The Government’s Tax Working Group announcement looks like an eighteen month long rubber stamp for a Capital Gains Tax, National Party Finance Spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“Its Terms of Reference is written so that it will propose one significant thing at the end of it, a Capital Gains Tax,” Mr Joyce says.

“Yet Mr Robertson’s assertion on the current taxation of capital gains in the property market remains incorrect. People who buy and sell houses for a profit have those profits treated as income for tax purposes under the law today.

“So people can only assume once again that his unspoken desire is to introduce a Capital Gains Tax on farms and small businesses.”

Mr Joyce says there is also no pretence at the independence of the group with the appointment of former Labour Finance Minister Sir Michael Cullen as Chair.

“Sir Michael is many things but a politically independent voice on taxation policy he is not,” Mr Joyce says.

“Let’s face it - he was Labour’s last Finance Minister and one of the key coalition negotiators for the Labour Party.

“Nothing will come out of this group that Grant Robertson doesn’t want. And all he wants is a recommendation for a Capital Gains Tax.

“Mr Robertson would be better to dispense with the expense to taxpayers and write out his tax policy for the next election when the time comes in the normal manner.”

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