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Tax-take bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, January 2nd, 2012 - 104 comments
Categories: tax, welfare - Tags:

An earlier post by Mike Smith on inequality referred to a claim by Geoff Vincent that 12% of the taxpayers were paying 49% of the the taxes. Now this was patently a spinners interpolation on the tax data and shouldn’t be part of the debate.. A comment by DH has a look at that bullshit. I figured it was worth highlighting it here. My brief scan of the data and argument from a cafe in the sunshine of Dunedin* says that it http://thestandard.org.nz/inequality-and-the-rich/is a more accurate point to argue the progressive tax debate from. That is that the top 12% of actual taxpayers pay about 30% of the actual taxes.

DH wrote:

Some of you guys need to spend a little more time researching & less time bickering IMO. I found this site when googling for info on NZ taxes after reading the Herald commentary by Nightingale. No-one here seems to dispute the figures which I find a little puzzling. The 12% paying 49% of tax claim is correct only on paper, by any real analysis it is false and demonstrably so.

The 12% figure was likely calculated from the Treasury report here;

http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010/taxpayers

(It’s actually 11.2% without rounding but the report adds up to 12% & 49% for the top five groups)

Note that the percentage of taxpayers in each income bracket is worked out from the total of 3,374,000 ‘taxpayers’. Well that 3,374,000 includes 314,000 welfare beneficiaries on the DPB, dole, invalids & sickness, 550,000 OAPs collecting super, the 236,000 at the bottom of the report who declared zero income, part timers, casual workers etc etc. The number of real taxpayers is likely less than 2,000,000 and if the true figures are used it will push up the 12% to a more believable 18-19% paying 49% of the tax.

Also note the report gives stats on extra GST paid by income bracket which allows one to work out how much GST each group pays. The GST burden is carried mostly by the middle income groups.

Work it out in terms of real tax and the top 12% pay about 35% of income tax and when GST is added to the tax intake they pay around 30% of tax. Not so disproportionate then is it.

The recent claims about nett taxpayers was also fiction, for similar reasons.

That is closer the reality than the self-serving crap that Vincent was peddling. It is hardly disproportionate in a group that like myself actually has disposable income. Most of us would prefer that the elderly weren’t starving in the streets, that we didn’t have to live in secure compounds surrounded by barbed wire, and that our less fortunate family members don’t have to be supported directly by ourselves with the fawning and favoritism that involves. Those that don’t? Well I view them as congenital sociopaths that we should really look at providing more treatment for. But that is my personal view….

* That is a purely gratuitous gloat after reading this morning moans by people on face book about the weather I have missed up north.

104 comments on “Tax-take bullshit”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Every time I read about tax I keep coming back to Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna.

    Well the idea of a UBI is much older than Gareth, but perhaps the most pertinent aspect of it, easily overlooked, is that such a system inherently treats every taxpayer exactly the same.

    The current system is so full of targetted exemptions, loopholes and high marginal tax rates that it naturally breeds resentment and ill-will. This discredits the system as a whole, and far too many people just hate the whole idea of tax simply because they feel they are not being treated equitably.

    People don’t mind doing the right thing as a rule; but they hate it when they see others getting away with cheating on the system … and doing better than them as a result.

  2. Ari 2

    I think this argument about how many taxpayers are paying what percentage of revenue is just a way to avoid having to compare ridiculously high incomes and modest, if not outright insufficient, tax totals. I don’t care what the spread of net taxpayers looks like, I care whether each general set of cases are fair.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I’m pretty sure that the top 12% own around 2/3 of the country’s financial wealth (ie. assets excluding the family home).

    So they are definitely not pulling their weight. This stems back to RL’s comment about the Big Kahuna. In NZ, wages and every day living expenses are heavily taxed; financial wealth hardly at all.

    This is a setup which heavily favours the top 1%-2% of NZ society.

    • Herodotus 3.1

      CV you as with the post appear to have been confused with income verses wealth. Too often groups on the left e.g. The Labour party are unable to see the real issue. Instead they attack the wrong target, taxing income. Yet many govts and the minor parties who support current and previous govts being unable or unwilling to define True Income. Allowing the situation below
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10745867
      The rise (and fall) of many rich listers and the middle class property speculators has been on the back on wealth creation that has missed paying taxes, either lawfully or not being caught when tax is applicable.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        I pretty clearly defined above that I was talking about wealth in terms of financial assets (eg I mention the family home as an asset). Not income.

  4. prism 4

    “high marginal tax rates”. The only people who pay high marginal tax rates are those on welfare who are trying to get into the workforce at a wage they can live on while still surviving on welfare. They are taxed often till they receive below their previous income.

    I question that there are high marginal tax rates. It seems that they have come down and down but never enough for the free-loaders at the top. That’s how it’s been – have tax rates for those who can most afford to pay tax changed recently?

    (I was listening to Garrison Keillor the other day and he was doing a skit on someone playing golf breaking a car window. The car owner was asked to sign a waiver against damages because the damage was caused by a ‘job creator’ and the argument put – ‘we don’t want to upset them do we or they may take their jobs overseas’. We also have this USA disease of the wealthy tax irresponsible free-loaders now.)

    The smugs call welfare f-ls but when it comes to not paying a reasonable share of cash or even a useful percentage of their excess to finance the country that provides a platform for their financial winnings then its whoa hoa, we don’t want to make a contribution to the national body – we’re just fleas that live off its laws, financial and commercial system.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      The only people who pay high marginal tax rates are those on welfare who are trying to get into the workforce at a wage they can live on while still surviving on welfare.

      Umm yes. I wasn’t very clear there. That’s exactly the scenario I had in mind.

      In fact virtually all forms of targetted tax exemption or reduction have relatively high marginal tax rates as you transition off them.

    • Ari 4.2

      Tax rates ARE high, for people who rely entirely on wages. This means the upper-middle class is probably pays the most overall income, while people who live off their wealth pay practically nothing on it, and people who are barely earning a living wage are probably paying the highest percentage of their disposable income.

      A capital gains tax that didn’t kick in on your first 200,000 of gains each year (and which could be banked up against an extra year or two, say, for very large one-time gains) would hit people who live off the interest from their wealth.

  5. Peter Marshall 5

    I pay $26-30K PA in tax/ACC then GST on top of this ($4K PA) then local rates on top of this as well ($3000PA). How is this not fair? Also Petrol tax as well, must be $2000PA at least. I more than pay my way and this is more than enough.
    In the past on the 66% rate people hated paying this amount but did not mind so much as the tax take was used more wisely than today.
    Although tax rates are lower now for mid-top earners they begrude paying more as so much tax is wasted compared to 20-30 years ago on beauracracy, bloated benefits, ease of getting benefits, compliance etc.

    NZ has to look at spending less, investing more, no matter which govt is in power, not more.

    • McFlock 5.1

      got any evidence for your assertion that more tax is wasted now than in your mythical halcyon days? And that people didn’t gripe about taxes then?
      Funnily enough, tax isn’t about “paying your way” like buying a ticket on the citizenship bus. It’s about funding the services that the government is elected to provide. So if you have an issue with that, take up politics or move to a country where the citizens don’t want the government to provide so much. Oh, hang on – we’re among the lowest taxed nations in the oecd, and people are still bitching about taxes.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        “got any evidence for your assertion that more tax is wasted now than in your mythical halcyon days? ”

        I should think that with the massive productivity gains from computers, we can now use our government money much more effectively. We don’t need to employ as many of those nasty “back office” mole people, instead we can use bright shiny white computers to calculate everything for us.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          This is the nonsense which is seeing a middle class hollow out from both the private sector and the public sector.

          After all, you get rid of these useless jobs, what need do you have for people in this society.

          “Productivity gains” have generally ended up as money for the rich, while the working class get laid off and the middle class gets squeezed. What a great society – for the 1%.

          we can now use our government money much more effectively.

          What exactly does this mean? How do you measure “effectively?” Effective for whom, and from who’s point of view? Certainly not from the point of view of all those laid off workers whom NZ society no longer requires.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      No you dont pay GST on your personal tax rate.
      What you are referring to is the GST you can claim back as a business ( not available to private taxpayers)

      • Peter Marshall 5.2.1

        Never said I did, could have worded better though. It is over & above what I pay in Income Tax. More closer to $5-7KPA in GST on spend of $3-4000PM.
        All in all my overall tax rate is near 40% on $100K I earn, which seems enough to me.

        • RedLogix 5.2.1.1

          Worth noting that all finance transactions are zero rated for GST, as is rent. This means that GST does not apply significant portion of many people’s income.

          • Herodotus 5.2.1.1.1

            RL financial transactions and rent are not part of income- if you mean GST on interest received all you will do is drive up rates both for deposits and loans (at least it will not do anything to inflation due to the vargaries of how it is calculated) . For some entities even though GST is not charged on rents when completing GST returns the GST sourced from income is accounted and paid to the govt. There is a rough rule of thumb of 4 properties then GST should be acounted for.
            Appologoies CV from 3.1, If you have a progressive coy tax then how do you account for loss carried over? $1m loss in yr 1 $1m profit in Yr 2 = nil yet under your suggestion the entity would be adversly affected for cashflow and taxes due.
            Keep tax simple, everyone pay and reduce with the intentions to eliminate exceptions. How many of our top coys pay anything like 20% tax on profits let alone the 30% or now 28%. Like the PAYE issue many suggestions are to hit those already paying their dues. Why not attack those who are paying negligible amounts or none at all e.g. Google?
            http://www.fletcherbuilding.com/FB_microsites/annualreview/2008/financial-summary.html
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/blogs/the-bottom-line/5172219/Googles-double-Irish-evil
            http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20020329-265.html

            • RedLogix 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Umm.. I think I agree with most of that heredotus.

              The only point I was making is that given that most people pay something in the order of 30% of their income on either mortgage or rent that is not directly subject to GST, then it’s not quite right to simply add 15% to your PAYE rate and assume that’s your total effective tax rate.

              How many of our top coys pay anything like 20% tax on profits let alone the 30% or now 28%.

              There’s an interesting argument for eliminating company tax altogether. It would make much more sense to simply ensure that all dividends or benefits that flowed to individuals in any form were properly taxed as personal income.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2

          All in all my overall tax rate is near 40% on $100K I earn, which seems enough to me.

          To make the tax system more progressive it would be useful to reduce the consumption tax GST, reduce income taxes paid on the first $50K in income, and increase income taxes on every dollar earnt over $50K pa.

          We also need asset taxes, and an FTT.

          I’d suggest that we make the company tax system progressive as well, with say the first $250K in profits taxed at a lower rate than every dollar after that. This will improve life for many small business owners, contractors and the like. There could also be a windfall profits tax of 50% on every dollar of company profit made over $50M.

        • Lanthanide 5.2.1.3

          ACC and income tax on $100k is $25,960. So assuming 5k GST, 2k petrol and 3k rates, that’s $35,960.

          If you want to pay less tax, you could try using less petrol.

          • Muzza 5.2.1.3.1

            Lanth was that a serious comment ? Use less petrol, are you a social engineer or just being facetious?

            • Lanthanide 5.2.1.3.1.1

              The petrol taxes currently amount to 59.129c per litre, not including GST. At the current petrol price of $2.069 per litre he must be buying $6,998.26 inc GST or call it $7k in petrol each year. That’s 65 litres a week, or a full tank, or 9.45% of his take-home pay after income tax (assuming no kiwisaver or student loan).

              Either his estimate is on the high side, or he does indeed use a horrendous amount of fuel. Easiest way to reduce your tax burden is to reduce activities that are taxed. Reducing fuel usage would be way to achieve that in his case.

    • prism 5.3

      In the past on the 66% rate people hated paying this amount but did not mind so much as the tax take was used more wisely than today.

      Oh nostalgia – they don’t make it like they used to.

    • Peter Marshall – “…bloated benefits, ease of getting benefits…”

      You’ve never been on a benefit, have you?

      Otherwise, you wouldn’t refer to dealing with WINZ as “ease of getting benefits”. Try it one day. But make sure you have a good stock of migraine pills handy.

      As for “bloated Benefits”?

      Since when is getting $201.40 a week, net, for an unemployed person “bloated”? http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/deskfile/main_benefits_rates/unemployment_benefit_tables.htm

      Try surviving on $201.40 a week for a couple of months and get back to us.

      Look, I know that your sort would rather that unemployed, solo-mums, etc, go away and quietly die – but if you want to live in a First World society, without having thousands of beggars lining the footpaths – get used to paying for it.

      Otherwise, go live in a country without a social welfare system. I’ll bet you’ll be back within a week.

  6. DH 6

    I’m flattered my comment made a new post. I will ask that people don’t quote my workings as facts; they’re just quick & rough calculations. I don’t have the raw data on tax so the margin of error is large but I am comfortable my workings are a more accurate reflection than the 12% of 49% claims. If we remove beneficiaries etc from the taxpayer total we also have to remove the tax they pay and I just approximated that.

    My main point was to illustrate how misleading tax statistics can be and that people should not take these claims for granted. For accounting purposes the Govt treats all beneficiaries as taxpayers; total crown tax revenue includes transfers from welfare payments. But since the numbers of beneficiaries are large, beneficiaries are low income earners and the amount of tax they pay is small the statistics will always be skewed (falsely) towards the high income earners.

    • lprent 6.1

      It happens… Whole guestposts appear from comments. Especially when I have 10 spare minutes and an iPad.

      Rough and ready is good enough for argument. If I have to listen incipient wedding gossip, then close enough sounds like ample bounds of accuracy for taxes before and afterwards.

      I am looking forward to heading back to work.

  7. hoom 7

    Nats happily roll out the fact that over 75% of taxpayers are on under $48K.
    The average income is higher than the 17.5% tax bracket -> the top end has massive outliers that drag the average up a huge amount.
     
    If the top 12% pay nearly half the tax its simply because they pay themselves such an outrageously large percentage of the total Income.
     
    If the income distribution is made more equal (eg freeze top end income raises and bump min wage to $21/hr like in Aus) then you’ll see the percentage of tax paid by the lower 75% shoot up.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Be interesting to calculate the average wage if we excluded the top 2.5% of earners.

      • KJT 7.1.1

        Thats why median wages or ordinary time rates are a better indicator.

        The NACT’s like to use averages wages as big increases at the top and job losses at the bottom push average wages up and give an illusion we are doing better.

        I have talked about dodgy figures for tax paid before.

        NACT’s like to use income tax only. Ignoring GST, petrol and other taxes which impact more on lower incomes.

        We know from the IRD’s own numbers that half the wealthiest people in NZ pay little or no tax. Many were getting WFF.

        A capital gains tax should be at the same rate as personal income tax and apply after a set amount of capital gains earnings a year say (50 000). Exempting family homes is an unnecessary distortion. 50k would exempt all but the most expensive homes anyway.

        A variable rate FTT on new lending is a much better targeted method of fighting inflation than the OCR which just gives a windfall to banks and hits existing business and private borrowers who cannot change their position.

