web analytics
The Standard

‘Crisis’ but tax cuts for the rich keep coming

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: budget 2011, public services, tax - Tags: , , , ,

The Nats are telling us there is no other option than massive cuts to government spending. Roughly, a third of the cuts covers the earthquake rebuilding, another third covers the Nats’ tax cuts for the rich, and the last third covers the revenue loss from this neverending recession. So, how come the Nats can afford another round of tax cuts for the rich?

I/S at No Right Turn explains:

While National is planning the biggest assault on government services since the era of Ruth Richardson, it is also planning more tax cuts for the rich. The Finance and Expenditure Committee – on which the government has a majority – has reported back [PDF] on the Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill and recommended that it be passed. The bill allows couples with children to split their income for tax purposes – a feature found to be explictly discriminatory in violation of the Bill of Rights Act by the Attorney-General [PDF]. The total cost of the measure would be over $500 million a year – and 78% of it would flow to households earning over $70,000 a year (which is roughly the median for households consisting of a couple with children). While not mentioned in the report, that benefit will skew heavily towards the top end – in other words, the usual story of giving the most to those who need it least.

So, the poor get to pay for the earthquake. Meanwhile rich families with kids get a tax windfall. National is looking after its base again – and everyone else gets to pay for it.

And let’s not forget that there are $280 million a year worth of corporate tax cuts coming in on April 1. In the middle of their cries that public service cuts can’t be avoided, they’re cutting tax on foreign-owned corporates.

The fact that National is planning more rounds of tax cuts for the rich shows that their crisis rhetoric is just about excuses to do what they want: enrich the wealthy elite and rip off everyone else.

As I said yesterday, rather than cutting public services, the government could fill the hole in the accounts by restoring the top tax rate, stopping the corporate tax cut that comes in on April 1, eliminating the ETS subsidies to polluters, and not building the white elephant highways. Instead, they’re cutting yet more taxes for the rich and screwing the rest of us.

41 comments on “‘Crisis’ but tax cuts for the rich keep coming”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I really don’t think they’re going to go near income splitting for tax purposes. Poor bouffant is foiled again, this time by poor timing.

    Small dribs have come out about what is likely to be affected. I’m having a hard time reconciling the required cuts with what Marty outlined was required (up to 32%) and what so far they’ve been hinting at. If they’re refusing to alter tax, the numbers simply don’t add up – I wonder if they’re going to announce asset sales (TVNZ?) or some other radical policy no one saw coming.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/new-zealand/news/article.cfm?l_id=71&objectid=10714240

    ACT leader Rodney Hide seemed prepared to sacrifice the 2025 Taskforce, an agency set up at his initiative to find ways to catch up with Australia’s economic growth.

    “I’m happy to put that on the table for discussion,” he said.”

    “Finance Minister Bill English spoke today about scaling back government programmes, but ruled out dramatic cuts to schemes like KiwiSaver or Working for Families.

    “There won’t be any radical changes to either KiwiSaver, or Working for Families, or student loans,” he said.”

    • Bright Red 1.1

      remember, those ‘32%’ cuts were in real terms and assuming a lot of areas won’t get significant cuts. You can slice off 6% just by not adjusting for population/inflation.

      and they were based on no signficant cuts to social welfare spending, which WFF and student loans are under.

      but, the fact remains that National’s hints get us nowhere the $1.8 billion nominal cuts needed to fund $1 billion in rebuilding and $800 million out of a zero budget. One way might be to can a whole of spending on new programmes within departments that was bugdeted in 2010 due to start in the coming year. It looks like nothing is cut but actually those new programmes were replacing expiring ones.

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      Hide sacrificing 2025 Taskforce?

      Hmm ok.

      How much will Gaddafi pay for Hide to take his place for his exit plan?

      There won’t be much to discount for cosmetic surgery as Hide won’t be too challenging to be cosmetically maimed by Gaddafi’s surgeon.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.3

      “There won’t be any radical changes to either KiwiSaver, or Working for Families, or student loans,” he said.”

      Now you and I know what radical means, but the big question here is what does radical mean to the thieving criminals that are ruining the country.??

  2. Pete 2

    I posted Naomi Klein’s explanation of the shock doctrine (she was looking at Wisconsin, but the principle remains) late last night in yesterday’s thread – but I think it’s worth reposting, because that is exactly what this government is doing.

    If there is no crisis, manufacture one by creating a budget shortfall through tax cuts to create a sense of urgency to ram through an otherwise unpalatable agenda. If there is a real crisis, so much the better as people are even more ready to surrender their good sense.

