Goff speech on Labour’s vision

Written By: - Date published: 1:47 pm, May 12th, 2010 - 72 comments
Categories: Economy, jobs, labour, monetary policy, overseas investment, phil goff, wages - Tags:

Phil Goff has just delivered his speech on Labour’s economic vision ahead of the Budget. It’s a good one, filled with core Labour values and ideas that will get New Zealand moving ahead. Here are the highlights.
First, Goff talks about the failures of the Key Government that isn’t working for New Zealand, just for a privileged elite:
“John Key promised an economy that would catch up with Australia’s. But we’re yet to see the substance of any plan to deliver on that rhetoric.
To the contrary, wages have risen faster in Australia over the last year. Our unemployment is higher than Australia’s by a significant margin for the first time in a decade.
In the last couple of weeks we have seen the Australian Government’s initiative to increase employer contributions to superannuation from nine to twelve per cent. This will not only boost Australian workers’ wage packages by three
percent. It will also boost savings that Australians can draw on for investment in growth.
And it will ensure Australia maintains ownership of its own economy.
By contrast here National cut the KiwiSaver employer contribution from four per cent to two per cent. And it stopped contributing to the Superannuation Fund.
In last year’s Budget Bill English asked why we would continue to invest in the Superannuation Fund. The Super Fund has in fact returned strong growth. Since last year’s Budget it has added $3.5 billion in value. The Key Government’s failure to continue to invest in it has cost the government a million dollars a week in lost interest alone.”
The Cullen Fund had actually started growing on the back of recovering markets in March, long before last year’s budget. The decision to stop investing during a year that was guaranteed to produce strong growth coming off a low base thanks to international stimulus coming is little short of criminal.
Goff talks about GST:
In the wake of the Australian tax inquiry one thing the Australian government specifically promised it would not do was increase GST.
John Key made the same explicit promise before the last election. And when he made that promise he spoke to those who feel the bite of recession the hardest.
But he has now indicated he will break that promise. A rise in GST to fifteen per cent – fifty per cent higher than Australia’s rate – will be in New Zealand’s budget.
For hardworking New Zealanders and Kiwi families, it’s a bad time to be pushing up the cost of living by increasing GST. Many retailers are indicating that the rise will be well over 2.5 per cent. They will use this as an opportunity to restore margins. On top of the price increases, there are the increased costs of Government charges, like ACC. Petrol and power prices are set to rise still further.
The biggest problem with National’s tax changes is who benefits and who loses:
For most of the population this will be what John Key terms a ‘tax switch’. That will be what the words suggest – paying more tax with one hand through GST; and getting some back in return on the other.
The only real winners will be top income earners whose tax rates will come down from 38 cents in the dollar to 33 cents.
A lot of successful and clever people earn big salaries. Working hard and doing well is a good thing.
But what you have to weigh up is whether the person who got a thousand dollar a week pay rise, as a number of CEOs did last year, is the highest priority for a seven hundred dollar a week tax cut this year. Labour will address the unfairness National is creating.
Goff outlines a number of options including: taking GST off vegetables and food, which other countries do without a problem and which has provedn health benefits, reintroducing the top tax rate and raising it to $100K or higher, cutting bottom end tax rates so everyone benefits, cancelling National’s $2 billion a year subsidy to polluters, and, potentially, reversing National’s GST hike altogether:
National got elected by calling for tax cuts we couldn’t afford. But having called for tax cuts in Opposition, their record in
government will tell a different story:
An increase in Goods and Services Tax.
An increase in property tax, feeding into higher rents.
A tax on innovation, through the axing of the R&D tax credit.
They’ve increased ACC tax.
Last week they increased tobacco tax.
Now they’re putting a new tax on student loans.
And Aucklanders are facing higher rates taxes to pay for the Super City.
There has never been an eighteen month period in New Zealand history when a government has imposed so many new taxes on hardworking Kiwi families.
More broken promises from Key.
Goff outlines more of Labour’s solutions. In typical Labour fashion, it is focused on investment in the future and in the potential of Kiwi workers:
In New Zealand, 70,000 young people languish without work, and aren’t in education or training.
We need to boost apprenticeships. When the building industry recovers, for example, we will again face major skills shortages. We need to boost, rather than cap, skills training in tertiary institutions.