        Inheritance taxes stop money accumulating in fewer and fewer hands.

        Eliminating trusts, hiding earnings overseas and other tax dodging rorts mean more pay their fair share.

        A fairer tax system could mean longer term that eventually we could have a GMFI, and reduce income taxes!

        • queenstfarmer 7.1.1.1

          Eliminating trusts, hiding earnings overseas and other tax dodging rorts mean more pay their fair share.

          Somewhat yes, but to be more accurate (and putting aside what a “fair share” might be), it is eliminating incentives for tax dodging behaviour that will get results.

          The prime example in NZ was the stupid misalignment of the top personal tax rate with the trust rate. Suddenly, accountants and lawyers had a way that they could instantly save their clients sometimes huge sums of money (and therefore deprive the Governemnt) simply by putting certain assets (& income) into a trust. That caused an explosion of people moving assets into trusts to take advantage of the tax benefit. Of course, wealthy people were more able/likely to do this than the average worker. All manner of tax rorts (and other effects) occurred as a result of that tax dodge incentive.

          Compare with, say, GST, which is a very simple flat tax (despite some parties unwisely wanting to complicate it). It is a model of efficiency and is very difficult to rort. There is no real incentive to avoid or generally play silly buggers with it.

          So, you could attempt to “eliminate trusts” as you put it – and throw the baby out with the bathwater – or you could simply eliminate the unnecessary tax incentives that motivate people to use trusts for tax advantages.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Just have jail terms for professional advisors who help create and maintain trusts which aren’t fully justifiable, or which primarily exist as tax shelters.

            Unnecessary trusts will go away quite quickly.

            • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The growth industry in trusts however also revolved around the baby boomers hiding their money so the state would have to pay for their residential care.

              It’s not just about tax.

  8. Allan 8

    All taxation is theft by Government. A flat tax of say 20% would be the best way of taxing income. Then the harder you worked the more you earned and proportionaly the more tax you would pay, however you would also keep more of your hard earned cash. At present the harder you work the less you get because the money is then stolen from you by the Govt to give to those who feel that the world owes them a living. Also if there was a flat tax rate Govt income would most probably rise because those who were actually doing the contributing would consider this a fair tax and would not try and devise ways to avoid paying the current high taxes.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      *yawn*

    • lprent 8.2

      Idiot. In the first two sentences you contradict yourself.

      But we have seen all of this twaddle before from people who can actually argue. You don’t present an argument, just some pathetic boring assertions that sound like they come from cunnilingus from the corpse of Ayn Rand.

      Boring and a bit disgusting.

      • Muzza 8.2.1

        LP , do you own this site ? Do you feel it appropriate to insult posters who raise valid points, which may not conform to your clearly self important views on how things really are ?
        You like to talk about subjects in a way which espouses ignorance or perhaps a desire to divert away from issues which could render this blog site as being a bit useless, achieves little because the talk is around in circles never able to solve or contribute anything useful. Dave Browns reply is on the money, the discussion around figures & % etc is oxygen theft !

    • KJT 8.3

      Taxes are payment for services supplied by the State. Which we would not otherwise have.

      Those who refuse to pay their share while benefiting from services and infrastructure paid for by taxpayers are the thieves.

      If you do not like the civilised and decent society, the rest of us paid taxes for, please move to somewhere like Somalia. No taxes there.

    • Fotran 8.4

      Years ago Roger Douglas wanted to bring in a flat tax rate (about 20% if I remember), but David Lange et al would not have bar of it.

    • Colonial Viper 8.5

      All taxation is theft by Government. A flat tax of say 20% would be the best way of taxing income. Then the harder you worked the more you earned and proportionaly the more tax you would pay

      Capitalism is theft from society and from communities. So?

      By the way, ignoring your messed up concept of changing “proportion” under a flat tax rate of 20% (yeah how does that work lol), no worker should be paid more than 25x to 30x than the minimum wage.

      They’re not worth it, and no CEO or executive manager can work 30x harder than a minimum wage labourer anyhows.

    • prism 8.6

      Allan
      Did your daddy tell you that tax is theft or did you read it in a treatise on individual self-advancement? Or did you do a business course and join a tax-hating witches coven where you all sat round stirring up a steaming, stinging serving of free-market nettle soup? What other good quotations do you know? I love sharp little quotes.

    • Allan – “All taxation is theft by Government…ad nauseum”

      Ok. You can stop paying taxes. But stay of the footpaths, roads, bridges, out of hospitals, away from schools, etc, etc.

      “At present the harder you work the less you get because the money is then stolen from you by the Govt to give to those who feel that the world owes them a living. ”

      Yet again, a right winger demonstrates that he wants the benefits of living in a First World society – but doesn’t want to pay for it.

      There’s a word for that…

      Oh yeah, bludging.

  9. I don’t think talking tax take means a thing unless you look at the other side of the ledger and look at the sources of income.
    First, how many of the rich and super-rich are on corporate welfare?
    Big corporates who got their start on the welfare like Fletchers, or boosted with oil licences like Todds or earthquake recovery like Fletchers?
    Or are getting handouts like truckers, farmers etc etc?
    Second, how may like FayRichwhite, Hart, Gibbs etc got their capital startups from ripping off state assets?
    Third, how many of them are Bankstas speculating in shares, currency, property etc and rent rorters and will never pay any real capital gains?
    And among those left, how many of them could produce a dollar and take credit for creating jobs, or saving the country, without expropriating the labour time of their workers? So if they are paying taxes its not them who should complain but their workers.

  10. spammer 10

    Personally i don’t have an issue with low maximum rates on income tax. I think the unfairness lies in G.S.T which clearly penalizes the poor and with the fact that so many forms of wealth increase aren’t taxed properly. My idea of an ideal tax system would be as low rate but with as wider take as possible, incorporating a financial transaction tax and a capital gains tax and with as little loopholes as possible.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      An asset/land tax will also be necessary IMO. There is tens of billions of dollars of asset wealth in this country which is virtually untouched by tax.

      First $10K or $15K of income should be essentially income tax free for everyone.

  11. Muzza 11

    Given that income tax is primarily used to pay interest on the country’s foreign debt, then yes more tax I’d being wasted, because as the debt climbs the interest repayments do also. Sure you can disct the percentages to get lower year on year inremental shifts but the fact will remain that you are arguing over paying for interest on a debt you don’t control, and which makes us all poorer collectively, some more than others sure, but it takes money out of the Nz system by in large.
    Maybe focus on the real issues, because PAYE levels etc ain’t it!
    I’m still waiting to hear how we will pay out debt off, without someone saying we won’t have to !

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Income tax is primarily used to run the government.

      When we don’t have enough income tax (and other tax) we have to borrow to meet costs.

      I’m not quite sure you understand how this all works.

  12. Descendant Of Smith 12

    All income in businesses should be taxed on gross income the same as for employees.

    This would simplify the tax system enormously as it would remove the necessity to determine what expenses could be claimed for tax purposes and would put businesses and workers on a more similar tax footing.

    The percentage could be set initially to ensure that the company tax rate would still be similar in total to now – it’s simply that it’s distribution would be different.

    It would disincentive, for instance, businesses from setting up tiered companies to minimise tax as a expense transaction in one company would be taxable income in the next. It would prevent rorts such as an Australian bank charging it’s subsidary in NZ a fee for using the banks name, it would ensure that the tax cost of doing business in NZ is explicitly clear e.g. 4% of your total income.

    It would be simple and easy to understand.

