The coalition is pressing on with plans to increase the 'bright line' test for residential property sales to cover a five year period; law changes expected to take effect in March

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the 'bright-line' test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.

Nash will introduce a Supplementary Order Paper to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2017–18, Employment and Investment Income, and Remedial Matters) Bill to give effect to the changes, which were signalled prior to the election.

“The extension of the previous government’s bright-line test will help dampen property speculation and make homes more affordable,”  Nash says.

“The previous government required income tax to be paid on any gains from residential property sold within two years of acquisition, with some exceptions.

“The extension means that profits from residential investment properties which are bought and sold within five years will generally be taxable. 

Nash says the changes will ensure that residential property speculators pay income tax on their gains "and makes property speculation less attractive".

"We need investment which grows the economy and creates jobs, not the sort of investment which distorts the residential housing market. This measure will bring fairness back into the tax system.

“Reducing speculative demand will also help improve housing affordability for owner-occupiers."

Nash says current exemptions from the bright line test will remain. This includes the exemption for the main home of owner-occupiers of residential property.

The extension to the bright-line test will apply to residential investment properties purchased from the date on which the bill receives the Royal Assent, which is expected in March.

Nash says the passage of the bill will also enable the recently formed Tax Working Group to factor the change into any consideration of a comprehensive capital gains tax. 

After a lot of ructions in the lead up to the last election, Labour ultimately pledged that it would not propose any comprehensive CGT in this term of government and would therefore effectively seek a mandate for such a tax at the next election.

 

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87 Comments

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good on them

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Reckon that it should be stronger. Any property that had one cent of tax offset recorded against it should have compulsory capital gain regardless of time of ownership and occupation status. If its a company with multiple properties inside it all houses would be tainted.

Good point, agree.

Absolutely right, but I would discount it for inflation. However I would also make the inflation portion of mortgage interest paid, not tax deductible.

Discounting for inflation fails to take into account the benefit of tax deferral on gains over the holding period. If we should discount for inflation then possibly charging interest on deferred tax would balance the equation.

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Its a crying shame that its not being back dated.
I can't see much capital gain occurring from now on.

Assuming capital gains from here are muted, then it won’t generate much revenue. However it is likely to act as a further dampener on speculative behaviour.
Another good policy move

But that is the whole point. Property as an investment class is looking pretty terrible long term. It is even worse now. So increasing the brightline test to 5 years from March will actually help to lower house prices without crashing them. You can't bring in a law that is retrospective, because people plan their finances around the rules that are applied to that tax year. Every little bit of new legislation will help chip away at our housing inflation.

"Labour will establish an Affordable Housing Authority to work with the private sector to cut through red tape and get new homes built fast"

http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

So the plan is to pour money into an Authority designed to court the private sector they are driving away?

There already is a capital gain law. Its just that the bright line law seems to make it a whole lot more enforceable. So to backdate it would not actually be changing the rules.

Great. let's do it fast ... however, the horse has already bolted ! ... there are hardly any speculators in the market now.

One could almost image that there's nothing further to speculate about.

It's not difficult at all. Put a 1% tax on the value of the land. Reduce RWT and income tax to remain tax neutral.

No family homes. No hoarding it until the next neoliberal government. No rates calculated on the concrete floors and brick walls which have already been taxed with GST anyway.

What is difficult is the political will. For every boomer that dies there are two upcoming residents imported. While they may be individuals we damn well know who they will vote for in general. https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/l/m/t/9/s/image.relat...

If people only understood the effects of a tax restructure as you describe it would happen in a heartbeat.

It feels like the pair of hands are reaching over to me trying to strangle me as if I am the one at fault LOL!!

'feeling' could turn to 'reality'

Err, no.....you would only be asked to pay tax on any gains that you make. Please take a few deep breaths and come back when you feel ready

Errr no, any potential CGT will only be imposed on properties that are transacted from a given future date, not those from the past.

Err, I am not particularly fussed about what your own circumstances are. But it is hardly an attack on property investors to ask them to pay tax on capital gains with greater certainty than now applies. So no, it’s not unfair and no one is out to get you, which seems to be the point you were making

Errr 'no one is out to get you' ... ask the audience LOL!!

