Democracy Project, Summarised by Centrist
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has ruled out any meaningful tax reform on his watch because it wouldn’t be an easy win for Labour.
Under Treasury’s proposal, a tax of 1.5 percent would be levied on the assets of about 25,000 ultra-rich owning more than $5m and it was forecast to bring in about $3.8bn a year. The flip side would have been a new tax-free $10,000 threshold for every individual, which would amount to a tax cut for most of about $20 per week.
In ruling out progressive tax reform such as a wealth tax, Hipkins is keeping alive the possibility of winning over wealthier voters who might be considering voting for National. But it’s a terrible move for Labour’s progressive reputation and standing.
Right now, Te Pāti Māori are overshadowing both the Greens and Labour in terms of radicalism, freshness and being bold. The wealth tax debate, together with three big polls showing big gains, may well have handed Te Pāti Māori the mantle of being the Real Party of Progressives in 2023.
So the unintended impact of Hipkins’ captain’s call could actually be to reduce Labour’s chances of re-election.