Where your taxes go

May 31st, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Worth checking out Where are my taxes. It details and shows graphically how much money per capita is spent on various activities. Some big items:

  • Superannuation $2,328
  • Primary schools $639
  • Family Tax Credits $480
  • Secondary schools $469
  • Tertiary Education $459
  • Domestic Purpose Benefit $413
  • Land and Transport $401
  • Student Loans $373
  • Early Childhood Education $313
  • Invalid’s Benefit $300
  • Accommodation Assistance $282
  • Unemployment Beneift $200
  • Sickness Benefit $177
  • Student Allowances $137
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38 Responses to “Where your taxes go”

  1. meh (165 comments) says:

    You knows things have swung too far to the left when MSD gets over 26% of the total…

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  2. RRM (9,769 comments) says:

    Wow – I’m surprised to learn that superannuation is so massively bigger than everything else MSD does…

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  3. dime (9,793 comments) says:

    I love being a battery that others feed off.

    if only i were paying my fair share

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  4. kowtow (8,138 comments) says:

    It’s not superannuation.

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  5. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Of course it’s superannuation. $10.24bn, up 6.8% this year.

    DPB @ $1.82bn only increased by 0.1%

    I’ve been using this site for ages. Also check the top right and click the “view incomes” and see where the money comes from.

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  6. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    For a different take on this, see the Maxim Institute’s Income Tax Tracker:
    http://bit.ly/L47M6i

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  7. teppic (9 comments) says:

    Why is treasury so large?

    [DPF: Debt interest]

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  8. OTGO (536 comments) says:

    So out of this list I’ve used 3. Primary and secondary schools and Land transport. My kids went to school and I drive on the roads. Cancel the rest and there would be no difference to my life (other than maybe better schools for my kids and better roads)

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  9. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Teppic – interest

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  10. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “Why is treasury so large?”

    Interest on the debt we’ve borrowed over the last 4 years. Total government debt has doubled under National.

    The debt interest bill, not capital, just interest is about the same as our defense and police spending combined

    Hence the critical need to get into surplus and start paying down the capital.

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  11. teppic (9 comments) says:

    I think I deserve patsy of the week for that one…

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  12. publicwatchdog (2,515 comments) says:

    The devil is in the detail.

    How much of this public tax money across each sector is going to private sector consultants and contractors?

    What is the NAME of the consultant / contractor?

    The SCOPE of the contract?

    The TERM of the contract?

    The VALUE of the contract?

    Where’s the ‘Register of Interests’ – available for public scrutiny – to double-check for any untoward ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who are awarding and those who are awarded these contracts?

    Where’s the ‘cost-benefit’ analysis which PROVES that all this ‘contracting out’ of services that were once provided ‘in-house’
    by ‘public servants’ is more ‘cost-effective’ for the public majority?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  13. freedom101 (491 comments) says:

    Obviously a lot more school kids will have their taxes increased, and teacher numbers chopped in order to keep the PM’s super promise.

    A 10% rise in super is larger than many of the items on this list.

    What’s more, on average super recipients are way wealthier than the people paying the taxes to support them!

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  14. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Penny – if you want to know that information, why don’t you put in requests under the OIA?

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  15. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    freedom101 – I don’t think you’ll find many people on this site disagreeing with you re national super.

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  16. hmmokrightitis (1,580 comments) says:

    y’know, between…

    …dribble…

    and

    ‘fucking rabbits ears’ around everything

    Im rapidly turning into a grammer nazi.

    Dear Batshit lady. If its any consolation whatsoever, when I was consulting, up until late last year, I always charged my public sector clients only $1,500 per day plus expenses.

    Im sure you will be relieved by that :)

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  17. berend (1,699 comments) says:

    Eh, what is the biggest item? Can’t see it, can’t see it, can’t see it!!!!

    Well, if my name was John Key.

    Still borrowing $250 million a week in this age of austerity and zero budget?

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  18. freedom101 (491 comments) says:

    Super is clearly affordable as long as you commit to continuous tax rises, increased government debt and cuts to services delivered to non-voters.

    Tui billboard.

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  19. Mark (1,471 comments) says:

    And $42 million subsidising private schools as John Minto of all people points out which somewhat less than ironically boast small class sizes as one of their main features and the saving from increasing state school class sizes is $43 million. Surely that is simply too cute and there is a mathematical error in Minto’s calculation.

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  20. Cunningham (836 comments) says:

    Mark (565) it is much cheaper for the government to subsidise private schooling then it would be to provide no subsidies and have those children go to public schools. Why on earth the government don’t convey this is beyond me. Do you honestly believe that the public schooling sector can EVER compete with private with regards to class sizes? It will never happen but what the government can do is try to compete on teacher quality which is MORE important (research supports this).

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  21. freedom101 (491 comments) says:

    Australia has 30%+ pupils at private schools. In NZ it’s around 2%. A simple tax incentive to parents to send their kids to private schools would most likely reduce the overall cost to the state.

    eg: Offer a $5000 tax rebate.

    Saving to the taxpayer: considerable, as it costs much more than that per pupil in the state system.

    Reducing private fees by $5000 would induce a large take up by parents who currently cannot afford it.

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  22. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    freedom101 – you would find that over time, school fees would increase by the amount of the subsidy.