    A sole trader for instance would simply need to add up his gross income for the month and pay x%.

    He wouldn’t need to keep any financial records unless he wished to – e.g. to understand his business cashflow, where his costs are etc.

    Larger companies would still need to keep financial records but the focus would clearly be much less on taxable profit and more on actual profit and return to shareholders.

    Business expenses would then be between the business and it’s owners and shareholders where it belongs. It you want to spend profits on a corporate box then that’s none of IRD’s business.

    Income earned to NZ would be taxed in NZ and couldn’t be offset by moving the profits offshore.

    You could potentially have a lower tax rate the larger the businesses is to encourage growth e.g. businesses over 10 million dollars in gross income could pay .5% less perhaps.

    Trust income would be taxed on the same basis.

    There would be productivity gains as much less time would be spent on working out how to minimise tax to increase profit figures. The total effort could then go in as to how to increase income and productivity.

    Productivity would also lift because we would not need to have all the tax minimising companies and trusts that exist today for this purpose.

    How much time and effort and resource is wasted in NZ on those two activities alone.

    I’m not sure how you would work out the tax percentage figure but I’m assuming that if you took business GDP/business tax take then you would be somewhere in the ball park.

    • felix 12.1

      That’s a very interesting idea that deserves a lot more thought.

      The practical benefits should be immediately obvious to anyone who genuinely wants to “cut red tape” for small businesses.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Yep DoS has a good one. The gross income should certainly be taxed progressively in order to help small businesses get off the ground. For instance, the first $250,000 pa of gross income should be taxed at a lower rate than every dollar over that threshold. Big corporations bringing in tens or hundreds of millions in gross income should be taxed at a higher rate.

        I’d also implement capital controls on profits being expatriated out of NZ. Apply GST to company profits which are moved offshore within 12 months of being earnt in NZ.

      • Herodotus 12.1.2

        But then you are not taking into count the varying margins of different industries. Say for a construction coy, the casino or supermarkets when you are basing pricing on 2-5% GM, to that of when there are over 100% markups in some retail, and such a system would favour the grey and black markets. Still think it is better ALL contribute than yet again hit those who are contribing their taxes. I am sure it is out there but a simple profit before tax/tax ratio would be very telling for most companies, to see who is paying anything approaching the coy tax rate !!

        • Descendant Of Smith 12.1.2.1

          Margin is only important if you are considering profit as the tax basis.

          We don’t consider expenses that workers have to incur before taxing so why do this with businesses?

          I would think that the rate could be low enough and the subsequent broadening of the tax base wide enough that it is fair.

          Business’s could pay their tax monthly to IRD once income / sales figures have been collated.

          Do business in NZ you pay x% of your income in tax seems quite easy to sell.

          I would also remove GST again to reduce administration and compliance costs for businesses.

          The simplicity would also ensure that IRD resources could then be focused on the black market.

          I’m less concerned about parallel importing. Shouldn’t a free market support that?

          • KJT 12.1.2.1.1

            Employers should have to pay all the costs of their workers including travel.

            Many workers at the moment are subsidising their employers. Especially minimum wage employers where the cost of travels for casual workers almost exceeds their earnings.

            • Lanthanide 12.1.2.1.1.1

              “Employers should have to pay all the costs of their workers including travel.”

              Sure, if you want to kill off rural towns where people commute into the big cities to do their jobs and bring money back out into the town. Companies in cities will stop hiring people from the towns.

    • KJT 12.2

      Interesting, but how do you make it fair between, say, a builder who gets 30% of the gross income from his business and someone like a computer programmer working from home who may get 90%.

      There is an argument, which was first made by that “socialist” Adam Smith that you should tax capital and wealth only (Rentiers). Productive business and labour should not be taxed.

    • alwyn 12.3

      Taxing a company on its gross income, and not allowing any deductions would mean that there is a very great incentive to construct large vertically integrated businesses rather than having a number of smaller businesses trading with each other.
      Consider a single business that does all the steps of a manufacturing process and produces and sell $1m worth of goods. It would pay tax, at say 5% of $50k.
      Now consider a series of small companies that do 20% of the work each and sell the product on to the next company in the chain to do the next step.
      Company 1 sells good for $200k to company 2. Gross income $200k and tax $10k.
      Company 2 adds value and sells the goods for $400k to company 3. Gross income $400k and tax $20k
      Company 3 adds value and sells goods to company 4 for $600k. Gross income $600k and tax $30k
      Company 4 adds value and sells for $800k to company 5. Gross income $800k and tax 40k.
      Company 5 adds value and sells the final goods for $1m. Gross income $1m and tax 50k.

      The same final goods have been produced but now we have a total tax payment of $150k.

      There will end up being a situation where there will be only a single company that produces everthing as small companies buying and selling onward cannot compete.

      The above is why businesses can deduct GST they have paid to other suppliers before having to pay their own GST. You only tax net income in other words.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.1

        Nice manufacturing example mate what you describe would increase efficiency and increasing the amount of money real productive companies keep for themselves, so whats the problem?

        I thought you were for minimising taxes paid by companies?

        Anyhows, simplifying the tax system to prevent rorts and shelters for the rich and for corporates is very important.

        • alwyn 12.3.1.1

          There is absolutely nothing in my example that says there would be increased efficiency. If you think that I can only assume that you think small companies are inherently more efficient than large ones.
          There is also no reason to say that companies get to keep more money. In the case given a single company gets to keep $950k out of their sales of $1m. With small companies they get to keep in total $850K out of their sales of $1m.
          What I am trying to illustrate is that if there is only going to be tax paid on gross income, with no provision at all for the costs of the business a vertically integrated business has an advantage over a small business that produces, and on-sells, components of the final product.

          I also said nothing about minimising the tax paid by businesses so you shouldn’t assume that either.

          I would add that there is an argument that businesses canot pay tax and that any tax paid is, in effect, paid by either the customers, the employees or the owners. This argument suggests that all the NET income of the firm should, whether it is paid out or not as dividends, be attributed to, and taxed as, part of the income of the shareholders.

          To your last remark I would say that of course there must be ways of avoiding rorts etc but taxing gross income is not the way to do it.

          Incidentally the proposal that businesses wouldn’t need to keep any records will certainly lead to rorts. Who is going to honestly declare their real gross income when they can under-declare it and there won’t be any records to check it?

          • Descendant Of Smith 12.3.1.1.1

            Except that today under the current tax system those companies could be currently paying lots of different amounts of tax – including nil.

            The current incentive is to actually set up a series of companies in exactly the way you describe (Shell does this for instance) to lower the cost of taxation by having each company charge costs to the other companies – despite often being owned by the same people.

            That is inefficient and as a rule the larger companies do this much more than sole traders. It was fully intended that doing this be a disincentive.

            You want to run your business inefficiently then you will end up paying more tax.

            You want to set up a trust to do the administration for your business and have the trust charge the business for that work then that income gets taxed a second time.

            It seems to me quite perverse that the current incentive is to set up layers of companies, trusts, etc..

            Your scenario doesn’t quite work either because your example requires 5 sets of infrastructure etc all of which carries a cost over and above producing the goods. You also suggest that in each step value is added. This is not always the case. There are plenty of examples where no value is added – only more cost to the consumer.

            Each step would add a layer of profit which would add to the final value.

            In your scenario I could almost guarantee that you would be selling significantly less goods for that million dollars having gone through all those steps.

            Small businesses who genuinely add value would no doubt survive – those who just on-sell and take a cut may not. I don’t see that as a bad thing as a consumer.

