There has been a lot of talk over the past few months about wealth.
First, it was the Green Party announcing a “wealth tax”, where people worth more than $1 million – not counting mortgages and other debt – would pay an extra 1 per cent a year in tax. It was estimated to apply to just 6 per cent of people.
The Greens would also introduce tax brackets of 37 per cent for income over $100,000 and 42 per cent for income over $150,000. The party said the tax system “has allowed wealth to accumulate with a small number of us, while most of us have only modest assets”.
The National Party said it would lift all tax brackets so everyone would get an increase, with the middle threshold rising to $64,000 and the top to $90,000.
Labour, on the other hand, said they would apply a new tax rate of 39 per cent on income over $180,000. That would affect 2 per cent of earners.
If you’re judging wealth by when the top tax rate kicks in, these policies suggest the Green Party believes anyone earning more than $100,000 is wealthy, National believes it’s $90,000, and Labour $180,000.
But are any of them realistic? What counts as wealthy, and can those who earn more $100,000 really afford to pay more tax?
What does it mean to be wealthy in New Zealand? (Stuff.co.nz)