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  23. freedom101 (491 comments) says:

    gassmaniac. Maybe, maybe not. It’s supply and demand. Not all private school fees are the same now. I suspect lowering fees would simply increase the number and diversity of schools. Some would offer entry level pricing and some would offer premium pricing. It’s more likely that there would be an expansion at the bottom of the market as the top of the market is already pretty price insensitive.

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  24. St Hubbins (26 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis (445) Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Im rapidly turning into a grammer nazi.

    Sorry to be a spelling Nazi, but I think you’ll find it’s “grammar” not “grammer.”

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  25. hmmokrightitis (1,580 comments) says:

    S’ok StH, was on a computer that doesn’t have spell check enabled, you’re right. Not your right, you’re right ;)

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  26. Joseph Carpenter (213 comments) says:

    Actually Working For Families costs $651 per capita, you forgot the Inwork Family Tax credit, the internal transfer and the admin cost.

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  27. Joseph Carpenter (213 comments) says:

    Also interesting Debt Servicing costs $838 per capita, the biggest single item after National Super, with WFF third. The DMO says the current average total debt interest rate is 3.7% with the current 90-day bills about 2.5% (for reference: in October 2008 the 90-day rate was 9.2%). A 1% (100b.p.) increase in the interest rate will cost NZ an extra $1.1 billion a year, going back to the old 9-10% days (of only four years ago) would destroy NZ – we would be in a negative feedback death spiral just like Greece where you’re borrowing more just to service the interest. Even an increase in the general economic growth climate = higher interest rates = either more taxes or debt required to service existing loans, it’s going to be a long hard road for NZ (and the world) getting out of this.

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  28. Harriet (4,758 comments) says:

    Freedom 101 #

    “…Australia has 30%+ pupils at private schools. In NZ it’s around 2%….”

    Are you sure ?

    Why then does early childhood education cost 65% of 98% of the entire total secondry education cost for NZ? [$313 against $469]

    This seems to be very wrong when you are talking 2-3-4 yrlds.And the fact that child care minders[teaching is hardly a third of their days work] are one of the lowest paid jobs in the country !

    Where does the money go ?

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  29. Harriet (4,758 comments) says:

    Freedom #

    Also, NZ is largely atheist, where private schools are mostly religious based.Religions would then not see the viability of opening more shools in NZ.

    And THAT is the cost to NZ of being largly atheist.

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  30. Harriet (4,758 comments) says:

    Mark #

    “…Surely that is simply too cute and there is a mathematical error in Minto’s calculation…”

    Your right.Minto is totaly useless at maths.

    When Minto had a blog over at Stuff, he commented from time to time on education costs.

    Minto would NEVER acknowledge the facts that those who send their kids to private schools ALSO pay taxes, and that the government HAS to provide a BASIC education to EVERY kid in NZ, and that kids at private schools then only recieve about 60% of that government OBLIGATION[Private schools get funded by government at about 60% of the cost to educate a state kid] but their parents, through tax, pay for that OBLIGATION that their child is ENTITLED to.

    I used to tell Minto that the government was not doing it’s job if private kids were not receiving the government OBLIGATION in FULL for a BASIC education -or that- those in State schools are recieving MORE than the governments OBLIGATION to ONLY PROVIDE a BASIC education.

    He’s a marxist – only work to a basic level of competance and get paid only what you need.

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  31. swan (659 comments) says:

    If the goal is getting back to surplus, obviously superannuation is a distraction.

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  32. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    There’s quite a bit of nonsense talked about private schools. the facts seem pretty clear to me. If you choose to send your child to a private school, then please don’t have the cheek to ask for some extra from your fellow taxpayers. They are already providing an excellent education system that your child can use. Private schools save bugger all money for the government. If all the private schools in the country shut up shop, their pupils could still be readily accommodated in the state system – it’s doubtful that the additional marginal costs would even be as much as the present government subsidies to private operators.

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  33. swan (659 comments) says:

    Mikenmild,

    Amazing that marginal costs are so low in education. I guess on that basis we must be paying a huge amount more per capita than larger nations. Is that a fact though?

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  34. swan (659 comments) says:

    Nationmaster tells my Ireland spends significantly less per primary school student than the uk. How can that be? http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_spe_per_pri_sch_stu-spending-per-primary-school-student

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  35. edd (157 comments) says:

    @ gazzmaniac “you would find that over time, school fees would increase by the amount of the subsidy.”

    You make a fine case for government regulation….

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  36. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    I wonder if that is the same mikenmild who is worried about class sizes increasing. The marginal effect of adding one or two kids to a class must surely be very low!

    Given its massive cost, why on earth does the government feel so obligated to pay the old age pension to all and sundry whether they need it or not?

    Of course it is not really superannuation because it is not paid out of any kind of accumulated fund! Superannuation implies people have contributed so are obliged to get something in return. Paying taxes that are all spent every year does not entitle anyone to a welfare benefit (based purely on age) that they have no need for!

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  37. Jeremy (323 comments) says:

    I notice it doesn’t include the wealth transfer and de facto tax machine that is the ACC…

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  38. Jeff83 (771 comments) says:

    Great to see National have promised to tackle the number one cause of our defecit then….

    Oh wait.

    I guess since they caused this item of expenditure in the greatest bribe ever (see Muldoon) they can’t go about fixing it.

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