A one term Government?

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, May 5th, 2024 - 86 comments
Categories: act, health, law, law and "order", national, nz first - Tags:

I don’t get why the Government should be surprised at last week’s poll results.

In its pursuit of money to give tax cuts to landlords it has been laying waste to important parts of public infrastructure. Claims that cuts would only be to the back office and not the front office appear to be, to put it politely, not correct.

Health funding for instance. Clearly the Government has put a stop on further spending required to keep the country’s hospitals operating as well as can be hoped for.

Cuts to overtime for doctors and nurses will mean that hospitals will become less efficient. No other result is possible. Distressing stories of operations being cancelled like this one are dominating public discourse and affecting public perception.

Former Disability Minister Penny Simmons’ ham fisted handling of a freeze on support for affected families seemed at the time to be overreach.

But the Health cuts are visible for everyone to see. And the refusal to even contemplate roll over funding is obvious.

It is not unusual for there to be deficits in the Health Budget. For instance to the year ending June 2023 Te Whatu Ora had a cash deficit of $1.013 billion.

But not this time.

It is not only in health that the Government has annoyed the electorate. The Fast-track Projects Bill has been rightfully criticised by just about everyone. The chances of corruption are far too high.

Chris Bishop has started to walk back the more extreme of the bill’s provisions back. Expect there to be significant changes made.

And crime, National’s go to propaganda item, is not getting better.

Who can forget this offering?

This is another example of hopelessly overhyped PR.

Shane Te Pou in this morning’s Herald summarises the situation well. He says:

After six months, nothing has been done to reduce the cost of living. In fact, this Government has made living less affordable by cutting support for disabled people and carers, cutting the rate of increase for superannuation and benefits, doubling public transport fares for under-25s, making the biggest after-inflation cut to the minimum wage this century, and helping drive unemployment up.

Want to cut your cost of living by getting an EV to replace your gas guzzler? National made that more expensive. Oh, and your rates are going up because the Government scrapped water reform. So’s the rego on your car, and fees are coming back on prescriptions.

Meanwhile, frontline services haven’t been protected, as Luxon promised. School builds and transport projects are frozen, new hospital wards are sitting empty while Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora has to cut $100 million by reducing doctors’ and nurses’ working hours, adding to surgery delays. Customs officials, biosecurity agents, social workers, anti-child exploitation staff and anti-terrorism officials are all losing their jobs.

The only people who have had a cost-of-living boost from this Government are folks like me, landlords. And, tell you what, a lot of us landlords would rather the money was going on those frontline services.

His conclusion is that this could be a one term Government. But he has a caveat, that Labour needs to present an alternative. Again from the article:

Labour cannot expect to win by default. It has to give the voters something to vote for. The recent Ipsos poll shows two-thirds of Kiwis want a leader who is strong and will take on the elites to give ordinary people a fair go. Labour needs to supply that leadership, which it isn’t doing right now.

The usual logic for a party that’s just been turfed out of government is to lick its wounds and focus on stability, keeping its powder dry, rather than hoping to win again after one term. This time is different.

He is right. Labour, and the Greens and Te Pati Maori need to present an alternative vision of how the country would change under their reign. They need to be presenting this alternative vision immediately.

The Government is less than 12 months away from a change in the Deputy Prime Ministership and I don’t think the transition will be a smooth one. Labour in particular needs to be getting ready now. Because for the first time in this Country’s history this could be a one term National led Government.

86 comments on “A one term Government? ”

  1. Darien Fenton 1

    Yes, the shit will hit the fan when David Seymour takes over as DPM because he won't be able to resist being the rooster he has already shown himself to be as part of the Coalition. Winston's will be 80 next year and while I make no comment on that, his time is surely running out? I think NZF's polls will collapse and he will be frightened into being an ever bigger arse, as he has before. Yes, Labour need to organise. No-one is coming to save us, including political leaders. It really is up to us and it starts with one on one conversations, in our streets, in our unions, in the community : then moving people to be more involved because of the things they care about and are prepared to be active around. Fundamental organising principles. I think the whole "vision" thing can be overrated if it not built from the ground up.

    • Belladonna 1.1

      Winston's will be 80 next year and while I make no comment on that, his time is surely running out? I think NZF's polls will collapse and he will be frightened into being an ever bigger arse, as he has before.

      Many people (myself among them) have believed that Winston's time in Parliament is surely over. We've all been proven wrong.

      While I do believe that NZF has no existence without Winston (much like New Labour died when Anderton retired) – I also believe that Winston has no interest in retirement. And he's the most likely politician IMO to die in office.

      • Darien Fenton 1.1.1

        I am sure that is true. In some ways, I feel sad for him because his whole existence has been in politics and about his self importance since he was first elected in 1978. PS : Efeso died in office ;

    • Dorothy 1.2

      Seymour won't be Cock of The Walk as Deputy Prime Minister – rather Cock Up of the coalition. He's a dangerous stupid man.

