English flogging National’s one-trick pony

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, March 13th, 2017 - 73 comments
Categories: bill english, class war, tax - Tags: , ,

Having abandoned the prudence that he displayed as Finance minister, Bill English on Morning Report today again dangled the prospect of tax cuts.

Never mind the record debt, the dropped contributions to the Cullen fund, the housing crisis, rising poverty, the deteriorating health system, the costs of quake rebuilds, the need to prepare for climate change – never mind all that, have an election bribe!

73 comments on “English flogging National’s one-trick pony”

  1. adam 1

    How wonderfully shortsighted.

    Mind you, I guess we can’t expect anything less from a government so lacking in talent and ideas.

    • Johan 1.1

      Bill should have stayed on the farm, he has added nothing in his political career to move New Zealand forwards.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        His job wasn’t move things forward but to move them backwards – to about the 15th century so we could have our own aristocracy and be serfs to the rich.

        He’s done that quite well.

  2. Double dipper is getting a bit mixed up. Once it was, LOOK–hurry up, and wait. Now its, LOOK, –wait ,then, hurry up. See different tools in his other toolbox.

  3. Keith 3

    It will amount to about $10.73 per fortnight or something equally as pathetic but tear a large hole in government revenue and leave absolutely nothing for a rainy day should something go wrong.

    And to this day because of the last cuts they still cannot fund public services properly, except for motorway building that is! Do we really want go there?

    • Nic the NZer 3.1

      How would the government ‘put money away’ for a rainy day? It runs the only institution which issues its spending medium which makes it profoundly different to you or i.

      The money is just (to the government) score keeping between the non government participants. But just like a scoreboard the scoreboard doesn’t need to ‘save up’ points before it can be afforded that the All Blacks can put 20 points over the opposition. But all thats going to happen if the government decides to ‘put money away’ is some form of moving the points off the board. Whats this supposed to achieve?

      • Sovereign wealth funds like the NZ Super Fund, or issue-related levy funds like EQC’s National Disaster Fund are both “putting money away for a rainy day.”

        It would be precisely like being able to bank away excess points from a complete beat-up of a rugby game and bring them in to a close match later on where the points are essentially “worth more.” The government can absolutely do that.

        • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.1

          So if the Cullen fund was much larger NZ would be a ‘richer’ nation? This is incorrect, income and other effects users of the economy would be precisely unchanged, NZ would still be a very unequal country with a large low wage sector, multitude social economic problems.

          Also to get there NZ would have had to go through significant Austerity if it ran the same fiscal balance to reach that state. Additionally the Cullen fund still will only cover a fraction of the deficit and still requires a top up to fund bomer retirees.

          But the underlying state of the scorekeepers books does not alter the state of the economy, what alters this are its actual spending decisions. Those decisions (to spend more or less) can be made one way or the other regardless the state of the govt books, at all times.

          If the score keeper can transfer points from a close match he can also just give allocate unearned points in every match.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, a large sovereign wealth fund built from previous surpluses, even a single-issue one like the NZSF, is considered a plus when evaluating a government’s position, and it’s also figured into calculations on things like “net debt.” It does impact the wider economy, but only in a very indirect way. It shows resiliency and stability in the financial approach of the government, and a measure of fiscal prudence.

            Actual government spending has a larger impact, sure. But the promise that disasters can be insured against, or that spending on retirement is likely to continue, actually impacts private-sector spending too, and spending out those sovereign wealth funds when they’re really needed is usually far more effective than having given the money away in tax cuts, as ironically any untargetted form of tax cut usually has a fractional cost-benefit ratio.

            And no, being able to “bank points” in our sports metaphor is not the same as being able to “invent points.” This is about whether it’s a sound decision for the government to save money when it’s in a surplus. (the answer is usually yes, in fact sometimes it’s a more emphatic yes than for whether it should pay down debt, in fact, which is why Cullen was still contributing to the Super fund in rather large amounts when the government changed, despite the Government only being out of “net debt” as opposed to having paid off all its actual debt)

            Basically, you seem to be failing to understand the principle that sometimes money is worth more in the future than it’s worth in the present. Wanting to buy something currently out of reach of your budget isn’t the only reason for saving: sometimes it’s about the fact that the most effective thing you can do with money is to put it aside against a future contingency, like say, your retirement.

            • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.1.1.1

              What your arguing is based on an assumption that the government has in some way limited access to its spending. It does not! In fact there is only one possible institution its spending medium can have come from and thats the reserve bank (clearly a subsidiary part of the government). This means they do not at any time face a budget constraint or relax a potential budget constraint by paying down debt or investing. If there is an argument for a Cullen fund benefit to the economy its in the positive effects this has on the economy, and that also goes for the more broad spending of the government and its effects on the economy.

              Beyond that its all political theatre. Obviously many people take that very seriously because govt spending is not well understood and is widely missrepresented as similar to household budgeting.

              Here is a link to discussion of some research looking at the effects of government spending and central bank interest rate setting. The research concludes that most understanding of and reasoning about it is poor at forecasting outcomes.
              http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=35549

            • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.1.1.2

              In case you dont see why i am not addressing your arguments more directly its because they have not even reached the level of macro economics 101. That is they should consider the institutional realities of the economy and judge the actions of participants based on the outcomes for the economy. Anything less and we have no scientific basis for the discussion and may as well be arguing about which flag design to choose as a central plank of economic policy.

              Here is a long quote of the quite famous economist Paul Samuelson explaining that the household analogy of govt budgets is a myth,

              “I think there is an element of truth in the view that the superstition that the budget must be balanced at all times [is necessary]. Once it is debunked [that] takes away one of the bulwarks that every society must have against expenditure out of control. There must be discipline in the allocation of resources or you will have anarchistic chaos and inefficiency. And one of the functions of old fashioned religion was to scare people by sometimes what might be regarded as myths into behaving in a way that the long-run civilized life requires. We have taken away a belief in the intrinsic necessity of balancing the budget if not in every year, [then] in every short period of time. If Prime Minister Gladstone came back to life he would say “uh, oh what you have done” and James Buchanan argues in those terms. I have to say that I see merit in that view.”

              Our economic policy should not be based on pandering to myths.

              • You seem to be under the misapprehension that I’m calling for always balancing the budget. I’m not. I’m quite aware that it’s quite permissible, even beneficial, to engage in deficit spending. (in fact, that’s pretty much Getting Out Of a Recession 101)

                But, just as sometimes we should engage in deficits, other times it makes sense to put aside some money (say in a sovereign wealth fund) rather than paying down the debt.

                I agree that household budgets are an insane metaphor for national-level budgets. I actually wrote a piece about that recently.

                • Nic the NZer

                  “You seem to be under the misapprehension that I’m calling for always balancing the budget. ”

                  Thats because the primary motivation for the Cullen fund is that this allows the govt to maintain pension payments while maintaining a balanced budget. The other arguments being a political theatre of the govt cant afford to maintain pension payments and must raise the retirement age.

                  “But, just as sometimes we should engage in deficits, other times it makes sense to put aside ”

                  This is always the wrong way to look at it as the decision about what kind of budget balance is appropriate has nothing to do with govt finances and should be based on the state of the economy and govt spendings effects on that. An argument for govt investment needs to be based on the positive effects of such investment on the economy, which are? Because they have no actual influence whatsoever on the govts ability to spend or make payments.

                  What actually happened over the Labour5 term is that due to a massive expansion in private leverage (largely via forming a housing bubble and growing student debt levels) the govt was able to run a budget surplus. Rather than addressing the significant developing private debt issue it opted to invest to take advantage of this and reduce future anticipated deficits. Then (triggered by the GFC) the private sector switched to deleveraging and a heap of spending vanished (the recession) and as a result the govt fell into deficit (basically because its tax take shrank dramatically, it wasn’t voluntary). As a consequence the economy is left in a state of high private debt and high house prices. Meanwhile the institution with no budget constraint tended to its finances.

