It's just downright insulting to order New Zealanders to donate.So said former ACT MP and now Herald columnist Deborah Coddington, in response to Green Party MP Russel Norman's suggestion of a special earthquake levy for those earning more than $48,000.
We already know that a lot of people on good incomes are insulted at the notion that they would need to pay any tax at all. But that's just the way our society works. If we don't have taxes we won't have many of the things we as a civilised society insist upon: affordable healthcare and education, roads, and a safety net for the poor and sick.
It's equally insulting to have to listen to fools like Coddington harp on about the evils of government, when without the assistance of central government people in Christchurch would be suffering even more than they are at present. Who does she think organised the emergency benefits to people suddenly without livelihoods, so that they could feed their families? And what of the rescue services, police and army personnel? Are they not agents of the state? And even if some aspects of Civil Defence's control of central Christchurch could be criticised, would we be better off if that agency did not exist?
If anyone is being downright insulting (to the people in government working tirelessly to help Christchurch, and to so many in Christchurch who have been helped by our governmental agencies), it is Coddington.