web analytics
The Standard

Dithering Nats

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, April 1st, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: economy, kiwisaver, national, tax - Tags: , , , , ,

Various changes to tax and related rules come in to effect today, along with a derisory rise in the minimum wage the main effect is that of “Earners squeezed by tax changes“. What also strikes me about the changes is the amount of dithering involved. Here’s the government on KiwiSaver contributions in 2008:

Currently, the minimum employee contribution is 4% of gross salary. For many people, especially in tight economic times, saving 4% of gross salary is simply not possible and would put unwarranted strain on other parts of the family budget. These people are, therefore, effectively shut out of KiwiSaver. …

National will introduce a contribution rate that both employees and employers can realistically afford when economic times are bad as well as when they are good, and during periods of their lives when they earn more than other times.

From 1 April 2009, the minimum contribution rate for employees in KiwiSaver will be 2% of gross salary.

And here they are today:

From next Monday, the minimum employee contribution rate will rise from 2 per cent to 3 per cent. ….

“KiwiSaver continues to be a popular savings options for a growing number of New Zealanders,” he [Dunne] says. “It is part of the Government’s wider programme to encourage genuine savings and reduce the need for extra government borrowing and debt.

“We believe that most people will find 3 per cent contributions affordable, and the employer contributions will continue to offer an attractive rate of return for the money employees put in themselves.

I look forward to next budget when these geniuses will no doubt propose the brilliant plan of raising the minimum contribution to 4%. Similarly on student loans. The Nats had the bright idea of an early repayment bonus which they introduced in 2009…:

The Government is introducing a ten per cent bonus for people who make voluntary repayments on their Student Loan. The aim is to encourage borrowers to repay their loans sooner. Shorter repayment times mean young New Zealanders will be debt free earlier.

… and just axed again

Student loan tax loophole to close

Students eligible for a 10 per cent return on voluntary repayments on their student loans have only a couple of days to claim before the Government closes the loophole.

National can dither dither dither all they like with the small stuff. As long as their whole economic philosophy and major policies are wrong, they’ll continue to make a mess of the economy.

(For the record, I think the Nats were wrong to reduce Kiwisaver in the first place, so the increase is good, and they were right to introduce the student loan bonus, which they should have kept.)

49 comments on “Dithering Nats”

  1. Bright Red 1

    Why is the voluntary repayment bonus (which I happen to think unfairly benefits ex-students with cash in the bank) described as a “loophole” by the Dom? It’s not a loophole when a government intentionally creates an incentive.

    • r0b 1.1

      Good question. Pieces on other sites did it too. (Welcome back by the way – long time no see – found some of your old guest posts while I was looking in to this one.)

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I suspect there was some of those unintended consequences that righties are so enthusiastic about telling us lefties about.

      They’re calling it a tax loophole which would indicate that somehow someone has found a way to use the payback to lesson the tax that they’re paying.

      • burt 1.2.1

        It’s worse than that Draco. Think about this…

        On the 31st March you make a payment of $1,000 but you already had a repayment obligation of $700 – no bonus….

        Your repayment obligation is based on your earnings for the tax year … What would your repayment obligation be today ??? How would waiting 1 day effect your eligibility for a bonus …

    • burt 1.3

      The loophole relates to how the bonus could be manipulated. See the wording of the legislation was such that the eligibility for the bonus was dependent on the repayment obligation. Now the repayment obligation is based on assessed income. The timing of the assessment v the payment … There is the loophole. Trust me… The loophole was well pointed out while the policy was being implemented in code but the gummit wanted a popularity device/lever with students… Like the stuff article alludes to… Nobody thought it would be so convincingly gamed as it was… Like dim-bulb Cullen thinking students wouldn’t game interest free money…

      The price we (the tax payers) pay for government’s who want to be popular rather than prudent.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        The price we (the tax payers) pay for government’s who want to be popular rather than prudent.

        And the ever increasing poverty that we’re seeing is the price we pay for governments that have NFI what is good economics.

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      I’m surprised that no one in the replies has pointed out what the loophole is, since the dom post article itself explains what the loophole is.

      But it backfired when it became evident that students were “gaming the system” by claiming the bonus while they were still studying.

      Rather than changing the rules so current students could not receive the bonus, the Government has opted to axe it and tighten the scheme’s criteria.

      They didn’t fully elaborate it, but basically it works like this:
      1. If you have enough money in the bank, so that you don’t need a student loan to pay university fees, take out a student loan anyway.
      2. In the same tax year in which you took out the student loan, repay the entire loan back minus the 10% bonus.

      Eg, take out a loan for $5,000, but you only have to pay back $4545.45 to clear it, because the 10% repayment takes it up to $5,000 for you.

      Basically it acted as a way to get the government/taxpayer to pay 10% of your university fees, every year. Since it applied to the entire student loan, which covers “course related costs” as well as living costs, it could work out to quite a tidy sum of money from the government.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    As long as their whole economic philosophy and major policies are wrong, they’ll continue to make a mess of the economy.

    It’s the same economic philosophy followed by Labour.

    and they were right to introduce the student loan bonus, which they should have kept.

    No they weren’t and no they shouldn’t have. What should be done is that the student loans should be written off and education become free – just like it was.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      But the thing about the Nats that you have to be proud of: they never make any excuses for, or are shy about, pushing through major policies benefitting their core wealthy constituencies.

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        Just righting the wrongs for when the wealthy were unfairly penalised for working hard and achieving wealth

        • millsy 2.1.1.1

          How many hospitals were closed by National between 1990-99, and how many between 1999-08?

          Gotta pay for health services some how, dont really want an American style system here.

          • burt 2.1.1.1.1

            Speaking of hospital closures … Do your homework on when Helen Cark was minister of Health… Hang your head in shame for being so partisan in observing the shitty deeds of self serving politicians ….

            • millsy 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Not keen on Helen Clark either, but Bill English cut his teeth on closing them down too.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2

          “…unfairly penalised …”

          Fucking cry-baby.

          Remind me how you refused free education, cry-baby, and remind me how you built the roads that allowed your baby-food to be delivered.

          Then stop being such a whinging selfish little twat.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1

            Lol
            Like what Elizabeth Warren said, but with more suitable invective :-)

          • Ugly Truth 2.1.1.2.2

            Remind me how they said that school was compulsory.
            Remind me how ordinary use of a public road is a common law right.

            And stop being such a fucking leech.

        • Tim 2.1.1.3

          What’s your definition of “working hard” TR?. It’s a bit of spin that’s being introduced into the political discourse in both OZ and Nu Zull.
          Somehow the wealthier you are – the harder working you are? Is that the basis of the phrase?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.4

          That never happened. What happens in all capitalist systems is that the poor pay for the rich to be rich.

          It is always the poor that are unfairly penalised.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.5

          Just righting the wrongs for when the wealthy were unfairly penalised for working hard and achieving wealth

          So you’re ok with heavy taxation on unearned wealth and capital?

    • aerobubble 2.2

      Fonterra is a collective. Meat and wool farmers have realized that their undercutting of their neighbor farmers is counter to their interest, and so realize that collectivization has a social and economic good. So much for the rancid way Key beat up on the Hobbit workers union rights. Key thought it would play to his base if he undermined the value of the Hobbit movie (as many unionists have children globally) by attacking union rights, he was going to gift the subsidy anyway, Clark didn’t need to beatup on unions to give taxpayers incentives to movie companies!

      So what a shock, students are waking up to the fact that just because US student have to take on debt (the neighbors are under cutting them argument from govt) that in fact it undermines the whole economy and democratic foundation of western economies. It was of course Thatcher who brought in the policy, its neo-liberalism spiking their nose to save their face. Having hordes of indebted middle class young workers makes them less innovative, less inclined to take risks, less able to take risks.

      And you wonder why the west is failing to keep up with China, the west has hollowed out its democracy for profits on the books of sharemarket companies. It was a rubbish policy to weaken the core strength of a democracy, its young highly educated people.

  3. Descendant Of Sssmith 3

    Remember the rich gloated how they could invest the money they would have spent on their education and got a student loan at a lower interest rate than investing the money – thereby making a profit off government funds.

    The early repayment means that they have now got another little bonus to compensate for the interest that they would have lost from investing this money.

    They’ve repaid their loans now so presumably don’t need the little bonus they were given anymore.

    • burt 3.1

      It wasn’t the rich who gloated… It was anyone who understands the price of money… Cast it as the rich if that suits your ideology … I prefer to categorise it as fiscally aware v not. I don’t think that’s a rich v poor thing – but it’s easy to see how calling it that way suits a simplistic partisan world view.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        It was anyone who understands the price of money…

        Money doesn’t have a price. Even the delusional free-market theory proves that – under infinite competition interest rates are zero.

        • burt 3.1.1.1

          Great, next time we actually have infinite competition and don’t have zero interest rates ill remember that theoretical free money possibility… But back in the real world, I’m struggling to find many options for financing considerable sums of money without a lending cost.

          Perhaps if I had said ‘cost of money’ we might have had a different reaction from you..

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            But back in the real world, I’m struggling to find many options for financing considerable sums of money without a lending cost.

            That’s because you’re not in the inner circle of capitalist organisations (e.g. the primary dealers), hence don’t qualify for ZIRP LTRO (ECB), the Fed’s asset purchase program, etc.

            Basically you’re just another chump in the capitalist work house.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            That’s just it – the economic theory this government uses isn’t real. And the one you think works isn’t real either. Money really doesn’t cost anything.

            Even in the real world money doesn’t cost a damn thing. The government should be printing the money and then spending it and loaning it out at 0%. The private banks should not be printing it and loaning it out with interest as that just results in over accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few and the eventual collapse of society.

        • aerobubble 3.1.1.2

          The banking system will always collapse when the amount of money (bank created) exceeds all the future value capable of being created. Neo-liberals ignore the environmental cost, hell, they ignore even the cost of leaving child in poverty. Education is just another means of extorting money from society, at the expense of children, and the future economic resilience of a higher educated workforce.

          So here we have it, a aging population, a skilled exodus, a increasing cost of education, a unsustainable housing bubble, climate change making diary farming growth disappear.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.1.2

        I prefer to class it as theft.

        Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

        No different from those who sign their young kids to Kiwisaver in order to garner money from the state.

        The scheme was set up for workers – not for those with money to steal from the state.

        Fiscally aware in both those cases equal thieves.

        And yeah it was the rich that gloated about the student loan rorts.

        That doesn’t mean that they were the only ones who did it or pointed it out. It was an observation on who made the biggest noise about both being able to do it and about actually doing it.

        In some cases the same people who own several businesses and gloat about having a community services card and those who can build a million dollar house but pay $12-50 per week child support.

        There’s those of us that could if we wished take advantage of those sorts of loopholes but choose not to.

        If it’s an ideology it’s one called integrity.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1

          “No different from those who sign their young kids to Kiwisaver in order to garner money from the state.”

          ???

          The government clearly enabled children to be signed up, so it’s hardly stealing if you do so. The only thing they get from signing up however is the $1,000 bonus. The “tax credit” only applies to those 18 or older.

        • burt 3.1.2.2

          d of s
          That’s a good position you have there, I do actually share it. Integrity is clearly a challenging thing in a convoluted progressive tax system aimed at extracting as much revenue as possible rather than simply raising enough revenue as equitably as possible. Dr Cullen had a great saying… It’s about plucking the goose with the least amount of hissing… Dig deep for some integrity in that!!!!

          However on the subject of theft. Where I may differ with you is that i consider exploiting an unintended consequence of the implementation differently (as theft) where exploiting an unintended consequence of the legislation… That’s a bit different. We are bound by legislation be it good or bad…. Arguably it’s our duty to highlight the bad legislation quickly and promptly any way that is available to us.

          Implementation loopholes… It’s our duty to stay quiet about them for its encouraging theft to advertise their presence.

    • burt 3.2

      Oh, and don’t forget that rich guy Cullen who couldn’t believe people would game interest free money… Perhaps he wasn’t as fiscally aware and prudent as his self serving popularist marketing (using money extracted from low paid works via unions) would have had us believe.

  4. IrishBill 4

    I think the Nats thought that their bonus scheme would significantly change the behaviour of student loan holders toward paying their loans back (slightly) faster. Having seen their meager financial carrot fail they’ve moved to compulsion.

    I can imagine that they would have thought people would repay at quicker rate and probably thought that rate would be a couple of percent (around ten dollars extra a week on the average wage). However the opportunity cost of that $20 appears to have outweighed the small gain of paying a loan off marginally early because of the small bonus. Or perhaps the effort involved to achieve that bonus was just too much for most loan holders.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      The fact is, 10% bonus for voluntary payments over $500 worked out to be only be preferable if you could pay off the entirety of your student loan with money you had on-hand and if otherwise your current salary would pay it off within 3 years. You can do all the maths for bank deposits etc and work this out. Basically if your current minimum contribution rate means that it’ll take 3+ years to pay back the loan, then even if you have the money in the bank to pay it off right now, you shouldn’t. The 10% ‘instant’ interest on the money lost out compared to ~3% interest compounding annually for 3+ years.

      When they introduced the extra $50 annual account fee to try and get more money out of the student loan scheme, I emailed Steven Joyce and suggested they raise the fee to $100 a year, and then tie the fee to the voluntary repayment bonus: if you paid $500, you’d get the 10% bonus as well as the $100 fee waived. That would definitely encourage people to repay at least $500 a year extra, as it would now be 30% effective ‘instant interest’ when voluntarily repaying $500. He emailed back a wishy-washy response that basically said “no, we aren’t doing that”. I guess the real point of the $50 annual fee is that it increases your borrowings and these borrowings act as an asset for the government (just as loan books at banks act as assets), so my suggestion would have stopped the asset base from growing as fast, although it also would have encouraged conversion from ‘future cash’ into ‘cash in the hand now’.

      I realise this comment is rather poorly explained, blah.

      • burt 4.1.1

        It’s hard to imagine that there is a desire to increase the loan book when it’s interest free, but otherwise you seem to have the $500/10% bonus well understood.

        The problem with the $500 bonus was always that it rewarded people for paying above their legislative requirement. IE it provided an incentive for people to clear away an interest free debt, which was valid in its principle but easily misconstrued as giving to the rich. See the reality is you were not disadvantaged by not having access to it because you couldn’t afford the above obligation payment… Because the money is interest free.

        The fiscal reality you note in the 3 year scenario is probably something we were not supposed to understand as we paid extra every year releasing the government from needing to put the repayment rate up which would be ‘unpopular’

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          “It’s hard to imagine that there is a desire to increase the loan book when it’s interest free”

          But the $50 isn’t “increasing the loan book”, it’s just a way for the government to charge more. They didn’t actually give $50 to the borrower and ask for it back, they just asked for an extra $50. Really you can consider it to be charging interest in a way that doesn’t break their “student loans will stay interest-free” promise.

          Apparently the “recovery rate” is something like 50-60% of all borrowing, that is, by the time the loans are paid back, inflation has eaten away a lot of the value. The $50 was an acknowledged step towards clawing more money back, just as the 12% repayment rate that has just been implemented is another, much more significant, step.

          That’s why I think my $100 fee the was waived with a $500 repayment was a good move: it would encourage everyone to repay $500 extra each year, which would improve the recovery rate, and for those that didn’t/couldn’t it would net the government more money in the long-run than the proposed $50 fee. It seems like a nice balance between carrot and stick.

  5. Tim 5

    What can ya say? ……… the headless chook pretty much says it all.

    IF there is a change at next election time takes place, anyone or anything that replaces it couldn’t lose if they simply reversed all and everything this band of fuckwits has implemented – whether is encompasses social or economic issues.

    IF Labour ever gets re-invented, perhaps they could re-emerge as the UN-Neshnool Pardy of NuZull. It’d stand a better chance of winning an election than a Labour government that includes a Sheep Shearer and a Mallard.

  6. Matthew 6

    So now ‘loophole’ means ‘poorly written policy’.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      😆

      Thing is, that’s what it’s always meant.

    • burt 6.2

      Exactly the point Matthew. Lets see, anyone out there willing to make good policy out of paying people a bonus for unnecessarily repaying interest free money … Anyone ?

      The elephant in the room here is interest free student loans… As long as popularity holds that on the table then expect more nonsense policy screens from all parties.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        No, the elephant in that room is that we require our young to take out student loans. The whole of society benefits massively from having them educated and staying here. The student loan system gets them educated and then gives them an incentive to leave.

        Stop charging fees to go and get educated and we’ll both have more people getting educated and more of those educated people staying in NZ where we get the benefits.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    A third term National Government will reintroduce interest on Student Loans.

    Expect to be paying interest from the day you pay your fees in first year.

    They swallowed their rats in term1

    They sold our assets in term2

    they will unleash hell in term 3 if we let them.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “Expect to be paying interest from the day you pay your fees in first year.”

      Doubt it.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they introduced some sort of inflation-indexing though.

  8. Lloyd 8

    Why was the US the economic powerhouse of the world in the 1950’s and 1960’s?

    Two reasons seem apparent.

    The GI Bill educated a large number of US citizens at the degree level for free.

    The federal government taxed the rich.

    Anyone capable of expanding this (or disputing it).

    It would seem that the formula for economic success would include:
    1. free education to the maximum anyone in society desired, and
    2. a tax system based on ensuring the richest in society pay enough taxes to ensure their income is reasonably relative to the income of the poorest in society. The principle should not be in doubt, only the relativity ratio should be up for negotiation.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    – in those decades American corporates believed in making profits by making new technologies and manufactured products, not financial engineering.
    – fear of the Soviet Union spurred massive investments in science, engineering and technology
    – the momentum of economic investments from the New Deal continued forwards (Hoover dam, state highway system, etc)
    – cheap light crude was still being found by the billions of barrels.
    – the US filled an economic and political vacuum that the old powers of war torn Europe could not hold on to.

    Your suggestions are good (and required) but in this century insufficient: environmental degradation, population overshoot, climate change, citizen non-participation and energy depletion were non-issues back then. Today, they are potential civilisation killers.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    7 hours ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    8 hours ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    9 hours ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    9 hours ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    12 hours ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    1 day ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    1 day ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    3 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    4 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    4 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    4 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    5 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    5 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    5 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    6 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    7 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere