Why are so many Australians buggering off to New Zealand?

It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world – it has ski fields, mountain ranges, beach views to die for, incredible world-class cities and lots of money. No, we’re not talking about Australia – we’re talking about New Zealand…

Long the underdog in the Oz vs NZ debate, our closest frenemy has been coming up trumps in almost every area of everyday life, and it’s been winning us over. Australians are making the trip to New Zealand and staying there. They have a stable economy and a likeable PM, to boot.

But that’s not all, and our treasurer knows it. This week Joe Hockey addressed the sheep in the room and said that “high net worth” Australians are moving to New Zealand at an alarming rate.

Hockey has outlined a proposal to cut taxes to make Australia more competitive, reports The Australian.

He told ABC Radio that New Zealand’s lower income tax rate was “unquestionably” part of the reason increasing numbers of Australian residents were moving to New Zealand.

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“New Zealand has a top personal tax rate of 33 cents in the dollar. We have a top personal tax rate of 45 cents in the dollar, plus two per cent for the Medicare levy, plus two per cent for the temporary budget repair levy – so 49 cents in the dollar.

“Sooner or later people start to move to New Zealand and that’s what’s happening. In fact, in the last 12 months, for the first time in years, there were more people moving to New Zealand than there were New Zealanders moving to Australia”.

Hockey’s end game is to make us happier by getting rid of bracket creep and higher income taxes, but increasing the GST.

“The evidence we’ve seen is some high net worth individuals moving to New Zealand. Yes, we’ve seen that. But it’s not just New Zealand. There are other countries around our region that have lower taxes”, he said.

In the last 12 months, the number of Kiwis immigrating to Australia has been at its lowest since 1991, and a significant number are making the dash home after recognising Australia’s ongoing stability issues.

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And can we really blame them? New Zealand is looking more and more appealing to us Aussies as our government desperately tries to hold on.

 

We want to know today: what will be the straw that breaks the camels back for you? Have you had enough of Australia? Are politics to blame or just the state of the economy? Or is Australia still better than NZ overall?