Damien Grant thinks tax fraudsters are more worthy than beneficiary fraudsters

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 9th, 2014 - 238 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, poverty, tax - Tags:

tax evasion vs benefit fraud

Herald columnist Damien Grant has really outdone himself with his latest column.  He think that people convicted of beneficiary fraud should be treated more severely than tax cheats.

Why?  I am not sure.  His column is rather brief at less than 350 words but basically I think he is saying that the rich are good people and the poor should be despised so a difference in treatment is justified.

He starts off by presenting data which suggests that those convicted of tax evasion have been treated far more leniently than those convicted of benefit fraud.

Victoria University lecturer Lisa Marriott last year researched the difference in sentencing outcomes for tax cheats and beneficiary fraudsters.

Tax offenders are less likely to go to prison than benefit scammers. Of those who were sent to prison the average tax fraud was $800,000 and they enjoyed a 25-month sojourn, compared to an average benefit scam of $130,000 in return for a paltry 17-month stint.

Of those the IRD prosecuted between 2009 and 2011, only 39 went away compared with 48 for benefit fraud. Most convicted tax evaders were rorting the system, usually by getting false GST refunds. However, the real cost to the system is evasions that are civil in nature, such as the famous South Island surgeons Ian Penny and Gary Hooper whose creative accounting structures were unwound by the Supreme Court; or Andrew Krukziener who took $5 million from his company as a loan, and not as income.

I had some trouble reconciling this passage with Marriott’s research.  In a Victoria University description of her work the following is stated:

Her analysis of court data on the most serious offending from 2008–2011 shows that 22 percent of people found guilty of tax offences received a custodial sentence while 60 percent of benefit fraudsters were imprisoned.

Dr Marriott’s investigation also shows tax crimes are more costly, with those given custodial sentences committing offences valued at just over $800,000. Benefit fraud averaged $67,000 per offender.

Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.

Grant has apparently chosen to compare the number of people who went to jail, 39 (tax fraud) compared to 48 (benefit fraud), whereas the difference in proportions is far more stark, 22% (tax fraud) compared to 60% (benefit fraud).  The statement also refers to a figure of $67,000 being the average for a benefit fraud offender and it is not clear if this is the average for all offenders or just for those who are incarcerated.  Grant says this figure is $130,000.

Grant reaches his conclusion by comparing his view of the morality of underpaying tax with the morality of defrauding the benefit system.

He reasons that since only 380,000 individuals pay half of all income tax then they should be treated differently.  People earning more than $80,000 are in that group.  He also states that most tax is paid by businesses through corporate tax or receipted GST payments.  This shows an interesting mindset in that businesses paying GST are not paying money out of their own pockets but paying money they collected from their customers on behalf of the Crown.

He then says that since this group are “net contributors” to society and beneficiaries are not then tax dodgers should be shown more leniency. Of course this ignores a rather large hole in the logic in that if your average tax fraudster is engaging in $800,000 worth of tax fraud it is very unlikely that they are anything close to being a “net contributor”.  It is much more likely they are living it up on money that should have been spent on schools and hospitals.

His analysis also assumes that all wealthy people are in the top tax bracket.  The Herald’s own research suggests that two thirds of the country’s richest people are through tax avoidance measures not in the top tax bracket.

Finally he obviously sees nothing useful coming from those forced to survive on a benefit.  With barely disguised bile he says:

Beneficiary cheats, by contrast, are providing nothing to start with and seek to enrich themselves further by deception and dishonesty.

Judges understand this, which is why beneficiary cheats go to jail for longer, as they should.

The complete lack of understanding of humanity and of the difficulties that beneficiaries face as well as an obsequious worshiping of the rich is strong in this column.

238 comments on “Damien Grant thinks tax fraudsters are more worthy than beneficiary fraudsters”

  1. Sacha 1

    “Damian Grant thinks” might be over-stating it. What a nasty little man.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    One law for the rich, another for the poor.

    Good for Damien to just come right out and confess it.

    • adam 2.1

      In Roman days it was the opposite, before the rot set in that is. The rich and well educated were dealt with quite harshly as they were expected to know the law and it was assumed that for them to break the law – was a willful act.

    • Damien Grant 2.2

      thanks.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Your confession is valuable, you see, because it demonstrates the arrogance and hubris that so typifies those riding for a fall, and lends weight to the thesis that your opinions are a disease.

        Time for your medicine.

        • Damien Grant 2.2.1.1

          yep. I expect I will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes. I only hope I go with dignity.

          However, you may want to consider that, on almost all fronts, the socialist/centre-left has won. Even John Key is not unwinding key elements of the welfare state; from WFF to interest free student loans and we do have a very progressive tax and social welfare system.

          It may surprise you, but you and those who think like you are in the ascendency. Libertarians are mocked and scorned as an irrelevance, because, frankly, we are.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            No. The policies you espouse have caused countless deaths in New Zealand and the world over, and yet no-one is advocating the death penalty for you, although I can understand the sentiment.

            Incompetent fact-free drivel has a way of becoming irrelevant on its own.

          • geoff 2.2.1.1.2

            I only hope I go with dignity.

            Haha! you’ve got to have it before you can lose it.

            I see this “the left has already won, what more can they want??” meme is getting thrashed by you ACT wallies. All part of the inverted-reality campaign by the right this election year.
            Pissing on people’s shoes and telling them it’s raining.

            What’s really sad is that 50 years ago, when everyone got a fair lick of the spoon, people such as yourself were laughed at, even by the right. And yet today you get space in a National rag to air your filth.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.3

            vanishing comments..again..

            ..header/white-page..

            ..the usual..

            ..phillip ure..

          • Lee Churchman 2.2.1.1.4

            Q. What’s the difference between Libertarianism and Communism?

            A. We know from experience that communism sort of worked for quite a while, at least enough to keep a society going (and enabling that society to be a military and technological superpower) and produce a tolerable standard of living for millions of people. Sure, it was far from an optimal system and had many problems, but it more or less functioned and bumbled along in its own peculiar way.

            People like you are asking the rest of us to take a punt on a system that has never been proven to work. At least the commies can tell us with confidence that we’ll have bread and toilet rolls, even if we will probably have to queue for them. Libertarianism is a faith based political philosophy by comparison.

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.4.1

              What has been proven to work is socialist and democratic mixed economies where State infrastructure is at least 50% of the mix.

              And regulation ensures cheats do not prosper.

              Only the most successful economies in History.

              New Zealand was one, once.

              “Libertarian” countries do exist. No one is preventing Grant from leaving for Somalia.

              I hope though, he is true to his principles, and leaves behind every dollar of wealth that he has because of our efforts and tax payer contributions.

              “Randian superheros”, like Grant, fondly imagine that they could be successful in a Libertarian society. The truth is, someone as gullible, dissociated from reality, and lacking in practical skills and knowledge, as your average “libertarian” would be as “successful” as Ayn Rand.
              No different from those that wish for a return of feudal society, imagining they would not be one of the serfs.

              • adam

                The libertarian right are full of shit. Seriously you and yours say you love liberty, and yet the economic system you worship is inherently authoritarian. Your all in bed with hard core authoritarian types, indeed in NZ you need to suck on balls of them to get a seat in parliament. Coupled with this, we live in a type of capitalism which is embedded with the state and corporations – some might even call it corporate welfare.

                And do libertarians on the right criticize that? Nope don’t hear the voice of the libertarian right arguing that corporate welfare is against freedom. Don’t hear from the libertarian right on much really that goes hand in hand with freedom. Freedom to privacy, nope, one of yours voted to end that, association, not again one of yours vote to restrict that – what about the freedom to vote, on no wait again, one of yours voted to restrict voting rights – so defenders of freedom – Bullshit!

                The majority of you venture into hate politics, blame the poor, and moan like bloke who’s been kicked in the balls when the evidence is against you.

                You don’t love freedom your lying and you’re lying to yourself. You see, the libertarian left don’t envy you, we just think you’re a bunch idiots who are just like the marxist – paternalist and arrogant. Vulgar marxist is all you are, vulgar.

  3. Flip 3

    What a ridiculous opinion on a MSM website. Do they have no editorial responsibility? Trolling as an article in a national newspaper website. MSM becomes less credible by the hour. And MSM pays money for this tripe.

  4. grant is indeed one of the most loathsome of the coven of rightwing/neo-lib apologists maintained by the herald..

    ..but i wd question the figures in the above graph..

    ..in the bryan bruce doco..a tax-industry lawyer/insider..

    ..estimated benefit-fraud at $21-23 milllion..

    ..and the frauds perpetrated by the wealthy/elites/corporates..

    ..at $3.5 billion…each and every year..

    ..(there’s yr ‘ending-poverty’ funding-solution..in one fell swoop..)

    ..phillip ure..

  5. just saying 5

    Jokerman – Bob Dylan

  6. Tigger 6

    The vileness of the piece is outdone only by its stupidity.

    His conclusion is that the only way we contribute to society is through tax. The rich, therefore, give the most, beneficiaries give nothing.

    Funny, didn’t a beneficiary birth and raise our current PM?

  7. gem 7

    ”He reasons that since only 380,000 individuals pay half of all income tax then they should be treated differently. People earning more than $80,000 are in that group.”

    This is trotted out all the time, including on this morning’s Radio NZ Insight programme on inequality.
    It is usually expressed as the top 10% paying 70% of income tax.
    It ignores GST burden on low income earners. But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.
    A young person I know who went to an election candidates meeting seemed to come away having absorbed this one single ‘fact’, that the rich already pay more than their share; it appeared to have made quite an impression.
    There seems to be a reticence on the left to make this argument for fear of looking extreme.
    The case for equality has to be on moral grounds, or the right wins the argument.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Agreed gem that we need to do a proper analysis. For instance GST is paid by corporates and the self employed so I presume is counted in this calculation but the reality is that much of it is paid by ordinary people to the corporates who then pay it on to the IRD.

      • GST counted as an income tax? That would be creative accounting. 😉

        But yes, the point needs to be that those who have been successful have a responsibility to ensure our society is set up so that the next generation is able to have as many people with the same degree of success. If the rich don’t pay at least half of all taxes, imagine how much more the poor would have to pay. And we probably don’t want a society where people are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

        • mickysavage 7.1.1.1

          I need more coffee and to learn to read slower …

          • gem 7.1.1.1.1

            Yep, income tax and GST are distinct.
            But the main point for me is why the left isn’t making a moral intellectual argument about inequality.
            Puddleglum on Open Mike a couple of days ago wrote an excellent post on this question of why the left needs to make moral arguments, and how they differ from value-based ones. It’s long, but worth reading.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.1

              gem, the argument you refer to has been made frequently (repeatedly) by people on this blog.

              ie this one:

              .But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.

              Maybe you are thinking the parliamentary left isn’t making this point, rather than the wider left.

              • gem

                Most people do not interact with the intellectual/activist left, and generally encounter left ideas and policies filtered by the mainstream media, which is focused on the parliamentary left, so I guess that means Green/Labour/Mana.
                The example I used was a young person attending a general election candidates’ meeting in 2011, where it seemed the left candidates had no response to the right’s zippy line that 10% pay 70% of income tax.
                Calling for the rich to pay their fair share is ineffective when it can be countered like that.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I think he ended up kind of agreeing that moral arguments are very similar to ones based on social values.

              And I also think many on the left do use that kind of framing – frequently.

              But, of course, it’s not the sort of thing picked up very often by the MSM.

              • gem

                ‘I think he ended up kind of agreeing that moral arguments are very similar to ones based on social values.’
                Yes, but Puddleglum made a distinction that is kind of crucial when you’re dealing with politicians:

                ”However, one difference I would make between ‘social values’ (as defined in your link) and ‘morality’ – or ‘morals’ – as I understand them, is that values are ‘ends’ or ‘goals’ whereas ‘morality’ is a ‘means’ (the ‘quality’ of action, whether by individuals, organisations or states that is regulated by means of ‘sanction’, which is to say broad ‘approval’ or ‘disapproval’).
                Put simply, it seems to me that ‘social values’ state the goal by which (if the entity is being ‘honest’) people or societies will be judged, or will judge themselves. Morality, by contrast, – and this is what I was trying to say in my preceding comment – concerns how someone actually acts (i.e., not what they claim to value). In politics, morality – as opposed to ‘values’ – is what is manifested in policy and in the laws used to enact it. And that is what concerns me. I’m less interested in what a political party claims to ‘value’ than in what its policies, legislation (should it get the chance to legislate) and its executive actions sanction …”

                We have all seen this at play.
                For example, Labour highly values paying workers a living wage, but this will only happen as conditions allow (provisions for direct government employees in the first budget if possible financially, then later for indirect employees, as conditions allow …)
                In contrast Labour recognises a moral imperative in instituting a near universal best start baby and infant payment – there is a policy with a firm timeline.

                • karol

                  I disagree on the ends vs means differentiation re-values and morals.

                  The Greens are the better example for this – firmly based in values, which not only underly their goals, but their means – collaborative ways of operating etc.

                  Green Party Values:

                  As a party and as members of that party, we aim to:

                  1. Act according to our Charter
                  2. Respect the planet and the web of life of which we are one part
                  3. Take the path of caution in the face of serious uncertainty about the consequences of human action
                  4. Think long term and holistically
                  5. Make decisions by consensus whenever possible
                  6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks
                  7. Support ideas on their merit, regardless of where they originate
                  8. Actively respect cultural and individual diversity and celebrate difference
                  9. Maintain a community focus
                  10. Enable participation with dignity and challenge oppression
                  11. Encourage new voices and cherish wisdom
                  12. Recognise our duty of care towards those who cannot speak for themselves
                  13. Foster compassion, a sense of humour and mutual enjoyment in our work

                  Charter

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.2

          M Whitehead

          GST is in effect, an income tax substitution in the country’s revenue collecting. The fact that accountants don’t regard it as income tax, is merely using narrow accounting framing and designation. The effect it has is that most people pay a tax from their income. So the specialists may frown but forget that accounting methods are a human construct, not a force of nature.

          And we probably don’t want a society where people are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

          Of course we already have the two-or-three job employees. Often it is because they are part time, underemployed, working poor, trying for better. But in our semi-aristocratic (not meritocratic) society, the people have again become serfs to be thrown a ‘coin purse’, not citizens.

          If you are influential in tax circles, and would like to see them become virtuous and not vicious circles, could you prevail on others to remove the secondary tax which I consider is so far outdated it could be from last century, oops back a bit, 19th century. A persistent carbuncle on the hands of the strugglers. It comes from the days when double-dipping was regarded as OTT. Now it is often needed by two-three job VIPs (very imporant parents, and singles too). Bloody ridiculous, stopping people from raising themselves from poverty.

          And if you choose to take on this task, then what about stopping the BUM (Beneficiary Ultimate Maul) whereby benefits, which for decades have been set beneath the amount needed to live at a reasonable level, and then any extra earnings achieved, apart from small earnings, has resulted in the cancellation of previous grants allowed. So ensuring that every effort to raise income and build a better life, results in being knocked back to a little above square one, with expenses incurred that diminish income to below square one. Fiendish charity with a sneer, not individual and family support for self-sufficiency and capacity- building.

          • gem 7.1.1.2.1

            ‘GST is in effect, an income tax substitution in the country’s revenue collecting.’
            Exactly, which is why the meme that the top 10% pay 70% of income tax should not go unchallenged.

            • cricklewood 7.1.1.2.1.1

              In percentage terms I would agree but the reality is the more your earn the more you spend hence the more gst you pay. If you’ve got 200 to spend you’ll pay 30 if you spend $1000 @ 150…
              Unless you speak in % its an argument thats hard to win.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What a load of bollocks.

                If you’ve got $200 and your bills are $200 then you’ll spend $200
                If you’ve got $1000 and your bills are $200 then you’ll spend $200

                Both represent $30 in GST but one is 15% of the total while the other is 3%.

                Huge fucken difference.

                • McFlock

                  and X amount goes into savings, or maybe a company on the side that sorts your house, or something. Not just on retail goods.

                • cricklewood

                  Got more spend more… cant have a herne bay lifestyle on a manurewa budget. Still pay gst on the cleaner the gardener the expensive wine etc.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That’s an illusion. The spending may, and probably will, go up but it won’t go up by the full amount as you assume. At most it’ll probably double to $400 while the rest is invested and start to add to the exponential income increases that investing allows but, here’s the thing, it only allows it for the rich in the first place.

                    • cricklewood

                      No maybe and probably about it, I work for people that spend $10000 + per month on cleaners, florists, gardeners, lawn care, pool maintenance etc So in dollar terms (not as a percentage of income) they would easily pay a lot more in gst than the average person.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But it’s the percentage of income part that’s important. Someone paying 20% in income tax and another 10% in GST is paying 30% in income tax – the same as those in the highest bracket and the GST won’t be adding 10% of income to their tax rate – it’ll be more like 3% for those just over the bracket and less than 1% for those on over $100,000.

                      GST was brought in so that top tax rates could be brought down from the 66% that they were at. Essentially, the poor had to pay more so that the rich could get lower tax rates.

            • cricklewood 7.1.1.2.1.2

              In percentage terms I would agree but the reality is the more your earn the more you spend hence the more gst you pay. If you’ve got 200 to spend you’ll pay 30 if you spend $1000 @ 150…
              Unless you speak in % its an argument thats hard to win.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.2.2

            +1 Greywarbler

          • RedBaronCV 7.1.1.2.3

            Secondary tax is not an extra tax it is the PAYE tax on a second job at a flat rate in the dollar (and the IRD will adjust that rate for you if asked) – and at year end square up someone who earns $30000 from one job pays the same tax as someone who earns $30000 from three jobs. Nobody has the number of working hours they do over a year included in their tax calculation.
            If second jobs were not taxed then the high earnrs would be first off the blocks, working two hours in the morning for Coy X and the rest of the time for Coy Y untaxed but of course doing the same job the whole day. it would be far tooo easy for the wealthy to fiddle.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          But yes, the point needs to be that those who have been successful have a responsibility to ensure our society is set up so that the next generation is able to have as many people with the same degree of success.

          Actually, the point needs to be made that it’s the rich that are preventing anybody else from being successful as they accumulate all the nations resources to themselves and won’t let anybody else use them.

    • Olwyn 7.2

      But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.

      Indeed. This shows up clearly if you consider that a group of people who had no money whatsoever would be paying nil tax, while those who had money could then crow that they were paying all the tax.

    • Damien Grant 7.3

      so long as the equity is for those in New Zealand. Equity for the poor in the third world, why don’t you care about the poor in the third world?

      You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor; and you call me selfish!

      • dv 7.3.1

        >>You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor

        I assume you choose to live here!!!

        • mickysavage 7.3.1.1

          The heart of a libertarian has no space for the concept of a community.

          • Bill 7.3.1.1.1

            The heart of a corporatist fraud – one who seeks to veil himself with carefully chosen aspects of libertarianism – nah, actually they have no heart at all, and precious little brain.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.3.2

        @ Damien Grant

        Oh you really are a moron running on a whole lot of misguided assumptions aren’t you.

