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Damien Grant thinks tax fraudsters are more worthy than beneficiary fraudsters

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 9th, 2014 - 238 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, poverty, tax - Tags:

tax evasion vs benefit fraud

Herald columnist Damien Grant has really outdone himself with his latest column.  He think that people convicted of beneficiary fraud should be treated more severely than tax cheats.

Why?  I am not sure.  His column is rather brief at less than 350 words but basically I think he is saying that the rich are good people and the poor should be despised so a difference in treatment is justified.

He starts off by presenting data which suggests that those convicted of tax evasion have been treated far more leniently than those convicted of benefit fraud.

Victoria University lecturer Lisa Marriott last year researched the difference in sentencing outcomes for tax cheats and beneficiary fraudsters.

Tax offenders are less likely to go to prison than benefit scammers. Of those who were sent to prison the average tax fraud was $800,000 and they enjoyed a 25-month sojourn, compared to an average benefit scam of $130,000 in return for a paltry 17-month stint.

Of those the IRD prosecuted between 2009 and 2011, only 39 went away compared with 48 for benefit fraud. Most convicted tax evaders were rorting the system, usually by getting false GST refunds. However, the real cost to the system is evasions that are civil in nature, such as the famous South Island surgeons Ian Penny and Gary Hooper whose creative accounting structures were unwound by the Supreme Court; or Andrew Krukziener who took $5 million from his company as a loan, and not as income.

I had some trouble reconciling this passage with Marriott’s research.  In a Victoria University description of her work the following is stated:

Her analysis of court data on the most serious offending from 2008–2011 shows that 22 percent of people found guilty of tax offences received a custodial sentence while 60 percent of benefit fraudsters were imprisoned.

Dr Marriott’s investigation also shows tax crimes are more costly, with those given custodial sentences committing offences valued at just over $800,000. Benefit fraud averaged $67,000 per offender.

Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.

Grant has apparently chosen to compare the number of people who went to jail, 39 (tax fraud) compared to 48 (benefit fraud), whereas the difference in proportions is far more stark, 22% (tax fraud) compared to 60% (benefit fraud).  The statement also refers to a figure of $67,000 being the average for a benefit fraud offender and it is not clear if this is the average for all offenders or just for those who are incarcerated.  Grant says this figure is $130,000.

Grant reaches his conclusion by comparing his view of the morality of underpaying tax with the morality of defrauding the benefit system.

He reasons that since only 380,000 individuals pay half of all income tax then they should be treated differently.  People earning more than $80,000 are in that group.  He also states that most tax is paid by businesses through corporate tax or receipted GST payments.  This shows an interesting mindset in that businesses paying GST are not paying money out of their own pockets but paying money they collected from their customers on behalf of the Crown.

He then says that since this group are “net contributors” to society and beneficiaries are not then tax dodgers should be shown more leniency. Of course this ignores a rather large hole in the logic in that if your average tax fraudster is engaging in $800,000 worth of tax fraud it is very unlikely that they are anything close to being a “net contributor”.  It is much more likely they are living it up on money that should have been spent on schools and hospitals.

His analysis also assumes that all wealthy people are in the top tax bracket.  The Herald’s own research suggests that two thirds of the country’s richest people are through tax avoidance measures not in the top tax bracket.

Finally he obviously sees nothing useful coming from those forced to survive on a benefit.  With barely disguised bile he says:

Beneficiary cheats, by contrast, are providing nothing to start with and seek to enrich themselves further by deception and dishonesty.

Judges understand this, which is why beneficiary cheats go to jail for longer, as they should.

The complete lack of understanding of humanity and of the difficulties that beneficiaries face as well as an obsequious worshiping of the rich is strong in this column.

238 comments on “Damien Grant thinks tax fraudsters are more worthy than beneficiary fraudsters”

  1. Sacha 1

    “Damian Grant thinks” might be over-stating it. What a nasty little man.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    One law for the rich, another for the poor.

    Good for Damien to just come right out and confess it.

    • adam 2.1

      In Roman days it was the opposite, before the rot set in that is. The rich and well educated were dealt with quite harshly as they were expected to know the law and it was assumed that for them to break the law – was a willful act.

    • Damien Grant 2.2

      thanks.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Your confession is valuable, you see, because it demonstrates the arrogance and hubris that so typifies those riding for a fall, and lends weight to the thesis that your opinions are a disease.

        Time for your medicine.

        • Damien Grant 2.2.1.1

          yep. I expect I will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes. I only hope I go with dignity.

          However, you may want to consider that, on almost all fronts, the socialist/centre-left has won. Even John Key is not unwinding key elements of the welfare state; from WFF to interest free student loans and we do have a very progressive tax and social welfare system.

          It may surprise you, but you and those who think like you are in the ascendency. Libertarians are mocked and scorned as an irrelevance, because, frankly, we are.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            No. The policies you espouse have caused countless deaths in New Zealand and the world over, and yet no-one is advocating the death penalty for you, although I can understand the sentiment.

            Incompetent fact-free drivel has a way of becoming irrelevant on its own.

          • geoff 2.2.1.1.2

            I only hope I go with dignity.

            Haha! you’ve got to have it before you can lose it.

            I see this “the left has already won, what more can they want??” meme is getting thrashed by you ACT wallies. All part of the inverted-reality campaign by the right this election year.
            Pissing on people’s shoes and telling them it’s raining.

            What’s really sad is that 50 years ago, when everyone got a fair lick of the spoon, people such as yourself were laughed at, even by the right. And yet today you get space in a National rag to air your filth.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.3

            vanishing comments..again..

            ..header/white-page..

            ..the usual..

            ..phillip ure..

          • Lee Churchman 2.2.1.1.4

            Q. What’s the difference between Libertarianism and Communism?

            A. We know from experience that communism sort of worked for quite a while, at least enough to keep a society going (and enabling that society to be a military and technological superpower) and produce a tolerable standard of living for millions of people. Sure, it was far from an optimal system and had many problems, but it more or less functioned and bumbled along in its own peculiar way.

            People like you are asking the rest of us to take a punt on a system that has never been proven to work. At least the commies can tell us with confidence that we’ll have bread and toilet rolls, even if we will probably have to queue for them. Libertarianism is a faith based political philosophy by comparison.

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.4.1

              What has been proven to work is socialist and democratic mixed economies where State infrastructure is at least 50% of the mix.

              And regulation ensures cheats do not prosper.

              Only the most successful economies in History.

              New Zealand was one, once.

              “Libertarian” countries do exist. No one is preventing Grant from leaving for Somalia.

              I hope though, he is true to his principles, and leaves behind every dollar of wealth that he has because of our efforts and tax payer contributions.

              “Randian superheros”, like Grant, fondly imagine that they could be successful in a Libertarian society. The truth is, someone as gullible, dissociated from reality, and lacking in practical skills and knowledge, as your average “libertarian” would be as “successful” as Ayn Rand.
              No different from those that wish for a return of feudal society, imagining they would not be one of the serfs.

              • adam

                The libertarian right are full of shit. Seriously you and yours say you love liberty, and yet the economic system you worship is inherently authoritarian. Your all in bed with hard core authoritarian types, indeed in NZ you need to suck on balls of them to get a seat in parliament. Coupled with this, we live in a type of capitalism which is embedded with the state and corporations – some might even call it corporate welfare.

                And do libertarians on the right criticize that? Nope don’t hear the voice of the libertarian right arguing that corporate welfare is against freedom. Don’t hear from the libertarian right on much really that goes hand in hand with freedom. Freedom to privacy, nope, one of yours voted to end that, association, not again one of yours vote to restrict that – what about the freedom to vote, on no wait again, one of yours voted to restrict voting rights – so defenders of freedom – Bullshit!

                The majority of you venture into hate politics, blame the poor, and moan like bloke who’s been kicked in the balls when the evidence is against you.

                You don’t love freedom your lying and you’re lying to yourself. You see, the libertarian left don’t envy you, we just think you’re a bunch idiots who are just like the marxist – paternalist and arrogant. Vulgar marxist is all you are, vulgar.

  3. Flip 3

    What a ridiculous opinion on a MSM website. Do they have no editorial responsibility? Trolling as an article in a national newspaper website. MSM becomes less credible by the hour. And MSM pays money for this tripe.

  4. grant is indeed one of the most loathsome of the coven of rightwing/neo-lib apologists maintained by the herald..

    ..but i wd question the figures in the above graph..

    ..in the bryan bruce doco..a tax-industry lawyer/insider..

    ..estimated benefit-fraud at $21-23 milllion..

    ..and the frauds perpetrated by the wealthy/elites/corporates..

    ..at $3.5 billion…each and every year..

    ..(there’s yr ‘ending-poverty’ funding-solution..in one fell swoop..)

    ..phillip ure..

  5. Tigger 6

    The vileness of the piece is outdone only by its stupidity.

    His conclusion is that the only way we contribute to society is through tax. The rich, therefore, give the most, beneficiaries give nothing.

    Funny, didn’t a beneficiary birth and raise our current PM?

  6. gem 7

    ”He reasons that since only 380,000 individuals pay half of all income tax then they should be treated differently. People earning more than $80,000 are in that group.”

    This is trotted out all the time, including on this morning’s Radio NZ Insight programme on inequality.
    It is usually expressed as the top 10% paying 70% of income tax.
    It ignores GST burden on low income earners. But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.
    A young person I know who went to an election candidates meeting seemed to come away having absorbed this one single ‘fact’, that the rich already pay more than their share; it appeared to have made quite an impression.
    There seems to be a reticence on the left to make this argument for fear of looking extreme.
    The case for equality has to be on moral grounds, or the right wins the argument.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Agreed gem that we need to do a proper analysis. For instance GST is paid by corporates and the self employed so I presume is counted in this calculation but the reality is that much of it is paid by ordinary people to the corporates who then pay it on to the IRD.

      • GST counted as an income tax? That would be creative accounting. ;)

        But yes, the point needs to be that those who have been successful have a responsibility to ensure our society is set up so that the next generation is able to have as many people with the same degree of success. If the rich don’t pay at least half of all taxes, imagine how much more the poor would have to pay. And we probably don’t want a society where people are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

        • mickysavage 7.1.1.1

          I need more coffee and to learn to read slower …

          • gem 7.1.1.1.1

            Yep, income tax and GST are distinct.
            But the main point for me is why the left isn’t making a moral intellectual argument about inequality.
            Puddleglum on Open Mike a couple of days ago wrote an excellent post on this question of why the left needs to make moral arguments, and how they differ from value-based ones. It’s long, but worth reading.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.1

              gem, the argument you refer to has been made frequently (repeatedly) by people on this blog.

              ie this one:

              .But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.

              Maybe you are thinking the parliamentary left isn’t making this point, rather than the wider left.

              • gem

                Most people do not interact with the intellectual/activist left, and generally encounter left ideas and policies filtered by the mainstream media, which is focused on the parliamentary left, so I guess that means Green/Labour/Mana.
                The example I used was a young person attending a general election candidates’ meeting in 2011, where it seemed the left candidates had no response to the right’s zippy line that 10% pay 70% of income tax.
                Calling for the rich to pay their fair share is ineffective when it can be countered like that.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I think he ended up kind of agreeing that moral arguments are very similar to ones based on social values.

              And I also think many on the left do use that kind of framing – frequently.

              But, of course, it’s not the sort of thing picked up very often by the MSM.

              • gem

                ‘I think he ended up kind of agreeing that moral arguments are very similar to ones based on social values.’
                Yes, but Puddleglum made a distinction that is kind of crucial when you’re dealing with politicians:

                ”However, one difference I would make between ‘social values’ (as defined in your link) and ‘morality’ – or ‘morals’ – as I understand them, is that values are ‘ends’ or ‘goals’ whereas ‘morality’ is a ‘means’ (the ‘quality’ of action, whether by individuals, organisations or states that is regulated by means of ‘sanction’, which is to say broad ‘approval’ or ‘disapproval’).
                Put simply, it seems to me that ‘social values’ state the goal by which (if the entity is being ‘honest’) people or societies will be judged, or will judge themselves. Morality, by contrast, – and this is what I was trying to say in my preceding comment – concerns how someone actually acts (i.e., not what they claim to value). In politics, morality – as opposed to ‘values’ – is what is manifested in policy and in the laws used to enact it. And that is what concerns me. I’m less interested in what a political party claims to ‘value’ than in what its policies, legislation (should it get the chance to legislate) and its executive actions sanction …”

                We have all seen this at play.
                For example, Labour highly values paying workers a living wage, but this will only happen as conditions allow (provisions for direct government employees in the first budget if possible financially, then later for indirect employees, as conditions allow …)
                In contrast Labour recognises a moral imperative in instituting a near universal best start baby and infant payment – there is a policy with a firm timeline.

                • karol

                  I disagree on the ends vs means differentiation re-values and morals.

                  The Greens are the better example for this – firmly based in values, which not only underly their goals, but their means – collaborative ways of operating etc.

                  Green Party Values:

                  As a party and as members of that party, we aim to:

                  1. Act according to our Charter
                  2. Respect the planet and the web of life of which we are one part
                  3. Take the path of caution in the face of serious uncertainty about the consequences of human action
                  4. Think long term and holistically
                  5. Make decisions by consensus whenever possible
                  6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks
                  7. Support ideas on their merit, regardless of where they originate
                  8. Actively respect cultural and individual diversity and celebrate difference
                  9. Maintain a community focus
                  10. Enable participation with dignity and challenge oppression
                  11. Encourage new voices and cherish wisdom
                  12. Recognise our duty of care towards those who cannot speak for themselves
                  13. Foster compassion, a sense of humour and mutual enjoyment in our work

                  Charter

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.2

          M Whitehead

          GST is in effect, an income tax substitution in the country’s revenue collecting. The fact that accountants don’t regard it as income tax, is merely using narrow accounting framing and designation. The effect it has is that most people pay a tax from their income. So the specialists may frown but forget that accounting methods are a human construct, not a force of nature.

          And we probably don’t want a society where people are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

          Of course we already have the two-or-three job employees. Often it is because they are part time, underemployed, working poor, trying for better. But in our semi-aristocratic (not meritocratic) society, the people have again become serfs to be thrown a ‘coin purse’, not citizens.

          If you are influential in tax circles, and would like to see them become virtuous and not vicious circles, could you prevail on others to remove the secondary tax which I consider is so far outdated it could be from last century, oops back a bit, 19th century. A persistent carbuncle on the hands of the strugglers. It comes from the days when double-dipping was regarded as OTT. Now it is often needed by two-three job VIPs (very imporant parents, and singles too). Bloody ridiculous, stopping people from raising themselves from poverty.

          And if you choose to take on this task, then what about stopping the BUM (Beneficiary Ultimate Maul) whereby benefits, which for decades have been set beneath the amount needed to live at a reasonable level, and then any extra earnings achieved, apart from small earnings, has resulted in the cancellation of previous grants allowed. So ensuring that every effort to raise income and build a better life, results in being knocked back to a little above square one, with expenses incurred that diminish income to below square one. Fiendish charity with a sneer, not individual and family support for self-sufficiency and capacity- building.

          • gem 7.1.1.2.1

            ‘GST is in effect, an income tax substitution in the country’s revenue collecting.’
            Exactly, which is why the meme that the top 10% pay 70% of income tax should not go unchallenged.

            • cricklewood 7.1.1.2.1.1

              In percentage terms I would agree but the reality is the more your earn the more you spend hence the more gst you pay. If you’ve got 200 to spend you’ll pay 30 if you spend $1000 @ 150…
              Unless you speak in % its an argument thats hard to win.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What a load of bollocks.

                If you’ve got $200 and your bills are $200 then you’ll spend $200
                If you’ve got $1000 and your bills are $200 then you’ll spend $200

                Both represent $30 in GST but one is 15% of the total while the other is 3%.

                Huge fucken difference.

                • McFlock

                  and X amount goes into savings, or maybe a company on the side that sorts your house, or something. Not just on retail goods.

                • cricklewood

                  Got more spend more… cant have a herne bay lifestyle on a manurewa budget. Still pay gst on the cleaner the gardener the expensive wine etc.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That’s an illusion. The spending may, and probably will, go up but it won’t go up by the full amount as you assume. At most it’ll probably double to $400 while the rest is invested and start to add to the exponential income increases that investing allows but, here’s the thing, it only allows it for the rich in the first place.

                    • cricklewood

                      No maybe and probably about it, I work for people that spend $10000 + per month on cleaners, florists, gardeners, lawn care, pool maintenance etc So in dollar terms (not as a percentage of income) they would easily pay a lot more in gst than the average person.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But it’s the percentage of income part that’s important. Someone paying 20% in income tax and another 10% in GST is paying 30% in income tax – the same as those in the highest bracket and the GST won’t be adding 10% of income to their tax rate – it’ll be more like 3% for those just over the bracket and less than 1% for those on over $100,000.

                      GST was brought in so that top tax rates could be brought down from the 66% that they were at. Essentially, the poor had to pay more so that the rich could get lower tax rates.

            • cricklewood 7.1.1.2.1.2

              In percentage terms I would agree but the reality is the more your earn the more you spend hence the more gst you pay. If you’ve got 200 to spend you’ll pay 30 if you spend $1000 @ 150…
              Unless you speak in % its an argument thats hard to win.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.2.2

            +1 Greywarbler

          • RedBaronCV 7.1.1.2.3

            Secondary tax is not an extra tax it is the PAYE tax on a second job at a flat rate in the dollar (and the IRD will adjust that rate for you if asked) – and at year end square up someone who earns $30000 from one job pays the same tax as someone who earns $30000 from three jobs. Nobody has the number of working hours they do over a year included in their tax calculation.
            If second jobs were not taxed then the high earnrs would be first off the blocks, working two hours in the morning for Coy X and the rest of the time for Coy Y untaxed but of course doing the same job the whole day. it would be far tooo easy for the wealthy to fiddle.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          But yes, the point needs to be that those who have been successful have a responsibility to ensure our society is set up so that the next generation is able to have as many people with the same degree of success.

          Actually, the point needs to be made that it’s the rich that are preventing anybody else from being successful as they accumulate all the nations resources to themselves and won’t let anybody else use them.

    • Olwyn 7.2

      But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.

      Indeed. This shows up clearly if you consider that a group of people who had no money whatsoever would be paying nil tax, while those who had money could then crow that they were paying all the tax.

    • Damien Grant 7.3

      so long as the equity is for those in New Zealand. Equity for the poor in the third world, why don’t you care about the poor in the third world?

      You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor; and you call me selfish!

      • dv 7.3.1

        >>You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor

        I assume you choose to live here!!!

        • mickysavage 7.3.1.1

          The heart of a libertarian has no space for the concept of a community.

          • Bill 7.3.1.1.1

            The heart of a corporatist fraud – one who seeks to veil himself with carefully chosen aspects of libertarianism – nah, actually they have no heart at all, and precious little brain.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.3.2

        @ Damien Grant

        Oh you really are a moron running on a whole lot of misguided assumptions aren’t you.

        Please could you explain to me how someone on $12 000 per year or even on DPB amounts manages to rip off the system by $130 000 and how that figure of $130 000 is not an extreme case-scenario.

        No, actually forget it – you are likely to be committed to believing your delusions and you are clearly committed to misinforming as many people as possible just so that the small minded thugs you work for can get more profits despite the fact that they have already got extreme wealth.

