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PoliticsNovember 6, 2015

Politics: “A Tax Switch, From Earning to Owning” – Josie Pagani Writes Andrew Little’s Speech


On Sunday, Andrew Little will deliver his first speech as leader to the Labour Party conference. In the leadup, he’ll have been peppered with advice on what to say, what not to say, and how to say it. We at the Spinoff want to help, too, and invited a bunch of bright people to draft some Littlespeak. 

Below is Josie Pagani’s offering – read 17 others here.


Brothers and sisters,

We cannot be silent about where we stand or modest about our ambition.

We will earn the right to govern New Zealand by being bold and courageous. For me that requires a new generation of ideas to create not just new jobs, and not just more jobs, but better jobs that help families earn opportunities for their kids to realise their dreams.

Whether they live in Northland or Invercargill, whether they are new immigrants from China, fifth generation Kiwis, or recent refugees, I want New Zealanders to aspire to more.

I want a country where our families have something left over at the end of the working week, and something to hope for.

That’s why today I am announcing a tax cut for those earners who work for wages.

We will pay for this with a tax switch, from earning to owning. We need to shift some of the share of tax from those working to create wealth and build a nest egg, to the untaxed and subsidised parts of our economy, because that is more economically efficient, and it’s fairer.

Your house should not earn more than you.

You can call it a Capital Gains Tax. I call it backing the next generation of wealth creators.

We need workers paid well, we need investment in skills, science, and global connections if we are going to have world-leading ambition for New Zealand. Labour is not afraid of the future, and not lacking confidence about our place in the world. Our vision is a New Zealand that is welcoming, vibrant, globally connected, and job-rich.

That’s why Labour will support the Trans Pacific Partnership, to deepen our connections to the world’s fastest growing markets. We are pro-trade.

And we are people-centred. That’s why Labour will invest more than ever in education, and especially in creating the world’s best teacher workforce.

And it’s why we will put people and their ambitions at the centre of everything we do.

Good enough is not good enough for me. I want to help people achieve their ambitions. New Zealand deserves a chance to be great.

Josie Pagani is a communications consultant and political commentator, and a former Labour candidate.

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