DGZ, you are incorrect. CGT is applied if the property was bought with the firm intention of resale AND if bought in the past. The IRD has wide and varied information gathering methods to determining the original intentions. I understand this also includes records held at the bank. I guess this is the downside of loose talk at Cafes or at family gatherings - IRD take allegations lol!

http://www.ird.govt.nz/property/property-selling/

The brightline just saves the IRD the trouble of assessing the vendors original intentions.

Ok but none of my properties is bought with the firm intention of resale. So no CGT.

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........only IRD gets to make that conclusion.

Ha ha ha ha ha, thanks for that.

How many new-builds have you done and rented out

or, do you just piggyback on the work of someone else

there are a range of objective criteria that mean it's a little more robust than what's going on in your mind. If property prices crash you may well decide all of them were bought with capital gains in mind (if there's a CGT).

"DGZ, you are incorrect. CGT is applied if the property was bought with the firm intention of resale AND if bought in the past."

Retired-Poppy, I'm afraid it is you who is incorrect. The tax you refer to is an income tax (not a capital gains tax) - our law doesn't allow for CGT on real estate (the bright line test simply forces the hand of the intention test, categorising the gain as income).

This isn't about you.

Am I correct in thinking that they were also planning to remove the ability to deduct costs against primary income?

..haven't heard much of late, but yes. And i'd suggest it will have a greater impact than any cap gain tax - as when implemented it will affect an immediate affect and not dependent on sale of ppty.

https://pro.newsroom.co.nz/articles/1710-labour-to-ring-fence-rental-pro...

Less houses going to be up for sale over the coming years as punters won't want to be stung with tax. High build costs at present and reduced foreigner interest/development will lead to a further reduced housing stock, increase in Landlord requirements for healthier homes...all will add to an already restricted rental market.
But they are building 100,000 affordable??houses, or was it 500,000 that was pointed out to them?? Seems no one really knows. It's going to make for a very interesting few years....what will the ultimate reaction be to every action that is being put into effect....

Hardly matters, there is no cheap land to build on anyway.

On the contrary more houses are likely to come on the market!. Measures like the brightline extension along with other new pressures on landlords will have the effect of dampening or depressing property values. Nothing will get investors and speculators to the exit faster than a sustained flat or dropping market.

Little old mum and dad investors won't be able to compete with the massive Government kiwibuild that is coming. They are already advertising for a CEO to head up the new division and be responsible for buying large parcels of land. No doubt the government will be buying land quite cheaply, but from whom I wonder?

No matter how long you examine the topic or turn it over to see what's on the other side, the reality is, it simply has to be done, there is no alternative.

I can see the possibility of compulsory land acquisition under the Public Works Act. Watch out land bankers...

https://www.linz.govt.nz/crown-property/acquisition-and-disposal-land/la...

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For land bankers I have a tiny violin

Retired P, why not just embrace Communism??

PKchew, Nick Smith was going down the same route. If they are going to build 12-15 Hobsonvilles it will be greenfield land far from the CBD. Better they build new houses there than transform existing suburbs.

PKchew, do you want to see more "affordable" housing or not? This is not about raising big red flags.

PKchew how do you think we get roads and dams built? Good enough to compulsory acquire for those purposes, surely equally justifiable for housing?

I have a feeling the auckland city limits are in the cross heirs

I agree with you, this policy will reduce supply and we all know what that means......

Maybe someone could write to Phil to make it retroactive. Haha.

Ralph you are correct, no cheap land means restriction and restriction leads to what...?

A huge and looming political argument over the meaning of "affordable".

No there isn't, affordable, where house prices go is pretty much accepted to be 3 to 5 times household income, that gives a bit of leeway for it to be a one or two income household. Affordable for rent is about 1/4 to 1/3 of income, single or double. Anything else on the north side of that, is just making sh$# up.

Prepare for a lot of what you call 'just making sh$#" up then.

If you don't reform local government then there won't be any cheap land.
Without cheap land your end house won't be affordable in the measures you describe.
When faced with the unaffordable result the easiest way for the government will be to "repurpose" the word affordable.

