READER REPORT:

Make Kiwibank, Kiwirail work for Kiwis

CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN
Last updated 09:30 23/11/2012

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We need to increase income tax - possibly for middle income earners, but definitely for top income earners, to help the economy.

Since National won a second term, New Zealand has slid into deficit and the gap between rich and poor has widened. Now we hear there is a hole in the Government's tax take ... hmm, could that be due to the fact that the wealthy are choosing not to spend their extra income, but to invest it in non-productive areas such as property?

We should use Kiwibank to generate genuine competition within the banking sector. Currently, the Aussie banks suck billions of dollars out of our economy every year. If Kiwibank were to lower their rates, the Aussies would be forced to do the same, or risk losing customers. Either way, it will ensure more of our money remains on this side of the ditch.

Introducing a capital gains tax and tightening up rules around foreign property and land ownership would also help. Both of these steps would prove unpopular with National's core voters, but it is the only way to cool the housing market, and ensure that the property ownership remains a realistic goal for average Kiwis.

I'd also reduce company tax - making it easier for employers to hire staff and pay them decent wages. We need to reinstate the apprentice schemes and provide incentives for employers to take them on. It'll cost money, but it's got to be better than paying them to sit at home and play Xbox all day!

I'd get the power companies back into public ownership and start taking rail seriously. Max Bradford's reforms of the electricity industry were a disaster, and the price of power is out of control. Now the Nats want to finish the job and sell the power companies to overseas investors. John Key's suggestion that mum and dad Kiwi investors will buy shares in Mighty River Power is just laughable.

As for Kiwirail, what a tragedy! This is a strategic asset that could potentially get thousands of Kiwis into work. But no, Steven Joyce would rather run it into the ground and buy (slightly) cheaper (much) crappier locos from overseas, consigning even more New Zealand workers to the dole queue (or worse, Australia!).


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