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After 18 months of waiting and a $2 million tax working group, National’s strong opposition to a Capital Gains Tax has forced the Government to back down.

This is good news.  The last thing the country needed was a big new tax on savings, on investment and on entrepreneurship.

But the government now has to answer for the damage they have done to the economy these past 18 months, which has been weighed down by uncertainty over these proposals.

Who was going to invest – to create jobs and opportunities for Kiwis – when they didn’t know if they’d face a 33 per cent CGT on that investment.

Jacinda Ardern should have had a proper conversation with Winston Peters in October 2017 and spared us all the trouble.

The Government has ground down the New Zealand economy while their coalition had a public discussion about a policy they couldn’t agree on.

This is political and economic mismanagement on a mind-boggling scale.  And we’re all paying the price.

Our economy was growing at four per cent two years ago – it’s rapidly heading down to 2 per cent.

And while the Government has backed down on a Capital Gains Tax, there are still a range of taxes on the table. They include a vacant land tax, an agricultural tax and a waste tax.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she personally still wants a Capital Gains Tax and that our tax system is unfair. New Zealanders simply can’t trust Labour when it comes to tax. 

The big question left, is what is this government’s economic plan now?  They had gone on about amending the tax system.  Now they’re only left with lots of spending, spearheaded by Shane Jones’s discredited slush fund, a problematic R&D tax incentive, stopping new oil and gas exploration, and a host of additional new costs to business. 

And this is the Government’s so-called year of delivery.  I hope the transformation that we’ve all been promised is not simply going from being a dynamic economy to one that is drifting.

I have a public meeting tonight on the Capital Gains Tax, at St Chad’s in Meadowbank.   Ha.   Not sure if anyone will turn up now, but if you do, I promise to give chapter and verse on what we should be focusing on.

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