These new rules are only going to help seasoned investors that are well,heeled.
Capital gains to be taxed is not a problem as you will be buying property well as the not so heeled sell out cheaper.
Brightline test only for future property do that is only going to hinder the future generations that want to secure their future.
These policies are not being thought out!

Probably true but it will also pour a lot of cold water on the increase driven by leveraged debt stacking that has been typical in the market in the last five years. Prices will definitely stop flying into orbit with a potential of retreat as we are seeing in several of the stats. Accordingly it is a far better position for FHB than the last five years, and lets face it, they are tax payers as well.

Having had my rental properties for 13 years now (7 properties), I guess Im ok if I want to sell, but I dont want to sell anyway. I want to keep my cashflow so that I can live on passive income. So why should I worry about what new rules any govt cooks up. There are always unintended consequences that generally will either stifle house building or house buying or selling. This affects everyone, and especially the poorer people. Rents go up when landlord costs go up. My equity is huge now if I wanted to buy more I could and I have the cashflow to do so. There are a lot of "me" around who are sitting back and watching the discussion and "smart people" figure out what they will do to remedy the situation.

Not smart but 'wise'.

These attitudes are going to result in landlords being despised by society - then you have to ask what's the point in being financially successful in this manner when the people in the community you live in find your behaviour repulsive? Just saying... It's not really a recipe for happiness

I guess there could be a new satellite city for them, Landlordington or something you could call it, triple fenced with razor wire on the inner fence and gated, put them all in there, plenty of love in there for them, I would imagine.
Another suggestion for a name, Parasite City. "Take me down to Parasite City...."

Ohhh the feeling of envy is strong today

Really??

Landlords just joining farmers, builders, tradies, business owners/SME's in the being despised ranks - I guess some have got the No 8 wire mentality and some don't.......

This is getting really boring. Very clearly, some commentators on here have concern for the social issues facing NZ. Their issue with property speculations and the spectre of a property-one-trick-pony-economy being hugely problematic is NOT based on envy. Whilst it's true that some people are driven by envy, there are also plenty of people who simply have empathy for others, or concern for the future of NZ based on their understanding of the economy/society.

It's perfectly possible that the negging of landlords and property price bulls in these comments has zippity squat to do with envy. Wishing for a more equal society or wishing for an end to the housing crisis does not necessitate envy.

And it's not as if Millennials haven't extensively been the brunt of slurs and insults themselves, including in these comments (not that the comments against Landlords are exclusively from Millennials even).

It's also an utter nonsense to suggest that becoming a property investor signifies no 8 mentality. You're just trolling. But not clever, amusing troll_skillz, just transparent, obvious, boring, predictable troll_yawn. 2/10

I'm all for ending this situation where a single parasitical and non-productive industry is cannibalising the rest of the economy by capturing NZ's collective earnings and throwing them into the black hole of mortgage payments.

GN, good points made. But the issue I see as far more damaging is the rapid slide into polarised views, which can, in fragile times, easily lead to demonisation - and action based on that attitude. History is chock full of examples where this all led to: the hounding out of Jews, the killings of the 'kulaks', the destruction of the trader/middle class in Uganda.

The Heinlein quote is appropriate here:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck."

I agree and yet also disagree with the Heinlein quote in the absence of further context. I would suggest that it's overly simplistic.

I wholeheartedly agree that polarised views are dangerous. However, I don't believe that they are avoidable. I would suggest that human cultures repeat the same patterns over and over forming, storming, norming with varying degrees of progression or regression in terms of widespread benefit. I can't think of a time in human history when we haven't "othered", created/ used patsy's of at least some group or individual. Sorry to say, but I think human beings will always have the propensity to be a bunch of bastards to each other, that human greed, fear and short sightedness will always exist. And that someone, somewhere will be warring/blaming/abusing/enslaving/torturing/murdering another group. It's happening right now, it will happen tomorrow ad infinitum.

New Zealand has been more successful than many in creating an equal society last century. And more recently, the relationship between first peoples and colonial peoples whilst not perfect, is better than any another country has achieved. For a few decades there NZ achieved impressive levels of equality of opportunity and access to increasing wealth for an increasing majority. With that now in decline, and if left unaddressed, I would suggest that it is only a matter of time before the polarisation and increasing wealth divide will manifest as something unpleasant.