            There is also no more incentive to rort in this scenario than currently. Do you not think that people rort now. I remember a business adviser employed by one of the councils advising new business people that if they had a cash business and that if 10% to 15% of their sales were not going through the till then they weren’t doing it right.

            There is a world of difference between keeping accurate financial records and needing to prepare accounts for tax purposes. No one is saying accurate financial records don’t have to be kept.

            If I’m a sole trader and I only need to keep track of my gross income for tax purposes then it is up to me whether I keep more detail than that. What’s the problem as long as it’s accurate.

            For other businesses then they are accountable to their partners, owners, shareholders. Then would still need to keep good quality accounts but focused more directly on profit – not taxable income.

            These would mean that shareholders for instance could be more focused on the overall profit because they would no longer need to consider what things the company had done to reduce it’s tax bill.

            Equally they did they might be asking do we really need to outsource if their is no tax advantage, do we need to set up subsidiary companies, etc?

            • Descendant Of Smith 12.3.1.1.1.1

              “There is a world of difference between keeping accurate financial records and needing to prepare accounts for tax purposes. No one is saying accurate financial records don’t have to be kept.”

              Sorry in my original post I did say financial records when I meant end of year business accounts, details of expenses, etc.

              There may of course be other reasons for keeping accounts e.g. keeping track of cashflow, being able to sell your business and prove it is a going concern, WFF assistance.

              For tax purposes a sole trader however could just keep track of his gross income and present that to IRD to pay his tax. His records e.g. invoices, will still need to be kept to prove it as they would now.

            • alwyn 12.3.1.1.1.2

              I don’t seem to be very good at explaining my argument. Oh well my wife tells me that all the time.
              I will have one more go.
              Let’s consider that NZR wants some locomotives. Also assume that there are some specialist businesses in New Zealand. In particular
              Company A is very efficient at making Pistons, crankshafts and Valves for Diesel motors. They can make a set for $250k and are willing to sell them for a net amount of that. With a 5% tax on gross income they need to sell them for $250k/0.95, ie $263.2k.
              Company B is very good at making engine blocks, cylinder heads etc and assembling the engine. They can do their work for $250k also. They buy the parts from company A for $263.2 do the rest of the work and are then willing to sell the engines for (263.2 + 250)/0.95. ie for $540k.
              Company C is very efficient at building The chassis, bodywork, bogies etc and at assembling a loco. They can do their work for $500k. They buy the complete engine from company B for $540k. They are willing to sell the locomotive for (540 + 500)/0.95, ie for $1,095k.
              As an alternative consider a single company that makes the whole loco itself. It is not as efficient in any operation as any of the specialist companies. It can do the engine parts for $255k, the actual building of the engine for $255k and the building of the loco itself for $510k. It can therefore sell the loco for the amount of (255 + 255 +510)/0.95, ie for $1,074k. Note that it is NOT as efficient in any operation as are companies A, B or C.
              As a third alternative NZR can build the whole thing itself. They can do step part 1 for 260k, part 2 for 260k and part 3 for 520k. They thus own the loco for $1,040k. They aren’t as efficent as any of the other companies but no tax has to be paid because nothing was sold and therefore there was no gross income.

              This is why I am suggesting why the cheapest way to do anything is to have only a single, enormous, company that does everything up to the sale to the final consumer, rather than efficient, specialist, firms that can do their own work more cheaply.

              As a side comment you mention the Shell company. In the old days when we had sales-tax rather than GST printed matter like business forms attracted sales-tax if bought from a printer. A number of companies, including I have been told Shell, set up printing rooms to do their printing in-house. Since the goods were never sold there was no sales tax incurred. The forms probably cost more to do in-house but not by as much as the sales-tax bill. The same sales-tax rules also explain why two and three ring binders used to have a name on the cover, usually “catalogue”. This made them a book and books were exempt from sales-tax.

              I’m sorry for this being verbose but I can’t seem to say what I want to in less words. Oh to be Abraham Lincoln and to make an immortal speech in 236 words and about 3 minutes.

              • Colonial Viper

                This is why I am suggesting why the cheapest way to do anything is to have only a single, enormous, company that does everything up to the sale to the final consumer, rather than efficient, specialist, firms that can do their own work more cheaply.

                1) National prefer to have neither, they prefer to give NZ jobs to Chinese rail builders.

                2) Who said small specialist firms are necessarily more “efficient” than large vertically integrated companies anyway. You’re only talking about tax efficiency here anyways which is narrow and largely irrelevant in whether a firm is successful in doing good work or not.

                • I don’t have a problem swapping milk powder for Chinese trains. What we need though is to own production socially. The Chinese working class is not sitting back and lying down. They are capable of re-socialising their SOEs and showing the CP the door, so that the surplus from train swaps to NZ is shared out to all Chinese workers.
                  Similarly, nationalising the land in NZ and leasing it back to farmers, to take account of real externalities including climate change, will encourage what is still residually a cooperative enterprise to head towards genuine collectivisation where the ‘mum and dads’ get a social dividend from dairying instead of handing over their wage check to the privateer farmer, Fonterra monopoly and corner dairy entrepreneur. At the same time the venerated ‘taxpayer’ become extinct in the museum of antiquated ideas. Revo New Year!

                • alwyn

                  I am trying to discuss the proposal that companies be taxed on the Gross income they receive and suggesting possibly unforseen effects. I think it is an interesting argument and I was trying to explore the consequences.

                  I am NOT discussing the merits or otherwise of building locos in New Zealand. I was just trying to invent an example to illustrate my point.

                  I am NOT suggesting that “small specialist firms are necessarily more efficient”. I am trying to show that even if they were it would not necessarily mean that anyone would deal with them as it could be cheaper to do the work in-house even though that was LESS efficient in an economic sense.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    I’m not an accountant and was looking at as a simpler alternative to a financial transactions tax.

                    Any tax system will have perverse incentives.

                    In your scenarios based on the current tax system however couldn’t we likely end up with the following:

                    Company A is very efficient at making Pistons, crankshafts and Valves for Diesel motors. They can make a set for $263.2k which includes a profit of 25%.

                    They would pay tax on that 25% profit of $65.800 * 28c = $3,696-00…….

                    As an alternative consider a single company that makes the whole loco itself. As it is less efficient it’s profit is only 20% of the total cost $214.80k x .28 = $60,144-0.

                    As a third alternative state-owned NZR can build the whole thing itself. They can do step part 1 for 260k, part 2 for 260k and part 3 for 520k. They thus own the loco for $1,040k. They aren’t as efficent as any of the other companies but no tax has to be paid because nothing was sold and therefore there was no profit.

                    Alternatively company 1 claimed lots of book entry depreciation and actually paid no tax, or spent their profit on a corporate box at the rugby for entertaining clients, or gave their CEO a pay increase and still paid no tax or did all three, made a loss and can claim that loss back against future profits.

                    The current system has lots of degrees of unfairness and inconsistency now. Depreciation is the classic example where businesses with high assets or stock can reduce their profit without actually spending anything but businesses who say rely on knowledge and intelligence or service cannot.

                    What I am suggesting is a simpler tax system, with a lower rate of tax but one that is more difficult to escape paying tax as all would pay at it just becomes a fixed cost on doing business – rather than a much more variable cost as at present.

                    It appeals to me more that for instance a financial transactions tax which seems a little more complicated but when people started talking about this tax again I started thinking about how else could tax be determined.

                    It would be useful if I knew what the gross turnover of all businesses were in NZ last year as you could then estimate where this tax rate might sit. Banks for instance would pay tax on their gross turnover which would widen the tax net significantly.

