Thursday, 19 May 2005

Who are the taxpayers?

Just how many taxpayers are there in New Zealand? To the nearest dozen or so, I mean.

The Stats Department reports the estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4.09 million at 31 March 2005. So let’s say 4.1 million in total, of which 2.7 million or so are between 15 and 65.

Of these, lets say 200,000 are in school or courses of study, so we’re down to 2.5 million, and of these 260,000 or so are self-employed, 1.8 million or so are working for wages, and a lucky 170,000 are living off their investments.

Some people are doing all three, and all power to them for that.

So let’s say we’ve got 2 mill feeding the coffers of Cullen. Of these over 800,000 are receiving government money directly, so they’re out.

Down to 1.2 million.

Now, the ranks of the self-employed include consultants working for all manner of government departments both central and local, and we've also got self-employed planners, arborists, quality assurance blowhards and the Directors of the Pipi Foundation. All are making a living by sucking off the state tit. Let’s say fully a third of self-employed people make their living this way, and each has a 'support team' working for them of at least three or four. That’s 300,000 on the take.

Down to 900,000.

What do lawyers do all day? Take Chen and Palmer for example: would there be a reason for their existence if they couldn’t go up the road and put their tongue in the ear of Government fairly frequently?

What about the other large law factories that infest our city restaurants and bars? Would the law factories exist in such size and numbers if the government’s legislation factory were called to a halt? I think not. And if tax laws were radically simpler, as they were maybe seventy years ago before the birth of the Welfare State, would we need so many accountants?

Neither lawyers nor accountants work for government directly, but they wouldn't exist in such quantities without Big Government's blandishments. For the most part they're parasites, and their costs come out of our pockets. So deduct another 200,000, because their shiny suits seem to be everywhere -- and what's worse, some of these people are this country's best and brightest, their efforts being expended not on producing wealth but instead on making it impossible for others to do so.

So we're left with how many then? 700,000? Does that seem about right?

700,000 hardy souls braving red tape, OSH, assorted government inspectorates and regulatory agencies and the tyranny of distance if they're an exporter and a small domestic market if they're not; braving all this just so they can earn a living and carry the rest of us on their backs. And from these few brave souls Michael Cullen reaps $60 billion per annum.

Do the sums. What those 700,000 are each paying to carry us is not pretty. And they've just been asked to pay $4.2 billion more.


  1. A flat income tax system would certainly screw up two of the most powerful professions in the country.

  2. I think sadly I could be in that few 'brave' (I feel like an idiot instead) 700,000 people.

    Can anyone here teach me how to get into the government benefit scheme? But I'm single and not a Maori.

  3. Have a baby through a surrogate mother, don't tell the State who the real mother is.

  4. You want into the government benefit scheme, why not think big and join the one where you're paied the most for contributing the least? Don't delay though, applications close soon and only 120 places are avaliable.


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