Kiwis prefer capital gains tax over asset sales - poll

  • Breaking
  • 23/08/2011

By 3 News Political Editor Duncan Garner

Labour may be struggling in the polls, but its proposal to introduce a capital gains tax is proving to be a winner.

A 3 News Reid Research poll has found it is considerably more popular than National’s plan for asset sales.

Voters were asked which they prefer; partial asset sales or Labour’s capital gains tax.

  • 53 percent of respondents said they preferred capital gains tax
  • 31 percent said they preferred asset sales
  • 16 percent said neither, or didn’t know

Prime Minister John Key says he accepts he has work to do.

“We have to keep talking to them, there is some misunderstanding of what we’re trying to do. We’re not talking asset sales like in the 80s and 90s.”

But even Mr Key’s own voters seem unconvinced by the push to sell minority stakes in state assets.

  • Just 51.5 percent of National voters like the idea.
  • 32 percent – one in three National voters – said they preferred Phil Goff’s policy
  • 16 percent said neither, or didn’t know.

“New Zealanders know what happened last time an asset was sold; Contact Energy ended up in foreign ownership,” says Mr Goff.

“All this talk about Kiwi mums and dads is just political spin.”

Mr Key argues Kiwis will be first to buy the shares, but accepts he has no way of stopping foreigners then buying them off Kiwis.

“We are working our way through that we can’t rule out some will go that way, but by definition the fact the Government has 51 percent then it is in New Zealand control,” he says.

Mr Goff says it’s not acceptable.

“If we sell down these shares they’ll be owned by foreign corporates.”

Mr Key is vulnerable on this and Mr Goff will continue his criticisms.

Labour plans one more attack in another area where National is vulnerable; youth unemployment.

The party is set to announce new policy targeting those young people late next week.

3 News

source: newshub archive