Government's capital gains tax sweetener could mean more money for low and middle-income earners

Newshub can reveal the Government has another whopping election carrot up its sleeve to help sweeten the prospect of a capital gains tax.

The Tax Working Group recommended taxing KiwiSaver, but adjustments to the scheme could see low- and middle-income earners significantly better off.

Bjorn Christensen is a community support worker, working with men who have intellectual disabilities. He earns around $48,000 per year.

He's 36, which means he's got 29 years left to save for his retirement, but he told Newshub he feels as though he's "definitely falling short".

The Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, ordered the Tax Working Group to come up with ways of helping people like Christensen save, and they delivered.

Documents obtained by Newshub show just how much some Kiwis could be in for.

Officials give the example of someone earning $48,000 a year. With all the changes implemented, after 30 years they'd end up with nearly $40,000 extra in their KiwiSaver, which works out to $1322 a year.

Even those earning $100,000 or $200,000 a year would get a $13,600 bonus in their accounts after 30 years; $455 a year. 

Mr Robertson said all New Zealanders should get a good opportunity to save for their retirement. 

"If this is a way we can do that, we'll look very seriously at it."

Mr Christensen says he thinks these changes could make all the difference.

"I think it's phenomenal. When you look at my income, being given that tax break is life changing."

A capital gains tax would gobble up some of the cash carrot. It's difficult to quantify because every KiwiSaver is different, but the finance minister says it will be minimal. 

Documents show all KiwiSaver accounts will be better off overall.

National leader Simon Bridges seems unimpressed with proposed changes, and is sticking the boot in.

But Mr Robertson says he won't be lectured.

"I'm not going to be lectured by the National Party about undermining KiwiSaver, they consistently did that over their time in Government."

The Finance Minister can't commit to anything from the tax working group until Labour, NZ First and the Greens can agree on exactly what they want.

But all the language Mr Robertson's using about this particular policy suggests he really wants it and will be pushing hard to get it across the line.



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