"On de Cleene's suggestion that the government should introduce a capital gains tax in its second term:From Gliding Across the Lino; The Wit of David Lange.
'Well, if he wants a second term he would be well advised to shut up about that.'
Told that de Cleene had predicted the Prime Minister would pour cold water on the suggestion:
'Cold water? I would open Lake Waikaremoana on him.' - Press Conference 15/8/85"
The old man was particularly fond of this particular line of Lange's disparagement. Partly due to the wit of course, but also there was perhaps a bit of smugness that one day he would be proven right.
So, a mere 26 years after the fact, Labour is talking of a capital gains tax. Against the wishes of Lange and Clark, Goff's Labour has staked out a bit of its own turf, distinct from his deposed predecessors. Unfortunately, this is still Goff's Labour, so a half-decent idea is presented with the usual compromises and half-measures that would render the policy impractical, even if it is a leak.
No CGT on the main home and a minimum threshold before CGT kicks in, sez the whispers. If there's a minimum threshold, why exempt the family home? Most of the growth in house prices isn't due to shoebox apartments or the poverty zones of Otara and Cannon's Creek. The lift is in the nice suburbs of Remuera and Oriental Bay. Why should Kerry Prendergast's, John Key's or John Banks' residences be excluded if their sales turn a profit?