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How This Government Can Still Win

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 am, September 16th, 2019 - 91 comments
Categories: economy, education, election 2020, elections, grant robertson, jacinda ardern, labour, police, sport, tax, tertiary education, uncategorized - Tags:

I’m just going to get straight to the best routes they still have.

Naturally, make the most of your leader. Jacinda Ardern is the best politician in front of a television camera we’ve had since John Key’s first term. Everyone, I mean everyone loses a little of their lustre at the end of a term. She’s got a wedding to go to, and a telegenic guy. Roll that hand-holdy magic a little more for whole percentage-point lifts.

Deliver some tax cuts in budget 2020. The kind of tax cuts that raise up the poorest who languish on the lowest tax bands, and with that consumer money push up their spending power across the entire domestic retail economy. A tectonic upthrust of class mobility that boggles the economy-pundits and erases the memory of the Capital Gains Tax debacle. Train Robertson for a Cirque Du Soleil backflip of political flexibility wrapped in a sweaty leotard embroidered with “vote-focused determination”. Tax cuts are the move that wipes out the traditional electoral National advantage. Tax cuts in election year is a whole 1% uplift.

Show us a refreshed and believable team, with just enough time to shine but not enough time to do anything hard. Some of them have been there a while, tried, but no longer deserve Cabinet (You can name the half-dozen names). Not a tinkering – a Survivor Island purge. About a month before Budget feels right. It’s the equivalent of dumping Owen Franks before the World Cup. Necessary. Ardern got up there in 2017 because she was an unknown, untainted telegenic talent, and this government has a few talented unknowns now in waiting that can bring fresh constituencies with them.

Kill some policies to refocus on a few final big wins. It’s far too late in the term to be putting out new policy papers for discussion, with inevitable drawn-out legislative changes that piss more people off. The half-baked stuff like secondary school system reform, water network ownership reform, regulatory reform such as on petrol or electricity, RMA reform, structural health reform, structural polytech reform, even transport network reform, have clearly been beyond the capacity of this government to deliver. Need to be put down. At least put in a box. Enjoy your run-up to election opening the big motorways that National started, the Queenstown area cycleways, the Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland’s downtown and waterfront, the start of Dunedin hospital construction, the City Rail Link final section start of construction, revisit a good few of those enterprises Shane Jones has funded in the regions like the Invercargill town centre rebuild and Wairoa Rail.

What this government can’t really do is infer back to the centre-left’s historic legacy of a dynamic open economy, quality education, growing middle class, a huge pool of now-comfortable retirees, universal healthcare, and decent industrial protections.

Because this term it’s delivered very little improvement on any of that. So it needs different stuff, different routes.

What this government can do with Prime Minister Ardern is speak to our hearts with accurate emotional intelligence. Move us. Her actions and her televisual optics after the Christchurch massacre were exemplary as statesmanship and as moral leadership: 5 million purring cats cats lapping up the cream of righteousness from a saucer of redemption. Telling the New Zealand story of tolerance and peace and stability in a world in which international orders are disintegrating before our eyes is one very powerful and rare story to be able to tell with credibility. Also a suitable substitute for not delivering the social mobility we were promised.

Get the Minister of Police to do something televisual like melt down some fat guns in a furnace. Our own Throne. Everyone still remembers Collins for crushing a car 15 years ago. Let television work for you and allow us all squeal with similarly impish glee.

Generate some more enemies most people can agree with: a nice slow media celebrity roast from a mid-weight Cabinet minister of John Key as a failed Chair of our local ANZ would be a popular start for strong banking reform. Dangle taking off Shipley’s damehood, just as a rumour about exemplary capitalist leadership. Do a further roast of the full Board of Fonterra through the DIRA legislation. Find us a nice comfortable outlet for some well-directed hate. Or at least form and direct political energy the way you want it.

Finally, a few subtle patriotic notes. It’s very much a question of how this government tells its story over the next 6 months. Without a powerful track record of social mobility over the term, find us a way to feel ambitious for the country that leads us towards confidence and optimism.

For example, make sure there’s a decent welcome for the All Blacks when they come home victorious. Spend a bit of civic money on some confetti and have a good time. Build some hype around the Olympic rowing teams and pop down to the TAB with Winston and put some money on the Women’s 8 bringing back a gold: stop being shy about sporting patriotism when it’s so easy, so well funded, and perfectly legitimate. That little note at the launch of the Emirates Team New Zealand about being here at dawn “Not as Prime Minister, but as a fan”, was a good start. You could revert to the Helen Clark-goes-tramping thing and go out on the boat with that lovely young man and catch a fish and get a celebrity chef to cook it on the beach. Or take a few of Cabinet on the Alps-To-Ocean cycleway.

Something that connects the leadership to the landscape.

