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It has been a challenging few weeks across New Zealand and my thoughts remain with those who have suffered losses in this time. I have made sure to visit a variety of different religious and cultural community groups throughout Tamaki and Auckland in an effort to reassure them of their safety and value.

There has been a lot going on in Tamaki since last time I was in touch.  We’ve had a number of local meetings, including several morning teas and public meetings the last one around proposed education changes.  But, before we get to those items, the big news in Parliament has been the report of the Tax Working Group (TWG).  I suspect it is a shock to no one that the TWG game back making recommending that the government introduce more taxes.  I believe they were always going to make such a recommendation, this was just an exercise in determining how much they could get away with.

Labour’s proposed taxes

Labour’s Tax Working Group proposed that the government take more of what you earn.  At this point, the report is incredibly nebulous.  They list a raft of new taxes that could be introduced but the government refuses to say which ones it will choose.  I think the odds on favourite at this point is a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of some sort.  Such a tax could be levied on just about anything, or possibly nothing, depending on what the government wants to target.  For example, the TWG actually recommended that the CGT be levied on all houses except the family home and all businesses being sold, but specifically excluded applying the tax to yachts or wine collections.  It could even include your retirement savings. We’ve worked out that the average KiwiSaver member would have $64,000 less for their retirement.... that’s a whole year of wages for the average worker!  The proposals at this point are about as random as a smash and grab robbery.

I found this article a good commentary on the proposed extra taxes. Among other things, the writer highlights that giving a tax break to most, to supposedly compensate for a capital gains tax paid by some, makes no sense. He also makes a point on an issue I feel strongly about, he suggests asking this government what they actually mean when they use words such as “fairness”. Such words sounds nice, but there has been a terrible lack of definition, which I suspect is deliberate.

Education – Talking to locals at a recent public meeting on education

National believes New Zealanders who work hard and contribute shouldn’t be taxed more than an effective and efficient government actually needs. By 2022, New Zealanders on the average wage are expected to move into the top tax bracket. That’s not fair, and it’s not right; New Zealanders should not pay more tax every year even when their income isn’t keeping up with the rising cost of living. So, in our first term, we would ensure New Zealanders keep more of what they earn to stay on top of rising costs such as higher prices for necessities like petrol, rent and electricity.

As well as cancelling the new taxes this Government has piled on including repealing a Capital Gains Tax, we wouldn’t allow future governments to use inflation as an annual tax increase by stealth. We will also amend the Income Tax Act to make sure income taxes are adjusted every three years in line with the cost of living.

Overseas Contradiction?

I also wonder if you have you noticed how quiet the government is about the appalling situation in Venezuela?  That "socialist paradise" the left loved to talk up is imploding and the people there are seeking to replace the current, corrupt and authoritarian leadership.  Many countries around the world are speaking up in support of this.  In this map, these countries are shown in blue and include most of New Zealand's allies. Those shown in red, like Russia and Iran, are actively opposed to a more democratic Venezuela.  Our government talks a big game when it comes to fairness, freedom, openness, and democracy but it appears that there is little substance behind those words.  Their silence on human rights, the seeking of democracy, and the removal of an utterly failed communist system is an indictment on them, but also reflects terribly on New Zealand.

Commonwealth – Delivering the annual Commonwealth Day Address in Auckland

Out and about

It was fantastic to join the Northern Young Nats at AUT’s Orientation weeks along with my colleagues Chris Penk MP and Chris Bishop MP. It was a welcome chance to talk with, and hear from, the many students passing by the stall.

It was also great to be out with Simeon Brown MP at the Botany Town Centre along with Parmjeet Parmar MP, Judith Collins MP, Jian Yang MP, Dan Bidois MP, and the Young Nats. The welcome could not have been warmer with people very keen to know more about the Capital Gains Tax, transport issues, and housing. As you might imagine, we had a lot to say!

It was a pleasure to visit my colleague Dan Bidois’ electorate and to address his SuperBlues members. The day was also an opportunity to visit an array of social housing providers (one of my spokespersonships) in the area and those involved in mental health support.

I also had the pleasure of going to listen to Dr Jordan Peterson while he was in Auckland a few weeks ago.  He is well known for challenging the views of the progressive left.  I enjoyed his perspectives and found what he had to say compelling and refreshing. Reflecting on this now, I realise that it is because we don’t often hear perspectives or narratives like those he expresses from “the establishment”, the government and the mainstream media. In fact, they seem to be pushing other agendas and, in a growing climate of political correctness, seem downright hostile to civil discussions especially if their views might be challenged or critiqued.  This is not only sad but worrying. Good public discourse is crucial to a well-functioning society.

O Week – Joining the Young Nats at the university Orientation Weeks

Around Tamaki

As above shows, I have been spending a lot of time supporting the wider Party and my colleagues.  However, I have also been busy within our electorate!

I took the chance to run Round the Bays with tens of thousands of others, all getting to enjoy our amazing area.  If you took part, congratulations!  Thank you to everyone for your patience around street closures while the event took place.

Thank you to everyone who came along to the two public meetings about the education changes the government is proposing. It was helpful to hear your thoughts and questions along with Nikki Kaye MP and Denise Lee MP.  The suggested changes are pretty radical.  Essentially, they would strip power from boards of trustees and instead concentrate it in centralised “hubs” comprised of local iwi and government bureaucrats looking after 125 schools each. In short, it’s a classic left wing “progressive” approach which lifts power away from parent and local communities and concentrates it upwards with bureaucrats so the government can shape children according to its ideologies and push its agenda into the future.  Labour also seems intent on stopping partnership schools, with the Education Amendment Bill stopping any more from opening, and transitioning those currently open back to the state school system.

Kumeu – Supporting my colleague, Chris Penk MP, at the Kumeu Show

So, quite a bit is going on but more is planned.  Coming up there is:

Wednesday 17 April – a public meeting around the proposed Capital Gains Tax. Along with myself, Andrew Bayly MP and Paul Goldsmith MP have both examined the subject intensely and are very happy to provide information and answer questions.

I look forward to seeing you at this event.  In the meantime, it is good to have been in touch and I look forward to getting back in touch with you shortly.

All the best,

Simon.

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