        What a complete sham this country’s media has become.

        n.b: Usually I am reasonably polite – however I make an exception for you.

        • BM 7.3.2.1

          You claim more than one benefit.
          Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.

          This is not that uncommon.

          • Bill 7.3.2.1.1

            really.

          • mickysavage 7.3.2.1.2

            Citation needed. Go on BM just a little bit of proof, please …

            • BM 7.3.2.1.2.1

              Just explaining how some one on a benefit can rack up a large amount fraud.

              Proof is just what I’ve read and heard.

              From what I’ve read the DPB is the one benefit where a lot of fraud seems to go on.
              People claiming benefits when they shouldn’t.

          • McFlock 7.3.2.1.3

            “not that uncommon”

            Cite, pls, and compared to tax evasion.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.3.2.1.4

            O.k BM, thanks that is a start – now as others have already mentioned – you need to supply some links to show that this is the type of fraud that is being committed – because it is a fairly serious type of fraud and therefore serious accusation to be making

            I, however, provide an article here from Stuff which I quote:

            More than 3000 alleged welfare cheats receiving a total of $33.7 million a year have been caught in the past six months.

            [Calculations: $33, 700, 000 divided by 3, 000 = $11,233]

            This article indicates that the amount of money that the people were allegedly defrauding the system works out to be no greater than $11, 300 per person.

            **Please do keep it in mind that this is probably the amount required to pay back, not what they have ripped off .**

            So your theory doesn’t sound like it would be the most likely form of fraud going on amongst beneficiaries now does it?

            And Damien Grant’s ‘$130 000 average’ is starting to sound like a extreme case-scenario, now isn’t it?

          • freedom 7.3.2.1.5

            I got messaged that BM was spouting rubbish beyond belief, i admit, i got curious

            guess the news is true

            BM
            Yes benefit fraud exists.
            Yes some people work systems to their advantage.
            Sometimes it is legal, what did the PM call it “legitimate tax avoidance”
            Sometimes it is not.

            Often it is proven to be an accountancy error within the departments involved.
            It has also been admitted by the MSD that in some cases the person accused was actually legally entitled to much more assistance than that offered by the department.

            Returning to your comment though,
            “Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.”

            Have you any idea of what level of ID is needed to receive a benefit?
            Have you considered the cross-checking of data that is involved?
            http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/online-services/apply/index.html#Beforeyoubegin3
            http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/what-to-bring/financial-assistance.html

            This is not like signing up for a Supermarket give-away programme.

            For multiple benefits, a person must meet the obligations above for multiple identities and consequently defraud at least three government departments:
            The Ministry of Social Development
            The Inland Revenue Department
            The Department of Internal Affairs

            Other departments that are regularly involved in benefit application ID confirmation are:
            The New Zealand Police
            The Department of Justice
            The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

            A person must successfully and repeatedly negotiate this well connected web of multi-departmental fraud to continue to receive any funds.

            It is difficult to accept that even those in possession of the sophisticated personal capacity to manage so layered an activity, can achieve this without some level of direct manipulation of data from inside one or more of the departments involved.

            • BM 7.3.2.1.5.1

              You’re right it’s certainly a lot harder to do the multiple name fraud trick this days especially with the sharing of data etc.

              I should have added that to the bottom of my original post to blue leopard.

              • freedom

                Ok BM, if you say so,
                but just to be crystal in my own understanding . . .

                You want the readers of The Standard to believe you would have voluntarily added information to your original post to blue leopard, that would only have highlighted its inherent implausibility.

                ( if you had only thought of it sooner )

                • McFlock

                  indeed. It’s a “lot harder”, but “not that uncommon”. Shit, it’s as if as soon as one loses their job, they become a moriarty of identity theft and fraud.

                • Bill

                  Hmm. Let’s try it

                  You claim more than one benefit.
                  Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.

                  This is not that uncommon.

                  it’s certainly a lot harder to do the multiple name fraud trick this days especially with the sharing of data etc.

                  Not sure how that changes the assertion other than to suggest that people claiming entitlements are, not simply criminal, but smarter criminals than in ye olde days. ;-)

                • BM

                  If you look at the original post Blue leopard wrote

                  Please could you explain to me how someone on $12 000 per year or even on DPB amounts manages to rip off the system by $130 000 and how that figure of $130 000 is not an extreme case-scenario.

                  I then supplied a method that people have used to rip the tax payer off and pocket the amount of money Blue leopard was talking about.

                  That was the crux of of post.

                  • Bill

                    Possibly people co-habiting, quite understandably and justifiably claiming separate entitlements. Then they get ‘pinged’ and the entire total of the two benefits + any top ups such as TAS and accommodation costs is multiplied by a large number of years WINZ claim they have been co-habiting.

                    What you did was repeat an old piece of spin about WINZ being ripe for the ripping by people who would have to obtain false identities from the Birth and Deaths register…

                    …not uncommon, according to your comment.

                  • wtl

                    I then supplied a method that people have used to rip the tax payer off and pocket the amount of money Blue leopard was talking about.

                    What a dishonest idiot you are. You have done no such thing, you have merely supplied a highly difficult or implausible method that can only be, as blue leopard originally suggested, an extreme case-scenario.

                    • McFlock

                      at ten or twenty times the average amount, it would seem to be a somewhat exceptional case of benefit fraud.

                      Certainly nothing to indicate that the use of false identities is common amongst the few beneficiaries who are benefit fraudsters.

                    • Bill

                      Oh dear, BM. Do you bother to read the links you provide to back up your arguments?

                      Dudeck defrauded Winz between February 2002 and October 2012 by not revealing that she was not only living with someone, but was also married to them.

                      Throughout period she claimed $78,321.98 from the domestic purposes benefit, $69,769.83 of invalid’s benefit and $31,921.87 from an accommodation supplement.

                      She also received several special needs grants; $1582.75 for a fence and $270 for food, along with $265.05 childcare subsidies.

                      &

                      Dudeck now claims the dubious title of Waikato’s worst benefit fraudster, after overtaking Sandra Epere, 52, who was last year sentenced for claiming more than $186,075 over 19 years after claiming a benefit while married.

                      Notice how the ‘fraud’ is the cumulative total of all entitlements claimed during the period?

                    • wtl

                      Actually, no, as others have already pointed out. You’ve still done nothing more than show that amounts in excess of $100K are at the extreme end. If you can’t read, then the key word in your article is “worst” when blue leopard was talking about the average.

        • RedBaronCV 7.3.2.2

          There have been a couple of very large fraudsters which are no doubt bumping the averages. At one stage MSD uncovered a fraudster who had invested very successfully the large sums he took and actually returned a profit to them

      • mickysavage 7.3.3

        One step at a time Damien. Wanting equity in Aotearoa is not inconsistent with wanting equity throughout the world.

        • Damien Grant 7.3.3.1

          I would disagree here Mickey.

          People around the world vote for social welfare in their nations but never care enough about poverty in their neighbours to do much about it. Think about the hostility to free trade; which benefits the poor workers in third world nations at the expense of labour in the first world.

          If you assume, as I do, that people do what is in their own interests, then this makes sense; it doesn’t matter what people say, only what they do.

          If we really cared about third poverty we would do something about it. We don’t, never have, are not likely to in the future.

          For my money, the best way to help the poor in overseas nations is to trade with them; buy their goods and encourage their governments to knock down their trade barriers and allow their people’s to buy from us.

          • srylands 7.3.3.1.1

            Yes exactly. Most commentators here oppose both bilateral and multilateral trade liberalisation. They therefore don’t care about the poor. Or they think they do but lack the cognitive ability to make the link between policies and effects. The good news is that the world inches towards the correct policies. That includes New Zealand. If we want to remain a prosperous country there is no alternative but to continue an economically rational policy framework.

            A good outcome for New Zealand would be a Labour-National coalition. If Labour loses the next two elections that will be on the cards. But it will require Labour to return to its Roger Douglas roots.

            • McFlock 7.3.3.1.1.1

              Or they think they do but lack the cognitive ability to make the link between policies and effects.

              That’s because we keep comparing it with reality.

              Good luck with the labnat coalition – it’d fuck both parties, leaving NZ1, the greens and mana against act and the cons.

            • Sacha 7.3.3.1.1.2

              “require Labour to return to its Roger Douglas roots”

              Hilarious. More, more.

            • mickysavage 7.3.3.1.1.3

              “return to its Roger Douglas roots”

              That was a mutated bastard of an offshooted root …

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.3.1.1.4

              If we want to remain a prosperous country there is no alternative but to continue an economically rational policy framework.

              We don’t have an economically policy framework.

              The block of cheese in my fridge is product of NZ, wrapped in Australia and then sold in NZ.

              There’s absolutely no way you can call that economically rational.

          • McFlock 7.3.3.1.2

            That’s because you don’t differentiate between exploitative neo-slavery and legitimate trade.

      • Poission 7.3.4

        You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor; and you call me selfish!

        You set up a tax haven and you rob the third world countries,you rob the governments of first world countries (the us for instance would be in fiscal surplus if transnational income was fully taxed )

        Most third world countries would also have a fiscal surplus,and dependence on aid would be mitigated.

        The hypocrisy is evident, Macbride (The District attorney in the dotcomcase) law firm set up the offshore trusts for citigroups money laundering activities or Dunne actively resisted change to offshore tax haven legislation.

        http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/216-global-taxes/52401-how-tax-havens-plunder-the-poor.html

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.5

        Damien Grant, are you a boring slogan machine that shows little capacity for thought or what?

        I don’t think you know the first thing about the developing world, let alone care.

        • Damien Grant 7.3.5.1

          Yes, as it happens.

          I have been there, trade with people there and buy goods and services directly and import their product to New Zealand as well as pay for financial services.

          I will not claim that I care, but I do think that the small amount of business I do there makes a difference to the business owners and their staff in those nations.

      • Stephanie Rodgers 7.3.6

        I can’t put it any better than Elizabeth Warren:

        “You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

        Quoted here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/elizabeth-warren-there-is-nobody-in-this-country-who-got-rich-on-his-own/

        • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1

          Stephanie;

          yes, this is a good argument in favour of a welfare state. I like it because it is not based on the assumption that because one person is poor that the state has the right to come and take my money by force to help them.

          My response, which is by necessarily going to be brief; is this;

          All of those things; roads, education, etc etc; would have happened without the state. You do not need the government to do those things.

          I am a libertarian, not an anarchist, so I do believe in the state providing law and order, but I do not think that the state should be taking my money by force to educate other people’s children, especially if those children’s parents can afford to pay for their own kids study. The fact that they have done this in the past and we have an educated workforce does not mean it is the only way to proceed nor even the best way to proceed.

          Damien

          • dv 7.3.6.1.1

            >> All of those things; roads, education, etc etc; would have happened without the state. You do not need the government to do those things.

            Name ONE state in the world that educate all the people without state involvement.

            • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1.1.1

              Name one state in the world in 1890 that gave women the vote.

              Name one state in the world in 1970 that allowed gay marriage.

              Name one state in the world in 2012 that legalised the sale of marijuana.

              • McFlock

                but today, states have supplied all of those things. And roads, etc.

                Whereas private enterprise has still never provided universal education, or transport infrastructure, without state involvement.

                • Damien Grant

                  yet private enterprise delivers food, develops medicine, water, telecommunications and so much else with ease. Why do you think that education, which isn’t a difficult thing to competently deliver, would be so hard for a profit driven firm to do?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    He’s an education expert now too. Not hard to deliver to the hungry victims of his banal evil? Yeah nah.

                  • mickysavage

                    But Damien that is the point. Private Enterprise does not do these things by itself. It relies on state infrastructures and communities and workers to achieve this. And the quality of education delivered by state action is very good thank you very much. Why do you think that only the mighty market is capable of delivering?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      He doesn’t think. He’s reading from the book of dogma.

                    • Damien Grant

                      Mickey;

                      Agreed, up to a point. I am not saying that only the market could provide these things. The current system works. I am not disputing that; but if the state was not there why do you think that private enterprise would not provide it?

                      Communities, workers, business and families would all continue if the welfare state was rolled back. Parents would still want their kids to get the best education possible. Private firms, in my view, could provide quality education for a lower cost than the state can.

                      There is also a philosophical issue about how taxes are raised. I believe it is immoral to use fore to raise taxes. Despite this; I still think that compulsory taxes is the only way to ensure that there a s state able to protect its citizens against anarchy so for me there is a trade-off; the lesser of two evils.

                      At some level, you are likely to agree with me here; the use of force is immoral; but we diverge on where we draw the line on that trade off. You, if I may assume, think that use of compulsion to raise taxes to provide taxes for the poor in acceptable. I do not.

                    • Sacha

                      “The current system works. I am not disputing that; but if the state was not there why do you think that private enterprise would not provide it?”

                      Because it never has. You’re a fantasist – which is fine if you keep it to yourself, or those nice men in white coats.

                    • Bill

                      You’re a strange brainless creature Damien. That’s the second comment on this thread where you have demonstrated an absolute paucity in understanding with regards libertarianism – or your own positioning.

                      I still think that compulsory taxes is the only way to ensure that there a s state able to protect its citizens against anarchy so for me there is a trade-off; the lesser of two evils.

                      See – what you are stating is that the raising of taxes protects us from ourselves. But not only that, you refer to the philosophy and tradition you (in part) appropriate (and happily wrap around your misanthropic corporatism) as evil?!

                      edit – a sensible position a libertarian can take towards the state is that it protects us from corporatism.

                      edit 2. Only a corporatist would suggest the state be withered with the exception of its ‘law and order’ functions… lest people get a bit uppity about being subjected to the full ravages of corporate rule ;-)

                  • McFlock

                    Firstly, private enterprise only does those things with the active assistance of the public service.

                    Secondly, a firm might be able to run a school, maybe even without fucking it up. Maybe even without backhanded public assistance (although good luck on all three at the same time). But it will never be able to provide univeral education. For all children. Even the ones whose parents can’t pay.

                    • Damien Grant

                      ” provide universal education”

                      McFlock; lets assume you are right.

                      If there are some children whose parents cannot provide for their schooling, and if I am being honest this is a given, then we do have a problem and the problem is larger than the individual child because an uneducated child who disengages from society imposes high externalities.

                      However, in my universe, which I admit is a long way from this one, the marginal cost of private education is going to be very low. If the state wasn’t there uncles, grandparents, whanau, church, businesses, someone will step in. As a general rule there is a huge degree of good-will and protective instincts when it comes to children.

                      As a species we derive a deep level of pleasure from helping children we have an even tangential connection with. Why this is so I am not going to speculate but there is no doubting it is the case.

                      Currently, we can ignore these children because we have abrogated our collective responsibility for them to the state; and I think that this has not worked.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Currently, I ignore these children because I have abrogated my responsibility.

                      FIFY

                    • Bill

                      Hey Grant. You going to front up about your corporatist political beliefs?

                      I see your last comment falls back to the default position of ‘washing your hands’ of any social responsibility while making disingenuous appeals to private charity.

                      Your poison – please stop trying to give it an air of respectability by mislabeling it as libertarianism – is corporatism. You are a corporatist. An ideology that forebearers of many people on this blog went to war to halt and roll back. Ironically, it’s likely your own family also had members fighting against the same shit and possibly dying because of it.

                    • McFlock

                      Can you show us a real-world example of any country or society that has >90% of its children made ready for tertiary-level training (incl polytech/trades) using only private education?

                      the problem is larger than the individual child because an uneducated child who disengages from society imposes high externalities.

                      Shit like that is why people think you are a broken, sociopathic failed attempt at being a person. The problem with turning out uneducated people is not the effects on us, the primary problem is because of its effects on them. Even if it had not negative externalities, it would still be a problem.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    yet private enterprise delivers food, develops medicine, water, telecommunications and so much else with ease.

                    No they don’t why else do you think that the government had to step in to get nation’s telecommunications updated?

                    And here’s the real kicker – it was the state that built them in the first place. All that the private sector has done since privatisation is to rip monopoly rents out of the community.

                  • Lee Churchman

                    The answer is that education produces significant positive externalities and counters significant negative externalities. Everyone knows what the standard economic model says about these and market based systems. That’s why Libertarianism is generally regarded as a joke theory among politically sophisticated people these days. It’s as dead as communism, although you don’t seem to have received the news.

                    And it’s only “your money” according to your own dubious set of moral principles. Markets distribute according to supply and demand, not any moral principle of desert.

                  • Rodel

                    Education is not “delivered” It is an interactive process requiring competent trained professionals.. Health also is not delivered..hard concept to grasp for some people.

                  • Flip

                    @Damien Grant 6:25pm

                    Not universally. Only to those who could pay. It was only delivered to those who could not pay by the state and a few morally motivated organisations. Never initially by a profit motive.

              • Poission

                Name one state in the world in 1890 that gave women the vote.

                Pitcairn island a half century earlier

            • Tanenui 7.3.6.1.1.2

              DG is dreaming of old days: SOCIAL OPPRESSION, private schools/teachers for the Bourgeoisie and Monarchs. If you would have studied European history you would know compulsory education was formed by monarchs and governments or do you wish ill-treatment of young children at age of around three who should work on fields and in coal mines. Compulsory schools were introduced 1592 by a monarch, followed by Norway in 1739 and 1882 by other European countries.

          • Bill 7.3.6.1.2

            I am a libertarian (…), so I believe in the state providing law and order.

            No. That belief makes for either a statist or a parasitic corporatist. In your case, taking your other mutterings into account, the latter.

            edit. Now are you going to engage with the issues…or is it time to roll out the barely arse covering deflections and distractions?

          • karol 7.3.6.1.3

            They are all our children. Our society would have no future without them.

            • srylands 7.3.6.1.3.1

              “They are all our children. Our society would have no future without them.”

              Um no they are not. And yes our society would have an assured future without many of them. We (i.e the Government) should be providing no incentives for poorly educated and those on low incomes (they usually come paired – I wonder why?) to have kids.

              Any gap in our desired population can be met through skilled migration. Our future should be (1) children from high income parents who can pay for them and (2) skilled migration.

              There – problem solved.

              • McFlock

                Is that your final solution, as it were?

                By the way, it doesn’t count as a godw;n if you were literally preaching that society would be better off without large numbers of people from a single defineable social group. I mean, that’s just fucked in the head.

                Although in the case of john key, you might have been correct. But that’s about him as an individual.

              • Mike S

                Right, and where are all the consumers going to come from, without whom the entire economic and financial system collapses?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.6.1.4

            Ann O’Connor couldn’t write decent fiction either.

            But what happens in the real world is that the state comes and takes people’s shelter by force, because Damien helped enable “market” rents. And desperate parents have their children taken from them by preventable infectious diseases, because Damien didn’t want to pay the taxes that he benefits from every day.

            What’s worse is that this drivel he fatuously imagines is a “school of thought” isn’t even his own creation, this preening puffed up parrot to whom, the best response, as with all Libertarian cretins is “Polly wanna cracker?”

          • Stephanie Rodgers 7.3.6.1.5

            Damien, I wasn’t making an argument “in favour of a welfare state”. I was responding to the part of your comment when you said:

            “You take my money by force to pay for your health care”

            (And you’ve repeated that same idea above with reference to education.)

            The point was that you benefit just as much from the state as the rest of us. And one day you may need healthcare. And even if you go private, the private system is dependent on the public system, which means your costs will be lower.

            • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1.5.1

              Ok. I understand. And about health care you are right but you are, however, responding to the system as it currently is.

