Good on ya NZ – choosing Labour policy over Nat tax cut

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, September 3rd, 2017 - 27 comments
Categories: labour, leadership, national - Tags: , , , , , ,

It has been frustrating trial for leftie politics that, for a long time now, Labour’s policies have been more popular than National’s (including tax cuts), and (until very recently) more popular than the Labour party itself. I know I’ve lost some good sources on this, but here’s some that I did find again:
2011: Voters prefer Labour policy but not party: Poll
2011: Kiwis prefer capital gains tax over asset sales – poll
2014: Poll shows majority against National’s tax cuts
2017: Housing and healthcare the clear cut top priorities
2017: Tax cuts ‘very important’, but not top priority for most Kiwis
2017: New Zealand taxpayers favor increased spending over tax cuts

In a July Herald editorial:

Labour could spend all National’s tax cut on the needy

Credit where it is due. It takes courage to say that if elected, you will cancel a tax cut.

That is what the Labour Party has announced with its promise to direct the money instead to additional spending, particularly on assistance for low income families.

In doing so it has presented the voters with a clear choice which, for those without young families or earning above the income limits, will mean deciding whether to take the tax cut or give the benefit to children of the less well off. …

Now that Labour has found the leader that it needed and its popularity is matching its policies, the Nat attacks on Labour are sounding more and more shrill. One recent line, trying to scaremonger about Labour’s irrigation tax. But guess what:
Majority of Kiwis back water tax even if they face higher costs, new poll shows
Irrigation water tax on farmers supported by majority of Kiwis – 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll

The main recent attack is around National’s tax cut bribe. Bill English ran this hard in the recent debate, putting words in the mouths of Horotiu meatworkers. But guess what:

Meatworkers prefer Labour’s education policy over National’s tax cuts

Prime Minister Bill English has claimed a mandate from meat workers he met with at Horotiu during the leaders debate on Thursday night.

During the debate against Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, he said, “Try telling them that you’re taking my tax cuts back, to make education cheaper”. … Mr English said, “transparency would require Labour to look in the eye those meatworkers I spoke to yesterday in Horotiu, and tell them they are going to take a thousand dollars a year off them, because those people will get a thousand dollars from the tax cuts that are legislated- take it off them to spend on making tertiary education a bit cheaper for lawyers.”

So, what do those meat workers actually think? Former Union delegate Waata Muru has worked in the Horotiu plant for 35 years, and was there when Mr English came to visit. Mr Muru said he “certainly thought” there would be quite a few meatworkers and general factory workers across the country who would be interested in Labour’s policy with free education. “Especially people with children who are about to embark on tertiary education and go to university”.

Mr Muru said meat processing is seasonal, so he’s unlikely to see a full thousand-dollar cut anyway. Fellow workers up the road in Ngaruawahia are also keen on scrapping tax cuts. One resident said he had kids in school, and he’d been laid off from the meat works. “I’m struggling. To help my baby that’s still in school, that’s possible way of pushing it forward.”…

The above report seems to have been based on the work of the indefatigable John Campbell on the indespensible Checkpoint, who went to Horotiu to talk to people:
More money or more social spending? – Kiwis have their say
It is well worth watching:

At 8:30:

Yeah the extra $1000 would be great in our pocket, but I’m also I suppose more concerned in holistically in the whole country. Childs poverty and things like that, that’s just really upsetting to me. Housing, I think, in general, those are probably the issues…

$20 [a week], I’d rather it go to people who generally need it. We’re doing OK. And I’d rather it goes to someone who is not doing so OK.

Good on ya NZ.

27 comments on “Good on ya NZ – choosing Labour policy over Nat tax cut”

  1. nzsage 1

    That last interview on the John Campbell section really hit the nail on the head and highlighted the core difference between left and right in this country.

    There was someone who considers the wider community over self, someone who probably has a fraction of the wealth of Peter Tally (I refuse to call him “Sir”), yet feels she is doing well and the tax cuts would be better used on resolving the social inequalities we face,

    In suggesting Labour would take away $1000 from workers pockets Bill English clearly demonstrates the number one primary value of the right, namely “Show me the money!”