                  • I agree with everything you’re saying, but I don’t see why this is an argument against the Super fund so much as against not dealing with the housing/debt bubbles during Clark’s term in the first place.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Im not exactly against the super fund but againt eulogizing it as if its actually doing something of value (it reduces a deficit which is largely a political theatre concern). To hold it up as significant is missleading and does significant damage to the public debate on many things (we are presently drawn into a debate on the premise retirees are not affordable, which is nonsense).

                      Also if Cullen had clamped down on the lending driving the housing bubble then the private saving balance would probably have shifted and the govt surplus would likely have turned to deficit (same if the govt fully funded tertiary education with more clear causality). I suspect Labour5 put a higher priority on keeping govt finances being in surplus and so looking good at the political theatre of govt saving. Typically speaking govt surplus will only be sensible with a current account surplus, even then only sometimes, which NZ doesn’t tend to run that frequently.

      • Keith 3.1.2

        When National aren’t blaming Labour for fiscal problems of their own making, a favourite is the Christchurch earthquake or the GFC as to why they had to CUT funding. So why blow it on what will amount to a measely amount per tax payer rather than have the money to properly fund vital public services or the next disaster?

        In the least it would save the pricks having to juke the stats. I see the underfunded police have failed to stop violent crime rising, no brainer really, so the Nats have even had the gall to say they are going to look at the way the stats are done, again (domestic violence statistics were removed a couple of years back).

        Truth is the last tax cuts left them very short on money to fund public services to the level they were. At least they wouldn’t be sraping the bottom of the barrel by selling assets off, including state houses to run a surplus!

        • Nic the NZer 3.1.2.1

          Nobody is blaming anybody for running a govt deficit. Its largely not even possible for a govt to prevent a deficit happening. In fact clearly from your comment the problem here is that the govt has been trying to run a surplus and this has required real harmful impacts on its spending on the economy. But the Surplus part here is the voluntary (political theatre) goal which needs to be dropped.

          Im quite far from a National voter,BTW.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.2.1.1

            Actually, National have blamed Labour for the level of deficit spending they’ve engaged in during their time in government. They’ve also credited them for putting away surpluses and levy funds in order to prepare for recessions and the earthquake too, which is a bit counter-intuitive, but I suppose that praise was very limited and stopped very quickly, so that mixed message didn’t get through to the general public.

  4. Tarquin 4

    Sounds like a lot of problems. How is Labour going to fix all this with out raising taxes? Voters need to know the answer to this.

    • Cinny 4.1

      Yes I agree Tarquin and as the election draws closer we all learn more.

      I’m wondering what state the books are really in, I guess that won’t be discovered until after 23/9 when the government changes.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        I’m wondering what state the books are really in

        I’m pretty sure we’ll find that Muldoon left them in better shape.

    • Enough is Enough 4.2

      I am surprised that Andrew Little stated that he won’t be raising taxes. It has boxed him in to a degree.

      The government as a whole is chronically underfunded. The rich (corporations and those earning more than $75,000 per annum) should be paying considerably more to fund core services and infrastructure.

      This is not the time for tax cuts.

      • Tarquin 4.2.1

        I totally agree and wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for the greater good. As you say, Little has painted himself in to a corner her. I wonder if he has spoken to the Greens about this?

      • Re distribute =not raise tax take.

      • Greg 4.2.3

        But. Labour can enforce the taxes we already have Tories won’t like that either

        • Enough is Enough 4.2.3.1

          What do you mean?

        • lprent 4.2.3.2

          There are quite a lot of taxes that are not chased strongly enough. For instance just Muldoons speculation tax would be a starter. Simply flip the burden of proof to house sellers that they are not doing it as a business would increase the tax take on it.

          Limiting what is a cost for a business or extending fringe benefits can do interesting things to tax takes. Think about ‘work’ cellphones for instance.