              If the state did not provide universal health care the health care industry would still exist, but my real objection is about a compulsory regime where I must belong to the single payer system. It is true I may one day rely on the public health system but that is because I belong, against my will, to a collective system that I am unable to leave.

              The US is often touted as demonstrating the evil of private health care but I am unconvinced. Health care in the US is very expensive but that might be a simple matter of a wealthy society where the price of health care can be bid up in comparison to other nations where the standard of living is lover and the demand for health care lower.

              • McFlock

                leaving is as easy as getting on a plane.

              • Stephanie Rodgers

                “It is true I may one day rely on the public health system but that is because I belong, against my will, to a collective system that I am unable to leave.”

                This logic seems a bit weird. Isn’t it true that you may one day rely on the public health system because you may get sick or have an accident? Paying taxes doesn’t make you sick or injured.

                And in the mean time you get to benefit from living in a society where people don’t have to choose which finger they pay to get re-attached, or whether they have to take time off work to nurse a sick child instead of getting them to the doctor for preventative care. That kind of thing has a lot of flow-on effects in terms of productivity, stress, disposable income – and, of course, you yourself may benefit directly from it.

                • Sacha

                  “you get to benefit from living in a society where people don’t have to choose…”

                  If you’re rich enough, that only applies if you believe your personal moral integrity is affected by what’s around you. Oh, and society, it helps to believe in that.

                • mickysavage

                  Precisely. Damien do you think that there actually may be some benefit in belonging to a collective society?

      • greywarbler 7.3.7

        Damien Grant
        Your money is being taken from you. Laugh. It is given to you in return for the job you are lucky enough to get in the society you live in. There are even laws in this society that you can call on if it is not paid to you. And part of a modern, advanced society’s laws and advantages are that it provides health care that everyone can access.

        You think you’re living in a global economy – you talk accusingly of third world conditions. But you yourself live right here while still enjoying the advantages of cheap goods from the third world for which you could well afford to pay full price if made here in NZ.

        Having your cake and eating it too. The way that all selfish right wingers do. You sound like a peevish little boy who has to share some things with his neighbours when they come to play.

        • phillip ure 7.3.7.1

          “..You sound like a peevish little boy who has to share some things with his neighbours when they come to play..”

          best (non-curse-laden) description of grant..to date..

          ..phillip ure..

      • karol 7.3.8

        It’s only YOUR money until after tax is paid – taking back the money gained at the expense of people working hard to earn far too little.

        Why do CEOs get continual bones, pay rises etc, while those slogging on lower incomes barely get any pay rises?

        If people were paid fair wages to start with, the poor would be better off, and the wealthy wouldn’t have so much.

    • srylands 7.4

      “That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.”

      What a bizarre attitude! New Zealand has about 10 “rich” people. Someone on an income of $200,000 is not rich. If you have 2 or 3 kids to support, and live in Auckland, that doesn’t even leave you enough to buy and maintain a decent boat.

      Stop your obsession with taking OPM. Then you might be taken seriously.

      • freedom 7.4.1

        “Someone on an income of $200,000 is not rich. ”
        The only thing more harrowing than that statement is your [failed satirical] attempt to qualify it

        • srylands 7.4.1.1

          There is no fucking need to qualify it. $200,000 a year to raise a family in a decent lifestyle in Auckland is an inadequate income. That is why most households need two incomes to get ahead. If you get two professionals making $180K each then you are talking comfort.

          And these people DO pay all the fucking taxes. New Zealand has a neutral efficient tax system with high compliance.

          Go find a real social problem to whinge about. Stop acting like a fucking idiot.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.4.1.1.1

            Always nice to see an Objectivist get upset.

            Good on you for pointing out that wages are too low, though (well, apart from the fact that you didn’t mean to, it just slipped out when you lost your temper). Ha.

          • fender 7.4.1.1.2

            Great you have finally seen the sense in a large increase to the minimum wage sowrylands.

            Is it ok to be rude today, but not yesterday?

            • McFlock 7.4.1.1.2.1

              robot has incorporated new behaviour mod.

              I prefer it. The fucker can’t jump on the moral high-ground when it’s pointed out he doesn’t know even basic details of the NZ economy, like the gst rate.

          • McFlock 7.4.1.1.3

            kids getting skin infections so bad they need to be hospitalised is not a real problem?
            Because it’s the poor kids who are much more likely to have that happen than rich kids. Not to mention a myriad of other serious medical conditions.

            Now bitch about how uncomfortable someone is on $180k, you fucking tool.

            • Naki Man 7.4.1.1.3.1

              I think 180k is a big income and so is 149k but labour want to turn someone on 149k into a beneficiary when they have kids, what a joke.

          • greywarbler 7.4.1.1.4

            There is no fucking need for you to sit at your computer and turn out this sort of fantastical stuff Wrylands. You are trying to feed us false information or just that which your mind has skewed, so that you think it is correct. Go and do something useful, you just make us swear and you are a boil on the backside, find your own blog and put your peculiar World to rights.

            • Mainlander 7.4.1.1.4.1

              Ha Ha what a cry baby always telling people to get of this blog, why dont you go start your own blog where you can abuse others all day long if their opinion doesnt agree with yours

              • greywarbler

                It wouldn’t be as much fun as doing it here I get such a good crop of spongeheads. So I’ll stay here and I don’t give my accolade of attention to everybody so you don’t need to think I’m going to bother with you again.

          • amirite 7.4.1.1.5

            Yet those families with kids getting/earning $15,000 a year are expected to pay the rent, the health expenses, school fees, food etc etc, maybe save some and invest in sharemarket perhaps ?
            You are a fucking moron.

          • gem 7.4.1.1.6

            ‘$200,000 a year to raise a family in a decent lifestyle in Auckland is an inadequate income.’
            Don’t complain – it is the fiscal and economic policies you champion that radically drove up the price of living to the point where you need a six figure income to have a ”decent” life.
            It is a failure.
            The kind of country where a National government minister recommends people sell their work clothes to feed children.

    • KJT 7.5

      Income tax is only a proportion of total tax.

      Not to mention that over half of the nations wealthiest individuals pay tax on a declared income of less than 70k a year.

      In fact, most of the “total” tax paid, around 60%, comes from those on middle incomes.

  7. dave 8

    its how you do crime and anyway poor people smell , this reporter is a dick. as cunliffe has signalled if your evading paying your fare share watch out!
    we need to get serious about smoking these crooks out tax evasion is theft pure and simple they are criminals and should be treated as criminals .

  8. miravox 9

    Damien Grant has been convicted of dishonesty. There is no point at all in paying any attention to him.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10731661

    • tc 9.1

      Agreed but in the neolib fantasy world granny loves to project this proven dishonesty from a corporate undertaker make him ideal to be given a soapbox.

      Alongside Hide etc its quite a club granny has going, wonder how much longer mccarten will last in election year before a ‘refresh’.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Maybe he thinks this should put him in the running for a knighthood …

    • and he is that special kind of slime-bag lawyer..

      ..the real carrion-feeders of that dubious trade..

      ..he is a fucken bankruptcy-lawyer..?

      ..raking thru the entrails/profiting from..others’ failures..?

      ..beyond fucken irony..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Sacha 9.4

      “My failure was one of character and personal integrity. People who do not understand the drivers of their own mistakes are doomed to repeat them. My lesson was not to be smarter, but to approach life and myself differently.”

      If what you’re preaching nowadays is your idea of ‘character’ Damien then you really need to approach life rather a lot smarter and more in keeping with what other people have learned over human history about being a good person.

      Tell us about the last time you helped someone (not related to you) without a prospect of gain? And how your own motivation for that action fits with the beliefs you’re espousing publicly?

    • Paul 9.5

      And the Herald gives him a soapbox to spread his venom and poison.
      ACT get under 1% of the vote and this rag gives supporters of their views a significant amount of column inches. He who pays the piper…

    • Rodel 9.6

      miravox
      Yes. How come a convicted crim gets any space in a national newspaper?
      Oh I forgot hes an ACTor. Join the frauds.

      • miravox 9.6.1

        “How come a convicted crim gets any space in a national newspaper?”

        Yeah, i guess every crim deserves a second chance… if he was writing about knitting, gardening, or even straight up news I’d say fair enough.

        But he’s writing about money and linking it to an ideology that promotes greed – and that leads to financial trickery that can often lead to financial ‘dishonesty’ – of which he was convicted. I have a huge problem with him writing about that.

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    Grant is simply a fuckwit, writing shit for fuckwits. He’s not a serious commentator, he doesn;t believe the shit he writes. The arguments he makes aren’t genuinely held.

    When someone genuinely holds a belief and they change their mind on it, they explain why they have changed their mind.

    At the least, the acknowledge that they have changed their mind and address the arguments that they used to find persuasive, but have now changed their mind about.

    Grant does none of this. He makes shit arguments, because he’s a cheap intellectual bankrupt.

    He he is, arguing that tax cheats should get the book thrown at them:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fraud/news/article.cfm?c_id=213&objectid=10744938

    I believe in lower taxes and smaller government but once Parliament sets the rules they need to be followed, even if we do not like them.

    Tax fraudsters gain a competitive advantage, hurting honest firms and creating pressure on other taxpayers to follow suit, further undermining the tax base.

    New Zealand’s tax system works on the basis of voluntary compliance and the risk of getting caught is low. If the judiciary takes the view that tax fraud should be treated leniently, then rational individuals could be inspired to take their chances.

    The extent of this fraud is unknown but there is reason to believe it is substantial.

    When the IRD focused its attention on the horticulture industry last year, tax revenue jumped from $88 million to $150m.

    If there is going to be any deterrence it would help if judges and the sentences they imposed sent a clear message that if you are unlucky enough to get caught, the consequences are to be feared.

    You’ll note that he doesn’t address any of that in this piece today.