But hey, at least some boomers get to own 7 investment properties each and boast without a skerrick of shame about how rich they are, whist at the same time trolling others and calling them jealous.

The Killing Fields of Cambodia.

"we just wanted everyone to be equal" he said ..

Going for some Moral Equivalence fallacy huh? What a treat.... and then to find one seamlessly blended with some Straw Man too, today is certainly a special day.

http://www.skepticsfieldguide.net/2012/04/moral-equivalence.html

The people I mention have made it through the system to get where they are!

Instead of bagging them, ask then what the hell is wrong with the system!
Enough people on here have continually informed of what the system problems are....e.g. RMA, Building Act, Local Bodies the list goes on!..........Being envious of people who actually jumped through the hoops is nothing more than a socialists ploy to obtain power and control under the pretence that they have empathy for those less fortunate than others.

Well how many houses have you bothered to build? How many risks have you taken? How many sleepless nights? Have you worked 16 plus hours days? How many people have you encouraged to save, work hard, work more than one job, start a business, learn everything about the over 400 pieces of crap legislation that there is in this country and how they as an individual can find the particular path they need to get ahead?

I think you'd rather spend time on here with your false and pretensious agenda attacking people who have or are working hard. Oh and it will take No 8 wire mentality too because everyone is different and they have to overcome their difficulties individually so what works for one person may not work for another! That's why socialism can and never will solve the problems only ever exacerbate them because they created the system!

Notaneconomist??? are you serious? Are you seriously suggesting that you have worked harder and jumped through more hoops?

Please don't make it *this* easy for me to pull your pants down and make a plonker out of you. I admit, i'm tempted but it's just too easy.

Take a moment to look at the glaring and lazy assumptions that you have just made, the obvious lack of any objectivity you have deployed and the gigantic arrogance and self congratulatory blindess that you have left hanging out for all to see.

And if you still feel good about your comment, then sure, yes, then I will share my credentials with you, how many hours I have worked, what I have achieved and how wealthy I am. But I would like to forewarn you that you are so unbelievably wrong that you are just going to choke on it.

You really have to know though that A. I am not a socialist (I am a radical centrist because I reject the political spectrum and vote on policies and viability rather than emotionally immature tribal nonsense) B. think you might not understand the difference between socialism and someone just disagreeing with you

Wow you label me arrogant......look in the mirror matey, and while you're at it spank your own arse and this old biddy would left hook you for pulling her pants down so consider yourself warned.

I will stick up for anyone in business in NZ because it is bloody hard and the ever changing regulatory and compliance regime is horrendous! This nonsense of belittling everyone in business is BS and needs to be seen for what it is.....bullying!

There are a plethora of your ilk who push for government oversite at every direction, increasing regulation and compliance and making slaves of good hard working people. You think I want to collect all your taxes and fees at my cost in my time? You think I want to spend endless hours record keeping for this and that because some bureaucracy has made it mandatory?.......... Now there's an elephant in the room.....the one no-one wants to talk about........it is called modern day western government slavery!

As far as I can see there is stuff all difference between a radical centrist and a conventional one......well the outcomes for the people are the same aren't they......all fluff really considering that it is people's individual rights that get romped over with all these name labels and definitions that people have devised as tools for control! But hey what would I know I am just some lazy thinker who lacks objectivity, who left school at a young age, and worked every hour I could. Yes an old biddy who shore sheep, and mustered on the hills, doing possuming in the winter with her husband, working evenings at the local pub and hospital, wore tatty holed clothing, grew my own food, all to get on the farm property ladder and stay there while interest rates rocketed to 21 percent due to some centrists in Wellington who thought milk those farmers for all the bastards are worth.......I had to watch as people's lives crumbled around them, their dreams tattered some had to walk off their farms and some were taken off in coffins.......and you think I have no empathy, more fool you!

Now lets get onto this property speculation and keep your hands on your keyboard......those speculators exist because of government and bureaucratic incompetence.......it's very like George Soros shorting the pound sterling but many more players. I didn't create the system with all the rules and regulations and land and building limitations and I have fought to get these removed so NZ can deliver more affordable housing now give yourself a wedgy for making assumptions......

