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David Parker’s Greece-proof paper

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, May 22nd, 2012 - 30 comments
Categories: budget2012, david parker, economy, labour, same old national - Tags:

Don’t blame Greece.

I was fortunate enough to go to David Parker’s pre-budget speech to business people this morning. He coined it his “Greece-proof paper” as he talked through how New Zealand’s problems are for our government to solve – rather than just blaming Greece.

Conservative ol’ National isn’t prepared to change the orthodoxy, to change from business as usual.

And with that we continue down the same track – down OECD rankings for wealth, and to an ever larger current account deficit as we slowly, inexorably, sell ourselves off to sustain our path.

As ever, it will be up to Labour to make the changes we need to our economy.

National will tinker with welfare, increase class sizes and prescription costs, and reduce police numbers.

But they won’t solve the real problems in their budget.

They won’t make it so it’s better to invest in productive Kiwi businesses rather than land as it is now. They won’t solve our lack of capital. They won’t look at the severe problems our exchange rate has on our exporters. They won’t encourage investment in research and development to make a smarter economy.

They won’t touch superannuation with a barge pole. Despite the fact that in just 3 years time it will be 20 times all other benefits combined, and they tell us of the pressing need to make sure the few hundred parents under 18 are spending “correctly”.  In 3 years time the super budget will be larger than all education – from pre-school to tertiary – combined.  Will they consider how we afford that?

No.

A CGT, compulsory savings, changes to our monetary policy, r&d tax credits and a rise in the super age are all necessary, and all out of the Government’s view.

Parker would like to see Reserve Bank decisions made by the Board, rather than just the Governor, and that Board to have the interests of exporters, and labour (small l) represented.  A few more instruments would be added to their tool kit and they wouldn’t solely target inflation – growth, exports, current account deficit, jobs would all be a consideration.

We wouldn’t wait until we have only 2.5 working people for each pensioner (or worse if those left have headed to Oz to escape the bill…) before we discuss changes to the age of eligibility for our Super scheme.

And we don’t want to keep flogging our brightest and best companies overseas because there is no New Zealand money to invest in them.  A compulsory savings scheme like Australia’s (or Kirk’s, as scrapped by Muldoon…) would massively deepen our capital pool.  A Capital Gains Tax would mean that people are less likely to invest in property for the tax advantage, and more likely to invest in productive business that will actually help our economy.

Research and Develop­­ment tax credits will encourage our businesses to focus more on the smart tech­nologies that are high value and create high value jobs.

While not against all mining, drilling and mineral exploitation (outside National Parks at any rate…), Parker points out they’re unlikely to save us – or they already would have.  Other than our pristine National Parks the restrictions on those industries are light, so any lack of exploitation is due to private companies not feeling it is worth it…

When asked about working with the Greens on such issues, Parker’s own environmental streak came through: he doesn’t see a problem working with them, because he agrees with them – and the Pure Advantage group of businesses.

We shouldn’t mine our parks, we shouldn’t have watered down our Fresh Water standards, and the polluter should pay the costs, not push them off to society or the environment.  That’s why he spent 3 years fighting to get the ETS through – again sadly watered down by this government.

Pure Advantage understands that it’s beneficial to NZ for business to own their environmental credentials. More regulation will in fact strengthen our environmental services sector, and is a real selling point overseas.

Some good ideas from David Parker, and once again it is up to the left to be Progressive and initiate the change our society needs.

If you change nothing, nothing changes, and we’ll keep getting fabulous projections and disappointing results like all of National’s budgets so far.  0.6% growth in total over the last 3 years, despite predictions like this:

30 comments on “David Parker’s Greece-proof paper”

  1. ochocinco 1

    I take issue with your comment (on the frontpage blurb) that our “brightest and best” are heading to Australia

    Our “best” don’t abandon their country for 40 pieces of silver. Our “best” are loyal to the bitter end. Our “best” value patriotism above individual wealth. Our “best” realise NZ won’t get better by running away to the GC.

    • Carol 1.1

      Our “best” are loyal to the bitter end. Our “best” value patriotism above individual wealth.

      You don’t include John Key in “our best”, then?

