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The Standard

Half of rich still cheating on tax

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, August 27th, 2012 - 75 comments
Categories: class war, tax - Tags:

Remember how National’s excuse for cutting the top tax rate from 39% to align with the trust rate at 33% was that half of the rich were dodging the top tax rate – so, they should all get a tax cut. Tax cuts for tax cheats, it was called. And guess what? They’re still cheating. Only half of the ultra-rich are paying even that slashed 33% rate. When they cheat we pay with cut services, higher charges, and more government debt.

75 comments on “Half of rich still cheating on tax”

  1. Rusty Shackleford 1

    “When they cheat we pay with cut services, higher charges, and more government debt.”

    The govt should allocate those resources based on the money it actually has, not based on the money it thinks it will have. Hatched chickens and all that. Well… that’s how the rest of us are expected to align our finances anyway.

    Are there any figures on the tax take pre and post tax cut? I’m willing to bet the tax cut didn’t have an effect on the total amount gathered from that top tax bracket.

    • Bored 1.1

      Fekk, I agree with Rusty, what is happening to the world?

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        Key is in the $50m plus club, according to NBR. So there’s a 50/50 chance he is not paying full whack too.

        • Herodotus 1.1.1.1

          I think you will find he is, as his PM’s salary will be declared and will have PAYE tax deducted at source. And as his assets are in a blind trust he will not have the information how to max his income and min. his tax.
          At least 50% ARE paying the highest marginal rate. Also Lab and Nat are consistent in attacking PAYE workers and how much someone on $60-$120k are the real target. Even though many teachers/nurses/police etc have no ability to “manage” their financial affairs in a way that those on the extreme end of the wealth spectrum are able to.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      The govt should allocate those resources based on the money it actually has, not based on the money it thinks it will have. Hatched chickens and all that. Well… that’s how the rest of us are expected to align our finances anyway.

      No private sector company does it the way that you say. Forecasting, budgeting, and commiting to projects and expenditure in advance is a way of life.

      Not even ordinary home buyers do what you say – people buy houses using mortgages, and those mortgages are taken out based in expectations of future (uncertain to some extent) income – not money on hand today.

      God you’re ignorant.

      • Rusty Shackleford 1.2.1

        CV, there is no need to resort to invective.

      • Bored 1.2.2

        In defense of Rusty he has pointed out (maybe unwittingly) that there is a need to only spend what is earned…no credit creation..no debt based on future growth (methinks this might not be where he was going but….)

        • Mike 1.2.2.1

          “In defense of Rusty he has pointed out (maybe unwittingly) that there is a need to only spend what is earned…no credit creation..no debt based on future growth (methinks this might not be where he was going but….)”

          No credit creation??? How do you think money is created?

  2. infused 2

    It hasn’t if you take a read.

    • Rusty Shackleford 2.1

      Take a read of what?

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Infused is strictly incorrect as he didn’t address your question.

        You are asking if the total in $ terms from the top tax bracket is the same after the cut as before it. What infused is talking about is what is written in the article on stuff, purely that the proportion of those with $50m+ (including Key one should assume…) paying the top tax rate didn’t change after the tax cut.

        Anyway, to simply answer your question, it is clearly yes, there is less money coming from the top tax bracket, not “the same” as you imply. We know this because of treasury’s predictions and using this as the excuse to raise GST.

        • Rusty Shackleford 2.1.1.1

          “Predictions”? So we have no actual figures? Treasury are always going to assume that a cut in percentage will lead to a drop in revenue when this isn’t always the case.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            I’m sure the figures exist. I’m also sure what they’re going to say. You’re the one who is wondering, you go do the work to look it up, I’m certainly not going to do it for you.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2

            “Predictions”? So we have no actual figures? Treasury are always going to assume that a cut in percentage will lead to a drop in revenue when this isn’t always the case.

            Tax cuts are the cheapest, fastest, surest way for the rich to retain more profits (and for the state coffers to get less). Better than taking on the risk of a new business or being an entrepreneur.

          • mike e 2.1.1.1.3

            early figures say we are down by about 1.1 to 1.5 billion dollars.

        • aerobubble 2.1.1.2

          Yes, the burden of taxation was moved down the income deciles, and raised over all of NZ.

  3. CJA 3

    Guys seriously this isn’t correct. A lot of these people will be paying the same if not significantly more tax than most. Most of their income generating assets will be in trusts and companies which have a flat tax rate of 33% and 28% respectively.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Of course the trick (as you well know) is to move as many of the personal expenses you incur as possible into the business expenses column.

      Further, the wealthiest in this country can afford to pay far more than they are now.

    • Mr Burns 3.2

      Yes leave the wealthy alone. After all they are paying their fair share of tax. You do have the figures CJA, don’t you?

      • CJA 3.2.1

        Mr Burns did you read the article? Check out the throw away comment at the bottom, which no doubt some may have missed. “Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said the figures did not include tax that may have been paid on income from trusts and dividends. ” No I don’t have all the figures but do you have the figures for the tax paid on the income in trusts from these individuals?

        • Mr Burns 3.2.1.1

          No I don’t have the figures for the tax paid on the income in trusts but I am not the one saying that James Henderson’s claims are not correct.

          • CJA 3.2.1.1.1

            Was actually referring to the article in Stuff. See the link and have a read.

            • Mr Burns 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m confused CJA.  Are you for the god given right of the rich to gorge themselves on the collective wealth of the community to the detriment of the many and to wreck the environment in pursuit of filthy lucre or not?

  4. Johnm 4

    One of the behaviours that eventually ruins a once proud and viable nation reducing it to a shambles as with Greece, the UK and the U$: Link:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32284.htm

  5. TighyRighty 5

    You have gone and made the same mistake the sst has. Equating wealth with income. I bet the avoidance rate is no worse, at worst, than it was when the top tax rate was 38%

    • framu 5.1

      Okely dokely – how many people get to be multi millionaires and earn under 70k pa at the same time?

      • insider 5.1.1

        Invest in Apple shares….

        You can accumulate assets over a lifetime and so be ‘wealthy’, but income is measured at a single point in time or a much more limited time so may tell a completely different story. If you’re retired, at a pretty reasonable 5% return, you’d still need well over $1m in income generating assets alone to get close to a 70k income. I wouldn’t call less than a senior teacher’s salary the lap of luxury.

        • Mike 5.1.1.1

          Right, so 90 of the richest individuals in the country, worth more than 50 million each, had personal incomes of less than 70k last year.

      • Bored 5.1.2

        Its easy Framu, what you need are multiple nations in which you earn and transfer the dosh! Theoretically here’s how you do it…

        1. Your company earns a large profit BUT you pay yourself only $40K….just to keep the IRD happy you are legit and resident.
        2. Your offshore subsidiary (based in the Cayman Islands or Mars or some other zero tax zone) in which you are a 100% shareholder invoices you for marketing fees, management fees, IP, licensing or some other spurious “soft” transaction. It invoices you more than the total profit.
        3. Your company in NZ files a loss and claims a tax credit….
        4. Switzerland has these wonderful bank accounts.

      • TightyRighty 5.1.3

        I actually wonder how many were worth that much but aren’t any longer and getting even any tax out them is a gain? Wealth and income are two distinct things and should be regarded in different lights. My income went up over the last financial year, but my net wealth went down. I’m not wealthy enough to make a difference but it would be nice if I could claim a tax refund in light of not being as wealthy as I once was. I can’t. Too bad.

    • lprent 5.2

      Probably. In fact I’d almost bet that lowering the rate made absolutely no difference to the compliance and the total nett effect was that it simply dropped the tax take. The wealthy generally aren’t that sensitive to tax rates.

      They tend to fall into one of two groups – the ones that think that any tax is too much (ie the ACToids) and who will avoid all taxes, and the ones that are prepared to pay tax if it isn’t excessive (like the 60%+ rates my old man had) and won’t avoid until it is. Neither change their avoidance/evasion behaviours for minor shifts in tax rates.

      Good reason to push the rate back up and then to subject EXCESSIVE avoidance to the full weight of tax auditing. I’d also remove all tax exemptions on donations to political parties including GST exemptions. Quite simply concentrate a good proportion of the IRD’s resources on the people with high incomes and low payment levels of tax. If we lose them to another country then everyone benefits because in my experience most of the people who are major tax avoiders are parasites all the way through the economy as well…

  6. tsmithfield 6

    The answer seems simple. Align the top tax rate, company rate, and trust rate.

    The company rate is a few points lower than the top income tax rate, so high income earners can simply leave their profits in the company to be taxed at the company rate. Aligning the rates would remove this advantage.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Would help. An asset tax would also as it would take pressure off those earning only $100K pa. We overtax income, currently, and way under tax assets.

    • Mr Burns 6.2

      Yes let’s give the wealthy another tax cut. After all the past couple have really improved things for everyone.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        nah – align them all at 39% for starters :)

        • Rusty Shackleford 6.2.1.1

          Why not 100%?

          • RedLogix 6.2.1.1.1

            Well the US economy boomed during the 40 -60’s when the top tax rate was in the order of 90% … so I’d have to say that’s not a bad suggestion there Rusty.

          • Dv 6.2.1.1.2

            Rusty, what a really dumb idea.
            How would the Nacts have enough moneyfor example to bail out SCF, set up charter schools, impose national standards etc etc!!!!!

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.3

            Didn’t know you were a c0mmun1st, Rusty. Riding that ideological rollercoaster, eh?

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.3.1

              Forget income taxes. Drop all those to a flat 20% with a tax free income threshold of say $15K, and replace the revenue by getting a real assets tax and FTT in place.

              • McFlock

                Possibly – but the transition is just as important as the tax objective.
                If we dropped income tax and the FTT failed to perform up to spec, we’d have a major issue. Raising income tax to address the immediate shortfall as an intermediary before FTT / asset tax would ease the transition.
                       
                I’m still a bit leery about a real assets tax – what I worry about is that AFAIK it is a tax based on a reasonable projected return on the asset? So if it’s not being run with the primary objective of being a commercial entity, it might lead to asset rich – cash poor situations. Which is a bit harsh for e.g. planting native bush in large blocks rather than copying all your neighbours and doing intensive dairy farming. 

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That just tells us that some things shouldn’t be left to the market.

                  • McFlock

                    Which doesn’t actually solve the problem of how one taxes property based on its book value, rather than just the income that property accrues. 

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Actually, the CCT that is put forward in the Big Kahuna has it so that if the income doesn’t match the minimum amount the owner gets a tax credit.

                      Things such as native forests should probably be left to government as they’ve got the long term capability that a private owner doesn’t have.

                      Then there’s the fact that an over supply of farms is bad for the country environmentally, economically and socially.

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, tax credits on insufficient income from capital assets. Fair enough.
                           
                      The native forest angle sounds odd, though. Why shouldn’t people who own something run it for a non-commercial reason? Native bush on farmland is one example – maybe having a theatre or art gallery in commercial property, rather than a box store?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep those are definitely fair concerns, McFlock. I agree the transition planning would probably need a bit more depth :)

              • Foreign Waka

                Tax Trust Funds and regulate any money transfers to off shore accounts. It was discovered that the top earners in the richest European countries transfer their money to Singapore. You can bet that there will be no problem with keeping that under the radar.

    • Bored 6.3

      All good, except see my answer to Framu….I have real life experience of working for multinationals who were very good at the transfer of profit away from NZ to lower tax countries. That is what has driven the major chunk of tax revenue diminution for most first world economies.

    • felix 6.4

      “The answer seems simple. Align the top tax rate, company rate, and trust rate.

      The company rate is a few points lower than the top income tax rate, so high income earners can simply leave their profits in the company to be taxed at the company rate. Aligning the rates would remove this advantage.”

      Unfortunately tsmithfield, the Minister of Finance is either a moron or a cretin. He said he was going to address the problem by aligning the rates, but then dropped them both.

      Which do you think it is – moron or cretin? I find it hard to believe he’s that stupid so I’m going with cretin. He wants the loophole left in place so he left it in place.

  7. Descendant Of Smith 7

    Nope tax business at a gross rate not a net just like employees. Their expenses and profit should be an issue for their owners and shareholders.

    • Bored 7.1

      Personally I don’t think there is a need to do anything other than to have the IRD target some of the $70K millionaires and go through their books in fine detail, then apply the regulations / law. Even if the IRD don’t nail them they can gather GST and company tax from the people who earn their dosh working as tax accountants / lawyers for the $70K Club.

      • CJA 7.1.1

        Bored generally speaking the IRD will target these people and specific professions (i.e. Penny and Hooper case). Based on what I have seen in the profession the “millionaires” actually do things above board because they know if they get caught doing something illegal the IRD will come down on them like a ton of bricks.

        • Bored 7.1.1.1

          You are right, however it is amazing how easy it is to be one step removed. I for many years attended management meetings for two different multinationals whose CFOs spent vast amounts of their time working through acceptable ways of presenting international inter company transactions to the IRD. It was really just a game of cat and mouse.

          • CJA 7.1.1.1.1

            Transfer pricing was definitely an area that was focussed on quite heavily in the past as you mentioned.

            • insider 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Playing with transfer pricing was always considered a risky game where I worked because the IRD were open about their close interest in it. Most of the time was spent trying to ensure that everything was justifiable and squeaky clean to avoid an audit rather than trying to push the boundaries and encourage one.

    • Polish Pride 7.2

      Right….. almost businesses would fail in such a scenario. Mine in particular has a significant turnover (high cost of inputs) and has come out at a net loss… Tax it at the gross amount and it ceases to exist like probably some 80% of businesses I am guessing. Way to implode your economy……. Then given the fact that we need to change the entire system to one that works for people that might not be a bad thing..

      That is not the way it is for employees either. Employees are taxed on the net amount they earn and then pay tax on that figure although it is often referred to as a net figure after tax.
      Businesses likewise are taxed on the Net amount they earn too.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        Employees are taxed on the net amount they earn and then pay tax on that figure although it is often referred to as a net figure after tax.

        Employees are taxed at their gross income. They don’t get to claim expenses to reduce their tax bill.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.2.2

        Nah they wouldn’t because the taxing at gross would mean a really low tax rate and would pick up revenue that is currently missed from places like the banking sector.

        It would also reduce the number of businesses set up to transfer income from one to the other to minimise tax, increasing productivity by removing those non-producing businesses from the economy.

        What you can claim now gives some businesses a big advantage over others as does how thety structure.

        If every business was on the same footing it would be much simpler and easier to administer as well.

        If you think the tax rate might be 5% or so – certainly no higher than 10%.Maybe as low as 3% – I can’t find a figure that gives me the total gross before expenses that all business make.

  8. Tracey 8

    Isn’t this a return to t he CGT argument, which National seems to want to avoid…

  9. RedBat 9

    Time the rich left. We don’t need them.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 9.1

      I agree – they should all go Galt. No-one would notice or even care, and once they realised that without society all their riches are worthless, no-one would notice them come crawling back :)

  10. RedLogix 10

    I think you are all missing the point. The rich are better people than any of us ordinary workers and there is no need for them to pay tax. They already benefit the world just by being rich.

    What they are doing is not cheating … it is their moral duty not to pay tax. Otherwise they might be propping up useless eaters and that would be just wrong.

  11. God, that woman Danya Levy shouldn’t be calling herself a journalist. What a load of rubbish. I found at least one table in stats that rebutted most of her Repeater tripe. My, more accurate analysis as follows:
    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/08/average-wages-rise-wanted-journalists.html

    • Mr Burns 11.1

      This is a woman after my own heart. She is full of jibber jabber and doesn’t have the faintest clue what she is talking about. And she clearly believes the really rich should not pay a cent in tax.

      Can we get rid of this English fellow and appoint Monique Watson minister of finance? 

    • Dv 11.2

      From the first line of the article Monique !!
      Inland Revenue has found only half of wealthy individuals worth more than $50 million each are paying the top personal tax rate, despite Government moves to combat tax avoidance.

      SO the source was the IRD.
      DUH

      • insider 11.2.1

        Assets generally aren’t taxed, only income. I have a house so reasonably substantial worth (on the grand scale of things) but it generates no income.

        How much tax was paid by entities associated with these people, is the question that logically follows, which both the IRD and tHe reporter should be asking

        • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1

          I have a house so reasonably substantial worth (on the grand scale of things) but it generates no income.

          That doesn’t mean that the asset itself shouldn’t be taxed. In fact, your house is – it’s called rates.

          • insider 11.2.1.1.1

            Hence the word ‘generally’. If the Money were tied up in gold, nothing would be payable

  12. phil 12

    Radical idea: the other 50% have income flowing through company’s and trusts.. being taxed at an effective rate of 33%.

    “Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said the figures did not include tax that may have been paid on income from trusts and dividends.”

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    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

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

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