                    Think if it was as low as 1% to 1.5%.

  13. Peter 13

    To support your argument the table includes all Kiwis over 16 years of age. So kids at secondary school are said to be eligible tax payers.

    • burt 13.1

      And those same 16 year olds (working age people) were counted when dumb ass Cullen was claiming his top tax rate only effected 12% of [working age] people. Hopelessly partisan Labour supporters thought it was great to confuse the numbers when trying to cover the stupid Dr’s top 5% that eventually blew out to about 20%… but that’s different isn’t it – it’s OK when Labour do it.

      What a hopelessly partisan blog inhabited mainly by blindly partisan “It’s OK when Labour do it” losers. FFS – if you want to make someone look stupid for being selective with the numbers Cullen is your man – he couldn’t even understand that taxing Teachers as rich pricks was wrong.

      [Releasing from moderation. I made myself a bet that your self imposed exile wouldn't last a week of the new year, and sure enough. Still the same broken record - why not make a New Year's resolution and try and have a new thought in 2012? --r0b]

      • KJT 13.1.1

        Didn’t like Labours blind following of the Neo_liberal prescription either. especially on “free trade” agreements and tax.

        They did not get us in the poo as fast as NACT are though.

        Financially Cullen left us in a good position,. Which National promptly stuffed up with tax cuts for Hawaii holidays.

        And! only the top 10k or so of Teachers incomes was at the top rate.

        • burt 13.1.1.1

          KJT

          It was reported as 75% of high school teachers in mid 2008. Sorry the harsh reality of how rooted Cullen’s perception of rich was is so offensive to you.

          • KJT 13.1.1.1.1

            Not what I said. Can’t you read?

            • burt 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Sorry where you said (emphasis added)

              And! only the top 10k or so of Teachers incomes was at the top rate.

              I took that as only a small number were paying the top rate… Obviously you had other reasons to present the figures as ‘only’…. Please explain.

              • felix

                You may well have taken it some other way but that’s nothing to do with what was written.

                If your income is 70k and the top rate kicks in at 60k then “only the top 10k or so” of your income is taxed at the top rate.

                It’s not that bloody complex burt.

                • burt

                  Oh right, I get it. Only some of their income was above the threshold of “rich” so the fact they were being taxed like rich pricks is not so important. The Cullen threshold for rich was clearly rooted but we can pretend that it was valid to call high school teachers rich because it wasn’t all their income. Wow… It really is OK when Labour do it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    60% tax on every dollar earnt over $250K pa please.

                    Rising to 91% (the old US top income tax rate) above $1M.

                    • burt

                      So would you index $250K to inflation or lock and load it at that dollar value for so long that by the time you change it 75% of high school teachers are earning above it ?

                      91% – good one… That will create massive avoidance – would let you hire thousands of people into the public service to hide how ineffective your polices are… so very Labour party like.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Since incomes are going down for most people not up, I don’t think your point has any relevance.

                      As for rich people who continue to try and cheat the tax man – they’re going to jail.

                    • burt

                      CV

                      Quite revealing. It seems you don’t think such tax rates would have a positive effect on lifting incomes – rather just punish people who you think earn too much. So Labour party like – policies of envy with no specific goal other than Labour party popularity. What a grunt.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Wrong burt. Lowering tax rates does indeed raise incomes. For the rich.

                  • felix

                    I think I’m starting to see why flat tax is so attractive to burt et al, and it’s nothing to do with ideology or economics…

                  • felix

                    With all this thrashing and wailing from burt, it’s worth remembering exactly what the horrific injustice was.

                    An additional 3% of income tax was applied to the top ~15% of the salaries of the teachers at the higher end of the pay scale.

                    Oh the horror. 39% instead of 36% on the top bit of your salary. How did we ever pull through?

                    • burt

                      So the injustice was that the 1999 election promise was only the top 5% would pay the policies of envy rate…. you can pretend the top ~15% of teachers salaries was in the top 5% of all earners and pretend Labour kept their election promise – I’m not so partisan I feel the need to be an apologist for self serving government.

                    • felix

                      No of course you’re not.

                      3%.

                    • burt

                      felix

                      Can I quote you as having a position that it’s OK to tax teachers as rich because it’s only an extra 3% on some of their salary ?

                    • Lanthanide

                      burt, since when did having a top income tax rate at $60k make anyone earning that amount or more, ‘rich’?

                      Was there some sort of New Zealand English Dictionary compiled with this as the definition?

                      What if they had introduced a tax rate at $200k+ at the same time as they increased the $60k rate? Would suddenly those earning $60k+ no longer be ‘rich’ because it wasn’t “the top tax rate”?

                    • burt

                      Lanthanide

                      It never had anything to do with being rich except in the mad Dr’s propaganda. The policies of envy spin machine made people think it was a tax on high earners. (aka – the rich)

                      The mad Dr claiming it would only be applied to the top 5% of earners created the perception he was taxing the rich – but reasonable people know that a) Even in 1999 $60K wasn’t rich and b) The truly rich had multiple ways to avoid the top rate.

                      What is really funny is that there are people stupid enough to think it was a tax on the rich and therefore voted for it and there are people who defend it being locked at $60K long enough to even categorise teachers as being in target ‘top 5%’ of earners.

                    • burt

                      Lanthanide

                      But my point that nobody seems to want to address is that apparently using ‘working age’ people for tax calculations is dishonest – but it was how Cullen calculated the percentage of people paying the top rate. Probably because he would need to admit he was gouging the middle earners if he published the percentage of actual earners paying the ‘top 5%’ rate.

                      The old: Its OK when Labour do it!

                    • burt

                      Just watch felix claim teachers are not paid enough for the job they do and that it’s OK to treat them as top earners in the tax system – that will be a good example of how stuffed in the head you need to be to support Labour party policies.

                    • Lanthanide

                      If, when it was introduced, it was targeted at the top 5% of tax payers and it did actually affect the top 5%, I don’t see a problem with that.

                      The fact that fiscal drag over the subsequent years of massive economic growth under Labour doesn’t somehow mean the initial tax decision was somehow being unfair or a lie. Should they have changed the tax thresholds sooner than they did? I think so. But judging the 1999 tax change based on what happened in 2000 to 2008 is dishonest.

                      “Probably because he would need to admit he was gouging the middle earners”

                      This doesn’t make logical sense. How can they be ‘middle earners’ if they were amongst the top 5% of earners? Or top 20% even? Clearly the “middle earners” are those who earn at or around the median OR average wage (take your pick), both of which (after years of massive economic growth under labour) are still under the magical $60k threshold you like to go on about.

                    • felix

                      Err burt, the whole “rich prick tax” meme is one invented by you and your ilk.

                      You’re asking us to take responsibility for something you just, well, made up.

                      Where did you get the bit about teachers being “top earners” btw? It’s only in your mind that paying the top rate defines someone as “rich” or “top earner”.

                    • KJT

                      Burt is confused as usual.

                      Nice of him to be so worried about Teachers when not long ago all the right wing parrots, including Burt, were up in arms about Teachers expecting pay rises.

                    • burt

                      KJT

                      Find evidence of me being up in arms about Teacher pay rises. A link perhaps? You’ll find plenty of me spitting bile at the teachers unions but I challenge you to find one single one where I state (or even seemingly imply ) that teachers shouldn’t get pay rises, particularly so if they are good teachers.

                      felix

                      I never said teachers were high earners. If they were actually in the top 5% while the top tax rate was set 1999 then I guess by Cullen’s definition they would have to be. Given that wage inflation pushed them and thousands of other people into Cullen’s mythical top 5% I can’t understand how you can agree with me that teachers are not highly paid while asserting that Labour had fair and honest tax policies under Cullen.

                      Lanthanide

                      The fact that fiscal drag over the subsequent years of massive economic growth under Labour doesn’t somehow mean the initial tax decision was somehow being unfair or a lie.

                      1) Only the top 5% of earners will pay this top rate.
                      2) Only the top 5% of earners as calculated on tax year end 2008 will pay this top rate, good luck chaps 20% of you will be paying it before we remove it.

                      1 would be a broken election promise that was broken by 2000 and 2 would be an election promise kept.

                      I’m not sure why you want to conflate ‘middle earners’ with ‘the average wage’ – what point is that serving when discussing income in terms of low, middle and high?

                    • felix

                      “I never said teachers were high earners. “

                      Oh dear burt, you’re not having a good start to the year at all. You said that I think they’re top earners you dolt. Right here:

                      “Just watch felix claim teachers are not paid enough for the job they do and that it’s OK to treat them as top earners in the tax system”

                      Kindly point out where I said any such thing. (Or alternately perhaps you could have yet another childish off-topic spaz about unions or s0cialists or whatever the fuck it is you think ruined your life and then ban yourself again in disgust.)

                    • burt

                      felix

                      It was based on some history of you defending Cullen’s $60K == rich and you saying teachers having ~15% of their salary in the top bracket was nothing to be concerned about.

                      You prove my point. Your positions are in direct conflict with eachother. Not surprising because I suspect you only defend Cullen’s tax insanity because it was Labour doing it. Which was actually my starting point in this thread.

                      I note you didn’t answer my question, perhaps you could to clarify where you really stand on this;

                      Can I quote you as having a position that it’s OK to tax teachers as rich because it’s only an extra 3% on some of their salary ?

                    • felix

                      You’re arguing with yourself.

                      You’re the one who thinks the top tax threshold = “rich” or “rich prick” or “rich prick tax” or “envy tax” or whatever your buzzword is this year.

                      The portion of your income over the top threshold gets taxed a bit more than the rest of it. What’s your problem with that?

                      Why does it matter if you’re a teacher or a lawyer or a builder or whatever?

      • burt 13.1.2

        rOb,

        That “i thought so” sounds like a 6 year old. You must be a Labour supporter… Why don’t you make a New Years resolution and open both eyes. I note you didn’t address the issue of “It’s OK when Labour do it”. Still what would I expect from one of the worst offenders.

  14. ropata 14

    Who Will Win the Upcoming “Class War” in America?

    When I heard news of Obama’s “tax the rich” plan my first thought was “is it even legal to tax the rich in the USA today?” During the Bush Administration the wealthiest 5% of Americans got a $580 billion tax cut, live far more luxurious lives than the normal citizens, and have gotten a free ride for so long it’s almost inconceivable…tax them? Hard even for Democrats to imagine it appears, since the last thing Obama said was look “This is not class warfare. It’s math.” This is playing into the American right’s anti-government rhetoric, and I believe the President made a serious blunder by putting it that way.

    Instead, Obama should try to make it very clear what exactly his plans really are and why we need the rich to pay for these programs. Even if he does, chances are the current band of extremely anti-state conservatives in congress will do everything in its power to block the increases. OTOH, if he succeeds Obama might well get re-elected: killing a $1.3 trillion deficit largely inherited from the Bush administration‘s reckless spending is an epic “war” indeed.

    OBSERVATION: Steve Kornacki makes a good historical point about taxes in his Salon article:

    Bill Clinton, who rode to the presidency in 1992 by positioning himself as a champion of the middle class and deriding the 1980s as a decade when “the rich got richer” while everyone else fell behind. Clinton promised to raise taxes on the wealthiest two percent of Americans, and voters responded — even as Republicans screamed, “Class warfare!” And as president, Clinton followed through, creating a new marginal rate that affected the top 1.8 percent of income-earners — and that passed Congress without a single Republican vote, but with dire Republican warnings that it would cost millions of jobs and plunge the country into another recession. Instead, it proved to be one of the main reasons that by the end of Clinton’s term the country was running a surplus and was on course to pay off the entire national debt.

    Taxes really are an effective way to generate funds and promote national prosperity. Even though his chances of succeeding are slim, hopefully Obama will prevail in his struggle to revive the economy and drag it out of a recession caused by extravagant Republican spending and certain corrupt traditions in American capitalism.

    In the upcoming “class war,” I for one hope the 95% of us who are losing in this economy (not to mention the 8% of us who are unemployed) prevail against the top 5% who have and always will succeed in any case.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      The top 5% need to be fairly heavily taxed. The top 0.5% need to be very heavily taxed.
      Corporate windfall profits need to be very heavily taxed. Add to that an FTT.

      And a tax on asset wealth over a generous margin (say $1M or $2M in net assets).

      This prevents the hoarding of capital by the very wealthy.

      The package is completed by capital controls and the Government being able to exercise its powers to issue credit against its own good name (as opposed to leaving the generation of circulating money to the private banks). It would be good to have up to 25% of money in circulation interest free debt free and government created.

      • burt 14.1.1

        CV

        Is that an ideological top 5% (IE: any old percentage you like as long as it’s popular for the policies of envy voters) or is it an actual top 5% ?

  15. Yoti 15

    Forgetting GST for the moment, the reality is that we have very few people in NZ whose taxes are a positive income stream to the Governments coffers that allow the tax payer income to be spent in other areas such as public servants, beneficiaries, etc.

    We have four plus people living in NZ. After looking at all of the Stats figures it would seem that about 800,00 are paying positive tax to the Government. No Public Servants, Beneficiaries, any contractors that are employed by the Government pay any tax that can be spent. The Government gives it to the IRD and the IRD gives it back to the Government.

    I will not even go to the Working for Families Tax Credits which mean the a family of ten kids with only one working on the minimum wage is effectively on a pre tax income of over $100,000.00 per year.

  16. prism 16

    Is this figure of Yoti correct? I can’t think how this would be. I’m all for working for tax credits and assisting parents with their expensive and important task and I’m sure that ‘an effective pretax income for a family of ten of $100,000 pa is tripe’.

    I will not even go to the Working for Families Tax Credits which mean the a family of ten kids with only one working on the minimum wage is effectively on a pre tax income of over
    $100,000.00 per year.

