It would be a bonanza, but for two small details.

Of all the countless examples of monumental Government stupidity we have to choose from, this one bugs me almost more than anything else, hence I am Cc’ing this reply far and wide.

The first small detail is that the New Zealand Government has reduced the royalty it charges on New Zealand’s oil, from 5%, to 1%. That’s right, one percent, down from five percent. This makes our black gold – which was cheap anyway – the cheapest in the world, by an order of magnitude. Saudi Arabia charges 50% and Venezuela charges 88%, Britain 52%, Australia 61%, Angola 64%, the US Federal Government between 40% and 51% in the Gulf of Mexico, and the State of Alaska charges 20% royalty plus 22.5% tax. Norway, through royalties (76%), taxes on oil company profits, and ownership of oil company shares, recovers more than 90% of the tradeable value of its oil.

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