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Fiscal responsibility

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, July 24th, 2012 - 86 comments
Categories: health, privatisation - Tags:

John Key doesn’t want to go ahead with plain packaging of cigarettes. The cancer sellers would sue. It could cost a few million to beat them in the international courts (me, I would just create a law of corporate homicide and nationalise their NZ assets). Key baulks at the cost, the risk. But something in the hundreds of millions for free shares to looters? Key reckons that’s a great investment.

The crazy thing is that Key has no clue what the bonus shares would cost. And surely it’s pretty vital when a) you’re planning to get back into surplus by a whisker in two years and b) your justification for selling these shares is supposedly that it is a smarter economic choice than borrowing – if you don’t know your net revenue from the sale, how can you make that argument?

And the costs are huge. Labour points out that National will have to keep aside shares not only for the looters’ bonus but also to have a buffer so that the companies can issue more shares and still have the Crown retain at least 51%. Labour points to a Treasury report putting the cost of saving 9% of the shares for the bonus and the buffer at around $1.3 billion.

Key says that the cost will be “less than half that” – so, what? $650m?

The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, on the other hand says it would be $360m.

A Treasury paper says $250m to $500m.

And the Greens give the conservative low-ball estimate  – where only a third of shares are bought by ‘mum and dad investors’ and there is one free looters’ bonus share for every ten they buy – and that’s $200m!

So, on the low-side, this looters’ bonus is a $200m policy. And for what? To try to attract a few marginal investors who wouldn’t have otherwise bought in or make a few hold on to the shares longer who would have flicked on quickly? The vast vast bulk of people who would get free shares under this policy are people who would have bought the shares and held on to them anyway. National is spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the sake of changing the decisions of a few thousand people.

When National was in opposition, they called 20Hours Free Early Childhood Education “poorly targeted spending”. Their logic was that the bulk of families getting it would have sent their kids to ECE anyway, so the government was subsidising them without changing their ECE decision, which they assumed was the point of the scheme (they didn’t consider that it would be a blessing for families previously scrimping to get their kids into ECE). Doesn’t that same logic apply to the looters’ bonus? Most of the people who would get the looters’ bonus don’t need a looters’ bonus to get them to do what the looters’ bonus is intended to make them do. So, why is National planning to pay them a looters’ bonus?

And why can’t National think of anything better to do with a few hundred million taxpayer dollars?

Oh yeah, because they’re the looters’ party.

86 comments on “Fiscal responsibility”

  1. The bonus share scheme is there to provide political cover.  Nothing more and nothing less.

    Those figures are looking sicker and sicker.  Even if the cost is 10% of the anticipated share sale proceeds that is a huge amount and it makes the sell/retain ownership of the power company shares analysis even more favorable to retaining the shares.

  2. Phil 2

    Lovely to see that nice clean cut young man on the news last evening, the first time investor with his hot $1000 burning a hole in his pocket. All bright eyed and keen to start his “investment portfolio”.
    Wonder if he has a wife and kids?
    If he has a wife and two kids, that $1000 he’s paying could be costing him, oh, anything between $1320 and $1452 (depending on how the loyalty bonus is fixed).
    Nice investment decision there chap, obviously a Key sort of person.

    • Tom Gould 2.1

      Did they mention if he had a credit card or a student loan? I missed it.

      • Phil 2.1.1

        No mention of, just $1000 and a look of hope.
        Talk about product placement.

        • Tom Gould 2.1.1.1

          Was it on 3News? Surely it would be poor form to run such ‘product placement’ as part of their ‘media buy package’.

  3. vto 3

    So not only do the great and wonderful captains of business, who are incapable of starting up their own electricity companies to invest in, need to have the taxpayer assets to prop up their pathetic flailing NZX, they also need taxpayers to pay more to make their private investments more palatable.

    Never ever have I seen such a welfare handout. There has been more welfare handed out by this government than anything I recall under Helen Clark’s government.