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    Gareth’s World | 30-09
  • A targeted transport rate?
    An article in last Friday’s NZ Herald provided an interesting insight into where the investigations into additional transport funding options are at. This is the second phase of the project to close the supposed $12 billion funding gap over the next 30...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Is New Zealand ready for an openly inane Prime Minister?
    In the current leadership race for the Labour Party there are two candidates: Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe. There has been much discussion of their strengths and weaknesses, but one subject has been delicately avoided; perhaps because of political correctness,...
    DimPost | 30-09
  • Is New Zealand ready for an openly inane Prime Minister?
    In the current leadership race for the Labour Party there are two candidates: Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe. There has been much discussion of their strengths and weaknesses, but one subject has been delicately avoided; perhaps because of political correctness,...
    DimPost | 30-09
  • Carpetbaggers
    So, those wishing to participate in the Labour leadership election (2014 edition) have until 11.59pm on Wednesday the 1st of October to join.I won't be joining, but I've noticed an alarming number of people on The Standard announcing that they...
    Left hand palm | 30-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the last rites for the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality. To date, the Greens have...
    Gordon Campbell | 30-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the last rites for the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with ones place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality. To date, the Greens have...
    Its our future | 30-09
  • ATTN MSM: this is not a political news story. I repeat, this is not a polit...
    New Zealand your media treats you as if you are stupid and vacuous, and articles like this are the only things your feeble minds can handle at any given time, unless Paddy has turned up with his friends Shouty Paddy...
    Politically Corrected | 30-09
  • How did the UK grid respond to losing a few nuclear reactors?
    This is a re-post from PassiiviIdentiteetti, written by Jani-Petri Martikainen. Answer: mainly by increasing the use of coal in power production. In the second week of August power company EDF decided to shutdown their reactors in Heysham and Hartlepool. This...
    Skeptical Science | 30-09
  • The very public evisceration of David Cunliffe
    Ordinarily, when the coup of a party leader is underway, one of two things happens. Either the incumbent simply walks, having seen the writing on the wall, or attempts to stare down their opposition in a closed room. Someone walks out of...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-09
  • Dr Sean Simpson from Lanzatech
    On 8th October, Dr Sean Simpson from Lanzatech will be speaking at the University of Auckland, on the subject of “Climate-friendly fuel: A challenge of scale and time”.  This is part of the Energy Centre’s Energy Matters lecture series. Sean...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #36 On the Beat
    36: On the Beat What if we had more cops on the beat? Isn’t it time the New Zealand Police started to recognise the changes happening in urban New Zealand? In our central cities and busiest town centres and main...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Bonus growth for SaaS exporters
    The currency fall has a wonderful effect for exporters, especially those who have most of their costs back here in New Zealand. As I write this, the NZD versus the USD has fallen about 10% since earlier this year. As an...
    Lance Wiggs | 30-09
  • Against returning to Iraq
    Last week the US announced a new bombing campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Its hard to see how bombing will do any good (except for US defence contractors), and easy to see how it will cause blowback. To...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe
    Dear David,I want to first congratulate you on the campaign you ran. You gave it your all, and did well in the debates. I was deeply disappointed in the result that Labour got on September 20th - but I’m sure...
    Public Address | 30-09
  • Long run or short season for David Cunliffe?
    When you’ve read this short post have a look at the interview below with David Cunliffe on last night’s Campbell Live .  But first,  if you haven’t done so already, please  read my previous post on the ex Labour leader, titled...
    Brian Edwards | 30-09
  • Seaworthy ships and stormy seas – PPTA annual conference 2014
    30 September 2014 Pirates, privateers, seaworthy ships and stormy seas all featured in PPTA president Angela Roberts' nautically themed opening speech to the association's annual conference this morning. Describing the political context PPTA ventures out into as "often stormy and...
    PPTA | 30-09
  • Key admits exiling people without trial
    Back in February, we learned that John Key had responded to the "threat" of people travelling to Syria to participate in its civil war by cancelling their passports. This was done without any sort of due process or review, let...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • Reflections on Melbourne and Sydney
    2014 was an auspicious year. Whether by cosmic alignment or fickle chance, Easter Monday and Anzac Day fell in the same week, and I was able to shoot off to Melbourne and Sydney for ten days with only three days...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • The “Pacific solution” devolves into rape and child abuse
    Australia's "Pacific solution" of imprisoning refugees in remote gulags in an effort to pschologically torture them into going home has turned into a catalogue of horrors: neglect, beatings and rapes, torture, and murder. And now they've got a new one:...
    No Right Turn | 29-09
  • The leadership characteristic that shall not be named
    David Cunliffe formally resigns today, setting up a head-to-head battle between him and Grant Robertson, although there’s still a chance that David Shearer, Andrew Little and/or Stuart Nash might throw their hat(s) into the ring. As the Labour MPs arrived for...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The leadership characteristic that shall not be named
    ...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Th Austerity Disaster and its impact – Lessons for New Zealand? (Fro...
    Europe’s Austerity Disaster29/09/2014 by Joseph StiglitzJoseph Stiglitz“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German Chancellor Angela...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 29-09
  • The Damage Fallacies of Neo-Liberal economics cause
    The on-going and recent scandals (Judith Collins & Oravida, Maurice Williamson & Donghua Lui, John Key & Dirty Politics....)  in New Zealand that have swirled around the neo-liberal National Party government of Key, supported by the discredited political parties of...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 29-09
  • Changing Leaders Will Not Be Enough
    Trial By Ordeal: The techniques of the Seventeenth Century Witchfinders-General might be preferable to the process Labour has adopted to uncover the reasons for its woeful performance in the 2014 General Election. It's a pity the Party has not allowed...
    Bowalley Road | 29-09
  • Starting a constructive conversation on the future of the Treaty of Waitang...
    To learn more about our upcoming Treaty project click here...
    Gareth’s World | 29-09
  • Gillard on NZ Labour
    I arrived in Australia a month after Tony Abbott had been elected Prime Minister, a week after Bill Shorten had been elected Labor Leader and a month before Kevin Rudd announced his resignation from Parliament. It quickly amazed me how...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • March to #StopDeepSeaOil and #StopStatoil
    There have been amazing and moving scenes in Northland as the Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi made its way down from Cape Reinga to stand up for their coast, their way of life and for future generations. And they are not...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-09
  • Auckland Transport Early October Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport board meeting is on Thursday and below are sections from the various reports that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was the huge number of items on the closed agenda with 18 specific items for decision/approval or...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Labour not “part of the communities we live in”
    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • “Unless you can perform miracles, it’s time to go David”
    To be honest, I haven’t really had time to keep up with the volumes that has already been written regarding the (current lack of) leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. One piece that has however caught my eye is...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • How sustainable is New Zealand?
    Behavioural economics is not a complete theory but it demonstrates that we are not the economic rational being usually assumed in economics theory. One of the most troubling divergences is that we make time-inconsistent decisions so our short run choices...
    Pundit | 29-09
  • The Labour leadership meltdown continues
    Over the weekend, I road tripped it down to Wellington, where I had a beer with a pollster, briefly checked on what announcement Cunliffe had made mid-Saturday afternoon, and then proceeded to ignore politics. Fine wine and convivial company was far...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The Labour leadership meltdown continues
    Over the weekend, I road tripped it down to Wellington, where I had a beer with a pollster, briefly checked on what announcement Cunliffe had made mid-Saturday afternoon, and then proceeded to ignore politics. Fine wine and convivial company was far...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the farcical elevation of David Seymour
    With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. This time around, a couple...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-09
  • Bike to the Future
    Bike to the Future. 28 September 2014. Photo: Tamara Josephine. The wunderkinds at Generation Zero put on a great event yesterday. Part celebration, part protest, the Bike to the Future event was attended by about 400 (500?) people, including young...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Peter Williams – Hero of the Week
    There are not many lawyers who I respect. However, that's not the case with Peter Williams, who is clearly one of the good guys.Not only has this highly experienced Queen's Council worked tirelessly to uphold the law, he has also...
    The Jackal | 29-09
  • Carbon News 29/9/14: Key challenged over climate impacts on Pacific islands
    Memo John Key: look Pacific Island leaders in the eye The Government is being challenged to invite the leaders of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati to come and tell Parliament what they think of New Zealand’s climate change policies....
    Hot Topic | 29-09
  • Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?
     Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?If so, will they be better equipped than they were in Afghanistan? In the following clip we see John Key reassuring  the nation after five New Zealand soldiers were killed...
    Arch Rival | 29-09
  • The question will only go away if we let it – please like & share thi...
    After only a few years in parliament, a relative newcomer to politics, John Philip Key became the leader of the National party of New Zealand.  He was subsequently elected the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 8 November 2008 and...
    Politically Corrected | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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