    • tc 1.2

      admire the sentiments but hardcore reality differs once you see medical,engineering and trade talent moving across the ditch.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.3

      Our best know that when patriotism is valued, a nation has fallen into decay.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Patriotism isn’t rewarded or, to be more precise, those who stay out of patriotism get shafted even more. It cannot be a one way street, the community needs to ensure that people have a reason to stay. NACT and the previous governments back the 4th Labour government haven’t been doing that as they’ve been cutting away all the reasons why people would want to stay – interesting, well paid jobs and community spirit rather dog eat dog competition. The only people who have been catered to over the last three decades have been the rich and they’ve seen their exploitation of the masses made easier under free-market dogma.

    • Eddie 1.5

      I don’t think it’s morally bad of people to leave nz for opportunities overseas. it’s bad when government policy and poor economic management results in more people making that choice.

      and i’m wary of an argument that relies on patriotism. there’s a valid case for looking out for the national interest, because that’s the community you live in. patriotism though, loving your country right or wrong, that’s something else.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.5.1

        patriotism though, loving your country right or wrong, that’s something else.

        Yep, sure is.

        Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    • prism 1.6

      What? ochocinco

      Our “best” don’t abandon their country for 40 pieces of silver. Our “best” are loyal to the bitter end. Our “best” value patriotism above individual wealth

      What is this stirring propaganda? Sounds like a general or sergeant major busy building team morale to be ready for going over the top chaps. People deserve to have a life of their own. We don’t want to be chesspieces for deluded people who think like you.

    • Ben Clark 1.7

      Actually heading to Australia isn’t particularly our brightest and best either – it’s a wide cross-section of the population (including our brightest…), as 1.2% of us is highly likely to be. But those motivated to move are likely to be the go-getters – as seen by the fact that NZers have the lowest unemployment of any group in Oz (despite Australians thinking it’s quite the opposite).

      The real brightest and best that it’s a worry that we’re losing are our tech companies: A2 milk, Right Hemisphere, Biovittoria – great New Zealand success stories sold overseas or in the process of selling. Largely to get more capital. Now our great ideas are earning other countries their fortunes.

      State asset sales will of course worsen the problem. What little capital there is free here will be absorbed by those behemoths as they completely dominate. More innovation will be lost. And yet somehow the Nats think it’ll be good for our stockmarket etc to be completely dominated by these energy companies, ruining any diversity and absorbing all capital…

      • prism 1.7.1

        Just think of all those useful millions that might have gone into building great innovative NZ businesses but went down with shitty finance houses of cards. Plus South Canterbury Finance where private money was lost and then public money went in to save it from drowning. That is the likely end of all our savings because our investment environment controls are geared towards such behaviour.

        • Colonial Viper 1.7.1.1

          R&D tax breaks are going to encourage NZ companies to do private research? A little maybe, but its drop in the bucket stuff which does not recognise the sheer size of the mountain this country faces. What are others in the asia-pacific doing, in comparison?

          The Biopolis is the hallmark of Singapore’s R&D success. It co-locates public sector research institutes with corporate labs and is designed to foster a collaborative culture among the institutions and organisations under its roof. At Biopolis, scientists, technoprenuers and researchers meet, forge partnerships and grow with renowned scientific institutions, through intensive research and graduate training programmes.

          The Biopolis enables researchers to access state-of-the-art facilities, scientific infrastructure and specialised services. These allow companies to cut R&D costs significantly and accelerate the development timeline. In addition, there are conference facilities and meeting rooms that companies can use. By 2013, the Biopolis will provide more than 3.3 million square feet of space for biomedical sciences R&D activities.

          http://www.edb.gov.sg/content/edb/sg/en_uk/index/industry_sectors/pharmaceuticals__/industry_background.print.html

          • prism 1.7.1.1.1

            CV So that’s how smart countries get on! A tutor at a business economics class told us that NZ was an outlier, the only country that had been able to progress into the developed economies using agriculture.

            Now dairy prices are falling, the wool and lamb market decimated, trees dependent on mono culture fast growing pine, a type of tree that will only remain strong using expensive compression methods or unpopular and unhealthy chemicals, when we have drowned our scenic rivers in flat lakes suitable for boaties and jet skis, will we have much income earning capacity with jobs providing livable wages?

            Our smart industries will have been bought out by overseas interests because of our own dopy cargo-cult lack of interest in providing for ourselves in a self-managing country with expertise and energy and capability. We’re going along that slippery slope quite nicely now thank you but all children’s slides have a soft end that absorbs the fall, I do hope the powers that be think ahead far enough to provide that. Not!

    • kiwi_prometheus 1.8

      Not for 40 pieces of silver, just a half decent chance of getting a reasonable wage, owning a home etc.

    • JonL 1.9

      Bollocks!

  2. Ad 2

    That was a good solid speech. I liked that he put his business credentials on the line. I liked that he supported his colleagues. I liked him reaffirm support for the Capital Gains Tax.

    Didn’t like the wiggle on Kiwisaver. We should get straight back into saving as a nation.

    Didn’t like the lack of export or sector targets, particularly if he is prepared to be so bold.

    Parker, please do more of this. Just need that extra media cuthrough rather than being overshadowed by Norman.

  3. prism 3

    Yes Norman has been heard a lot recently and making good points, sounding good.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour being the advocates of raising the retirement age. Talk about walking away from your base.

    Why not institute a 0.5% asset tax focussed on the top 5% in order to pay into the super fund. Then drop the retirement age 2.5 years in order to help the mass excess of young people to enter the workforce.

    The more you raise the retirement age, the more you turbocharge youth unemployment.

    Think, people, please.

    • Ed 4.1

      I don’t see this as walking away from the base. The reality is that Labour started doing something about the baby boomer bulge, but a worse extra liability is increasing longevity. With National plundering any cash they can see, we will find it difficult to fund even longer term liabilities. It is a discussion we need to have – National are likely to turn from ignoring the problem and denying they will ever do anything (either to pre-fund or to reduce payments) to suddenly creating a scare and wanting to move quickly to an age 70 or 75 start – but you can bet they will never want to means test payments. This is an issue that must be talked about, and I believe any changes should be phased n over 20 to 30 years. There are alternatives – and we should not be rushed into making sudden changes.

      In the meantime there are other important issues that Labour is also addressing – lets not concentrate on the long term at the expense of the short term – already this budget and policies around it are shaping up to be a shocker for the majority of New Zealanders

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        I don’t see this as walking away from the base.

        The base sees this as walking away from the base. I’m not talking about the social liberals. I’m talking about the 80% of the Labour Party which has long gone since the 1980’s.

        That is, the working class. I’ve heard old (>70 years of age) Labour supporters whom these retirement age proposals don’t even impact, tell me how shit the proposals are and how they voted for Winston because of them.

    • rosy 4.2

      I’m beginning to agree with you on this CV. I do think a flexible retirement age is a good thing, depending on how worn out the body and mind are, but you’re are right – there are not enough jobs to go around.

      First things first, imo, is means testing super and never paying it while a person is still in paid employment.

      • Blue 4.2.1

        “First things first, imo, is means testing super and never paying it while a person is still in paid employment.”

        That should be a no-brainer. I really don’t get why Labour wants to move the age up to 67 rather than addressing the elephant in the room.

        NZ Super is a massive cost to the state, and paying it to people who don’t need it is a straight up waste of money. But no pollie will touch it, to the point where increasing the retirement age for everyone, even manual workers who physically can’t work until 67, is seen as more palatable than trying to introduce means-testing.

  5. Roy 5

    I know I’ve been flamed on this site before for saying this, but I think we need means-testing of superannuation. It could be quite generous; there is no need to penalise the pensioner who supplements their income with rental from a single spare house they were canny enough to buy. I’m talking about not shovelling money at people who are already millionaires. The Wellington CBD high-rise office block I work in belongs to a superannuatant (not Bob Jones in this case, but he’s another example). I mean, seriously, is it really so tory to object to seeing the likes of Don Brash and Bob Jones getting superannuation?

    I also agree with those who think it is absurd to pay super to people who still have a job. Someone who still holds down a job and also is collecting super is a double-dipping bludger, IMO. I speak as someone who has a close relative who made plenty as a GP until they were 75 years of age, happily pocketing super as well from 65. What a rip-off artist!

    • prism 5.1

      Roy GPs are not in huge over supply so he was probably more asset than money drain. And any money earned or capitalised should be looked at. Someone working could be good, and allowed to keep super if they also mentored and trained a young person. That would not be easy but would get some started in the workforce. Those not working but creaming off the money in interest, or who have arranged their affairs so well that they can actually be issued a Community Services card are another matter.

      It could be that the wealthy could still have cheap prescriptions or such. Just not the dosh that they don’t need.

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    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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