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Centre party? Yeah, right

Written By: - Date published: 3:14 pm, June 11th, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: tax, united future - Tags:

Why is it that UnitedFuture is branded a centre party?

We all know they’re socially right wing, in bed with the Christian fundamentalists, and the tax plan Dunne announced on the weekend proves they’re far-right economically too. They would blow the Budget with $4.6 billion cuts  (no mention of where the money would come from and no-one asked, let’s hope Key doesn’t get such a soft ride when he eventually announces) and most of that money would go on massive cuts to the rich.

UF would spend about twice as much on tax cuts as Labour is but would give smaller cuts for most people; at the same time, if you have a million dollar income, UF would give you a $1600 a week tax break.

A party of fundementalists who want tax cuts for the rich. Some centre party.

31 comments on “Centre party? Yeah, right ”

  1. Daveski 1

    SP Perhaps the problem is not with UF but your perspective.

    It shows that your view of the world is more extreme than you acknowledge accepting that UF is indeed Centre Right.

    You can tell from my other posts that this is not meant to be a personal insult at all – you are welcome to your opinions and express them well.

    On a related matter, the last time I completed the political compass test – http://www.politicalcompass.org/ – I came out left of centre on economic matters!!

    I did wonder about where the compass was centred 🙂

  2. erikter 2

    UF is no centre party. It’s just a group of whores who will decide whom to sell their support to after the election.

    Actually, UF is Peter Dunne: the others count for nothing.

    He’s done it before and will do it again. Waiting for Clark or Key to buy his miserable vote at the right price of being a minister of the Crown.

    Dunne is an example of political prostitution at its worst.

  3. leftrightout 3

    Agree with erikter. Funny how a party in bed with the Christian Fundamentalists is going to be in bed with the Devil (John Key).

  4. gobsmacked 4

    I don’t think they’re in bed with the fundies any more. Peter Dunne is sleeping on the couch, alone.

    I wasted a few minutes I’ll never get back watching Dunne on Agenda the other day. I was waiting for somebody to cut through the crap. Nobody did.

    Anyway, here’s the full transcript of the post-election negotiations, brought to you courtesy of my time machine:

    Key: There’s a cabinet post for you.

    Dunne: Thanks. I also want these policies …

    Key: No.

    Dunne: If you don’t agree, I will … do nothing.

    Key: I know.


  5. BeShakey 5

    I think the reasoning goes like this – Labour is left, National is right, therefore anyone who can go with either must be between left and right, which would be the centre. It isn’t a particularly clever analysis, but it is pretty consistent with most of the rest of the analysis we get.

  6. T-rex 6

    I don’t know why Dunne even bothers trumpeting tax policy. I mean even if (god forbid – and hopefully will) he ends up with a ministerial post AND gets a policy concession it’s hardly going to be on tax!

    I’d prefer to have John Key than Peter Dunne by a country mile, despite the complete lack of trust I have for Key.

  7. bill brown 7

    He must have got hold of one of those Notional Party yo-yos

  8. bill. I really wish those existed. Both for that great little logo a reader provided and the defying of physics

  9. T-rex 9

    Shakey – Contrary to the popular 2 axis political representation (Left/Right, Authoratarian/Libertarian) there is a third axis (Principled/Opportunistic-self-serving-flipflopping-leech). Little imagination required to understand how I see Dunne.

  10. MikeE 10

    Tell me is anything you disagree with far right or something.. some days I hear lefties refer to Fasicm as the right.. (even though its left wing offshoot of socialism) and then now I hear tax cuts as far right.

    You can’t have it both ways, as the two are polar oppisite… or do you just use teh term to smear anything you don’t like.

    (on a side note, I wouldn’t vote UF if my life depended on it)

  11. burt 11

    Steve P.

    The handy-dandy IRD tax calculator tells me that a person on $1m/year pays $381,270.00/year in tax.

    So what we are talking about is $7,332.11/week in tax paid. Less the $1,600 you speak of is still $5,732/week in tax.

    Let me guess, somebody paying $5,732/week ($298,064/year) in tax is just not enough – they should pay more eh.

    You really are seriously suffering from the policies of envy – get a grip.

  12. Lew 12

    While I frequently use the left-right typology I don’t actually believe it – it’s just a shorthand which enables us to pigeonhole people for easy denigration or praise.

    I consider myself a moderate pragmatist. Compared to most of you lot on here I’m probably a marginal rightie. According to some socialists I know I’m a class traitor. The political compass pegs me far below and to the left of Gandhi.

    One thing it seems everyone here can agree on is that by `centrist’, Dunne is the guy who wants to put half the kittens in the blender: http://www.idrewthis.org/d/20070815.html


  13. burt 13

    Steve P.

    I guess you could have it your way, people earning $1m/year should be driven out of the country taking the $381,270.00/year tax and all the spending they do in the economy with them.

    Just think what a good investment it would be to reduce the burden on them by $83,200/year to retain the $298,070/year plus all the spending/investing they do in our economy.

    To simple I guess, not enough political capital to be gained through being seen to punish the rich pricks.

  14. Up to $80,000 they’re roughly comparable, and for a very large proportion of the population (those on up to about 15k), the tax cuts are greater.

  15. T-Rex 15

    George – a person earning minimum full time wage would get less, and of course there’s the fact that they cost $4.6billion… so you’d kind of have to hope that SOMEONE got more.

    Lew – LOVING the ‘I drew this’ cartoons. Most I’ve smiled all day, cheers!

  16. Lew 16

    T-rex: Hat-tip to `middleground’, an erstwhile poster here: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2014#comment-49739


  17. T-Rex, I decided not to directly attack the Labour Party for ignoring the poor (those who are not in full time work – which happens to be a very large part of the population), and let the facts speak for themselves: both tax plans deliver very little assistance to those who have the least.

    Yes, UF’s plan would see massive spending cuts. That makes them pretty right. But by this definition, Labour’s tax plan makes them squarely centre Yes, they’re good on the minimum wage and some workers rights, but their tax cuts are very “centrist” (compared to other possibilities)

    I expect I’ll get heaped on for challenging Labour’s “left” credentials, but that’s par for the course on The Standard.

  18. T-Rex 18

    George – I just think it’s important to remember that these ARE tax cuts. You have to be paying tax to get one. I think Labour does a fairly good job with other ‘targeted assistance’.

    Labour does plenty of things badly, but I don’t know what I’d change about their social welfare packages. I think creating a society in which there’s lots for poor people is more effective than just throwing money at them. While this might sound a little like Nationals “hand up, not hand out” stance, I doubt Nationals plans will do much to create a society full of opportunity.

  19. Tane 19

    I expect I’ll get heaped on for challenging Labour’s “left’ credentials, but that’s par for the course on The Standard.

    Not really, I myself have criticised Labour for not being left enough in numerous posts and comments, as have others. It’s just the “throw the baby out with the bathwater” approach of ideological purists tends to get short shrift around here.

  20. r0b 20

    but their tax cuts are very “centrist’ (compared to other possibilities)

    I think these were fairly leftie tax cuts – you might want to wait until you see National’s before you judge!

    I expect I’ll get heaped on for challenging Labour’s “left’ credentials, but that’s par for the course on The Standard.

    Nope, I’m a member of Labour and I quite agree, we haven’t done enough for beneficiaries. I wish we had done more.

    Not everyone on the Left is blind to constructive criticism.

  21. r0b 21

    Oh and by the way (since edit is hanging for me tonight) – Vote Green! It’s the left agenda on the whole that matters, not any particular party.

  22. burt 22

    Given the relatively small proportion of the tax take that is actually gathered below $20K it seems inexcusable from a ‘most benefit to the poor’ perspective to not have a zero rated threshold, perhaps starting at $10K and moving to $20K over 3 years. As George correctly points out the UF tax cuts are more generous to the low wage earners than Labour’s tax rates before or after Labour’s tax cuts.

    The problem the left need to simply come to grips with is that a consequence of having a progressive tax system is that tax reductions reduce progressively as well. So what? Do two things, set a zero rated threshold, instant relief to low-middle earners. Reduce tax rates and accept the progressive effect that has.

