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Webpoll vote not in favour of wealth tax

It was a close-run thing but more voters in this week's webpoll do not want a wealth tax, than those who do.

Out of 347 voters, 181, or 52 percent, said “no” to the webpoll question, Do you think New Zealand should have a new wealth tax”? Not far behind them were the “yes” voters — 153 of them, or 44 percent. Thirteen voters, or just 4 percent, ticked the “don't know” box.

One “no” voter commented at length: “I think if people earn lots of money legitimately then it's not fair to tax them more just because they are rich. If the Government starts doing that, where do they stop? Then it would mean more taxes for the middle class in the future and so on.

“I know there are people on the breadline, I feel for those people — some of them did nothing to deserve it and they are suffering. But taking everything out on the rich is not the answer.

“It makes the rich feel like they have done something wrong, and it's no better than the ‘beneficiary bashing' that took place under the previous National government under John Key. There needs to be some sort of fair playing field with taxes; taxing more is not the answer.”

Another “no”respondent said: “The notion of a wealth tax is not acceptable to those who have worked and saved diligently to live comfortably in their future. The proposal will cause the government to fail.”

On the “yes” side was this comment: “A fair tax system that includes everyone. Remove the tax evasion aspect of the wealthy.”

And from another: “We know that high wealth people pay lower rates of tax overall than average people on wages or salary. The wealth tax proposed by TOP in the last election seemed fair, sensible, and relatively straightforward. A higher tax take, and more spent on direct assistance (eg lunches in schools, free medical and more assistance for first home buyers) has to be a no-brainer.”

This person was firmly in favour of a wealth tax: “Either a wealth tax or capital gains tax — the inequality is simply unsustainable and the richest citizens don't pay their fair share of tax.”

“This would help towards redistributing wealth and would be equitable,” said another “yes” voter.

See also the column in today's Weekender page 8 Column P8