  2. Phillip ure 2

    I agree with the strong possibility this will be a one term (or less) government..

    And that labour needs to ready for this…

    One way to do this is with policy .

    I know that policies are usually drafted in secrecy…with a 'reveal' just before the election..

    I feel that labour (+ greens+Maori party) have to do things differently this time..

    They need to embed in the voters minds as soon as possible just what that vision is .

    ..and most importantly..to normalise policy ideas new to our environment..

    And I would start with f.t.t…a financial transaction tax..

    It will make the return to power of the left a smoother road ..if labour (+ grn/Maori party) could agree that a financial transaction tax…will indeed be a policy taken into the next election..

    And to then explain just what this is ..what it will do…how much income will be garnered…and what that income will do to help effect the changes we need..

    And for this approach to be extended to as much policy as possible..

    The aim being to go into the next election with a coherent policy plank..

    ..that most of the electorate will know/understand..way before the actual election ..

    ..so they will know in advance what they are voting for..

    It is time to bury the customary 'reveal'..

    • Christopher Randal 2.1

      "And that labour needs to ready for this…"

      And they have to be ready now. One news had an article about the anniversary of the Foreshore and Seabed hikoi, and they made a point that another hikoi, possibly bigger than the last one, could well be on the cards.

      What amazes me is that the first 600 redundancies cost around $45,000 per person. That means that 3000 redundancies will cost well north of $135m and nobody that I have seen has even mentioned it

  3. Gerard 3

    Labour won't be autocratic like it was in 2020 and you can see that in the polls where the greens keep growing support.

    As a renter I had decided a couple of years ago to ditch labour for the greens in the next election (2023).

    I believe this is why so much energy has been expended lately in attacking the greens in social media.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      Despite a few individual MP meltdowns, the Green Brand and Policy is strong and will likely keep rising in support with each boomer funeral. I am not going to write a Novella here…NZ Labour need to replace Chris Hipkins and retire Rogernomics once and for all, fully accept MMP, and form an alliance with Greens and Te Pāti Māori.

      The CoC Govt. are a bunch of vandals acting for local capital and international Finance Capital, and need to be sent packing asap.

      • Phillip ure 3.1.1

        Taiho with the boomer-bashing..eh..?

        The social revolution of the 60's..the rise of feminism..breaking down the walls of racism.. opposition to Vietnam war… opposition to apartheid…the birth of the gay rights movement…marching for Maori land rights

        Marijuana…

        All boomer-baggage…

        All to be proud of…

        What have your lot done…?

  4. adam 4

    The Tory scum have deepened a cost of living crisis because of their ideological purity.

    The Tory scum, will not do what they were elected to do, and run the country for all of us.

    The Tory scum, are proving themselves to be the self-absorbed wanks they normally are, really quite quickly this time round.

    Some of the solutions are really simple – capital gains tax, wealth tax, and a tax on share transactions.

    Some more simple solutions – cut G.S.T, cut M.P wages, cut oil and petrol subsidies.

    Things desperately needed, roll back all ideological shitfuckry of the last 50 years. All of it from the reserve bank act to the exploitative laws around workers rights.

    Finish by then getting our shit together to deal with the environmental collapse that future generations are going to have to live with.

    • Belladonna 4.1

      Well, that's a platform to guarantee another 6 years in opposition.

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        He left out a couple of great ideas from the left.

        Bring in a UBI of at least $50,000/year. Introduce a 95% tax rate on all income over $150,000/year.

        That will increase your rather optimistic 6 years to a more realistic 60 years.

        • adam 4.1.1.1

          Wow the two far right trolls are upset

          Must have got something right.

          • Belladonna 4.1.1.1.1

            Hardly upset (even if I were a right wing troll – which I'm certainly not).

            Any right winger would be delighted with your programme – which would virtually guarantee a centre-right government for the foreseeable future.

            • adam 4.1.1.1.1.1

              (even if I were a right wing troll – which I'm certainly not)

              Not convinced by that statement. As I've read many of your posts and you come down solidly with the right establishment rather a lot.

              So left wing populism is something you and your ilk dislike, why am I not surprised.

              I get boomers love this free market shit, but the reality is the economy is about to implode and liberal economic ideas are about to be discredited in the eyes of many. Not beyond time in my humble opinion.

              Wait till act and co purpose their bullshit solutions to the economic free fall, and mine will look solidly centrist.

              • Belladonna

                As I've read many of your posts and you come down solidly with the right establishment rather a lot.

                But, from your perspective, any support of the 'establishment' (whether centre left or centre right) is 'right wing'.

                Wait till act and co purpose their bullshit solutions to the economic free fall, and mine will look solidly centrist.

                Given that you're on the extreme left of the TS commentariat, I find this difficult to believe.

