All the parties that currently make up our Parliament have now released their tax policies. Surveying them all, I haven't found any of them totally satisfying. But surprisingly, I did find something to like in all of them.
This has inspired me to put on a Finance Minister's hat and construct my own superior tax policy from the parts supplied by the Greens, Labour, National, Act and NZ First.
Taking a scalpel to each party's carefully worded and costed tax policies, I'll cut out the best bits and stitch together a tax policy to rule them all.
Firstly, from National, I'll surgically separate the tax cuts to low- and middle-income earners from the tax windfall they're promising to high-income earners.
I've no problems with shifting the bottom tax rate threshold from $14,500 to $20,000. And I'd make it permanent.
But that's all I'd flog from National. Bloated tax cuts for high-income earners isn't what the country needs right now.
Shifting the bottom tax threshold (where we pay tax at 10.5 cents in the dollar) would give everyone in my tax regime earning between $20,000 and $100,000 the same tax cut, $420.16 a year.
At an income of $100,000, I've inserted the Green Party's proposed new tax rate of 37 cents in the dollar.
And to be representative of the political spectrum, I'll include Labour's timid offering of a new tax rate of 39 cents in the dollar for income over $180,000.
The two new income tax rates supplied by Labour and the Greens would bring in around $1 billion.
This will make up for the $1b of lost government revenue resulting from the previously mentioned tax cuts for those earning under $100,000. The changes so far would be, in Finance Minister parlance, fiscally neutral.
On to the Act Party. I don't want any part of David Seymour's plan to remove the 30 per cent tax rate. He would give everyone earning over $48,000 an income tax cut, while the 1.5 million New Zealanders earning less than $48,000 would miss out.
But I'll take their proposal to cut GST from 15 per cent to 10 per cent. Though again, I'd make it permanent.
The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union says reducing GST to 10 per cent would give the average household an extra $4700 in disposable income a year. That's significant, and would be welcomed by many.
The problem is, it would take $7.4b out of the Government's budget. That's a big hole.
Therefore I'm going to raid some more from the Green Party's tax policy and introduce an annual wealth tax of 1 per cent on assets over $1 million and 2 per cent on assets over $2m (not including cars and other normal household items).
They've calculated this will raise $7.9b in the first year. Hole more than filled.
There would even be some fiscal room to allow Winston Peters and NZ First to lower taxes on cigarettes.
There it is, a tax policy which would deliver substantial tax savings to everyone earning under $100,000, while the moderately wealthy would pay a little more tax and the very wealthy a lot more. Some justice for the untaxed capital gains our investor class have made over the past few decades.
Now, is it too late to register a new party for the election? This tax policy would be electoral gold.
I just need a leader. Perhaps I could, Dr Frankenstein-like, build one out of the best bits of Jacinda, Judith, James, Marama, Winston and David Seymour?
Shudder. That's a political monster that probably shouldn't be unleashed on the world.
• Northern Advocate columnist Vaughan Gunson writes about life and politics.