Monday 30 May 2011

Where my taxes go

I like the visualisation over at Where My Taxes Go. In addition to giving the Budget 2011 breakdown by sector, they also give the per capita tax receipt. Here are some of the big ticket items.
  • The set of DHBs (Health). 12.4% of total, $2298 per capita.
  • New Zealand Superannuation. 11.7% of total, $2174 per capita
  • Debt servicing. 4.5% of total, $829 per capita.
  • New Zealand Defence Force. 3.8% of total, $700 per capita (though recall that almost none of this is spent on any actual deployment)
  • Primary education. $620 per capita
  • Secondary education. $456 per capita
  • Tertiary education. $512 per capita
  • Family tax credit. $492 per capita
  • Domestic Purposes Benefit. $430 per capita.
  • National land transport programme (highways). $407 per capita
  • Student loans. $361 per capita. [Am mildly shocked that the per capita spend on student loans is this high; we must net from it though the $165 per capita in student loan receipts and the $109 in interest on impaired student loans.]
Collectively, transfers through Ministry of Social Development, the health system and education take up about sixty percent of the budget. It would be tough to run a serious attempt at getting the deficit down without taking on some of the bigger ticket items.


  1. "tough" here translates as "completely impossible"

    This is just another reason why the budget is the worst in the country's history.

    I'm surprised the transfer percentage is as low as 60% - I thought it was more like 70% at least. NZ's government is quite efficient and not corrupt - this is what you would expect: the vast majority of taxes go on actual programmes rather than "waste", "back office", etc.

    Realistically, you have to make 30% cuts across the board in transfer programmes - as the 2025 Taskforce recommends - or pick one and eliminate it completely.

    And note - these reductions give no scope for tax cuts whatsoever.

  2. Knowing where your tax go is knowing what you're privileges are. That's why
    it's important you have someone to discuss over these things so you know you're options and prerogatives for the future and in case of unforeseen circumstances.