23 Aug 2017

Greens say capital gains tax's time has come

2:51 pm on 23 August 2017

The Green Party has restated its commitment to implementing a capital gains tax if it gets into government.

29062016 Photo RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King. Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

James Shaw says the lack of a CGT is helping to fuel growing inequality. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said yesterday she will not rule out putting in some form of a capital gains tax in its first term if the party is elected to government.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw said a capital gains tax plan was a policy the Greens had called for for more than 15 years.

"A comprehensive capital gains tax just makes sense and it's time to just get on with it," he said.

"We're facing a housing and a climate crisis so a capital gains tax and a proper price on carbon are two measures we want to see addressed in a first term of a new government.

"New Zealand is one of the only countries in the developed world to not tax capital gains consistently, which has helped to fuel growing inequality between those who don't own a home and those who now own 10."

Like Labour, the Green Party would also exempt the family home.

National's 2009 Tax Working Group found that the inconsistent taxation of capital in New Zealand breached all the principles of a good taxation system and significantly distorted investment decision across the entire economy.

While it investigated a capital gains tax, the group said it would prefer a land tax.

The government introduced a measure called the 'bright line test' in 2015, which required anyone reselling property within two years to pay tax on any capital gains.

Labour has said it wanted this extended to five years.

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