      • ian 4.2.4

        I don’t know if Andrew Little will have to raise any new taxes to pay for the policies. The fruits of National’s labour glut/immigration drive has started filtering through to the tax system and turning into surpluses.

        There seems to be a bit of confusion here over the Treasury forecasts. They are wrong most of the time because they take a ‘status quo’ view. Tax payments are on their way up again for the business cycle, and the immigration glut, which has been shown by the Treasury getting their estimates wrong on the low side for a bit of a while now.

        Plus there is whatever the Government is promising in new spending or tax cuts this year. Bearing in mind a ‘meaningful tax cut’ would have to be north of $3 billion.

        When you add this all together, you get the opportunity to roll back the spending cuts that were ostensibly necessitated by the GFC but are more and more obviously driven by an outdated ideology.

        • Wayne 4.2.4.1

          When the Opposition Leader says he doesn’t have to raise taxes, and that there are good surpluses ahead to pay for the commitments, it says two things.

          First, voters are entitled to rely on such statements made by the potential Prime Minister that are made within six months of an election. And if they can’t what does that say about his trustworthiness?

          Second, it is an admission of sorts that the economy is in not too bad a shape, that the incumbent govt has done a reasonable job. To be fair Andrew Little does not fulminate like some commenters on this site that National is second only to Mugabe on their level of badness. Rather he says he can do better than the current govt.

          But overall, as i have already said, all this was a surprising concession by Andrew Little, that, at least on the face of it, boxes in the level of the debate for the election.

          I know some people hope that Green pressure will lead to a tax rise and therefore more spending, but they are more than offset by NZF, who would appear to be an essential component in a changed govt. And because NZF has choices in which way they will go they will in fact have more influence than the Greens.

      • SARAH 4.2.5

        lol, Little said that now Govt have this huge surplus Labour will be able to pay for everything out of that. Who’s boxed who in?

    • Seems a fair few wealthy ‘ taxpayers’ could afford to pay a bit more than they currently are… and why are they so allergic to a progressive tax scale?

      And what about that disproportionate amount that working people pay for GST?

      Then there’s the hangover from Keys little in-club … you know… the one where NZ was mentioned around 66,000 times in being a tax haven in the Panama Papers ?…

      And how about those tax cuts for the rich early on in the piece around about the time of the credit crunch – another hang over from Key …. funded by borrowing … instead of raising taxes equitably for ALL Kiwis… the rich got a disproportionate tax cut instead.

      Ever wonder why our social services are so underfunded and degraded ?… what a neat way to ease in privatization for the Double Dippers overseas corporate mates , eh?

      As for the minimum wage and competition from cheap immigration… was / has there been any relief for NZ workers in that quarter?… as in … more than just a token effort to ‘ look’ like they are doing something? According to UNITE Union there’s not really been any- they had to campaign hard to get rid of Zero Hour Contracts…

      So I don’t think we should put too much stock in the words of Bill ‘ The Double Dipper’ English regarding taxes and election promises…

      • Johan 4.3.1

        The distribution of our resources and tax take needs to be re-evaluated. At present, we as Kiwis are not living in an equitable society. This unnatural culture of greed does not suit us.

      • greywarshark 4.3.2

        Ever wonder why our social services are so underfunded and degraded ?… what a neat way to ease in privatization for the Double Dippers overseas corporate mates , eh?

        Since 2010 the number of charities starting up in NZ has zoomed. One that raises money for curing kids on radionz this morning answered the question about how much is going on administration, about 30% average for all, says that they are trying to reduce theirs to about 20% but added that they have more highly paid professionals in their employ. Seeing they are researching for cures or advances in treating disease, I thought that those professionals’ salaries would not come under administration. However I probably misheard.

        RadioNZ –
        health aid and development
        Charities are being told they may need to merge to survive
        From Morning Report, 8:29 am today
        Listen duration 3′ :10″
        http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201836367
        The charity Cure Kids says it’s working hard not to duplicate services and wants to make better use of its volunteers as new research shows there are more than 27,000 not-for-profit organisations in NZ – roughly two to three new charities are being created every day.

