Working for families?

This is the second post in a two part series about the tax changes announced in the budget last week. Part one is Tax matters?.

In all of this talk of tax nobody seems to be saying much about what our tax dollars are actually spent on.

David Slack’s post last Thursday reminded me of an idea that Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) put forward a while back for a transparent budget.

When people struggle to keep on top of how much they personally earn and spend, then it’s probably also true to say that they really have no idea how much tax they pay, or (more importantly) what it is spent on.

Imagine if we were each sent a statement at the end of the year which included the total amount of tax we had paid and a breakdown of how this had been allocated to the various things that the government decided should be funded using this money.

Now that so many more of us are beneficiaries, via Working For Families, Kiwisaver, Student Loan Interest Write-Offs etc, then those “credit” payments could be incorporated into the statement too.

I suspect people would think differently about our “free” health and education systems, for example, if they better understood how much of their money was spent on it each year.

How much tax did you pay last year?

And what was it spent on?

Don’t you think you should know?

5 thoughts on “Working for families?”

  1. It still surprises me that a whole country, as isolated as we are from the world can run a government and infrastructure from the tax and GST of a population the size of many small cities in the world. I think that’s kind of cool.

    I have no idea how to fix the problems that we are faced with – 10 of my best friends have recently moved overseas (mainly to Australia)due to the better pay, lifestyle and adventure.

    What can we do to retain them? (~30,000 people/year leave for Oz alone)The amount of tax that they would take with them must add up to more than a block of cheese I’m sure…

    What are the main factors keeping people in NZ? Should the government be trying harder to keep us here instead of bringing in immigrants? Would a tax cut make me stay if I didn’t own my own business?

    I don’t know, just something I have been wondering about since I saw that documentary on 60 minutes recently.

  2. Rowan, Working for family (WFF) is wrong because what it does by this socialist government is wealth distribution. It takes money (via taxation) from Paul to pay Peter. Having more children which everyone knows that comes with a heavy burden to the parents is a lifestyle choice. If one wants to have 6 children, that’s fine, it is their choices, but why should everyone else contributes to the raising of that family with many children via the WFF which is basically a state welfare. It is not fare to those who are not qualify to WFF handouts whom by their own choices, decided that having many children is a huge burden to their working life and therefore avoid having that many in the first place.

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