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Astroturf organisation accuses Tax Justice Aotearoa of being an astroturf organisation

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, April 8th, 2019 - 18 comments
Categories: business, capital gains, tax, taxpayers union, The Standard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Irony abounds.  The Taxpayer’s Union has accused another entity of being an astroturf organisation.

From a TPU press release:

Responding to the launch of new campaign to promote Michael Cullen’s capital gains tax, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:
“This campaign is not a grassroots movement – it’s more like astroturf. The campaign group is a union-funded front for New Zealand’s usual left-wing agitators. They are funded by the same people who bankroll the Labour Party’s campaigns and even include the Labour Party’s recent General Secretary in their steering committee.”
“The group’s key message – claiming that ‘most’ New Zealanders support a capital gains tax – is false. Public polling consistently shows Kiwis want the Government to axe Dr Cullen’s unfair tax.”

Usual left wing agitators?

There is one person, Mike Smith, who has strong links to the Labour Party as well as to this blog.  But the others do not.

They include a lecturer, a member of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, an academic, and someone who lists his interests as including “words, evidence and being outside.”

The appearance is of a group of dedicated enthusiasts wanting to create a better world.

By comparison the Taxpayer’s Union (not a real union) employs eight staff.  And there is no sign of who funds such a significant entity although inconveniently news has broken out that it receives funds from British Tobacco.

And apparently it has said that it has lots of others. According to communications officer Louis Holbrook:

We have so many donors, if we started singling out any particular donor that would actually start distorting people’s perspectives of our work and distort people’s perceptions of our funding and distort people’s perceptions of our relationships.”

They are a bit slack with their accounts.  The last accounts filed in the societies were from 2016.  And strangely there is [only $73,000 of staff costs] although there is a full time communications officer and other staff are said to be “part time” with some said to be interns. Maybe they all work for love.

I applaud the Taxpayer’s union call for openness and transparency. I look forward to it practising what it preaches.

18 comments on “Astroturf organisation accuses Tax Justice Aotearoa of being an astroturf organisation ”

  1. ankerawshark 1

    Lol ++++ oh the irony.

    I have just signed said petition and posted to FB. I think it will be seen to be a grass roots movement……..unlike the tax payer’s union……….lol lol

  2. Gabby 2

    They need a spoker who doesn’t splutter and blether when Soozy asks, quite reasonably, who’s picking up the tab. Bad bad look. He sounded as if he was going to cry.

    • Chris 2.1

      Ferguson did get sickenly hardtalky with him, though, inappropriately at one point, but he certainly wasn’t the best frontperson. Then Espiner in the next story gives a right-wing spin merchant from the nz inititute talking absolute shite a free run. RNZ ain’t no red radio, that’s for sure.

      • Gabby 2.1.1

        She was pretty soft on him chrissy, first hint of tears in his voice she thanked him and moved on. But why was he so upset? Had he been told he was doing a promotion and to stick to the script?

      • Gabby 2.1.2

        Guyno did kind of hint that the German chappy’s angle just might be that those lower decile schools were doing fine with the poor material in their classrooms, so obviously no more funding required.

        • OnceWasTim

          You’re onto it eh Gabso? 🙂
          I’ve got this piece of apparatus I just consigned to the skip – I could never figure out what it was supposed to be used for.
          A D-Vice if you will.
          I think it measured both length and girth (mass if you will) but from what I can see from the thing, it always gave false readings.
          I probably should have put it up for sale on TradeMeeee, or Facebook

        • OnceWasTim

          Oh shit!!!! Did I just say that out loud?
          I fear I did.
          I was watching ‘Married at First Sight’ and it must have got the better of me.

          As you were

      • Blazer 2.1.3

        I listened to that ..and Espiner was quite forthright in suggesting people were if not getting ripped off ,not getting ‘value for money’ from the so called elite schooling institutions.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    Same ankerawshark. Posted to Facebook as well. It was good to read a second thing that made me guffaw!! The idea of the taxpayer’s union being “grass roots” #@%$

    Yesterday Adam had an excellent video take down @ 5 of 75 6/04/19 on open mike “The Economy” ( the coming Australian Election,) using “growing the Pie” and “GDP” and carefully explaining why in a humerous manner the pie might grow but a personal worker’s slice would lose bits and shrink. with less government. It was so clever and true lol have a look if you haven’t yet!!

    Someone clever should do one for the tax!! The same principles apply.
    They grow their wealth pie with few taxes while our wages shrink as they have to cover tax and the costs of less government. (Poorer hospitals schools and health benefits).

    Jordan Williams is an activist for the Right. So of course he is against CGT. (On behalf of his wealthy backers who hide behind him.)

  4. ankerawshark 4

    Hi Patricia, Didn’t catch Adam’s video (have been a little busy in the real world) so not on my favourite website so much over the last few days…..will check it out though.

    Always good to share opinions and humour with you Patricia…….I am hoping for a huge number of signatures on that petition…

  5. Wensleydale 7

    Louis Holbrook is a funny guy. I think anyone who has been at all paying attention over the past decade is well aware of what your “work” involves. I think the only people likely to “distort” things are the Taxpayer’s Onion.

    I’ve often wondered if there’s a special place in Hell reserved for “communications officers”. And you’ve got to love that euphemism.

  6. Sacha 8

    “I look forward to it practising what it preaches.”

    To the Taxdodgers Onion and their libertarian pals, the only relevant factor in funding is whether it was voluntary in a ‘free market’ sense. Union fees and public funding are immoral impositions on the scared weiner of fiscal freedom!

    How their own donors made their money is not something they care about, and nor will they tell us who they are.

    In their mind, there is nothing hypocritical about this.

  7. rod 9

    The taxdodgers onion and their pals certainly don’t like it up em.

    • OnceWasTim 9.1

      PLEASE @Rod!
      Keep it seemly,
      they prefer it on the ‘down low’.
      They’ve got a reputation to keep after all.

  8. Chris 10

    Tabitha Lorck “studies a Bachelor of Laws and Arts, majoring in Criminology and International Relations, with a minor in Māori Studies at Victoria University.”

    If this is indicative of where our youth today are heading we’re doomed.

    • Sabine 10.1

      i knew a young women who studied criminology and law 🙂 , she is now employed by a very large insurance company earning good money investigating insurance fraud.

      this lady you are talking about will have a nice future ahead no doubt about it.

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