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More thoughts on the Labour-Greens Budget Responsibility Rules

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, March 25th, 2017 - 111 comments

The Labour-Green Budget Responsibility Rules announcement this week ought to dispel the notion that Labour and the Greens cannot work together.

Bloomberg warns world of New Zealand’s toxic trusts

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, February 12th, 2017 - 21 comments

Bloomberg magazine has highlighted how foreign trusts are damaging New Zealand’s reputation and are being used for criminal activity.

Foreign buyers estimated at 29%

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, August 25th, 2016 - 75 comments

Most of the media has reported the Government’s “3%” spin on the extent of residential property purchases in NZ going to foreign buyers pretty uncritically. There have been honourable exceptions, and yesterday property editor Anne Gibson in The Herald joined them.

Financial capital is crazy OP. Time to strip it back to basics.

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, August 8th, 2016 - 72 comments

Financial capital is way over powered in our current political economic system. Every aspect of our lives has been financialised and securitised, from our homes to our educations. From our drinking water to our power supply.

Key’s Blind Trust vs Our Blind Faith

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, April 29th, 2016 - 29 comments

So Key’s lawyer reckons the PM directly requested that trust industry leaders lobby the Revenue Minister. On the other hand, PM DunnoKeyo reckons he did no such thing. That leaves some really big questions …

Key’s land tax – too weak

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, April 28th, 2016 - 76 comments

Reaction to Key’s land tax has been luke warm at best, with strong calls for more effective action. Labour is promising “a ‘tidal wave’ of big housing reforms”…

Key prepares to backflip on Auckland housing

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, April 26th, 2016 - 126 comments

John Key is preparing the ground for a reversal on National’s refusal to do anything about Auckland’s housing crisis.

The problem with free market capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, January 9th, 2016 - 248 comments

This morning’s Herald contains a story about a young man who with a family gift has managed to purchase eleven houses over the past five years and can afford to pay World of Warcraft all day.

Parasite Drive; the NBR Rich List

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, July 31st, 2015 - 98 comments

The NBR’s annual list of the one percent is out. No surprises that the growing inequality in New Zealand is working well for the parasites at the top of the hill.

NRT: This is wrong

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, July 13th, 2015 - 48 comments

“Auckland’s median house price rising a record 26 per cent to $755,000 over the past year..”. This is what a bubble looks like: when your house “earns” a top-end salary just by existing. And its a perfect example of why we need a capital gains tax.

Rushed policy is bad policy

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, May 19th, 2015 - 24 comments

National’s policy opens the door to more effective capital gains tax, thus irritating investors and their base, while probably not achieving anything in practice. The worst of both worlds. Bonus question – does this policy effectively underwrite losses when the property bubble bursts? Plus another bonus John Key lie!

Deborah Russell: Preliminary thoughts on the Government’s new tax

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, May 18th, 2015 - 46 comments

Deborah Russell is a senior lecturer in taxation at Massey University and was Labour’s candidate in Rangitīkei in the 2014 general election.  In this post she sets out her preliminary views on National’s new tax.

CGT: the focus groups made Key do it

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, May 18th, 2015 - 37 comments

According to John Key the proposed tax on capital gains if a property is sold within two years of purchase is not a capital gains tax, there is no housing bubble in Auckland, and the proposed new tax does not represent a complete about face by the Government.

NRT: National’s hand-wringing on housing

Written By: - Date published: 4:12 pm, April 23rd, 2015 - 20 comments

Auckland house prices have exploded again. Houses get more capital gains than their inhabitants do in salaries. So what is the government doing about it? Nothing. They haven’t tried the economic basics.. Capital gains tax to decrease demand, or a building programme to increase supply. Meanwhile National’s landlord MPs laughing all the way to the bank…

Housing and capital gains tax

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, April 18th, 2015 - 89 comments

This week the Reserve Bank recommended adopting the Labour / Green capital gains tax, the National party denied and dithered, and Don Brash explained the truth about the property bubble.

(Image credit Foxy.)

Deborah Russell: does New Zealand actually have a capital gains tax?

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 17th, 2015 - 61 comments

A guest post by Deborah Russell responding to Government claims that we already have a capital gains tax  on the sale of land.

Thoughts from the crowd on Tuesday night’s debate

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, September 4th, 2014 - 51 comments

I was in the front row of the audience at the Press leader’s debate between David Cunliffe and John Key. While the media in Auckland and Wellington might have called it one way, the people in Christchurch were only presented with one leader who understands the issues in this city, and it wasn’t the Prime Minister.

Parker nails English on economic policy

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, August 25th, 2014 - 32 comments

Labour has the bold set of policies to take New Zealand forward into the 21st century – National’s “same old same old” tinkering will see the Kiwi skiff swamped. That was the clear conclusion from the debate between David Parker and Bill English on National Radio this morning.

Polity: MSD dumps on National’s “net tax” nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, July 10th, 2014 - 47 comments

Rob Salmond has been looking through the newly released  Ministry of Social Development’s Household Incomes Report. It really is invaluable. 

NRT: Who’d have thunk it?

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, June 27th, 2014 - 60 comments

Capital gains tax is now accepted by a more people than who oppose it. But for a policy long considered a “third rail” of New Zealand politics, its a significant shift.  It ought to put paid forever to the idea that parties must go with the flow of public opinion because they are unable to affect it. Weak parties are. But if Labour stops being scared of its own shadow and afraid of its left-wing heritage, it can actually change things, and build the majorities it needs to govern.

This is how it’s done

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, October 15th, 2013 - 37 comments

This morning Cunliffe shows how to front the media on current issues, and respond to journalists questions clearly and decisively while being informed on the issues.  Questions about Kōhanga Reo National Trust, US government debt crisis, affordable housing, need better skills training, Euthanasia Bill.

Housing: the options, the new left narrative?

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, September 13th, 2013 - 75 comments

The response to Metiria Turei’s sttements about affordable housing on The Vote, raises questions about political narratives are told to the general electorate? The Greens, Mana and Cunliffe have stressed their “vision“.  How to tell it so it reaches the hearts of New Zealanders?

Ode to Phil Twyford

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, June 6th, 2013 - 22 comments

I was impressed by Phil Twyford’s analysis of the Government’s housing policies announced in the budget. I thought his best point was that only this Government could announce a housing affordability policy with the eviction of 3000 state housing tenants as its centre piece!

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.

Why Doug Heffernan wants you to keep paying too much for power

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, April 29th, 2013 - 49 comments

John Key has committed to giving up the National Party’s leadership if he loses the next election. That didn’t stop him from committing the next National Government from reversing NZ Power and putting up electricity prices whenever it comes to power . It got me thinking about the people who are so keen to kill NZ Power in its cradle and why. Today: MRP CEO Doug Heffernan.

Dumping on Dunne’s taxes

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, March 20th, 2013 - 13 comments

The Nats are in trouble with their budget deficits and looking to raise money via increased taxes. But they are tinkering at the edges of the problem, and were quick to chuck Peter Dunne under the bus when the latest proposals didn’t fly.

Akl Unitary Plan: the good, the bad & the debatable

Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, March 17th, 2013 - 39 comments

The Draft Auckland Unitary Plan has much to commend it.  It focuses on resource management, responds to the reality of climate change & aims for a more dense but ‘liveable’ city.  It has weaknesses, embraces destructive “growth” and raises questions: e.g. about affordable housing & environmental management.

“Minister for Small Things”

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, March 1st, 2013 - 51 comments

Yesterday, David Cunliffe,on Peter Dunne’s Student Loan Amendment Bill, & the related inter-generational swindle, labelled Dunne as “Minister for Small Changes” & “for Small Things”. Dunne further showed his support of the “neoliberal” swindle, with a couple of tweets on non-residents buying NZ property, smearing the Greens as racist.

Hands on Labour

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, August 16th, 2012 - 31 comments

Fresh ideas to grow a stronger manufacturing sector, on top of the major changes Labour has already signalled featured in a speech given today by David Parker to a union audience in Wellington. David Cunliffe was there too,  and I particularly liked the  discussion afterwards. The key players are receptive to good ideas and it looks like Labour will have a real alternative to offer at the next election.

CGT Now!

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, June 5th, 2012 - 32 comments

The “tradeable” sector is still shrinking. The property market is heating up again. We need a capital gains tax now.

House Price Inflation

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, May 6th, 2012 - 59 comments

Land prices rising much faster than wages. Shares, derivatives, hedge funds or other financial instruments are designed so that banks can gamble with our money. Win or lose they always get a cut. Loss comes out of our pensions and other savings. Or, if they really stuff it up, taxpayers are expected to borrow more from them to pay for it. Banks following their own self interest and are compounding economies to oblivion. The “invisible hand” has failed..

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