Swarbrick and ACT leader David Seymour joined AM to discuss wealth tax on Tuesday.
During the conversation, Swarbrick, who is in favor of a wealth tax, suggested that if implemented, New Zealand could eradicate poverty.
“Based on the data we had in 2020, that would apply to the top 6% of New Zealanders in that country. So to give you a very concrete example, if you have $2.5 million in ‘assets, net assets i.e. no mortgages, no debt as a couple, congratulations firstly you’re in the richest six percent in the country but secondly that would apply to you as an individual.
“So if you look at him as an individual, that’s $1.25 million in net worth and that only applies to that $250,000. One percent of that is $2,500. For those $2,500 put into the tax pool of this country, we can eradicate poverty,” Swarbrick says.
But his claim is denied by political commentator and former ACT press officer Trish Sherson, who called it “idealistic student politics”.
Sherson joined AM on Tuesday alongside attorney Chris Patterson to discuss the idea of a wealth tax.
She told AM that the government taking more money would not solve inequality and instead should focus on getting a good return on its investments.
“There is no problem with the amount of tax revenue this government brings in, it is the highest revenue ever. This government is also the biggest spender. The problem is with the quality of spending. So, if this government wants to go and say, “Look, we need to tax more,” what I’d like to see is proof of a return on investment for the spending they’re already making.
“Before we get into the great idealistic debate about student politics that Chlöe Swarbrick wants to have, wouldn’t it be great to tax the rich because we can solve inequality if we do…I mean I don’t have never heard of anything so ridiculous,” she said.
But Patterson had a different view, saying New Zealand’s current tax system was truly unfair.
“I’m offended that you have a Countdown checkout operator who pays more tax than some New Zealanders who live in mansions.
“We all share the benefits of this great country we live in and we all have to contribute in some way. And there are aspects of our tax system that need to be looked at.”
Watch the full interview above.