Sir Michael Cullen has come out swinging after losing the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) debate.
In a fiercely-worded article published by NZME, he's taken aim at "vested interests" for blocking the new tax, and blasted the left wing for failing to provide vocal support.
- Opinion: Capital gains tax backdown: Victory for the rich and powerful
- A backdown of epic proportions: How the capital gains tax died
- 'Lipstick's come off the pig': Sean Plunket blasts PM Ardern's capital gain tax backdown
Sir Michael was appointed chairman of the Tax Working Group, which recommended the Government introduced a thorough capital gains tax. Afterwards he was paid over $1000 a day to explain what the tax would mean.
However Sir Michael saw his proposal shot down by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said her coalition Government - made up of Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens - could not reach a consensus on the CGT.
Sir Michael says this is "not surprising", and he had previously warned it would be difficult to get NZ First leader Winston Peters to support the CGT.
"Capital assets, such as rental property, are more likely to be held by older, pakeha New Zealanders than any other group. That is precisely New Zealand First's primary support base," he wrote in the article for NZME.
Opposition to the tax was led by business leaders and farmers, who were quick to welcome the Government's decision.
Cullen has lashed out, blaming "vested interests" backed by "right-wing shock jocks" for killing the tax.
"The fact is that the vested interests opposed to any change were well organised, funded, not too careful with the truth at times and, of course, fully supported by that awful tribe of right-wing shock jocks on private radio who dominate our airwaves during the day," he wrote in the NZME article.
Labour is now facing a massive backlash from its base for ditching any hope of a CGT - even Young Labour and the ever-loyal unions are fuming.
But Sir Michael says they need to take responsibility for not providing the "same level of dedication and application as those vested interests".
"Where were the social justice groups, the Salvation Army and the churches, the public sector unions clamouring for large wage increases, indeed all those who keep discovering new social crises in the social services left by the previous National government?"