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Ardern is a lightweight

10/03/2019

From The Listener, Graham Adams in an article on CGT, comments:

The Michael Cullen-chaired Tax Working Group said it would put only a small “downward pressure” on house prices and even Finance Minister Grant Robertson admits it would have a minor impact on affordability

In fact, the government’s general exclusion of the family home from any CGT regime could have the opposite effect in some suburbs if homeowners poured money into extending their houses, to bolster an investment beyond the taxman’s reach. In Australia, where family homes are generally exempt, this phenomenon is dubbed the “mansion effect”.

In the UK where there has been a CGT for decades, it is hard to find anyone who would say a CGT has reduced house prices, because family homes are effectively exempt.

Then we get this

Interviewed on The Nation over the weekend, Jacinda Ardern seemed unaware of these inconvenient truths. Asked about a capital gains tax, she said: “There is a large group of New Zealanders — particularly young New Zealanders now — who, if their aspiration has been homeownership, [it] has just become harder and harder.”

This to Adam’s mind reinforces his opinion that Ardern is totally out of her depth. Her ‘popularity” is due to media adulation and a resolute determination by some commentators to ignore reality, she is not fit for her role.

It is extraordinary that the Prime Minister — whose “captain’s call” for a capital gains tax backfired on her so spectacularly in the 2017 election campaign — still doesn’t appear to understand the negligible effect it would have on housing affordability and is continuing to use it as a selling point.

Ardern is a lightweight, she does sound bites, but not policy.

In a clumsy effort to downplay the opposition to the mooted tax, Ardern also told The Nation, “There’s a large group of New Zealanders who don’t have columns in the Herald, who might not be having a chance to have their say on this [tax].”

In fact, it’s not just Herald columnists criticising the proposal. Even media sites that represent a younger and less conservative readership than the Herald’s haven’t enthusiastically supported the proposed CGT.

Again Ardern is a lightweight, leading an intellectually bereft party beholden to union interests and in office due only to the hubris and animus of the DPM and Foreign Minister Winston Peters

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