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Is it any wonder?

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, November 13th, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

Never wonder again why National is opposed to any kind of wealth tax, including capital gains tax, and would rather tax hard work instead. Never wonder again why there’s hundreds of millions of dollars for uneconomic irrigation projects but crumbs to feed hungry kids. Just look at this table of what the richest MPs won, and remember their friends are of the same class.

richest mps property

(sorry about the blur, wordpress insists on shrinking the image when I upload it, then it blurs when I re-enlarge)

90 comments on “Is it any wonder?”

  1. Tracey 1

    ought they not abstain from voting on matters they can directly or indirectly profit from?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      If they did that then National would never be able to pass anything as not one of them would be able to vote :twisted:

  2. Rosie 2

    That’s just heartbreaking. That really removes any doubt about the who this government is representing. Not that there ever has been any doubt, the accumulation of wealth of these Nat MP’s just demonstrates how black and white their loyalties are and who they provide a service to. In the meantime the running of the country is being left to those public servants who still have jobs. All but the elite – the companions of these MP’s, suffer under a visionless, directionless government.

    • Tracey 2.1

      it’s also one reason why I give kudos to Lockwood Smith as speaker. he appeared capable of putting aside vested interests… no wonder he had to go!

      • Rosie 2.1.1

        Yes, he had a talent in that respect and was a good Speaker. Simon Power, another one who did display some form of decency and intelligence also hit the road.

    • BrucetheMoose 2.2

      Not as heart breaking as in Christchurch. No surprise MPs such as Amy Adams, Nick Wagner and David Carter are continually dismissing of any matters relating to addressing the housing shortage in Christchurch, which is the direct cause of driving up real estate prices and causing rental hikes across the city. And the lead protagonist of it all, Gerry Brownlee, the ‘man’ in charge who could make the difference and has on numerous occasions completely ignored the whole matter, continually claiming there is nothing of concern. Of course, this also comes from an individual who himself has at least 3 known properties in Christchurch central suburbs where they have benefited well from the property increases. Conflict of interests mean anything. Not in National’s camp it doesn’t. On the subject of government an it’s pals profiting from property through misusing its powers – this looks like the biggest real estate con job since the mid 1800s.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/9380899/Green-space-shrunk-down-to-narrow-corridor

      The government has learnt well from history and in its dealings in the Waitangi Tribunal settlement processes.

      • Rosie 2.2.1

        Hi Brucey. I’m sorry for my emotive phrasing. I get a bit like that.

        The way Cantabrians have been treated is especially appalling. You have been shafted, royally, more than anyone else, in the time when you needed help and leadership the most. Your Nat MP’s representing your region it would seem, have abandoned you for a quick buck. Thanks for The Press link. Worrisome reading. I skimmed through the comments, including yours. Among many pertinent points this one stood out:

        “in the run-up to the next election, the rest of NZ will again be conned into believing that Chch has “all been fixed now” and that “Key and National did it”

        this is the impression he was already successfully conveying prior to the last election. All over Auckland were billboards reading “National … rebuilding Christchurch”. I almost puked”

        I hope that Nat voters know and remember that CHCH is not in fact fixed but will they ever hold their party to account, or will they and do they just apologise for them?

  3. Sisko 3

    This is kind of funny – because National did impose a wealth tax in 2010 when they raised GST. Overnight, the purchasing power of everyone’s savings fell by 2.2% (=1.125/1.15-1). The government would eventually collect that 2.2% as people spend their savings. And if people never spent their savings, then that would help prevent NZ’s low savings rate from falling further.

    I’ve always been surprised at how National’s been the one behind cutting income tax and raising GST. Raising GST amounts to a wealth tax.

    • Lightly 3.1

      no, GST isn’t a wealth tax

      • Sisko 3.1.1

        GST itself isn’t a wealth tax, but RAISING GST is.

        • wtl 3.1.1.1

          No, GST is a consumption tax. A wealth tax is a tax on wealth, regardless of whether or not it is spent on something that attracts GST. Your logic makes no sense since there are many ways for people to use their wealth without incurring GST.

          • photonz 3.1.1.1.1

            When gst went up 2.5%, all goods and services that attract gst went up, and all incomes and all benefits also went up by the same amount at the same time.

            So incomes relative to gst goods and services didn’t change.

            But relative to incomes and gst goods and services, anything that didn’t attract gst (houses, shares, money in the bank etc) effectively devalued by 2.5%.

            i.e. my assets, money in the bank etc, overnight bought 2.5% LESS than it did the previous day.

            So Sisko has it totally correct – RAISING gst by 2.5%, effectively devalued the wealth of anyone who owns non gst assets – property, cash, bonds, shares, all offshore investments etc.

            Here’s an easy way to understand it – incomes and gst goods had a years worth of inflation overnight, but assets effectively devalued because they stayed at last years prices.

            • wtl 3.1.1.1.1.1

              As I said, there are plenty of ways for people to use their wealth without incurring GST. For example, they could purchase property or take their wealth overseas and spend it. Therefore, raising GST is not a wealth tax, it is a raise in a consumption tax.

              • Colonial Viper

                photo is spinning deliberate and misleading lies. Some clever, some stupid.

                • photonz

                  Colonial Viper – Devoid of intelligent debate, but abusive – always.

                  It tells us a lot.

                  wtl – correct – it depends what people spend the money form their assets on.

                  But if they eventually spend it on goods and services in NZ, their assets will buy 2.5% less than they previously did.

                  • framu

                    which makes it a consumption tax doesnt it

                    • photonz

                      Of course it is – no one is arguing it’s not.

                      Just pointing out that very few people realised the eefct on assets when gst was increased, which effectively devalued against goods, services, and incomes.

                      Assets (like money in the bank) suddenly couldn’t buy the same amount of goods that they had the previous day.

                      Hence Sisko’s point that raising gst was a hit on the wealthy.

                    • framu

                      “Of course it is – no one is arguing it’s not.”

                      thats strange because just a few comment up thread sisko makes exactly that argument and you agree with him

                      so which is it?

            • framu 3.1.1.1.1.2

              seeing as the tax was applied when you SPENT your money and not because you had the money in the first place its a CONSUMPTION tax!

              both you and sisko point that out when you say things like “overnight bought 2.5% LESS than it did the previous day.”

              do you see that word bought?

              fucking hell – you two win thicko of the week

              and im pretty sure that incomes didnt rise at the same time – more bullshit?

              • Sisko

                I said that if people didn’t spend it then they were saving it – and that’s good too isn’t it? It would mean we had to borrow less from overseas as a country to fund investments. A larger proportion of deposits in NZ banks would belong to New Zealanders.

                wtl makes a good point that if you can avoid GST somehow then my argument doesn’t apply, but I understand GST is relatively hard to evade (compared to income tax, for example). Perhaps you could import lots of stuff from overseas without declaring its value. Or live off fresh fruit and vegetables after the next labour/green government. Or use dodgy tradesmen (but even there you’d still pay GST on parts bought from a legitimate shop ). Not sure how many other ways there are to avoid it.

                And incomes did rise at the same time because there were simultaneous income tax cuts cuts and benefit increases. I haven’t been through the numbers, but I understand they fully offset the increase in GST so that income earners were no worse off. The only people who were made worse off were savers (and borrowers were made better off as their after tax incomes rose while their loans stayed the same).

                • wtl

                  Not sure how many other ways there are to avoid it.

                  Those who are wealthy could just go for an overseas holiday and spend their money there. Plus, those who are wealthy don’t tend to spend a lot of their wealth on goods and services, if they did then they wouldn’t be wealthy. Instead, they use their wealth to accumulate even more wealth, by investing in things they give them interest, dividends or tax-free capital gains. (They are able to do this because they do not need to spend a high proportion of their wealth or income on basic necessities, unlike those who are less wealthy or have lower incomes.) The ability to do so was unaffected by the raise in GST.

                  While you have pointed out that a rise in GST has some resemblance to a wealth tax, it is so full of loopholes as a wealth tax that defining it as such is drawing a really long bow.