You can add the 2020 electoral promises on top of that once you’ve rebalanced again. You already know we’ll be very wary of them.

But there are multiple percentage-point lifts to be had without too many backflips, with a lot more Parliamentary programme and Cabinet discipline, and with some reasonably easy media narrations. We love leadership when it gets out from behind the pulpit and deploys its mana on the ground.

Effective government can help us believe in ourselves. Real patriotism is not about chanting you’re the best over and over again. It is not about pretending that New Zealanders have some unique claim on mateship, or toughness, or fairness, or barbecuing. Real patriotism is about aspiring for New Zealand to actually be the best, and looking like you really enjoy it.

Plenty of good, solid routes to win a further term yet.

91 comments on “How This Government Can Still Win ”

  1. and on the environment…?

    unarguably the most pressing issue of our times..?

  2. Peter Christchurh nz 2

    A 'decent welcome for the All Blacks'. Marriage. 'Telegenic guy'. I hope this post is just a rather poor attempt at humour, rather than a serious attempt to turn the government into some ridiculous version of Shortland Street.

    Advantage, dont give up your day job to moonlight as a spin doctor. This government, despite it's set backs and mistakes, still has positive policies and a growing experience and is well placed to go into 2020 by building on that.

  3. MickeyBoyle 3

    Stop coming out and making statements like, "this is my nuclear free moment", that "we will be the most open, transparent and transformational government in history" and other nonsense like this will be our "year of delivery", when you frankly fail to live up to any of those slogans. As is always the case, promise little but deliver lots.

    • Stop coming out and making statements like … "we will be the most open, transparent and transformational government in history"…

      Please provide a link to Ardern making that statement. I recall Ardern making two of the statements you mention, but have only heard the above one in right-wing propaganda.

      • MickeyBoyle 3.1.1

        Clare Curran made that statement

        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-jacinda-ardern-admits-government-not-most-open-transparent-after-questioning-simon-bridges-in-parliament

        Jacinda has stated this before also, I'll see if I can find a link later

        Anyway I made my point above, stop promising the world if you cannot deliver it, is the crux of my issue with the current regime. And sell what you do well more forcibly and frank.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          Jacinda has stated this before also, I'll see if I can find a link later

          Please do because I have seen no evidence of anyone other than the disgraced Curran saying it.

        • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.2

          This what she said

          "Clare Curran's failure to accurately answer parliamentary questions about her meeting with [Derek] Handley did not meet my or the former Minister's expectation," Ms Ardern said today in Parliament."

          ONE minister …doesnt make it the 'whole' government.

          However we do have the closest well get to Key admitted he lied by lieing some more

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1110/S00207/john-key-admits-to-lying.htm

          The transperancy change came about because Key would be heavily involved in unsourced background information to the press gallery and talk back hosts ( read Hosking)

          The 'deal' for Key was anybody who took his calls couldnt at the same time be 'bagging him' and because of that got away with his well documented Litany of Lies

          Credit should go to one of the TS authors Blip for the list

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        I can't find a case of her putting "open", "transparent" and "transformational" in a single sentence.

        The closest I can find was this

        We have come in with a commitment to deliver transparent, transformative, and compassionate government. That means talking openly about the challenges we have ….."

        https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/our-plan-modern-and-prosperous-new-zealand

        It is about three quarters of the way through the speech.

        • Psycho Milt 3.1.2.1

          That's what I figured. Clare Curran says something stupid (again), and National's spin doctors immediately start peddling it as a commitment Jacinda Ardern made to New Zealand voters. Before long, right-wingers are taking it as read that Ardern made such a commitment. It’s usually called lying, for good reasons.

  4. Hanswurst 4

    Have I been missing something? Is there some established consensus that the incumbent government will not win the next election? The post seems to be based on an elusive and unexplained premise.

  5. Kat 5

    Good for a laugh on a Monday morning.

  6. Koff 6

    Is it April 1st today? I think this is a spoof post.

  7. peterh 7

    The best way to increase labours lead is to get to all the non voters, at least 70% would vote labour

    • indiana 7.1

      You mean like lower the voting age to 14 and give convicted imprisoned criminals the right to vote whilst they haven't been contributing to society?

      • peterh 7.1.1

        Well you must be one of either, because I have read some silly stuff on this site.where was your head when you sent this

    • Cricklewood 7.2

      Why would they?

      There are those that remeber Rogernomics… others remember The Clarke govt not repairing Ruth Richardson's deep benefit cuts more still remember Working for Families and the way it excluded benificaries and there are those queuing outside winz at all hours and still getting treated like shit.

      If you ever wanted to mobilize this vote there would need to be concrete steps taken not tinkering around the edges not kind words not empty promises. Can't see the current govt making steps to really redress the above so I doubt they'll vote.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.1

        Well said.