        Please could you explain to me how someone on $12 000 per year or even on DPB amounts manages to rip off the system by $130 000 and how that figure of $130 000 is not an extreme case-scenario.

        No, actually forget it – you are likely to be committed to believing your delusions and you are clearly committed to misinforming as many people as possible just so that the small minded thugs you work for can get more profits despite the fact that they have already got extreme wealth.

        What a complete sham this country’s media has become.

        n.b: Usually I am reasonably polite – however I make an exception for you.

        • BM 7.3.2.1

          You claim more than one benefit.
          Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.

          This is not that uncommon.

          • Bill 7.3.2.1.1

            really.

          • mickysavage 7.3.2.1.2

            Citation needed. Go on BM just a little bit of proof, please …

            • BM 7.3.2.1.2.1

              Just explaining how some one on a benefit can rack up a large amount fraud.

              Proof is just what I’ve read and heard.

              From what I’ve read the DPB is the one benefit where a lot of fraud seems to go on.
              People claiming benefits when they shouldn’t.

          • McFlock 7.3.2.1.3

            “not that uncommon”

            Cite, pls, and compared to tax evasion.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.3.2.1.4

            O.k BM, thanks that is a start – now as others have already mentioned – you need to supply some links to show that this is the type of fraud that is being committed – because it is a fairly serious type of fraud and therefore serious accusation to be making

            I, however, provide an article here from Stuff which I quote:

            More than 3000 alleged welfare cheats receiving a total of $33.7 million a year have been caught in the past six months.

            [Calculations: $33, 700, 000 divided by 3, 000 = $11,233]

            This article indicates that the amount of money that the people were allegedly defrauding the system works out to be no greater than $11, 300 per person.

            **Please do keep it in mind that this is probably the amount required to pay back, not what they have ripped off .**

            So your theory doesn’t sound like it would be the most likely form of fraud going on amongst beneficiaries now does it?

            And Damien Grant’s ‘$130 000 average’ is starting to sound like a extreme case-scenario, now isn’t it?

          • freedom 7.3.2.1.5

            I got messaged that BM was spouting rubbish beyond belief, i admit, i got curious

            guess the news is true

            BM
            Yes benefit fraud exists.
            Yes some people work systems to their advantage.
            Sometimes it is legal, what did the PM call it “legitimate tax avoidance”
            Sometimes it is not.

            Often it is proven to be an accountancy error within the departments involved.
            It has also been admitted by the MSD that in some cases the person accused was actually legally entitled to much more assistance than that offered by the department.

            Returning to your comment though,
            “Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.”

            Have you any idea of what level of ID is needed to receive a benefit?
            Have you considered the cross-checking of data that is involved?
            http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/online-services/apply/index.html#Beforeyoubegin3
            http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/what-to-bring/financial-assistance.html

            This is not like signing up for a Supermarket give-away programme.

            For multiple benefits, a person must meet the obligations above for multiple identities and consequently defraud at least three government departments:
            The Ministry of Social Development
            The Inland Revenue Department
            The Department of Internal Affairs

            Other departments that are regularly involved in benefit application ID confirmation are:
            The New Zealand Police
            The Department of Justice
            The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

            A person must successfully and repeatedly negotiate this well connected web of multi-departmental fraud to continue to receive any funds.

            It is difficult to accept that even those in possession of the sophisticated personal capacity to manage so layered an activity, can achieve this without some level of direct manipulation of data from inside one or more of the departments involved.

            • BM 7.3.2.1.5.1

              You’re right it’s certainly a lot harder to do the multiple name fraud trick this days especially with the sharing of data etc.

              I should have added that to the bottom of my original post to blue leopard.

              • freedom

                Ok BM, if you say so,
                but just to be crystal in my own understanding . . .

                You want the readers of The Standard to believe you would have voluntarily added information to your original post to blue leopard, that would only have highlighted its inherent implausibility.

                ( if you had only thought of it sooner )

                • McFlock

                  indeed. It’s a “lot harder”, but “not that uncommon”. Shit, it’s as if as soon as one loses their job, they become a moriarty of identity theft and fraud.

                • Bill

                  Hmm. Let’s try it

                  You claim more than one benefit.
                  Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.

                  This is not that uncommon.

                  it’s certainly a lot harder to do the multiple name fraud trick this days especially with the sharing of data etc.

                  Not sure how that changes the assertion other than to suggest that people claiming entitlements are, not simply criminal, but smarter criminals than in ye olde days. 😉

                • BM

                  If you look at the original post Blue leopard wrote

                  Please could you explain to me how someone on $12 000 per year or even on DPB amounts manages to rip off the system by $130 000 and how that figure of $130 000 is not an extreme case-scenario.

                  I then supplied a method that people have used to rip the tax payer off and pocket the amount of money Blue leopard was talking about.

                  That was the crux of of post.

                  • Bill

                    Possibly people co-habiting, quite understandably and justifiably claiming separate entitlements. Then they get ‘pinged’ and the entire total of the two benefits + any top ups such as TAS and accommodation costs is multiplied by a large number of years WINZ claim they have been co-habiting.

                    What you did was repeat an old piece of spin about WINZ being ripe for the ripping by people who would have to obtain false identities from the Birth and Deaths register…

                    …not uncommon, according to your comment.

                  • wtl

                    I then supplied a method that people have used to rip the tax payer off and pocket the amount of money Blue leopard was talking about.

                    What a dishonest idiot you are. You have done no such thing, you have merely supplied a highly difficult or implausible method that can only be, as blue leopard originally suggested, an extreme case-scenario.

                    • McFlock

                      at ten or twenty times the average amount, it would seem to be a somewhat exceptional case of benefit fraud.

                      Certainly nothing to indicate that the use of false identities is common amongst the few beneficiaries who are benefit fraudsters.

                    • Bill

                      Oh dear, BM. Do you bother to read the links you provide to back up your arguments?

                      Dudeck defrauded Winz between February 2002 and October 2012 by not revealing that she was not only living with someone, but was also married to them.

                      Throughout period she claimed $78,321.98 from the domestic purposes benefit, $69,769.83 of invalid’s benefit and $31,921.87 from an accommodation supplement.

                      She also received several special needs grants; $1582.75 for a fence and $270 for food, along with $265.05 childcare subsidies.

                      &

                      Dudeck now claims the dubious title of Waikato’s worst benefit fraudster, after overtaking Sandra Epere, 52, who was last year sentenced for claiming more than $186,075 over 19 years after claiming a benefit while married.

                      Notice how the ‘fraud’ is the cumulative total of all entitlements claimed during the period?

                    • wtl

                      Actually, no, as others have already pointed out. You’ve still done nothing more than show that amounts in excess of $100K are at the extreme end. If you can’t read, then the key word in your article is “worst” when blue leopard was talking about the average.

        • RedBaronCV 7.3.2.2

          There have been a couple of very large fraudsters which are no doubt bumping the averages. At one stage MSD uncovered a fraudster who had invested very successfully the large sums he took and actually returned a profit to them

      • mickysavage 7.3.3

        One step at a time Damien. Wanting equity in Aotearoa is not inconsistent with wanting equity throughout the world.

        • Damien Grant 7.3.3.1

          I would disagree here Mickey.

          People around the world vote for social welfare in their nations but never care enough about poverty in their neighbours to do much about it. Think about the hostility to free trade; which benefits the poor workers in third world nations at the expense of labour in the first world.

          If you assume, as I do, that people do what is in their own interests, then this makes sense; it doesn’t matter what people say, only what they do.

          If we really cared about third poverty we would do something about it. We don’t, never have, are not likely to in the future.

          For my money, the best way to help the poor in overseas nations is to trade with them; buy their goods and encourage their governments to knock down their trade barriers and allow their people’s to buy from us.

          • srylands 7.3.3.1.1

            Yes exactly. Most commentators here oppose both bilateral and multilateral trade liberalisation. They therefore don’t care about the poor. Or they think they do but lack the cognitive ability to make the link between policies and effects. The good news is that the world inches towards the correct policies. That includes New Zealand. If we want to remain a prosperous country there is no alternative but to continue an economically rational policy framework.

            A good outcome for New Zealand would be a Labour-National coalition. If Labour loses the next two elections that will be on the cards. But it will require Labour to return to its Roger Douglas roots.

            • McFlock 7.3.3.1.1.1

              Or they think they do but lack the cognitive ability to make the link between policies and effects.

              That’s because we keep comparing it with reality.

              Good luck with the labnat coalition – it’d fuck both parties, leaving NZ1, the greens and mana against act and the cons.

            • Sacha 7.3.3.1.1.2

              “require Labour to return to its Roger Douglas roots”

              Hilarious. More, more.

            • mickysavage 7.3.3.1.1.3

              “return to its Roger Douglas roots”

              That was a mutated bastard of an offshooted root …

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.3.1.1.4

              If we want to remain a prosperous country there is no alternative but to continue an economically rational policy framework.

              We don’t have an economically policy framework.

              The block of cheese in my fridge is product of NZ, wrapped in Australia and then sold in NZ.

              There’s absolutely no way you can call that economically rational.

          • McFlock 7.3.3.1.2

            That’s because you don’t differentiate between exploitative neo-slavery and legitimate trade.

      • Poission 7.3.4

        You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor; and you call me selfish!

        You set up a tax haven and you rob the third world countries,you rob the governments of first world countries (the us for instance would be in fiscal surplus if transnational income was fully taxed )

        Most third world countries would also have a fiscal surplus,and dependence on aid would be mitigated.

        The hypocrisy is evident, Macbride (The District attorney in the dotcomcase) law firm set up the offshore trusts for citigroups money laundering activities or Dunne actively resisted change to offshore tax haven legislation.

        http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/216-global-taxes/52401-how-tax-havens-plunder-the-poor.html

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.5

        Damien Grant, are you a boring slogan machine that shows little capacity for thought or what?

        I don’t think you know the first thing about the developing world, let alone care.

        • Damien Grant 7.3.5.1

          Yes, as it happens.

          I have been there, trade with people there and buy goods and services directly and import their product to New Zealand as well as pay for financial services.

          I will not claim that I care, but I do think that the small amount of business I do there makes a difference to the business owners and their staff in those nations.

      • Stephanie Rodgers 7.3.6

        I can’t put it any better than Elizabeth Warren:

        “You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

        Quoted here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/elizabeth-warren-there-is-nobody-in-this-country-who-got-rich-on-his-own/

        • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1

          Stephanie;

          yes, this is a good argument in favour of a welfare state. I like it because it is not based on the assumption that because one person is poor that the state has the right to come and take my money by force to help them.

          My response, which is by necessarily going to be brief; is this;

          All of those things; roads, education, etc etc; would have happened without the state. You do not need the government to do those things.

          I am a libertarian, not an anarchist, so I do believe in the state providing law and order, but I do not think that the state should be taking my money by force to educate other people’s children, especially if those children’s parents can afford to pay for their own kids study. The fact that they have done this in the past and we have an educated workforce does not mean it is the only way to proceed nor even the best way to proceed.

          Damien

          • dv 7.3.6.1.1

            >> All of those things; roads, education, etc etc; would have happened without the state. You do not need the government to do those things.

            Name ONE state in the world that educate all the people without state involvement.

            • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1.1.1

              Name one state in the world in 1890 that gave women the vote.

              Name one state in the world in 1970 that allowed gay marriage.

              Name one state in the world in 2012 that legalised the sale of marijuana.

              • McFlock

                but today, states have supplied all of those things. And roads, etc.

                Whereas private enterprise has still never provided universal education, or transport infrastructure, without state involvement.

                • Damien Grant

                  yet private enterprise delivers food, develops medicine, water, telecommunications and so much else with ease. Why do you think that education, which isn’t a difficult thing to competently deliver, would be so hard for a profit driven firm to do?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    He’s an education expert now too. Not hard to deliver to the hungry victims of his banal evil? Yeah nah.

                  • mickysavage

                    But Damien that is the point. Private Enterprise does not do these things by itself. It relies on state infrastructures and communities and workers to achieve this. And the quality of education delivered by state action is very good thank you very much. Why do you think that only the mighty market is capable of delivering?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      He doesn’t think. He’s reading from the book of dogma.

                    • Damien Grant

                      Mickey;

                      Agreed, up to a point. I am not saying that only the market could provide these things. The current system works. I am not disputing that; but if the state was not there why do you think that private enterprise would not provide it?

                      Communities, workers, business and families would all continue if the welfare state was rolled back. Parents would still want their kids to get the best education possible. Private firms, in my view, could provide quality education for a lower cost than the state can.

                      There is also a philosophical issue about how taxes are raised. I believe it is immoral to use fore to raise taxes. Despite this; I still think that compulsory taxes is the only way to ensure that there a s state able to protect its citizens against anarchy so for me there is a trade-off; the lesser of two evils.

                      At some level, you are likely to agree with me here; the use of force is immoral; but we diverge on where we draw the line on that trade off. You, if I may assume, think that use of compulsion to raise taxes to provide taxes for the poor in acceptable. I do not.

                    • Sacha

                      “The current system works. I am not disputing that; but if the state was not there why do you think that private enterprise would not provide it?”

                      Because it never has. You’re a fantasist – which is fine if you keep it to yourself, or those nice men in white coats.

                    • Bill

                      You’re a strange brainless creature Damien. That’s the second comment on this thread where you have demonstrated an absolute paucity in understanding with regards libertarianism – or your own positioning.

                      I still think that compulsory taxes is the only way to ensure that there a s state able to protect its citizens against anarchy so for me there is a trade-off; the lesser of two evils.

                      See – what you are stating is that the raising of taxes protects us from ourselves. But not only that, you refer to the philosophy and tradition you (in part) appropriate (and happily wrap around your misanthropic corporatism) as evil?!

                      edit – a sensible position a libertarian can take towards the state is that it protects us from corporatism.

                      edit 2. Only a corporatist would suggest the state be withered with the exception of its ‘law and order’ functions… lest people get a bit uppity about being subjected to the full ravages of corporate rule 😉

                  • McFlock

                    Firstly, private enterprise only does those things with the active assistance of the public service.

                    Secondly, a firm might be able to run a school, maybe even without fucking it up. Maybe even without backhanded public assistance (although good luck on all three at the same time). But it will never be able to provide univeral education. For all children. Even the ones whose parents can’t pay.

                    • Damien Grant

                      ” provide universal education”

                      McFlock; lets assume you are right.

                      If there are some children whose parents cannot provide for their schooling, and if I am being honest this is a given, then we do have a problem and the problem is larger than the individual child because an uneducated child who disengages from society imposes high externalities.

                      However, in my universe, which I admit is a long way from this one, the marginal cost of private education is going to be very low. If the state wasn’t there uncles, grandparents, whanau, church, businesses, someone will step in. As a general rule there is a huge degree of good-will and protective instincts when it comes to children.

                      As a species we derive a deep level of pleasure from helping children we have an even tangential connection with. Why this is so I am not going to speculate but there is no doubting it is the case.

                      Currently, we can ignore these children because we have abrogated our collective responsibility for them to the state; and I think that this has not worked.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Currently, I ignore these children because I have abrogated my responsibility.

                      FIFY

                    • Bill

                      Hey Grant. You going to front up about your corporatist political beliefs?

                      I see your last comment falls back to the default position of ‘washing your hands’ of any social responsibility while making disingenuous appeals to private charity.

                      Your poison – please stop trying to give it an air of respectability by mislabeling it as libertarianism – is corporatism. You are a corporatist. An ideology that forebearers of many people on this blog went to war to halt and roll back. Ironically, it’s likely your own family also had members fighting against the same shit and possibly dying because of it.

                    • McFlock

                      Can you show us a real-world example of any country or society that has >90% of its children made ready for tertiary-level training (incl polytech/trades) using only private education?

                      the problem is larger than the individual child because an uneducated child who disengages from society imposes high externalities.

                      Shit like that is why people think you are a broken, sociopathic failed attempt at being a person. The problem with turning out uneducated people is not the effects on us, the primary problem is because of its effects on them. Even if it had not negative externalities, it would still be a problem.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    yet private enterprise delivers food, develops medicine, water, telecommunications and so much else with ease.

                    No they don’t why else do you think that the government had to step in to get nation’s telecommunications updated?

                    And here’s the real kicker – it was the state that built them in the first place. All that the private sector has done since privatisation is to rip monopoly rents out of the community.

                  • Lee Churchman

                    The answer is that education produces significant positive externalities and counters significant negative externalities. Everyone knows what the standard economic model says about these and market based systems. That’s why Libertarianism is generally regarded as a joke theory among politically sophisticated people these days. It’s as dead as communism, although you don’t seem to have received the news.

                    And it’s only “your money” according to your own dubious set of moral principles. Markets distribute according to supply and demand, not any moral principle of desert.

                  • Rodel

                    Education is not “delivered” It is an interactive process requiring competent trained professionals.. Health also is not delivered..hard concept to grasp for some people.

                  • Flip

                    @Damien Grant 6:25pm

                    Not universally. Only to those who could pay. It was only delivered to those who could not pay by the state and a few morally motivated organisations. Never initially by a profit motive.

              • Poission

                Name one state in the world in 1890 that gave women the vote.

                Pitcairn island a half century earlier

            • Tanenui 7.3.6.1.1.2

              DG is dreaming of old days: SOCIAL OPPRESSION, private schools/teachers for the Bourgeoisie and Monarchs. If you would have studied European history you would know compulsory education was formed by monarchs and governments or do you wish ill-treatment of young children at age of around three who should work on fields and in coal mines. Compulsory schools were introduced 1592 by a monarch, followed by Norway in 1739 and 1882 by other European countries.

          • Bill 7.3.6.1.2

            I am a libertarian (…), so I believe in the state providing law and order.

            No. That belief makes for either a statist or a parasitic corporatist. In your case, taking your other mutterings into account, the latter.

            edit. Now are you going to engage with the issues…or is it time to roll out the barely arse covering deflections and distractions?

          • karol 7.3.6.1.3

            They are all our children. Our society would have no future without them.

            • srylands 7.3.6.1.3.1

              “They are all our children. Our society would have no future without them.”

              Um no they are not. And yes our society would have an assured future without many of them. We (i.e the Government) should be providing no incentives for poorly educated and those on low incomes (they usually come paired – I wonder why?) to have kids.

              Any gap in our desired population can be met through skilled migration. Our future should be (1) children from high income parents who can pay for them and (2) skilled migration.

              There – problem solved.

              • McFlock

                Is that your final solution, as it were?

                By the way, it doesn’t count as a godw;n if you were literally preaching that society would be better off without large numbers of people from a single defineable social group. I mean, that’s just fucked in the head.

                Although in the case of john key, you might have been correct. But that’s about him as an individual.

              • Mike S

                Right, and where are all the consumers going to come from, without whom the entire economic and financial system collapses?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.6.1.4

            Ann O’Connor couldn’t write decent fiction either.

            But what happens in the real world is that the state comes and takes people’s shelter by force, because Damien helped enable “market” rents. And desperate parents have their children taken from them by preventable infectious diseases, because Damien didn’t want to pay the taxes that he benefits from every day.

