Great expectations

Written By: - Date published: 1:54 pm, October 1st, 2008 - 25 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, national, slippery, tax - Tags:

John Key is being pretty evasive on his tax cut plan. He won’t say whether the famous ‘$50 a week for the average worker’ (note that’s not every worker, your income has to be $47K plus) is additional to Labour’s cuts, the first round of which came into effect today. Given the evasiveness, it’s safe to assume that it won’t be. In fact, Key now refuses to even confirm that $50 range.

The other question is how the tax cuts will be funded. There’s little or no money in the kitty, so it’s got to be borrowing or spending cuts. Part will be borrowing. National says it woud borrow for infrastructure but that’s money it doesn’t have to fund through tax, the borrowing allows tax cuts. Cryptically, Key said this morning that National’s tax cuts would be bigger than Labour’s but the same on ‘a net basis’ because they would change ‘two things’.

So, what can these ‘two things’ be? One will be Kiwisaver. It is one of the few large areas of government spending that National has not guaranteed. National clearly intends to slash spending on Kiwisaver, presumably by changing the employer contribution.  The only other large area of government spending that they have not guaranteed is education but they can’t slash that. They need those middle-class mums to get them over the line. No, the second thing will have to be a change to Labour’s tax package. Specifically, they could remove the increases in the 21 cent threshold – currently set to rise from $14K to $20K in 2011. That would free up around a $1billion that coud be re-directed to cuts at higher incomes. Of course, that would mean smaller tax cuts for most people; most of the money would go to the well-off.

Whatever the package turns out to be, it had better be good. National has generated enormous expectations around tax cuts. They have promised a package that will be a panacea, solving everything from the recession, to doctors’ strikes, to emigration, to pain at the petrol pump. National has spent 9 years building expectations of the tax cuts it will offer.  Next week, they will finally have to deliver.

25 comments on “Great expectations”

  1. Anita 1

    The second could be WFF; fiddle WFF down and raise the tax cuts.

    P.S. PrEFU on Monday!

  2. Janet 2

    Why has JKey refused to debate Helen Clark on Radio New Zealand? Some of us listen to Radio NZ (200,000+ at times) a lot more than watch television and would appreciate such an opportunity to hear them both. Geoff Robinson almost sounded sarcastic (he hasn’t been sarcastic in three decades!) after Key’s patronising dismissal of the request this morning. After John Key said he was too busy to debate on Radio NZ, Geoff thanked him for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to Morning Report.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Key on TV3 this morning:

    Interviewer: “No extra borrowing from National to afford any of your programmes?”

    Key: “Absolutely none.”

    That is an outright whopper. McCain or Obama would get ridiculed if they came out with that sort of nonsense. So will Key be challenged on this by our media? Don’t get your hopes up. It’ll be left to some students on Agenda, doing the real work.

  4. appleboy 4

    Key is a total drip – how stupid does he take people for? “we’re borrowing for infrastructure, not tax cuts”!!! I’m just amazed he has the audacity to spill such blatant lies and be still able to keep a straight face.

  5. Rakaia George 5

    Appleboy, do we currently have national debt? Have we not just been given a tax cut? Exactly, so Cullen is “borrowing for tax cuts” too. It’s exactly the same (stupid) argument.

  6. Rakaia Goerge. No because Labour isn’t increasing debt as a % of GDP to pay for tax cuts.

  7. Rakaia George

    You should watch the Money Masters too. Our whole finance system is based on debt.
    It is a very unstable system and relies on the creation of more and more debt.
    That is why John Key wants to borrow more. he knows that in the end not he but we get to pay the real price of this system with our resources and assets which he will happily sell to his banking mates, just like it has happened in the US.

  8. vto 8

    SP you said “No because Labour isn’t increasing debt as a % of GDP to pay for tax cuts.”

    ha ha, you’re a funny man. Such a twister of things to suit your own needs and desires. You have trouble standing up straight?

  9. r0b 9

    vto, you’re sometimes more coherent and interesting than this. Steve’s answer is completely correct, Labour has been reducing our debt (and the interest that we pay on it). Perhaps you should go have a nice cup of tea and a lie down vto.

