A couple of aspects of Deborah Coddington’s column today grabbed my attention.
The first is her statement:
It’s true we have one of the lowest top tax rates in the world but it kicks in at the lowest threshold.
Elsewhere in the OECD, you have to earn 5.4 times the average wage before you’re considered rich enough to make the high tax bracket.
Deborah is around the fourth or fifth journalist now to refere to this fact in the last few days. And prior to the CIS research paper no one was making such explicit comparisons. I think it shows how powerful and useful, such well timed research can prove to be.
I also found amusing the reciting of this exchange from the Budget debate:
And it led to some interesting exchanges in question time as Don Brash attacked Cullen over New Zealand’s trailing a sad 22nd on the international scale of competitiveness, while Australia is sitting pretty at six. Cullen said the main difference is that “Australia digs itself up and exports itself to China and Japan. Unfortunately, we do not have the gas and coal supplies to do that.”
That prompted Brash, not normally known for his wit, to ask if the Government’s bold strategy for “clawing back the gap between after-tax incomes in Australia and New Zealand” is to wait for Australia to run out of gas and coal.