web analytics
The Standard

NRT: Global inequality is a threat to democracy

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, January 22nd, 2014 - 31 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, class war, Economy, International, Politics - Tags:

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn writes on the Oxfam report about the deliberate concentration of wealth by subverting the political process towards the inequality levels displayed in the movie Elysium.

Today’s shock statistic: the 85 richest people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion of us:

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

As for how this has happened, the report is pretty clear: the total capture and subversion of our political systems by the rich:

The Oxfam report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favour on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, anti-competitive business practices to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

To point out the obvious, this is highly undemocratic. And if we want to solve the problem of inequality, we need to start by taking back our democracy and removing the influence of wealth from our political system. We’ve outlawed direct bribes, but that hasn’t been enough; we now need to outlaw large donations and replace them with public funding instead. No-one likes politicians, but if we want them to listen to us rather than the rich, then we need to be the ones paying them. Its that simple.

31 comments on “NRT: Global inequality is a threat to democracy”

  1. Ad 1

    Surely we’re due for an 1848 year soon.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Go long on guillotines.

    • joe90 1.2

      heh..

      Long the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrils carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in the one realisation, Guillotine. And yet there is not in France, with its rich variety of soil and climate, a blade, a leaf, a root, a sprig, a peppercorn, which will grow to maturity under conditions more certain than those that have produced this horror. Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.

      http://acacia.pair.com/Acacia.Vignettes/Happily.Ever.After/A.Tale.of.Two.Cities.html

  2. joe90 2

    Coincidentally, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2014 letter – 3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor.

    http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      This has got to be a sick joke. 47M Americans on foodstamps with 1 in 4 American children relying on foodstamps just to eat during each month. Tens of thousands of US prisoners working for corporations at pay rates ranging from $1/hr to nothing i.e. slave labour. While ordinary American jobs get outsourced to either Asia, or to these prison labour camps. And of course the inmates are almost all black or brown. What colour are the people on the Boards of corporates who use this prison labour? White, of course.

      Did you happen to notice how ‘getting richer’ also improved the weather and the quality of daylight over the cities compared in those ‘before and after’ photos?

      Do you feel that itch? That’s what it feels like to be propagandised.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        I tried to read through that link – I really did. Too much rising anger. Stopped. sigh Really despise those vile ‘do-gooder, conscience salving, shoulder shrugging – ‘What did I do ‘bad” types like Gates.

        (Shanghai looked cool and vibrant in the photo from the 70s – dead zone in the more recent one)

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Entry through St Peter’s gates seems to be getting more expensive for some types nowadays.

      • Diana 2.1.2

        Hi. It occurs to me that this article refers to the world not just America. Why is it that so many of you in America can only see your own country as something existing! This is a world wide problem and would be helped by it being seen as more than an American problem.

        I agree with your sentiments, but as an outsider of the US of A, I would love the word to spread that we too matter!

  3. joe90 3

    Yeah, most of their money exists as a giant hedge fund and they’re wrong about camels too.
    //

  4. Tracey 4

    Those 3 billion are just lazy.

    Am reading schama’s “citizens” . As we speak.

    I know when the revolution comes I will probably be killed by the uprisers and yet I know that capitalism has failed and has to be stopped…

    The crash if the 80s and the gfc were not socialist failures.

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    I think that this article’s message can’t be repeated too often.
    I fail to imagine the many serious issues we face currently being addressed* before this one of inequality is – because inequality is adversely affecting democracy.

    I would attack both the issues at the same time – the compromised democracy and the inequality.

    * GFC booms and busts issues
    Too big to fail issues
    High unemployment issues
    Energy issues
    Poverty issues
    Social mobility/education issues
    Pollution issues
    Climate change issues
    All these issues and more are not being addressed because it goes directly against the interests of the wealthiest in this world to have that occur.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Watched “Elysium” a night ago and it really is that bad right now, not some nasty futurist projection. The filthy rich are not off planet just yet but they do their best to isolate themselves from what they are responsible for in their highly secure enclaves.

    The dirty bludgers could be gone by lunchtime if not for the politically disengaged aspirational and alienated amongst us, aka the majority.

  7. Bill 7

    Hope I don’t wind up boring people with this, (I probably will) but the inequality (or whatever else) isn’t a ‘threat to democracy’. As the post points out, the situation of our governance is that it’s ‘highly undemocratic’. Before that, it was simply less undemocratic. But whatever, it certainly wasn’t democratic.

    Anyway, fighting to get back to a situation where our governance was less undemocratic simply can’t be said to be ‘taking back our democracy’.

    If we want democracy, then we have to begin to demand it, practice it and develop it – not hold to an ideal or pursue a goal based on a past that, at a fundamental level, wasn’t.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1

      Bill, you appear to be getting caught up in semantics here.

      Big money has a direct impact on what policies get pursued – and this is a severe compromise to demcracy:

      Link:

      http://www.democracyjournal.org/27/how-big-money-corrupts-the-economy.php?page=all

      “For corporations and Wall Street, campaign finance is only one weapon. The other is direct spending to influence policy. Indeed, for most organized interests, spending on elections is just the training season; the real games begin once elected officials start governing….

      …. Koch Industries, which is involved in industries ranging from manufacturing to energy production, benefits enormously from subsidies for big energy, as well as from the malign neglect of climate change—a status quo the Kochs have worked aggressively to preserve. And for most corporate lobbies, there’s not even a screen of ideology. Their overriding goal is to protect or expand their market advantage. The financial industry lobbied to wipe out the New Deal-era rules that reduced systemic risks—but also industry profits. The pharmaceutical and hospital lobbies have repeatedly killed off threats to high medical prices, padding their pockets and driving up public and private spending. The oil and gas industries use their heft in Washington not only to oppose climate change policies, but to protect valuable land leases through which they are able to exploit public resources for pennies on the dollar.

      Companies lobby not just for weak regulations and direct subsidies, but also to keep other pesky challenges to profits at bay. Workers’ demands for unions can be headed off with new laws as well as anti-union drives within firms. Corporate taxes can be brought down with lobbying as well as clever tax planning: Of the eight companies that lobbied the most aggressively between 2007 and 2009, seven saw their tax rates fall from 2007 to 2010, and six saw declines of seven percentage points or more, even as the median company among 200 firms saw its tax rate fall by just 0.2 percent. The savings were worth an estimated $11 billion—which, if entirely due to lobbying, would indicate a return on investment of over 2,000 percent. Competitors can be beaten in the political arena as well as the market. The consolidation of the financial industry—in 2010, the five biggest banks held more than half of total bank assets, up from 30 percent in 2001—reflects not just economies of scale but also the implicit federal backstop that large banks enjoy because of their size and lobbying clout.”

      Another:
      http://www.democracyjournal.org/27/how-big-money-corrupts-the-budget.php

      • Bill 7.1.1

        It’s not semantics when the word or term being bandied about is referring to a reality that has nothing to do with what the word means.

        Think of the USSR and communists pushing for communism where ‘the Party’ had appropriated the term and used it to define something that in reality was a million miles away from communism.

        It’s the same for us with the term democracy.

        On the rest of your comment. Of course ‘big money’ skews the priorities and focus of governing structures/institutions. And of course its influence should be stamped out or pushed into touch.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.1

          Of course ‘big money’ skews the priorities and focus of governing structures/institutions. And of course its influence should be stamped out or pushed into touch.”

          That is what this thread was about. Your comment takes the focus off a very important point that needs to be made.

          As for the semantics – are you referring to representative democracy?

          Both the strength and the weakness of the English language is that words tend to change meaning – when someone refers to democracy – most of the time (if not all) they are speaking of representative democracy – also it refers to the ability for citizens of a country to become actively involved in a democratic process with a chance of influencing the outcome – both these factors of ‘democracy’ are being severely lessened by the presence of some persons (legal persons included – i.e corporations) having way more clout than an ordinary individual or group of ordinary individuals.

