legislate for the latter?

Apart from that obvious absurdity, only one of those debating had a fully costed budget that could possibly work. As you've identified, they are pragmatists and the only ones that can be trusted with the country's finances and, importantly, also assert equality in the eyes of the law for all. It's what's normally termed "a no brainer" but then, Einstein had some thoughts about the limits of mankind's stupidity.

Anonymous said...

at this stage, anyone promising to limit the size, cost and influence of government is worth voting for. the last 3 years have shown the ugly face of its unprecedented growth.

also, any party willing to write a law to bar press funding by government should get an automatic tick!