    The left need to just get over the shock that somebody paying $381,270.00/year tax (personally paying for the prime ministers salary) would only pay $298,070.00/year tax (personally paying for a cabinet minister) after a sensible tax cut.

    How can you possibly say that somebody paying two hundred and ninety eight thousand and seventy dollars a year tax is not paying enough when tax has been applied at 30% since about the average income threshold?

  23. burt 23

    The alignment of the top personal tax rate with the company rate is the only sensible thing to do. Anything else simply creates further inequity between wage/salary earning employees and owners of companies or other more flexible tax structures.

    Measures can be put in place, such as ‘market income’ assessments and the minor beneficiary rate of 33% for trusts. The minor beneficiary rate was introduced in 2001 as a response to an increase in distributions to minor beneficiaries after the 2000 top rate increase to 39%. This creates another distortion, and on it goes.

    Although I have no sympathy for rich pricks that were reducing their tax by using their kids IRD numbers, they can suffer a rate below the top personal rate up to $60K for each tax avoidance WFF receiving child they keep. However if parents are actually paying it to the minor beneficiary, investing it for them etc, then it would be valid to tax it at the recipients nominal rate. I do wonder how many legitimate uses of the minor beneficiaries nominal rate have been trampled over by that band-aid solution.

    For example, how many students getting student allowances paid to them by family trusts had a tax hike from 19.5% to 33% since 2001?

    I guess the example I used is void under a more progressive tax system, nobody ever has a chance to accumulate enough personal wealth to pose such a quandary.

    Following on from the Minor beneficiary distribution rate change we had the income attribution legislation. If a ‘company’ derived more than 80% of it’s income from one source then it could be invalidated as a tax entity, placing the ‘companies’ income in the hands of it’s owner(s), and on it goes.

    Although I have no sympathy for rich pricks that were reducing their tax by using an umbrella tax arrangement, one needs to wonder how many legitimate businesses are actually technically non-entities under our tax laws as they stand today.

  24. Roger 24

    Odd – I thought they were allies of the Labour government for the last six years – or does that not count?
    Seriously, calling people “whores”, “fundamentalists”, “bigots” etc is not an especially appealing way to attract support. Doesn’t look very tolerant or welcoming of dialogue to me.

  25. Rich 25

    I’d be keen to support a campaign in Dunne’s electorate to get rid of him. Has Labour or National got a strong candidate?

  26. Tane 26

    Labour has Charles Chauvel, who did quite well last time but has little chance of winning.

    I don’t know who National’s standing.

  27. Matthew Pilott 27

    Roger – the “whores” comment wasn’t from a proponent of the left. Couldn’t see anyone calling them “bigots”, may have missed it though…?

  28. Phil 28

    “Labour has Charles Chauvel, who did quite well last time but has little chance of winning.”

    ‘Did quite well’ is a relative term in this case.

    “I don’t know who National’s standing”
    Katrina Shanks – same as last time too.

    Charles and Katrina, in combination, captured less votes than Dunne. Any chance of knocking him off would be contingent on a deal between Labour and National for one of them not to stand a candidate. Not a likely scenario.


  29. ants 29

    I don’t understand why Dunne gets so many votes – I live in his electorate and the only thing I’ve seen him do in the past 3 years is make a press release defending the Johnsonville train (rightly so).

    I agree that the competition is poor, but thats a crap reason to vote for something – sheep-like behaviour.

  30. Roger 30

    Thanks Matthew. Points noted.

    re Peter Dunne: I live in the electorate too. He’s been a really good local MP. He works hard for local people and has held Cabinet posts in both National and Labour led governments – so has some influence compared to a backbench MP in a major party.

    He tends to vote liberal on social issues and is centre-right – “Classical Liberal” – on economic policy. So I’m not surprised he keeps getting re-elected with substantial majorities in that electorate. A bit surprising that he has engendered such hostility from the Left.

  31. Tane 31

    ‘Did quite well’ is a relative term in this case.

    Yes, it is. I haven’t tracked down the figures myself, but word around the traps was he’d run a good campaign and lifted Labour’s vote.

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