          Re the English language, though – it is a good idea to be specific with the language – so if that is the point you are making – I take that on board and agree.

        • Tracey 7.1.1.2

          like the origin of the word “revolutiojn”

  8. Tracey 8

    ANyone read ben eltons stark and gridlock?

    • Molly 8.1

      Read Stark over twenty years ago…. would that be right? I thought it was just a plotline, should’ve looked into it more.

      Just recently been thinking of buying a copy for my teenaged son.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        Yup, it would be. Funny but underlying a social principle. He sends up Packer and Murdoch… and through his humour highlights the poor/rich divide and the rich habit of shitting in their own backyard while financing to move planet when this one is fucked.

        gridlock looks at oil control and so forth in the same vein.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Read Stark about 10 years or so ago and even while reading it was thinking we’re seeing this now. Same as when I read the Handmaid’s Tale.

  9. Tracey 9

    Our problem is that we live under a kind of sophisticated feudal system. We just dont know who our over lords are because they lurk in the shadows anonymously donating to those in elected power.

  10. Seti 10

    If we can set aside the morality of inequality for just one moment, if wealth was distributed more evenly around the globe would it then be expectant that the consumption rate of resources would increase?

    If hundreds of millions, even billions, more were in a position to afford a higher protein diet and use fossil fuels, metals, etc. then wouldn’t problems of depletion and climate change occur at a greatly accelerated rate?

    China is a case in point – GDP per cap went from $153 in 1978 to $9,828 in 2012. There are now 400m middle class consumers, with that forecast to increase 60% by 2022. This surge in wealth has caused China’s CO2 emissions to increase 40% in the last four years.

    Not suggesting that reducing inequality should be forgone but the results of widespread redistribution could be impossible to manage.

    • Tracey 10.1

      surely to handle that the answer is not to just redistribute moeny but to alter entirely how our monetary system and society operates? I am beginning to think the Luddites are right.

      where previous mutiny has been an objection tot he speed of change through industrialisation etc, maybe the next is the speed of change due to technology and the loss of personal autonomy as a result?

      Did you read the article posted very recently about what happened when more money was given to the homeless and the poor? It’s worth a read.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.2

      if wealth was distributed more evenly around the globe would it then be expectant that the consumption rate of resources would increase?

      No, I think the opposite is true – due to those with the most capital having the most political clout – extreme inefficiency is resulting – because such increases profits for them. For example, energy: why have we persisted for so long with petrol when there are other forms of energy that have been discovered and could have been developed when we have known there is a problem with oil running out? Why were our railway tracks ripped up and public transport systems not used more? Why do our household items and clothes fall to bits so quickly when they used to last for ages?

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    And if we want to solve the problem of inequality, we need to start by taking back our democracy and removing the influence of wealth from our political system.

    And then we need to start taking our wealth.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Good article on this by John Minto over at TDB:

    This appears to be a consensus view of economists and insiders in the lead-up to the meeting which will be attended by more than 2,500 political, business, and academic leaders. Finance Minister Bill English will be attending from New Zealand.
    The World Economic Forum is well named, not because it’s a democratically selected group, but because the invited guests are those who run the global economy on behalf of the world’s richest people – the 1%.

  13. Glenn 13

    ” Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, a Davos stalwart, likens the situation today to the eve of World War I, exactly a century ago, when the world’s rich and its rulers stumbled toward the most horrific conflagration in history. “Complex societies rely on their elites to get things, if not right, at least not grotesquely wrong,” wrote Wolf, and today, “the elites need to do better. If they do not, rage may overwhelm us all.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/21/at-davos-2014-the-gods-of-mischief-rule.html

    Winter is coming!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    2 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    3 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    3 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    4 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    4 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere