Marginal tax rates of New Zealand average households since 2000

In 2000 in New Zealand, the marginal tax rates of single earners, married couples and dual income couples were 21%.

image

Sources: OECD StatExtract.and OECD Taxing Wages.

Net personal marginal income tax rates increased:

  • to 51% for one earner couples with two children in 2001 and stayed up above 50% until 2014; and
  • to 33% for single earners with no children in 2004 because income growth pushed them into the next tax rate bracket which then dropped down to 30% in 2011.

image

Sources: OECD StatExtract.and OECD Taxing Wages.

Net personal marginal income tax rates increased:

  • to 33% in 2004 for two earner couples with the second earner earning 33% of average earnings and then increased to 53% in 2006 and stayed high thereafter;
  • to 33% in 2004 for a two earner couple with the second earner earning 67% of average earnings and then increased further to 53% in 2006 and stayed high until 2014 when their marginal income tax rate dropped to 30%; and

image

Sources: OECD StatExtract.and OECD Taxing Wages.

These large increases in marginal tax rates on single earners and families coincided with a slowing of the economy in about 2005. The economy started to pick up again when there were tax cuts introduced by the incoming National Party Government. Is that more than a coincidence?

image

Sources: Computed from OECD StatExtract and The Conference Board. 2015. The Conference Board Total Economy Database™, May 2015, http://www.conference-board.org/data/economydatabase/.

A flat line in the above figure is growth at the trend growth rate of 1.9% of the USA in the 20th century. A rising line is above trend growth for that year while a falling lined is below trend rate in GDP per working age person.

In the lost decades of New Zealand growth between 1974 In 1992, New Zealand lost 34% against trend growth which was never recovered. There was about 13 years of sustained growth at about the trend rate or slightly above that between 1992 and 2005. The entire income gap between Australia and New Zealand open up during these lost decades of growth between 1974 and 1992.

image

Sources: Computed from OECD StatExtract and The Conference Board. 2015. The Conference Board Total Economy Database™, May 2015, http://www.conference-board.org/data/economydatabase/.

Australia grew pretty much in its trend rate of growth since the 1950s. The so-called resources boom is not visible such as showing up as above trend rate growth.

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