                And, as a supporter of "left wing populism" you'd better be praying hard (to whatever Socialist deity you embrace) that the economy doesn't implode. Because the people hurt most in an economic depression or collapse are those on the margins of society, not the wealthy. Just look at Venezuela.

              • woodart

                once peters isnt dpm,I expect seymour to be covered in white ants. dont forget, nzfirst was kicked out of parliament twice, mostly because of act party dirty tricks.peters will NOT have forgotten.

  5. Bearded Git 5

    I said when this government first formed its volatile coalition run by a weak and politically inexperienced leader that this would be a one-term government.

    • thinker 5.1

      Me too.

      Still kind of playing poker with myself about that. I recall the Lange/Douglas years, when, in the 87 election the campaign message was "You've done three years of hard times. Don't vote the other lot in, just as we're about to reap the good times" and the electorate fell for it, hook, line and sinker. Of course, things got worse.

      The other risk, believe it or not, is that the economy starts to pick up about midway through the term and the government takes the credit for it. Actually, I think NZ's economy has its roots more in Washington/New York than in Wellington, while our government just gets to tweak the edges.

      So, the article is right. Unless the Left presents a viable opposition, firstly warning people of the message to expect, so taking the wind out of the government's sails when it comes time to sell the snake oil, secondly offering something realistic as an alternative. I keep thinking back to what they say about Kennedy – that during his presidential campaign he talked like he had already won, while Nixon left people with some doubt about it. It sounds like a good model for Hipkins to put in his toolbox.

      Luxon's going to have his hands full after the mid-point. Winston doesn't have much to lose before he polls below the magic 5%. Let's say this is a government where none of the three coalition partners increase their support as time goes by. Each one can only poach serious support from one of the other coalition partners.

      With that in mind, imagine a government where NZF and ACT try to build support at each others' expense and both trying to build support at National's expense, while (we assume) Luxon tries not only to hold the coalition together but tries to offer a statesmanlike image of himself. We don't have to imagine it, because we can remember how things were during the post-election negotiation period.

      The alternative is that, after working as a coalition for 18 months+, the coalition partners have built a great working relationship, such that they can stand on a stage, telling the electorate about how the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We have to think about the probability of that happening.

      All IMHO…

  6. One in twelve governments of Aotearoaare single term, and incumbency holds great power – so the left should not hold its breath. But agreed Labour absolutely needs to step up, and Greens need to do some self care – the public needs to be presented with a clear, viable transformational alternative now, not in some late snap election run.

    • Clive Macann 6.1

      One in twelve governments of Aotearoa are single term,

      Well, considering that Aotearoa is only several Govts old since its takeover of New Zealand, then I fail to see how your statement can be taken as factual.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    The current three-way split in our political frame seems like to entrench in the public mind. Binary thinkers are consequently in deep shit – and demonstrating it by pretending voters are still binary. The non-aligned third are the Aotearoans who catalyse change.

    Labour remains as useless as National. However, it's technically possible they could overcome their lethargy & cluelessness so I'll keep an open mind.

    Lux's problem is subsidence. He hiked their numbers up, then failed to keep it up. All the action-plan tick-offs he boasted about haven't impressed anyone apart from his own side. Next delivery is the budget so I guess he's hoping for a rabbit from Nicola's hat to charm everyone. I expect no such magic, and June poll reports could be an anxious experience for this lot in govt. To avoid the one-term fate, however, they must subordinate party interests to their common interests in retaining power. Discipline!

    • Belladonna 7.1

      Labour remains as useless as National. However, it's technically possible they could overcome their lethargy & cluelessness so I'll keep an open mind.

      Without Labour there is zero chance of a left-wing government.

      Hopes of some kind of 'non-aligned third' have proven to be entirely unworkable in the NZ electorate. Which has moved from a two-party race under FPP to a right/left bloc under MMP. More parties in parliament, arguably the same governments.

      The two parties which positioned themselves in the middle: UF aka Peter Dunne and NZF aka Winston Peters – have been one-man shows – rather than mature political parties.

      While ACT and the GP have carved out the far right and left (respectively) sections of the larger parties.

      Wishful thinking achieves nothing.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.1

        Yeah, realpolitik prevails. Wishful thinking is produced by those who dream of a better world but it only ever gets traction on the basis of the adjacent possible: a similarly imaginal realm yet intriguing as an intellectual notion due to trending amongst theoreticians of complexity science.

        Being a dilettante rather than a public intellectual I'll go with an impression rather than a definition: at any point, there's a likelihood of change and a likelihood of constancy. Usually we get a bit of both, so instead of dying of boredom we are rescued in the nick of time – something interesting suddenly happens.

        The interesting emerges out of the adjacent possible as indeterminate consequence of a complex nexus of factors – a source of irritation to those astrologers who trade on predicting the future. Relevance to politics? Shifts in the status quo emerge from the margins (Goths, Huns, Vandals etc) but only via critical mass. The culture of individualism inhibits critical mass: see JAG, current exponent.

        When the Greens were non-aligned, they weren't part of the system. I told them to go left in parliament; they later did but got stuck there so lack marginal leverage nowadays. So I agree we currently have no non-aligned option to represent the disaffected third of the electorate in govt. You'd need a principled basis upon which to form such a thing and ideally it would formulate an ideology that's neither left nor right but in front. Sustainability & resilience design does that but nobody has emerged to promote the mix as a political product yet. Sure, the Greens think they're doing it, but who believes that?? Seeing is believing and I'm still waiting.

        • gsays 7.1.1.1

          I would suggest Te Pati Maori as a non aligned alternative.

          Largely free from the culture wars that the Labour and Green party's are entangled in, their attitude seems local and have people front and centre as opposed to the rest of the mob who worship the 'economy'.

          • Belladonna 7.1.1.1.1

            However, TPM have (at least under the current leadership) solidly established themselves as a left-wing party – and refused to even contemplate negotiations with National (let alone NZF and/or ACT). Their support has been carved out from the Labour vote (all of the Maori seats were generational Labour – with the occasional bobble to punish the LP).

            The GP problem. If you are only prepared to negotiate with one block, then you have little leverage. Whereas in overseas MMP systems, parties are prepared to sup with the devil, in order to get the most important parts of their legislative agenda over the line (or, alternatively, depending on your perspective, to stay in government)

            their attitude seems local and have people front and centre as opposed to the rest of the mob who worship the 'economy'.

            It remains to be seen how long their support will last, with little ability to influence the government of the day. Being a voice on the cross-benches is fine, but actually getting policy gains for those who voted for you, is considerably better.

  8. cathyo 8

    "The only people who have had a cost-of-living boost from this Government are folks like me, landlords. And, tell you what, a lot of us landlords would rather the money was going on those frontline services."

    i'm a landlord too, and i totally agree. i'd much rather see the money going to where it's needed more.

  9. Champagne Socialist 9

    I caution the optimism that a nasty, brutish and unkind government can not last more than a term. In a democracy, economically marginalizing minorities can be a very electorally successful strategy. It feeds a powerful narrative of justified cruelty against the undeserving. Even undermining public health only affects a minority and lot's of Kiwis have health insurance and will believe themselves protected.

    This government uses the same political advisers as the Conservatives in the UK and they are using the same playbook. A playbook that has kept the Tory's in power for over 13 years. Buckle up NZ.

    • Matiri 9.1

      Boris Johnson introduced photo ID for voting in the UK last year. Watch out for this government doing the same.

      Ironically Johnson was turned away from the polling station this week because he forgot his ID.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/boris-johnson-brought-uk-voter-id-rules-turned-away-polling-station-fo-rcna150543

    • Dolomedes III 9.2

      Which of the current government's policies are "economically marginalizing minorities"?

      I'm unhappy that the government is demanding a 6.5 % cut in health spending, as we already have some obvious deficiencies in that area. But this policy economically hurts a MAJORITY, namely the large fraction of the population that depends on the public health system.

      • Kay 9.2.1

        Well if you want to class people with disabilities a minority, and many of us have no choice but to be dependent on a benefit to survive, then this government's policy to lessen any benefit increases by returning to indexing to the CPI rather than inflation, therefore sending us back even further in real terms, I'd say that's "economically marginalising."

        • Dolomedes III 9.2.1.1

          Your benefit isn't going to increase quite as much = "economic marginalization"? Sounds like hyperbole to me Kay.

        • Traveller 9.2.1.2

          "…then this government's policy to lessen any benefit increases by returning to indexing to the CPI rather than inflation,"

          How do you know this will lessen benefit increases?

          "Over 2021, 2022 and 2023, inflation averaged 5.6%, wage movement 3.67%. In 2021, the year Sepuloni was crowing about the 3.1% increase, inflation was 3.9%, so beneficiaries went backwards."

          https://thestandard.org.nz/mps-pay-increases/#comment-1998230

          • Nic the NZer 9.2.1.2.1

            You would have preferred they wrote that benefit increases are at the highest rate between inflation and wage increases? Or your just saying National might have stuffed up and accidentally increased benefits by more than they intended to?

            • Traveller 9.2.1.2.1.1

              My point more broadly is that it cannot be assumed that inflation will be higher or lower than wage movements. I had a recent discussion with Weka about this, I posted links and the following comments:

              https://thestandard.org.nz/mps-pay-increases/#comment-1998230

              The change to indexing was announced in Budget 2019. For the 10 years to end 2018, the average annual inflation rate was 1.6%, the average annual wage growth 1.8%.

              Based on that history, the change in indexing would have been anticipated to result in a 0.2% higher annual increase in benefits.

              However that isn't what happened. Over 2021, 2022 and 2023, inflation averaged 5.6%, wage movement 3.67%. In 2021, the year Sepuloni was crowing about the 3.1% increase, inflation was 3.9%, so beneficiaries went backwards.

              At https://thestandard.org.nz/mps-pay-increases/#comment-1998218

              Using the same sources, under the last national led government, the annual wage growth %'s totalled 15.5%, whereas inflation was 14.6%. In other words, real wages grew under the previous National government, whereas they fell under the last Labour government.

              By reverting to the inflation rate indexation for benefits, if recent history is a guide, wage earners will be better off (because real wages will rise more under a National led government), but beneficiaries will be worse off.

              "You would have preferred they wrote that benefit increases are at the highest rate between inflation and wage increases?"

              That would work, in fact it would be fairer than what we have had.

      • Champagne Socialist 9.2.2

        At any given point in time a minority of the voting public is directly impacted by declining access to properly funded health care.
        If you look at what has been done to the NHS in the UK with the full endorsement of the voting public then you see how it happens.
        I suppose the other analogy is that of frogs in a gradually heating pot of water. In the end the frogs believe that being slowly boiled to death is a good thing and will gladly keep voting for it. In fact they end up demanding it of all their political parties – ala the UK Labour Party – which has been forced to adopt most of the Conservatives economic policies to become electable.

        • Patricia Bremner 9.2.2.1

          yes So if we wondered why PM Luxon needs 7 "helpers" on Tik Tok? It is to sell those economic "Policies" to voters.

          I have a past pupil who does housekeeping. Now she is a kind person, but was on about "everyone helping themselves if they wanted to". I asked her, "Should our friend with dementia help himself?" Puzzled, she said "I did not mean people like him." Ah , there is the rub, which people? We are on the slippery slope of rationing medications and hospital care and so it goes. Polite shy brown women will be bottom of the list again, as we expect more and more people to "Help themselves". So A & E will be burdened again.

      • Cinder 9.2.3

        Its probably best to ignore Democledes the turd third.

        He's just a floater of right wing talking points which circle the bowl of that eco-sphere which he has puked up. You can flush him out by asking for evidence of his reckons.

        Thank you, thank you – I'll be here all week wink

  10. Michael Scott 10

    It will be labours new tax policy that will determine their fate at the next election.

    No one disputes that a state the size Labour proposes requires a lot more tax than we're getting now.

    I remember Michael Cullen saying that we can't move too far out of step from Australian tax policies for obvious reasons.

    This is why I don't like wealth taxes. They drive investment out of NZ and never raise what governments predict.

    The NZ tax working group concluded that financial transaction taxes can work in countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong with deep and robust financial markets but would be likely to destroy our weak NZ share market.

    We could simply use the existing progressive tax system to tax the rich more but according to the Treasury (2021) the lowest 50% of earners pay no net tax at all and the top 10% already pay 25% of all tax collected.

    A CGT would seem like a no brainer compared to the above options but unfortunately is apparently slow to grow revenue and the easiest to avoid.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.1

      "It will be labours new tax policy that will determine their fate at the next election."

      Yes, probably – because it will show their values, if any!

      "…we can't move too far out of step from Australian tax policies for obvious reasons."

      We are actually a very long way from Australian tax policies – in a regressive direction:

      – NZ earners pay income tax from dollar one, Aussie has $18.2k tax-free threshold.

      – Highest income tax rate in NZ = 39%, Aussie = 45%

      – Corporate tax rate NZ = 28%, Aussie = 30%

      – Australia taxes most capital gains, NZ doesn't

      – GST (a regressive tax that hits the poor the hardest) – NZ = 15%, Aussie = 10%.

      All the differences advantage the wealthy of NZ over the poor, compared to Australia.

      Examining income tax misses the point – the truly wealthy have very little taxable IRD-declared income – and pay effective tax rates half that of working people.

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.1

        but but but all the rich people will leave NZ if we introduce more taxes.

        Presumably to Ethiopia or Vanuatu or Thailand (though in Thailand you have to have a local run your business.)

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.1.1.1

          Yes – if people who are happy grabbing all they can while almost everyone else is in poverty….want to leave? Oh no.

    • Bearded Git 10.2

      CGT is very complicated to implement and brings in very little revenue for some time.

      A Wealth Tax or a Land Tax would be much better. The Greens have a WT in their election manifesto.

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.2.1

        Bring back stamp duty at a higher rate say 10%. Then it simply gets paid when you buy /sell the house and will put pressure on to reduce house prices.

        Should also be paid when transferring a property to a trust.

        Simple to administer.

        • Bearded Git 10.2.1.1

          That is an interesting idea.

        • Belladonna 10.2.1.2

          Bring back stamp duty at a higher rate say 10%. Then it simply gets paid when you buy /sell the house and will put pressure on to reduce house prices.

          So why has this been a failure in Australia (esp Sydney and Melbourne). Which continue to have high house prices despite stamp duty?

          All it does is increase the tax take for the government of the day.

          House prices continue to rise while there is an actual shortage of houses for sale/rent over the numbers of people who want them.

          Note: I'm not actually opposed to Stamp Duty – but have yet to be convinced that it results in depression, or even restraint, of house prices.

          And, of course, you have to not exempt the family home (or it simply facilitates house flipping). How 'saleable' that would be to the electorate – I leave to you.

          • Descendant Of Smith 10.2.1.2.1

            Supply and demand will always be the biggest factor – there isn't an easy simple one thing fix.

            As part of a suite of things though build more state houses, treat b'n'b's on the same commercial basis as motels, etc etc then it is a useful tool.

            Stamp duty existed until John Key got rid of it – as a tax gatherer it is simple to administer and is utilised at the point cashflow exists getting around much of the issue of asset rich, cash poor.

            Treasury see it as inefficient due to not everyone paying it eg only paid when a house is purchased/sold but note that it is likely to increase home ownership rates which I see as a good thing. Their version of efficiency is a tax that everyone pays eg GST. The argument between efficiency and effectiveness will always be in conflict. It is telling that they don't see things like universal family benefit or higher tax rates on high earnings as being efficient and therefore to be supported. In the neoliberal world efficiency only goes one way.

            I’ve bought two houses but ever only owned one at a time in my life – one at a time to live in. Paid stamp duty on both of them. Was just part of buying a house.

            Totally refuse to buy a rental and take someone else’s wages.

            • Descendant Of Smith 10.2.1.2.1.1

              The tax system has been quite inverted from a time whence the working class paid minimal tax and the majority of tax was paid by the well-off.

              Income tax was introduced in New Zealand by the Liberal Government in 1891. The tax did not apply to individuals with income less than £300 per annum, which exempted most of the population, and the top rate was 5%. Most government revenue came from customs, land, death and stamp duties. The top rate rose to 6.67% by 1914. During World War I, revenue from income tax increased greatly, becoming the largest source of tax, in place of customs duties. But, still only 12,000 people of an adult population of 700,000 earned above the £300 threshold and were taxed. The top rate was 43.75% in 1921. Tax rates were lowered in the 1920s and in 1930 the top income tax rate was set to 29.25%, and the threshold lowered to £260 of annual income. By 1939, and before World War II, the top rate was 42.9%. During the war, there were huge rises in the top rate, taking it to 90%. It dropped to 76.5 percent by the end of the 1940s. The working class still paid little or no income tax. The top rate was 60% in 1982, until Robert Muldoon's National Government raised it to 66% that year. The Fourth Labour Government, with David Lange as prime minister and Roger Douglas as finance minister, introduced a goods and services tax in 1986 and then reduced the top income tax rate from 66% to 48% in 1988 and then 33% in 1989. The Fifth Labour Government raised it to 39% in 2000. It was cut again by John Key's National government, and again a 39% rate was reintroduced by the Labour government in 2022.

              As of 2014, NZ$29.8 billion (41%) of the New Zealand Government's core revenue of $72.5 billion was from individuals' income taxes.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_New_Zealand

              With the string of disasters NZ have experienced since The Christchurch Earthquake and onwards and the costs government has had to incur and will likely need to do so in the future with both climate change and an aging population I see no sensible reason why the well off should not be taxed more. The alternative is austerity bullshit which will continue to damage those least able to have the means to get through.

              That is basically the choice we face.

            • Belladonna 10.2.1.2.1.2

              IIRC Stamp duty was abolished in the 90s – well before John Key.
              I think that you may be thinking of gift duty – which was abolished under Key in about 2011.

      • Michael Scott 10.2.2

        Wealth taxes were tried extensively in Europe and have mostly been abandoned.

        They were wildly popular in France when first introduced but never raised much revenue. "France's wealth tax contributed to the exodus of an estimated 42,000 millionaires between 2000 and 2012, among other problems. Only last year, French president Emmanuel Macron killed it."

        Sweden , Denmark and Norway have all tried them but seem to have settled on a top tax rate of around 50% and all have GST (sales tax) at 25%

        The OECD published this report on Wealth Taxes in 2018

        https://www.oecd.org/tax/tax-policy/role-and-design-of-net-wealth-taxes-in-the-OECD-summary.pdf

        • joe90 10.2.2.1

          Only last year, French president Emmanuel Macron killed it."

          And replaced it with a tax on property.

          The French tax system levies an annual wealth tax based on the value of your property portfolio, called the Impôt sur la Fortune Immobilière or IFI. If you own real estate assets worth €1.3 million (£1.11 million) or more, you may be liable, although properties are assessed for IFI from a value of €800,000 (£685,000) and above – anything below this is not taxable.

          IFI tax rates depend on the total valuation, with most affluent property owners subject to a 0.5% tax rate on properties worth up to €1.3 million (£1.11 million), with progressive increases up to an upper limit of 1.5% for property assets worth €10 million (£8.56 million) or more.

          https://chasebuchanan.com/property-tax-in-france-residential-investment/#Understanding_French_Wealth_Tax_on_Property_Ownership

  11. Ad 11

    Labour under Hipkins will seek to win by default.

    With Labour essentially subcontracting policy formation out to the Greens, there's not a heap of work for Hipkins to do other than be as boring as Starmer and just wait for National to fail.

  12. Phillip ure 12

    Labour has been running that 'we aren't quite as bad as the other lot' strategy for far too long ..

    It is a recipe for stagnation..

  13. Ad 13

    If Shaw can imagine the Greens going with National, carving out specific policy wins just as they did with Labour, then we get a proper realignment of our politics that threatens NZF, ACT, TPM, and Labour at once.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/03/greens-co-leader-james-shaw-doesn-t-rule-out-working-with-national-says-relationship-with-christopher-luxon-is-good.html

    As per the German federal arrangement, it's not easy but it's possible.

    • Phillip ure 13.1

      National would have to be pulled far more left than it is now..

      There would have to be a consensus of sorts on social policies..

      As no matter the green gains..the greens could not countenance any war on the poor ..(so beloved by tories)…in any form..

      That..or some sort of environmental crisis necessitating unified action…

      These are the only two scenarios where I can see your blue/green vision…becoming a reality..

      • Ad 13.1.1

        None of those things are true.

        So now let me tempt you with Labour out of power until 2029, and the Greens passing on a National "confidence and supply + specific policy areas" agreement.

        It's a long time to let the climate burn and not be at the decisionmaking table.

      • Phillip ure 13.1.2

        @ad.. struggling to see what is &#039 not ‘true'…as you allege..

        Care to qualify what you said..?

    • weka 13.2

      If Shaw can imagine the Greens going with National, carving out specific policy wins just as they did with Labour, then we get a proper realignment of our politics that threatens NZF, ACT, TPM, and Labour at once.

      That's not how it works though. The negotiation team comes up with a plan and presents it to the membership who vote yea or nay. When Shaw talked to Tame the other week he said he can imagine working with National, but he was very clear that the membership were unlikely to.

      The party used to have a position on working with National established by remit at an AGM (ie they won’t so long as the policy differences are so large). Don't know if that still holds.

      In the Tame interview, Shaw was talking about the things they could have prevented. So let's play this out. If National had formed government with the Greens instead of ACT/NZF, what realistically would the Greens have been able to stop? What would the Greens bring that National would want more than working with ACT/NZF?

      That's one scenario. The other is a future election. If the Greens campaign on National being an option, the first thing that will happen is they will shed votes to Labour.

      • Ad 13.2.1

        There's risk and opportunity to calculate.

        The risk is that the smaller party gets dragged down.

        The opportunity is that the Greens don't require Labour.

        While it is true that the Green membership is its own democratic handbrake, as we saw with the re-selection of Shaw to leadership in 2022, they can be brought round.

        If you're worried about what going in with National would "stop", that depends entirely on how closely you negotiate your coalition agreement.

        If you're sloppy you get done. That's happened to the Greens often enough.

        If you're detailed and resolute, you get what NZF got when it went in with Jacinda in 2017.

        You will also have seen in the 2017 term what Peters stopped simply with tight Cabinet subcommittee timing ie quite a lot.

        We'll just have to see what Chloe's team have got in the tank.

        • Phillip ure 13.2.1.1

          National have lurched to the right..

          The green party membership would not countenance being part of a government that is doing anything like this opportunistic grouping is doing ..no way…and they have the final say on any deal..

          And that the greens are so far from national…I see as nationals problem…with the possibility of locking them out of power for a long time ..

          They are the ones who need to change….not the greens ..

          They need to end their rearguard defence of that poxy ideology that got us into all this trouble..that bastard child of capitalism…neoliberalism..

          And to face up to the crisis we all face..

          And I don't see them doing that anytime soon…

          So ..no…it ain't gonna happen with this iteration of the national party….who are opposed to pretty much everything the greens stand for..

          There isn't a gap between them..it is a chasm..

          • Bearded Git 13.2.1.1.1

            +1000 Phillip

          • Grey Area 13.2.1.1.2

            It's extremely unlikely to happen with any iteration of the National Party. Blue Greens is a fiction. A National Party that would be ready to save the environment and work to fight against climate change but not work to diminish social and economic justice?

            It doesn't exist. Why does this trope keep coming up again and again?