        A bit late, methinks.

        Some credibility issues at the moment…might be a struggle to overcome in time for the election.

      • phillip ure 7.2.2

        wot cricklewood said…

        labour will need bold/concrete promises to put right those lives…

        to get those voters out…

        their core-vote is middle-class – i wd argue…and they already have those votes..

        (i don't see this current issue being something that will determine the next election..those worrying or exulting on that possibility are both deluding themselves..)

        so they need to get those who have been promised so little – for so long..to come out and vote for them..

        and just some more noeliberal-incrementalism isn't going to do that..

        and i don't know why labour are so scared of bold reforms..

        the opposition/media go for them if they do or if they don't – they don't seem to have learnt that lesson yet..

        my nightmare scenario is them not doing much – and just creeping back in again..and spending their second term (like clark did) just focussing on re-election..and not offending anyone…

        that will do just what clark did – and will just line up the poor for yet another savaging by those heartless fucks – the tories..

        please don't do that to us again…eh..?

  8. Stuart Munro. 8

    "Deliver some tax cuts in budget 2020."

    Voodoo economics according to Krugman – little will be achieved if fact based policies keep being sold out to pander to rightwing myth makers like the tax cut boosters.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1

      Absolutely.

      Increasing spending on public services is equivalent to tax cuts, and likely gains more traction / favour – and can be very well targeted.

    • Cricklewood 8.2

      Actually a big tax cut at the bottom of the economy is a great idea. Gives benificaries and low income workers more money in their pocket that they will spend into local economies. Easily paid for by a new higher tax bracket.

      Where we go wrong with tax cuts is we give them to those thay dont need.

      I also like it as a tactic, boxes the Nats out on tax let's say make the first 20k tax free add a new bracket above 120k basically change the setting so if you earn say 80k you pay the same amount in tax as you do now…

      • Stuart Munro. 8.2.1

        There's plenty that can be done at the low end, certainly, and its effect as a stimulus is more reliable. Tax cuts however is not a sound bite to be lending credence to – the Gnats can promise more and bigger, and should they get their greasy paws on power ever again, wreck everything to deliver them.

        One thing I’d like to see is retirement of student debt for low earners. So your shiny degree didn’t get you a decent job? The responsibility for ensuring academic standards have value is a bit large for those who find they have not.

      • gsays 8.2.2

        Yep, the tax cut I would recomend is gst.

        Either abolish it completely or down to 5% foodstuffs and increase it to 20% on processed foods, new ICE vehicles and ….

        • cricklewood 8.2.2.1

          Don''t think we should complicate gst simple is best and consumption taxes are increasingly important as part of a balanced tax take.

          The best way to make up for this is simple, put more money into pockets at the bottom our our economy .
          I think readjustment of our income tax system with a tax free threshold a new bracket and agreeing an income point at which to re balance the system. My suggestion is 80K, earn more than that you will pay more tax earn less you will pay less. But I am sure smarter minds than mine would understand better where to best fit that tipping point .

          It gives more money to those that need it most, also by framing as a tax cut or re balance it makes it hard for the Nats to frame as a handout.

          It reduces the Nats ability to use Tax Cuts as a carrot that really only help the top 10-15% and essentially the only people that will pay more in tax are likely Nat voters so very likely no harm to the voter base.

          Also makes it very hard to call Labour tax and spend etc…

          • gsays 8.2.2.1.1

            Hi cricklewood, that sounds like the right track. At least a more eloquent track than I was on.

            The consumption side of gst was what hits the poorer harder. As I am sure you would know.

            I have posted this before, but as a relatively poorly paid worker it doesn't hurt for me to post it again. Probably less for your benefit but more for folk watching from the sidelines.

            It does come from the angle of inequality, but has some pointers for the government. To be fair they seem to be doing some of what Nick Haneur is proposing.
            The pitchforks are coming:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2gO4DKVpa8

  9. JohnP 9

    Wow, this is a pretty damning indictment of Labour's achievements.

  10. Sacha 10

    Collins did not crush a single car. Triumph of style over substance.

  11. Peter 11

    The best way to ensure a win is to have dumb people in the Labour Party not doing dumb things or things that other dumb people can make out to be dumb for others who are dumber.

    Having the newstalkzb/NZME team not getting out of bed early every day with a singular focus, (with all the things happening in world,) on nurturing distrust and lack of confidence in Labour and perpetually promoting that would help too.