Boosting exports and savings and creating a smart economy, in Labour’s view, are the key to creating jobs and the incomes we aspire to.
Our recovery needs to be export driven, not consumption driven. The key to boosting exports is a more supportive monetary policy.
The independence of the Reserve Bank is crucial. But New Zealand is unusual internationally in having a single policy goal for the Reserve Bank of price stability.
The Reserve Bank of Australia, in contrast, is also required to support other objectives: a stable currency; full employment; and the
economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia. Labour will require our Reserve Bank here to pursue broader objectives, while retaining our full commitment to price stability, just as Australia is committed to both price stability and broader objectives.
Why shouldn’t New Zealand copy the smart things that other countries do? The next area is building our own savings base, so we don’t have to borrow from overseas of sell our assets:
Labour has a good track record of building New Zealand’s savings. Labour created the Super Fund. Labour created KiwiSaver.
By creating the right incentives to save the response has been spectacular.
Labour will restore contributions to the Cullen Super Fund. And we will rebuild KiwiSaver and offer new incentives for people to
save for their future. We haven’t ruled out phasing in a universal KiwiSaver program – but that needs further work and discussion.
More of our own savings will help us own more of the profits from goods and services produced here. But we can’t do it alone.
Foreign investment will continue to be important and encouraged. In particular we need to attract good greenfield investment that has a net benefit for New Zealand. It can bring factories, jobs, technology and other gains – that’s good investment.
However our overseas investment legislation should not allow loss of control over strategic assets and areas which are natural monopolies within our country.
We need to ensure we maintain New Zealand control over key export areas. We should not allow cumulative purchases of farms that would allow control over Fonterra, for example, to slip out of New Zealand.
We need solutions that harness our own capital, our own talents and brains and skills, and invest in them so that we do better at earning our way in the world.
Research and development is another crucial area:
We need to promote innovation, skills and adding value to our exports. If we want to earn more overseas, we have to keep pushing the value of our exports up the value chain. We haven’t been doing well enough at that.
It is no coincidence that New Zealand’s rate of private sector investment in research and development is the lowest in the developed
world. We invest around one third of the OECD average. The R&D tax credit Labour introduced would have lifted our R&D expenditure to two thirds of the OECD average.National cancelled it. That has weakened our export performance and made New Zealand poorer.
Yesterday National announced some new R&D steps, but they lack credibility. Their measures will see just a third of the R&D investment that would have resulted from Labour’s fifteen per cent R&D tax credit.
The Key government dismantled the $700 million Fast Forward fund, which the private sector had agreed to match, creating a $2 billion investment fund. That would have produced a step-change in added-value research in the primary sector.
A year and half of energy and momentum has already been wasted, when we needed it most. More will be wasted before the latest scheme is up and ready.
Labour will restore incentives for our most innovative companies to move investment into research and development.
It is this last passage that has me really excited. National says New Zealanders are hopeless. Labour says we can match it with the best:
But there is no doubt that New Zealand has the talent to be a smarter economy. We are in the top five in the world for the number of published papers per scientist.
But what we are not as good at is commercialising that science into products that create higher value for New Zealand. We export too many raw logs, and not enough high value products from transforming those logs here in New Zealand. Biofuel and finished wood products are much better value for New Zealand than the export of raw logs.
We need to back the companies and talents we have here.
Take the skilled workers we have at Dunedin’s Hillside and Petone’s Woburn rail workshops, who are already building high quality railway carriages. National won’t even let them tender to build new rolling stock for KiwiRail.
This could create up to 1300 jobs, growth in GDP of up to $250 million and up to $80 million of tax revenue. But National is happy to see the work go offshore without even a fight.
Labour backs Kiwi firms because we believe in them and their skilled workers.
Imagine if we had a government with half the vision for this country that Goff and Labour have displayed today. We might even have the wages, jobs, and growth that we enjoyed under the last Labour government.

