The Herald reports:
Manukau Mayor Len Brown has plans for Margaret Thatcher’s notorious poll tax if he is elected Super City mayor, says his main rival, John Banks.
The Auckland City Mayor has pounced on comments Mr Brown has made while discussing options to fund local government, including changes to the rating system, such as an income-related city tax.
These include comments from Mr Brown to the Takapuna Residents Association two weeks ago and a 2007 statement where he said it was “time to seriously consider replacing rates with a city tax”.
Mr Brown is now running at a fast speed from his own comments.
Mr Banks claimed a poll tax, which blighted the last days of Lady Thatcher’s time in power in Britain, would unfairly hurt low-income people who Mr Brown said he represented, and leave them shouldering the major burden. High earners were able to minimise their income, Mr Banks said.
I commented about this on NewstalkZB. The ones who would be hit hardest by such a tax (whether a flat poll tax or an income tax) are state house tenants. They currently pay no rates at all, and their rent is set as a proportion of income, so doesn’t reflect the costs of rates (unlike private tenants).
So Brown’s musings, would in fact hit hardest state house tenants – normally the poorest people in society. Perhaps he thinks he has their votes sewn up, and is going for the North Shore votes!
“I have never advocated a poll tax. I have said we should be open to other options of funding council services rather than always increasing rates,” he said.
How about just keeping spending under control?