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    “Surely you can’t be serious…don’t call me Shirley” etc…

    …here are some serious suggestions though, to assist with the re-election of the Govt.
    –Ditch the miserly fiscal cap, borrow and spend big on public house/apartment builds and other infrastructure, inclusive of major short course non degree trades training
    –Revert SOEs to full Government Departments
    –Scrap Reserve Bank Act and State Sector Act
    –Retire WINZ/MSD/ACC and start again with UBI and a clean sheet, with all senior execs slapped with a restraint of trade from ever working in the public sector again
    –Nationalise Marsden Refinery and return power generation and supply to full public ownership
    that should be “transformative” enough to raise a few blood pressures–

    • Anne 12.1

      –Ditch the miserly fiscal cap, borrow and spend big on public house/apartment builds and other infrastructure, inclusive of major short course non degree trades training

      This one for starters should see them home and hosed.

      • Dukeofurl 12.1.1

        Whos going to design – consent- build those projects ?

        Where I live theres plenty of old state housing sites that have been cleared that could take from 12 -60 houses.

        They arent being done now and it isnt lack of money as Housing corp can borrow its own money outside the 'fiscal cap' limit ( and Treasurys own foot dragging)

    • MickeyBoyle 12.2

      The fiscal cap is a noose around this government's neck. I can see what they were trying to achieve in regards to getting people to believe they were a safe pair of hands, but let's face it this whole National are better at running the economy is a lie, even if it is widely believed.

      • Dennis Frank 12.2.1

        Cullen's knighthood. Grant can see his coming, he just needs to stay on track. He must ensure he can retire from parliament and get appointed to all those corporate boards. Can't have that post-politics career as a capitalist lap-dog unless you issue the appropriate yaps.

        So he has to keep fronting as the high priest of neoliberalism. Bernard Hickey has been patiently explaining that the govt is sitting on sufficient surplus to abandon the fiscal cap & invest in restoring infrastructure nationwide. Grant keeps carefully ignoring him. Expecting the common interest to prevail over Grant's is unrealistic.

        • phillip ure 12.2.1.1

          totally agree…but wd his replacement be any better..?

          i heard david cunnliffe last wk – on that bradbury pub show thing –

          and he said something that made me all pissed off all over again over how the fucken neoliberals/third way believers in labour so did a number on him..

          and more than one twinge of regret that he never got his chance to drag labour back to its' roots…

          he said: (in suitably thunderous tones)'there should not be one homeless person in new zealand' (to a resounding response from the audience ( and me..)

          labour fucked up big-time there – to all our regrets…

          • Dennis Frank 12.2.1.1.1

            Probably not. Unless Jacinda & Winston agreed to initiate a new-style economy. Re Cunliffe, his dad was a minister so no surprise that he inherited that christian idealism. Back when I was a kid homelessness here was unheard of. But socialism worked then due to the UK buying all our meat & dairy products, so we got the highest standard of living as a result.

            Call it a fortunate consequence of imperialism. Then the empire died, the mothership abandoned the dominions, market forces kicked in, and produced the new world order courtesy of the global controllers. You think Cunliffe would have stood up to them? No way. But he may have fronted neoliberalism with a kindlier face. Not that Grant is unkind, and to be fair to him & Jacinda this govt is delivering something more like socialist outcomes than HC's…

            • phillip ure 12.2.1.1.1.1

              i think there cd be a lot done here – without incurring the wrath of 'the new world order'..

              while a lot of what you say is true – there is an air of defeatism in yr words..

              almost an underpinning of the t.i.n.a. mantra we were fed for so long..

              whereas there are/were plenty of alternatives..

              we didn't need to create a permanent underclass..(with all the attendant costs..)

              and as for cunnliffe – let's not forget that one of the ways the neoliberals/third-wayers took cunnliffe down..was with their control of poicy-making..

              and they gave him nothing..

              they left him to hang/dry….his hands empty of any meaningful/imagination-grabbing..

              i remember at the time fulminating about the empty policy-satchel they sent him out with..

              it was all very deliberate – it seems the neoliberals/third-wayers would rather lose – than put through democratic-socialist reforms..y;know..!..like ending poverty..

              and yes..ja has done more than hc – but shc set the bar very low..didn't she..?

  13. How the government can "still" win? That implies the odds are very much against them winning right now. Where do you get that idea from? Do you have privileged access to some polling data the rest of us aren't seeing?

    • weka 13.1

      I wondered about that too, but I think this is just Ad's hard man LW politics approach which knocking people is supposed to make them better.

  14. cleangreen 14

    quote Advantage said; “The half-baked stuff like secondary school system reform, water network ownership reform, regulatory reform such as on petrol or electricity, RMA reform, structural health reform, structural polytech reform, even transport network reform, have clearly been beyond the capacity of this government to deliver. Need to be put down.”

    No no no Advantage; you are talking rubbish again as usual;
    Do you remember the ‘climate change emissions target we signed up to?

    That issue is what we need to confront not increasing our transport emissions silly?????

