Fixing the economy: A list to start with
Can you fix the economy?
Amanda Greenwood shares her ideas on how to boost New Zealand's flagging economy.
1. Stop allowing New Zealand property to be sold to non-residents, particularly farming and housing stock. This would have an immediate effect on the Auckland housing market.
2. Introduce a capital gains tax on the sale of property where the property has been owned for less than three years. This would include the situation where it is moved from personal to family trust or business ownership.
3. Sell crown enterprises such as Mighty River Power to the KiwiSaver providers. Keep it in New Zealand ownership for the future benefit of New Zealanders.
4. Continue increasing the KiwiSaver minimum contributions every two years, up to 4 per cent for employer and 8 per cent for employee.
5. Re-introduce an apprenticeship scheme. The unemployment benefit could be the base pay, with top up from employers (with tax incentives to the employers).
6. Revoke the KiwiSaver provisions that allow employers to top up an employee's pay package and then take employer's and employee's contributions from gross pay.
7. Make KiwiSaver compulsory!
8. Allow the self-employed make an annual one off lump sum to KiwiSaver from their business as a business expense, rather than drawings.
9. Cut off the benefit for anyone who refuses a job offer, even in another part of the country. Every year the kiwifruit orchards, apple orchards, vineyards are looking for employees, to the extent of bringing in people from overseas. Provide a travel allowance to relocate that is repaid from pay.
10. Make the minimum equity for home lending 85 per cent.
11. Stop the practice of hire purchase on 12 months deferred payment - almost no-one makes payments in this period and then they have a big debt at the end that they pay 25 per cent plus interest on.
12. For working families, treat daycare as a tax deductible expense, instead of the current $310 rebate.
13. Offer a tax incentive to educate children, such as a tax deduction or rebate for things like outside coaching in music, maths, science, swimming.
14. Provide more incentives for research and development.
15. Put an end to the practice of allowing immigrants to bring in their parents who then qualify for New Zealand Super at the age of 65. Or increase the age at which people qualify for New Zealand Super if they have not lived (and worked) in New Zealand for a minimum period.
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