14 Jul 2011

Labour taking political gamble

3:23 pm on 14 July 2011

The Labour Party will take a political gamble on Thursday with the announcement that a capital gains tax will be the centre-piece of its tax policy.

Labour leader Phil Goff has refused to disclose details before the announcement, but says the policy will be bold.

It appears Labour's policy would apply a 15% capital gains tax to the profits on the sale of businesses, shares and significant assets, as well as investment properties, but exclude the family home.

Mr Goff says the package will be a responsible one and most taxpayers will be better off.

Radio New Zealand's political editor says the policy represents a political risk for Labour as its own polling shows it's not a popular tax.

But the same polling apparently shows people prefer the tax to National's policy of partially selling state-owned power companies and Solid Energy.

The proposed capital gains tax is expected to exempt Canterbury for at least the first five years as the region recovers from the earthquakes.