  10. Bill 11

    Beneficiary cheats, by contrast, are providing nothing to start with and seek to enrich themselves further by deception and dishonesty.

    Is the quiet (assumed?) moral underpinning that these assertions either flow from or are pinned to an example of the arguments/perspectives of Lakoff and Rosado that some have discussed in recent days?

  11. bad12 12

    Yes tax fraud is an ‘industry’ for those who are in business, what is needed of course is an ENABLER, in many of the larger high profile tax rorts it is the Tax Accountants who both enable and gain the lions share of the profits from these often complex tax rorts some of which involve shifting large amounts of cash off shore,

    A classic case of this would seem to be the renowned Graham Mac,(private prosecutor of ACTS John Banks),who enjoyed a years home detention for helping clients defraud the IRD for some 180,000 dollars and according to the Court kept the lions share of the rorting for Himself,

    It’s a classic meat in the sandwich situation where once compromised ‘the clients’ hell bent on not paying tax are in effect taxed by the crooked Tax Accountants who while giving ‘the clients’ a small return of less tax paid keep the biggest wad of cash and dare ‘the client’ complain???,

    ”Lately one or two have fully paid their due”, Wellington accountants David Rowley and Barrie Skinner were jailed for 8 years for running a tax evasion scheme with multiple clients involving millions of dollars, the two tax accountants were said to have kept millions of dollars of the defrauded tax monies for themselves,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/…/accountants-jailed-for-ird-fraud

    Such tax rorting is in fact, in my opinion, ‘organized financial crime’ and in a 2013 case,(which may be the Rowley/Skinner case i highlight above), an honest tax accountant,(i kid you not),who would not indulge His clients wishes to fraudulently lower their tax liabilities was happy to refer these clients on to a firm of accountants that would showing a high level of knowledge of and organization within the accounting ‘profession,’

    The real question that needs be asked of the Herald jonolist who scripted such a bizaare attack upon beneficiaries would have to be in the vein of ”have you a friend or relative currently facing charges of defrauding the IRD”

  12. Olwyn 13

    The sort of thing this man is spouting is extremely dangerous. Imagine the outrage if his accusation (a lack of contribution) was used to advocate greater punishment based on gender, race, age or such. Yet it could be the case that any of these groups would contribute less if their potential for contributing was rejected. In the main, this is the case with beneficiaries: if they contribute less in the fields that Grant sees as relevant, it is because their contribution in these fields has largely been rejected. There are no jobs for them. It is irresponsible for the NZ Herald to publish articles that declare any group of people to be legitimate targets for victimisation.

  13. Stephanie Rodgers 14

    Grant’s mathematics are pretty interesting, too. Even if you ignore all the other issues with his articles and take him at face value:

    If the average fraudster taking $800k is getting imprisoned for 25 months, that’s 1 month for every $32,000 they took.

    If the average benefit fraudster (who may not actually be a beneficiary at all) is taking $130k and getting a “paltry” 17 months they’re serving 1 month for every $7,600 they took. If they were judged on the same mathematical basis as the tax fraudster, they’d only serve four months.

  14. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15

    I really don’t understand how this sort of article by Grant is legally allowed to be printed. It really does appear to be full of shit.

    With any article conveying ‘information’ about benefit fraud I am constantly left questioning the amounts cited that ‘beneficiary fraudsters’ are ripping off the system.

    The unemployment benefit is approximately $12 000 a year (including accommodation supplement) how the heck does someone clock up $130 000? – that has to be the most extreme case.

    Is tax fraud and benefit fraud calculated in the same way?

    As I understand it anyone defrauding a benefit has to pay back the whole amount they received while doing so – not solely the amount that they ripped off.

    Is tax fraud the same? When some one is convicted of tax fraud – do they have to pay back all the wages and bonuses that they received while doing so? I don’t think so somehow

    This difference in calculation between Tax fraud and benefit fraud makes the benefit fraudsters appear to be taking a whole lot more off the system than they really are

    (Clearly it is a preventative measure to require benefit fraudsters to pay the whole benefit back (not just the amount that they ripped off ) – and probably an effective one – however to cite these amounts, as I suspect the msm/parliament/etc do, as being the amount of money that was ripped off the system is very misleading )

    • Bill 15.1

      Another facet of this (again, just from my understanding) is that a tax dodger who gets the jail does time in lieu of repaying monies gained. But somebody scamming welfare who gets the jail then has to repay any fraudulently obtained monies to WINZ … which is an inflated calculation (if my understanding is correct)

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15.1.1

        Bloody hell – the more one finds out the more it dawns on one how much of a rort against those in the most unfortunate circumstances this society has become.

        And this type of article by D’ Grunt leaves people with severely misinformed beliefs cultivating negative attitudes which are solely based on ‘made up shit’.

      • freedom 15.1.2

        let’s not forget that thanks to recent law changes by National the spouse and/or family of the convicted benefit fraudsters can also be charged and have property/income/assets siezed, where as the spouse or family of a tax cheat get sympathy tea and choccy biscuits, usually from the accountants and the lawyers who are grateful to have escaped any liability due to their well organised profit making operation.

        All in all today’s topics are actually making me quite angry, so to avoid falling into rampant abuse cycles, logic dictates … sunshine

        catch you later, have a good day folks

      • Mike S 15.1.3

        The figures for benefit fraud also include fraud committed by winz staff which is a good percentage of the total/ They also include overpayments of benefits which are certainly not deliberate on behalf of the beneficiary aqnd always have to be paid back.

  15. Bill 16

    I could suggest that many people receiving welfare entitlements have a real need to augment their income somehow. It’s a need for many, given the scandalously low level of payments, and therefore morally justifiable.

    Can’t quite see the same moral justification for tax fraud or dodging though. Not that, that stops an inverted moral argument infecting public discourse – the worthy, generally morally upstanding earners and the feckless a-moral or even criminal poor.

    If those on welfare entitlements are scamming to get an extra, desperately needed buck, then isn’t it time for all and sundry to get up in arms about immorally low payment levels? btw – my understanding is that a fraudulent welfare claim results in the entire claim being regarded as fraudulent and then the total of legitimate and dishonest component of the claim are added together to arrive at the total $ amount of the alleged fraud.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16.1

      +1 Bill

      Yes, while dishonesty is dishonesty and a behaviour I would like to see entirely discouraged and avoided – I agree with you that there are substantial differences between someone with very little ‘working the system’ to get enough to get by on and someone with HEAPs ‘working the system’ so they can have MORE.

  16. Tracey 17

    Mickey

    Your graph needs to be a poster…

    Labour need to be shown it alot. They might finally stand up on behalf of the former workers now unlucky enough to be on benefits. Lets not tar the majority with the minority…. j less we accept all business owners are crooks cos of the tax fraudsters.

    • mickysavage 17.1

      Sourced by the looks of it from Jacinda Ardern and I agree Tracey it should be made a poster. BLiP?

  17. freedom 18

    Should we dare mention to Mr Grant the majority of his large scale ‘benefit fraud’ is actually committed by, or implicitly involves, people employed by the Ministry or its agencies and these crimes involving tens of thousands of tax dollars are rarely crimes committed by beneficiaries of the welfare system?

    When it is a bona fide beneficiary, it has been regularly proven to be involving much smaller figures, often only a few hundred dollars and many of these are simple accounting discrepancies within the ever-changing Ministry processes.

    As we well know, when hate speech is brewing, facts will only spoil the flavour

    • Damien Grant 18.1

      “should we dare mention to Mr Grant the majority of his large scale ‘benefit fraud’ is actually committed by, or implicitly involves, people employed by the Ministry or its agencies and these crimes involving tens of thousands of tax dollars are rarely crimes committed by beneficiaries of the welfare system?”

      I have not seen this reported anywhere; this would change the nature of the crime from benefit fraud to something like ‘theft as a servant’. It was not mentioned in the Marriott report.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1

        “I have not seen this reported anywhere”

        I don’t blame you for not reading the papers or watching TV news – I am guessing you, more than most, will appreciate how much misinformation is embedded in these misinformation sources

        http://www.verify.co.nz/news-theftnz.php#FortyFive

        “Forty-five WINZ staff dismissed for $2.2 million of fraud
        20 May 2007

        Between 2001 and 2006, Work & Income dismissed 45 of its staff for frauds committed against the Government welfare agency. In most instances the frauds involved employees claiming welfare benefits for themselves, whilst they were working for WINZ. Some staff colluded with friends and family to pay them benefits to which they were not entitled to. More than $2.2 million was stolen.”

        Also:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4839741/WINZ-unit-fails-to-stop-staff-fraud

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9087915/Home-detention-for-Winz-fraud

      • freedom 18.1.2

        “I have not seen this reported anywhere;”

        Odd, the NZH has printed streams of words about it numerous times, if memory serves, just last year in fact. Though usually the stories have disguised the little details, like how the crime actually transpired. Most often this bit is just left to the readers’ imaginations.

        Tiresome though they be, sometimes facts are buried in the last few lines so as not to offend those who believe headlines are more important. You are correct about the difference in offences. Those who were part of the Ministry or an agency thereof, do most certainly get charged under another crime, but the beneficiaries who were caught up in the crime, often younger family members pressured into the scam, they get charged under the benefit fraud that makes the figures you love look so attractive to those promoting the agenda of beneficiary bashing. Do you see the problem there? Without the upper level assistance, the fraud could not have happened. But to keep the hate speech growing the victims of the fraud get treated very differently than the designers of it. No-one wants to be reminded about well paid employees of the state doing bad things. Not when there are lazy bludgers to …well… bludgeon.

        Can I be bothered doing your job for you and researching the links and delivering them to your plate, frankly no. You can hire me to locate it for you. $1200 a day should do it, plus g.s.t and an allowance of $45 an hour for my computer time. Then, at least for a while I can stop receiving the $223.70 a week I survive on. I estimate a three to five week turn around for the data. In return you will get a well presented openly biased self-opined paragraph, maybe two.

