Bye Casey!

Hard-pressed Chapman Tripp lawyer Casey Plunket has laid the smack-down on Labour’s plans for a capital gains tax by announcing that “high earners” – presumably Chapman Tripp lawyers – will desert the country in droves as they seek lower tax rates elsewhere:

Lawyer Casey Plunket, whose personal tax rate would increase from 33 to 39 cents in the dollar under Labour as someone who earns more than $150,000 a year, says it would lead to more high earners heading overseas.

It’s difficult to know where to begin with a statement this stupid. He presumably lives in New Zealand because of family connections, because he can get a job he enjoys working with people he likes, because it’s a great place to bring up his kids, because it has some of the best quality of life in the world …. but no, apparently he lives here because we have lower marginal tax rates than Australia.

You can imagine the scene: at the beginning of every quarter he sits down with his Significant Other and their children, and systematically reviews the total tax burden imposed by an uncaring government on his family unit. After an in-depth assessment they decide where they will live for the upcoming quarterly period, and revise their contingency plans for instantly abandoning their lives in New Zealand if the PAYE rate rises above some critical threshold.

After all, Casey’s a highly-paid lawyer who’s not pulling down a greater-than-$150K income for shits and giggles. He expects to live and work in a society where he has both high status and low taxes. Apparently another few percentage points on the tax he pays over $150K will pretty much tear up the social contract and cause him to flee the country, effectively becoming a highly-paid economic refugee from an oppressive regime. There’s no way lawyers should be expected to pay more tax – the government will only waste it on keeping kids out of poverty!

Or maybe he’s just a dickhead.

Either way, we think there’s a simple solution: he should piss off now. Why should those of us who aren’t partners at top-draw law firms put up with his pouting and petulant outcries in the national media when we can simply wave him goodbye from the airport?

But we’ll leave the final word to the late Auberon Waugh:

Generally speaking, the best people nowadays go into journalism, the second best into business, the rubbish into politics and the shits into law.

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