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Archive for May, 2010

World Cup could bypass Welly overnights?

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, May 27th, 2010 - 6 comments

Seems that negotiations are underway to allow Wellington Airport stay open all night (last flights now are about 9pm) during the World Cup so that fans can travel direct to the next game thus avoiding the need for an overnight in Welly.

SuperCity not Solved

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, May 27th, 2010 - 9 comments

Rodney Hide’s new line is that he has listened to the people, democracy has triumphed, and the SuperShitty is all better now. It isn’t. We still have CCOs imposed by government. And the vast majority of submitters that wanted more powers for local boards have largely been ignored. Rodney still has no idea how much this SuperShitty is going to cost. But rates are going one way – up.

Privatisation: The facts

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, May 27th, 2010 - 89 comments

There is no economic logic to selling SOEs. This ‘mum and dad’ stuff is just fluff to disguise the real agenda – taking quality companies that have been built up by taxpayers over the generations and selling them off cheap to the capitalist class so they can make a quick buck.

Privacy Commissioner tells Bennett to pay up

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, May 27th, 2010 - 122 comments

For her own petty political purposes, Paula Bennett has put Natasha Fuller through hell. Now (finally) the Privacy Commissioner has asked Bennett to apologise to Fuller for the damage she caused and pay her $15,000. Predictably, this awful person has refused. Paula Bennett, you are a disgrace to your office and a disgrace to New Zealand.

National’s ETS chickens home to roost

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, May 27th, 2010 - 23 comments

National is under extraordinary pressure on its ETS, and it seems to be starting to panic. While I can commend them for sticking to their guns (better a gutted ETS than none at all), I don’t have any sympathy over the backlash they are facing. They bought it on themselves.

Open mike 27/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 27th, 2010 - 45 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Key’s wine excuse hard to swallow

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 151 comments

TV3 has reported tonight that John Key admitted on video to owning an Otago vineyard, and providing free wine to “people that help me”. This, despite Key telling the public all his assets were in a blind trust. Key, painted with his Tranz Rail eyes, has responded by still insisting he doesn’t know about his assets – but that’s a hard excuse to swallow in wake of solid contradictory evidence. [UPDATE: video added]

There’s such a thing as ‘too relaxed’

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 90 comments

Tracy Watkins recently observed of Key’s reluctance to front the media post-budget that:

“Mr Key has refused all but three requests to be interviewed by National Radio’s Morning Report so far this year. That must be unheard of among modern-day prime ministers…”

She puts his avoidance of the tough questions down to a desire to protect his brand.

Leaky homes

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 44 comments

While it rains, thousands of homes are rotting, a legacy of the stupid deregulation of the building industry by National in the 1990s. The current government is proposing that huge costs be passed on to ratepayers, and tonight Wellington City Council votes on the plan. There are no good solutions to this mess.

Privatisation: The Myths

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, May 26th, 2010 - 66 comments

So Blinglish’s new and improved less-bitter poison is part-privatisation. In much the same way as marketing a filling as more fun than a full root-canal, he thinks that if he sells each of his mates one piece of the family silver (and keeps the spoons) instead of flogging off the whole set to one of his mates, we’ll be much happier.

Who pays for climate change, polluters or taxpayers?

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, May 26th, 2010 - 65 comments

We pay for the need to reduce greenhouse emissions one way or the other. There’s no point complaining about the cost of the ETS on power and fuel. What we should be more pissed off about is that we are being expected to bear half the cost as taxpayers. We have to pay, the question is whether we put the cost on pollution to discourage pollution or we just lump it on taxpayers.

Open mike 26/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 26th, 2010 - 30 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

The tax swindle, visualised

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 75 comments

Here’s a graph of tax week’s tax swindle. I can’t do the property tax/rent increase part but here’s the net weekly effect of the income tax changes and the GST hike. These numbers match up with those provided by Treasury. The first 1.2 million taxpayers get less than a dollar a week. The first 3 million (of 3.4 million) get an average of $4.24 a week. The top 100,000 average $105 a week.

Sweeping the ETS under the carpet

Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 11 comments

According to Newsroom [currently offline]: No money has been budgeted to pay for New Zealand’s contribution to a $44 billion component of the Copenhagen Accord on climate change or to withstand losses from the emissions trading scheme beyond Kyoto’s lifetime.

Second thoughts on three strikes

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 42 comments

“Three strikes” is likely to become law today. This video shows that three strikes legislation hasn’t worked overseas. It’s unlikely to work here. It’s a crime bill that is not expected to deter or reduce crime and may increase murders.

Nat resignation coming?

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 27 comments

Trevor Mallard reports being asked by a press gallery member if he knows which nat is about to resign. Trev doesn’t know, but there’s a few choice candidates

Daily Show on lucky duckies

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 7 comments

Seeing as the theme of the day has been inequality and class war, this video from the Daily Show is very appropriate. Interesting to see that in the US the Right is running the same ‘lucky ducky‘ line about the poor who are supposedly getting it easy because their incomes are so low they don’t […]

Softening the public up for privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 39 comments

One thing National does very well is spend a lot of time softening the public up for unpopular moves so that the public attention has moved on by the time anything actually happens. Look at GST. The ‘rabbit from a hat’ trick of borrowing for larger income tax cuts served to divert attention from the well-signaled GST hike. They’re running the same strategy on privatisation.

Caught out

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 11 comments

Last month Colin King revealed that his National Party colleague Chris Finlayson had said he would block an investigation into the behaviour of his old mate Supreme Court Judge Bill Wilson. Finlayson should have recognised his conflict of interest and stood aside months ago but only did so once the media got the story. It says something about National’s standards.

The Anti-Education Government

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 38 comments

Last year ACE, this year ECE. What has this government got against education? Once again it’s the big loser in a National budget. It’s enough to make you believe a conspiracy theory that they want to keep us ignorant so we’ll be more likely to vote them in… The massive cut in Early Childhood Education […]

Nats floundering on inequality

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, May 25th, 2010 - 35 comments

Pointing out that a “rich get richer” budget is going to increase inequality in NZ seems to be making the Nats uncomfortable. Bill English tries to simply deny the facts. DPF tries to divert attention to “social mobility”. Lame efforts in both cases. The truth is that inequality isn’t on the Nats radar. They simply don’t care.

Open mike 25/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 25th, 2010 - 26 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Working Kiwis aren’t lazy

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 pm, May 24th, 2010 - 74 comments

The Right claims that people who aren’t on high incomes are just lazy and need to work harder, and, so, are undeserving of a fair deal. It’s insulting, it’s false, it’s just another excuse for maintaining the wealthy’s privileged position. Most people who work long hours are on low and middle incomes. And there are hundreds of thousands of low income Kiwis wanting more work.

Campaign for MMP: Wellington action meeting

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, May 24th, 2010 - Comments Off on Campaign for MMP: Wellington action meeting

The Campaign for MMP has been established to mobilise public support for the MMP electoral system leading up to the government’s planned 2011 referendum. If you’d like to be part of a Wellington organising group, then join us this Wednesday. The meeting will be also useful in helping you to write a submission on the […]

Kiwirail making big profits

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, May 24th, 2010 - 84 comments

We don’t expect the state highway network to turn a profit but we know it contributes enormous value to our economy.Airports, seaports, and telecommunications network add more to the economy than just the profits of the companies. Same with rail. But what will come as a surprise, given the Right’s constant attacks, is that Kiwirail will also be making a $4 billion profit in the next decade.

Mining continues to gather criticism

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, May 24th, 2010 - 16 comments

More bad news for the Government’s mining plans. The submission from the Committee of New Zealand Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and a Shape NZ survey both indicate the need for them to back off. How long until they admit it?

Fishing Industry Pushes For Self-regulation

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 24th, 2010 - 41 comments

In a move that can only be described as the fox guarding the hen house, the fishing industry has released plans for self-regulation entitled ‘Managing Our Own Ship’. National would be making a huge mistake to hand over more power to the fishing industry and in the end it would be the people who would have to deal with the consequences.

No progress on Key memorial cycleway

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 24th, 2010 - 41 comments

I love that John Key is so desperate to show some progress on his memorial cycleway that he’s even going along to the opening of cycleways that aren’t funded with its money. On Sunday he showed up at the opening of a cycleway in Oamaru. The cycleway was funded by the council and NZTA. The recession has been over for a year – not a single job has been created, no cycleway built.

Tax cuts don’t cause growth

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, May 24th, 2010 - 30 comments

Tories claim that tax cuts “cause growth” in the economy – they “grow the pie”. But it’s rubbish. No honest review of the long term historical picture can sustain the claim. Tax cuts don’t cause growth.

Open mike 24/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 24th, 2010 - 37 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Nasty attacks on workers hidden in Budget

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 pm, May 23rd, 2010 - 30 comments

There’s some mean little barbs hidden in the Budget. National has abolished a tax rebate for redundant workers that helps you out if you are made redundant and your payout pushes you into a higher tax bracket. It’s a petty mean-hearted attack from an increasingly rightwing government. In fact, this insult to hard working Kiwis is an exact repetition of what they did in 1992.

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