This week’s Budget announcements in Australia and New Zealand have many similarities. Both budgets look to the future and returning to surplus. But if these budgets were a trans-Tasman game of rugby or netball what would the score be? And what would the fans and commentators be predicting for full time?
While nowhere near a ‘tax budget’, Budget 2013 still provides a number of tax changes. The most significant tax change is a signalled $1 billion reduction in ACC levies for businesses and households. The main tax changes are covered below.
A number of initiatives were introduced in yesterday’s budget that will have a direct benefit for businesses. Geordie Hooft, tax partner, Grant Thornton New Zealand said the most noteworthy change is the reduction in ACC costs for businesses, which are forecast to fall by $300 million in the 2014/15 year and a further $1 billion in the following year.
While the New Zealand economy keeps warm under a safety blanket called the Asian growth, the dangers of Europe should not be forgotten.
By its very nature politics is a fickle beast. To ensure they get in (or stay in) power, the Government needs to promote policies that appeal to enough voters to secure their success. However, the real dilemma arises when what’s best for the economy conflicts with the voters personal circumstances – or to be more specific their financial circumstances.
Housing remains a critical issue, impacting the lives of New Zealand’s most vulnerable, especially in Auckland. The Government made some good moves to address this crisis in its first term, such as speeding up the Resource Management Act (RMA) consent process for the development of brown field sites, but has much more to do.
Every leader wants to leave a legacy to mark their time at the helm. Be they politicians, chief executives, sportspeople or school principals, everyone wants to be remembered as someone who made a difference.
If there is one certainty, it is that capital gains tax (CGT) has moved from a principled tax policy decision to one of politics. The government has categorically confirmed that an official capital gains tax will not be introduced on their watch: why would they when there are so many “CGT by stealth” rules already in existence and little revenue would be earned for up to 15 years.
Why the failure of Governments to fund private health insurance subsidies will ultimately mean healthcare rationing…
Since conception, KiwiSaver has gone from strength to strength. Any initial hesitation has been replaced, on the most part, with acceptance. The latest figures show two million New Zealanders are now signed up – a fantastic uptake.