A helping hand for the rich by Susan Grimsdell
We all pay taxes and I’m only too happy to do so. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Tax is the rent we pay to live in a civilised society”. Our accumulated money pays for schools, health care, and thousands of other amenities, as well as providing us with money when we are unemployed, sick or old.
Share the pot fairly
My taxes go into a huge pile of money we call “government” money. Of course we know it’s actually ours, that we’ve handed it over in order to meet the needs of a “civilised society”. I do not expect my tax money to be given to a few people who are quite wealthy and do not need my bit of money. I throw it into the pot in good faith, with the certain knowledge that it will be used to help me and others to meet our basic needs. Knowing that it will be passed along to some rich b****** to buy himself a bigger boat or to send his kids on a lavish holiday, while I myself struggle to pay for basic costs of life, makes me more than furious. It’s a complete betrayal. Billions handed over to wealthy people, are billions not available to spend on hospitals, schools, roads, bus drivers’ wages and a million other things that benefit me and others like me and make for – yes – a civilised society.
The National Party view
But it seems not everyone feels the same as I do in this matter. A big percentage of the population is quite happy to see rich people get even richer, even when they themselves, the ones doing the paying, aren’t at all rich themselves. This is a very big puzzle to me. I can’t get my head around it.
I’m talking about our NZ National Party’s tax plans which will give billions to the wealthiest 5% of people in our country, most of whom own their own home and many of whom own several homes, while casting a pittance to the 95%. Many of that 95% can hardly meet everyday costs of food, mortgage and rent. When we say they “need” help, that’s exactly what we mean – it’s a need, in many cases a desperate need. None of the 5% who are in line waiting to receive huge sums needs it. Not a single one of them needs even one dollar from the taxpayers of New Zealand.
Stand up for fairness
We all grew up with the story of Robin Hood, and didn’t we all think Robin was wonderful, a true hero – robbing the rich to give to the poor. It seemed deeply fair and right. But taking money from ordinary people, many of whom are poor, to help the rich – what?? Wait a minute – that’s wrong, deeply wrong.
How can it be that hundreds of thousands of people will vote to ensure that this very wrong use of taxpayers’ money – our money – will become a reality. Beats me.