72 comments on “Goff speech on Labour’s vision”

  1. smokie 1

    Sounds like a pretty vague speech if you ask me. Where’s the hard vision you can touch? He sounds like a bloody bureaucrat.

  2. Peter Martin 2

    If only Goff wasn’t so…grey.

    • When the political Right concentrate their attacks on individual Labour MPs (Goff) my natural suspicions are alerted, They are fearful .
      So when Right-Wing colummist Bernard Hickey attacked Goffs suggeston that GST be taken of “fresh vegetable ” as impossible because people would not know the difference between Fresh vegetable and yorhurt I had to smile . If the Right does not know the difference between yoghurt and fresh vegetable it explaines why they ball things up. If Bernard Hickey does not know the difference he should stop making stupid comments like this.

  3. just saying 3

    So, more neocon ‘meritocratic’ same-old same-old from Labour.
    No wonder they want to keep their policies to themselves.

    Obvioulsy it’s streets ahead of what NACT is delivering, but is ‘not so bad’ the best Labour can do?

    Boosting apprenticeships – the only response to the crisis of youth unemployment FFS.

    I do agree however that there are a couple of gems within, but this isn’t going to win any voters back.

    I just wish……….

    • Samuel 3.1

      Yep- Phil Goff lost my vote when he railed against the rise in property tax that could incease rents. Phil- please listen. Middle and low income NZers want to OWN their own houses- not rent them. If Labour’s solution to the high cost of housing is to subsidise landlords by increasing the housing allowance- the money for which will come from the pockets of PAYE tax payers who make up most of Labour’s constituency- then they are more bereft of ideas than I thought. Who do you lot think you are representing?

      Looks like the new government in Britain might increase capital gains taxes and there is talk that it might be targeted at second home and buy to let owners. This needs to happen here too. It is also time that housing was only allowed to be sold to NZ permanent residents and citizens. Housing exists for the benefit of people who live here- not for overseas speculators trying to make a quick buck.

  4. Indiana 4

    “Imagine if we had a government with half the vision for this country that Goff and Labour have displayed today.”

    Why did Labour not have this vision at the last election?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      the basic values haven’t changed. But all we heard was ‘tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts’ from the Nats and that won over the suckers, and the journos.

      • Lew 4.1.1

        Still blaming everyone but the former government, I see. Sigh.

        L

      • RedLogix 4.1.2

        Speaking of which Radio NZ is giving a fair bit of coverage to the OECD report placing NZ as one of the lowest tax wedge countries in it’s membership. It puts hard facts up against the utter bullshit English and Key fed us for years telling us how ‘over-taxed’ we were. Now only Mexico has lower taxes than us.

        If low taxation was the path to prosperity, NZ would already be one of the most wealthy nations on Earth.

  5. ianmac 5

    It does outline the direction that Labour will take.
    It does identify the stealthy inroads that Nact has taken from the people.
    It does give the critics of Labour opportunities for tangible targets. (Good thing because it causes reflection on the situation now.)
    So good ony’er Phil. 🙂

  6. fatty 6

    It’ll be predictable and centrist again, same old Labour. Need to get rid of a leader who was too involved in Rogernomics to be trusted again.
    He can’t out centre Key, despite what people here proclaim, Key is about the same as Goff, except for a few irrelevant tweeks.
    If this was a football game, I’d say try the left flank, its wide open, you may get a shot on goal.
    Wake up people, Key is not as right wing as some think.
    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2010/05/halfway-through-nationals-term-in-office.html

  7. Santi 7

    Goff is living in the past and clinging to an outdated socialist ideology which forces him to impose higher taxes on the productive sectors of society.

    With “leaders” like him Labour is condemned to remain in opposition for the next nine years (from 2011).

    • fatty 7.1

      how do you get “outdated socialist ideology” from someone who so openly embraces neo-liberalism?

      • Lew 7.1.1

        In Santi World, Ronald Reagan is a borderline socialist.

        L

        • Maynard J 7.1.1.1

          That made me laugh and think of Tracey Watkins – she’d call Palin a ‘sensible centrist’ if it suited her agenda.

  8. Fisiani 8

    When will he tell the truth?
    When will he say “We will never reverse GST, We will overtax the average voter whom we refer to as rick pricks. We will borrow heaps of money from overseas. We will heap debt on our children. We will bring NZ to its knees again.”

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      John Key is an average voter? Who knew?

    • Bright Red 8.2

      Labour reduced taxes on the average taxpayer, whose income is $28,000.

    • Akldnut 8.3

      Fisiani you dick, you’ve got your party and its leaders mixed up.
      thats donKey & National you’re talking about.

  9. gingercrush 9

    Labour oversaw huge increases in power prices. Not only that but their ETS would have seen even higher power prices.Of course Goff forgets that his government did profit for nine years over increased profits of electricity SOES. Not to mention Labour just sat there and did nothing the whole time. That saw increased pressure of electricity supply combined with increased prices combined with huge profits whilst not investing in the electricity grid properly. Labour has no credibility whatsoever.

    No mention of peak oil, nor does Goff talk about how the ETS Labour put it would put petrol prices up more. Of course lets just conveniently forget about that. As for any credibility about sustainability etc. Well Helen Clark mentioned the same thing for five years and nothing happened.Therefore, one can safely say the same will happen again.

    If Labour was so concerned about mortgage rates then why didn’t he mention policies that would shift investment away from housing. He doesn’t do that instead he criticises the government for moving in this area. Labour oversaw a huge increase in mortgage rates, a huge increase in house prices that squeezed out numerous Labour voters who now find themselves having to rent. Exports in this country will not improve unless we move away from property. That Goff doesn’t even mention this really takes the cake and shows they just want more of the same unbalanced crap we’ve had the last nine years. An economy that is too reliant on speculation in housing and investment in housing is not going to benefit the country. Whilst, moving towards savings via compulsory Kiwisaver will increase savings to an extent. If you continue to not have limits on property and land then you’re going to have the same problems as today.

    If Labour are serious about savings. Then don’t make things compulsory. Relax the tax laws in relation to savings so that its actually attractive to save. The fact Labour sat idly by while thousands of New Zealand lost their savings when the first lot of finance companies fell just shows Labour doesn’t have a good record in this area.

    Of course if you are serious about a compulsory retirement scheme then surely you need a thorough discussion of our whole retirement issue. Or are you simply too scared Mr. Goff?

    Lastly, for Goff to talk about Aquaculture is a joke. They Labour did nothing in this area for nine years. Also you want to help exports. Good but where are the tax changes that will help exporters?

    —-

    The speech is shit. Its like everything the last government didn’t do in those nine years and its more of the same considering they don’t want more people to own their homes. They don’t want speculation away from housing and land. They just don’t want any of that because they know that was one of the reasons they have their nine years of economic growth.

    Good news. Tax changes focused on low and middle income earners. Natural Labour voters. Continued movement towards increased savings and investment in skills etc. Repeated policy of monetary reform. Targets their voter base whilst doing little to piss anyone off.

    • Green Tea 9.1

      Exactly, gingercrush.

      The difference between National and Labour: National stabs you in the front.

    • Craig Glen Eden 9.2

      I suggest you actually read the speech GC you are ranting again and not making any sense.

    • Rex Widerstrom 9.3

      I’m probably more supportive of much of what Goff has said, but where I agree with you completely, GC, is in wanting to hear Labour admit they screwed up repeatedly over nine years when they had the chance.

      Not because I’m interested in going “nyah nyah nyah” but because that’s our best guarantee they won’t do it again.

      Yes, the rise in GST will hurt those on lower incomes, and pensioners. But one of the reasons they’ll be in so much pain is, as you point out, that power has become unaffordable. My parents spent a lifetime tending their garden… now they’re getting my son to butcher the trees in their backyard for firewood.