  14. AB 14

    Labour in 1972-75 were tipped out of office by: the death of a charismatic leader who won them the 1972 election, an economic shock that originated offshore (OPEC oil price hikes); the appointment of an outstanding leader of the opposition (Muldoon) who fired up an aggressive sense that the commonsense of the ordinary bloke was the highest form of human intelligence ever seen, and powerful propaganda in the election campaign. That's a lot of hits to take all at once.

    Could this government lose office without something comparable – such as the complete collapse of the coalition? And if it lost without such a crisis, would it mean we are entering a new stage of volatility not yet seen under MMP and not necessarily good for the left?

    • Bearded Git 14.1

      Well Luxon is politically fairly useless, Peters will be 81 at the next election and may have had enough. Seymour is way over to the Right.

      Hipkins won't do so we just need the charismatic leader and a crisis that helps the Left/Greens……

      I wonder what Jacinda is up to….smiley

      • Grey Area 14.1.1

        She didn't deliver when it mattered. A disappointment to the left. Transformative change from someone who once worked for Tony Blair?

        • Bearded Git 14.1.1.1

          Maybe you should look at the long list of things that this awful government is repealing-Jacinda did a hell of a lot. She was hampered by Peters in the first term (NZF canned light rail). When you put her five years in the context of also having to deal with a worldwide pandemic (and doing this brilliantly) she did just fine.

          I can't stand Bliar, but I have always thought it a but rough to tar Jacinda with his political outlook simply because she worked in his office. She may have learned how NOT to do it while there.

  15. Corey 15

    I deeply believe that throughout the majority of the democratic world, the 2020's will see incumbent governments be voted out every election.

    I think the world's going to have to get used to one term governments.

    It's not just the global economy, or political polarization or that we're globally really grumpy.

    Thanks to the internet, social media etc politics and politicians seem inescapable and in our faces and daily lives more than ever, so they get overexposed and we get sick of them incredibly quickly.

    It doesn't help that election campaigns basically start a year before elections now so we're constantly bombarded with politics not just from politicians!

    I honestly felt that noone really wanted to win 2023 and both major parties were actively trying to lose because it was a poisoned chalice, if they weren't trying to lose, both parties are unable to read the mood of the public anymore.

    if Labour and the Greens can laser focus on an economic and housing platform that makes people's lives better and not get stuck in divisive and alienating social policy and culture war, they'll easily be able to win the next election but staying in power will be next to impossible.

    The last thing you wanna be right now is an incumbent govt because every incumbent is about to be chucked.

    Even Aussie Labor! Since the voice Referendum failed the ALP has had a primary vote under 35% in every poll since October, historically a primary vote under 35% for the ALP is the kiss of death..

    Every election going forward will be a throw the bums out election.

  16. Corey 16

    I deeply believe that throughout the majority of the democratic world, the 2020's will see incumbent governments be voted out every election.

    I think the world's going to have to get used to one term governments.

    It's not just the global economy, or political polarization or that we're globally really grumpy.

    Thanks to the internet, social media etc politics and politicians seem inescapable and in our faces and daily lives more than ever, so they get overexposed and we get sick of them incredibly quickly.

    It doesn't help that election campaigns basically start a year before elections now so we're constantly bombarded with politics not just from politicians!

    I honestly felt that noone really wanted to win 2023 and both major parties were actively trying to lose because it was a poisoned chalice, if they weren't trying to lose, both parties are unable to read the mood of the public anymore.

    if Labour and the Greens can laser focus on an economic and housing platform that makes people's lives better and not get stuck in divisive and alienating social policy and culture war, they'll easily be able to win the next election but staying in power will be next to impossible.

    The last thing you wanna be right now is an incumbent govt because every incumbent is about to be chucked.

    Even Aussie Labor! Since the voice Referendum failed the ALP has had a primary vote under 35% in every poll since October, historically a primary vote under 35% for the ALP is the kiss of death..

    Every election going forward will be a throw the bums out election.

    • Clive Macann 16.1

      "I think the world's going to have to get used to one term governments."

      Then we need 5 year terms as it's hard to follow through on changes if you get tossed on your ear.

      • Bearded Git 16.1.1

        I used to think the same Clive, but have changed my mind and support the 3 year term.

        An example is this government. They scraped a disparate coalition together, only just being able to form a majority, getting 52.8% of the votes cast.

        Despite this Luxon repeatedly says "we have a mandate" for all of the changes to policy that they are making (many of them extreme) which is not true. Some of the people that voted for one of the coalition partners would disagree with the policies of the two other parties and would disagree with the extreme nature of some of the changes being made.

        So I want the option to chuck them out after 3 years retained so that the damage being wreaked by this rabble can be limited. The 3 year term makes the government of the day more accountable to the people IMHO, and I think there is a good chance that this will be a one-term government

        (This could be extended into a guest post Weka)

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