READER REPORT:

Can you fix the economy? Flat tax all way

SCOTT TREMAINE
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012
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TAXING TIMES: Earn more, pay more, is Scott Tremaine's solution for New Zealand tax.

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Like most socialist ideals, secondary tax looks good on paper. In theory, it is easy to see the reasoning behind this catch-all system for people with more than one employer: DPB, unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, road user charges, interest-free student loans, state housing, and so on.

Unfortunately, we don't live on paper. Some of us need to have two jobs - sometimes more - just to make ends meet. We don't earn more than 60,000 and we don't do it for fun. We also have to find our own motivation to do the right thing by our families.

So, two things going on here:

1: Our tax system is cumbersome and labour intensive from both sides.

2: As a nation we seem to reward inactivity and punish industriousness.

Go figure. At least we're not Greece, yet.

My suggestion? Flat tax. Earn more? Pay more. Earn less? Pay less. Simple. No secondary tax required.

It will never happen. There are too many short-term problems to fix in our short-term democracy. We think small, therefore we will stay small.


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