  10. Vanilla Eis 10

    I’ve previously been lead to expect a $50 tax cut from a National government in 2009. Quite how Key expects to achieve this on my $33k income I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to the tax policy release next week when they can paint that pretty picture for me.

  11. vto 11

    r0b, SP’s standards on most things are completely rubbery. Can’t take him seriously.

    What Rakaia George said above is correct, and SP is twisting things AGAIN to suit his own politics. And it seems you are too by selectively selecting.

    Sometimes my comments may be a bit puerile but it is only response in kind.

    Cullen has also borrowed for tax cuts. But carry on and spin it (I mean lie) – its election time after all.

  12. r0b 12

    Vto, National wants to borrow for tax cuts (like adding to the mortgage to buy a new car).

    Labours did not borrow for tax cuts (it is still paying off the mortgage and buying a new car out of income).

    Can you really not spot the difference? Open both eyes and try again. See it now?

  13. r0b 13

    Actually in truth vto, debt may increase a little even under Labour’s plans. That is a consequence of the current financial crisis, and it adds to the cost of National’s plans even more than it adds to Labour’s. But over all Labour has done well in bringing debt down.

  14. vto 14

    r0b, bull. Labour could have had less borrowing if it did not have tax cuts. i.e. borrowing for tax cuts.

    Whose eyes are shut?

  15. rave 15

    We can see the effects of the credit crisis spilling over to NZ already. No time for more borrowing for tax cuts for the rich but high time to take back the stolen assets for nothing and get millions of kiwis cheering Labour on!

    The Greens are calling Labour to use the Cullen Fund take back the South Island power lines leased to Wachovia Bank now taken over by Citigroup for next to nothing with most of its debt covered by the US government. The Greens are too polite. Time to take it back with no compensation!
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0809/S00657.htm

    Craig Norgate’s buyin to Siver Fern Farms stymied for lack of bank capital. “Mr Norgate says a number of banks that had committed to participate in funding the transaction had since been unable to finalise their credit approvals in time for today’s part-settlement”. Give us a few weeks he says…
    New capitalisation of a single desk meat industry can be done by public investment from the Cullen Fund. Such social investment will carry with it social responsibility of the industry.
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/pgg-wrightson-can-t-settle-silver-fern-farms-deal-35906

    Instead of using our taxes to bail out the collapsing private sector, we should be demanding that public money is invested as equity which carries the right to plan the economy for peoples needs and not banksters profits.

    Let’s hear how Key and Clark are facing up to this global credit crunch.

  16. vto 16

    Actually r0b, it is not borrowing for tax cuts at all (either party). It is borrowing for govt expenditure. And a drop in income is not expenditure (except it seems in left circles, somewhat bizzarely, but not unexpectedly).

  17. Bill 17

    On the bright side, when the Nat’s give me my $50+ p/w tax cut (’cause I am after all an average person) then…well, let me put it this way. I don’t pay $50 p/w in tax at the moment.

    Therefore I can only sensibly believe that Nat are going to increase benefit levels in order that they can tax me enough to give me my $50 tax cut.

    Why didn’t they just say that instead of keeping us all guessing?

  18. Evidence-Based Practice 18

    No wonder John Key is so worried about facing Helen Clark on public radio as she would wipe the floor with him. Faced with intelligent questioning instead of TV sycophants, and no ad breaks to escape into, he would have to actually answer some questions, such as this one.

  19. r0b 19

    r0b, bull. Labour could have had less borrowing if it did not have tax cuts. i.e. borrowing for tax cuts.

    A certain level of government debt is considered usual and desirable – you don’t pay it off if the money can be used more productively in the economy. That’s what Labour have done, brought the debt down to this acceptable level, and given tax cuts. Compare with National who can only fund their wild promises by raising the debt level again – borrowing for tax cuts.

    Actually r0b, it is not borrowing for tax cuts at all (either party). It is borrowing for govt expenditure. And a drop in income is not expenditure (except it seems in left circles, somewhat bizzarely, but not unexpectedly).

    Bit late to start trying to get sophisticated now vto! Yes it is borrowing for tax cuts, that’s exactly what it is. That is true whether nor not tax cuts are regarded as expenditure or drop in income (a separate question).

  20. vto 20

    You know r0b, when all the heat dissipates and the witty witticisms wilt the left and right are generally only arguing over degrees. I suspect that is the case here.

    I agree a level of debt is prudent for a few purposes such as spreading costs over the generations and the productive us of money etc. It is just degrees that are being disputed.

    We have to disagree on some things though. Labour somehow doesnt borrow for tax cust but the nats do (do you seriously believe anyone believes that?). Tax cuts as an increased expense or decreased income.

    The problem many posters on this site run into imo is the uneven application of standards e.g. the nats lie but the labs dont. haha. nats borrow for cuts but lab doesnt. haha. thats when the puerile response is forthcoming, annoying all and sundry but completely deserved.

    captcha” bambino likewise. ha ha

  21. r0b 21

    You know r0b, when all the heat dissipates and the witty witticisms wilt the left and right are generally only arguing over degrees. I suspect that is the case here.

    Often the case yes, though I think there is genuine substance in this particular debate.

    We have to disagree on some things though. Labour somehow doesnt borrow for tax cust but the nats do (do you seriously believe anyone believes that?).

    Yes I do. National will announce their package next week. If it includes borrowing, they will get pinged for it by some media (though most will just go ga ga over the lollies).

    The problem many posters on this site run into imo is the uneven application of standards e.g. the nats lie but the labs dont. haha. nats borrow for cuts but lab doesnt. haha.

    It’s a partisan blog pushing lefty labour movement perspectives. It’s not exactly hiding the fact is it. But there’s a difference between partisan an puerile.

    thats when the puerile response is forthcoming, annoying all and sundry but completely deserved.

    Nope, you can do better, and you know you can do better.

  22. vto 22

    r0b “But there’s a difference between partisan an puerile.” If that’s the case then it is a very fine line.

    And the sheer quantum of partisan pu pushes it over that fine line.

    And the holier than thou attitude smudges to ruin.

    But as you say it a lefty blog… so what can be expected? Certainly not a full and complete picture on any particular issue. blah blah. still, a bit of fun ay..

  23. lprent 23

    Ummm didn’t Whale already lay claim to being puerile? We can’t take that away from him. You should probably leave the word for his exclusive use.

    Yep. Here…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4700052a6619.html

    So is this a dirty trick, as some claim? And if it isn’t, what does count as a dirty trick? Rees’s trick was just a prank, says right-wing blogger Cameron Slater. “I think that a dirty trick should be somewhat hidden, and malicious in the way that you’re doing it.” Google-bombing was “a puerile trick and it’s something I do, and I would accuse myself of being puerile.” It would be malicious if the entry was “rapist” instead of “clueless”.

    I couldn’t resist….

  24. mattyroo 25

    Any of you losers that are saying that actual crime has decreased in relative terms to population, are by extension saying that this crime is alright. This may well be true that it has decreased relatively, however on the whole violent crimes are on the increase, and probably more so in the areas of society, where the population, is not increasing as proportionately as the crime.

    clinton, I can only hope that next time you are out of your house, some a**hole comes round and steals everything you own. Being a loser socialist though, you probably don’t own anything, as you’ve never got off your pimply butt to actually earn a respectable living and get ahead.

    Having been the victim of two significant crimes this year, this is right now a hot issue for me. Having lived in the same place for a long time and not had any crime ever, for me personally it has increased tremendously.

    And worse still, I had one of your horrible ilk tell me recently, that one of these crimes was ok, as these “down and outs” “need these chances to get ahead”.

    I loathe, actually hate, anyone who is defending the current “crime wave” we are having in this country. If I ran into you smith, I would perpetrate some of mine own crime on you, for good measure.

    Horrible little puke. Keep defending the indefensible.

    IrishBill: that’s a ban for life and I’ll be asking Steve if he wants to lay a complaint with your ISP for threatening him.

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    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism, Huawei, racism and imperial anxiety
    by Tony Norfield US political opinion against China has two solid bases. The first is the longstanding racist and protectionist sentiment in the white working class; the second is a more recent anxiety about China’s economic prowess in America’s ruling elite. This article notes some historical aspects of anti-Chinese racism ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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