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Lets talk about tax policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, September 14th, 2017 - 282 comments

Tax is emerging as the big issue of this campaign.  How valid are National’s claims that Labour will introduce a variety of new taxes and what has National’s record been like?  Update: in a smart tactical move Labour has promised no new taxes will be introduced until after the next election.

National tries to have it both ways

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, November 19th, 2016 - 51 comments

Despite the Kaikoura earthquakes, the damage to the Capital and the fact the EQC fund is now in deficit, the Government is still holding out the possibility of tax cuts in election year.

Kiwibank is being privatised by stealth

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, November 2nd, 2016 - 31 comments

Kiwibank is selling 47% of its shareholding to the New Zealand Super Fund and to the Accident Compensation Corporation. The Government gets a cheque for $200 million which will improve the appearance of its books. Financial sleight of hand?

There goes the surplus

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, October 18th, 2016 - 58 comments

The media last week reported extensively an operating surplus of $1.8 billion dollars. But they missed the not so good news that the value of ACC’s assets took a $5.1 billion hit, the Super Fund lost $2 billion, the Crown’s liability under the ETS increased by $1.5 billion and net Crown debt increased by $1.3 billion.

Things other than States

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, August 25th, 2016 - 17 comments

What are the New Zealand institutions other than the State who can achieve good for New Zealanders?

4 days Left to answer Ombudsmen Survey

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 am, November 3rd, 2015 - 5 comments

People have just four days left to tell the Chief Ombudsman about their experiences of making requests to government agencies under the Official Information Act if they are to inform her enquiry into government agencies’ OIA practices.

John Key’s weird “gotcha” moment on ACC

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, March 10th, 2015 - 41 comments

John Key and his MPs were acting like they’d scored a real hit on Andrew Little in Question Time. The reality is … not so impressive.

Little: ACC levies need to come down

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, March 8th, 2015 - 30 comments

A National government which loves to cut taxs + workers and business being overcharged ACC levies = levy cuts, right? Wrong!

Fudge-it-Budget

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, December 11th, 2014 - 31 comments

The lied about surplus in the run up to the 2014 National Election is looking like matching Penn and Teller for magical skills. It’s the ultimate disappearing act. Unlike bad economic figures when Labour is in Government, this isn’t National’s fault. Bill English says so. It’s all down to a whole lot of unusual and […]

Why we train health and safety reps

Written By: - Date published: 4:31 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 14 comments

Sadly those that don’t want workers to be trained in health and safety are attacking the courses the CTU runs for health and safety rep training, ironically including the Minister of ACC. This blog is a rather boring “on the record” blog setting out how the contract is run in preparation for any further attacks.  They might not happen over night, but they will happen!

Labour shoot themselves in the foot, again!

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, December 7th, 2013 - 247 comments

Just when you begin to think Labour are looking like a Government, one of the has-beens from the Rogernomics era, again! shows that they have NFI how to get elected and they are still clinging desperately to the Neo-liberal paradigm.

Asset sale disaster

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, December 5th, 2013 - 30 comments

The Government are lowering their lowest estimate for how much they’ll raise from asset sales. They’ve done a terrible job implementing a stupid policy – if you’re going to put your ideological blinkers on and do it, at least do it right. Now it must stop.

Shock finding that ACC cover improves people’s lives

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, November 12th, 2013 - 38 comments

A recent Massey University study found that that those with a spinal cord injury who are covered by ACC are more likely to get back to work while those who don’t receive assistance start a downward spiral into poverty.  Who would have thunk it?

The shameless Nick Smith

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, May 24th, 2013 - 31 comments

Nick Smith has a long history of slippery dealings.  He apologises but accepts no blame, then is resurrected: contempt of court, a defamation case, the Pullar-ACC “conflict of interest”, bad faith negotiations with Auckland Council, the Denniston Plateau deal. Yesterday on RNZ, Smith exposed the government’s agenda on mining conservation land.

Real social security; real jobs – not bennie bashing

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, March 27th, 2013 - 55 comments

Opposition MPs (e.g. Ardern & Mathers) and Sue Bradford highlight that the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill destroys lives, furthers NAct’s elitist agenda, & is more propaganda than social security or job creation.

Leaked: draft blueprint for future recruitment to ACC sensitive claims unit

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, February 20th, 2013 - 10 comments

An accidentally-mis-addressed email from ACC’s HR department reveals much-needed changes are going to be made to their sensitive claims unit.

The long game

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, September 15th, 2012 - 41 comments

The government recently released a figure of $78 billion as the ‘lifetime cost’ of the benefit system. That number is the estimated answer to the question: ‘how much would we have to have put aside now to pay for the expected future cost of benefit payments to all current beneficiaries’. But the really question is: why would you want to know that?

They eat their own

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, August 3rd, 2012 - 27 comments

Anyone else taking a perverse pleasure in the Pullar-Collins-Boag-Judge affair? They’re all Tory villains. And they’re eating each other alive. Judge was handpicked to privatise ACC. Now, Collins is trying to stick the Boag email leak to him, Did he do it? Who knows. The other most likely option is Collins. So implicating Judge serves Collins’ purpose.

Nats order ACC to cut claimants

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, June 25th, 2012 - 54 comments

There is a sociopathic policy of the leadership at ACC, which sees staff financially incentivised to push long-term claimants off ACC leading to many of them going on the benefit rather than getting rehabilitation. Now, we have proof that this policy came right from the top. National ministers set arbitrary targets for the number of long-term claimants to be booted.

ACC – perverse incentives and sociopathic policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, June 22nd, 2012 - 90 comments

Kevin Hague has discovered ACC managers are getting bonuses for kicking people off the scheme.

That’s not surprising – this government beats up on the weak almost as much as it sucks up to the powerful.

Will the last one to leave ACC please turn out the lights?

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, June 21st, 2012 - 20 comments

To paraphrase Mr Wilde, losing 1 board member looks unfortunate, but losing 4 & a CEO looks like a minister losing control of her portfolio. As much as the botox allows, Collins didn’t look happy when board member number 4 quit. But mama said never trust a tory. Expect the Nats to try to turn events to their advantage. Privatisation isn’t off the table.

Rebstock for Judge at ACC

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, June 12th, 2012 - 39 comments

Announced this morning before Question Time in Parliament that John Judge will be replaced as Chair of ACC on a temporary basis by Paula Rebstock. Judge is going to chair the ANZNational Bank; Rebstock has been chairing the advisory body to WINZ. It will be interesting to see which bits of the culture get changed and if there is any benefit to ACC claimants.

Tape of ACC-Pullar meeting raises more questions

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, April 30th, 2012 - 47 comments

Another secret taping, another political scandal. A recording of Pullar and Boag’s meeting with ACC by Pullar appears to show that Pullar did not “blackmail” ACC as alleged. This raises serious questions about how Pullar’s name got into the public arena. And why hasn’t Collins ordered ACC to correct its version of events since its had the transcript for weeks?

Confused? A guide to the letters & leaks in the Nats’ Civil War

Written By: - Date published: 4:03 pm, March 31st, 2012 - 77 comments

The ever-growing list of letters, emails, and leaks in the National Party Civil War, that started off as an apparently apolitical privacy breach by ACC, is getting hard to follow. Here’s a summary of the various documents and their ramifications – so far.

Key linked to Pullar claim

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 pm, March 29th, 2012 - 153 comments

Close Up tonight led with the allegation, based on a leaked document, that John Key (and other prominent Nats) were listed as supporting a $14 million dollar insurance claim by Bronwyn Pullar.

You know you’re in trouble when: The bookies open a contract on you

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, March 29th, 2012 - 162 comments

You know that bookies sense when there is blood in the water and they’ll create contracts. I don’t gamble but the interesting contracts today in my mind are “Judith Collins to cease being a Minister before 1 June 2012”, “An ACC official ….to be found to have leaked Boag email”, “Beehive staffer to be found to have leaked Boag email”, etc. And a politician is definitely in trouble in NZ when they start talking about defamation 🙂

Unanswered questions

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, March 29th, 2012 - 96 comments

Why did Collins print a copy of the Boag email? Who else saw it or was informed of its contents? If she didn’t give the information to Lusk or Slater, how did it get to the Herald? If they weren’t involved, why did they run hard on the Pullar issue with an anti-Boag angle from Day 1? Does Collins want us to believe ACC leaked to the Herald? How long does Collins thinks she can hold out?

They eat their own

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, March 28th, 2012 - 96 comments

ACC denies leaking Bronwyn Pullar’s name. It’s not credible that they would act so high risk and so politically. Boag and Pullar clearly didn’t leak it. So, that leaves Collins and her office. Collins denied leaking the email to the media … but leaves a fair bit of wiggle room, doesn’t it? The tipline is, as they say, running hot – and the name on everyone’s lips is Lusk. More soon.

Blood sport

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, March 28th, 2012 - 48 comments

Judith Collins has twice told the Prime Minister that she didn’t leak Bronwyn Pullar’s information. But who else could have? The internecine fighting within National is heating up with Michelle Boag saying “When you can’t send a communication to a Government minister without fearing that the privacy of that communication is going to be breached, that’s very, very dangerous.” This is going to end badly for someone.

Collins’ attack on Pullar continues

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, March 26th, 2012 - 58 comments

It’s strange watching National’s factions fight it out in the media- the Herald on Sunday running the Collins/Slater faction stuff and the Dompost running material from Boag/Pullar. Both sides are scum. Pullar received (somehow) the largest leak in ACC and passed to the media. Collins has imitated her fellow ministers by leaking Pullar’s private details in revenge.

Who leaked Pullar’s name?

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, March 23rd, 2012 - 77 comments

Nick Smith’s handpicked chair of ACC, John Judge, denies that ACC leaked Bronwyn Pullar’s name to the media after she made public the biggest leak of private data in history from the organisation. So, who did? Given the government’s track-record – Bennett vs the solo mums, Brownlee publicising Dalziel’s redzone offer – I’m betting it was Judith Collins.

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