      Mitigating the disaster set in train by Max Bradford was one of the fundamental ways Labour could have made life easier for those about whom it claims to care. Instead it just trousered the cash and bought a train set.

      Same with the rank profiteering in the housing market you mention. And so on…

      A promise that laws will never again be passed in haste and reformed at leisure would be good too (yes, Labour supporters, I know National are doing exactly that… that’s rather the point, don’t you think?)

      Of course Labour had many achievements during those nine years and it’s right they should be proud of, and speak of, those. But it also displayed a degree of hubris unseen since Muldoon. While Goff wasn’t one of those guilty of that attitude he sat there and supported it. As did King with her loopy “full moon” excuses etc.

      A “mea culpa” is needed, I think, before many people take anything Goff says with more than a grain of salt. Which is a pity, because he seems to be saying many of the right things at last.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Generally speaking, I’m seeing a change in economics coming out of Labour but they’re still not ready to fully dump the neo-liberal framework that the 4th Labour government put in place. Still, it would be nice of them to say what they did wrong and why it was wrong.

        • just saying 9.3.1.1

          What change are you seeing Draco? I’ll read it again, but I don’t see it.

          • Bright Red 9.3.1.1.1

            repurchase of Kiwirail. Kiwibank, Cullen Fund, Kiwisaver. Blocking Canadian purchase of Auckland airport.

            stronger work rights, higher minimum wage, ETS, full employment policy, WFF.

            All of that goes right against the neo-lib agenda.

            captcha: thanks (lolz)

            • Green Tea 9.3.1.1.1.1

              Sorry Bright Red, but under the 5th Labour Government wages were still low, houses were still unaffordable, power prices rediculous, healthcare unaccessable, and the environment was still stuffed.

              Much of the Labour Party is quite compatable with the neo-lib agenda.

              • Akldnut

                GT you are so wrong! Healthcare was definitely not “unaccessable” – shit I should know I had two transplants while they were in the beehive.

            • Herodotus 9.3.1.1.1.2

              “GT you are so wrong! Healthcare was definitely not “unaccessable’ shit I should know I had two transplants while they were in the beehive.”
              You were lucky how about the cuts in breast cancer surgery that occurred in 2005. Just deck chairs being shifted you got your ops whilst others had their options cut to you want it .. go private we the DHB do not have funding anymore. So you won (Good on you and I hope yo have a great enjoyable quality of life I do not begrudge you)and many women lost. Many issues we are not aware of until they affect us personnelly. That is why there is a massive shift of what is important to us at different stages of our life: single-student loans, have a family education, getting older health and retirement.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.1.2

            I wasn’t talking about the speech but the changes that I’ve seen over the last few months on Red Alert. They’ve definitely been looking at the neo-liberal paradigm and come to the conclusion that it ain’t working. They’re not dumping all of it but certainly changing a few things here and there.

            There’s some obvious failures that have come about from the hatchet job on the economy of the 4th Labour and National governments. Telecom, power, and trains are just some of the more notable examples of failure due to applied ideology rather than looking at facts.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.4

      They Labour did nothing in this area for nine years.

      They can’t do everything all at once. How many time does this have to be explained to you fucken idiots?

  10. Blue 10

    “But what you have to weigh up is whether the person who got a thousand dollar a week pay rise, as a number of CEOs did last year, is the highest priority for a seven hundred dollar a week tax cut this year.”

    Exactly. You have to be pretty screwed up as a Govt to think that your highest priority is to cut the top tax rate.

    Adjust the threshold by all means, but there is no need to cut the actual rate. And to cut anything that moves to pay for it.

  11. National got elected by calling for tax cuts we couldn’t afford

    The only real winners will be top income earners whose tax rates will come down from 38 cents in the dollar to 33 cents.

    A lot of successful and clever people earn big salaries.

    Labour will address the unfairness National is creating.

    To the average sap, politicians fall into that big salary range and many feel they dont do stuff all for it. If we as a country cant afford it then show some leadership and say Labour MP’s will donate the increase to their salaries from the tax cuts to charity.

    Otherwise he’s got nothing to complain about. Yeah it sux Key has given ‘rich pricks’ a virtual pay rise but Labour MP’s are gonna take it anyway cos ummm…they can

    So you can start addressing the unfairness with a simple gesture, in this case, lead from the front not from behind.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      I think it’s a dangerous race to the bottom if we start putting to much pressure on MPs’ salaries. Decent pay is needed so that working people can afford to run and to help prevent corruption. Low salaries make politics a rich man’s game.

      That said, they could lower it somewhat and make it a ratio of the median wage, so that it doesnt’ go up faster than the typical workers’ pay.

      • pollywog 11.1.1

        I’m not talking about making them low paid peasants working for the dole and incidentally, whats the value of the top up perks they also get ?

        Free accom, cars, mileage, travel, food ?… it’s not like they’re hard done by is it ? So i dont think they’ll be hitting the bottom anytime soon. And the long termers on both sides of the house have probably got a nice little nest egg of investments and trust properties turning over a tidy profit as well, plus the on going perks when they retire, not to mention the board directorships and diplomatic postings.

        All I’m saying in this instance is, it’s money from the taxcut they’re not seeing now so it’s not like they’ll miss it if it goes to a worthier cause. Show some solidarity with the workers who dont benefit and will suffer from all the other tax increases.

        Is that really such a big ask ?

        • Bright Red 11.1.1.1

          nah I agree to an extent. But we don’t want to get into a bidding war on MP’s wages. It’s just not a fight we really can win against the rich boys.

          • ianmac 11.1.1.1.1

            Actually I don’t mind what you pay MPs. My concern is the need for them to follow the letter and the spirit of their own rules.
            The big issue is those who use the system to hide their actual income. Some claim that they pay no income tax because their income is hidden in Trusts etc. If we only knew what tax is paid by the PM or Phil for that matter.

  12. bobo 12

    So the axe the tax bus tour didn’t exactly refer to axing the proposed gst increase so what was that all about then? It would make it easier to support Labour if they had a couple of clear pledges to build on starting from now… call me old fashioned 🙂 Any youtube link to the whole speech yet would like to see more than the msm clips of it.

    • Bright Red 12.1

      labour opposes the rise in GST. That’s what axe the tax meant.

      • Craig Glen Eden 12.1.1

        True Bright Red but sadly AXE THE TAX is not such a clear simple message. Some interpret it to mean Labour would axe it when in power, which could be a difficult promise to make in 18 months time ,but hey time will tell.

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1

          Labour will make it clear during the campaign period what they intend to do around GST, and then they’ll do it once in power. This will create some minor dissonance with people saying “what was that bus about then?” but that dissonance will come *before* the election, and not after the election, so if Labour do become the government it will be clear where they stand on GST.

          Contrast that with John who said National definitely wouldn’t be putting up GST and they’re more interested in cutting tax, not adding it.

          captcha: cuts

          • bobo 12.1.1.1.1

            So maybe in future Labour should keep the slogans and bus tours in the garage until they know exactly what they are offering in policy closer to the election.. I thought a campaign period was the time when your not in government 🙂

  13. big bruv 13

    Labour have a vision?

    • toad 13.1

      I don’t think they do, bruv. Goff’s speech is totally uninspiring.

      The only vision I have seen that is an alternative to the NACT mine/privatise/screw the poor and make our mates wealthier vision comes from the Greens.

      Labour are just stumbling and bumbling. Exempting food from GST is bullshit. If they really have a concern for poor people, then raise the minimum wage and benefit rates rather than tamper with a tax that has one redeeming feature – its simplicity. Then poor people will be able to afford to buy good food.

      I really think Labour needs to ditch Goff. He is getting no traction and is widely perceived as a has-been. Otherwise we are going to end up with another 3 years of NACT government, in which they will do some real harm. Remember, the promise of “no privatisation” was only for the first term.

      Labour’s problem is that there is no obvious successor. Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern have enormous talent, but are still cutting their political teeth. David Cunliffe comes across as arrogant and born-to-rule – much like a Tory. Shane Jones – well, clever, but comes across as a plodder (mind you, Bolger had two and a bit terms as PM).

