Saturday, November 17, 2007

ZenTiger Outright Lies #1: CGT on the family home

[Adapted from previous post back in 2005].

The Greens are outraged an EB pamphlet has printed outright lies about their policies. Clark lies. But not the Greens. No. No. No. Throughout their Frog blog, commenters are saying how horrible it is to have outright lies told about their policies. So I thought I'd see what "lies" the EB are promoting and investigate them. Here's the first:

Outright Lie 1: Introduce a capital gains tax on family homes

Here is a Greens Statement from their 2001 tax submission:
The Green Party believes the Review needs to seriously examine a capital gains tax (CGT). Absence of a capital gains tax has been noted for some time as a gap in our tax system.
Here we have a case where they seriously recommend something that (because apparently it is an outright lie) they don't mean. Well, does that mean all their other policy recommendations are outright lies?

The Greens are making out that they wanted the family home exempted. However, there is absolutely no exemption from capital gains tax for the family home mentioned in their tax policy document. It says instead on Pg 66:
In particular, the treatment of owner-occupied private homes is a vexed one. To the extent that aggregate capital gains on the housing stock fall, the impact on individual home owners may be positive.

A slower rate of appreciation of house prices makes housing more affordable as well as lowering the asset values of homes. The latter effect does not mean that any comprehensive CGT would need to be introduced with a long transition to avoid seriously disadvantaging those who have used home ownership as their main retirement savings plan.
If you read the text above carefully, they are actually implying that as vexed as the issue of CGT on the family home is, the impact on individual home owners may be positive. So obviously, the EB took this to mean what it says.

I note also the document was effectively current at the time. Firstly, it had not been replaced on the Green party site (at least as at 2005). Jeanette actually referred to the document as if it vindicated her (silly JF), but proving its currency. Now interestingly, I received a few rebuttals of this at the time from core Greenies. Some argued that they had verbally been assured by the party leaders homes would be exempt, and their eco-tax submission was just a general idea, not reflecting party policy. Well, tough. Don't make submissions for laws you don't want passed, and don't call others liars for reading your own words. Some-one also claimed the policy was lifted from the Australian Greens, and hadn't been properly checked. And they go on about the EB having an international conspiracy? But again, I suggest they shouldn't submit laws they don't want, and more to the point in this case, the EB should be given the benefit of the doubt on this point given it was up in writing on the Green website.

Verdict: Guilty.

See also: A more up detailed post than this one
ACT point out Greens on Capital Gains Tax
And this: Greens 2001 Tax Submission [Currently broken - I am looking for a backup at 12/1/08]
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2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

The link to treasury is broken, as at 12/1/2008.

ZenTiger said...

Thanks anon. I realised a few days ago and added a notice to some other affected posts, but missed this one. I am searching through my backups to see if I have a copy of the PDF I can post instead.

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