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The Standard

Tax cuts for all!

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, May 15th, 2014 - 227 comments
Categories: budget 2014, john key, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:


John Key is nothing but an optimist. After delivering five successive deficit budgets and having driven core crown gross debt from $31 billion to a forecast $82 billion and despite in all likelihood delivering a wafer thin surplus that will rely on the stretching to breaking point of all sorts of accountancy rules he is talking publicly about a tax cut.

From Radio New Zealand:

Prime Minister John Key is floating the possibility of future tax cuts as National goes into the election campaign.

Mr Key said Thursday’s Budget would show increasing surpluses during the next few years.

The Government should still be able to achieve its aim of getting debt below 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2020, and have some money left over.

“So there are options for that additional expenditure, and they would obviously be spending by the Government or, alternatively, returning that through some sort of tax programme,” he said.

Asked where potential tax cuts might be directed, Mr Key said middle-New Zealand was an obvious group which paid a fair bit of tax and did not get a lot in return.

Mr Key said any tax cuts would not be announced in Thursday’s Budget, and National would have to decide before the 20 September election if it wanted to include them as part of its campaign promises.

Obviously on Planet Key the population is not ageing.  We are not all getting older, there are not more and more people receiving superannuation and needing more and more health assistance.  And climate change is not occurring and will not require greater and greater resources to adapt to given that we are not going to actually do anything about it.  There is no child poverty and third world diseases never happen here.  And there is no need to pay off all this debt that National has accumulated.

You have to admire Key’s chutzpah.  But would you want to trust him with the Country’s credit card?

227 comments on “Tax cuts for all!”

  1. millsy 1

    The government should be reversing the prescrption cost increase back to $3, restore ACE cuts and fix the Napier-Gisborne line (among other things). NOT slash taxes like Bill Birch did in 96 paving the way for all those hospital closures. And Cunliffe should rule out tax cuts and promise more spending on public services. Give NZ a choice.

    • Gosman 1.1

      Why should government fix the Napier-Gisborne line when it is not economically viable?

      • sabine 1.1.1

        hmmmm, no taxation without representation?

      • mickysavage 1.1.2

        Ever heard about a triple bottom line analysis or of the desirability of future proofing our transport systems?

        • Gosman

          Ever heard of a cost-benefit analysis and retun on investment?

          If the Napier-Gisborne line was economically viable why isn’t Kiwirail investing in it? They are after all one hundred percent government owned SOE and therefore aren’t tarnished by the dreaded curse of private shareholders.

          • mickysavage

            You can’t get your head around short term economic benefit can you. With your approach we would never build a school because it will never produce a profit.

          • vto

            Your problem gosman, which you show again, is that you think the world consists solely of dollar notes. You haven’t a clue about people, human history or human community. So bereft.

            • Gosman

              Pretty sure I understand human history. Human development has been driven on by the need to make money (or at least accumulate surplus value). Those countries which encourage individual actions on this front generally do better than those that force collective action.

              • felix


              • vto

                sheesh …. point proven

                let me try just one teency tiny very large example – the cooperative known as Fonterra. Following your logic there would be a better result if each farmer acted entirely independtly in the big wide world.

                seriously gosman, I shake my head

                • Gosman

                  Nope. Where did I state individuals couldn’t or even shouldn’t come together in a collective manner for their own individual good. It is the very nature of the joint stock company which I believe was one of the key drivers of the industrial age. It is also why I am supportive of the concept of Trade Unions as they provide Labour the same sort of benefits that Capital accrued out of Companies. I just don’t agree with coerced collectivism.

                  • vto

                    slickety dick again mr gosman, you are slip sliding all over this thread on banana peel of your own tossing …

                    but nonetheless, if your slippery reposte just there holds then you need to change your original this …

                    “Those countries which encourage individual actions on this front generally do better than those that force collective action.”

                    to this …

                    “Those countries which encourage collective actions on this front generally do better than those that encourage individual action.”

                    and this is the history of human advancement, collective action not individual action ..

                  • vto

                    gosman and this … “come together in a collective manner for their own individual good. It is the very nature of the joint stock company which I believe was one of the key drivers of the industrial age” … goes against your various assertions around individualism

                    more bananas please

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Massive :roll:

                “Encourage”. That’s one way to describe the effects of progressive democracy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually, it’s the exact opposite. Hell, even protectionism actually produces better development than free-trade because nations actually have to develop their own resources and capabilities. And, yes, history actually shows that (Ha-Joon Chang, 23 things about Capitalism).

                So, you know nothing about history and your beliefs are delusional because of that failure.

          • Gosman

            Kiwirail is set up to make a profit not be a provider of social services. Treating commerical enterprises as social welfare providers is what leads to SOE’s becoming a massive drain on the fiscus in places such as Greece and the like.

            • felix

              Just because fools and cretins have spent 30 years trying to turn all our public services into businesses doesn’t make them so.

              Which are you? You pose as a cretin but I’d say fool trying hard.

              • Gosman

                Which mainstream political party in NZ on the left wants to ditch the SOE model felix? Why do you think that is?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Me. Because it’s broken.

                  • Gosman

                    So just a few hard core leftists contributing to a left wing blog then. Noone in a position to actually implement said proposal if the party they belonged to won enough seats to be part of the government.

                  • felix

                    Me too.

                    Doesn’t count though OAB, according to Gosman the wishes desires and opinions of parties like you and me are irrelevant in a democracy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Well we can’t expect to get traction immediately. Got to just keep on repeating the message. The SOE model is broken. The SOE model is broken. :D

            • Draco T Bastard

              Kiwirail is set up to make a profit not be a provider of social services.

              Which is actually the problem. It should be a government department set up to run at near cost with capital expenditure (rail and rolling stock) sourced through taxes.

              Oh, and trucks should be paying for the full amount of damage that they do to the roads.

            • JonL

              So the fact that no one of substance paid any tax in Greece had nothing to do with it’s problems…?

          • Sanctuary

            comments like this make me smile. I smile because National is going to get quite a shock out in the provinces this September, a shock the polls will not necessarily pick up. The Nactoids can wave goodbye to half a dozen provincial and rural seats due to the dismissive arrogance of the Gosmans.

            Keep it up buddy. You are helping to bury National.

            • Gosman

              Care to have a wager with me on that?

              • framu

                you will just use some bullshit semantics to avoid paying up anyway so why bother

                • Gosman

                  Not if we frame the wager in definitive terms. I am happy if we define what the provincial/rural electorates are up front. If Labour wins 6 or more of these I lose. If they don’t I win. Not much wriggle room there.

                  • mickysavage

                    Gosman I might be wrong but I do not think that you have really addressed the tenor of the post. Do you think that tax cuts are a reasonable proposition given the current economic circumstances of the country?

                    • Rob

                      No for this budget, no. There is not enough surplus. But certainly if surpluses grow continually then Govt should take less from their productive population.

                  • freedom

                    Gosman, no one mentioned Labour, already you are trying to weasel the wager

          • thatguynz

            You can’t pick and choose the scenarios that you apply the “cost-benefit analysis” argument to. If that is your go-to stance, I expect you don’t support the “Roads of National Significance”??

            • Gosman

              Are you stating the roads of national significance don’t have a cost benefit analysis associated with them?

              • thatguynz

                Of course they do. What I’m stating is that the analysis isn’t favourable to actually proceeding with them – hence why I said “You can’t pick and choose the scenarios that you apply the “cost-benefit analysis” argument to.”

      • vto 1.1.3

        “Why should government fix the Napier-Gisborne line when it is not economically viable?”

        Why should the government proceed with the north Auckland holiday highway when it is not economically viable?

        • Gosman

          I’d actually have no problem if the tracks were developed and maintained separately and if people could make a case for fixing the line and then operating the line independently. If there is a good enough case for this then you would have my support.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Who would you send in “support”? The army or the police?

          • RedLogix

            A very old and close friend of mine – someone I’ve admired much of my life for being incredibly observant, well informed and highly intelligent – is part of a small group of volunteers who regularly makes trips out along that abandoned Napier-Gisbourne line to try and keep clear the drains and culverts that are essential to preventing the embankments from slowly collapsing over time.

            There is no ‘economic case’ for them to do this Gosman. They do this for free out of their own time and energy.

            It’s just they are locals, they understand the history, the purpose and the future reasons for keeping this line alive. Something you cannot.

            • Gosman

              Excellent. Get enough of them together and get the capital to purchase and operate the line. They can continue to do their volunteer work as well.

              • RedLogix

                Excellent – so you do understand that there is a case for keeping the line alive. You just want the benefits while getting someone else to pay for them.

                • Gosman

                  No. I want those people who will likely get the greater benefit (i.e. the people in Napier/Gisborne area) to take on most of the risk of the operation rather than those that don’t.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Don’t be stupid, if you applied that same pathetic self serving right wing rule to Auckland motorways that city would be full of toll bridges within a year.

                    • felix

                      One at each driveway, presumably.

                    • Tracey

                      not gosmans, cos he wouldnt want to py for one… oh wait, he could charge his friends when they came to visit.

                    • infused

                      That’s probably not a bad idea.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      not gosmans, cos he wouldnt want to py for one… oh wait, he could charge his friends when they came to visit.

                      Tracey, the mind boggles with how many quips you just opened up there :) Needless to say that’s probably not going to be a revenue spinner

                  • vto

                    I think one of your problems gosman is that you seem unable to assess where and how ‘benefits’ accrue. Or how people and communities are linked.

                    In this particular example you appear to see Gisborne as something wholly separate from the rest of NZ. It survives or dies on its own and has no effect of the balance of our fair lands. That there is no link.

                    This separation of peoples who are in fact linked is wrong-headed.

                    You seem to have a working brain but it seems to have had some heavy blinkers placed on it. Try prising them off for a good period of time and have a look around …..

                  • felix

                    I tire of these fools spouting the same old user-pays claptrap that we’ve all seen through decades ago as if it’s a new idea that we don’t understand yet.

                    It’s patronising and insulting.

                  • DS

                    Excellent. So we South Islanders can stop subsidising Auckland and Wellington’s roads?

                    Rail is a basic piece of infrastructure. Like roading, it is there to help encourage economic activity; it shouldn’t be there to make a profit in itself.

      • kenny 1.1.4

        I think you will find that most rail lines throughout the world are not economically viable and that most national railways are subsidised by governments.

  2. sabine 2

    anyone asked him by how much he will increase GST?

    • felix 2.1

      …and ACC, fuel levies, vehicle registration, alcohol tax, ciggie tax, court costs, and every other fee tax levy and duty the govt has available for revenue collection and probably a few new ones.

  3. freedom 3

    or it could reinstate the 18 million that crippled Adult Education programmes across the country or replace the million recently taken from Food for Schools to pay for nit chairs.

  4. Gruntie 4

    Im a 50 year old male white man in the middle class and I don’t want tax cuts – I do in fact get a lot back from the taxes I and generations contribute to – a great education for my kids, great healthcare for my elderly parents, – fuck off To Hawaii in your la la land John Key

    • Gosman 4.1

      That’s nice that you personally don’t want tax cuts. Here’s an idea for you. How about you voluntarily gift more of your income to the Government.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        How about you cite one real world example of a country that has adopted your fictional notions? Apart from Somalia.

        • Gosman

          What fictional notions are those that you are referring to?

          As for Somalia, I am not sure why you think this is in any way reflective of some right wingers version of paradise. They have a large amount of governmental and quasi governmental interference in people carrying out business and no consistent application of the rule of law.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            So, no real world example of the things you’d like to see then.

            • Gosman

              There are lots of real world examples of things I would like to see and lots of real world examples of things I would like to avoid.

              The FTA with China is an example of something I would like to see more of.

              The aborted 75% wealth tax in France is something I would like to see less of.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                So, the Army, the Police, Treasury and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, along with customs and border security staff. Or are the police doing that? You’ll need someone to run your systems too. Better have a Ministry of Internal Affairs.

                Who’s going to train all those diplomats and prevent them from simply following pure self-interest on the job?

              • felix

                “The FTA with China is an example of something I would like to see more of.”

                Yeah that makes sense. Especially as you don’t think govts should own anything.


                • Gosman

                  Where have I ever stated that govts shouldn’t own anything. I have stated that I don’t believe the State should own commercial enterprises. That is a separate matter though.

                  • vto

                    You need to be able to distinguish between commercial enterprise and, for example, essential life services such as electricity and water.

                    This is one of the failures of the neoliberal thinking, and it kills people, such as the 29 dead men at Pike River. Or the elderly who perish earlier than they should due to cold and damp houses brought about by insufficient electricity.

                  • Tracey

                    other than the army and the police, what other things do you think govt should run they dont fit your cost-benefit model?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Because Somalia is the perfect example of what we would get if we followed right-wing social and economic prescriptions.

            • Wayne

              Do you really believe this. That the Nats would like to turn NZ into Somalia.

              • Colonial Viper

                The NATs would like to turn NZ into a country where private sector interests have maximal control – either directly themselves or through lobbyists acting on a weak and anaemic state – the one difference in the Somalia scenario is that their private sector does not have “big business leaders” it has “warlords” otherwise the principles hold true.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I didn’t say that they would like to. I said that it is the natural result of their policies and actions.

              • Tracey

                he didnt write that national would like nz to be like somalia he wrote that in his opinion the end result of nat and act policy would eventually be a somalia like situation.

                my concern is what happens when we have the next economic crisis, and history says we will, when we have nothing left to sell off?

              • DS

                No, the Nats would like to turn the clock back to Dickensian England.

                “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”

            • MaxFletcher

              No it isn’t at all. Not supportive of right-wing social or economic principles but Somalia’s troubles run far deeper than economic. Factional warlords and religious violence being two such issues.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Factional warlords and religious violence being two such issues.

                And what else did you think competition between mega-corporations was?

                • MaxFletcher

                  Factional warlords and religious violence in Somalia predating mega-corporations.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    BTW do you think Somalia and the rest of east Africa have an indigenous arms manufacturing industry?

                    Or, where do you think these African warlords get all the USD required to buy and import their AK47s, machine guns, RPGs, mortars etc?

                    Bottom line is that the colonial powers, now including China, have always treated Africa and its people as a resource to be exploited.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Doesn’t matter which came first. Although they use different methods there’s no real difference between the two.

                    • MaxFletcher

                      Well it does because the factional war-lording and religious violence was a problem before, and not because of, the mega-corporations. To say “Because Somalia is the perfect example of what we would get if we followed right-wing social and economic prescriptions.” ignores a raft of historical issues.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The monetary system is a result of war and bloodshed that happened a long time ago (Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber). Corporations are a result of that monetary system. It is only through acts of socialism that, finally, that war and bloodshed has come to an end. Policies of the right will take us back to it – they have, after all, always opposed those acts.

            • Gosman

              Actually Somalia is the end result of a failed attempt to turn the country in to a Socialist utopia. I find it perverse that leftists would use the outcome of a socialist experiement to diss free market capitalism.

              • Tracey

                yes. how dare anyone dispute your world view and belief that capitalism has brought nothing but sunshine and rainbows to all.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Strange, I could have sworn that it had something to do with civil war and warlords fighting for control. Not something I’d call socialist.

                • Gosman

                  The civil war and warlords came about as the result of the collapse of the socialist dictatorship of Siad Barre

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Everyone is “socialist” to you Gosman, and if it was a true socialist government of the people like that of the Sandanistas or Mossadegh or Allende, the USA would have doomed it or overthrown it anyhows.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It eventually settled on the Soviets’ Cold War arch-rival, the United States, which had been courting the Somali government for some time.


                    By that time, Barre’s government had become increasingly unpopular. Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The regime was weakened further in the 1980s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia’s strategic importance was diminished.

                    Again, not what one would call socialist. And I’m not surprised to find that it was supported by the US after it became a military dictatorship – after the USSR dropped it for becoming one.

          • framu

            What fictional notions are those that you are referring to?”

            all of them

            are you even interested in having an intelligent discussion or are you still in your self professed bullshitter and stirrer mode?

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        Gos, I’d be quite happy to follow the lead of the top 1% if they started voluntarily gifting their income to the government.

        That doesn’t seem forthcoming, so I’d be quite happy to be caught by higher tax rates if those are what is required to force the 1% to pay more tax.

        • Tracey

          if we followed the lead of the top1% we would be trying to find ways to pay less tax, using people with the skill-set of the Minister for dairies….

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.3

        That’s nice that you personally don’t want tax cuts. Here’s an idea for you. How about you voluntarily gift more of your income to the Government.

        Or voluntarily vote in a Government who will set taxes, public spending and government services at a responsible level serving the needs of ordinary NZers.

        • Tracey

          how dare you bring democracy into gosmans spreadsheet world

          • Colonial Viper

            Honestly it’s like advocating for higher levels of local and central government activity, activity which must be structured within the direct control of the public, is some kind of extreme radicalism.

  5. Gosman 5

    The deficits and associated massive increase in Government debt was all predicted to occur in the 2008 PREFU except the deficits were predicted to last till 2018 and the Debt was predicted to get bigger as a result. This was under the spending regime put in place by the last Labour led government.

    I would be interested to know what exactly Labour would have done differently to reduce the deficit and associated debt increase if they were in power. I know that even relatively straightforward savings that National made were opposed by Labour such as the cut to funding the Superannuation fund. I also seem to remember Labour suggesting there should be greater spending to try and spend our way out of the recesssion. This would have led to more debt and a greater deficit.

    What specifically would Labour have done differently to bring us back to surplus sooner?

    • mickysavage 5.1

      This was under the spending regime put in place by the last Labour led government.

      Yep Helen Clark failed us. She should have realised the extraordinary greed that merchant bankers had, the complete mess they made of the world’s economy and the extreme measures that would be required by all of the world’s economies to get out of the mess.

      She should have not only paid off the country’s net debt, she should have stockpiled a big pile of cash.

      Her failure to do so was the spending regime that caused the global financial crisis.

      I mean Gosman really?

      And the returns from the Superannuation fund have been extraordinarily good. Cutting the payments to the fund has made as much sense as privatising the power companies.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Cullens last few budgets essentially led to the decade of deficits and the associated increase in Government debt. It is all set out in the 2008 PREFU. Even if you are right and it was all down to the GFC (unlikely given Treasury had no way of knowing how long the economic downturn may have lasted) then what you are agreeing with is that the increase in debt and deficits are not the fault of National. You will still have to give them credit for bringing the books back in to the black years before predicted.

        • risildowgtn

          But there is no surplus
          Only a blind sided fool like yourself would believe that


          wake up

          • Tracey

            3.8 billion per year in interest and gosman is promoting imaginary surplus.

            look i have ten dollars in my pocket but a mortgage of 200k. i’m in surplus!

            will look for his response to you ut he is selective about which people he responds to.

        • Tracey

          “You will still have to give them credit for bringing the books back in to the black years before predicted.”

          Problem is those predictions must be wrong, given how often the Finance Minister and Mr Kep tell us they are wrong….

          I believe they had some things to say about asset sales that the Pm and Bill said were wrong…

          a phrase used by Bill English is “just forecasts”….

          so only you believe all the predictions are set in stone, your leader and his bagman dont., unless they make them look good.

        • Draco T Bastard

          There was no decade of deficits – well, except under this government. How else do you think we ended up in so much debt?

        • sixincomefigure

          Clark ran a surplus for nine out of nine years and halved the public debt/GDP ratio over that period. Key ran a deficit for five out of six (that’s being extremely generous to this year’s “surplus”) and almost tripled the debt. And yet somehow it’s all Clark’s fault.

          What’s your secret to keeping a straight face when you say stuff like this? Expensive acting classes? Try as I might, I just can’t keep it together if I attempt to get away with anything half that blatant.

          • blue leopard


          • Gosman

            Have you never read the 2008 PREFU sixincomefigure?

            It is very illuminating especially the medium term outlook section figures 2.12 and 2.13. Check it out and then get back to me with how wonderful the Clark led government was and what a great legacy they left in terms of the shape of the government’s finances.

            • Tracey

              have you consider their projection was wrong… like the prediction of the govts tax tax has been wrong for a few quarters, like its surplus is bigger than predicted?

            • Draco T Bastard

              The interesting thing about Treasuries predictions is that they always predict far below what Labour does and over predicts what National do.

              It’s this thing called institutional bias. Treasury has it bad.

        • DS

          When Clark and Cullen ran a series of proper surpluses, the Right complained about an evil over-taxing Government. When Key and English fiddle the accounts to give us one surplus in six, the Right regards it as fiscal prudence.

      • Gosman 5.1.2

        Where would Labout have made the savings then given you don’t think contribution to the Super fund should have been cut?

        • mickysavage

          Labour is always better at reducing unemployment rates (reduces benefits and increases tax take) and in growing the economy. And those 2009 tax cuts that were meant to be fiscally neutral obviously were not.

          • Gosman

            They were designed to be but weren’t initially due to the nature of the economy at the time. However given the nature of the economy now they are certainly likely to be so at the moment. I note you still haven’t mentioned what Labour would have specifically done differently to reduce the deficit sooner.

            • Tracey

              what’s the predicted surpluses for the next 3 years?

            • mickysavage

              I am just struggling to understand how anyone can believe that a government whose policies had the economy humming who made the state a net creditor and who never ran a deficit was a bad economic manager while the current bunch that gave unaffordable tax cuts, trebled debt and have not yet run a surplus are good managers.

              • Gosman

                Yet they left policies in place that were predicted to leave us with a decade of deficits and the massive increase in government debt that we have seen over the past few years.

                You still haven’t identified what specific policies Labour would have introduced that would have led to the deficit and government debt being reduced at a faster rate.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No, they wouldn’t, because (and here’s the really clever part, so pay attention) they wouldn’t have kept the same policy settings. Tricky, eh.

                  I especially doubt they’d have reduced their own revenue stream.

                  • felix

                    Now look OAB, if the only evidence you can point to is a govt that actually did eliminate govt debt AND run a surplus every year…

                    …then I’m going to have to lean toward Gosman’s fantasies.

                  • Gosman

                    They were already committed to do so in the tax cuts they introduced in the 2008 budget. However even if they cancelled this cut to taxes it would not have brought the country back to surplus. Where else would they have reduced the deficit?

                • Tracey

                  what’s the predicted surpluses for the next 3 years?

              • felix

                Well that depends entirely on the objective. The banks to whom we owe all that new debt are happy.

            • Tracey

              “hey were designed to be but weren’t initially due to the nature of the economy at the time. ”

              not designed to be, we were TOLD they WERE, at present, from the date they came in. As for the nature of the economy at the time they came in, that was well known to the national party, and of course the boffins that do all that predicting you rely on so much.

            • Draco T Bastard

              However given the nature of the economy now they are certainly likely to be so at the moment.

              Nope, they’ll still be fiscally negative. That will be true no matter how much spending increases because the money going to the rich will increase at the same time.

              • Gosman


                Not sure you understand how taxes work Draco.

                • Tracey

                  whats the predicted surplus for the next three years?

                  • Gosman

                    I’m sure the budget will supply those figures for you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah more BS forecasts using fantasy based Excel modelling

                    • Tracey

                      because you didnt know and expect people to address your queries but you dont have to address those of others.

                      surplus is 370 million, interest on current debt is 3.7 billion per annum and an additional $1 billion in spending…

                      so, is it a real life surplus, or a book surplus.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I understand how they work. You don’t seem to understand how the rich get rich and thus why any increase in spending by the majority will result in the discrepancy remaining.

        • Tracey

          i see key and english are doing a junior lollie scramble and adopting labour policies as their own… not admitting that of course.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      You really need a better lie Gosman- but still:

      Making more progress on the Christchurch rebuild would have restored some of the city’s contribution sooner. Napier was flattened and rebuilt in two years – Christchurch suffered less fromthe earthquake and more from the gross corruption and inefficacy of Gerry Brownlee.

      The long term effects of the 285 000 kiwi children in poverty depresses their lifetime earning potential significantly, this cost will be reflected in poorer long term growth. The longer you leave it the worse it gets.

      The tax cuts were not an effective stimulus, and put NZ 50 billion in debt for no good reason.
      That debt must be serviced, dragging more money away from constructive use.

      Failure to resolve the housing crisis and implement effective regulation and building programs has created a real estate bubble on the scale of Biarritz. This is not productive activity and competes with the productive economy.

      The systematic corruption of our higher government functions by ‘cash for assess’ and similar rorts makes government insensitive to social problems and adds an extra layer of cost to the kinds of enterprise they support, this stifles growth.

      Novopay doesn’t work, but thanks to gross National incompetence they have become the new industry standard in NZ.

      The asset thefts were particularly egregious,badly conducted and deliver inadequate value to the NZ public. The money squeezed out of NZ households by the foreign institutional owners of these assets willnot but circulating virtuosly in the local economy.

      I could go on all night Gosman. National have done nothing right. If they had any self-respect whatsoever they’d go into exile or shoot themselves.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        You talk about lies. The tax cuts did not put NZ 50 billion in debt. That is blatent leftist spin.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Correct, it was only ~$12b. The other $40b odd was due to the government borrowing to give money to corporations and to sell our assets.

          • Gosman

            Russell Norman states it was 5 billion. Where did you get 12 billion from?

            • Draco T Bastard

              ~$2b loss per year times 6 years.

              • KJT

                Plus the compounding interest on the borrowing for the foregone tax and the money which disappeared overseas when the rich spent their tax cuts on Hawaii holidays. Grossman proves again that RWNJ’s cannot do their arithmetic.

                • Gosman

                  Apparently Russell Norman can’t do arithmetic either. I am not running for elected office specialising in an economics area at least.

                  • KJT

                    I am sure you may have heard of the difference between the nominal amount per year, which Russell used, not incorrectly, and the actual compounding losses.

                    Like spending $2000 more a year than you earn and putting it on the credit card.

                    How much are your total repayments after 6 years if you have paid nothing back, Gosman?

              • Gosman

                So Russell Norman is massively wrong on his figures then. Not sure that is a good look for a potential finance minister.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I didn’t say that. I was, after all, just going on broad numbers that I could recall.

                  And you really are stretching there. Trying so hard to make it seem like Norman’s wrong.

                • Colonial Viper

                  So Russell Norman is massively wrong on his figures then. Not sure that is a good look for a potential finance minister.

                  It’s not an impediment for Bill English, so why are you promoting double standards?

                  • Gosman

                    Are you happy with a finance minister that has problems with basic arithmetic then?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, I’m quite unhappy having Blinglish as Finance Minister. Especially the way he twists statistics to try to get them to say what he wants rather than what they actually show.

                    • You_Fool

                      Also I am 100% confident that Russell Norman won’t be finance minister in the next 3 years. I am about 47% – 53% confident that Bill English won’t be finance minister either, but that nagging doubt continues to press against me like a cold chill down my spine.

        • Jim

          The tax cuts for the wealthy and increasing of GST was far from neutral as predicted by the government at the time. You state that although there was initially an income gap which would have reduced in recent years. This is only looking at one side of the equation as there is good research to show that tax cuts to the wealthy does not stimulate an economy, where as increasing direct taxes like GST does retard the economy significantly. You also state that if National Super contributions had been continued that this would have added to debt. Given the large returns the National Super has produced in the last 5 years net debt would have been considerably less if contributions had been continued. Economies are very complex and there are dozens of economic leavers which would have been done differently from National, each of which can be debated individually.

          • Gosman

            Then debate a few of them at least. Which particular levers would have Labour likely have used to get us out of deficit quicker than National has done? I suspect you will suggest spending even more to stimulate the economy. That would have led to greater accumulation of debt though.

            • captain hook

              stop wasting money on arselickers for a start.
              what sort of kcikback are they giving you gossy?
              after all there is no such thing as a free lunch in your cosmos.

            • Jim

              Gosman, I did debate your two examples, that being tax changes and scrapping the contribution to national super. Are you just trolling for the sake of it!

            • You_Fool

              I don’t know if you noticed Gosman, because that would require you reading Jim’s post, but he did bring up what he thought Labour would have done differently

              a) Not do the great tax switch – thus keeping revenue higher and the economy running better, which would create more revenue for the crown

              b) Continue contributions to the National Super Fund, which would bring in larger returns than what was being spent on it

              To be fair Jim isn’t debating these, as that would require you to raise your own points so that discussion could follow, which doesn’t appear to be your desire today

    • framu 5.3

      “The deficits and associated massive increase in Government debt was all predicted to occur in the 2008 PREFU ”

      fucks sake – just how big a douche bag are you? – you did that line to death yesterday!

      and you still cant accept that after the prefu things changed so the predicitons in the prefu are null and void

  6. millsy 6

    What hospitals do you want to close Gos?

    And to show you how spiteful this government is it will not even lease the NGL to a private consortium to run services on the line.

  7. Gosman 7

    Kiwirail is not the government. The fact you equate the two is part of the reason the state should not own commercial enterprises. If Kiwirail does not want to lease the line then you are best placed to ask them the reasons.

    • felix 7.1

      Yeah legit government is just Treasury, the Police, and the Army.


      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Don’t forget the prisons.

        Oh, of course, you just contract those out to Serco and let their shareholders make money off the brown people in shackles.

    • vto 7.2

      And you and your types are part of the reason private enterprise should not own essential services, like electricity, transportation (rail duh), water, on it goes ….

      It always ends up like kiwi rail is (after Fay and Richwhite stripped and dumped it – areseholes), like electricity prices are, like the financial sector did (bailed out by the public), lke … on it goes … you lot are bloody useless at it and should stick to producing plastic buckets in China. It is all you lot are good for.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Transportation – like Trucks, Buses and Taxis? I didn’t realise that members of the left in NZ wanted to nationalise our entire transportation sector. If only that was official policy of one of the mainstream left wing parties. National would be guarranteed re-election for a number of terms.

        • vto

          slickety dick

          I went to add in the word “infrastructure” but the edit function time had passed. I thought you may have worked it out ….

          • Gosman

            Fair enough if it was a edit issue. I would agree to an extent about infrastructure in terms of helping develop it. However it should always be with the eye on economic value otherwise you get the situation of bridges to nowhere that occur in places like the US. Commercial enterprises utilising that infrastructure though should not be owned by the State in my mind or, if they are, should be run on commercial not social grounds.

            • RedLogix

              Yeah – and when they fail they come running to the govt to bail them out.

              Privatising profit- socialising losses. The actual driving force of neo-liberalism.

              • Tracey

                “Privatising profit- socialising losses.”

                Plus 100

              • Gosman

                I don’t support government bailing out failed enterprises. They fail they fail. Let their assets be picked up by others.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The power-elite who benefit from those huge socialised bailouts – and indeed, set up and structure those bailouts as they see fit – think that your opinion is both quaint, and irrelevant.

                  Can’t you see it? Western governments are all run on socialism for the 1% (and especially the 0.1%) nowadays, from the USA through to UK and Europe, with the edges of it infecting Canada, Australia and NZ.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The social costs are too high to let private enterprise that provides essential services to fail. These services need to be run by government (which is cheaper and more efficient anyway).

                • KJT

                  And. If it is essential infrastructure to allow the country society and businesses to function?

                  Allow it to fail? As it will, as we have seen so often, when our particular breed of short term profit focused, greedy, incompetent, business managers have done their time.

                  It always makes me laugh when someone say we should run something like a business.

                  Hords of overpaid managers and directors skimping on pay for good staff and capital investment, and stripping out assets, so they can get out in three years with a big bonus or a golden parachute.
                  We have had generations of “Management” now, whose only skills are cost cutting and asset stripping to gain a short term profit. Who have no idea how to build a collective enterprise because they are too focussed on their own gain. Just like Key, Joyce, Collins and the rest.

                  Your local plumber knows more about building a business than our, so called, business people.

                • Tracey

                  of course you dont, but it doesnt stop you voting for them.

  8. Ergo Robertina 8

    Winston had the best response: tax cut talk is a dog whistle from Key, a patronising sop to the lower paid.
    Norman used it to skewer Key for having borrowed to give the rich tax cuts, displaying his usual no nonsense analysis.
    Cunliffe let Key set the agenda saying Labour won’t rule out tax cuts.

    • Gosman 8.1

      How much more (remember the budget was already predicted to be in deficit as a result of the spending arrangements left in place by Labour) did National have to borrow as a result of the income tax cuts?

      • Ergo Robertina 8.1.1

        $5 billion, according to Norman.

      • KMB 8.1.2

        ‘How much more (remember the budget was already predicted to be in deficit as a result of the spending arrangements left in place by Labour) did National have to borrow as a result of the income tax cuts?’

        If this deficit was predicted in 2008, then why did National still go ahead with their tax cuts for higher income earners? Surely that was irresponsible – especially since a de facto tax cut in the form of Working for Families was already in place.

        • Colonial Viper

          One thing I like about National – they are dedicated to delivering benefits to their core constituency, come hell or high water.

          • Srylands

            The government is dedicated to helping the poor. Just look at the giant welfare safety net.

            What exactly do you want? Tax breaks for solar energy, alternative medicine practitioners and the feckless? We have a moderate centre left government. Stop the delusion.

            • Colonial Viper

              We have an unsustainable crony capitalist system which continually gifts the lions share of society’s resources and output to the top 5%, leaving the bottom 50% absolutely scrambling, insecure and one small step away from the poverty line.

            • Gosman

              Ahh Srylands. We meet at last. I did find it amusing that some people thought you were me reincarnated.