                • framu

                  “And incomes did rise at the same time because there were simultaneous income tax cuts cuts and benefit increases”

                  but thats not BECAUSE of a rise in gst as you claimed. And considering that some peoples tax cuts were less than the rise in gst, following your logic i could claim that the gst increase reduced peoples income, which shows that your argument doesnt work

                  your claiming an impact from something that is separate

                  you can elaborate from now till christmas – it doesnt change the fact that GST is a consumption tax and not a wealth tax.

                  its called a consumption tax not a capital tax or a savings tax and its incurred when you spend – therefore it is a consumption tax

                  is having money the same as spending money?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I haven’t been through the numbers, but I understand they fully offset the increase in GST so that income earners were no worse off.

                  Good job other people have been then:

                  http://thestandard.org.nz/ctu-on-the-tax-switch/
                  http://thestandard.org.nz/english-spins-on-gst-with-no-traction/
                  http://thestandard.org.nz/fun-with-numbers-tax-cuts/

                  • Rosie

                    Onya DTB for posting that info.

                    Sisko must have been earning a huge amount to not notice the difference in their weekly budgeting when the increase in GST kicked in. I got a whopping $9 extra in my pay when income tax was reduced to supposedly level out the burden of increased GST. Not surprisingly, it did NOT cover the the cost of GST increase in every day living. Like everyone else, I was worse off. GST is a tax that disadvantages all but the very wealthy.

  4. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4

    This is meaningless populist bullshit.

    Eric Roy owns farm properties worth $4.4m. Because he is a farmer. This requires him to own a farm. Did he borrow money to buy the farm? Is that taken into account in this article? Because, the assets without the debt is only half the picture.

    • Tracey 4.1

      If he is an actual farmer fair enough…

      If he is a went to university, worked for treasury and became an MP farmer (like English) then it’s not a fair comment.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.1

        I own a million dollar property. I am a millionaire (if you disregard the debt).

        • Tracey 4.1.1.1

          I agree with that, my issue is whether someone is a farmer or saying they are a farmer because they bought land and have a manager and it looks better than telling the truth which is, in English’s case, a career bureaucrat/politician. I don’t know if the other chap is the former or the later.

        • BLiP 4.1.1.2

          I own a million dollar property. I am a millionaire (if you disregard the debt).

          If the public is made to pay that debt then of course you can disregard it. Just sit back and think of all that luvvverleee tax free capital accumulation rolling in. Mmmmm . . . I’m lovin’ it.

    • Rosie 4.2

      Some of those properties (housing and farms) are held in Trusts. Also how many of those farms have been held for generations in one family? Debt is neither here nor there.

      The article isn’t about debt anyway., it’s about the motivations of the Nats to not tax wealth and property and rather shift it on to the incomes of people who actually work.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.2.1

        Rosie: wealth is assets less debt. Any discussion about wealth cannot exclude debt.

        Fuck me.

        • Rosie 4.2.1.1

          Rather not ta.

        • thatguynz 4.2.1.2

          TGF is perfectly correct here. It doesn’t matter much if you have a $200 million dollar property portfolio if you carry >=$200 million worth of debt a la Terry Serepisos. Simple accounting really.

          Ergo TGF is right in suggesting that only half the picture is being painted.

          • Rosie 4.2.1.2.1

            Sure TGNZ. Most of us carry debt through our assets eg, our houses, and the size of that asset is in accordance with our ability to pay our debt, in most circumstances, unlike the shifty greedy Serepisos. The issue is however the extent of the wealth of these MP’s and in that respect who they represent and who they serve.

            If the majority of MP’s in government owned more modest assets, personally, do you think they would avoid a implementing a CGT? Governing a country is a privilege and those that govern are there to serve the society they live in, not an elite minority.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.2.1.2.1.1

              I know, Rosie. You could not vote National. If enough people agree with you, they won’t be in government. We could call this, “democracy”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually, we couldn’t. We’d have to call it representative democracy as the people don’t have a direct say on the policies that govern them. If we did we’d probably have different policies that actually represented the wishes and best interests of people of NZ rather than the wishes of the rich and the corporations.