  3. Bunji 3

    Great post Marty.

    The corporate tax cuts on April 1 are particularly notable, coming right bang in the middle of their pleas of ‘poverty’. Was the first thing Bill ruled out paying for the earthquake.

    And even by their own logic, it ruins their supposed aim of having the corporate tax rate and the top tax rate being the same to stop tax avoidance…

    Lanth: the rumour this morning seems to be that KiwiSaver is particularly in danger. By no “radical changes” they probably will still allow themselves to cancel the $1000 govt matching. I’m not sure what their student loans changes will be (but there will be some); WfF will no doubt tail off more steeply at the top end.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yeah, I expect the $1040/year in matching tax credits to go. The Kiwisaver tax-credit year starts on 1st July and payment isn’t made until after 30th of June the following year (so not until 30th June 2012 for us now), so there’s ample time to do it. If they do this however, they’re going to be widely criticised for removing incentives for saving. The tax cuts were supposedly all about encouraging savings by increasing the GST rate (and yet at the same time saying this would cause growth?), so to drop a rather large plank from kiwisaver seems risky.

      I wouldn’t be opposed to, at the very most, 1-2% interest on student loans, but that’s it. I’d also strongly be in favour of a time-limit for interest-free after you left university, say 5 years, but after that bring in a low rate like 1-2%, which I think is fair. Retain the 10% early repayment bonus also.

      Really any major move they make on any of those 3 policies is going to cost them come November. Probably the least damaging thing they could actually do would be to institute the earthquake levy – it’s ironic that when the public actually widely support a tax, National are too scared to actually implement it and so may end up losing support due to their alternatives.

      My boyfriend and I were talking about what to do with the student loan scheme in general. There are quite a few areas that could be tightened. The main problem is eligibility is simply too broad, and a lot of people go off to university because “it’s the thing to do”, only to drop out in their 2nd or 3rd year without a degree and being saddled with a debt for no benefit.

      Boyfriend pointed out that to receive student allowance in your 2nd year, you need to have at least 50% pass rate for your 1st year courses – why isn’t the same requirement applied to the living allowance? $160/week is peanuts if you live in the main centres anyway, but losing it might be enough soft-compulsion to make people seriously think about their studies during their first year, and cause people to drop out sooner rather than later (when they realise they slacked around too much in their first year and now they really can’t afford a 2nd).

      Right now it seems like, for many people, university is sort of a temporary staging ground while they work out what to do with their life – essentially getting ‘free’ money from the government without any strings attached only encourages this behaviour. An acquaintance once said he was “going to do ‘a course’ next year” so he could “get the government to give him a student loan”, because that seemed easier than working (in a minimum wage job), I have no idea if he ever ended up doing it, but I’m sure there are people out there who do.

      Another problem is all of these private tertiary training places set up that people can attend and get a loan for. I’ve briefly looked into the Network+ certificate that’s was being promoted on TV a lot during Jan and Feb by various ‘institutions’, and it effectively looks like 6th and 7th form level material. It would be useful as part of a longer course, or as an introduction, but in and of itself, it isn’t going to get you a job anywhere if the person hiring you knows anything about networking and what the Network+ course actually covers. I’m sure there are similar training courses in other industries that spit out wide-eyed credulous youth who think they’ve hit the big time and are going to get a job earning $45k with their 6 month certificate under their belt. I don’t see why so many of these private training places are accredited to essentially waste people’s time.

      Seems I’ve almost ended up with a comment long enough to be a post :/

      • Bright Red 3.1.1

        you’re going to save bugger all by not giving that start-off payment to new Kiwisavers. Nearly everyone is already signed up, so you’re only getting a few tens of millions by not paying for new accounts for people joining the workforce/being signed up by parents

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          I didn’t mention the $1000 ‘kickstart’ at all. I am talking about the $1040 matching tax credits that the government gives you if you contribute at least $20/week.

          Which is actually another angle on the matter – when National rolled out their 2009 budget, one of the possible changes with Kiwisaver is that they were going to cap the tax credit to 2% of your income and $20, whereas at the moment you simply have to contribute $20/week. This would mean that someone who was on $26,000/year would be eligible for a maximum tax credit of $520, even if they voluntarily contributed an extra $10/week, the most they could get from the government would be $520. National relented under criticism, but maybe they’ll bring this back. It hurts anyone earning less than $52,000, at which point 2% of your income is greater than $1040 so you’re eligible for the full amount.