              • Tracey

                did you giggle at your screen with delighted self importance?

              • srylands

                Settle. This isn’t ‘meeting’. It isn’t real. It is no more real than Alice’s pool of tears. The inhabitants are anthropomorphic.

          • Gosman

            It was an election promise. Don’t left wingers keep election promises?

            • Colonial Viper

              Like I said, National should be admired for the way it consistently channels benefits to it’s core constituency and main stakeholders.

              • srylands

                Their main stakeholders are low income families and the unemployed. Is that what you mean? What do you want, subsidised homoeopathy?

            • thatguynz

              Not when they’re not fiscally viable.

            • KMB

              Yes, but then they put up GST which they promised they wouldn’t do…

            • framu

              so your in favour of irresponsible govt spending? – no wonder you vote nact

            • Tracey

              by election promises do you mean like promising to not raise taxes and then raising goods and services TAX?

  9. Lanthanide 9

    Hang on, he’s now admitting “middle NZ pay a fair amount of tax”, after that ridiculous report from 2013 by treasury showing people on middle incomes pay “no net income tax”?

    • Tracey 9.1

      that was one of the reports or predictions that he (and gosman et al) know are wrong but conveniently dont get referred to when it doesnt suit the current spreadsheet world they are peddling.

    • srylands 9.2

      What was wrong with the report? It was spot on. Simply a wake up call for the unskilled and the feckless recipients of the leviathan handouts.

      • KJT 9.2.1

        Srylands, despite being shown the numbers many times, still hasn’t figured out that a large proportion of taxes, and Government income, are not from “income tax”.

        Charges such as GST and petrol taxes impact disproportionately on middle and lower income, earners. Skilled and necessary workers.

        Middle income earners, skilled workers, on PAYE, pay the bulk of income tax anyway.

        Half of the wealthiest people in NZ, according to the IRD, declare an income for tax of less than 70k a year.

        Srylands, Gosman and Fisiiana should be kept on here for amusement value.
        The refusal to accept facts shows why we had the “Rogernomics”, and lately the “Key” recession.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        What was wrong with the report? It was spot on. Simply a wake up call for the unskilled and the feckless recipients of the leviathan handouts.

        And mostly, they’re bankers and finance company owners.

    • You_Fool 9.3

      I want to know if we (middle NZ) are deserved a tax break, how come we didn’t get more of a break in the great tax switch? Not only did our taxes go down by a slim amount, we had to pay more for food.

      Maybe JK should put tax back up on the top bracket and drop taxes for the lower brackets, to show his support for “middle” NZ

  10. felix 10

    So anyway, knock a couple percent off income tax (disproportionately benefiting the rich), then ramp up every other tax fee levy and duty on the books, starting with GST (disproportionately impacting the poor).

    Just like last time.

  11. vto 11

    Having gosman charging around on a thread like this is great. It is a test of the thinking that goes on behind the different ‘philosophies’.

    We need a scoreboard ………..

  12. vto 12

    Re the actual thread, the left should watch out because promising tax cuts for the middle will definitely grab a chunk of votes imo

    Key, the master snakeoil salesman …

    • Tracey 12.1

      promising future tax cuts if all goes well.

      how much tax cut, for whom? and guess who decides if all is going well.

      this is not what gosman calls a massive spending spree

      • srylands 12.1.1

        For the people who pay the tax.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s time we give everyone who wants it a full time job at $15/hr, so they too can pay their fair share of tax.

        • framu

          whats the tax rates srylands? – i mean here in NZ not in kapati, australia

          i hope its going to be gst rates all over again – that was hilarious

        • Tracey

          thanks for the non reply Judith

  13. infused 13

    If you actually watched the video last night, you’d see that the media basically made up their own mind on tax cuts. Key and English said nothing, apart from if there were going to be tax cuts, the middle class could benefit from them.

  14. freedom 14

    A few months back we were told that there would be a small surplus of between $80m-$150m ( it seemed to vary in different media) then we had the more recent announcement that there is a shortfall of $800 million against last year’s budgeted tax take,

    Ignoring the debt for a moment, can someone explain how we still made a surplus?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Was a surplus reported as being actually delivered, though?

      • freedom 14.1.1

        that happens this afternoon doesn’t it?

      • ianmac 14.1.2

        They said there was no surplus now. But there would be one in the next financial year. Strange?

        • freedom

          he always said the 2014/15 year would see surplus
          just now we know he meant the very end of the 2014/15 year

          and a whole $75million, woohoooo
          nothing’s gonna’ get in the way of a figure like that

          bring on the surplus !!!!
          all hail thermal expansion ;)

  15. captain hook 15

    when is keys going to anounce some policy of his owninstead of decrying everybody else.
    he is turning into another first class whiner.

  16. sabine 16

    how much do you think they are paying Gossman to be wilfully obtuse? Surely he can’t be that annoying just because he can. I hope he does receive more then the minimum wage, he puts a lot of effort in his persona.

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