Starter for 10 - What's Labour's tax policy?

Don't know? Don't feel bad - neither does Labour. Or it is just not telling.

It has said it will tax water. But Labour isn't calling it a tax - it's calling it a "royalty".

The royalty will apply to commercial consumption, the rate will be "proportionate and fair" and will be set after consultation post-election.


We don't know what the price of a cabbage, or anything else, will be because we don't know the rate and exactly what the royalty is to apply to.

What is and isn't "commercial consumption" also isn't clear.

Coca-Cola would be exempt but a mum and dad organic apple farm would be hit.

An arable farmer has calculated a tax at two cents per 1000 litres would take half his income.

That's a big tax - I mean royalty.

Capital gains tax (CGT)?

Don't know.

It's on the table.


It's to be decided after the election following the advice of a tax working group.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has said the CGT won't be applied to the family home but "beyond that, I am leaving it to a group of experts to work through what we need to do more broadly when it comes to our taxation in New Zealand".

It's not something we will get to vote on.

"I made a call that if I was in Government and presented with a tax working group paper that suggested these are the things you need to do to be able to tackle the housing crisis and inequality in your tax system, to then sit on that for one, maybe two years without doing anything didn't feel right to me."

Labour's experts, not voters, will decide the extent to which we will be taxed.

National's attack ad has Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford saying that a land value tax and an asset and wealth tax will also be on the table.

So we could be up for a tax shake up - but that policy won't be decided by voters, nor even our elected representatives, but by unelected experts.

The concept of "no-taxation-without-representation" means nothing to Labour.

It's understandable that tax detail is not worked out in opposition.

But the broad principles such as what will be taxed, the rate and roughly what is to be raised should be established. Labour have had nine years to do so.

It stretches credibility to suggest the Labour Party is so incapable that in nine years it hasn't been able to determine the very basics of what it's promising.

But then tax has always been Labour's Achilles heel.

It's a smart move to neutralise any concerns by postponing the policy until after the election.

So don't feel bad you didn't know Labour's tax policy - you're not meant to.