        And they apparently are going to be looking for volunteers to work for them for nothing, whereas if the government carried out the work it would employ and train reliable people in a job as part of the country’s social infrastructure. So another way that government can wriggle out of providing services for the people, by the people, turning the people’s tax money into services they need and which are valuable to them. However if the volunteers came from the group receiving superannuation, that is an avenue that some could choose to do their community input of so many hours a week. Not so bad if there were paid jobs at a living wage for the younger people.

        But the interesting thing is that not-for-profits could possibly find ways to ease themselves into charitable status, and they would pay no tax while they conformed to the agreed formula. One of which tends to come down hard on those advocating against bad government policies, a very much not-for-profit activity. And with tax avoidance, when everyone is doing it, it becomes legitimated, one is a fool if one sticks to outmoded practices once thought correct and appropriate, but no longer.

    • Nic the NZer 4.4

      By providing the non-government sector with more income. I mean duh!

    • To be clear there’s no 100% commitment to not raising taxes yet, it was “our policies right now are costed around not raising taxes,” as in he thinks he’ll be able to turn the government’s paper surplus into a non-surplus that funds all his policy priorities, and he’s not wrong that a better economic manager than Bill could likely do it.

      That said, it’s dumb not to put the boot in to people who actually deserve to have their taxes raised when you get an opportunity. When they ask you about income tax brackets you say maybe you’ll keep the income tax revenue about the same, but lower some of the earlier brackets and add a new one. When they ask you about how you’ll fund super, say you’ll tax wealth for it so you don’t even have to bother means-testing. But that would require someone who actually, you know, believed in moving the country further left, which is increasingly looking like it isn’t Andrew Little, who seems quite happy to tinker with priorities rather than undo all of this right-wing damage.

  5. Cinny 5

    The outgoing government is appealing to greedy selfish people for votes. What a surprise lololz.

    More surprising will be when Bill realises after the 23rd September that NZer’s wanted clean water, housing, rested and alert health professionals, properly funded education, decent public services and a forward thinking, fresh government.

    A few extra dollars a week so Bill can stay in power aint gonna cut it, the people have been there done that, hasn’t worked and they know it.

    Watched the outgoing PM wringing his hands (random thought… is he a thumb twiddler?) on TVNZ this morning discussing abortion laws while justifying the rules his imaginary friend dictates that he lives his life by. Is he more concerned in being answerable to his church or the citizens of NZ? Dang Bill, are your personal beliefs standing in the way of being a fair leader? Why yes, yes they are.

    Have I mentioned that I’m so looking forward to the leaders debates this year… I wonder if Bills imaginary friend will make an appearance? Ohhh so cheeky 😀

    I’ve already got a block of mainland Tasty Cheese in the fridge, I’ll make it last rather than greedily getting a few more slices while everyone else suffers.

  6. mary_a 6

    Now wasn’t it Key who first suggested a tax cut policy for the next election, but at the time Blinglish said he wasn’t so sure?

    That tells me Key WAS intending to stand at the upcoming election then!

    So what I’d like to know after mooting tax cut bribes for his scurrilous wealthy cronies, why the sudden resignation? Something must have blown a hole somewhere for Key to decide to walk out of the blue, after giving the distinct impression he’d be around for the election this year!

    • stigie 6.1

      Maybe Key wanted to spend more time with his wife and family and why wouldn’t he, not many Prime Ministers leave when they are on top and also it saved him from Winston who Key said would never have him in the government that he leads.

      • Cinny 6.1.1

        Ohh please Stigie, resigning for family reasons… how many Nat MP’s have done that recently? Mhmmm plenty, easy excuse you see, no one can be upset when you resign for family reasons.

        I doubt very much he has been spending more time with his family, and those kids desperately need some good parenting, their cries have been deafening over the last few years.

        Often when a history of deception unfolds, resignations ‘for family reasons’ begin.

        Least that’s how I feel about the whole Key quitting saga.

        Tax cuts?