          Yes, cutting the $1,000 kickstart would achieve very little in the short term. Gareth Morgan suggested they should instead dole it out over 5 years, at $200 year, and basically be a matching amount. So if you’d have to actually contribute $1000 over 5 years to get the full benefit. Specifically his reason for suggesting this is that at the moment the way it is set up, children who are enrolled get a $1,000 free, but there’s no requirement for any additional funds to be saved at all. He said that they have seen this behaviour to be quite wide spread.

          • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1

            oh, sorry, yep. cancelling the matching contributions would save heaps, and piss off 1.5 million members.

      • B 3.1.2

        An educated population benefits us all Lanthanide, regardless of whether people drop out or study for years. Its well worth the monetary investment to ensure that critical thinking and intelligence remain in at least some sectors of society and are passed on to the next generation.

  4. JJ 4

    Can we define rich please?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      I’ll take a stab at it.

      A family/individual, whom at the end of the year living an average (eg, not extravagent life) has more than $5,000 after-tax income left over for discretionary spending, which I would definitely include an overseas holiday or big-screen TV as being discretionary. Saving for retirement however is not discretionary. If you had to put stuff on your credit card, mortgage or personal loans to afford it, then it wasn’t discretionary.

      If you have less than $5,000 after-tax income left over for discretionary spending, you are either ‘average middle class’ or ‘poor’.

      It’s impossible to set a simple $ figure on it, because a family living in Auckland will need much more money than one living in Invercargil, but at the same time should also be bringing in a higher income. Similarly, you need more money the more children you have, and less money the fewer.

  5. PeteG 5

    “stopping the corporate tax cut that comes in on April 1″

    Even if it was fair to ditch corporate tax cuts stopping them with virtually no notice would be manifestly unfair.

    I’m a grateful beneficiary of Kiwisaver, but I think it would be reasonable to cut the matching credit – in half would be a fair enough balance, there would still be a good enough incentive to keep contributing. As per Bright Red I think the start-off credit should stay.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Even if it was fair to ditch corporate tax cuts stopping them with virtually no notice would be manifestly unfair.”

      Somewhat unfair, yes, but what is more fair – ditching WFF, kiwisaver or interest-free student loans? Why should it be somehow more unfair for corporate tax rate drop to be cancelled than it is to change any of the other flagship programmes?

      In fact, it’s more fair, because people are making long-term life decisions based on WFF, kiwisaver and interest-free student loans with their current policy settings. If company’s have been making long-term planning decisions based on a tax that hasn’t actually happened yet (and is also quite small) then really they’ve been counting their chickens before they hatched now haven’t they?

      Ditching kiwisaver contributions has a further inherent unfairness, in that you’re going to be heaping additional costs on future taxpayers, or lowering the standard of living for future retirees, because everyone currently saving for their retirement will have less to live on if the government cuts their contribution rate.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Even if it was fair to ditch corporate tax cuts stopping them with virtually no notice would be manifestly unfair.

      Oh get off it, how can it be unfair when corporates don’t get cold and hungry, aren’t receiving threatening letters about getting utilities cut off or eviction notices, don’t have children to feed.

      That’s what we really need here, more champions on the behalf of corporates.

      • PeteG 5.2.1

        Company budgets for tax liability for the year. Then suddenly they’re told that tax is to go up – to balance the budget they have to reduce costs, which could include reducing staff – staff who may have children to feed.

        • Lanthanide 5.2.1.1

          On a profit of $1,000,000, 2% tax equates to $20,000.

          If a company making $1m in profit has to fire staff because they had to pay $20k extra tax than what they expected, then I don’t know how that company got so profitable.

  6. TightyRighty 6

    interesting that income splitting is discriminatory, despite leaving money in the earners pockets without having to go through government churn, and WFF isn’t? they are essentially the same thing. just that one relies on having kids and one doesn’t. I suppose you think it’s fair to keep people on government hand outs, but not their own money? labour, always trying to roger something.

    Edit: for the record, I am against income splitting the same way i am against WFF. the distortions are just to blatant and discriminatory any which way you look at it. only made the call to highlight the inconsistincies

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      How exactly does income splitting not go through government churn?

      Unless you’re advising your employer of a special tax rate, it seems that squaring up of your tax take is going to need to be handled at the end of the tax year.

      • TightyRighty 6.1.1

        Well then that makes it even stupider. how about just straight less tax for everyone? rich, poor, but not bennies, because contrary to stupid belief and process making it otherwise, if you suckle on the tit of the state, you are a net tax receiver, not giver. so no tax relief for you as you already get it. this applies to all bennies.

        • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 6.1.1.1

          Because despite the rhetoric, simply lowering taxes doesn’t seem to have worked. Unemployment was unaffected by the changes in tax rates (still too high) and growth was anemic – surely if tax relief was a magic panacea, the indicators would have been on a distinct upward trend by the time of the first earthquake.

          In fact the only quantifiable change from the lower tax take was a lower tax take, and a deficit for the government.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            “surely if tax relief was a magic panacea, the indicators would have been on a distinct upward trend by the time of the first earthquake.”

            Well we’d only had National’s first round of tax cuts by then (and Labour’s in Oct 2008), where they lowered the top rate from 39% to 38% and introduced the ME ME ME ME ME tax code for “independent earners who are jealous of working for families”.

            National’s “fiscally neutral tax bait-and-switch” where they dropped the top rate to 33%, raised GST to 15% and proclaimed it was the solution to all our problems by both encouraging saving and spending at the same time, didn’t actually kick in until 1st October 2010, after the Sept 4th quake.

            captcha: theorys

            • Deadly_NZ 6.1.1.1.1.1

              And dont you just love the Blinglish line, that because no one is spending then everyone is saving. Yeah right I don’t know about anyone else but I am not spending because I have just about enough money to pay all the bills. Discretionary spending??? me??? yeah right…

  7. randal 7

    the gnats firmly adhere to the credo of theire cant be winners unless there are losers so hey presto lets make some.
    crummy?
    indeed.

    • PeteG 7.1

      If you have the credo that everyone must be winners then it gets bloody expensive over the years – even if occasionally you lose a few rich pricks.

  8. Just Right 8

    Cutting the Company tax rate isn’t just about Overseas owned corporates. It is about leaving more money in the pockets of NZ owned & based exporters like my company as well.

    To be frank your rhetoric borders on hysterical and does your argument no favours.

    • KJT 8.1

      It may be better to help NZ companies in other ways. Tax cuts to business do put most of the benefit in the hands of overseas corporates which simply benefits their overseas bottom line. That is money leaving NZ and no longer available to buy the products of local businesses.

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 8.1.1

        Just to underline this point, the Australian-owned banks exported $2.5 billion in dividends last year, which I presume were tax-paid. Assuming a 2% lowering of the tax rate, that means they will be sending an additional $50 million offshore in the coming year if they pay out the same dividends.

        And this benefits New Zealand how?

    • Bright Red 8.2

      you understand that, domestically, the corporate rate is basically just a timing issue, eh?

      You see, if profits aren’t taxed from the corporation, they’re taxed when paid out to the owners.

      Therefore, the government makes up a lot of the corporate rate cuts with higher incomes tax revenue. It only really losses revenue when lower taxed profits flow to foreign owners.

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        “It only really losses revenue when lower taxed profits flow to foreign owners.”
        Or when they set up companies/trusts to shelter money and pay themselves a below-market rate salary to evade higher personal income tax rates. Which is another justification for why this rate should not be lowered.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      It is about leaving more money in the pockets of NZ owned & based exporters like my company as well.

      We don’t want NZ based companies to have more money concentrated in shareholder hands (and subsequently less in Govt coffers) we want them to use that money to start employing people.

      • TightyRighty 8.3.1

        you don’t want anyone having more than you, but no one cares what you want. if you think enough people care, start a political party and run for office. see how many people actually share your retarded view of the world. my guess is that there would be one to fuck all

        • Drakula 8.3.1.1

          ‘But no one cares what you want” What Viper would want would be what the entire movement of employers want!It would be what the Labour Party, Greens, and the unions (especially Unite) want!!!!!!!

          A fair cut of the pie!!!!!! Minimum wage $15.00 not very much to ask is it?

          In the last 20 or so years our council rates have gone up 1000%!!!! How much has dentists fees gone up in the last 20 years? Or lawers fees?
          And how much has the rate of basic labour gone up?

          • Pete 8.3.1.1.1

            If you want to ask for $15 per hour what you need to do is make sure you have sufficient qualifications and/or experience and target the right sort of jobs.

            • felix 8.3.1.1.1.1

              No job is worth less than that to society as a whole.

              Trouble is a greedy minority are taking to much from society as a whole for their individual use.

              • Bored

                Wrong Felix, some jobs are worth less to society….no way would I pay Key $15 an hour. Not even 15 cents.

  9. tc 9

    I bailed from KS once sideshow john and his dealing room were elected as govt assisted anything is against NAT core values.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Government assistance to the rich has always been a core value of National. Essentially, redistribution of the countries wealth from the poor to the rich.

  10. Sylvia 10

    This would be a good time to bring in financial transaction tax.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    10 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    1 day ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    1 day ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    5 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere