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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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    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day 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… ...
    7 hours 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
    7 hours 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… ...
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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. ...
    8 hours 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… ...
    8 hours 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
    11 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    13 hours 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… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    2 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
    3 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… ...
    3 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… ...
    3 days 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… ...
    3 days 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… ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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… ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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… ...
    4 days 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… ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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… ...
    4 days 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… ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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… ...
    5 days 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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