            • thatguynz 4.2.1.2.1.2

              I fully agree. My point was however (in agreement with TGF) that the way the story has been published isn’t 100% accurate because only half of the information is available. That in no way detracts from my view of said MP’s etc. and who they truly represent ;)

        • Zorr 4.2.1.3

          If they are securing these assets through excessive debt in such a manner as to make property unaffordable to the many MANY poorer people and thereby ensuring not only that market prices remain inflated but that more of our money flows overseas.

          They’re bastards either way

        • framu 4.2.1.4

          “The article isn’t about debt anyway., it’s about the motivations of the Nats to not tax wealth and property”

    • Hi TGF

      Surely if they were heavily in debt by virtue of their properties these MPs would have an even stronger motivation to oppose a CGT?

    • Wayne 4.4

      Yes, who would have guessed, National MPs, who were farmers before they were MP’s own farms. And others have invested in farms – so unNew Zealand.

  5. Paul Campbell 5

    There’s also a current 5% wealth tax on private money held overseas (on money held in retirement accounts for example)

  6. tinfoilhat 6

    I don’t know what’s sadder, that The Herald barns this tripe investigative journalism or that you’ve chosen to reproduce it.

    I now expect the garbage they printed today about Labour to appear on a Nat oriented blog with a similar spin. Really is that the best The Herald can do when it comes to investigative journalism and informing the public ? We may as well read the women’s weekly.

  7. Tanz 7

    one solace, they can’t take any of it with them. Not a crumb.

  8. Bill 8

    So, while John Key wanks on about ‘protecting’ tax payers money with regards not making Pike River compensation payments…while he bails corporates and joins with his cronies in dipping and double dipping and fck knows what else…here’s a nice wee instance of simply following the rules that just happens to put the boot firmly on the other foot.

    Occupy have spent $400 000 to buy and then write off nearly $15 000 000 worth of personal medical debt.

    Now, if they can do that then, in line with a comment below the linked article – if every person in debt refused to make repayments and made a payment equaling 5% of their debt to an organisation that could then purchase their entire debt and write it off….

    Or…why doesn’t government buy categories of personal debt on the same basis, write it off and get money flowing in the economy in line with their, admittedly bullshit, ‘buy your way out of recession’ economic fix.

    Gotta be better than all that wealth funneling austerity…oh…I forgot. The wealth funneling thing. It’s a necessary thing. It’s a good thing. And setting market discipline onto people so they are ground into the dirt is just….fair.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.1

      very informative, the times they are a changin’, as people exit the fork in the road.

  9. King Kong 9

    Haters gonna hate.

    I must admit I still love the reaction from the financial failures on the left when a bit of wallet waiving goes on.

    The tears, anger and jealousy all combine in a pleasing display of inadequacy.

    • Rosie 9.1

      I’ve got no problem with wealth Ding Dong. It’s how it’s gained, used and abused. Do you honestly think these MP’s aren’t protecting themselves and their kind by not introducing fairer tax policy, ie, Capital Gains? It’s all about them!

  10. infused 10

    Ah politics of envy. Good to see it going strong.

    • fender 10.1

      Ah politics of self protection, rich people getting into parliament to tilt the legislative tables for their own benefit.

    • Zorr 10.2

      I don’t actually envy them

      I don’t want their money. I don’t want their wealth. There’s nothing about it that interests me.

      I think that their motivations due to their situation directly affects their policy decisions and broader party support for stomping on the downtrodden. You don’t get to be wealthy without making other people suffer and for every super wealthy person there is probably 100-1000 people suffering as they lock up that wealth.

      So yeah. This is actually the politics of fairness because generational wealth accumulation unfairly benefits the super wealthy.

      How about if their total wealth was only $1m? They’d still be very wealthy people but the amount of good that money could do? Incalculable!

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        at a certain stage it becomes a matter of an ego driven pinball game.

        How many million can you acquire? What deal can you cut or get into to make another million? You can afford the normally aspirated Porsche, why not the turbo version? Etc. No matter how much you have, it is never enough, even if you already have 5 other cars in the garage, or 5 other investment properties, etc.

        • Zorr 10.2.1.1

          Why can’t we just take their millions and give them a crack pipe?

          It is arguably a cheaper addiction as far as cost to society is concerned

        • King Kong 10.2.1.2

          How the hell would you know? Unless professional masseuses have started bringing down the big dough and no one told me.

    • framu 10.3

      why are you sticking up for any politicians who use their position of power to enrich themselves by the laws they pass?

      why?

      • Tracey 10.3.1

        because they are “successful” and apparently when you are financially successful you are above criticism. BM and infused certainly think so. I suspect it is them that envy the wealth and think that if they support them long enough they might create an environment for BM and infused to become very wealthy… THAT’s the real scam the voters of the right have been suckered for over 40 years now… They don’t openly say they expect trickle down, cos they expect torrent down, just a smidge, to include them….

    • Tracey 10.4

      good lord confused, that means the rich can never be criticised cos we are all just envious, how convenient for them.

      It is not envy that suggests 20m to foreign investors NOT covered by a guarantee is better spent on food in schools.
      It is not envy which suggests that rape prevention programmes in every high school could be funded by the 20m to warners (who made a profit of over $1B USD last year).
      It is not envy which seeks to hold Mr key to his word that he would demand higher standards than the previous govt’s “it’s not illegal” so it’s ok mantra.

      You nd BM and KKK can keep telling yourselves that’s what it is… everyone deserves to be happy and you three seem very happy.

  11. appleboy 11

    National – greedy and fuck everyone else who is not rich is there ethos

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    That is not how the “sharmarket” works.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1

      My comment seems to have been orphaned by the illiterate to whom I was replying deleting her comment. Context is everything, so perhaps someone could kill my reply (and this).

  13. vto 13

    The government needs to raise revenue. It does this by taxing those who earn money….

    …. but the problem is that they don’t evenly tax all who earn money. Only the wage and salary earner and successful business owner really contributes to the tax take. Those who make money by other means do not.

    This includes those who make money from having the value of their assets increased.

    It is about time that all forms of money earning are taxed to ensure a fair spread of the burden.

    The Nats know this and the fact they ignore it makes them dishonest.

  14. greywarbler 14

    Is there an asset test to actually be picked for a NACT place to prove your the Right Stuff? Doesn’t matter what sort of ass you are, the asset test will be the acid test, wot!
    And I bet they don’t have to set aside part of their salaries to help fund their Party as do the smaller ones.

  15. captain hook 15

    This National government is a party of chumps who think it is ok to turn the whole 100% pure countryside into an open sewer so that the ignorati can make a few more dollars that they dont have to pay tax on.
    YOu can bet that all irrigation schemes will be like private partenrships with tax let out clauses.
    This government has to go immediatley before the land is a s rotten as they are..

  16. Tanz 16

    Actually, I have a Masters in English lit. It was a typo, dearie, a typo. A mistake. That was actually obvious.
    Thanks for responding to my comment though.
    And do you know how the sharemarket works? I bet not.

  17. Saarbo 17

    This is exactly why labour MUST consider imposing a wealth Tax. Eddie has worded the post perfectly when he states that National “would rather tax hard work instead”, because currently land owners have never been wealthier, they want people to believe that they have worked hard to gain this wealth when in fact they have simply sat on their fat useless arses as their land value sky rockets. They haven’t worked for this wealth, and it is wealth that doesn’t do any good for broader New Zealand…TAX it. Labour need to look seriously at a wealth tax.

  18. Ad 18

    Not entirely sure why this is news.

    Politicians act both in their own interest and in the interest of those who funded them there.

    Expecting moral distance from any person, let alone politicians, let alone National ones, when a person acquires massive power, is in general unhelpful. Far easier for people to be clearer about the interests they are acting for.

    I think Labour are beginning to get this. National got it a while ago.

  19. Marksman 19

    I think The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell,is a disgrace to all Python fans around the world.Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time..

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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 weeks ago

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