    The usless wankers cannot survive without sucking on the taxpayer tit.

    suckle suckle suckle go the little baby pigs

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      +1

      Capitalist theft of community wealth is becoming more and more obvious.

      • mike e 3.1.1

        +2 Goldman Sachs are experts at this one of the most corrupt organizations in the world today they have taken over from the most corrupt corporation in history Merrill Lynch !
        ML have a history going back to the 1920’s of running some sort of fraud scheme.
        BofA ML are now in the death throws of more disastrous scheming .
        GS have now taken over the reigns!

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      A great description of the kiwi business class, vto.

  4. Uturn 4

    A few million of scant government funds paid to a select group of already wealthy lawyers and officials in the pursuit of The Common Good during a Depression?

    Now that’s priorited sound strategy. Who says our politicians lack vision?

    As long as those nasty welfare beneficiaries can be made to pay back every few cents they owe, we can cover it. I mean really, why don’t they just open their own café and work for themselves? They could eat their own cake.

    And if we lose in court, hopefully we’ll have to pay costs to whatever tobacco group we’re limply attacking. Those chaps are good guys. Why not ease some government funds into their back pockets?

  5. bad12 5

    Its sad but i have no more energy to spend upon the asset sales issue, i would imagine that the wind has been taken out of a lot of peoples sails by both Labour and the Green Party basically flagging that they have no intention of buying these shares back once in Government,

    To me that’s disappointing and weak and i believe that both Party’s should be telling the potential buyers now that THEY will be specifically targeted through taxation so as to cough up the monies needed to buy them back,

    Anything else is a total victory for the Slippery National Government of sleaze/lies/theft and a kick in the guts for all those who have protested the asset sales long and loud,

    This has been Labour’s problem, while in opposition it opposes strongly, Shiply and Richardson’s 1991 benefit cuts for example, but when becoming Government it simply refuses to alter/reverse the ugliness National has imposed,

    Unfortunately the Green Party has now moved itself so far into the boring center of the political spectrum that it too, citing it’s new economic orthodoxy, refuses to flatly tell National it will buy those shares back and those who buy them will be taxed suitably to get them back…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      This has been Labour’s problem, while in opposition it opposes strongly, Shiply and Richardson’s 1991 benefit cuts for example, but when becoming Government it simply refuses to alter/reverse the ugliness National has imposed,

      Labours big problem now is that they’re not even opposing strongly. In fact, they seem to be agreeing with this government.

      • David H 5.1.1

        Yep and hre’s Bloody Shearer on Plain Packaging.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/image.cfm?c_id=280&gal_cid=280&gallery_id=126879#9340245

        FFS he has got to GO! he’s f&^&ing useless

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          I’m of the opinion that Labour has to go – not just the leader. They’ve become too much a party of business rather than the party of the people they used to be.

          • mike e 5.1.1.1.1

            For any left party to govern they have two options;
            1, to get out and door knock and organize people who didn’t vote to get them to the polling booth on the day that needs a big well organized machine on the left possibly an out of parliament cooperation between the greens and labour so they aren’t covering the same ground twice.Act, UF and national cooperate. Labour and the greens are always trying to out do each other when they should have a strategy.
            2.just let national implode and pick up nationals soft vote.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              2.just let national implode and pick up nationals soft vote.

              Yep, be passive, pick up the “centre” soft vote by not rocking the boat and laying out middle class focussed policies as your priority.

              And in the process screw the left, the activists, the working class and the underclass.

        • infused 5.1.1.2

          maybe it’s you lot that have the problem?

        • mac1 5.1.1.3

          David H, if that link shows Shearer on Plain Packaging then I’ve got a huge reality problem. It looked like John Key et alia pulling faces at the National Party Conference, but maybe that’s just me…….

  6. ad 6

    Would be great if Labour could say exactly how much each taxpayer will be subsidising the elite who will be getting the bonus shares. Shearer actually put sentences together without too many trips and ums this morning.

    It will be a great wedge story if “amount of subsidy per person” stories are clearer.

    This is what makes the NZSO subsidy so vulnerable. It’s a highly elite pleasure activity, and each seat at an NZSO concert has about $160 of subsidy on it.

    It’s why I enjoy taking the train so much – not only is it a gloriously proletarian activity, I also get squillions of subsidy both from taxpayers for building and maintaining the tracks, and I also get ratepayer subsidy for the journey itself. Joyous public-cash-piles on my seat.

    Taxpayers who don’t have a minimum $1,000 in their pockets to spare should not be asked to subsidise the bonus shares of those who do have $1,000 in thier pockets. In fact if you can whip out $10,000 you would get quite a lovely subsidy-bonus from those “ordinary Mums and Dads”.

    We need our own class-begrudging stories.

    • Carol 6.1

      Would be great if Labour could say exactly how much each taxpayer will be subsidising the elite who will be getting the bonus shares.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10821712

      $112 a head for asset loyalty
      By Adam Bennett
      A “loyalty” scheme to sweeten state assets sales for investors could cost the taxpayer $500 million – more than $100 for every man, woman and child in New Zealand – according to Treasury numbers.
      […]
      In a separate report last week, Parliament’s finance and expenditure committee noted that using the Queensland Rail model across all of the “mixed-ownership” companies would cost about $360 million, or just over $80 for every New Zealander – less than the Treasury’s estimate.

      • ad 6.1.1

        Yes but there’s more. New Zealanders already own the assets, so we could work out the $$ we all currently own.

        And then how much of that $$ is being sold, per person.

        And when they list, how much $$ some New Zealanders will then buy a bit of them back for.

        So just at listing New Zealanders are a fair way in the hole.

        Then in three years who still holds them, and how much $$ us taxpayers are paying to keep them in New Zealand.

        And then on to the next sale, more losses, more subsidies.

        And then another two.

  7. Dv 7

    Just heard a comment on Morning Report.

    Apparently Shearer ducked the question about if you should buy the shares.

    That is smart response because he is not a register financial advisor and not supposed to give financial advice.

    As a matter of interest are celebrities involved in advertising financial product liable under the current law?

    • James N 7.1

      Shearer was repeatedly asked that given the government was selling the shares wouldn’t he prefer they remain in the hands of NZ investors – a classic Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife Question and thus classically unanswerable.

      To my mind he should simply have stuck-record with the line The “shares” are already 100% in New Zealand hands.

      He failed to do this and – alas – he came across as prevaricariting. Alas, a massive fail

      • Dv 7.1.1

        I was only going on a comment read out just before 9, i didn’t hear the interview.

        • Jim Nald 7.1.1.1

          Fyi the interview I heard was this one:

          [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20120724-0726-loyalty_shares_too_costly-048.mp3" /]

      • felix 7.1.2

        I thought he pretty much did stuck-record his answer as you suggest he should, but it just wasn’t strongly or clearly enough worded.

        And repeating something weakly and waffly doesn’t quite have the same effect, innit.

        • James N 7.1.2.1

          It doesn’t, and then he compounded things – and came quite unstuck – when he fessed up “hands on heart” that he could not commit to buying the shares back “in the current economic climate”.

          • Socialist Paddy 7.1.2.1.1

            I am sorry but the Labour Party will not commit to buying the assets back, come hell or high water. 
             
            The reason is they do not know what the cost will be, and any sort of forced repatriation at a fixed price would scatter international investment like shoal fish. Even David Cunliffe during the leadership debate would only say that Labour would not rule out renationalising some of them and they would “look very hard” at buing them back.
             
            I am not saying this is fair or just, just that it reflects a conventional economic view which no doubt some will find frustrating.

            • TT 7.1.2.1.1.1

              That’s the whole problem in a nutshell: Labour shouldn’t give a rats behind about scaring international investors. They should be letting them know that a Labour government would immediately seize any foreign capital in NZ, during a comprehensive renationalisation programme for the benefit of the people. It’s time they stood for their supposed values, and reject all aspects of capitalism, globalisation, and the rest of neoliberal oppression.

