AbstractThere is broad consensus among tax academics that capital gains should be included in a comprehensive
income tax base. However, save for piecemeal measures to shore up gaps in the tax net, no party that has led a
government in New Zealand had proposed a capital gains tax (CGT) before the Labour Party adopted it as
policy in the run-up to the 2011 Election. From a theoretical perspective, the arguments for a CGT are
relatively straightforward and the counterarguments are mainly political in nature or relate to the complexities
of practical implementation. But how are these ideas communicated to voters? This article examines how the
CGT debate was framed in the New Zealand print media between 1993 and 2011. The academic arguments –
and overall academic support – for a CGT are firstly reprised. The framing methodology used is then outlined
and key findings summarised. Findings of particular note are discussed further and conclusions drawn.
CitationBarrett, J., & Veal, J. (2013). Equity versus political suicide: framing the capital gains tax debate in the New Zealand print media. New Zealand Journal of Taxation, Law and Policy, 19, 91-111.