        • Damien Grant 18.1.2.1

          Dear freedom,

          I am unsure that this fact changes the thesis of my column, but in any event, I dispute that there was any hate speech. Contrast that with the ‘fraudster, moron, vile..’ that is used liberally on this site.

          In any event, thanks for your offer of assistance but I may pass up on it for now.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.2.1.1

            Since you were unaware of this fact, how many other facts have eluded you on the short journey to your opinion? I say “your” opinion, but of course, it isn’t; you’re just another parrot, squawking away.

            Oh, and your self-confessed desire to create a class of legally defined sub-humans is well beyond the day-to-day hate speech that we get around here.

          • mickysavage 18.1.2.1.2

            Damien I would be interested in your response to the contents of the post. Perhaps you could comment on:

            1. Your figures do not seem to match up to the research. For instance the rate of imprisonment for tax fraud appears to be a third of that for welfare fraud.
            2. Can you comment on whether the average for the amount involved for welfare fraud where incarceration happens is $67k 0r $130k?
            3. As noted by Stephanie above it appears that welfare fraudsters get much longer periods of incarceration per dollar involved than tax fraudsters.
            4. How can someone be considered to be a “net contributor” when they have taken such large amounts of money from the state?

            • Damien Grant 18.1.2.1.2.1

              Mickey;

              1 and 2) I got the data from Lisa Marriott’s study so I can’t go further; it is a really nice piece of research; accessible and easy to read and understand.

              http://sydney.edu.au/law/parsons/ATTA/docs_pdfs/conference_papers/Marriott.pdf
              http://www.victoria.ac.nz/research/expertise/business-commerce/fraud-sentencing

              3) does not appear to be a question but a statement and yes, this was the point of the Marriott paper

              4) The debate, raised by Jacinda Ardern and others, goes beyond the obvious criminal tax activity of GST rorts etc and towards creative accounting of the sort that allows Facebook and others to pay very little tax.

              I was arguing that firms like Facebook, even if they pay little income tax, would (I am making an assumption here) pay large amounts of other tax; GST; customs etc. A wealthy surgeon, such as the likes of Penny and Hooper, were paying a lot more tax in absolute terms than the average citizen; so I was arguing that they had not actually taken anything; merely that they had failed to pay what everyone wanted them to.

              Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought; so not paying tax means avoiding getting robbed. This is very different from the socialist view of the world that prevails here and I accept that; to a sense we are talking past each other because our underlying assumptions are completely different.

              I hope that helps.

              Love the vulture picture, by the way!

              Damien

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It isn’t a school. It isn’t thought.

              • fender

                “Tax is theft”

                So take the crown to court, like they took you to court (and won). If you fail to win the case, please fuck off beyond the NZ EEZ permanently.

                • srylands

                  Charming

                  • McFlock

                    says the robot that three hours ago typed “Stop acting like a fucking idiot.”

                    Have you switched back to insisting that people only use nice language while you advocate for policies that kill babies?

                  • bad12

                    SSLands you should go with Him, set up a little colony in Vanuatu, i hear they don’t have much in the way of a tax system,

                    They don’t have much in the way of anything else either and it will probably only take you and that other dickhead 10 or so years to make the connection between a tax system paved roads and a zillion other things that make up a functioning society far above the level of the stone-age than one that is barely two steps away…

              • Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought;

                I quote this in case anyone thought I was being unfair in calling you a libertarian idiot. Actually, I should apologise – based on the above, a more appropriate term would have been ‘naive, narcissistic libertarian idiot.’

              • McFlock

                you’re the ultimate freeloader – you get the benefits of social cooperation but try as hard as possible to avoid contributing.

                And when it comes to the crunch, you’ll be like Ayn Rand and take social welfare assistance.

                A vulture feeds on carrion – dead things. You’re more like ringworm or other parasites.

                I was arguing that they had not actually taken anything; merely that they had failed to pay what everyone wanted them to.

                So they accept the contract to do business in this country, yet refuse to abide by the full terms of that contract, and you think that’s fine.

              • Lee Churchman

                Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought; so not paying tax means avoiding getting robbed.

                The principle here is “garbage in, garbage out”. If you start with a patently ridiculous principle, you aren’t likely to end up with a sensible political program.

              • KJT

                Tax is payment for living in a functioning and cohesive society.

                If you object to paying for it, then, you are, of course, welcome to leave.

          • Bill 18.1.2.1.3

            Are you capable of engaging in any exchange around the details or substance of the argument you penned? Or is it all you can do to heft throw away lines along the avenue of – ‘didn’t know it – didn’t see it – I deny it – oh, and before I forget, did I say it’s about me, me, me, me!!!’?

            edit – i see ms has offered some concrete starting points

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.2.1.4

            @ Damien Grant

            Calling someone a moron is not hate speech, you moron; do you get anything correct?

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hate+speech

          • McFlock 18.1.2.1.5

            dipshit,
            the only word in your list used against a group of people as opposed to your odious self is “fraud”. Tax evasion is fraud.

            As an accomplished fuckwit, you obviously are incapable of distinguishing “hate speech” (speech designed to encourage hate against a group of people), “abuse” (you fucking dickhead) and “avoiding euphemism” (calling it “fraud” rather than “evasion” or “technically over-reaching the bounds of legitemate minimisation”). You great steaming turd.

          • Paul 18.1.2.1.6

            How on earth does the Herald give sociopaths like you a public voice?

            • McFlock 18.1.2.1.6.1

              Because it’s owned by the rich.

              Anyone who doesn’t believe in class warfare just needs to see that the rich employ this fuckwit to make the poor feel better about being fucked.

  18. Grant’s a libertarian idiot. It’s like Shelley Bridgeman had a sex change and the testosterone made her obnoxious and overly-fond of Ayn Rand.

    • does grant know that rand was a welfare-claimant..(in her words..)..’a leech’..?

      ..and for many many years..?

      ..(kinda like marx taking up white-slavery (or becoming a bankruptcy-lawyer?)..as a later career-option..)

      ..not many rand-ites know that fact about their hero(ine)..

      ..and seeing as grant seems to know s.f.a. about not much..in total..

      ..and even gets those few ‘facts’ he has wrong..

      ..this is offered to him as an act of public-service..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Bill 19.2

      PM He may be an idiot and is probably a corporatist leach. One thing he isn’t, is a libertarian. (Oh, I know that in the US, libertarianism is a label appropriated by the far right. But it’s a solidly left tradition that has fuck all in common with the professed realities and ideas of the Damien Grants’ of this world.)

  19. instauration 20

    Is this the same Mr Damien Grant – director of Waterstone Insolvency ?
    I trust the returns that he furnishes to the IRD are prepared with the same integrity as those to the Companies Office ?
    So what is this directors residential address. ? – the heart of Albany industrial and the same as Mr Khov ?

    • Damien Grant 20.1

      why do you want to know where I live?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        It’s a pretty straightforward inquiry: if your residential address differs from that supplied, that goes to your credibility, and your trustworthiness. Or criminality.

      • instauration 20.1.2

        I just want to get a measure of your integrity with official returns to Government departments.

        • Damien Grant 20.1.2.1

          Hmmm.

          I think that this has taken a rather unpleasant turn. You are no longer debating this issue.

          Remember, you have the advantage of anonymity, I do not. I would prefer, it is really only my preference, I cannot stop you, that we keep this debate on the matters at hand.

          There is a large difference between looking me up on various government databases and making it known to me that you are doing so.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.2.1.1

            Things took an unpleasant turn when you suggested making untermensch before the law. Suck it up.

          • instauration 20.1.2.1.2

            We all need to play by the rules Damien.
            Even Dame Sian has made adjustments in this regard. Lulu Zhang was rebuked too, under section 12 2(b) of the Companies Act.

  20. karol 21

    from reading Damien’s stuff, i conclude:

    He only cares about himself, and maybe also his children.

    He doesn’t give a shit if some people are struggling to survive on very little.

    He doesn’t give a shit that he could not be as well off as he is without all the infrastructure of society.

    He doesn’t give a shit about the way businesses (led by the corporates) get people to work for them for too little pay, so the corporate top dogs can siphon off more profits than any one person needs.

    Selfishness and greed.

    • Sacha 21.1

      “Selfishness and greed” – and repeatedly promoting those is nothing but immoral. Fortunately Act’s polling suggests about 99% of New Zealanders agree. Why our major media outlets give such a fringe religion so much coverage, I don’t know. Many people deserve that megaphone far more.

    • Paul 21.2

      And the Herald, now confirmed as a racist rag, publishes the poison he writes.

      • karol 21.2.1

        Instead, the MSM should be publishing more stuff like this blog post; “Who needs a break?’

        It begins:

        So we have two very interesting articles in the papers today. Colin Espiner at Fairfax thinks our minimum wage should be $16 and Damien Grant at NZ Herald we should cut tax cheats some slack because they contribute to society. This divide created between the job creators and the job doers suggests that one is more superior to the others. When Elizabeth Warren in her famous quote said that the so-called job creators didn’t just do it on their own, she was telling the truth that those at the top and their advocates do not want to hear. From the day labourer to the PHD, everyone contributes to society. It’s off the backs of their hard work, their education, their brain, their hands, their words that we as society get to develop, we get to progress, we invent new things, we mass produce those inventions, we come up with new ideas, we get interesting novels, movies, tv shows and songs. Sure the marketplace has decided that laptops are more valuable than chocolate cake and maybe they are, but the marketplace has failed spectacularly when it comes to compensating for ‘hard work’ fairly. Maybe the 85 people who have the wealth of half the world’s population really work as hard as half the world’s population and had exactly the same opportunities as half the world’s population but somehow I really doubt it.