  15. weka 15

    I don't have too much of a problem with that. It's probably as good a strategy as any to grab the NZF vote while upping the Green vote which I think this is what most centre left and left people want now (a L/G govt).

    I'd add a couple of things:

    Focus on the genuine stuff, rather than manufacturing photo opps. So going fishing with her partner is a good move if she actually likes going fishing with her partner. JA does genuine easily and well, so this shouldn't be too hard.

    Avoid the word patriotism. It's not a natural part of NZ's political and social lexicon, and Labour need to protect NZ from the divisive, fascism-fostering politics from the US, especially as National seem to be making a play for Trumpian politics. Maybe pride in being a kiwi, but there still needs to be care not to set up a MNZGA framing. Reclaiming this in a social equity context from the white nationalists would be great. Not sure that Labour know how to do this.

    The main bit I don't get is this,

    "The kind of tax cuts that raise up the poorest who languish on the lowest tax bands,"

    Without detail it's hard to know what you mean Ad, but I'll just point out that the poorest are on benefits and tax cuts don't do a huge amount for them because the system is designed to keep them poor. I suspect you mean low income wage earners. Problem here is that Labour will be getting a lot of criticism at the next election for doing nothing useful for beneficiaries (and how that ties into their flagship politicking on child poverty). Prioritising the next bracket up of poor people will make that more visible. The MSM now know they can run stories against the govt on welfare. I expect this to be one of the features of the election (not the biggest, but still there).

    • @ weka..

      'but I'll just point out that the poorest are on benefits and tax cuts don't do a huge amount for them'..

      um..!..a factcheck there..benificiaries pay tax on their stipends..a first twenty grand tax-free would be of quite some value to benificiaries – and wd give them more money in theur pocket..

      (certainly more than this lab/grn/nzf gummint has delivered to date..eh..?)

      and as this wd be universal – the tories cd hardly argue against it..and it wd help benifiiaries/lowest paid workers the most..

      next question: why the f. haven’t lab/grns/nzf done this already..?

      (australia already has it – if that helps – we are the effn’ outliers – for our kafkaesque policy of taxing the benefits paid to the poorest..(!)

      i see it as a total no-brainer..and a w.t.f! – if not done..

      • adam 15.1.1

        Come on Mr Ure, the left see the poor as somthing to be policed, and controlled. The days of social democracy and political parties walking hand and hand with the poor and downtrodden are over.

        It's all about power, and our side verses their side – did you miss the memo…

  16. weka 16

    btw, the people shocked at Ad's post, I wonder if you are still hoping that Labour will go left. I don't think they will, and it makes sense for them to play to their centre-left strengths and let the Greens pick up the left wing vote. Of course that would mean left wing people voting for actual left wing policy, which isn't a given.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      That sounds like well-seasoned political judgment. And I like marty mars ode to Ardern at 21. When the chips are down and time for waffling and debating is over, that opinion should be remembered as the paramount one.

  17. bwaghorn 17

    Tax its seems simple.

    Put a new top tax bracket on ( people expect labour to do that so it will only get a bit of meaning)

    Fix the fucking bracket creep ffs .

    And cut taxs below $40 k .

  18. cleangreen 18

    Well if the fuel price rises as it will after the bombs fell on Saudi Refineries the Government tax take will also rise automatically as the cost of a litre rises so no need to increase/decrease taxes.

    As to Labour not about to go left, thats a bit to early to guess as if the next poll comes along labour will do a switch as they often do to gain votes again so we now will await te next Poll whenever that is?

    Anyone know when the next political poll comes out?

  19. Treetop 19

    I will need to see who the National Party leader is in 2020 and who from the National Party will be resigning.

    Labour will only get better. Part of the reason Labour expectations are a bit short, is that it always takes at least one term for Labour to fix up the social mess that National always leaves.

  20. soddenleaf 20

    Ardent govt, is slightly oxymoronic since Peters and Greens…

    …as for a PM in the top seat dealing daily, or even momentarily, with a party matter. Any party protects their leader, like Bennett fronting while Ross, sorry, Bridge's keeps their head protected.

    Media love to misalign, sorry, malign, Ardern coalition is not going to be radical, and as for failing to deliver, the impossible, issues for which National are going to so rush in and fix, yeah right. It happening slowly, as expected, it's is happening. Change will not come from National, so if you want more housing, better outcomes, a better more productive economy as workers are motivated, then voting Nats back won't do it.

  21. marty mars 21

    I think ardern is a wonder woman – a true example of the best of us. She IS full of compassion and kindness and she is in the hardest job where that can shine out yet it still does from her. She isn't perfect and labour are far from it but she is the best and thank the Goddess she is there, now and for as long as possible. A young working mum leading the country – brilliant!!!

    • Kat 21.1

      "A young working mum leading the country………

      That is exactly why she is hounded and derided by all the National party poodles in the media. They can't stand that someone who is younger than them, and with a baby, should have the top job. What on earth could she know, they used to murmur, now they yell it out loud. Just take a listen to Kathryn Ryan on RNZ nashnil nine to nowhere today!

      • New view 21.1.1

        If JA and the Labour Party had been doing their jobs properly the so called media poodles would leave her alone. In my opinion. you need to add that phrase to your comment because it’s just your opinion which is full of unsubstantiated statements. In fact it’s pretty much bollocks. In my opinion of course.

        [lprent: I’d say that context makes it pretty clear that it is their opinion. I can’t see the unsubstantiated statements of fact in there. I can however see a strong possibility that you’re trying to moderate – don’t do it. That is our job and we don’t like self-appointed numbskull amateurs (my opinion of you) trying to usurp the role. This is a gentle warning. ]

      • Anne 21.1.2

        And have you noticed the worst of it (discounting the nutbars like Hosking and co.) come from nearly all the women celebrity media political journos?

        A bit of bitchiness and jealousy perhaps – and revenge because Jacinda is the woman in the limelight both here and overseas and not them. Where Paula B is concerned I think it goes without saying…..

        RNZ’s Lisa Owen is an exception. She has shown herself to be a true professional.

    • @ marty mars..

      i don't think anyone with a brain wd disagree with that..

      wd be a shame to fritter that charisma/power/mandate away..eh..?

      to burn/waste it on the alter of neoliberalism…to incrementally chip away at it..

      (that's enough metaphors from me – i hope you get my drift..)

      • marty mars 21.2.1

        imagine if simon bridges was running the show – and after those dry horrors and involuntary spasms, give thanks for ardern

  22. greywarshark 22

    Love this post Ad. Big and bright like a circus ring with you as ringmaster and the backflips from the skilled acrobats suggestion (I won't call them clowns as that may be unfair to skilled performers in tumbling and fumbling fools roles).

    Train Robertson for a Cirque Du Soleil backflip of political flexibility wrapped in a sweaty leotard embroidered with “vote-focused determination”. Tax cuts are the move that wipes out the traditional electoral National advantage. Tax cuts in election year is a whole 1% uplift.

    I have harped on about GST being too high. It's a regressive tax we who follow such things know. So reduce it to 10%. The people who need that tax in their pockets will immediately put it back into the money flow as we know they have to spend 100% of their benefits and earnings to survive. That will boost retail, (if you could do that now people could have a better Christmas – small retailers, large ones, and the poorer people who like to be able to buy something nice for their kids and have a convivial time for once).

    But it would make a great difference, and the extra spending and the taxation on part-time work it causes, might make up the foregone GST at 15 instead of 10%. Good multiplier stuff. Then code the GST receipts for regions, and see where the business is being created, and allocate a percentage of say 2% back to the smaller Councils in each region, to spend on infrastructure where needed to help keep the region going and get acting wisely for the CC future.

    There are particular places that come to mind that could do with extra funding from GST, like the Manawatu where the slow action of agencies like Transport are leading them towards jumping into the Gorge justabout. And Queenstown where the mania for gathering the gold that the lumpenproletariat dig up, has resulted in the Council overseeing them being turned out of the few accommodation options they have. FGS – What abart the workers!

    Central government needs to do more with extra capital mending the holes that show up from strains that government itself has generated. If central can have a joint agreement with regional government on good economic measures it can have an overiew of the regions. And then can act where Councillors have become intoxicated with tourism success (or other gold-rush business) to enable effective systems to support the long-term as well as short=term plans.

  23. McFlock 23

    The objective would be to increase the voting participation, thereby increasing the number of govt voters.

    Tax cuts mostly help those already doing well out of society. They'll take the cuts and still vote nact.

    Create jobs, gove people [better] homes, increase benefits. Yes, the small business owners will be outraged, but they'll vote nact anyway. Give people something to vote for, and they'll vote.

    • greywarshark 23.1

      GST isn't just any tax it is the impost that gets dumped on everyone, but the poor feel its weight the most. Less would help those not doing well now.

      Start building state houses. Start apprenticeships helping build state houses. Start in South Auckland. Give something real to vote for, show them the sample and says it's the start of a solid system. This will be separate from providing more homes for new first-home buying families.

      Next year increase benefits in the budget to start after the election. Every time there is a blast from National about it being unaffordable, deny it, and bring out a large glass jar which gets 10 cents in it every time National speak – unofficially called a 'fart tax', but for the public it will be a 'fib' jar. That would be an effective bit of theatre.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        fair call on the GST. Maybe eliminate it for fresh food and sanitary products.

        • greywarshark 23.1.1.1

          The answer to that is that GST is a relatively straightforward tax when it is on everything.

          I don't see why it can't be reduced. I think it was put up to 15% in donkey's time. In the 70's I noticed that Switzerland had 15% but they were a fairly tight well-run economy with profitable certainties for income and I thought that was okay for them.

          I think Gibbs was living there for a while, and of course John Key was talking about us being the new Switzerland where I guess, capitalists could come here and file their gotten gains and he assumed that we should do like the Swiss so up it went to 15%. He got us going with the money trickery too, but the rest of the country didn't match Switzerland's income. Now he has gone and I want the 15% gone too.

          • McFlock 23.1.1.1.1

            Yeah it started at 10% under lab4, and I think they're the ones who increased it to 12.5%. Then tugger in his "no increased taxes" cut I think income tax and increased GST to 15% as a "fiscally neutral tax switch" that turned out to unexpectedly generate revenue, sur-fucking-prise.

            But GST is something like $18billion in revenue each year. That's a lot of hospitals.

            There's no reason targetted GST cuts would be more expensive for businesses – supermarkets are already automated in their accounting, while most businesses wouldn't see a change in their practises.

            But the benefit would be targeted at expenditure on frequent, low value purchases everyone needs to make, rather than including cars and bars and boats. So the people with discretionary income still notice veges are cheaper, and the poor can maybe eat a bit better or save some cash.

            • greywarshark 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Your logic is inescapable McFlock and sounds doable but the ones at the top of the financial tree can only count on their fingers when their batteries are down and always declare tax has to be kept simple. They probably have it recorded somewhere on their person and press a button with the phrase, that's their mantra. Having billion dollars of IT makes no difference.

              And think if people had a bit more money and were given better service when they were in need, there wouldn't be such a need for hospitals. Eh.

              I think charging tourists and cruise boats good strong taxes, would be effective way of earning and shoving the costs to those who get the most out of the country; the tourists are crawling all over the country like snails on some of my plants, sucking off the healthy surface and killing all the green parts. I love their sweet little faces, but it's just another gold rush and to listen to the plans for new airports that will cost hundreds of millions and balance that against the environmental stuff, and you think does anything penetrate the plastic skin the busy go getting business people spray on every morning. We need to protect ourselves against more than measles.

            • Cricklewood 23.1.1.1.1.2

              Call me a cynic but I'm pretty confident that if we were to say remove gst from veges, that you would see a a 15 percent price drop on day 1 at the supermarket but after 3 months the prices would be back where they were prior to the removal of gst.

              Or do you think competition amongst our duopoly own supermarkets will prevent that?

              • McFlock

                yeah that is the problem with tax cuts.

                But on a narrow range in a supermarket, it does make it easier to make the cheaper items "loss leaders" without actually being "losses", which might actually help bring the prices down better than, say, in the rental market (where the loss-leader idea can't be implemented).

            • phillip ure 23.1.1.1.1.3

              wot mcflock said..

    • cricklewood 23.2

      I think small business owners are a missed opportunity for the left, they invariably hire local people, spend their money in the local community and support local causes.

      Far better a small local business than a corporate with shareholders hoovering money out of the regions and in many cases out of the country.

      Look at Auckland's grounds maintenance contracts now undertaken by an Aussie firm hoovering money up and doing a shitty job to boot as the pricing is cut to the bone.

      • McFlock 23.2.1

        Trouble with small business owners if that they tend to have a hypersensitivity to their own expenditure, a lack of conceptualisation of the indirect benefits they receive from a more egalitarian society, and a minimisation of the direct assistance they receive from the government.

        • greywarshark 23.2.1.1

          Well the government should run regular seminars on a what can we do for you basis, and teach them what advantages they have, what they can work towards, and inculcate the view that they are in partnership with a micro-business agency arm of the government. They might ask why they have to pay so much provisional tax. The govt says it is tax smoothing and ensures that everyone contributes, so the micros might say well make it smaller then.

          I con;t see why tax penalties must be so high, and would want them to be based on bank credit card rates worked on an annual basis.

          Really the government doesn't try to be fair and helpful. Look at the pathetically small changes to the rates of usury. 292% pa or something – at 0.8% a day it sounds weeny, but considering the poor are the ones to get taken in, it is playing with us to call new measures an improvement. How can anyone look anything but cynically at this type of 'transformation '. Sorry everyone, but this high interest rate on the poor has been a thorn in my side for a while.

          • McFlock 23.2.1.1.1

            Penalties are punitive, so most people get in early and arrange payment.

            That usury thing – is that the "short term" payday loan scam? Them and the shop trucks are sick.

            • greywarshark 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Penalties are punitive. Well we have learned something here!

              What I am saying is that they are unfairly so. And I offer an alternative suggestion to make it better i think.

              • McFlock

                Penalties generally come about because people ignore their problems or are incapable of following their tax obligations. Neither group should be running a business, and penalties shoul;d be strong to discourage such behaviour.

                If someone actually has a going concern rather than wishful thinking and a mortgage, they can put the predictable amount of money aside to pay their taxes.

        • Cricklewood 23.2.1.2

          Id minimize my govt assistance to if I were to compare it to the corporate largesse that has been dished out.

          If also look at how ANZ treats missbehaving execs vs frontline staff and how the toys fly put of the cot at the thought of a tougher regulatory environment.

          I would add many small business owners are hypersensitive as their home is security against business loans.

          • McFlock 23.2.1.2.1

            They're always bitching in the paper: carparks, cycleways, gst, paperwork, treating employees fairly, zoning non-compliance (all the council's fault, of course), can't get workers for what they pay (must be the govt's fault), neighbours too noisy, permits don't get granted at the last minute, yadda yadda.

            Hardly ever positive. Worse than farmers, who at least have the occasional good ag&field day story.

            • Cricklewood 23.2.1.2.1.1

              May not agree with them but at least they are engaged and invested in their communities to put their ideas forward.

              Could be worse… corporates bitch and moan via lobbyists,political donation and the old boys network. Does far more damage to our society than someone having a moan in the Butt L

              • Cricklewood

                Hutt Leader damnit wont let me edit

              • McFlock

                Parochialism demands I say "same thing" lol.

                But no, it's not usually the corporates who fire workers for sharing a drink on their break, or suggesting something other than a christian rock station for the shop, or who ignore new regulations and then moan about being fined for not meeting them..

                It's the small business owners, the franchisees, and suchlike.

                Corporations are usually arseholes, but they're also usually smart about it.

  24. Reality 24

    From a chance conversation in Amsterdam with a North Carolina couple, we were told how they love Jacinda (yes they just called her by her Christian name) to a Pakistani taxi driver in Frankfurt who called her President. Our PM has made an impression worldwide which has Bridges and Mike Hosking and his ilk rage green with envy.

    We must give credit where it is due. She is an amazing young woman.

  25. xanthe 25

    dont F$%K up

    its in the bag

  26. AB 26

    They are likely to win in 2020 – probably with the same partners as this time round. The current febrile state of National's media acolytes will taper off into its usual low-level derangement.

    The real problem is that by not addressing the issues that got them elected – when they do eventually lose they will have paved the way for an even worse National government than the previous one. This looks like the fate of pale-pink centrists in these times. I don't really blame them for their timidity – you can't storm the citadels of private economic power (which is what is needed) without a huge popular movement behind you.

    • '..without a huge popular movement behind you.'..

      it's called a mandate – you get it by winning elections..

      you win elections by having visionary policies…

      that everyone can see at a glance – will improve their lives..

      just-do-it..!

      eh..?

  27. millsy 27

    Restoration of benefits to 1991 levels, and elimination of sanctions laid on since then, Essentially the benefit system as it was before Ruth's austerity package.

    Also set the pension age back to 60.

    Set all this to take effect on a symbolic April 1, 2021.

    Youll have every farmer and tradie in the country up in arms, but who gives a shit.

    As Don Brash found out the hard way, elections are won and lost in South Auckland.

    You might even kick off a revolution, with beneficaries fighting farmers and tradies in the streets.

  28. RedBaronCV 28

    I'd start with the housing too.Maybe put some emphasis on social housing in the provinces – build the 70-80 social units needed in the Hawkes bay – ditto say Blenheim. Lots of smaller hits to make a bigger one. Reduce rental demand in these areas and chop paying the housing allowance also known as the landlord subsidy. – reinvest the cash into more social housing and first home owner assistance. Drag anyone that wants to leave Auckland out of there. Build up the nations balance sheet rather than just handing cash to the private sector each year for housing that doesn't happen. Put the housing in a company and set it up so the next right wing government can't fire sale it.

    Start the process of regaining control of natural monopolies, oligopolies. Power, broadband , look at the insurance monopoly.

    Threaten corporates so they move any jobs they can out of Auckland.

    strengthen worker protections, bring back unions.
    Tax higher incomes – what use is a CGT if there is such a low rate of top income tax. Plug the trust & company loopholes around these & the thin cap rules.

  29. Rae 29

    They might want to point out the very real possibility of National reversing the legislation that put a bit of a plug in the hole giving foreigners carte blanche in our housing market. It was extremely important to people prior, hopefully, it still is

    https://www.interest.co.nz/business/101671/shadow-finance-minister-paul-goldsmith-how-hes-yet-be-convinced-bank-conduct-needs

    I would fully expect if they were to reverse those regulations, they would then try to close the loophole that allowed us to do something about it.

    Put this alongside BeijingBridges excursion to China and their are few other conclusions you can come to

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