Capital gains tax only for 'select group of fortunate New Zealanders' - Davis

Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis says most Kiwis have nothing to fear from a capital gains tax.

National has battered Labour over its refusal to discuss the details of a potential capital gains tax (CGT), instead leaving it up to a tax working group to be formed after the election.

While they've ruled out applying any CGT to the "family home", nothing else has been confirmed.

"They seem unwilling to say just what their policy would be," Prime Minister Bill English told The AM Show on Monday morning. "This matters because it's about people's livelihood, it's about a capital gains tax on their growing business."

Mr Davis - who got the details about Labour's CGT plans wrong a week ago - on Friday said it would only apply to a "select group of fortunate New Zealanders who have got more than one house".

"The majority of New Zealanders are struggling to buy one house, let alone two or three. There's 41,000 homeless people - a capital gains tax means nothing to them.

"A capital gains tax means nothing to those people who are renting."

Property investors are already legally required to pay a capital gains tax, but clever accounting can make it difficult to extract. National introduced a two-year 'bright line' limit, ensuring capital gains are paid on any house bought and sold within 24 months, regardless of the seller's intentions.

Labour plans to increase this to five years.