Alliance's land tax would penalise the elderly

  • David Carter
Senior Citizens

The Alliance's proposed land tax would penalise elderly new Zealanders with modest investments, Minister for Senior Citizens David Carter said today.

"This proposal is absurd coming from a party that trumpets itself as caring about elderly New Zealanders," Mr Carter said.

"This is not about caring for anyone, least of all the elderly. It is about the politics of greed and envy," Mr Carter said.

"It is estimated that more than half the investors in investment schemes are retired people or people saving for their retirements.

"These investment schemes almost invariably include some commercial property in their portfolios.

"The proposed land tax would reduce returns on such investments by between 25 to 33 percent," Mr Carter said.

"That means ordinary New Zealanders who are trying to create some form of independent income for themselves could end up subsidising their rich neighbour's children through university.

"That is simply not fair. These elderly are not rich people. They are ordinary New Zealanders who have worked hard and budgeted carefully so they have a small nest-egg for their retirement.

"Now the Alliance wants to rob the nest," Mr Carter said.

"The tax would also force people to invest in overseas property," Mr Carter said.

The Alliance this week announced its tertiary education policy which includes a proposal to phase out student fees and to pay for it by introducing a new tax on commercial land valued at more than $500,000.