      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        Key got a better offer – decided that the permanent smile was wearing out his facial muscles. Also he was probably starting to lose hair and go gray. He probably is now doing tricks in Cirque du Soleil like walking on water, trapeze acts, swinging from one point to another, appearing in cages and fighting his way out from locked positions like Houdini. ‘Slippery Sam’ says the hoarding with his bland, blank face under it.

      • mary_a 6.1.3

        @ stigie (6.1) … Key leave for the love of his family? Ha ha …. joke of course. Great sense of humour you have there.

        Key loves himself first and foremost, followed closely by the smell of money, the feeling of being in the position to wield great influence and power. All to go along with an over inflated ego. Signs of a flawed personality.

    • Johan 6.2

      Key was quite adamant that he did not want a change in the super, age qualification and said that he would resign rather that support this change. I believe that Key did not give reasons why he opposed a change.

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        Probably Key saw that it was too destabilising for the economy to tighten on super. The country could be kept in a apparently healthy, growth position by borrowing money, encouraging inflows of funds through us being a tax haven, enabling credit for the population, enabling stores to be open all hours to encourage retail buying and consumerism, allowing the wealthy to buy assets here, and being a useful fairly stable exchange rate (NZ$ 7th most traded currency recently).

        Probably put it in his contract that he would do all he could to keep National in power, but not attempt to do anything with super, and got the name of being quite a leftie as a result.

    • You want to know why John Key quit.

      Something about a housing crisis National say does not exist getting too big to handle.

      Anyway, Key does not want to be on a losing team. National was a winner with voters when he came on board and immediately started sounding like he could govern, and remained a winner ever since.

      Now we have a cocktail of worsening social issues which National have ignored, and indeed exacerbated. Key knows it. Bill knows it too, but does not want to address them because to do so would be to roll back most of what they have done in the last 8 years.

      And how many Governments honestly admit they stuffed up?

    • Chris 6.4

      Key realised a smoking gun regarding his lies around some of the Dirty Politics revelations was about to emerge. It’ll be something like the fact he knew about Dotcom and had agreed to help with the extradition or how close he was to Slater’s mob etc. What ever it is the people who’ve been beavering away, perhaps challenging OIA requests with the Ombudsman, are getting close to nailing his lies, Key knows it and has scarpered to avoid the inevitable fallout. For Key his “legacy” was always paramount.

  7. Bob 7

    “Never mind the record debt, the dropped contributions to the Cullen fund”
    I would love to hear, how would you have continued contributing to the Cullen fund without increasing that record debt Anthony?

    • dv 7.1

      Tax cuts SCF for starter

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Bob
        I will give you a link explaining the superannuation funds value despite the record debt because I am a kind person and like to help the weak-minded which from reading your comments, seems to be an apt description.

        Radionz Kathryn Ryan and Orr from the Fund had a very wide discussion about it all this morning. 25.29mins
        economy politics
        How is the NZ Superfund performing?
        From Nine To Noon, 9:07 am today
        http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201836378

        Kathryn Ryan talks with Adrian Orr, the Chief Executive of t
        he NZ Superfund, the fund currently stands at $34 billion and has achieved returns of around 10% per annum since it was established in 2001.

        Also you should note Adrian’s comment who explains it well so the uninitiated can understand it, and learn.

        • Adrian 7.1.1.1

          Thanks GF.

          • greywarshark 7.1.1.1.1

            Does GF stand for greywarshark’s fund or something rude? Make it be the first please. I would like a fund of my own, it’s been one of my dreams.

    • Adrian 7.2

      Well no it doesn’t increase debt, in fact the opposite as English himself has reluctantly admitted.
      Any money shifted into the Cullen Fund automatically goes onto the credit side cancelling out the debt, if it can even be seen as debt because it comes from tax income, and the earnings become more credit.
      The handbrake on Englishs further contributions is purely ideological.
      If you give it to some overseas owned bunch of investment shysters he would be ” comfortable ” with that.

      Without the CF Englishs books would be looking a lot sicker than they are.

  8. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    English is hoping to raise a little money by tendering out further areas for oil exploration and cutting out the home insulation programme so that he can “afford’ to dangle his tax cuts.

    We need a cost/detriment analysis of
    1. Not contributing to NZ Super Fund since 2009 http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201836378/how-is-the-nz-superfund-performing
    2. Discontinuing govt-subsidised home insulation programme http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201836134/health-benefits-of-insulation-'massive
    3. Lowering the standard for “swimmability” of water
    4. Investing in irrigation schemes so that the rivers and streams are further degraded
    5.Allowing an unprecedented immigration increase that overwhelms the infrastructure of housing, schooling, hospitals, transport

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Tax cuts work the same way as the Accommodation Supplement – they push prices up.

    The market price is set by what price the market will wear. This means that the price of something on the market is the price that people are willing to pay for it.

    This assumes that people have a choice but they really don’t. You try going to the supermarket and telling the manager that you want to pay half what the advertised price is.

    So, what will happen with tax cuts is that the owners of the shops will put prices up to capture that extra money available. This will, of course, ensure that the only people that are better off are the owners of the shops.

    The owners of the shops are, of course, who National actually governs for.

    And that’s not even getting into how much more low income will be worse off from the inevitable cuts to government services.

    • Once was Tim now no longer 9.1

      Be careful with generalisations @ Draco – for example “the owners of shops”.

      It depends the size, whether franchised with a corporate snake head, and whether they consider the bizniss a ‘goer’ or not. The small “mum in dead vesta” .v. the smart arse with the large vestmint portfolio. The Justin Lester with a walking stick to prop up his right-side leaning .v. ….. etc.

      Increasingly I’m encountering small businesses that are starting to wake up – realising the agenda is more towards large corporate interests.

      Even the courier, or the local dairy, or the small trader in general are starting to realise (bit by bit, byte by byte) the costs of their masters are being shifted onto them.
      As Rache once said – “it won’t happen overnoit, but it WILL happen” as we progress to 3rd Whurl status

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        It depends the size

        Not really. Either the prices will be raised directly or indirectly. Either way, the prices will rise.

        Even the courier, or the local dairy, or the small trader in general are starting to realise (bit by bit, byte by byte) the costs of their masters are being shifted onto them.

        That’s capitalism. It will always favour the bigger fish.

  10. AB 10

    Tax cuts serve two main purposes in the right-wing playbook:
    1.) Starve public services of funds, so they perform badly, so people complain so the government has a reason for privatising the potentially profitable bits
    2.) Putting government accounts into deficit (or deepening an existing deficit) so the government can then go tut tut about how terrible the deficit is and then sell public assets to cover for it.

    It’s an endless cycle – cut taxes — create a deficit — impose austerity (i.e. Govt services cuts) to drag the Govt accounts back into surplus — cut taxes again because a surplus clearly means people are being taxed to much etc.
    Rinse and repeat.
    It is an endless cycle of decline in the public sphere and the growth of obscene private wealth.
    And it is entirely deliberate

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      And it is entirely deliberate

      And it most definitely costs us far more and it most definitely will result in the collapse of our society. As it resulted in the collapse of Rome, Greece, Egypt, and all the other capitalistic empires throughout history.

      Capitalism fails and always has done.

  11. Richard@Downsouth 11

    They should reverse the tax cuts and reverse the GST change… enforce the tax system so people and corporations dont get away with paying sfa taxes… and get rid of the tax haven thing completely… just just look like they are doing something, but be proactive about it

  12. greywarshark 12

    Hey I thought I heard that GST is going to be reduced to half – 7 and half percent with 5% going to government and 2 and half percent to region of origin. It’s a win, win situation.

    Sorry just a fib – just practising for April Fools Day. Wouldn’t it be loverly though.
    Song – All I want is a roof somewhere, to keep out the cold night air, And in my wallet some money somewhere, wouldn’t it be loverley.
    Audrey Hepburn knows:
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q671QIDeH-U

  13. Whispering Kate 13

    test

  14. timeforacupoftea 14

    I will vote for whichever party that reduces GST to 7.5% and increases tax to 60% on incomes above $100,000 per annum.

