|Out of touch with reality?|
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman last week suggested slapping the levy on all those earning over $48,000 - similar to the Australian flood levy. And he's not just talking a one-off:
"Earners of $48-$70k a year could pay up to an additional 1% income tax, while those over $70k could pay up to an additional 2%...this would raise an additional $921 million per year and be directly tagged for disaster relief and reconstruction. It could last for a defined time period such as a year, or end with the reconstruction of Christchurch, whatever comes first."
Brother Russ seems to have forgotten that NZers already pay EQC levies, for exactly the situation that Christchurch is now in! For over 60 years the Earthquake Commission has collected premiums off insurance and built up a substantial nest egg against damage, called the Natural Disaster Fund. This holds around $5.6 billion and is backed by overseas reinsurance plus a Government Guarantee. The Govt Guarantee ensures that EQC will always meet its obligations, regardless of circumstances.
The Fund still has enough cover for two more monster 'quakes and, with continuous top-up premiums, there should never be a need for a further levy ever... unless of course we're facing a Sodom and Gomorrah scenario! In which case, we'll just kiss our arses goodbye... after having lasciviously kissed so many other arses that we incurred the wrath of God in the first place!
So Russ, you go back to saving the lesser speckled water weevil.
Leave the government to focus on the rescue work at hand.
And I'll do my bit too by lustfully practising the downfall of humanity.