Jesse Mulligan: Capital gains tax only fair

OPINION: It's easy to hate rich people.

Not just because they're usually dicks, but because they bring out the worst in us: jealousy, resentment, our own failures.

We know it's wrong to hate rich people for being rich, but today we've heard from a lot of rich people who say that taxing capital is a bad thing. And the only person who says that is someone who's decided to build their wealth on the backs of everybody else in the country.

Anyone who says they don't want a tax on capital is saying that only working people should pay for roads, schools and hospitals - that a builder who earns $100,000 should give 30 percent of it to the Government, but someone who earns $100,000 from an investment property should keep it.

No tax on capital gains means New Zealand is alone in the developed world in not redistributing wealth from capital gains.

Property owners made over $1 trillion in capital gains in the last 20 years. They paid no tax on it.

Every other country can see it, every economist can see it, and the poor are living through it - but every time someone comes up with a new way of taxing the income people are making off their own wealth, the rich use their money and power to shut it down.

So remember that in the debate around this proposed tax on capital that the working group came up with today.

Anyone who says they don't like it is basically saying, 'I don't want things to be fair if it's going to affect me personally or cost one sent.

They can say that if they want, but we should see it for what it is. If you're against a tax on capital, you're not just rich - you want everyone else to pay for it.

Jesse Mulligan is one of the hosts of Three's The Project