            What’s worse is that this drivel he fatuously imagines is a “school of thought” isn’t even his own creation, this preening puffed up parrot to whom, the best response, as with all Libertarian cretins is “Polly wanna cracker?”

          • Stephanie Rodgers 7.3.6.1.5

            Damien, I wasn’t making an argument “in favour of a welfare state”. I was responding to the part of your comment when you said:

            “You take my money by force to pay for your health care”

            (And you’ve repeated that same idea above with reference to education.)

            The point was that you benefit just as much from the state as the rest of us. And one day you may need healthcare. And even if you go private, the private system is dependent on the public system, which means your costs will be lower.

            • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1.5.1

              Ok. I understand. And about health care you are right but you are, however, responding to the system as it currently is.

              If the state did not provide universal health care the health care industry would still exist, but my real objection is about a compulsory regime where I must belong to the single payer system. It is true I may one day rely on the public health system but that is because I belong, against my will, to a collective system that I am unable to leave.

              The US is often touted as demonstrating the evil of private health care but I am unconvinced. Health care in the US is very expensive but that might be a simple matter of a wealthy society where the price of health care can be bid up in comparison to other nations where the standard of living is lover and the demand for health care lower.

              • McFlock

                leaving is as easy as getting on a plane.

              • Stephanie Rodgers

                “It is true I may one day rely on the public health system but that is because I belong, against my will, to a collective system that I am unable to leave.”

                This logic seems a bit weird. Isn’t it true that you may one day rely on the public health system because you may get sick or have an accident? Paying taxes doesn’t make you sick or injured.

                And in the mean time you get to benefit from living in a society where people don’t have to choose which finger they pay to get re-attached, or whether they have to take time off work to nurse a sick child instead of getting them to the doctor for preventative care. That kind of thing has a lot of flow-on effects in terms of productivity, stress, disposable income – and, of course, you yourself may benefit directly from it.

                • Sacha

                  “you get to benefit from living in a society where people don’t have to choose…”

                  If you’re rich enough, that only applies if you believe your personal moral integrity is affected by what’s around you. Oh, and society, it helps to believe in that.

                • mickysavage

                  Precisely. Damien do you think that there actually may be some benefit in belonging to a collective society?

      • greywarbler 7.3.7

        Damien Grant
        Your money is being taken from you. Laugh. It is given to you in return for the job you are lucky enough to get in the society you live in. There are even laws in this society that you can call on if it is not paid to you. And part of a modern, advanced society’s laws and advantages are that it provides health care that everyone can access.

        You think you’re living in a global economy – you talk accusingly of third world conditions. But you yourself live right here while still enjoying the advantages of cheap goods from the third world for which you could well afford to pay full price if made here in NZ.

        Having your cake and eating it too. The way that all selfish right wingers do. You sound like a peevish little boy who has to share some things with his neighbours when they come to play.

        • phillip ure 7.3.7.1

          “..You sound like a peevish little boy who has to share some things with his neighbours when they come to play..”

          best (non-curse-laden) description of grant..to date..

          ..phillip ure..

      • karol 7.3.8

        It’s only YOUR money until after tax is paid – taking back the money gained at the expense of people working hard to earn far too little.

        Why do CEOs get continual bones, pay rises etc, while those slogging on lower incomes barely get any pay rises?

        If people were paid fair wages to start with, the poor would be better off, and the wealthy wouldn’t have so much.

    • srylands 7.4

      “That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.”

      What a bizarre attitude! New Zealand has about 10 “rich” people. Someone on an income of $200,000 is not rich. If you have 2 or 3 kids to support, and live in Auckland, that doesn’t even leave you enough to buy and maintain a decent boat.

      Stop your obsession with taking OPM. Then you might be taken seriously.

      • freedom 7.4.1

        “Someone on an income of $200,000 is not rich. ”
        The only thing more harrowing than that statement is your [failed satirical] attempt to qualify it

        • srylands 7.4.1.1

          There is no fucking need to qualify it. $200,000 a year to raise a family in a decent lifestyle in Auckland is an inadequate income. That is why most households need two incomes to get ahead. If you get two professionals making $180K each then you are talking comfort.

          And these people DO pay all the fucking taxes. New Zealand has a neutral efficient tax system with high compliance.

          Go find a real social problem to whinge about. Stop acting like a fucking idiot.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.4.1.1.1

            Always nice to see an Objectivist get upset.

            Good on you for pointing out that wages are too low, though (well, apart from the fact that you didn’t mean to, it just slipped out when you lost your temper). Ha.

          • fender 7.4.1.1.2

            Great you have finally seen the sense in a large increase to the minimum wage sowrylands.

            Is it ok to be rude today, but not yesterday?

            • McFlock 7.4.1.1.2.1

              robot has incorporated new behaviour mod.

              I prefer it. The fucker can’t jump on the moral high-ground when it’s pointed out he doesn’t know even basic details of the NZ economy, like the gst rate.

          • McFlock 7.4.1.1.3

            kids getting skin infections so bad they need to be hospitalised is not a real problem?
            Because it’s the poor kids who are much more likely to have that happen than rich kids. Not to mention a myriad of other serious medical conditions.

            Now bitch about how uncomfortable someone is on $180k, you fucking tool.

            • Naki Man 7.4.1.1.3.1

              I think 180k is a big income and so is 149k but labour want to turn someone on 149k into a beneficiary when they have kids, what a joke.

          • greywarbler 7.4.1.1.4

            There is no fucking need for you to sit at your computer and turn out this sort of fantastical stuff Wrylands. You are trying to feed us false information or just that which your mind has skewed, so that you think it is correct. Go and do something useful, you just make us swear and you are a boil on the backside, find your own blog and put your peculiar World to rights.

            • Mainlander 7.4.1.1.4.1

              Ha Ha what a cry baby always telling people to get of this blog, why dont you go start your own blog where you can abuse others all day long if their opinion doesnt agree with yours

              • greywarbler

                It wouldn’t be as much fun as doing it here I get such a good crop of spongeheads. So I’ll stay here and I don’t give my accolade of attention to everybody so you don’t need to think I’m going to bother with you again.

          • amirite 7.4.1.1.5

            Yet those families with kids getting/earning $15,000 a year are expected to pay the rent, the health expenses, school fees, food etc etc, maybe save some and invest in sharemarket perhaps ?
            You are a fucking moron.

          • gem 7.4.1.1.6

            ‘$200,000 a year to raise a family in a decent lifestyle in Auckland is an inadequate income.’
            Don’t complain – it is the fiscal and economic policies you champion that radically drove up the price of living to the point where you need a six figure income to have a ”decent” life.
            It is a failure.
            The kind of country where a National government minister recommends people sell their work clothes to feed children.

    • KJT 7.5

      Income tax is only a proportion of total tax.

      Not to mention that over half of the nations wealthiest individuals pay tax on a declared income of less than 70k a year.

      In fact, most of the “total” tax paid, around 60%, comes from those on middle incomes.

  8. dave 8

    its how you do crime and anyway poor people smell , this reporter is a dick. as cunliffe has signalled if your evading paying your fare share watch out!
    we need to get serious about smoking these crooks out tax evasion is theft pure and simple they are criminals and should be treated as criminals .

  9. miravox 9

    Damien Grant has been convicted of dishonesty. There is no point at all in paying any attention to him.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10731661

    • tc 9.1

      Agreed but in the neolib fantasy world granny loves to project this proven dishonesty from a corporate undertaker make him ideal to be given a soapbox.

      Alongside Hide etc its quite a club granny has going, wonder how much longer mccarten will last in election year before a ‘refresh’.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Maybe he thinks this should put him in the running for a knighthood …

    • and he is that special kind of slime-bag lawyer..

      ..the real carrion-feeders of that dubious trade..

      ..he is a fucken bankruptcy-lawyer..?

      ..raking thru the entrails/profiting from..others’ failures..?

      ..beyond fucken irony..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Sacha 9.4

      “My failure was one of character and personal integrity. People who do not understand the drivers of their own mistakes are doomed to repeat them. My lesson was not to be smarter, but to approach life and myself differently.”

      If what you’re preaching nowadays is your idea of ‘character’ Damien then you really need to approach life rather a lot smarter and more in keeping with what other people have learned over human history about being a good person.

      Tell us about the last time you helped someone (not related to you) without a prospect of gain? And how your own motivation for that action fits with the beliefs you’re espousing publicly?

    • Paul 9.5

      And the Herald gives him a soapbox to spread his venom and poison.
      ACT get under 1% of the vote and this rag gives supporters of their views a significant amount of column inches. He who pays the piper…

    • Rodel 9.6

      miravox
      Yes. How come a convicted crim gets any space in a national newspaper?
      Oh I forgot hes an ACTor. Join the frauds.

      • miravox 9.6.1

        “How come a convicted crim gets any space in a national newspaper?”

        Yeah, i guess every crim deserves a second chance… if he was writing about knitting, gardening, or even straight up news I’d say fair enough.

        But he’s writing about money and linking it to an ideology that promotes greed – and that leads to financial trickery that can often lead to financial ‘dishonesty’ – of which he was convicted. I have a huge problem with him writing about that.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Grant is simply a fuckwit, writing shit for fuckwits. He’s not a serious commentator, he doesn;t believe the shit he writes. The arguments he makes aren’t genuinely held.

    When someone genuinely holds a belief and they change their mind on it, they explain why they have changed their mind.

    At the least, the acknowledge that they have changed their mind and address the arguments that they used to find persuasive, but have now changed their mind about.

    Grant does none of this. He makes shit arguments, because he’s a cheap intellectual bankrupt.

    He he is, arguing that tax cheats should get the book thrown at them:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fraud/news/article.cfm?c_id=213&objectid=10744938

    I believe in lower taxes and smaller government but once Parliament sets the rules they need to be followed, even if we do not like them.

    Tax fraudsters gain a competitive advantage, hurting honest firms and creating pressure on other taxpayers to follow suit, further undermining the tax base.

    New Zealand’s tax system works on the basis of voluntary compliance and the risk of getting caught is low. If the judiciary takes the view that tax fraud should be treated leniently, then rational individuals could be inspired to take their chances.

    The extent of this fraud is unknown but there is reason to believe it is substantial.

    When the IRD focused its attention on the horticulture industry last year, tax revenue jumped from $88 million to $150m.

    If there is going to be any deterrence it would help if judges and the sentences they imposed sent a clear message that if you are unlucky enough to get caught, the consequences are to be feared.

    You’ll note that he doesn’t address any of that in this piece today.

  11. Bill 11

    Beneficiary cheats, by contrast, are providing nothing to start with and seek to enrich themselves further by deception and dishonesty.

    Is the quiet (assumed?) moral underpinning that these assertions either flow from or are pinned to an example of the arguments/perspectives of Lakoff and Rosado that some have discussed in recent days?

  12. bad12 12

    Yes tax fraud is an ‘industry’ for those who are in business, what is needed of course is an ENABLER, in many of the larger high profile tax rorts it is the Tax Accountants who both enable and gain the lions share of the profits from these often complex tax rorts some of which involve shifting large amounts of cash off shore,

    A classic case of this would seem to be the renowned Graham Mac,(private prosecutor of ACTS John Banks),who enjoyed a years home detention for helping clients defraud the IRD for some 180,000 dollars and according to the Court kept the lions share of the rorting for Himself,

    It’s a classic meat in the sandwich situation where once compromised ‘the clients’ hell bent on not paying tax are in effect taxed by the crooked Tax Accountants who while giving ‘the clients’ a small return of less tax paid keep the biggest wad of cash and dare ‘the client’ complain???,

    ”Lately one or two have fully paid their due”, Wellington accountants David Rowley and Barrie Skinner were jailed for 8 years for running a tax evasion scheme with multiple clients involving millions of dollars, the two tax accountants were said to have kept millions of dollars of the defrauded tax monies for themselves,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/…/accountants-jailed-for-ird-fraud

    Such tax rorting is in fact, in my opinion, ‘organized financial crime’ and in a 2013 case,(which may be the Rowley/Skinner case i highlight above), an honest tax accountant,(i kid you not),who would not indulge His clients wishes to fraudulently lower their tax liabilities was happy to refer these clients on to a firm of accountants that would showing a high level of knowledge of and organization within the accounting ‘profession,’

    The real question that needs be asked of the Herald jonolist who scripted such a bizaare attack upon beneficiaries would have to be in the vein of ”have you a friend or relative currently facing charges of defrauding the IRD”

  13. Olwyn 13

    The sort of thing this man is spouting is extremely dangerous. Imagine the outrage if his accusation (a lack of contribution) was used to advocate greater punishment based on gender, race, age or such. Yet it could be the case that any of these groups would contribute less if their potential for contributing was rejected. In the main, this is the case with beneficiaries: if they contribute less in the fields that Grant sees as relevant, it is because their contribution in these fields has largely been rejected. There are no jobs for them. It is irresponsible for the NZ Herald to publish articles that declare any group of people to be legitimate targets for victimisation.

  14. Stephanie Rodgers 14

    Grant’s mathematics are pretty interesting, too. Even if you ignore all the other issues with his articles and take him at face value:

    If the average fraudster taking $800k is getting imprisoned for 25 months, that’s 1 month for every $32,000 they took.

    If the average benefit fraudster (who may not actually be a beneficiary at all) is taking $130k and getting a “paltry” 17 months they’re serving 1 month for every $7,600 they took. If they were judged on the same mathematical basis as the tax fraudster, they’d only serve four months.

  15. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15

    I really don’t understand how this sort of article by Grant is legally allowed to be printed. It really does appear to be full of shit.

    With any article conveying ‘information’ about benefit fraud I am constantly left questioning the amounts cited that ‘beneficiary fraudsters’ are ripping off the system.

    The unemployment benefit is approximately $12 000 a year (including accommodation supplement) how the heck does someone clock up $130 000? – that has to be the most extreme case.

    Is tax fraud and benefit fraud calculated in the same way?

    As I understand it anyone defrauding a benefit has to pay back the whole amount they received while doing so – not solely the amount that they ripped off.

    Is tax fraud the same? When some one is convicted of tax fraud – do they have to pay back all the wages and bonuses that they received while doing so? I don’t think so somehow

    This difference in calculation between Tax fraud and benefit fraud makes the benefit fraudsters appear to be taking a whole lot more off the system than they really are

    (Clearly it is a preventative measure to require benefit fraudsters to pay the whole benefit back (not just the amount that they ripped off ) – and probably an effective one – however to cite these amounts, as I suspect the msm/parliament/etc do, as being the amount of money that was ripped off the system is very misleading )

    • Bill 15.1

      Another facet of this (again, just from my understanding) is that a tax dodger who gets the jail does time in lieu of repaying monies gained. But somebody scamming welfare who gets the jail then has to repay any fraudulently obtained monies to WINZ … which is an inflated calculation (if my understanding is correct)

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15.1.1

        Bloody hell – the more one finds out the more it dawns on one how much of a rort against those in the most unfortunate circumstances this society has become.

        And this type of article by D’ Grunt leaves people with severely misinformed beliefs cultivating negative attitudes which are solely based on ‘made up shit’.

      • freedom 15.1.2

        let’s not forget that thanks to recent law changes by National the spouse and/or family of the convicted benefit fraudsters can also be charged and have property/income/assets siezed, where as the spouse or family of a tax cheat get sympathy tea and choccy biscuits, usually from the accountants and the lawyers who are grateful to have escaped any liability due to their well organised profit making operation.

        All in all today’s topics are actually making me quite angry, so to avoid falling into rampant abuse cycles, logic dictates … sunshine

        catch you later, have a good day folks

      • Mike S 15.1.3

        The figures for benefit fraud also include fraud committed by winz staff which is a good percentage of the total/ They also include overpayments of benefits which are certainly not deliberate on behalf of the beneficiary aqnd always have to be paid back.

  16. Bill 16

    I could suggest that many people receiving welfare entitlements have a real need to augment their income somehow. It’s a need for many, given the scandalously low level of payments, and therefore morally justifiable.

    Can’t quite see the same moral justification for tax fraud or dodging though. Not that, that stops an inverted moral argument infecting public discourse – the worthy, generally morally upstanding earners and the feckless a-moral or even criminal poor.

    If those on welfare entitlements are scamming to get an extra, desperately needed buck, then isn’t it time for all and sundry to get up in arms about immorally low payment levels? btw – my understanding is that a fraudulent welfare claim results in the entire claim being regarded as fraudulent and then the total of legitimate and dishonest component of the claim are added together to arrive at the total $ amount of the alleged fraud.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16.1

      +1 Bill

      Yes, while dishonesty is dishonesty and a behaviour I would like to see entirely discouraged and avoided – I agree with you that there are substantial differences between someone with very little ‘working the system’ to get enough to get by on and someone with HEAPs ‘working the system’ so they can have MORE.

  17. Tracey 17

    Mickey

    Your graph needs to be a poster…

    Labour need to be shown it alot. They might finally stand up on behalf of the former workers now unlucky enough to be on benefits. Lets not tar the majority with the minority…. j less we accept all business owners are crooks cos of the tax fraudsters.

    • mickysavage 17.1

      Sourced by the looks of it from Jacinda Ardern and I agree Tracey it should be made a poster. BLiP?

  18. freedom 18

    Should we dare mention to Mr Grant the majority of his large scale ‘benefit fraud’ is actually committed by, or implicitly involves, people employed by the Ministry or its agencies and these crimes involving tens of thousands of tax dollars are rarely crimes committed by beneficiaries of the welfare system?

    When it is a bona fide beneficiary, it has been regularly proven to be involving much smaller figures, often only a few hundred dollars and many of these are simple accounting discrepancies within the ever-changing Ministry processes.

    As we well know, when hate speech is brewing, facts will only spoil the flavour

    • Damien Grant 18.1

      “should we dare mention to Mr Grant the majority of his large scale ‘benefit fraud’ is actually committed by, or implicitly involves, people employed by the Ministry or its agencies and these crimes involving tens of thousands of tax dollars are rarely crimes committed by beneficiaries of the welfare system?”

      I have not seen this reported anywhere; this would change the nature of the crime from benefit fraud to something like ‘theft as a servant’. It was not mentioned in the Marriott report.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1

        “I have not seen this reported anywhere”

        I don’t blame you for not reading the papers or watching TV news – I am guessing you, more than most, will appreciate how much misinformation is embedded in these misinformation sources

        http://www.verify.co.nz/news-theftnz.php#FortyFive

        “Forty-five WINZ staff dismissed for $2.2 million of fraud
        20 May 2007

        Between 2001 and 2006, Work & Income dismissed 45 of its staff for frauds committed against the Government welfare agency. In most instances the frauds involved employees claiming welfare benefits for themselves, whilst they were working for WINZ. Some staff colluded with friends and family to pay them benefits to which they were not entitled to. More than $2.2 million was stolen.”

        Also:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4839741/WINZ-unit-fails-to-stop-staff-fraud

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9087915/Home-detention-for-Winz-fraud

      • freedom 18.1.2

        “I have not seen this reported anywhere;”

        Odd, the NZH has printed streams of words about it numerous times, if memory serves, just last year in fact. Though usually the stories have disguised the little details, like how the crime actually transpired. Most often this bit is just left to the readers’ imaginations.

