The politics of envy

One of the frustrating things about trying to have a sensible debate about the correct level of taxation in this country, is that whenever an MP talks about reducing the tax burden, left wing MPs allege their only motivation is self interest and play on the politics of envy by saying they are only promoting it so they will get x dollars more a week themselves.

It is rather absurd to see them try this against Don Brash yesterday, alleging he supported tax cuts so he would get $168 more a week himself. Hello – this is the man who took a pay cut of around $500,000 a year to become an MP. I really don’t think he did it to try and then claw back $168 a week in exchange.

In a more general sense, the whole argument is fairly silly anyway. My experience amongst friends who have got up to a relatively high level of income (say over $100,000) is that making a few extra thousand more isn’t a huge issue for them. In fact many when swapping jobs have their pay go down a wee bit as it is the challenge of a new position that motivates them etc. Bottom line is that for 95% of people who earn in the top income brackets, they just aren’t so concerned about a few thousand more or less.

Quite a different issue on those earning between $30,000 and say $70,000 when you do really notice even a few thousand more take home pay.

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