  8. freedom 8

    There has been much speculation about the costs of the bonus shares, as there should be. What I have not seen is any accurate information on where these bonus shares are coming from. There are a finite number of shares to be floated, what is the break down and why has our Prime Minister not been forthright in stating the exact nature of the distribution of the shares? Coming to think of it with the numerous stories in the media on the subject, has he even been asked?

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    It could cost a few million to beat them in the international courts

    What are you basing this on? (that NZ would beat them)

    I would like to see NZ ‘beat them in the international courts’ but would hate for us to end up being liable for compensating tobacco companies.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Welcome to the world of corporate dominance and sovereign impotence

      Exactly what TPTB have had in mind for 20 years

      However if we beat the tobacco companies we sue them for every smoking related treatment and surgery our health system has performed since 1950. Should come up to a tidy $20B-30B sum.

      • mike e 9.1.1

        If they do we could just raise the tax to pay the bill and then ban all Tobacco products and treat the sellers wholesalers& companies as criminals just like we do with other drugs which are much less dangerous.

  10. Graham 10

    Why is Labour not pledging to repatriate these assets and the looters bonuses when they are in power? This is clearly theft, so surely it is within our rights to take back what has been stolen from us. There must also be other ways of putting a spanner in the works…

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Too left wing and ‘radical’ for a free market oriented Labour caucus.

    • TT 10.2

      Labour is just as far in the fat-cats pockets as the tory scum are these days. If they had any integrity they would be advocating the end to corporate theft full stop. Any peoples government could immediately end this societal theft by (1) Nationalising without compensation the entire NZX, all private corporations with large asset bases, investment property and productive land. (2) Imprisoning criminal shareholders / farmers / slumlords who knowingly have perpetuated this theft with a year in prison for every $10K in equity they held at the time of renationalisation. This way we would regain control of productive assets for the people, and would be able to properly deal with those who are responsible for the current criminal kleptocracy. Scum like Shonkey and Blinglish shouldn’t be able to hide behind their “blind” trusts either. The worst of the Rothschild fans will be awarded with special treatment.

    • QoT 10.3

      I can somewhat sympathise with the usual argument against this – that theoretically a Labour/whoever government coming in in 2014 could be faced with such a shitty financial situation following six years of NACT that they simply cannot prioritise re-nationalisation over, say, keeping the lights on and the schools open.

      On the other hand, they could just say “Renationalising these assets is a priority; but since NACT are running the government dry giving favours to their mates we may not be able to fix all their fuckups as quickly as we’d like.”

      On the third hand, that would probably still leave cynics like me saying “nice wiggle room you left there, Dave.” But it would be nice to hear them say something (other than “oh, but not energy generation.”)

  11. Stephen Doyle 11

    I suspect that the reason Shearer et al won’t commit to a share buy back is that they suspect that because of the current miss management of the economy, there won’t be any money to do so.

    • tracey 11.1

      and it will cost much more to buy it back than we will get for sellimg… As it always is

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      That’s why it should be renationalisation without compensation.

      • Murray Olsen 11.2.1

        Exactly. When the police confiscate stolen goods, they don’t compensate the receiver.

        • TT 11.2.1.1

          Precisely. Labour and the Greens need to let the criminal kleptocrats know that any piece of these assets bought would be met with a prison sentence for receiving stolen goods. I can’t see the float going too well with the fear of not only expropriation, but significant prison time hanging over heads.

  12. Graham 12

    But if they legislated a reasonable cap on what power companies are allowed to charge the public per kW hour, thereby making power prices lower, share prices would plummet and the government could buy them back very cheaply by raising taxes for the super wealthy. Surely with an overwhelming majority opposed to these sales Labour could legitimately make a pledge like this?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Great idea, or simply mandate that the board of directors will always have a majority of directors who are government officials. That’ll crash the share price for starters.

      Of course, its still too left wing and ‘radical’ for a free market focussed caucus.

    • freedom 12.2

      an audit of the processes that generate the ever increasing kw/h charge would be a welcome first step.

    • bad12 12.3

      Logically you would think that Labour/Greens would be yelling from the roof-tops that the stolen shares will be put back in the public ownership,

      They won’t though citing such things as not knowing what shape the economy will be in, to me that’s a weak argument from both Shearer and Norman and would suggest that their ‘plan’ is to leave the tax system as it is except for the introduction of a capital gains tax in a late attempt to deflate the cost of housing,

      What Labour/Green should be doing is turning Nationals tax cuts upside down and applying them to the economy where the bottom 40% gain the tax cuts that under Nationals foolishness went to the top 40%, that along with a financial transaction tax would suffice to give the Government enough working capital to buy back the stolen shares and implement it’s own economic and social programs,

      Unfortunately i don’t see that occurring under the management of a Labour/Green Government, it appears from here that all 3 party’s are now engaged in an electoral fight over the same voting pool, which will simply leave us with Government of, for, and, by, the middle class…

  13. Ed 13

    I, like many thousands of New Zealanders, have savings in a Kiwisaver account. This has been encouraged by both Labour and National, and I am happy not to be trying to make investment decisions myself, knowing that is being done by professionals who will also keep the funds reasonably fully invested, which I could not do myself. I don’t have the money to invest directly into the share floats, but I am upset that as an ordinary “Mom and Pop” investor (actually we think of ourselves as more “Mum and Dad” types, but perhaps National is an American political party) we will not be able to benefit from the bonus shares. Kiwisaver was created for ordinary New Zealanders – why are they being excluded from benefiting from this incentive to keep the shares?

    It seems to me that if people have enough to be guaranteed an allocation of up to $2000 and given an incentive to keep the shares, the same should apply in some way to ordinary New Zealanders who have done the right thing in saving through Kiwisaver. Or is this “incentive” only for the wealthy?

    • freedom 13.1

      since you have to be a kiwi to be in kiwisaver is makes little sense to not give kiwisaver an exemption that will help kiwis

      oh right i see the issue now, helping kiwis is not what the sale is about, silly me

    • bad12 13.2

      Ma and Pa investors are only being pandered to for 2 reasons, (1) is obvious in that this is simply part 2 of National’s election bribery, part (1) being the tax cuts for the top 40% of earners with the edict from National to SAVE them,

      Reason (2) is the removal of the assets into the hands of off-shore interests at such a time as the sale of the assets is no longer an item on the front pages of the media…

  14. Nick 14

    Cocaine is on the increase again apparently. I wonder if Columbia will come a sue us if we cracked down on that?

    I’m interested to see how Australia gets on with their plain packaging, not because I think plain packaging would make much difference but because I want to see a country assert is sovereignty over the interests of big business and win.

    Asset sales and bonus shares don’t get me started, the proceeds from these sales have already been spent three times over (paying down debt, investing in the companies themselves AND building more assets such as schools – apparently) and now they are spending hundreds of millions more to give people that were probably going to buy shares anyway and incentive to do so and to vote National next election to keep their bonus.

  15. Jackal 15

    Looks like another reason for the Maori party to walk the talk… Associate Minister of Health, Tariana Turia, announced in April this year that the Government had decided to introduce plain packaging. Now Key has come along and humiliated her once again, showing that the Maori party is just an ineffectual lapdog!

    As for the looters bonus… The real silly thing is that even by Nationals best estimates, the deferred debt payments compared to lost dividends would only see a benefit of $12 million. That was before Key announced the looters bonus, which would cost up to $1.3 billion. This makes the entire exercise economically irresponsible.

    • freedom 15.1

      and still no official word on where those loyalty shares are coming from!!!

      How can that not be the big question, everyone is so focused on the $$$ they are ignoring the fact the dollars only exist because the shares will exist, so where are the shares coming from and why will no-one ask the PM this most simple of questions ?

  16. tracey 16

    Interestingly if the govt thinks a small number of mums and dads are going to buy, tgey would value the cost of the bonus lower.

    I note the pm said smoking kills etc etc but people have a right to choice. So can he tell me if i can buy cannabis in my dairy too?

  17. Dv 17

    SO the BONUS for holding shares for 3 years is going to be 1% according Key.

    Thus the ‘bonus’ of 2k of share held is $20 of about $6.50 per year.

    (Calculation based on the estimate by Key that ALL bonus shares for ALL floats is 60 to 80 mil. 60m is 1% on 6bill)

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      It is likely to be 1 in 10 shares, which is 10%, not 1%.

      • Dv 17.1.1

        So the over all cost is for all the bonus shares is600m , not the 60m “guessed” by Key?

        • freedom 17.1.1.1

          plus the $130 million consultancy costs to sell them

        • Lanthanide 17.1.1.2

          Only if 100% of all shares sold go to private NZers eligible for the bonus, and they hold their shares for 3 years. There is also unlikely to be any bonus shares for the Air NZ selldown, as it is already partly privatised.

          The Greens estimate of $200m is more realistic.

  18. AmaKiwi 18

    A comment on John Key’s tactics, which he repeatedly uses with great success.
     
    “I agree with you but because of xyz I am sorry to say I can’t do it.”
     
    This falsely leads you to believe he is on your side, when in reality he is dead set against you.  Tobacco control is a beautiful example because there are so many ways it could be restricted without foreign companies having a way to challenge it.  One simple example:  Instead of plain packaging just declare tobacco to be a dangerous substance which can only be sold in pharmacies to persons over 21 years of age.  A creative person who WANTED to cut tobacco sales could find many solutions.  But he doesn’t want to.  He only pretends he does so you will like him.
     
     

    • bad12 18.1

      That has been my whole point for quite some time, class tobacco as a prescription only poison exactly the same as what ‘party pills’ are,

      Register all the current users,(addicts),with their doctors and only allow the supply of the product to those over 18 who are registered addicts,

      Refuse in the future to register anyone who is now under the age of 18…

  19. tracey 19

    Exactly ama. We could make it a class a b or c drug too. I am pretty sure no international treaty protects the right to sell illegal drugs.

    Spot on dv. It seems pretty obvious yet it works

    • TT 19.1

      If they were classed today, both tobacco and alcohol would be a class B substance. I think that would be a fair outcome. If it was made retrospective we could lock up the peddlers of these poisons too.

  20. If John Key does not sign the TPPA then they will not be able to sue us, but Key does not care about New Zealand or New Zealander’s he only cares about the Corporate sector and the Banking system he represents.

    To go to plain packaging may cost the corporate thousands of $ in profits, oh no no can’t do that to a corporate business, better to make the taxpayer pay.

    • infused 20.1

      Do you even understand the TPPA? Or are you just being retarded?

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Cigarette corporations to sue NZ if we limit their ability to sell poison to our children. More of that to come under the TPPA.

  21. freedom 21

    personally i feel one of the more interesting $ figures to see will be the first announcement of Key’s wealth in the year after his time as PM.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    Key squirming in the House.

    Mallard interjects, so Lockwood tells him the question Labour should ask.

    Shearer doesn’t listen, and ploughs on with prepared questions.

    Flavell challenges Key on cost vis-a-vis treaty settlements, and there’s a gaffe from Key in reply (treaty costs just got a lot higher, apparently). Nobody notices the gaffe.

    Key waffles some more, and gets away with it. So … business as usual in Parliament.

    • gobsmacked 22.1

      But Russel Norman really gets under Key’s skin. You can hear the teeth sucking noise at full volume. And – alleluia – an instant follow-up question! Just throw his answer straight back at him, and Key flounders.

      • Carol 22.1.1

        Yes, I thought sucking in air through his teeth was a “tell” that Key is lying. It was noticeable when, in response to Norman’s question about the legality of bonus shares without the costs having been submitted to parliament…

        Key said something like, “unlike the opposition this government always does things legally…….ssssssft”

  23. tracey 23

    Remember when the nats and their cheerleaders bemoaned labours alleged social engineering.? Interesting article by paul buchanan today. http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2012/07/market-driven-social-engineering/

    • rosy 23.1

      Yeah, I humpfed at that contradiction when I read that Key was trying to change the way people think about investment.

      Change the way people think… the right will never admit to social engineering even though they practice it all the time. They call it common sense, ‘for your benefit’.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        And the social-engineering that the right engage in is almost always bad for the community. Great for the rich.

  24. AmaKiwi 24

     
    TVNZ is reporting the government is going to stop our annual donation to the UN International Development Organization ($500,000 a year).
     
    Why?  The government’s excuse is that the money can be better spent on our Pacific island neighbors.  I suspect the truth is a way to cut the budget by book keeping scams.  Instead of writing a check to the UN, the government can now use much of that $500,000 to pay the salaries of Foreign Ministry employees who (on paper) are working on Pacific island desks.  With ministry salaries and overheads charged against the $500,000 it won’t be hard to insure not one cent ever gets to needy people abroad.
     
    Nice scam!

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      That’s odd. Because we just agreed to lend the IMF $1.26B if they want it.

      http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/govt-lend-imf-extra-1-26-b-4936737

      • rosy 24.1.1

        CV, that’s because it’s so much more important to prop up the system than improve the livelihoods of the truly desperate. /sarc

        • ropata 24.1.1.1

          also give your corporate mates tax breaks, and the wealthy tax cuts.
          no CGT or Tobin tax, but raise GST on all the peasants
          keep the rentier class happy, the dollar high, and property bubbling

          whatever you do, prevent anything resembling local democracy in AKL and CHC
          polluters and exploiters must be allowed a free hand
          get rid of red tape (e.g. building standards, mines inspectors, maritime safety officers)

          after all that hard work take a break in Hawaii: you’ve earned it!

  25. mike e 25

    Most of it looks like its already been used up to protect Bainimarma .

  26. Populuxe1 26

    Lordy lordy – nothing makes some so shrill and self-righteous as people who like the occasional cigarette. Goodness knows that life isn’t crappy enough in this country without passing laws to stamp out a little pleasure, supporting laws intended to manipulate and coerce the poor (which is what anti-smoking legislation really is, it certainly doesn’t impact on the rich). It amazes me how hypocritical some people are, who claim to be on the side of working people and at the same time enjoy lording over them and patronising them because they think they know what’s best.

    • Tracey 26.1

      should we sell them cocaine too, just because they enjoy it? Be consistent in your arguments.

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    David Shearer, please reply.
     
    John Key will delay tobacco plain packaging.  Labour MP Clare Curran tweets that Key is a ‘wimp’ for not standing up to the tobacco companies.  David Shearer supports Key: “I actually think that what John Key is doing in this case is actually a responsible thing to do.  What he should be doing is checking out what’s entailed in terms of costs.”
     
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7337884/Leader-doesn-t-back-MPs-wimp-call
     
    Mr. Shearer, do you think companies whose only purpose is to profit by poisoning our people deserve our respect?
     
    Mr. Shearer, do you think the public health costs, suffering, and deaths of our people caused by smoking justify taking tobacco companies’ blackmail threats seriously?
     
    Mr. Shearer, do you think it helps our party to be seen as nothing more than National’s lapdog when you praise John Key?  You know the overwhelming majority of Kiwis oppose to smoking. On this issue, the Greens and Maori parties are the only ones who speak for the majority of us.
     
    Mr. Shearer, why did you publicly humiliate Labour MP Clare Curran?
     
     

  28. Tracey 28

    IF Labour and the Greens came out and said, when next elected (whenever that may be) into Govt they will nationalise the companies sold, and return only the purchase price paid (not including the loyalty bonus), would more or less people buy shares in the company??

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