I don't own 7 properties, you made that up along with the trolling thing and the rest.

Wow? Where to start? At least, you have just detailed why you have the giant chip on your shoulder, and highlight why you are incapable of the objectivity needed to make anything other than an angry, embittered point but i'll hold up my end of the bargain...

1. when I say radical centrist that rejects the left/right polarity that does not even remotely imply fluff. I am rejecting the very labels within politics that you yourself above describe (as used for nefarious purposes and diminished rights). IMO the issues thrown up by globalisation are causing much more pressing issues for societies (including farming) and would prefer the political spectrum to thrash out that issue, rather than the old left/right bluster. You're making assumption after assumption, based on zero evidence. I actually share your disdain for mindless bureaucracy, for instance. However, that is only one aspect of the housing crisis. I really don't know how you got to the position where you think you have a clue who I am or what political views I hold. All I can say is that so far, on each assumption you have made, you have been wrong.

2. I was a foster kid without family. I worked 90-100 hours a week through my teens and 20's. Put myself through university. Taught myself carpentry, brick laying, plastering etc. Worked evenings and weekends to afford a house for my kids after the GFC. Had spine surgery mid way through the renovation but still got there. No inclination whatsoever to sheer sheep but did spend a decade working in adolescent psychiatry, with some of the most horrifically abused kids you could ever imagine. Which I can assure you, was no walk in the park.

3. Co-own and run an award winning, productive business, so presumably you will stick up for me because you like business owners right? Or is it only the people who run their own business BUT also share your hyperbole and penchant for angry ranting that deserve your support? Quite how you equate those who disagree with your views as anti-business is beyond me. Many here would love NZ business to thrive, they just happen to think that swapping ever increasingly expensive houses or buying up the limited supply of houses to rent out is not good for the long term future of NZ. The business I co-run gives us a post-tax income in the top 5% of NZ earnings, even better, most of our clients are overseas, so the revenue we make comes from overseas in to the NZ economy. We're in our 30s with 2 kids, we have no debt, but we do have substantial assets and investments. But just because we are wealthy, doesn't mean we are going to throw a protectionist tantrum and pull up the ladder in regards to the social problems we foresee in NZ's future. Or make wild generalisations based on very little evidence and lay claim to that privilege because i'm an "old biddy".

4. I wasn't actually referring to you owning 7 properties, PKchew commented about owning 7 properties. My reply was to that comment, and you just happened to reply in that same thread, with mine coming under yours. Presumably as you replied to that thread, you also read PKchew's comment about the 7 properties. I have to ask, have you tried to twist the discussion to suggest that I said that to you, to justify your butthurt or just looking to vent on someone? Yvil then makes a comment about envy IN THE SAME THREAD, which I also reply to within my comment. The only section of my comment that was directed at you was;

"It's also an utter nonsense to suggest that becoming a property investor signifies no 8 mentality. You're just trolling. But not clever, amusing troll_skillz, just transparent, obvious, boring, predictable troll_yawn. 2/10"

Which I stand by. But please evidence how you know who has no 8 mentality and who doesn't? Or how being being a landlord demonstrates any such mentality.

5. The problem with your example of empathy is that you are only able to describe empathy for those who are like you, you were a farmer (or still are) so you are empathising with farmers. You want to support business, but presumably only business owners who share your rhetoric and biases. Not business owners like me, who hold a different opinion. My perspective would be that unless we can look outside of our own immediate interests and the interests of those we identify with, then we aren't being objective. Which was my point. You can't possibly know the mentality of all of NZ and are in no objective position to say who does or doesn't have a No 8 wire-can-do attitude.

6. I also disagree with you. I haven't heard any negging on business owners, tradies or farmers on here. I've read concern about farms being sold off to foreign interests, i've read concern that we don't have enough tradies, and i've heard a lot of concern about insufficient financial investment in productive business. I wouldn't ever want to lump all those groups together. They all have unique issues, and the criticism on here about landlords is pretty specific. If you weren't trolling then i'm lost as to your point so do please enlighten me.

7. Yes, property speculation, government incompetence, unbalanced tax treatment of one asset over others, perfect storm. It's been discussed ad nauseum and still no clear solutions in progress. Nothing to do with the no 8 mentality though is it? so why make that nasty snub?

8. I am your typical rags to riches success story with no8 wire mentality out the wazoo (sorry to disappoint). I just disagree with you. You say that some professions have no8 mentality and some don't . I would never put farmers, tradies or business owners in the same boat as the landlords on here, that constantly gloat about their wealth when there is a housing crisis but I would say that managing to become a landlord does not require a no8 mentality, sometimes all it requires is good timing. I could start up a property empire if I want to. However, I specifically don't want to because in the current economic climate and housing crisis, I would consider that immoral. I would prefer wealthy NZ-ers to invest in productive businesses, rather than real estate. I believe, based on an objective look at the data, that this would be better for NZ economically and socially, again that's not an idea that belongs to the left or right of politics.

Gingerninja for PM!

Maybe you should throw your hat in the ring to lead the National Party, starting with a renewal of culture and ethics. As your example demonstrates, there's no reason centrist entrepreneurialism can't go together with creating a productive country that provides opportunities.

If this isn't made Comment of the Millennium, there is something very wrong with the selection process.

gn, you have too much time on your hands, go do something productive

I'm off sick. My bad.

(But I also speed type, which helps)

I can speed type too - but it ends like this..

kjshf gfdjg dfgkjbdg dfk fvn ih rgkidhfv vinr rkvhfbvm vkihfvkmrvbiv mergbi

Heres another scenario.

What happens if prices decrease and more FHB can buy houses, then less people that need to rent, less people to rent out your houses more competition for rentals and drop in rents.

PKchew, "obliviously" you bought your seven properties in the belief that houses would rise in value for ever. Your firm intention of selling at least six of them at a profit and pay your fair contribution of capital gains tax is supporting our new Governments policies. You can give yourself a pat on the back knowing that your a lifter and not a leaner.

Although, I don't envy your feeling of anxiety about where values will be in the future.........

Extending the bright line and Capital gains tax in general makes a lot of sense. Only fair to pay tax on gains made. Land and other taxes that simply tax people more for holding property for whatever reason isn’t a great idea.

Why is another tax always the solution to every problem? The introduction of a new tax should be offset by the elimination of an existing tax.

Very well said Robt. Maybe the revenue from the CGT could be offset by lowering income tax to help the working people?
(you can always tell the smart posts by the low number of thumbs up)

Glad to see you guys starting to catch up and agree with what the rest of us have been suggesting.

With a handbrake in immigration, kiwibuild getting going (slowly), tax being collected, anti sumlord legislation (minimum standards) and overseas owners being restrained, a number of levers have been pulled that National was blind to. If flatpac houses become a option and start arriving from Australia at half the material cost of the NZ duopoly, Fletchers is really in for bumpy times...

One step at a time. Must say its really interesting to see the property debt stacking party constantly patting themselves saying they will just put rents up and everything is rosy. Taken their oft quoted "long term view" it certianly looks like the landscape is changing. And we havent even talked about the feds problems and interest rates either.

Cullen is leading the tax review. Anything could happen. Remember as the father of the envy tax increase, he loves tax. Given how much property has boomed on the back of tax offset he will not see that as an opportunity will he....?

What handbrake in immigration? What action has this government taken on that?

There has been no new policy implemented from the current governmnent to change immigration

Whaaaaaaat?!?

No wonder house prices haven't halved yet.

At what point do we reach peak tax anyway?

Relax and smell the daisies - everyone has been wallowing in the money-rain from the abolition of gift-duty and estate-duties - a long way to go to make up for those two alone

Ha yes working for the man....oops I mean women.....for 6 months or more every year tells me that daisy smelling causes allergic rhinitis.

Cullen was a God of a Finance Minister. He is exactly the right person to be leading the CGT Working group. Its long overdue in this country and I am looking forward to it being implemented.

Cullen the financial genius who bought a Railway for $1 Billion that the owner had in its books for about $200 million plus the biggest waster of Tax Dollars on more inefficient unneeded bureaucrats during an exceptional period of global growth when paying down more debt, improving infrastructure would have been more beneficial but Socialists and the current Government has less ability than a dead pig with or without lipstick.