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Goff: Scrap the 2025 Taskforce

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, December 3rd, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: labour, phil goff - Tags: ,

We all know the 2025 Taskforce is a farce and a waste of taxpayers’ money. The Government has disowned it, the critics have panned it. Even Garth George has come out calling for its first report to be recycled into toilet paper.

It genuinely appears to serve no function but to subsidise the wacky right-wing fantasies of Don Brash and David Caygill and to shift the political centre so the Government’s own right-wing policies appear more moderate.

So it’s great to see Phil Goff calling on John Key to put a stop to this stupid, wasteful farce and scrap the 2025 Taskforce.

“The Taskforce’s first report, this week, was a complete and utter waste of money, Phil Goff said in a speech in Napier.

“The report was widely and deservedly panned by nearly everyone who read it. It cost $150,000, according to media reports, and contained nothing that we have not repeatedly heard over many years from Dr Brash.

“The Taskforce has a budget of $477,000 over three years. So I have a challenge for the Government – don’t be relaxed or comfortable with this waste – dump this soapbox for Act and Dr Brash, and save the taxpayer the unspent $330,000,” Phil Goff said.

Great stuff. The question for Key will be whether he takes take the PR hit now by folding to Goff’s advice, or risks ongoing embarrassment as Brash continues to release toxic nonsense on the taxpayer’s dime.

25 comments on “Goff: Scrap the 2025 Taskforce ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The reality is, we knew what the idiots that were put into the task force were going to say because they’ve been saying it for 20+ years. They really haven’t looked and seen the amount of damage that has been done under these same types of policies over that same time frame. I doubt if they can look due to their ideological (religious?) blinders.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I think the tax working group report is much more interesting.

    What I don’t understand, though, is that Gareth Morgan was on the tax working group, and yet goes out by himself and articulates an idea that has really captured people’s imaginations and overshadowed the official report. Meanwhile the official report is more of the same uninspired tweaks to the current system. Why couldn’t Gareth publish his idea as an alternative system, yet still part of the official report?

    • RedLogix 2.1

      That is a very good thought. Indeed it really begs the next obvious question, why is Morgan going out on his own like this, and what is his game plan?

      I think he is right, that if the basic idea (which has been around for ages in various forms and has a very respectable intellectual history) is promoted by a person with rea public credibility, at the right moment…then it might well get some traction.

      The politicians will respond if the public becomes receptive. I recall Cullen even mentioning the UBI concept in one of his speeches, setting it aside because regretably it was too far from the prevailing orthodoxy at the time.

      If we want this we will have to ask for it.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Which is why it should have been in the official report.

        • felix

          It occurs to me that in some ways Morgan on his own might be perceived as having a bit more cred than the TWG.

          Just a thought.

          • Lanthanide

            Perhaps amongst the public, but if it was in the working group report, the government would be forced to acknowledge it in some way. As it is, they can just ignore Morgan if they don’t want to confront the issue.

            • IrishBill

              He’s a nice guy but he likes attention and has a bit of difficulty working as part of a team. And to be fair he was Key’s “celebrity economist” pick.

        • Unholy Alliance

          The number of people shocked by the Brash report should walk with their funds. One reason Morgan can say what he does because he does fear a backlash had he put his name on a tax report as bad as the taskforce report. Brash has lived on the government teet too long, shift your kiwisaver now. If he invests anything like he thinks its a good decision.

      • Quoth the Raven 2.1.2

        I think he is right, that if the basic idea (which has been around for ages in various forms and has a very respectable intellectual history

        Like that boogeyman of the left Milton Freidman 🙂

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    Does Mr Caygill really have right wing fantasies?

    If that’s the case why did the last Labour Government make him the Mr Fixit of the electricity industry, year on year and increasingly so, every year that they were last in Government? Does this mean Labour had a right wing fantasy for the electricity industry?

    • felix 3.1

      Well duh, Tim, not nice but definitely dim – Labour are economically a fairly right wing party and Caygill is economically out on the far right.

      We’ve been over and over this for days, Tim. Is it really not sinking in? Have you not been getting enough sleep again? Do you want me to link you to some of our conversations so you can recap what we’ve covered?

      • poptart 3.1.1

        Tim’s not interested in honest debate. Don’t waste your time with him.

        • Pascal's bookie

          I can’t work out what his point is. He usually at least has a really stupid point to laugh at.

          He’s made the same basic comment maybe half a dozen times, but the lack of any syllogism to go with that renders the whole thing a crappy meal.

          This very-important-thing-about-Caygill-being-appointed-by-the-Labour-Party-to-the-ElecCom that must be inserted into every discussion of the taskforce.

          Possible syllogisms I can imagine, using it, lead to conclusions like:

          i) “The report can’t really be right wing”

          But that would be even stupider than the stuff he usually comes up with. Everyone from Kinglish and Gracious Garth left says it’s radical rightie nonsense.

          ii) I actually thought there was syllogism leading to a conclusion ‘ii)’, but when I thought about it enough to type it, the premisses contradicted each other in an unresolvable fashion. Much like a time lapse series of Ellis’ comments on Melissa Lee would.

          iii) “The Labour party is a big tent, and doesn’t have ideological litmus tests with regard to appointments”. Ooh knockout stuff. Keep it under your hats peeps, that’s toxic.

          After that, I got nothing, though I concede that Tim could well have been spending his absence inventing hitherforeto unknown types of stupid, the application of which has lead to his bahaviour of the last few days.

          Which would be kind of like that thing about sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic, but more loaded with suck.

          • felix

            I actually thought there was syllogism leading to a conclusion ‘ii)’, but when I thought about it enough to type it, the premisses contradicted each other in an unresolvable fashion.

            Then that’s probably Tim’s one, don’tchareckon? 😉

            Or maybe they’re only paying him for one thought per week now.

          • Lanthanide

            Given Tim’s lack of reply, I’m assuming he really doesn’t have a point.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Goff’s right on this. Brash should either be replaced or the commission scrapped. With him there it’s only concievable purpose is political lobbying for the ACT party. Rodney wouldn’t like that, he said so in his heartfelt apology that taxpayers monies must be carefully accounted for.

  5. Nick C 5

    The reason Key wont drop the task force is that it’s a part of National and Act’s C&S agreement. They would risk loosing the confidence of Act if they did so.

    • Clarke 5.1

      This is probably true …. which rather sums up John Key’s two-step approach to coalition building:

      Step 1: Write cheque for dumb-ass and irrelevant policy debates as a means of purchasing support
      Step 2: Say you’re “relaxed” about the outcome whilst refusing to implement any recommendations as they’re so politically toxic.

      The Maori Party should bear this in mind before they get too excited about the Seabed and Foreshore.

  6. This is good.

    I really admire Goff’s dedication and his commitment and his sincerity. I have hoped that he would shine as a leader although he does not have a big ego and is more of a quiet achiever than someone who stands out.

    He is starting to work out what is required of a leader.

    When he speaks he has to have a simple message that offers an alternative to the NACT Crosby Textor designed line.

    He delivered it here. May he and his speech writers have many more days like this.

  7. Bored 7

    This whole Brash thing has my shit radars on red alert. Consider that certain interest groups explicitly and with indecent haste forced Brash into the role of leader of the National Party. He represented their interests and policies…and was electorally a disaster. Having paid their dues for a disaster the same interested parties (I suspect) placed the more electable Mr (Convivial) Key into the role of leader of their interests…who promptly puts Donny into his current role. Its a bit like a God Father movie, you know that there will be a pay off, the question is how?

  8. Pascal's bookie 8


    Does it have to suck so hard, as part of the Agreement?

    Sounds like that other bit in the agreement where the Nats give Act money to do general research beyond their portfolios or duties as MPs. Normally parties have to pay for that sort of thing themselves.

  9. To true so Bored what else are they (Hone Carter and friends) slipping through when they think no one is looking. All in the pretense of just helping a constituent.

    Slimmy bastard Its called corruption.

  10. randal 10

    well 2025 is a nice figure and sufficiently far into the future to deny any ability to say what wil happen. If I were brash I would be worried about 2011 when the tories will be kicked out and then proper planning can take place. Ummmmmmm planning. What the heck is national doing planning anyway. They are the dog eat dog party and if you are a loser what do they care. Oh thats right. maybe by 2025 Muldoons 410,000 jobs will have come to pass. the brt and Hooton will be larfing their tits off over this one. 2025 indeed.

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