    Last election I was saying that I would vote for whoever reduced tax to zero for the first $15,000 earned per year ——- well that went know where did it.
    I am thinking of not voting at all this year, all the politicians appear to be a bunch of career monkeys this time. So sad !

  15. Whispering Kate 15

    On the AM show this morning somebody tweeted “if the Government can afford tax cuts then they are able to afford National Super” – how do they argue their way out of that. Our journalists and interviewers do not ask the obvious and difficult questions – I wonder why – never make them have to confront the stupidity of their policies – biased National loving the lot of them, the electorate deserves better from our information providers – the 4th estate.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      +111

      We deserve better but the people in power won’t give it to us as it would remove them from power.

      • red-blooded 15.1.1

        To be fair, Draco the politicians don’t hire the RNZ reporters. Of course, they do appoint the Board.

        Having said that, Ferguson and Espiner are the best interviewers and presenters to host Morning Report for a long time. They’re certainly a step up from the last two!

        • Muttonbird 15.1.1.1

          The politicians also freeze the funding.

        • tc 15.1.1.2

          The standards isn’t ‘better then the last 2’ it’s a lot higher than anyone on morning report since plunkett actually pesetered pollys for answers.

          No fan of plunkett but he kept them honest and they came prepared or got stitched up.

          That’s the standard you want, gluon and Suzi are pathetic at times, average most of the rest which’s why they got the gig.

          They allow pollys to execute their themed messages which other MSM do just fine, so that’s not what RNZ should be doing but it’s what griffin wants.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.3

          The politicians aren’t the ones in power.

  16. Paul Campbell 16

    “we’ve got a tax cut for you …. Whoops it all went to the 1%, sorry you ended up paying more”

    Bill said it worked last time they’re bound to fall for it again

  17. Nick 17

    New Zealanders don’t want or expect Tax Cuts (aside from, maybe the Paddy Gowers and Lisa Owens of this world), they want a Government that gets their concerns and which gives a calm, confident feeling that it has the settings and the competence to give the voters what they believe they need.

    My feeling is that the Me-First movement achieved its high water mark under John Key and the time is right for a slightly more altruistic focus of governmental policy.

    For this reason, I’m not sure that Andrew Little’s assurance of no tax increase was wise, even if it is politically expedient, given that there is a widespread feeling that the wealthiest among us are not paying their share and social disparity is likely to continue to increase without any limitation. Whether by death duty, wealth tax or modified progressive income tax, some moves will have to be taken if this problem is to be addressed. That said, the slippery nature of language these days suggest that the word “rebalancing” is likely to be pressed into service.

    The Gen Y and Millenials, although it is them who are being advantaged by Labour superannuation policy, will not respond to advantage forty years hence. They need to be inspired by issues for today: clean rivers, cheaper rentals and maybe some form of free or low cost tertiary education being a few immediate concerns. For this reason the housing emphasis should be on building affordable rentals -some short-term for students and young people – rather than “affordable” for-sale houses. In the for-sale house market, the government should build and sell on the open market to finance the social rentals. Building cheap for-sale dwellings gives them the worst of both worlds: they won’t be affordable, and poorer people who can’t consider even these artificially depressed prices will gain no advantage at all: it is just a subsidy to the middle class.

    However, I believe that the promise of looking at relative inter-generational advantage also may need addressing, as the expectations among younger voters that there will be no Super for them when they retire, is gaining currency, while the cost of education, superficially also appears inequitable.

    But most of all the message from a Party that wants to be elected has to be expansive and just a little visionary. As a voter I am happy to deal to homelessness and misery in all its forms. But I also want to be inspired. I want to vote for a country that will be better for myself and my kids. Not just a country where a few governmental missteps are corrected.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    17 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    18 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    18 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    1 day ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    3 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    3 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago