European Union v Apple and the US

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, September 1st, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Europe, Financial markets, Globalisation, tax, us politics - Tags: , ,

The EU and the EC just sent a major pro-unity signal to the world.

One of the reasons countries group together is so they can ward off predatory multinational corporations, as Ireland is finding out.

Yesterday the European Commission released the results of its investigation into Apple’s tax liability in Ireland, and said that Apple must pay US$14.6 billion for skirting taxes. The EC determined that such a low tax rate was illegal because it created an illegal trade incentive.

There’s quite a lot you can do to help people in the EU with US$14.6billion. So that’s quite a lot the people had kept from them by Apple and the Irish government.

The decision will send shockwaves through the boardrooms of companies like Amazon and McDonalds that have extensive operations in Europe. Both are now being investigated for tax liability.

Both Apple and the Irish government intend to appeal the decision.

And now, apparently unrelated, the German Vice Chancellor has stated that a free trade deal between the European Union and the United States is pretty much dead.

The negotiations with the U.S. have de facto failed because we as Europeans naturally cannot submit to American demands.”

He added that in 14 rounds of talks, negotiators had not reached agreement on a single one of the 27 areas in the deal.

It’s not as if Germany isn’t committed to free trade, and he cited the free trade agreement with Canada, CETA, which is already largely negotiated and has similar provisions to those in the TTIP.

Even when the EU was more confident of settling the TTIP in July this year, they completely rejected the Investor State Dispute Settlement framework. Gianni Pittelli, the EU leader of the S&D group in the European Parliament, said in July:

ISDS is dead. It must be replaced by a new public and transparent system of investment protection, in which private interests cannot undermine public policy and which is subject to public law.”

That means actual judges.

I am sure Apple and the U.S. are remembering such statements now. A unified Europe is a fearless Europe, and they will never give up on the rule of law no matter how big you think you are. We can just imagine how this tax ruling would have gone if the EU had signed up to the TTIP and instead of being held to investigators driven by public policy, they could jack up their own hand-picked tribunal members and get away with it.

The two moves together – against Apple and against the U.S. – are no coincidence. This is a signal from remaining Europe that they still have the strength to muscle up and take anyone in the world on. The biggest country, the biggest taxpaying corporation. It’s also a major internal disciplinary signal to Ireland and others that they will be held to account if they undercut other members: tax will be enforced as the primary redistributive force, and such discipline will reinforce the strength of public policy itself to be done and be seen to be done. Ireland knew the rules, broke them, and was found out.

We could still see Obama force through our own TTP during his “lame duck” session. But at least in Europe, the case for rule-of-law internationalism, not unfettered corporate internationalism, has been put out there in neon to countries and corporations alike. Our own government stands exposed, while the EU stands up to them.

For those like Britain who want to break that unity, the signal is that they will no longer have the backing of the collective to stand up to the great political and corporate powers of the world. For those who stay inside the EU, follow the rules and you will be protected from biggest and toughest players on the planet. For the US and others, the word to them is clear: Union.

49 comments on “European Union v Apple and the US”

  1. Nck 1

    ShonKey doesn’t mind selling NZ (breaking up bits and selling them off corporate raider style) , because it’s just a commission based transaction to him….. That’s been his whole life and (non) substance. Like the Irish Govt.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      @ Nck

      True BUT . . . I think for Key & Co. it is a visceral hatred of anything controlled by bureaucrats.

      As Reagan said, “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.” Therefore Key & Co.’s life’s work is to abolish all government oversight and privatize all government operations. The world is reaping the social destruction caused by their simplistic stupidity.

  2. Infused 2

    “For those like Britain who want to break that unity, the signal is that they will no longer have the backing of the collective to stand up to the great political and corporate powers of the world. For those who stay inside the EU, follow the rules and you will be protected from biggest and toughest players on the planet. For the US and others, the word to them is clear: Union.”

    Why would they want it? The EU telling Ireland what to do? This is exactly why Brexit was needed.

    • Infused 2.1

      No edit anymore?

      Also, you’re kidding yourself if you think those billions would go to the people of the EU.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Edit should be there (there is a new one). Testing

        Edited: Yep. I see “Click to edit” on firefox (and chrome).

        Try a shift or ctrl F5 to force a cache refresh. But I should already have forced the caches to update.

        Otherwise what browser/OS are you using?

      • George Hendry 2.1.2

        ‘Also, you’re kidding yourself if you think those billions would go to the people of the EU.’

        Quite right – the people of the EU could well be disappointed.

        Here’s an idea. Simply leave the billions with Apple, the benevolent entity already known for having kept them from the people of the EU (and NZ, etc, etc )…

        • Ad 2.1.2.1

          Ahhhh, what to do for people with real taxation from Apple, Amazon, McDonald’s, Starbucks …

          Such a lovely question.

        • dukeofurl 2.1.2.2

          The EU does see a way for the member states to have a share of the Apple pie that Ireland is supposed to collect’

          “The amount of unpaid taxes to be recovered by the Irish authorities would be reduced if other countries were to require Apple to pay more taxes on the profits recorded by Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe for this period. This could be the case if they consider, in view of the information revealed through the Commission’s investigation, that Apple’s commercial risks, sales and other activities should have been recorded in their jurisdictions

          http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm
          The bigger economies would see many billions of tax that should come their way and feel they are more deserving than ungrateful Ireland

    • Ad 2.2

      If Ireland lose the appeal, there will be a debate about splitting from the EU.

      Winner from split: every single multinational corporation you can name.

      • dukeofurl 2.2.1

        Its the reverse, the EU free market was the reason they set up in Ireland to start with.
        Take that away and you cant as easily allocate sales and profits to a business outside EU

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    This is quite the incorrect conclusion. The EU is not the saviour of anything.

    The people of Germany and France have told their national governments to fuck off with the TTIP.

    Hence German economic Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said that TTIP talks have effectively collapsed and French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl has said that TTIP talks must be abandoned and new discussions on a new agreement started in the future.

    if you left it to the unelected Eurocrats in Brussels, TTIP would still be allowed to limp along for another dozen rounds of useless talks as the unaccountable bureaucracy keeps pushing ahead with their globalisation agenda.

    • Ad 3.1

      Indeed the two could be entirely coincidence. (I dont think so).

      The collective effects are the same irrespective.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And even so, France and Germany have always been the powerhouses of the EU (and Euro Zone) they have the most say over its affairs and positions.

        The UK’s relative lack of leverage is a big reason that the Brits have always kept a skeptical eye on the EU (and Euro Zone).

        Britain doesn’t need the EU to give it the backbone to stand up to City of London and Corporate interests.

        It needs a decade of Labour rule which isn’t by Blairite Right Wingers.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          So Brexit needs to happen (many years away)….
          then Labour needs to win an election (a further 2 + terms away) … but only if there’s a comprehensive clean out of its MPS (best of luck there) …
          then maybe they’ll stand up to multinational corporates ….
          …..a decade or three gone, if ever ……

          Or the EC could keep doing what it’s doing right now. Holding the Plutocracy to task.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Or the EC could keep doing what it’s doing right now. Holding the Plutocracy to task.

            While keeping the policies that keep the plutocracy in power.

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.1.1

              And wait for the overthrow of everything so everything sparkle shiny.

              If you want, set out an alternative to the EU and EC that successfully takes on Apple and the US. Meantime, The EU and EC aren’t waiting for the Great Leap Forward.

          • Cemetery Jones 3.1.1.1.2

            “Or the EC could keep doing what it’s doing right now. Holding the Plutocracy to task.”

            Good lord.

        • Adrian 3.1.1.2

          CV Exactly right, unfortunately the Tories are positioning themselves to keep Labour from gaining power with the aid of their dodgy electoral boundaries.
          Although that being said, you can’t help wondering whether many third way labour members wouldn’t more comfortable with a Tory victory, than a real socialist left in power, in certainly seems closer to the dark heart of their core politics.

    • spikeyboy 3.2

      The Eu may not be the saviour of anything but they will crtainly have rattled the cage of the empire. Empire doesn’t give a rats arse about whether or not americans benefit from apple tax dodges but empire does care that its tentacles are potentially being clipped. Europe will now have to pay for this trepidation. Expect the empire to increase agitation in France or some other target that they can chip out of the union. Divide and rule is the old axiom. Disruption, physical violence, fear should do the trick. The empire could only tolerate a united europ for so long anyway…

  4. dukeofurl 4

    The nux of the tax evasion by Apple had them move virtually all their IP to Ireland because of its low company tax rates ( 12.5%), but Apple wasnt happy with that in it came up with a side deal with Ireland so that most of that income wasnt taxed at all.

    • Macro 4.1

      But they they paid tax at 0.005% in the dollar. I mean how ruinous is that!
      What get’s me is that they even found a 12.5% rate too hard to pay. 🙄
      As for the US I can’t understand what they are worried about – it’s not as if Apple pays them their fair share of taxes either! Last year Apple had shipped around $200 Billion off shore to the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes in the US.
      I use Apple products
      I’m thinking of changing.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        I use Apple products
        I’m thinking of changing.

        I avoid Apple products like the plague. One of the reasons for that is their attempts to avoid sticking to standards that anyone can use. The other is that they rip off societies.

        • ianmac 4.1.1.1

          I use Apple too but I wonder if the others also abuse the taxes?

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            They probably do. In fact, we know that they do. We, ATM, don’t have the choice of using a corporation that doesn’t abuse the tax system.

        • Anno1701 4.1.1.2

          havent used an apple product for 20+ years,

          not into exploitation of labour thanks..

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    For those like Britain who want to break that unity, the signal is that they will no longer have the backing of the collective to stand up to the great political and corporate powers of the world.

    Independent nations have that power anyway. It’s the FTAs that are undermining it.

    Get rid of the FTAs, put in place standards that other nations and corporations need to meet to be able to trade with a country and they then maintain that power that you think that they don’t have.

    How well would Apple do if they couldn’t sell their products anywhere because they didn’t meet those standards?

    • Ad 5.1

      Love to see NZ stand up to China without its FTA in place.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Quite easy really – just stop trading with them. It’s the FTA that prevents us from doing that.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          Or massive import and export demand.
          They are by a long way our biggest customer and importer.
          Also one of our largest investors.

          So no, not simple.

          And no, we would never have the diplomatic or economic strength to do it.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            Or massive import and export demand.
            They are by a long way our biggest customer and importer.
            Also one of our largest investors.

            None of which we need.

            And no, we would never have the diplomatic or economic strength to do it.

            But we do because we have the resources to support ourselves.

  6. Pat 6

    The solution is for countries to enforce realistic accounting procedures in their own jurisdictions…..then sweetheart deals in Ireland (or wherever) will be of no use to the transnationals. Apparently Australia has recently moved in this direction, we however continue to sit on our hands in the hope we will somehow benefit by turning a blind eye.

  7. Bill 7

    Not quite sure I follow the logic here.

    Ireland, as a part of the EU and EZ dropped its tax rate and was lauded at the time as being a ‘tiger’ economy or some such. Then came the GFC.

    Now it , not other European countries, stands to gain $US 14.6 billion in back taxes (plus penalties). Well, except the size of the payment will decided by the Irish treasury or whatever and not Brussels. And, of course, Apple and others acting in solidarity with Apple will threaten to withdraw any of their operations and HQs from Ireland if the cost is considered onerous. ( Apparently 10% of Ireland’s workforce is employed by multi-national corporations – several thousand employed by Apple)

    So, no shockwaves in boardrooms and no financial gain for any people in the EU bar (and only perhaps) the Irish.

    What I’m not seeing is how dropping the already low tax rate from 12% tax rate even lower equates to any breaking of rules, except….it was a lower rate for Apple than for other multi-national companies operating within Ireland.

    And that’s the kicker. Ireland can decide that all multi-national companies pay 1% tax or whatever and there will be no issue. The ruling is very much a free trade ruling and nothing to do with any concern about Irish (or other EU) citizens being ripped off.

    • Ad 7.1

      There’s more detailed commentary on the breakdown of the wrongdoing by Gordon Campbell on http://www.scoop.co.nz today.

      Also, it’s a precedent for all EU countries; Ireland is the example.

    • dukeofurl 7.2

      The US Congress did an investigation into Apples practices in Ireland and The EU has followed it up.

      Essentially on a small portion of the profit booked in Ireland was subject to the 12% tax rate, as Apple and the Irish government agreed in advance what that would be and they allowed Apple to use ‘stateless subsidaries’ for the bulk of its profits were the tax was much much lower
      It seems that the EU has decided Ireland has done this so it can creat jobs in Ireland, thats where it becomes ‘illegal state aid’

      Apple’s stateless subsidiaries lower tax bills- Senate report [this was back in 2013]
      “Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations identified three subsidiaries that have no “tax residency” in Ireland, where they are incorporated, or in the United States, where company executives manage those companies.
      The main subsidiary, a holding company that includes Apple’s retail stores throughout Europe, has not paid any corporate income tax in the last five years.
      The subsidiary, which has a Cork, Ireland, mailing address, received $29.9 billion in dividends from lower-tiered offshore Apple affiliates from 2009 to 2012, comprising 30 percent of Apple’s total worldwide net profits, the report said.”
      http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-tax-apple-idUSL2N0E117320130520

      “Atop Apple’s offshore network is a subsidiary named Apple Operations International, which is incorporated in Ireland — where Apple had negotiated a special corporate tax rate of 2 percent or less in recent years — but keeps its bank accounts and records in the United States and holds board meetings in California.

      Because the United States bases residency on where companies are incorporated, while Ireland focuses on where they are managed and controlled, Apple Operations International was able to fall neatly between the cracks of the two countries’ jurisdictions.

      Apple Operations International has not filed a tax return in Ireland, the United States or any other country over the last five years.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/business/apple-avoided-billions-in-taxes-congressional-panel-says.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      • Bill 7.2.1

        It seems that the EU has decided Ireland has done this (sweetheart deal) so it can create jobs in Ireland, thats where it becomes ‘illegal state aid’.

        Yup. And “illegal state aid” is a free trade concept. Whereas the post seemed to suggest there was some fig of concern for ordinary people in the EU.

        That same “illegal state aid” applies to a government running railways, ferries etc. They must put those services out to tender under European rules.

        I’m pretty damned sure that if every company operating in Ireland was offered the same deal as Apple, then there’d be no case taken and none to answer.

        • dukeofurl 7.2.1.1

          The EU is unique in that to belong you agree both free movement of goods and services and a certain level playing field on their companies.

          The members are allowed to set their own tax rates and even provide ‘state aid’ under their rules to some extent. UK paid for a new factory in Northern Ireland for the Canadian company Bombardier to build wings for a new airliner, and Airbus has had many freebies over the years from France Germany , Britain.

          Irelands deal, and I think this happened to some extent with Luxembourg, was to offer a zero deal on taxes for what was just a paper company run by Apple.

          the ins and outs of the deal with Ireland are not all that clear to outsiders but EUs competition watchdog has a lot of teeth and has wisely used them on the biggest tax cheat in the world.

  8. NZJester 8

    The US should be going after Apple themselves.
    The way the Apple tax scam has been working is well known.
    All the goods made in China are sold to their Irish subsidiary at cost price.
    All their other subsidiaries and Apples main company then buy their products from the Irish subsidiary at a heavily marked up price. They then add on a very small markup and sell it in their stores. On paper the tax payable on the profits made on those goods in the country of sale is very small as the bulk of the profit is shown to have been made in Ireland. In reality none of the goods go anywhere near Ireland but are shipped as direct as possible from the Chinese factories to the final county of sale. Apple is cheating a lot of countries out of tax using this big legal loophole in international tax law. They do this as Ireland offers them a sweet tax deal. Ireland is basically stealing tax money from other countries by offering them that lower tax deal.

  9. save nz 10

    “The commission found Apple’s effective rate of corporation tax at one subsidiary in Ireland was just 0.005% of its profits in 2014 – equal to a tax bill of just €50 on each €1m of profit.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/01/apple-tax-ruling-fundamentally-unfair-former-ec-competition-chief

    You have to wonder how there can be a ‘level playing’ field for companies if some like Apple only pay .005% of profits and local companies are paying 35% (or more) of profits.

    And they will litigate it and litigate it, and then already the ‘experts’ are saying nothing to see here, move on.

    How is that difference in tax rates competitive and encouraging competition?

    • dukeofurl 10.1

      In a sense there were two tax rates for Apple in Ireland. 12.5% for a small portion allocated to Irish revenue and zero for the rest from other EU countries.
      The Irish are denying it because they allowed Apple to have a subsidiary that was stateless.
      This was agreed between the two parties, but of course Apple had all the say.

      There is echos in this arrangement between Apple and Ireland and the situation with NZ and ‘our’ foreign trusts. because we dont look into it, these trusts are essentially stateless too. But we dont get 5000 Apple employees for our trouble.

  10. save nz 11

    And finally an article from

    Robert Reich: Don’t criticize Europeans for standing up to Apple — thank them
    Rather than another tax amnesty, we need a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance like Europe did for Apple

    http://www.salon.com/2016/09/01/robert-reich-do-not-criticize-europeons-for-standing-up-to-apple-thank-them_partner/

    Ok then, so the US government is now seriously thinking about giving another tax amnesty in the US, so they the biggest tax avoiders can legally pay, less than 6% tax – against Moms and Dad companies and employees who pay 35%.

    Does that sound fair and a level playing field, or rewarding and encouraging companies for tax avoidance?

  11. dukeofurl 12

    This is the EU press release on their decision

    “Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years. In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014.”
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm
    cant see Ireland offering 0.005% tax rate for all companies.

    The release gives a good summary of what Apple does worldwide. It notes that Ireland did give two special tax rulings in 1991 and then replaced in 2007.
    It seems they new the game was up as they ended the ruling in 2015

    But this was the Crux of the scam
    ” This “head office” was not based in any country and did not have any employees or own premises. Its activities consisted solely of occasional board meetings. Only a fraction of the profits of Apple Sales International were allocated to its Irish branch and subject to tax in Ireland. ”

    There is pressure from the larger economys for the EU to shut down its small countries which operate as tax havens
    “EU: Shut Tax Havens With Minimum Rate
    The European Union is considering imposing a minimum tax rate on companies across the 28-nation bloc, Handelsblatt has learned. Germany and France are for the plan, but small countries with low rates like Ireland and Luxembourg are not happy.”

    global.handelsblatt.com/edition/183/ressort/finance/article/a-tax-collision-course

  12. dukeofurl 13

    Its interesting that US vested interest have tried to spin this as anti-US companies deal

    However the previous biggest demand to repay ‘illegal state aid’ was the French energy giant ( and state owned to boot) EDF which had to cough up €1.37 bill.

    That was over ‘tax deals’ as well
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/competition/news/brussels-orders-edf-to-return-1-37-billion-in-state-aid/

    The french hardly blinked and didnt appeal

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    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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    25 mins ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Extra support for rural families
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