      Despite their contempt for the Greens, I sometimes wish one of Helen Clark or Michael Cullen had decided to hang on and contest one more election.

      • Bright Red 13.1.1

        Labour would raise the minimum wage. You know that.

      • Lanthanide 13.1.2

        “Remember, the promise of “no privatisation’ was only for the first term.”

        Yes, and I suspect that may come back to bite National in the ass.

      • just saying 13.1.3

        Possible altherantive to Goff – David Parker.

        Not from anything I’ve seen of him in the media, but from when I’ve seen him speaking live.
        I think he might have the potential for being able to appeal to human decency in the electorate to oppose the dog eat dog, get nature before nature gets you, kick a guy when he’s down cos your so damn scared of slipping down there yourself, attitudes eating at working class people.

      • big bruv 13.1.4

        Toad

        When are you guys going to stop this silly notion that raising benefit levels for bludgers is a good thing?

        If they want more money then they can get off their arse and get a job…….oh hang on, you want to raise the minimum wage as well, that is not going to help matters is it, it just makes it all the more difficult for these bludgers to find work.

        Cut the minimum wage, slash benefits and more people will be employed, it really is a win win situation.

        • Get thee 13.1.4.1

          You’re the bludger.

        • toad 13.1.4.2

          bruv, tell me, how will lowering wages and cutting benefits reduce poverty?

          A logical argument, please.

          • big bruv 13.1.4.2.1

            Toad

            The minimum wage is far too high for unskilled workers, lower it and more of them get jobs.

            Benefits should never be something that people can live on long term, we need to teach these parasites that they have a duty to improve our economy and become wage earners.

            More people in work = less social problems.

            That is logical Toad, what is illogical is the left’s idea of throwing more money at these losers for no work in return.

            • Get thee 13.1.4.2.1.1

              You’re an illogical parasite. A screwfly maggot has more logic and is less of a parasite than you.

            • Rob M 13.1.4.2.1.2

              By all means put a stop to the welfare trap Big Bruv but remember the biggest beneficiaries are banks, beer barons, greedy grocers and landlords. Where do beneficiaries spend their money? Ask yourself who is ultimately responsible for the pay check of the working poor? Who is ultimately responsible for the profits of their employers? Remove welfare, crash the economy.

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      Yes.

      I was reported on National Radio this morning that Key’s vision of NZ being a “financial hub” of the pacific was likely to be scotched by Australia as they’re moving to do exactly the same thing. Except Australia already have a much bigger financial industry than NZ does, and more money to play with setting one up.

      At least Labour’s visions aren’t pie-in-the-sky “aspirational” fantasies like Key’s.

      • Irascible 13.2.1

        Roger Nosferatu Douglas had this dream of NZ being the financial hub of the South Pacific when he was finance minister under Lange. It didn’t fly then and won’t fly now. The time zone advantage myth proved to be just that – a mirage in the policy brainstorm scribble.

  14. All of the bollocks the right has been portraying over the last five years presenting NZer’s as overtaxed has been exposed as a huge lie.

    In fact, New Zealand has the 2nd lowest tax wedge in the OECD, only Mexico, with all of its poverty, is lower. This is a perfect illustration how a low-tax, low welfare economy is a path to economic ruin.

    Kiwis are supposed to be fair-minded, and intelligent people. Endless tax reductions lead to reduced social spending ala social outcomes. Who would have ever thought? Less office support staff in schools and hospitals lead to less efficient outcomes as nurses, doctors and teachers are forced to their own admin work, taking them away from their patients/students.

    National (and their cronies) have lied repeatedly to New Zealand. Time to biff them out.

  15. graham 15

    @Toad
    i disagree national is afraid of phil goff his pole rateings have the torys on the run

  16. coolas 16

    Goff just aint got the X. Reminds me of Bill Rowling. Nice guy. Good policies. But a shadow to Muldoon. When Presidential style leadership counts today, Key’s got it all over Goff.

    Labour could win the next election but chances are reduced with Goff. If he really had the country at heart he’d stand aside. But he wont, of course, he’s too vain, and I don’t mean that unkindly. Goff deserves to be PM. So either get some ‘engagement’ coaching fast, or emphasis ‘the team’.

    If he looses the 2011 election Goff’s gone, along with King, Barker, Chadwick et all & a refreshed Labour Party can emerge. But that’ll mean another term of National and irreversible damage.

    So please, please Phil get tough, get mean, let go the cool, and fight. No more Mr Nice Guy. We’ve got one of them already.

    • Brett 16.1

      If Labours loses the next election it will be at least another two terms on the sidelines as it will take a term or two for the party to re-establish itself.
      The last year and a half has been totally wasted, this is the time for rebuilding not for old has-beens to milk the last drops out of their political careers.

    • Marty G 16.2

      Rowling won more votes than Muldoon twice, only FPP saved Muldoon in 1978 and 1981.

  17. Herodotus 17

    Who advises Phil?
    They deserve to be given the flick. A speach is made and Phil needs to follow it up with a charmed offensive. What does he do crap on newstalk ZB by not fronting and allowing for his speak to be pushed back. Refer 5:45 tonight and the follow up from Larry Williams. Why does Lab allow this yet another own goal scored. For me Phil should be everywhere not promising an appearance then his team defaulting.
    So GST increase to 15% “ax the tax” but wait we will keep it except for fresh fruit & veges, that wasn’t conveyed on the bus tour. So Lab is for the tax now from Peanuts “Good Grief”. Forgive me what vision and lets just fiddle to take a bit from here an give a bit over there. National for another 3 years with this crap being offered by Lab.
    “An increase in property tax, feeding into higher rents.” So Lab will not attack the property market as we PAYE workers are under Lab willing to subsidise Land owners, nice to see that Lab like Nat supports the rickh at the expense of the poor. Lab Red = Nat Blue just difference faces.
    Come on Phil or his replacement (Please a new leader soon) get out a vision and a plan. This is just political point scoring at its worse.

    • bobo 17.1

      This was my point, they chose “axe the tax “as a slogan then we find out nah its just on veges, like veges is such a small percentage of a persons shopping list… bread , milk, blocks of cheese are they included? Garner on 3 tonight goes on about how Goff said taking GST off food was too complicated when in government now Goff decides its not?

  18. Alexandra 18

    A change of leadership is a no brainer and plays right into the hands of the Nats. After all thats their line isnt it? Goff is at present the best person for the job and the destabilizing effect of leadership change at this stage of the electoral cycle would not be helpful. The rose tinted glasses are beginning to fall off and the voters who switched to the right at the last election are already waking up to Key’s dishonesty and insincerity. Traditional left voters who stayed home will be more motivated next year because the Nat/Acts policies will be hitting home, big time.

  19. Herodotus 19

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/thisweek/hourrecs/Wed,%20May%2012%2017.00%20trn-newstalk-zb-akl.asf
    Refer 43 minute time zone.
    So ZB and The Herald are starting to comment on Phils (Protected by his staff) that he does not want to answer real issues, needs protection. How does this look?
    Labours handling of this speach is appalling for me. Red Alert no comment on the speach, no fronting up on the charm offensive but he goes missing and allows for comments like Larry Williams to be made, and on a wet evening stuck in JAFA traffic this would have got a wider audience than normal. So the impression is that Phil is not that strong. As I have said previously NZ needs a strong govt & opposition, but we are delivered crap.
    If Phil is the right masn then for me he doesnt get the greatest advice.
    As a by I see that the Herald has stated “…It is a reference to the moniker given to the Prime Minister by the Labour-affiliated Standard blog” Marty you are not doing your work there is an impression that you are having “relations” with Labour
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10644548

  20. Rob M 20

    I stopped reading a couple paragraphs in “The threat of the global financial crisis is largely behind us.” Not mentioned on Red Alert, not on the splash labour front page. The Left best hope is looking increasingly hopeless.

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