Saturday, June 10, 2006
Cuts are not quite what we are talking about overall – it is really a reformulation of the ‘Tax Base’.
What we need to do, and are doing, is to set out how taxes will be collected and what areas and activities will be targeted. When we have done that we need to compare the old and the new tax bases by setting out a revenue-neutral statement; how we would raise exactly the same sum of money overall on the new base as on the old base. That way we can compare like with like.
After we have established the revenue-neutral position we can see if ‘cuts’ or ‘increases’ are in the pipeline overall.
Talking about ‘Tax Cuts’ at this stage gives the wrong impression and leaves us with hostages to fortune later.
As for getting al this accepted as ‘party policy’ – and real ‘policy’ is what the mass of members and supporters feel in their guts – Id like to recall my suggestions on the Japanese process of Nemawashi. I am slightly concerned that all this tax excitement is emerging in place before most members and supporters know the arguments and evidence in the Tax Commission report.