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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 - 24 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 - 31 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 - 52 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 - 32 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..

NZ must introduce a capital gains tax, sooner or later

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, September 2nd, 2011 - 29 comments

The wealthy elite in Europe are now joining Warren Buffett in these calls for higher taxes for the rich (including CGT), why? Maybe it’s because they know the truth, they know that the world is likely to enter another global recession, and they know the risk this will bring to social cohesion, which they rely on for maintaining the lifestyle they enjoy.

Buffett calls for rich to stop class war

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, August 16th, 2011 - 53 comments

Today Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest man in the world, has come out demanding his mega-rich friends play a part in the American economic recovery. He is recognised as one of the smartest and most successful investors alive, his words should not be dismissed lightly, especially as we approach our own election and grapple with the issue of tax reform.

Steven Joyce strikes out

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, July 19th, 2011 - 21 comments

Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce has dealt his government’s economic credibility a serious blow by attacking Labour’s costings of its fiscal plan and getting his own numbers wrong. David Cunliffe looks to be enjoying himself as he rips Joyce apart on Red Alert, in the Herald, and in the Dom. So much for Joyce’s dreams of succeeding English as Finance Minister.

Time for some gardening

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, July 18th, 2011 - 3 comments

Bad poll but not for CGT

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, July 18th, 2011 - 138 comments

The latest ONE News / Colmar Brunton poll is bad for Labour, and not great for the Left.  But it isn’t a verdict on Labour’s CGT proposal – the polling period finished before the policy was announced.

Apparently the undecided in this poll was 14%. I wonder why that was missed out of the reporting?

Imperator Fish: Why CGT will kill us all

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, July 17th, 2011 - 33 comments

The 90% of New Zealanders who don’t trade shares or own a second property suddenly wake up to the horror of a capital gains tax

Were NACTs planning CGT themselves?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, July 16th, 2011 - 113 comments

After two weeks of contradictory, panicked lines from National, the Right’s official critique of Labour’s CGT is “it’s a hodge-podge”. The Right, including Bill English and Don Brash, aren’t saying CGT is bad, they’re saying Labour’s CGT isn’t comprehensive enough. Why, then, don’t they campaign on a more comprehensive one? Maybe they were going to.

Game theory

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, July 16th, 2011 - 15 comments

In a comment yesterday on Eddie’s post ‘CGT or asset sales? Which do you prefer?‘, Matthew Hooton wrote “Where do I tick “I want both”?” Except for Nat sycophants, most righties acknowledge the need for a CGT. What should they do? Well, a little game theory shows that such a rightie should vote for a Labour-led government, this one time.

Labour vs National on economic vision

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, July 15th, 2011 - 34 comments

At the same time as Phil Goff and David Cunliffe were unveiling Labour’s economic vision, Bill English was defending National’s in Parliament.

Reaction to Labour tax package

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, July 15th, 2011 - 179 comments

The media have provided us with five people examples of people who will be affected in different ways by Labour’s tax package. Ordinary families win big and they know it. The vested interests moan and reveal the pure greed that underlies their worldview. Frankly, I think Labour will win support due to both who supports and who opposes its tax policy.

The politics of greed

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 15th, 2011 - 84 comments

In response to Labour’s tax proposals the Right is trotting out their favourite mindless catch phrase – “the politics of envy”.  Should the Left fight fire with fire, and get stuck in to “the politics of greed”?

Don Brash: Hypocrite on CGT

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, July 14th, 2011 - 17 comments

It would appear that Don Brash has ideals – and when politically required, he has other ideals.

In fact he has so many ideals that his viewpoint on a Capital Gains Tax appears to veer all over the political landscape especially in his latest press release on CGT. At a guess his only real objection to a CGT is that he is not the person proposing it.

Labour tax announcement coverage

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, July 14th, 2011 - 139 comments

Voters will see Labour oppositions on both sides of the world in a completely new light after this week. Phil Goff and Ed Miliband both took the bold step of taking on hitherto untouchable third-rail issues; capital gains tax in New Zealand and Rupert Murdoch’s pernicious monopoly media influence in England. Both leaders have turned the political landscape upside down and given voters a clear choice between the interests of the many and of the few. Go here for all the details. New Zealand is not for sale – game on for November!


Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 14th, 2011 - 35 comments

According to Gareth Morgan, “all income should be taxed if it is a fair income tax”. So where are taxes coming from right now? Well increasingly more of it is being paid by wage and salary earners, and less by businesses. Hopefully a capital gains tax will partially redress that imbalance.

CGT or asset sales? Which do you prefer?

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, July 14th, 2011 - 107 comments

Generally, no-one likes taxes, but Labour’s polling shows Kiwis are surprisingly receptive to capital gains tax. Head to head with National asset sales plan, the choice was clear: 55% prefer CGT vs 32% privatisation. In a contest of economic plans, Labour wins hands down. Even John Whitehead agrees. All English can do is scaremonger about the 35% debt ceiling.

Australia: screaming backwards with CGT

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, July 13th, 2011 - 57 comments

Russel Norman put a dagger into John Key yesterday in question time asking whether a series of national and international economic authorities really wanted to “put a dagger through the heart of growth” with a CGT. Key can waffle and whine all he likes, but he can’t avoid the truth of Australia’s enviable growth record with CGT.

Key has cried wolf too often

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, July 13th, 2011 - 98 comments

Key used to get away with spouting whatever kind of nonsense he liked.  Not any more.  His hysterical scaremongering on the subject of capital gains tax seems to have been a step too far.  The teflon is long gone, and Key has cried wolf too often.

Key shoots himself in foot over CGT

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, July 12th, 2011 - 24 comments

Capital gains is a good policy that build’s the credibility of Labour’s economic and fiscal plan. Labour’s brilliantly run pre-launch has sparked interest and discussion. The destruction of John Key’s economic credibility has been a welcome side benefit. And it is a blow, Vernon Small points out, that Key has inflicted on himself.

Holes in the too-hard basket

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 pm, July 10th, 2011 - 6 comments

The Tax Working Group canvassed the many reasons why New Zealand should have a capital gains tax, before rejecting it by majority decision on the basis it was too complex and hard to administer. According to Auckland University’s Professor Craig Elliffe and Chye-ching Huang this is not borne out by the example of South Africa’s successful introduction of a CGT in 2001. Surely if the South Africans can make such a tax work our officials can too.

Sweeping the board

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, July 10th, 2011 - 56 comments

The genius of Labour’s (not yet official) capital gains tax is not just the policy itself but the way it has picked the public mood. Support has been near-universal. The Left loves the fairness aspect – workers won’t be subsidising landlords anymore. The Right loves the implications for capital allocation, interest rates, and the exchange rate. The Nats look isolated and hysterical.

Friday lolz

Written By: - Date published: 5:09 pm, July 8th, 2011 - 60 comments

Even Bill’s readers like the CGT…

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