web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Plurality support quake levy

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, April 4th, 2011 - 4 comments
Categories: disaster, greens, polls, public services, russel norman, tax - Tags: , , ,

A UMR poll shows that 40% of Kiwis support paying an earthquake levy to help pay for the Christchurch rebuild. 22% prefer more borrowing, and 29% want spending cuts. Asked just whether they supported or opposed a levy – 57% supported it. Yet the Nats are choosing cuts instead.

I have shown before how we could avoid any spending cuts to important stuff simply by reversing the tax cuts for the wealthiest New Zealanders, reversing the brand new corporate rate cut, getting rid of polluter subsidies under the ETS, and not building motorways whose costs exceed their benefits.

The Greens’ proposal is focused solely on raising money to pay for the Christchurch rebuild. They say that a 1.5% levy on income over $48,000, a 3% levy on income over $70,000, and returning the corporate rate to 30% would raise $1 billion (which looks about right according to Treasury’s guide).

John Key, however, is determined not to listen to the people. He is going to push ahead with spending cuts instead, claiming that raising a levy will hurt the economy.

Of course, Key has made no attempt to explain why taking money out of the economy through a levy and then returning it via the earthquake rebuild will slow growth yet taking money out of the economy through spending cuts and returning it via the earthquake rebuild will not. Key never attempts to explain his voodoo economics. We’re just meant to bow down to the supposed superior macroeconomic understanding of a money-trader.

In reality, it is deep cuts to public services and transfer payments (Working for Families, etc) that will hurt the economy.

Except for the younger amongst you, we all remember the never-ending recession of the early 1990s. Just as things seemed to be looking up, Ruthanasia came along in 1990 and the guts were kicked out of local communities and economies, sentencing the country to more years of recession. It wasn’t until 1994 that economic output per person regained the level enjoyed in the late 80s.

Russel Norman warns that National will extend this never-ending recession if it repeats the folly of the 1990s:

“This is the 1991 lesson which National should have learned.

“New Zealanders clearly want to do the right thing and we know a temporary levy is smart economics, so the Government’s refusal to consider it looks more and more foolish,”

Norman is hopeful that Key will be swayed:

“John Key has shown in the past he’s willing to listen to New Zealand. Hopefully this poll, on top of the advice of several economic commentators, will shift his thinking.”

I wish I could share that optimism. Key and English are not choosing to cut public services because they aren’t aware of or don’t understand the alternatives. They’re doing it because they want to, because they choose to. This is their ideology in action.

4 comments on “Plurality support quake levy”

  1. randal 1

    according to hooton on  9-noon this a.m. any levy would be a distortion of the tax system.
    so what.
    there is no natural law saying that the universe will collapse if the govt imposes a levy.
    a government has the right to do what it likes without being constrained by the ideology of one faction of the electorate.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      fark, someone should tell the solipsist little freak that christchurch has had a distortion of it’s not-being-munted system.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    The other thing is that a levy can be named and have the funds dedicated, and be legislated with a sunset clause.

    Funding cuts are permanent.

  3. Rich 3

    Firstly, the concept that we have a financial gap to be filled in order to rebuild after the earthquake is a misreading of economics. We are currently in a recession, and the quake is making it worse. The correct economic approach in a recession is for government to borrow and invest in order to make up for a lack of demand in the private sector.

    (See Johann Hari and Paul Krugman on why debt crises are an engineered myth. And remember that those articles are about the US and the UK, who have *way* higher public debt than NZ (we have the 7th lowest in the OECD).

    Secondly, if there is to be an earthquake levy, it should fall equally on corporations and the asset rich, rather than just shafting earners. A wealth tax and global turnover tax would be much fairer than just jacking up tax rates for middle income earners. Why should corporates and millionaires be given a free ride (well, because they own the government, but apart from that).
     

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Taxpayers not suckers when it comes to casino lemon
    The Government should not be asking New Zealanders to stump up extra cash to bail out John Key and Steven Joyce’s dodgy SkyCity convention centre deal, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. "A deal is a deal is a deal. SkyCity… ...
    4 days ago
  • Supreme Court decision an early Christmas present
    Women on low pay in New Zealand have been given an early Christmas present with yesterday’s decision by  the Supreme Court not to intervene in a decision of the Court of Appeal, says Labour's Spokesperson for Women's Affairs, Sue Moroney. … ...
    4 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    5 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    5 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    5 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    5 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    1 week ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    1 week ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere