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Should the Government spend massively more?

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, August 8th, 2019 - 58 comments

With yesterday’s announcement by the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates by 1%, some are suggesting that the government should embark on a massive public works spree to stimulate the economy while increasing national debt at low interest rates.  But Kiwisaver reform may be more effective.

MAFS National Style*

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, March 3rd, 2019 - 61 comments

National is grooming the voters for another dirty ACT.

Rental Rights Review

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, August 27th, 2018 - 68 comments

The Labour led Government has announced a review into tenancy laws. It’s about time we balanced the rental market, which has for too long let renters down.

Productivity

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 14th, 2018 - 32 comments

A more productive economy – and society – has been an elusive goal for many of New Zealand’s previous governments.  The last National Government failed.  What will Labour do to succeed?

Fletcher Chair resigns but directors retain huge fees despite staggering loss

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, February 14th, 2018 - 123 comments

Fletcher announces more huge losses but directors still laughing all the way to the bank

Cluster f*&k on cluster bombs

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, August 19th, 2016 - 64 comments

The Government is refusing to accept there are legal issues with Kiwisaver providers investing in manufacturers of cluster bombs.  But it is also not ruling out there may be a problem.

Check your Kiwisaver

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, August 18th, 2016 - 21 comments

An excellent piece by Matt Nippert, Caleb Tutty, Olivia Carville in The Herald is generating a lot of discussion this morning. Are you unknowingly investing in tobacco and munitions?

We’re going to burn it all, until we burn it down.

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 am, May 20th, 2016 - 173 comments

What does it really mean to reduce NZ’s total fossil fuel use by 50% by 2030: a warm up discussion for an upcoming thought experiment.

Laundering earnings vs laundering money

Written By: - Date published: 4:49 pm, May 13th, 2016 - 35 comments

When a corporation launders its earnings in a tax haven, it is completely upfront about where the money came from and who it belongs to, which differentiates the activity from “money laundering.”

The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 27th, 2016 - 76 comments

How many more lies will John Key tell today in his so-called State of the Nation address? Virtual chocolate fish to whomever guesses the closest number.

Another #Keyfib about Kiwisaver

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, July 10th, 2015 - 42 comments

The treasury release of budget policy advice suggests that John Key’s claim that changes to Kiwisaver would not have any effect on participation numbers was, ahem, erroneous.

Destroying a savings culture

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, June 25th, 2015 - 36 comments

Key: “The removal of the $1,000 kick-start contribution will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver.” Wrong. Completely and utterly wrong.

The myth of “Retirement Savings”

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, June 9th, 2015 - 101 comments

Advocates of Kiwisaver and other funded “retirement savings” schemes perpetuate the fundamental misunderstanding that “conventional” in New Zealand’s case “neo-liberal” economists, speculators, finance companies, politicians and those with a lot of share holding wealth in non-productive enterprises like to perpetuate.

Auto Kiwisaver

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, May 29th, 2015 - 60 comments

Nice to see English acknowledging the importance of Kiwisaver – thanks Michael Cullen, thanks Helen Clark! I certainly support default enrollment. But – isn’t this Big Government Nanny State Gone Mad?

Superannuation and Government forecasts

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, May 25th, 2015 - 197 comments

National has again refused to consider doing anything about the future of Superannuation.  Yet its policies of increasing Crown debt, stopping contributions to the Cullen Fund and attacking Kiwisaver have made a discussion about the future of superannuation more important than ever.

Media response to Labour’s Monetary Policy Upgrade

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, May 2nd, 2014 - 105 comments

The response to Labour’s Monetary Policy upgrade has been overall very good and it has dominated the policy debate at the same time as a series of scandals start to circle around the National Party.

KiwiFund: nationalisation or competition?

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 pm, October 21st, 2013 - 61 comments

Winston Peters’ KiwiFund proposal would nationalise KiwiSaver.  Russel Norman supports it, but in competition with private schemes.  Cunliffe is open to negotiation.  Key is dismissive, but says Peters is so untrustworthy he is likely to back down & form an alliance with National anyway.

It’s not us: it’s the big banks

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, April 29th, 2013 - 30 comments

MSM articles show the big Aussie banks are making record profits, Kiwis can save, and Adam Smith worshiping think tanks are not to be trusted. Cunliffe & Norman said it a while back – NAct policies and government spending cuts are not the answer.

Dithering Nats

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, April 1st, 2013 - 49 comments

Changes to the tax rules that kick in today reverse two decisions made earlier by the government. Dither dither dither.

Greens go red, Labour goes green

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, November 7th, 2011 - 67 comments

We live in a time of inter-related crises of the environment and the capitalist economic system. So, I guess it’s not surprising to see Labour becoming more environmentally aware at the same time as the Greens propose economic policies that would normally be out of Labour’s playbook. Don’t worry about them becoming too alike, welcome the solid platform for a new government.

Labour’s savings & retirement policy

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 am, October 28th, 2011 - 99 comments

Well, they said they were going to run this campaign on policy and make the bold moves, and Labour proved that with their savings policy. National is been left floundering. Brand Key is unraveling while Labour starts to dictate the play for the first time since Orewa. But the substance of the savings policy wants a closer look, it has both good and bad aspects.

Compulsory Kiwisaver?

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, August 4th, 2011 - 39 comments

Good to see the government considering a move that would significantly boost KiwiSaver uptake – even if it does highlight their ideological inconsistency!

Happy Birthday KiwiSaver

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, July 4th, 2011 - 2 comments

John Key’s government celebrated KiwiSaver’s 4th birthday on July 1 with cuts to your entitlements. (Zet mentioned this here, but this is my take…)

Happy Kiwisaver Cuts Day

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, July 1st, 2011 - 26 comments

From today, the government’s contribution to your Kiwisaver has been cut in half. ‘What?’, you say, ‘Didn’t they say that would only come in if they got re-elected?’ Yeah, nah. They were lying to you. From today on, the government contribution is a maximum of $10 a week. Remember, this was the central plank of National’s savings budget.

Encouraging savings the National way

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, June 12th, 2011 - 15 comments

Amongst the many vacuous claims made in relation to the last budget, the claim that cuts to KiwiSaver would encourage savings always struck me as the dumbest.  Now the facts are in, and guess what…

So much for seeking a mandate

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, May 26th, 2011 - 15 comments

Remember when John Key was promising that he would seek a mandate from the people at the election before starting to sell public assets and cutting Kiwisaver. It was only a week ago. And he’s breaking his promises already: the Kiwisaver cuts actually kick in on July 1, and the privatisation process is underway.

Key’s dodgy scheming

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 25th, 2011 - 22 comments

*Key says that we will get to vote on his Kiwisaver cuts in the election. Truth is, they passed the law last week and the tax credits are cut from July 1. *What’s up with the dodgy Kiwibank numbers? Plans for sale? *The govt is importing World Cup workers while 270K are jobless. *Key’s jokes falling flat with pissed off voters.

National reforms Kiwisaver – again

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, May 12th, 2011 - 25 comments

John Key has announced National’s third reform of Kiwisaver in 3 years, saying the government’s contribution will be cut and made up with higher minimum contributions from members and their employers. It’s an embarrassing flip-flop from the government that cut default contribution rates and shows no plan for the future.

They cut, we pay

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, May 11th, 2011 - 49 comments

The Nats have run this country into the ground and say there’s no option but to slash Kiwisaver. The actual cuts they announce will be less than foreshadowed, and we will then be expected to be grateful. It’s the Nats’ old trick. But the reality is there’s no need for Kiwisaver cuts at all. Not while the rich keep the tax cuts National gave them.

Taking from Kiwisavers & giving to the rich

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, May 10th, 2011 - 81 comments

John Key has confirmed he intends to slash Kiwisaver to the bone by cutting the up to $1040 a year government contribution you get as a member. Of course, this is the savings budget according to National’s spin. They’re going to ‘encourage’ savings by taking that money from Kiwisaver and giving it to rich individual savers. It’s just more class war.

The Shock Doctrine

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 pm, March 1st, 2011 - 141 comments

I’m really pissed off that politics has come into the Christchurch earthquake so quickly. But make no mistake, the Nats are pursuing a strongly ideological agenda. They’re using the quake as cover for radically cutting important policies and making other extreme decisions, while preserving the tax cuts for the rich. It’s called the Shock Doctrine.

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