Paying For Covid-19 - A One-Off Covid Levy On The Rich

Right now the Labour Party will be sitting in dark rooms rubbing their sticky sanitised mitts over Zoom dreaming up stupid ways to make all of your lives hell with complex, lengthy and ultimately unnecessary taxes.

I have a far superior idea.    A one-off Covid Levy on the mega rich.

Considering my background in the area of asset protection and tax minimisation and legalised avoidance I immediately qualify above everyone without such a background in political policy as an "expert".  Definitely the hapless Deborah Russell.  I am also extremely right-wing and capitalist so as I am suggesting this it becomes doubly worthy.

After all you have listened to anyone calling themselves a scientist, virologist, or Epidemiologist that suits "end of days" narratives and predictions of 80,000 deaths.  Hell yes New Zealand is now so tolerant of "experts" you hang off the words of a political activist with pink hair.

So humour me.

It is brutal however necessary for something to occur to fill in the $60b plus hole created by Covid-19.  It would be "equitable", instant and let everyone get on with it.  Red radio says this so it must be true.
Some analysts have estimated the government may have to borrow as much as $60bn to cushion the impact of the virus.
For the Coronavirus Coalition my suggestion would be entirely politically saleable.  And those paying the entire bill are even those currently offering to help.

Sir Stephen Tindall
The Morgan Family
The Mowbrays

"Some of us, Sam Morgan and I in particular, realised there was a lot of stuff not getting done. We basically took the bull by the horns along with the guys from Zuru, and used our own money and ordered up a whole heap of PPE gear. There's actually seven planeloads coming. Two have arrived already."
Then there are those who have contributed advising on the select committees with bright ideas that possibly will eventually benefit themselves as well.  One has even suggested we invite a whole bunch of wealthy foreigners into New Zealand and charge them $50 million to do so! Perfect chaps.  Great idea, only hmmmm....why invite foreigners to raise that cash when it is already here?

You’ve already implied none of you are leaving by pitching how attractive and safe the country is!

Plenty of these businesspeople over the years despite their wealth have supported Labour and the left, now is the time to support Aotearoa New Zealand in its time of need.  You get what you give.


Those on the last NBR rich list account for approximately $100b of wealth. To enter that list (albeit of imaginary wealth as it is a guesstimate) you need a minimum $50m. That is, there are plenty of people in New Zealand not on that list with say between $10m and $50m of assets who will make up possibly that again collectively and accounting for changes in wealth you are looking at a pool of wealth that is prima facie huge.

I say slap a one-off immediate Covid-levy on them all of 20% of their wealth above $10m.   
All valuations to be completed at the date of the level 1 lock down as was once proposed as V-DAy or "Valuation day" for CGT.   
Anyone subject to a double tax treaty such as a Peter Thiel would be subject to the levy as it would not be a part of any double tax treaty.  There you go, giving him citizenship was a bloody great idea if he qualifies as a dual tax resident.
In return give them all a personal income tax holiday of a few years.  Because they all (cough) pay a lot of that......

Capital Gains Tax is not good enough as it is too slow coming in. Also the government are too stupid to let the property and stock markets tank and then have a V-Day for that, as we now still have record asset prices.

This is nice, to say but how do you do that? They hide it everywhere? There would be so many exemptions? It would have compliance costs?

Well they do and they don't. Let me show you the ways.

1. Trusts

Every year family trusts have to perform the arduous task of preparing accounts.  The IRD has all this information in forms already readily obtainable.  New Zealand has some 450,000 family trusts. Many do not suit a purpose and should be distributed to beneficiaries and are too small for the new compliance costs to justify.  New laws have meant accounting for these trusts has tightened and beneficiaries are now entitled to access information as to assets.

Treat these trusts as the individual taxpayers they are though the trustees of those trusts and slap the Covid-levy on them for any individual trust with more than $10m in assets. Simple.  If they cannot liquidate assets to pay, hold the trustees liable for the payments.  The liquidations will soon occur via the trustees, many of whom will be lawyers not paid enough to contemplate anything but compliance.  Shares held in companies by trusts would be included of course.

Do the same with Charitable trusts.  There is no larger charity remember at the moment than Aotearoa New Zealand.  Take their cash.


2. Individuals

Many New Zealanders do not have to file personal tax returns.  Change this requirement with immediate effect that anyone with assets held individually over $10m (or with their husband or wife) has to complete an asset return declaring those assets as trustees would, include any shareholdings in this.  After all, the spouse is entitled to half the wealth in a divorce, why cannot it be kept as a collective for these purposes?  No nice exemptions for your family home or wealth splits.  If it is worth more than $10m you can afford to pay 20% on everything over $10m surely.  This would cut out any avoidance mechanisms being used and the levy is already paid at the trustee level of any wealth held in trusts.

3. Tangata Whenua

Maori own assets collectively, just as do wealthy New Zealand families.  Treat them as you would any family or whanau with a trust. Make them do likewise and apply the levy.

I keep reading about how Maori were more vulnerable than non-Maori to catch Covid-19 then die from it.  They have been saved from such fate as the Spanish flu, so now it is payback time.  Make Iwi front up and pay "their" share for saving "their" people.  I read an article today from a UN  indoctrinated, separatist, Maori academic with the use of “our" prevalent but flip-flopping between "our" meaning Maori and "our" meaning all New Zealand.
Māori continue to exercise their authority too, under tikanga Māori, to restrict access to our communities, provide flu vaccinations to our people, feed our kaumātua, educate our children, and provide personal protective equipment to our health providers.
Covid-19 strategies on Māori. And given our relatively high-level of chronic illness, it requires the state to take good care that Covid-19 does not come into high-density Māori communities where the impact could be proportionately worse. 
Fine, now pay your share for protecting your people as the nuance seems to change to "the state" when it comes time for the cash to be handed out. Separatism - with limits.  Between the waffle about two "legal systems" in New Zealand, she concludes with this:
So, in this wash of emergency law and regulation needed for the Herculean effort to protect the lives of all New Zealanders from this invidious virus, te Tiriti o Waitangi must continue to be the lighthouse on the shore, guiding our way.
After first claiming in the piece that the Tiriti o Waitangi was actually a rock, I see no better example of a mangled metaphor to describe the New Zealand response really than thinking you’re heading for a lighthouse but you’ll hit a rock first. 

There is no evidence Covid-19 actually spreads in water and for at least until level 2 no one  unless working in an essential service is allowed on a boat to need a lighthouse. You will all be fishing from the shore.  

I also think the word here is "insidious", as "invidious" would mean Covid-19 was unfairly unjust and discriminatory to New Zealanders lives as well as angry. So far to save Tangata Whenua from this terrible fate not only has $50m of taxpayer funding gone down the gurgler but Maori have underperformed entirely in the statistics.  Sadly for the author despite alleged chronic over-crowding, poverty and generally treated by the likes of herself as always in need of help, "our" Maori have proudly fought oppression to find a way to follow simple instructions from a skinny pasty white man and a similarly toned young white woman to stay at home, blob on the couch and even wash their bloody hands.   Who would have thought that Maori and Pacific Islanders would be better than Europeans and Asians at doing absolutely nothing but staying at home for a month?



The woke estimate Maori to be worth collectively $50 billion.  That is great news and around a few  billion to stick in the kitty as a thank you for the good mahi done by New Zealand to ensure Maori are safe and sound through Covid-19.  If it is good enough for non-Maori to face the Tax Taniwha based on a trustee basis, it is good enough for Maori.

So there you have it.

A very painless way for New Zealand to navigate through the effects of Covid-19 without increasing the taxes of everyday New Zealanders at all.  No need for any new taxes, just a one off levy.

David Parker as the most jealous and envious hater of the rich, will love it as at a very conservative measure of $50m net John Key will directly or indirectly be shivved at least $8m. The sale proceeds of his Sydney apartment.

I leave the finer details to Parker.





Comments

  1. Excellent ideas.
    However, the day that Maori put their hands in their OWN pocket to help the rest of NZ would be the day I get a date with Cactus Kate!

    ReplyDelete

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