    • Bill 21.3

      Karol, if you read the political belief’s of the 30s coming out of the likes of Germany, Italy or Spain, then you’d see exactly what Damien is channeling.

      Calling him out for being ‘selfish and greedy’ is being far too charitable.

      • karol 21.3.1

        well, as you’ve pointed out above, so called “libertarians” these days talk individual responsibility but treat corporations as individual entities. A strange mix of contradictory beliefs used to justify the wealth and power of the corporate-backed elites.

  21. Paul 22

    Folk like Damien Grant are sociopaths.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Yes, but not all sociopaths become convicted criminals who excuse tax fraud with self-serving sophistry, like Damien.

  22. Damien Grant 23

    Have to go;

    thanks Mr Savage and Stephanie.

    Work to do.

  23. North 24

    There is no such thing as a “libertarian”……….entirely fictional beast. There is however a beast called a “lubertarian”. Think about it. To do with the world readying itself to be fucked by the money man. Grant is the gleefully narcissistic exemplar.

  24. North 25

    Oh sorry, I forgot to mention the expectation of “Thank you, Sir” in the denouement.

  25. irascible 26

    I reckon this piece from The Guardian provides the perfect response to Grant’s assertions that tax fraud deserves praise from the public because by doing so they’re contributing to the economy.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/05/benefits-debate-politicians-moral-obligations

  26. Murray Olsen 27

    Damien Grant is, at best, an amoral criminal. At worst, he is a creepy sociopath who thinks the answers to any problems can be found in a cute little treatise from Bavaria. He should not be given the time of day. I can only think that he is worried about being investigated by IRD and is preparing his defence in advance.

  27. Philj 28

    Xox
    I reckon Damien is trying the ‘shock Jock’ form of writing (I won’t refer to it as journalism). It’s unbalanced, blinkered and unworthy of a National publication. It also frames the issue in a distorted and mischievous way.

  28. bad12 29

    The whole thrust of Grant’s argument,(if we can really call such writing that), is that those who engage in an insolvency of a company and later are convicted of fraudulent activity surrounding that insolvency should not by Government regulation be barred from practicing in the field of insolvency for life,

    Grant using the Herald as an advertorial in a fit of naked self interest,

    The second point of note, Grants assertion that those involved in the multi-billion dollar tax fraud industry should suffer little punishment can only be answered via a pointed question,

    Has Mr Grant a relative currently under investigation by the IRD for major tax fraud and if the answer to that query is in the negative, has Mr Grant a close friend or business associate suffering such an investigation by the IRD???,

    Grants, at the least stupid, more likely a smoke and mirrors attempt to hide the real intent of His Herald article, assertion that Benefit Fraudsters should face harsher consequences than Tax Fraudsters rests solely on Grants false belief that Beneficiaries Never contribute to the tax base,

    Such an assertion is patently bullshit as the vast majority of beneficiaries make use of the benefit system for short terms while between jobs thus making the whole basis of the assertion one of abject stupidity,

    But then Grant knows this, which would tend to suggest that the whole reason for penning such an article lies in Grants own naked self interest, being rational i think the ‘wing-nuts’ call it…

  29. Christine 30

    People buying and selling through the shadow economy aka the cash economy is not being included in the extensive conversation about inequality and tax bludgers. The seller benefits because the income earned is ‘tax free’. The buyer benefits because the product or service is cheaper. The taxpayer (all of us) don’t benefit because no tax is paid.

    The IRD probably don’t chase it because its too widespread throughout the economy and because the amount of tax that can be recovered from any single tax payer is too small to warrant the effort to prove.

    Here’s an example from my experience. I got some work done on my house by a painter, I provided the paint. He charged me $500 under the table for his labour or $650 if I needed an invoice. Agreeing to pay cash, I got the job done for $150 cheaper. Interestingly the painter is benefiting as well. Assuming he was operating through a company, had I asked for an invoice, he would have passed on 15% for the GST portion ($84.78) and 28% for the net of GST portion in company tax ($158.26). The painter would have retained $406.96 and the tax payer would have got $243.04. Because I paid him cash, he got $93.04 more than he would have had he put it through his books.

    Think about all the people providing cleaning services, lawnmowing or gardening services, dressmaking etc. who are not operating businesses just doing some work on the side to improve their overall income. In all the discussion about inequality and income comparison, none of us know who is getting what additional income through the cash economy. We can all operate in this economy, we know it is rampart and impossible to stop. Some people will think it is morally wrong others will see no wrong in it because the taxpayer is a faceless ‘person’.

    I think it is wrong that it is not acknowledged and taken into account in the discussion about inequality.

  30. greywarbler 31

    The black economy which I understand is the one where you don’t pay tax, under the table etc. It certainly is tempting when people are short of money, both the one getting the work done, and the one receiving it.

    This is often a personal transaction.

    But businesses are going in for barter. How is that a help to the economy? I believe it is quite big in some places.

  31. tricledrown 32

    Damien Grant
    Democracy has allowed people with different viewd to you selfish trickledown policies to redristribute wealth.
    This has happened in NZ since the Sefdon govt.
    That is why NZ is famous for its caring attitude.
    Damien the Devils advocate want us to Go back to Dickensian days deliberately putting people into poverty to the same level asthird world countries.

  32. NZ Jester 33

    I love how Damien tries to make out that it is the businesses paying all that GST to tip the scales to look like the rich are paying the largest share of the tax collected by the government.
    All the business I know claim all the GST back on all items purchased in New Zealand and so pay no actual GST at all. A lot of those at the top end of a business also tend to pay out a lot less in food bills per year also by having a lot of Dinner and Lunch meeting so that the bill can be booked up to their company.
    With all the tax loopholes most rich people even though they are getting more money per head per year tend to end up paying far less per head in GST and other taxes than the average low income New Zealander has had to pay to the government.
    The majority of the GST comes from people with the least amount of money.

  33. Claris Moses 34

    It is wrong that tax thieves deserve lesser custodial sentences or penalties.

    Thinking about it, they would feel harder done by if they are hit in the pockets.
    Apparently these people contribute the most to society so let them prove that.

    A plan could be that they first repay all of the tax they have stolen.

    Then we match them up with so called benefit fraudsters and they give these people jobs which pay more than the living wage of $18.40 an hour for at least a 40 hours week. The number of beneficiaries given jobs should have a direct correlation to the amount which was stolen by the tax thief.

    That way they could honestly say that both the tax thieves and the beneficiary fraudsters would contribute to society rather than be under the suspicion that they squirrel away any stolen money for a luxurious lifestyle.

  34. minarch 35

    Damien should be careful for what he wishes for

    Under a true libertarian regime there would be no regular police force to protect Damien and his privileged friends. How long do you think that electric gate and ornate high walls you live behind will keep out those bent a VERY rapid redistribution of YOUR wealth ,

    hows that for “trickle down ”

    And yes under a libertarian regime you would be able to keep firearms to defend yourself, but it takes a lot more than ideals to pull that trigger Damian, do you think your actually capable of surviving in that kind of environment, from what Ive seen I doubt it…

    Oh and how long do you think the rent-a-cops libertarians would have replace the police would hang around for when shit gets real ?

    • McFlock 35.1

      Damien thinks the government will supply the cops to protect him. The trouble is that it’s cheaper for the government to lower crime by providing social services than it is to put armed police on every street corner, which is what you need in times of social breakdown. Because when the government does not provide those social structures, other groups step into the vacuum. CF Somalia and the West Bank vs Gaza strip.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 35.2

      +1 Minarch

      I don’t think Damien has the nous to work these things out – just swallows what his masters tells him hook, line and sinker.

      How generous of spirit is was of you to have spelt these things out for him – considering he works in the media – he has probably never heard of such things – they only deal with out-dated modes of dinosaur-like thinking and slogans passed to them from powerful interests as I understand (and observe) it.

  35. minarch 36

    Damien should really pay more attention to the REST of the worlds media

    http://rt.com/news/argentina-mass-looting-police-021/

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    Potentia
  • The inverted ethics of doxxing?
    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • The inverted ethics of doxxing?
    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • John Key’s war on P is a failure
    Back in 2009, John Key launched a "war on P", in the form of his Methamphetamine Action Plan. An important part of the plan was regular progress reports, tracking the price, purity and availability of methamphetamine, so we could see...
    No Right Turn
  • Time to cut out the middle-woman
    Four days before the Scottish Independence Referendum, the UK's supposedly neutral monarch intervened, telling the Scots to "think very carefully about the future". While cloaked as a "private exchange", it has now emerged that the whole thing was scripted by...
    No Right Turn
  • The courts and the Public Records Act
    Nicky Hager won an important victory in his case against the police yesterday, forcing discovery of the police's internal working documents about the decision to apply for and execute a search warrant against him. While some of the documents will...
    No Right Turn
  • Deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit tax cuts!
    Bill English’s laser-like focus on delivering tax cuts in 2017 whether it is a good idea or not reveals a deep problem that right-leaning parties have with being responsible. The whole idea behind deficit spending, which National has done a...
    Polity
  • Does intensification increase traffic congestion?
    Earlier this week, I took a look at the relationship between congestion and density. I was investigating geographer Phil McDermott’s claim, based on some dodgy data comparing between cities, that increasing density would increase congestion. Economists know that it is...
    Transport Blog
  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!
    When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a...
    Public Address
  • LMAO
    Andrea Vance reports / mocks: Acronyms will go MIA in Defence Force briefing papers as new minister Gerry Brownlee says NOMW (not on my watch). Brownlee has ordered military top brass to remove all acronyms from their ministerial documents as...
    Polity
  • What do plummeting milk prices mean for our fresh water?
    This year milk prices have soured like a bottle left in the sun. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the economic impact of the fall in prices, but what, if anything does it mean for our...
    Gareth’s World
  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
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  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
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  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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