    Well done that lady!

  2. Heather Grimwood 2

    Good on ya Anthony for bringing these things to me …made my morning.

  3. eco Maori/kiwi 3

    Yes it’s awesome to see our reporters whom fight for the underprivileged getting air time on our main TV news networks .
    They have been shutout /silenced for to long by the neo liberals keep up the good fight people we have been waiting for this paradigm shift for a long time .
    If national key was not bending breaking thee laws and cheating we would not have had this shit go down for so long.
    We have to do something to prevent this from happening again people please come up with some good policy’s to prevent this farcical behavior from people who get in government. For the last nine years these people have just shit on all our KIWI values principles and ethics. I am surviving but a lot of other people are not and that pisses me off……..

  4. Keith 4

    If Jacinda shows us nothing else then it is to remind us that Labour’s method of selecting leaders has been an abysmal failure.

    Nowhere in that laborious costly process did anyone within the Labour Party executive ever stop for a moment to think what was required to win was a front person with the personality and immediate wit to communicate their message. It appeared more a battle of wills and staunchness to get their man into the driver’s seat, a one up process in an internal power struggle.

    Cunliffe had no touch or charm about him and Little was the same, both dull grey men who were about as inspiring as a spent bus ticket. Leaders of a political party they were not.

    Jacinda has it, she says it in a way that awakens your hopes.

    Whatever happens, please Labour, ditch your failed leadership selection model. Its been the National Partys best friend.

    • r0b 4.1

      If Jacinda shows us nothing else then it is to remind us that Labour’s method of selecting leaders has been an abysmal failure.

      I disagree. Jacinda never put herself forward for selection. If she had, she might have won.

      Nowhere in that laborious costly process did anyone within the Labour Party executive

      The process was decided by the membership, and selection was driven by the membership. IT had every chance to select “a front person with the personality and immediate wit to communicate their message” – but I repeat Jacinda never put herself forward. Which may actually have been a good thing in the long run, because the way it has turned out has worked well for Labour.

      Anyway, nothing wrong with Labour’s democratic process.

    • rhinocrates 4.2

      Not to mention Gaffe and Mumbles the Clown.* What the fucking fuckety fuck were they thinking? I started watching Little’s tenure praying finally they might have someone halfway competent who wouldn’t end up with a knife in his back… and only felt ever-mounting disappointment and deja vu. Finally now… I really hope so.

      *That’s putting it kindly – he was an utter bastard as well as an idiot.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.3

      Well that comment from Keith seems to have absolutely nothing to do with this post.

      Another attempt to derail?

      • Keith 4.3.1

        “Now that Labour has found the leader that it needed and its popularity is matching its policies….”

        If you read the whole article you would have noticed that sentence which of course has everything to do with this post because its IN the post. I have put it in to assist you, not to “derail you”!

  5. ianmac 5

    Over on Pundit Katherine has identified the crucial elements in the Jacinda call for a Tax Working Group for after the Election. She writes in response to a rejection of Jacinda’s claim.
    Hope Katherine Moody doesn’t mind but her explanation deserves a whole column:

    “@Chris, yes read it. Rec 6. related to a comprehensive capital gains tax (not favoured by a majority – and a partial CGT seen as distortionary), whereas Rec. 7 was: ” The majority of the TWG support detailed consideration of taxing returns from capital invested in residential rental properties on the basis of a deemed notional return calculated using a risk-free rate.” which was not implemented. And Rec 8. was “Most members of the TWG support the introduction of a low-rate land tax as a means of funding other tax rate reductions.” – again not implemented (but the other tax rate reductions recommended were). And Rec 12. “There should be a comprehensive review of welfare policy and how it interacts with the tax system, with an objective being to reduce high effective marginal tax rates.” – again not implemented to my knowledge.

    Most importantly the changes made by National did nothing to broaden the tax base, as the recommendations explain, “Base-broadening is required to address some of the existing biases in the tax system and to improve its efficiency and sustainability.”
    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/a-taxing-debate-night-but-everythings-changed

    • ianmac 5.1

      Katherine was referring to the Tax Working Group set up in 2009.

      “Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today welcomed the establishment of a Tax Working Group, which will assist the government in considering the key tax policy challenges facing New Zealand.

      The Tax Working Group, co-ordinated by Victoria University’s Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research, will bring together invited private sector and academic experts, as well as Treasury and Inland Revenue officials. It will consider the medium-term direction of the tax system, including assessing policy options.”

    • KJT 5.2

      Polls show majority support for CGT.

      Except among politicians, real estate agents and a few greedy Aucklanders.

  6. phillip 6

    for a lot of people the 1000 tax cut wouldn’t even be that much anyway
    currently there is the independent earner tax credit – which gives you are 520 reduction in tax if you earn between 24k and 48 k and don’t get working for families

    in the budget this was removed from next year, so if you currently are entitled to this your actual 1000 tax cut would be much less than the 1000 they say

  7. Ethica 7

    National’s Tax Working Group was made up of wealthy white men. Labour’s would be a lot more diverse.

  8. Janet 8

    2011: Kiwis prefer capital gains tax over asset sales – poll
    2014: Poll shows majority against National’s tax cuts
    2017: Housing and healthcare the clear cut top priorities
    2017: Tax cuts ‘very important’, but not top priority for most Kiwis
    2017: New Zealand taxpayers favour increased spending over tax cuts

    • Yes we do but also ALSO………….this long list !

    • Introduce UBI
    • Stop state asset sales
    • Restrict house and land ownership to NZ citizens and permanent residents
    • Establish council controlled organisations to develop land as affordable housing
    • Make state owned homes available as rent-to-buy
    • Review Housing NZ tenancies on an annual basis
    • Provide low interest loans and options for ‘rent to buy’ and ‘equity financing’ for first time home buyers
    • Make Kiwisaver compulsory
    • Introduce a capital gains tax on investment properties
    ALSO….
    • Increase funding to local authorities for building and maintaining local roads
    • Prioritise public transport over roading infrastructure
    • Create urban cycle and walking lanes
    • Begin the construction of a light rail network in Auckland and restart commuter rail in Christchurch
    • Build a range of cross-town bus priority routes in Auckland
    • Improve rural broadband
    • Work towards a zero-waste NZ and put a levy on single use plastic bags
    • Modernise wastewater treatment systems.
    • Support existing requirements in waterway fencing and planting
    • Ensure only NZ citizens, permanent residents and NZ owned companies will have rights to water
    • Only allow water to be used commercially if environmentally and socially sustainable
    • Support R&D of a natural alternative to 1080


    ALSO……
    • Remove tuition fees for tertiary education
    • Re introduce programmes for adult learners
    • Create a new building apprenticeship regime for unskilled people
    • Stop the comparison of schools based on results and deciles
    • Review the three NCEA levels of assessment with teachers
    • Include ecological sustainability in the curriculum
    • Provide free public transport for students at all levels
    • Reduce costs by merging schools’ administrative functions
    • Increase school funding such that schools are not dependent on fees, donations and fundraising
    • Fund a base level of support staff centrally
    • Repeal amendments to the education act allowing charter schools
    ALSO….
    • Require visitors to NZ to have medical insurance and deny them access to free ACC.
    • Levy Sports Clubs an ACC fee relative to the number of injuries each sport manages to present to ACC weekly!
    • Introduce public health subsidies for eye, ear and teeth treatments
    • Widen free after-hours healthcare to include children up to 18, and the elderly
    ALSO ……
    • Re-establish NZ ownership of key infrastructure
    • Stop privatisation of power companies and buy back all electricity resources
    • Ensure ETS stays closed to international trade
    • Set a target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030
    • Champion solar panels for government agencies, hospitals, schools and marae
    • Subsidise domestic and community owned renewable energy options

    ALSO…..
    • Review immigration annually
    • Regulate immigration consultancy firms
    • Bring in skilled migrants only when local employment/training options have been used
    • Limit international students from working while studying
    • Immigrants must live in NZ for 25 years before getting superannuation
    • Limit other benefits for immigrants living in NZ for less than 10 years
    • Only accept refugees that closely align with NZ values
    • Direct aid to Pacific nations first
    • Remove all military from combat or hostile environments, focus on peacekeeping and rescue missions
    ALSO….
    • Initiate many more general referendums eg: on legalisation of cannabis, medical assisted death, water philosophy to adopt in this country.
    • Walk the talk – follow through sustainability education to seeing it in practise.
    Encourage organic / fully sustainable farming because its produce is green gold for New Zealand.
    So much to do but question is who gets to do it?

    • KJT 8.1

      Why we need BCIR like the Swiss.

      Which would act like an upper house.

      Don’t see our “Management” allowing Democracy any time soon, however.

      • Janet 8.1.1

        Yes,I did my “homework” and studied all the current policies being offered voters. You saw my dilemma and no doubt the dilemma of many. I support only 10 % – 20 % of most of the parties policies. We do need the Swiss system of governance. It seems to work. Their population is just over 8 million, they are economically strong, support the poor and the needy well and are dealing with too many immigrants right now. They are very environmentally conscious and active , they have capital gains tax, are considering UBI now , education is free through to tertiary level. They are the most Democratic country in the world. Referendums on 2 -4 subjects several times a year.
        “We can do this too !”

      • Which would act like an upper house.

        Well, it would act like people believe an upper house works but never actually does.

        • Janet 8.1.2.1

          No it is not an upper/lower house system.
          One chamber is directly elected by the population generally , from lists established by each political party in each district on a population basis . The other chamber comprises of two MPs supplied by each canton who were previously elected by the people of the canton. From the two chambers an executive committee of seven ministers is elected by the two chambers. There are rules that guide the process and ensure that parties and districts are evenly represented in the group of seven executive ministers. The president is voted out of that group of seven by the two chambers and only holds this position for one year. He has no power to act alone on anything. The executive ministers hold the cabinet portfolios and can change over portfolios and can hold positions permanently until they retire or are removed because they have compromised their position of been particularly ineffective.
          The cabinet ministers develop and agree by concensus, on proposals which are then presented to the two chambers to vote on. If the chambers cannot agree then the proposal goes back to the population to vote on, hence the regular public referendums.
          This system allows all voices to be heard, so important in a democracy and so important if you want to keep your population interested and engaged.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.1

            That doesn’t apply to anything I said so I don’t know why you replied to me.

            • Janet 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Sorry probably better directed to KJT who said ” would act like an upper house.”
              Was just trying to establish/clarify that the Upper house system which you said never actually works, was not the Swiss system of parliament, which does work !

              • KJT

                What I meant is, the citizens participation acts as the check and balance, which is supposed to happen with an upper house, but rarely works.

    • patricia bremner 8.2

      That is some to do list. What time frames? Costs? Any idea?

      If we could have half of that I’d think we’d done well. On my list ….

      Re -organising welfare to be kinder.

      Developing better disability support.

      Encouraging Art and Cultural education for all ages.

      All policies to be people centered.

  9. Incognito 9

    I reckon that Labour’s policies may have been more popular but the ‘team’ behind them wasn’t so much. That seems to now have changed …

    I also think that policies such as cancelling tax cuts may actually increase credibility and trust. Perhaps this could be called the popularity paradox of NZ politics: John Key enjoyed huge popularity but didn’t use any of this ‘credit’ for the greater good while Labour appears to be willing and committed to make some tough calls and becomes more popular in spite of this.

    Are the Greens the exception that proves this?

  10. Gabby 10

    Just don’t fuck up, Labour. You leave poor people worse off this time, you won’t be back in a hurry.

  11. ‘I don’t talk to the newsmedia. Goodbye ‘.

    Click.

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