Tomorrow is Tax Freedom Day

May 2nd, 2011 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

Good news. Tomorrow is Freedom Day. This means everything you have earnt up to tomorrow has gone to the Government to fund its spending, and you get to keep everything from tomorrow onwards.

I’d love tax freedom day to be held in March. That won’t happen anytime soon, but what would be realistic is a goal of having government spending no more than 30% of GDP. I’d like the Fiscal Responsibility Act amended so that a Government has to publicly state what its target or limit for government spending will be. This would not be binding, but would give some transparency over Government policy, and allow a more informed choice between parties.

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20 Responses to “Tomorrow is Tax Freedom Day”

  1. Caleb (480 comments) says:

    Sounds a bit like the ‘ever moving’ US debt limit.

    A cold day in Hell, i would suggest.

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  2. Manolo (14,186 comments) says:

    Not to worry. Bill “Double Dipton” English will ensure Tax Freedom Day occurs on the April 1 from now on. Yeah right.

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  3. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Any chance of citing other examples of an OECD government spending only 30% of GDP, DPF?

    And hints on how we get there?

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  4. ben (2,280 comments) says:

    It’s a nice idea requiring the government to announce a number. The problem is that in our great country it will be politically costly to announce something smaller and politically advantageous to announce something bigger. National is creaming Labour in part by spending even more than Labour did.

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  5. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Taxation Statistics > Tax revenue > % of GDP (most recent) by country

    NZ ranks 5 highest/worst at 31.67%.

    Lesotho is top, on 58.92% followed by Algeria on 45.26%.

    Australia ranks 23th with 24.17%

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  6. Bill Courtney (163 comments) says:

    The stats list from krazykiwi is interesting but I would have thought the total taxation as a % of GDP might be more relevant:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/tax_tot_tax_as_of_gdp-taxation-total-as-of-gdp
    This shows a quite different picture (14th out of 18, i.e. quite low).
    But the listing is also based on data as far back as 2007, so other more up-to-date sources may be better, particlularly ones that reflect the tax changes implemented last year.

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  7. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    DPF: I’d love tax freedom day to be held in March. That won’t happen anytime soon

    It won’t happen with socialist lites as John Key and Bill English at the helm.

    But you might be wrong about the soon part as apparently you’re still discounting Don Brash.

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  8. dime (10,223 comments) says:

    Well that just sent me into a rage. Thanks!

    Luc – how bout we slash and burn the public sector and do something about the bludgers in our society? that would be a start.

    113,000 on the DPB or something stupid?

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  9. OTGO (579 comments) says:

    With 7th May being payment date for 3rd provisional tax it sure doesn’t feel like anytime is “tax freedom day”

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  10. wreck1080 (4,001 comments) says:

    For higher earners, tax freedom day may not arrive until june or july.

    For some, it began on January 1st.

    I’m not resentful paying tax per-se . But, I am resentful of wasteful spending of my hard earned money. I feel the government (and local government) treats my taxes without due care.

    I work in private enterprise, and it is cut throat. But, you see these govt employees staying at all the best hotels, treating air travel like a bus, and generally with little care of costs and whether they really needed that team building exercise in queenstown.

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  11. dime (10,223 comments) says:

    Wreck just depressed me a bit more. I was trying not to do the math

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  12. s.russell (1,650 comments) says:

    Different sources give different results because they count govt spending in different ways (eg do you count SoEs?).

    I think people are underestimating the long run effect of the spending restraint that National has imposed – and will continue to impose. The high spending now is largely because most Govt spending has to be maintained regardless of income. As the economy bounces back in the next few years causing income to surge I expect that the percent figure will drop rapidly.

    Like wreck, I don’t resent paying taxes – so long as they are well-spent.

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  13. freedom101 (513 comments) says:

    DPF, how can it be “Good News” that Tax Freedom Day is tomorrow. This simply highlights what a basket case we have become with the state milking everyone and then sprinkling fairy dust around to win votes. Key and English show absolutely no inclination to do anything about this, hence the reason why ACT / Don Brash is going to do well this year.

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  14. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    Or as some might put it, it’s the day when people start stealing from the state.

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  15. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Anyone who is genuinely unhappy with this state of affairs, might be pleased to learn that a libertarian, fiscally-conservative Paradise on Earth does indeed exist; a place where you are free to live by your wits, where you owe nothing to any government, and where you reap any and all rewards of your business with your neighbours: North Sentinel Island. Google it.

    I suspect most soft, vanilla, Falcodore driving, air-conditioned, whiney-arsed western conservatives would come to rue their decision to leave our socialist hell-hole of laws and christianity. For most, the moment when this apotheosis comes would be right about the time the medicine man cuts your testicles off and makes a necklace of them in front of you. Although for others it might be not until you are actually thrown into the cooking fire…?

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  16. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    The ACT team in parliament should push this hard every year. Meetings, questions, events. The whole nine yards. In respect to families, here is a question they could ask: How much tax will your children be paying at 35? Will they still live here?

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  17. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    For higher earners, tax freedom day may not arrive until june or july. For some, it began on January 1st.

    I wonder how many working-age NZers pay zero tax?

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  18. Falafulu Fisi (2,141 comments) says:

    Be-careful tax evaders!

    Analysing tax evasion dynamics via the Ising model

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  19. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    So we pay tax till tomorrow?, Then we borrow till the new year? You’ve got me fucked. I know my bank manager wouldn’t wear it.

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  20. Clint Heine (1,495 comments) says:

    If you look at “Tax Freedom Day” over the last decade it’s even more grim reading. I remember ACT promoting this many years ago – it’s a good time to bring this to the nations attention.

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