        Tiresome though they be, sometimes facts are buried in the last few lines so as not to offend those who believe headlines are more important. You are correct about the difference in offences. Those who were part of the Ministry or an agency thereof, do most certainly get charged under another crime, but the beneficiaries who were caught up in the crime, often younger family members pressured into the scam, they get charged under the benefit fraud that makes the figures you love look so attractive to those promoting the agenda of beneficiary bashing. Do you see the problem there? Without the upper level assistance, the fraud could not have happened. But to keep the hate speech growing the victims of the fraud get treated very differently than the designers of it. No-one wants to be reminded about well paid employees of the state doing bad things. Not when there are lazy bludgers to …well… bludgeon.

        Can I be bothered doing your job for you and researching the links and delivering them to your plate, frankly no. You can hire me to locate it for you. $1200 a day should do it, plus g.s.t and an allowance of $45 an hour for my computer time. Then, at least for a while I can stop receiving the $223.70 a week I survive on. I estimate a three to five week turn around for the data. In return you will get a well presented openly biased self-opined paragraph, maybe two.

        • Damien Grant 18.1.2.1

          Dear freedom,

          I am unsure that this fact changes the thesis of my column, but in any event, I dispute that there was any hate speech. Contrast that with the ‘fraudster, moron, vile..’ that is used liberally on this site.

          In any event, thanks for your offer of assistance but I may pass up on it for now.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.2.1.1

            Since you were unaware of this fact, how many other facts have eluded you on the short journey to your opinion? I say “your” opinion, but of course, it isn’t; you’re just another parrot, squawking away.

            Oh, and your self-confessed desire to create a class of legally defined sub-humans is well beyond the day-to-day hate speech that we get around here.

          • mickysavage 18.1.2.1.2

            Damien I would be interested in your response to the contents of the post. Perhaps you could comment on:

            1. Your figures do not seem to match up to the research. For instance the rate of imprisonment for tax fraud appears to be a third of that for welfare fraud.
            2. Can you comment on whether the average for the amount involved for welfare fraud where incarceration happens is $67k 0r $130k?
            3. As noted by Stephanie above it appears that welfare fraudsters get much longer periods of incarceration per dollar involved than tax fraudsters.
            4. How can someone be considered to be a “net contributor” when they have taken such large amounts of money from the state?

            • Damien Grant 18.1.2.1.2.1

              Mickey;

              1 and 2) I got the data from Lisa Marriott’s study so I can’t go further; it is a really nice piece of research; accessible and easy to read and understand.

              http://sydney.edu.au/law/parsons/ATTA/docs_pdfs/conference_papers/Marriott.pdf
              http://www.victoria.ac.nz/research/expertise/business-commerce/fraud-sentencing

              3) does not appear to be a question but a statement and yes, this was the point of the Marriott paper

              4) The debate, raised by Jacinda Ardern and others, goes beyond the obvious criminal tax activity of GST rorts etc and towards creative accounting of the sort that allows Facebook and others to pay very little tax.

              I was arguing that firms like Facebook, even if they pay little income tax, would (I am making an assumption here) pay large amounts of other tax; GST; customs etc. A wealthy surgeon, such as the likes of Penny and Hooper, were paying a lot more tax in absolute terms than the average citizen; so I was arguing that they had not actually taken anything; merely that they had failed to pay what everyone wanted them to.

              Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought; so not paying tax means avoiding getting robbed. This is very different from the socialist view of the world that prevails here and I accept that; to a sense we are talking past each other because our underlying assumptions are completely different.

              I hope that helps.

              Love the vulture picture, by the way!

              Damien

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It isn’t a school. It isn’t thought.

              • fender

                “Tax is theft”

                So take the crown to court, like they took you to court (and won). If you fail to win the case, please fuck off beyond the NZ EEZ permanently.

                • srylands

                  Charming

                  • McFlock

                    says the robot that three hours ago typed “Stop acting like a fucking idiot.”

                    Have you switched back to insisting that people only use nice language while you advocate for policies that kill babies?

                  • bad12

                    SSLands you should go with Him, set up a little colony in Vanuatu, i hear they don’t have much in the way of a tax system,

                    They don’t have much in the way of anything else either and it will probably only take you and that other dickhead 10 or so years to make the connection between a tax system paved roads and a zillion other things that make up a functioning society far above the level of the stone-age than one that is barely two steps away…

              • Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought;

                I quote this in case anyone thought I was being unfair in calling you a libertarian idiot. Actually, I should apologise – based on the above, a more appropriate term would have been ‘naive, narcissistic libertarian idiot.’

              • McFlock

                you’re the ultimate freeloader – you get the benefits of social cooperation but try as hard as possible to avoid contributing.

                And when it comes to the crunch, you’ll be like Ayn Rand and take social welfare assistance.

                A vulture feeds on carrion – dead things. You’re more like ringworm or other parasites.

                I was arguing that they had not actually taken anything; merely that they had failed to pay what everyone wanted them to.

                So they accept the contract to do business in this country, yet refuse to abide by the full terms of that contract, and you think that’s fine.

              • Lee Churchman

                Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought; so not paying tax means avoiding getting robbed.

                The principle here is “garbage in, garbage out”. If you start with a patently ridiculous principle, you aren’t likely to end up with a sensible political program.

              • KJT

                Tax is payment for living in a functioning and cohesive society.

                If you object to paying for it, then, you are, of course, welcome to leave.

          • Bill 18.1.2.1.3

            Are you capable of engaging in any exchange around the details or substance of the argument you penned? Or is it all you can do to heft throw away lines along the avenue of – ‘didn’t know it – didn’t see it – I deny it – oh, and before I forget, did I say it’s about me, me, me, me!!!’?

            edit – i see ms has offered some concrete starting points

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.2.1.4

            @ Damien Grant

            Calling someone a moron is not hate speech, you moron; do you get anything correct?

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hate+speech

          • McFlock 18.1.2.1.5

            dipshit,
            the only word in your list used against a group of people as opposed to your odious self is “fraud”. Tax evasion is fraud.

            As an accomplished fuckwit, you obviously are incapable of distinguishing “hate speech” (speech designed to encourage hate against a group of people), “abuse” (you fucking dickhead) and “avoiding euphemism” (calling it “fraud” rather than “evasion” or “technically over-reaching the bounds of legitemate minimisation”). You great steaming turd.

          • Paul 18.1.2.1.6

            How on earth does the Herald give sociopaths like you a public voice?

            • McFlock 18.1.2.1.6.1

              Because it’s owned by the rich.

              Anyone who doesn’t believe in class warfare just needs to see that the rich employ this fuckwit to make the poor feel better about being fucked.

  19. Grant’s a libertarian idiot. It’s like Shelley Bridgeman had a sex change and the testosterone made her obnoxious and overly-fond of Ayn Rand.

    • does grant know that rand was a welfare-claimant..(in her words..)..’a leech’..?

      ..and for many many years..?

      ..(kinda like marx taking up white-slavery (or becoming a bankruptcy-lawyer?)..as a later career-option..)

      ..not many rand-ites know that fact about their hero(ine)..

      ..and seeing as grant seems to know s.f.a. about not much..in total..

      ..and even gets those few ‘facts’ he has wrong..

      ..this is offered to him as an act of public-service..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Bill 19.2

      PM He may be an idiot and is probably a corporatist leach. One thing he isn’t, is a libertarian. (Oh, I know that in the US, libertarianism is a label appropriated by the far right. But it’s a solidly left tradition that has fuck all in common with the professed realities and ideas of the Damien Grants’ of this world.)

  20. instauration 20

    Is this the same Mr Damien Grant – director of Waterstone Insolvency ?
    I trust the returns that he furnishes to the IRD are prepared with the same integrity as those to the Companies Office ?
    So what is this directors residential address. ? – the heart of Albany industrial and the same as Mr Khov ?

    • Damien Grant 20.1

      why do you want to know where I live?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        It’s a pretty straightforward inquiry: if your residential address differs from that supplied, that goes to your credibility, and your trustworthiness. Or criminality.

      • instauration 20.1.2

        I just want to get a measure of your integrity with official returns to Government departments.

        • Damien Grant 20.1.2.1

          Hmmm.

          I think that this has taken a rather unpleasant turn. You are no longer debating this issue.

          Remember, you have the advantage of anonymity, I do not. I would prefer, it is really only my preference, I cannot stop you, that we keep this debate on the matters at hand.

          There is a large difference between looking me up on various government databases and making it known to me that you are doing so.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.2.1.1

            Things took an unpleasant turn when you suggested making untermensch before the law. Suck it up.

          • instauration 20.1.2.1.2

            We all need to play by the rules Damien.
            Even Dame Sian has made adjustments in this regard. Lulu Zhang was rebuked too, under section 12 2(b) of the Companies Act.

  21. karol 21

    from reading Damien’s stuff, i conclude:

    He only cares about himself, and maybe also his children.

    He doesn’t give a shit if some people are struggling to survive on very little.

    He doesn’t give a shit that he could not be as well off as he is without all the infrastructure of society.

    He doesn’t give a shit about the way businesses (led by the corporates) get people to work for them for too little pay, so the corporate top dogs can siphon off more profits than any one person needs.

    Selfishness and greed.

    • Sacha 21.1

      “Selfishness and greed” – and repeatedly promoting those is nothing but immoral. Fortunately Act’s polling suggests about 99% of New Zealanders agree. Why our major media outlets give such a fringe religion so much coverage, I don’t know. Many people deserve that megaphone far more.

    • Paul 21.2

      And the Herald, now confirmed as a racist rag, publishes the poison he writes.

      • karol 21.2.1

        Instead, the MSM should be publishing more stuff like this blog post; “Who needs a break?’

        It begins:

        So we have two very interesting articles in the papers today. Colin Espiner at Fairfax thinks our minimum wage should be $16 and Damien Grant at NZ Herald we should cut tax cheats some slack because they contribute to society. This divide created between the job creators and the job doers suggests that one is more superior to the others. When Elizabeth Warren in her famous quote said that the so-called job creators didn’t just do it on their own, she was telling the truth that those at the top and their advocates do not want to hear. From the day labourer to the PHD, everyone contributes to society. It’s off the backs of their hard work, their education, their brain, their hands, their words that we as society get to develop, we get to progress, we invent new things, we mass produce those inventions, we come up with new ideas, we get interesting novels, movies, tv shows and songs. Sure the marketplace has decided that laptops are more valuable than chocolate cake and maybe they are, but the marketplace has failed spectacularly when it comes to compensating for ‘hard work’ fairly. Maybe the 85 people who have the wealth of half the world’s population really work as hard as half the world’s population and had exactly the same opportunities as half the world’s population but somehow I really doubt it.

    • Bill 21.3

      Karol, if you read the political belief’s of the 30s coming out of the likes of Germany, Italy or Spain, then you’d see exactly what Damien is channeling.

      Calling him out for being ‘selfish and greedy’ is being far too charitable.

      • karol 21.3.1

        well, as you’ve pointed out above, so called “libertarians” these days talk individual responsibility but treat corporations as individual entities. A strange mix of contradictory beliefs used to justify the wealth and power of the corporate-backed elites.

  22. Paul 22

    Folk like Damien Grant are sociopaths.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Yes, but not all sociopaths become convicted criminals who excuse tax fraud with self-serving sophistry, like Damien.

  23. Damien Grant 23

    Have to go;

    thanks Mr Savage and Stephanie.

    Work to do.

  24. North 24

    There is no such thing as a “libertarian”……….entirely fictional beast. There is however a beast called a “lubertarian”. Think about it. To do with the world readying itself to be fucked by the money man. Grant is the gleefully narcissistic exemplar.

  25. North 25

    Oh sorry, I forgot to mention the expectation of “Thank you, Sir” in the denouement.

  26. irascible 26

    I reckon this piece from The Guardian provides the perfect response to Grant’s assertions that tax fraud deserves praise from the public because by doing so they’re contributing to the economy.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/05/benefits-debate-politicians-moral-obligations

  27. Murray Olsen 27

    Damien Grant is, at best, an amoral criminal. At worst, he is a creepy sociopath who thinks the answers to any problems can be found in a cute little treatise from Bavaria. He should not be given the time of day. I can only think that he is worried about being investigated by IRD and is preparing his defence in advance.

  28. Philj 28

    Xox
    I reckon Damien is trying the ‘shock Jock’ form of writing (I won’t refer to it as journalism). It’s unbalanced, blinkered and unworthy of a National publication. It also frames the issue in a distorted and mischievous way.

  29. bad12 29

    The whole thrust of Grant’s argument,(if we can really call such writing that), is that those who engage in an insolvency of a company and later are convicted of fraudulent activity surrounding that insolvency should not by Government regulation be barred from practicing in the field of insolvency for life,

    Grant using the Herald as an advertorial in a fit of naked self interest,

    The second point of note, Grants assertion that those involved in the multi-billion dollar tax fraud industry should suffer little punishment can only be answered via a pointed question,

    Has Mr Grant a relative currently under investigation by the IRD for major tax fraud and if the answer to that query is in the negative, has Mr Grant a close friend or business associate suffering such an investigation by the IRD???,

    Grants, at the least stupid, more likely a smoke and mirrors attempt to hide the real intent of His Herald article, assertion that Benefit Fraudsters should face harsher consequences than Tax Fraudsters rests solely on Grants false belief that Beneficiaries Never contribute to the tax base,

    Such an assertion is patently bullshit as the vast majority of beneficiaries make use of the benefit system for short terms while between jobs thus making the whole basis of the assertion one of abject stupidity,

    But then Grant knows this, which would tend to suggest that the whole reason for penning such an article lies in Grants own naked self interest, being rational i think the ‘wing-nuts’ call it…

  30. Christine 30

    People buying and selling through the shadow economy aka the cash economy is not being included in the extensive conversation about inequality and tax bludgers. The seller benefits because the income earned is ‘tax free’. The buyer benefits because the product or service is cheaper. The taxpayer (all of us) don’t benefit because no tax is paid.

    The IRD probably don’t chase it because its too widespread throughout the economy and because the amount of tax that can be recovered from any single tax payer is too small to warrant the effort to prove.

    Here’s an example from my experience. I got some work done on my house by a painter, I provided the paint. He charged me $500 under the table for his labour or $650 if I needed an invoice. Agreeing to pay cash, I got the job done for $150 cheaper. Interestingly the painter is benefiting as well. Assuming he was operating through a company, had I asked for an invoice, he would have passed on 15% for the GST portion ($84.78) and 28% for the net of GST portion in company tax ($158.26). The painter would have retained $406.96 and the tax payer would have got $243.04. Because I paid him cash, he got $93.04 more than he would have had he put it through his books.

    Think about all the people providing cleaning services, lawnmowing or gardening services, dressmaking etc. who are not operating businesses just doing some work on the side to improve their overall income. In all the discussion about inequality and income comparison, none of us know who is getting what additional income through the cash economy. We can all operate in this economy, we know it is rampart and impossible to stop. Some people will think it is morally wrong others will see no wrong in it because the taxpayer is a faceless ‘person’.

    I think it is wrong that it is not acknowledged and taken into account in the discussion about inequality.

  31. greywarbler 31

    The black economy which I understand is the one where you don’t pay tax, under the table etc. It certainly is tempting when people are short of money, both the one getting the work done, and the one receiving it.

    This is often a personal transaction.

    But businesses are going in for barter. How is that a help to the economy? I believe it is quite big in some places.

  32. tricledrown 32

    Damien Grant
    Democracy has allowed people with different viewd to you selfish trickledown policies to redristribute wealth.
    This has happened in NZ since the Sefdon govt.
    That is why NZ is famous for its caring attitude.
    Damien the Devils advocate want us to Go back to Dickensian days deliberately putting people into poverty to the same level asthird world countries.

  33. NZ Jester 33

    I love how Damien tries to make out that it is the businesses paying all that GST to tip the scales to look like the rich are paying the largest share of the tax collected by the government.
    All the business I know claim all the GST back on all items purchased in New Zealand and so pay no actual GST at all. A lot of those at the top end of a business also tend to pay out a lot less in food bills per year also by having a lot of Dinner and Lunch meeting so that the bill can be booked up to their company.
    With all the tax loopholes most rich people even though they are getting more money per head per year tend to end up paying far less per head in GST and other taxes than the average low income New Zealander has had to pay to the government.
    The majority of the GST comes from people with the least amount of money.

  34. Claris Moses 34

    It is wrong that tax thieves deserve lesser custodial sentences or penalties.

    Thinking about it, they would feel harder done by if they are hit in the pockets.
    Apparently these people contribute the most to society so let them prove that.

    A plan could be that they first repay all of the tax they have stolen.

    Then we match them up with so called benefit fraudsters and they give these people jobs which pay more than the living wage of $18.40 an hour for at least a 40 hours week. The number of beneficiaries given jobs should have a direct correlation to the amount which was stolen by the tax thief.

    That way they could honestly say that both the tax thieves and the beneficiary fraudsters would contribute to society rather than be under the suspicion that they squirrel away any stolen money for a luxurious lifestyle.

  35. minarch 35

    Damien should be careful for what he wishes for

    Under a true libertarian regime there would be no regular police force to protect Damien and his privileged friends. How long do you think that electric gate and ornate high walls you live behind will keep out those bent a VERY rapid redistribution of YOUR wealth ,

    hows that for “trickle down ”

    And yes under a libertarian regime you would be able to keep firearms to defend yourself, but it takes a lot more than ideals to pull that trigger Damian, do you think your actually capable of surviving in that kind of environment, from what Ive seen I doubt it…

    Oh and how long do you think the rent-a-cops libertarians would have replace the police would hang around for when shit gets real ?

    • McFlock 35.1

      Damien thinks the government will supply the cops to protect him. The trouble is that it’s cheaper for the government to lower crime by providing social services than it is to put armed police on every street corner, which is what you need in times of social breakdown. Because when the government does not provide those social structures, other groups step into the vacuum. CF Somalia and the West Bank vs Gaza strip.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 35.2

      +1 Minarch

      I don’t think Damien has the nous to work these things out – just swallows what his masters tells him hook, line and sinker.

      How generous of spirit is was of you to have spelt these things out for him – considering he works in the media – he has probably never heard of such things – they only deal with out-dated modes of dinosaur-like thinking and slogans passed to them from powerful interests as I understand (and observe) it.

  36. minarch 36

    Damien should really pay more attention to the REST of the worlds media

    http://rt.com/news/argentina-mass-looting-police-021/

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    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 hours ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 hours ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    23 hours ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 day ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 day ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 day ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    4 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    4 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    5 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    6 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    7 days ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism’s 40 years of war on the Iranian people
    by The Spark On September 14, a total of 22 drones and cruise missiles struck two oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field. Abqaiq is the largest oil production facility in the world. For a few days afterwards, Saudi Aramco, the Saudi national ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • $47 billion
    How much will NeoLiberal irregulation of the building sector and subsequent leaky homes crisis cost us? $47 billion, according to a new book:The total cost to fix all of New Zealand's leaky homes would be $47 billion, probably. The estimate comes from a new book, Rottenomics written by journalist Peter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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