Thursday, May 17, 2007

Budget bore

The New Zealand budget was released today, and that’s pretty much all the local media is obsessed with. Quite frankly, it’s only interesting to people who live here—and probably not that many of us, either. Here’s the quick summary: No personal tax cuts, except as part of a new retirement savings plan. Business lobbyists, who are more often than not promoting greed, are already complaining about the fact they’ll be compelled to contribute, too, despite the fact that the company tax rate has been lowered.

Rather than descend into the abyss of Budget Mania, I thought I’d pass on a comparison for the benefit of my American friends. The
US media was recently focused on the fact that gasoline prices in America had hit record prices.

Today in
Auckland petrol cost NZ$1.57 per litre. That works out to around US$4.38 per US gallon. If the Budget’s new regional petrol tax of up to ten cents per litre is added (though it will likely be less than that), the price would work out to about US$4.66 per US gallon.

And we still manage. And, despite whingeing and moaning about it, people will do just fine without inflationary tax cuts, too. But those petrol prices—something we can do absolutely nothing about—now that’s worth moaning about!

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