Imperator Fish: The terrifying cost of Labour’s UBI

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, April 1st, 2016 - 220 comments
Categories: economy, jobs, labour, making shit up, spin - Tags: , ,

The terrifying cost of Labour’s UBI

Labour has been discussing the possibility of introducing a Universal Basic Income. The idea is to give every person over 18 years old a set amount of money. This will supposedly allow us to scrap the welfare system, and will ensure that everyone has the means to afford at least a basic standard of living.

At just over $200 a week, this would come to roughly $11,000 per person per annum.

I’ve done a few back of the envelope calculations in order to show just how nuts this idea is, and guess how much this is going to cost the taxpayer? I’ll tell you. It’s going to cost us THIRTY-TWO MILLION BILLION TRILLION DOLLARS PER ANNUM!

Do you know how much that comes to for every man, woman and child in this country? Well there are about four and a half million of us, so we are looking at roughly SEVEN BILLION TRILLION DOLLARS PER PERSON!

Yes, I know that number sounds too crazy to be true, but it’s a reasonable estimate based on what we know about Labour’s plans, and when we factor in various other things, like the cost to administer the scheme, projected population growth, and the possibility of Weimar Republic-style hyperinflation one day hitting us.

John Key is right. This is barking mad. How could we ever afford such a scheme? It’s crazy. We would have to start taxing Apple and Facebook in order to pay for it!


Above was reprinted with permission from Imperator Fish. Below is a further note:

Seems that the NBR will be carrying a similar estimate on the UBI today, which lead to an interesting exchange on Twitter.

For commentary that actually makes sense see Gareth Morgan’s Keeping the basic income debate on track.

220 comments on “Imperator Fish: The terrifying cost of Labour’s UBI”

  1. adam 1

    This is what happens when PR people are so use to telling porkies, they can’t even tell the truth to themselves.

    Is it just me, or didn’t the labour party just put this up as a discussion piece, not as policy?

    And if the far right nut bars are going to be this nasty about a discussion, where does that leave our democracy?

    I know some labour party people get upset when I have a go at the labour party, but they know it’s a discussion, and we will carry on the debate.

    These attacks by Hooton and Co. (Limited, trade marketed – etc. etc. etc.) are just an attempt to end the debate before it has even begun.

    • weka 1.1

      Labour did indeed put it up for discussion. And the oustanding feature of the right wing politicos so far is that they would rather trash a good idea if it means dumping on Labour than do anything for the good of NZ. It’s like they are so stuck in manipulating things for their own ends that they can’t conceive of how to respond constructively anymore.

  2. vto 2

    ha ha, is Hooton serious in suggesting firstly that it is in fact a cost, and secondly that the number is $86billion per year?

    What on earth is the matter with these poorly thinking numpties??

    It is not a cost, lets be clear about that – it is merely a different means of distributing the nations wealth, that is all. There is an existing means of distribution, which is to be changed to a new means of distribution…. there is no change in the quantum.

    The number you Hooton silly is in fact $220billion. That is the nation’s gdp. That is the relevant number. That $220B is currently distributed via wage, WFF, tax rates, salary, dividend, welfare, subsidy, free health etc, on it goes. The new $220B will be distributed via wage, tax rates, salary, dividend, subsidy, free health etc, and a UBI.

    It is as simple as that

    The number is GDP of $220 billion
    The number is unchanged.
    There is no cost.

    No cost.

    It needs repeating.

    No cost.

    • Stuart Munro 2.1

      Hooton is merely thrashing around desperately looking for numbers that make the Gnats’ $120 billion of tax cut debt look, in some crazy cryptofascist way, responsible. $150 billion this year: rock stars!

      His tenacity would be admirable, but this is the basic trait of RWNJ. They cannot stop moving forward or they perish in their toxic effluvia of half truths and failed predictions.

    • James 2.2

      Brilliant. I would love to see Labour going into an election offering iro $200 pre week and telling people there is “no cost”….

    • David 2.3

      “No cost.

      It needs repeating.

      No cost.”

      There will be to those who currently get this money that you plan on taking off them to give to someone else though isn’t there?

  3. Wayne 3

    Being unwilling to seriously debate the cost of UBI, and how it will be plausibly funded is quite an admission of weakness.

    Labour mooted a $11,000 UBI per person . Others on this site have said $15,000 or $20,000 would be more appropriate. In any of these cases, there would be a large increase and at $20,000 an enormous increase in govt expenditure, which you can’t just wish away with some feeble humour.

    I predicted when UBI came on the political radar, that Labour would welcome the debate, then quickly back away when the cost of it was seriously discussed.

    In practise UBI has proved to be a huge distraction to the Future of Work discussion. It has simply crowded out any other meaningful discussion.

    If Labour actually wanted a UBI policy as centre piece for the next election, it would have come much better prepared for the debate. The policy would have not only been properly costed, there would have been a good indication of how it would be funded.

    But none of that has happened.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I agree(d) with your sentiment that Labour was forced to consider the UBI but because their heart wasn’t really in it, they would find some excuse to back off pretty quickly.

      Having said that, of course a UBI is affordable – the government would simply tax the same money it expends and issues, back in to its own coffers over time.

      The only question is at what level a UBI should be set to accomplish its aims of giving people an independent basic living where they are no longer reliant on being wage slaves to a dictatorial employer.

      • BM 3.1.1

        The only question is at what level a UBI should be set to accomplish its aims of giving people an independent basic living where they are no longer reliant on being wage slaves to a dictatorial employer.

        That would have to be minimum wage or around 30 k a year.

        • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1

          Could be a little less – working involves significant costs.

          • BM 3.1.1.1.1

            Ok, 25k a year.

            Haven’t followed the discussion super closely, are labour going to get rid of dept of social welfare or does that stay?

            • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.1.1

              UBI isn’t even policy yet – but the current WINZ culture is so toxic they’ll have to be given different jobs. They could form part of the department of interrogations for corrupt Gnat ministers and their associates imprisoned on the Auckland Islands.

              • Liberal Realist

                UBI isn’t even policy yet – but the current WINZ culture is so toxic they’ll have to be given different jobs. They could form part of the department of interrogations for corrupt Gnat ministers and their associates imprisoned on the Auckland Islands.

                +1

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.1.1.2

              NZ Super is slightly less $20k per person a year. Do you also think NZ Super doesn’t pay enough?

              • Foreign waka

                I belief that the wrong questions are being asked. With constant referral to the current set up of benefit, super, etc one could see that whatever is being proposed will not get far. Its the saying of doing the same and hoping for a different outcome.
                The question has to be: what does a person need to cover basic living costs plus “health enhancing” activities- i.e. sport, hobbies, education, as well as overall health costs such as check ups, dentist etc. Once established, index it and work from there. Naturally, this means a bit more than $ 200 per week.
                Yes, it will be interesting to watch this discussion as is seems to be all about money and not about the future. And yet, we have an obligation to make the younger generation secure in the thought that they actually have one.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.2

          God you’re a cheap-arse BM, I reckon it should be set to the average CEO salary .

        • pat 3.1.1.3

          To gain the greatest admin savings the rate would have to set around the single net National super rate of $19500 pa, only then could the existing welfare departments be greatly done away with (or at least substantially downsized) without the need for complicated top up scenarios.

          My understanding of the goal of a UBI is its provision of security at a BASIC level able to be topped up by those willing and able and freeing many to provide services/assistance on a voluntary basis as they are no longer as time poor PLUS the huge saving accumulated from the benefit of this unpaid(?) service and reduced administration costs and increased consumer spending.

          WARNING! the moral hazard argument will be trotted out but is bogus IMO.

          The moment you start adding in regional variations, top ups etc the bulk of the benefit is lost….there could be provision for a proportional child payment that would also need to be universal .

          The Libertarian Right should love it (as apparently it was originally advocated by one of their own) as it would downsize government agencies massively if built right … though not in Government spending terms, but certainly in employment, discretion terms.

          • alwyn 3.1.1.3.1

            “apparently it was originally advocated by one of their own”
            Actually it was proposed long before there was any concept of a Libertarian Right. The first reference to the idea that I know of goes back exactly 500 years to Thomas More in 1516.
            http://basicincome-europe.org/ubie/brief-history-basic-income-ideas/

            • pat 3.1.1.3.1.1

              Well, well…..That is a fairly impressive list of advocates (along with various others I found on google) for a “barking mad” idea.Thanks for the link.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.3.2

            There is no level you can set a UBI to that is both affordable and that won’t necessitate SOME top-up payments. This is why it’s worth seriously discussing what the right basic income is so that we can blend the goals of saving on admin with the goal of transforming the economy and allowing people not in work to live with dignity. I imagine for instance there’s no practical way to eliminate the need for benefits for people who are sick and need expensive support to live, but are unable to work to some degree that prevents them earning enough to cover their costs.

            • pat 3.1.1.3.2.1

              “I imagine for instance there’s no practical way to eliminate the need for benefits for people who are sick and need expensive support to live, but are unable to work to some degree that prevents them earning enough to cover their costs.”

              didn’t realize a UBI necessitated the dismantling of the public health system in all forms

          • Foreign waka 3.1.1.3.3

            The current maximum retirement income is:

            Single, living alone $374.53 net per week,
            Single, sharing accommodation $345.72 net per week
            Married person or partner in a civil union or de facto relationship: net 288.10 per week.

            So this is p.a.:
            Single:
            Gross: 22,416.20 – Net: 19,475.56
            Single, sharing accommodation:
            Gross: 20,600.84 – Net: 17,977.44
            Married, de facto etc:
            Gross: 16,967.60 – Net: 14,981.20

            This is after a person has turned 65 and is absurdly low and yet these numbers represent the MAX payout. Its almost an excuse for not being quite in the Dickinson times.
            To propose an UBI amount of $ 200.00 is almost as if those who have secured their lot make a mockery of everybody else. This amount would not even cover groceries for a family of 4. What planet are these numbers come from?

      • RedLogix 3.1.2

        And of course if you ultimately progressed to a truly equitable tax system as Morgan has proposed, think of all the tax consultants suddenly out of work.

        This debate has nothing to do with whether a UBI is ‘affordable’ or not. It has everything to do with the establishment protecting the entrenched privilege it currently enjoys. And yes they’ll be predictably nasty in defending it.

        Hence the likes of Hoots spewing up spurious soundbites. It’s just a variation on the pigfuckery tactic. Get in first with a few ‘barking mads’, made up numbers and then wait for Labour to ‘explain’. Kill the debate, roll out the pandas.

        It’s smart, effective politics. Just that eventually people start realising it’s very dumb governance.

        • vto 3.1.2.1

          “This debate has nothing to do with whether a UBI is ‘affordable’ or not. It has everything to do with the establishment protecting the entrenched privilege it currently enjoys”

          Exactly.

          The UBI will result likely in a very slightly smaller percentage of the nation’s wealth going to the rich, and a very slightly smaller percentage of the nation’s wealth going to the poorer and the workers. Sounds good to me.

          Re the politics of bringing a UBI to life, Labour just have to keep pushing it, keep at it, keep calling Key’s lies and bullshit, keep going…..

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            Properly implemented with a few other needed policies such as stopping the private banks from creating money and they’ll be no rich left. Which is as it should be.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.2

          This debate has nothing to do with whether a UBI is ‘affordable’ or not. It has everything to do with the establishment protecting the entrenched privilege it currently enjoys. And yes they’ll be predictably nasty in defending it.

          QFT

          It’s smart, effective politics. Just that eventually people start realising it’s very dumb governance.

          No, it’s not smart politics as it destroys the society.

      • RedLogix 3.1.3

        Labour mooted a $11,000 UBI per person . Others on this site have said $15,000 or $20,000 would be more appropriate. In any of these cases, there would be a large increase and at $20,000 an enormous increase in govt expenditure,

        So why attack Labour for figures other people have mooted?

        A UBI system can of course be designed to be tax-neutral. At core it’s really nothing more than a re-arrangement of the current tax system to eliminate distortions and inequity.

        In very simple terms the idea is that ALL adults receive a fixed UBI and then ALL income is taxed at a flat rate. The result is an inherently progressive tax system.

        The extra ‘expenditure’ on the UBI is for most working people roughly balanced out by the extra tax they’ve paid on the first $40k or so of their income, which at present is taxed at low rates.

        So while the UBI expenditure increases, it’s also compensated by an increase in PAYE and other income related taxes. Morgan designed his system so that for most people the two simply cancel out, but at the same time eliminating a lot of unfairness from the current system.

        And that is of course what Wayne is objecting to really. Right now he’s likely on the winning side of that unfairness and he wants to stay there.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1

          +1

        • Yep, as a $20k proponent, rejigging the tax system to pay for a UBI is totally realistic. You can easily set it up so that most of the burden goes on capital and people on very high incomes, who honestly should be willing to pay for this in the short term for the long-term economies (it’s likely over time to reduce costs that have been caused by poverty, such as avoidable health costs, the costs of poor education due to kids going hungry, etc…) that should ultimately lead to a relatively similar amount of tax on income to today. (although probably with an accompanying tax on either capital, carbon, or both)

          The Greens’ proposed Carbon Tax and Dividend proposal works well in a UBI, and would generate over $7billion in revenue for such a system.

          With a 45% taxrate for people with under $80k of income, a 55% taxrate for capital and income above $80k, we would generate an extra $785million compared to budget 2015, even allowing for significant moves to reduce hours and employment and extra registration for “tax” as a result of the UBI.

          With those settings, most of the income for government would come from the the capital and carbon tax, and the total net cost of the UBI tax system would be only a couple billion dollars more than the savings from disbanding NZ Super, (as at $20k, a UBI would be straight up superior to Super) which combined with the savings from disestablishment of Jobseeker Support and most (but not all) other benefits, would leave us well in net positives, but behind on revenue compared to today without the new taxes.

          But with a guaranteed $20k of tax-free income for everyone, (because it’s incredibly stupid to tax benefits from an efficiency standpoint, they should just be set tax-free to the appropriate amount) the new taxes aren’t so onerous anyway.

          • RedLogix 3.1.3.2.1

            @Matthew.

            I’m not totally against a $20k UBI. (The reasonable range seems to be between $10k to $20k). One of the great merits of the UBI is that it’s easy to phase it in over a period. So you don’t have to leap to $20k all in one hit.

            Also $11 – 15k is a range a lot easier to sell to a fairly change resistant electorate.

            Plus a UBI payment mustn’t be considered on its own; you have to take into account the much lower marginal tax rates than the current system imposes on beneficiaries. For many people, finding another effective $10 – 20k or so of part time income isn’t terribly onerous.

            And the elimination of ‘partner qualifying income’ thresholds would leave many low income households much better off. I’m thinking of one group of our tenants right now, one guy works long hours on dairy farms, his girlfriend does informal childcare, and their long-term flatmate picks up irregular work on fishing boats.

            An $11k UBI would lift these guys right out of poverty. If they could get their act together I’d happily sell the house to them.

            Plus the current system leaves many people with big holes in their income when they go through ‘stand down’ periods in between jobs. Also I’d expect more community based or collective schemes to become a lot more viable.

            So while $11k is lean, it’s not impossibly so given the wider context it would create. And of course there would still be the need for some residual income top-up and targeting for those who cannot work.

            At the other extreme, while a $20k UBI would eliminate this residual top-up requirement, but if you want the system to remain tax-neutral it implies some dramatic changes to current tax system elsewhere. And some of the ideas you discuss are really interesting.

            Then of course if you allow for the Reserve Bank to use the UBI to directly inject cash into the economy, and give them a second really powerful tool to manage inflation … well that’s another debate.

            • Foreign waka 3.1.3.2.1.1

              Any pensioners have to jump off the cliff because $200 will not keep them in any fit state. Whilst one can work its all dandy, what about those who cant or god forbid (!) wont after toiling for decades.
              This is a good issue to discuss but by what I see so very disingenuous.

              • Colonial Viper

                Set their UBI at 2x the standard rate – if they are no longer in paid employment.

                • Foreign waka

                  This would be lower then the current pension for 2 people. Those elderly I know are actually POOR because of the pension net for 2 people $ 576.20. Selling the house would just make them worse off as they become homeless and rent will eat their money gained from the house in no time. The health costs increase as people get older and they are high when they are very young.
                  I see the typical single male middle age approach being dished out and I ain’t impressed.
                  This discussion is completely superfluous if the need of people is not the first consideration.

                  • Craig H

                    I think he meant each i.e. $400 per person, which is more than the current pension.

    • Stuart Munro 3.2

      It wouldn’t be an easy policy to sell. Labour is learning the Gnat’s trick of dissembling – they’ll pick up the UBI if or when public support is appreciable. It somewhat reflects their take on a CGT – Clark wouldn’t even consider it while in government, but as the Auckland property debacle developed public support, and support from international authorities grew to the point that it was no longer possible for the vile demagogue Key to munt it by dismissing it as ‘wacky’.

      As the collapse of National’s failconomy progresses, and more kiwis find themselves or their loved ones out of work and subjected to the vicious dysfunction of Paula Bennett’s WINZ the idea will gain a degree of support. I think well paid relief work would be an easier sell however – under the stupid and backward Gnats NZ will no longer lead the world in anything except corruption.

    • vto 3.3

      Wayne, the UBI is not a cost

      See, if you wouldn’t mind, http://thestandard.org.nz/imperator-fish-the-terrifying-cost-of-labours-ubi/#comment-1154942

      I tried explaining this to you on another occasion, but you are sticking you fingers in your ears and going “nyah nyah nyah”

      The UBI is not a cost, it is merely a different means of distributing the same amount of the nations wealth.

      • BM 3.3.1

        What will the new tax rates be?

        • vto 3.3.1.1

          Changed

          • BM 3.3.1.1.1

            To what?, no doubt they’re going to increase, money doesn’t just appear out of thin air.

            All the people who have jobs will they be better off or worse off and by how much?

            • vto 3.3.1.1.1.1

              No money disappears or needs to be created out of thin air, silly.

              It has no cost.

              It is merely a different means of distributing the nation’s wealth. There is no change to the amount of money, just how it is distributed.

              Please see my version of description http://thestandard.org.nz/imperator-fish-the-terrifying-cost-of-labours-ubi/#comment-1154942

            • RedLogix 3.3.1.1.1.2

              money doesn’t just appear out of thin air.

              Actually it does. 99% of what ordinary people think is money is actually a credit transaction mediated via their bank.

              Ordinary people can only access ‘money’ when they do something real in the productive world. Make something or perform some service other people value. So we have this natural idea that money must represent something real.

              But of course anyone inside the money system knows it is not. It’s purely a credit construct inside an accounting structure. It is being constantly ‘created and destroyed’ out of thin air.

              The entire system only persists because us ordinary people continue to have confidence in it.

              • BM

                See here’s the thing, like 99.9999999% of New Zealanders I haven’t read the big Kahuna and I’m not sure if I will.

                I’m just asking the sort of questions Jo and Joanne public would ask and unless the left can pitch the UBI in a way that appeals to the majority of people at their level then the UBI concept is going nowhere but down the toilet.

                • RedLogix

                  Simple. It eliminates the unfairness and inefficiency in the present system. It treats everyone the same. It fits better in a world where people will be moving between different jobs and types of work more often.

                  It gets the tax and welfare systems out of your hair and lets you get on with your life.

                  • BM

                    Yeah but how.

                    Will a person with a job and a house be better or worse off?, that’s what voters will want to know.

                    Problem for the left is this will become a election issue in 2017.

                • maui

                  Geez, its pretty simple you will receive this much from the state each week and we’re changing the tax rates to this to account for it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    BINGO

                    It’s the technocratic bureaucratic mindset which has been entrenched by governments of all colours which yearns for conceptual shit to be explained in paragraph by subclause detail.

                    • BM

                      Yeah, fuck this democratic shit, The proles will do what we say and like it!!!!! ————-or else.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      NB technocratic bureaucracies usually have hugely anti-democratic behaviours.

                      Because the self proclaimed ‘experts’ within automatically assume that they know far better than the heaving masses of ignorant plebs.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      To missquote CV.

                      “Because the self proclaimed ‘experts’ within know far better than the heaving masses of ignorant plebs.”

                      Is that a review of how Gareth Morgans plan intends to ‘reform’ the NZ economy?

              • Draco T Bastard

                The entire system only persists because us ordinary people continue to have confidence in it most people still don’t know how it works and thus still fail to realise that it’s a giant scam.

                FTFY

        • RedLogix 3.3.1.2

          I’ve consistently promoted Morgan’s Big Kahuna mainly because it’s fully costed and documented. If you want to know his proposed tax rates, go look for yourself.

          The link to his site has been given many times in this debate. Do your homework.

          • BM 3.3.1.2.1

            The dole for a single person is around 16k a year gross (accommodation allowance included), that’s the lowest amount.
            Single women with one child on the DPB get around $500 a week and it goes up from there.

            Morgan amount of 11k is completely out of touch with reality.

            • RedLogix 3.3.1.2.1.1

              Do your homework BM.

            • Stuart Munro 3.3.1.2.1.2

              A UBI really requires simultaneous reform of tenancy and letting law – or like the accommodation supplement it would simply be sucked up by the incontinent greed of slumlords.

              • RedLogix

                Unlikely. The residential rental market is very dominated by supply and demand.

                Right now demand exceeds supply because capital values have been inflated well beyond wages. And that’s come about because we currently allow banks to make obscene profits from pumping excess credit into this market. All at very low tax-free risk.

                Morgan’s proposals would hugely reduce these incentives and in the long run would almost certainly bring asset prices back in line with wages.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Right now demand exceeds supply

                  I’m guessing that there are 50 NZ towns with populations under 100K where the reverse is definitely true.

                  • RedLogix

                    Again a UBI might have a desirable, if indirect impact. I can’t prove it, but my instinct is that it would become easier and more attractive to live in these smaller regional towns.

                    In my experience, there are more ways to supplement the UBI, and as you say, housing costs are much lower. Plus you’d no longer have lots of WINZ rules about where you can live.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My personal opinion is that the runaway growth of Auckland needs to be stopped, and one way to do it is to give Kiwis options to live somewhere that is not Auckland.

                      In a near future of severe climate change, financial instability and fossil fuel energy depletion, Auckland is going to become increasingly unlivable and unsupportable.

            • weka 3.3.1.2.1.3

              “The dole for a single person is around 16k a year gross (accommodation allowance included), that’s the lowest amount”

              Citation need, because you obviously have no idea how AS is calculated, but I am curious who is feeding you those numbers.

              “Morgan amount of 11k is completely out of touch with reality.”

              If that’s true, and that he has no additional ways of topping up, then simply don’t use his model. He doesn’t own the UBI concept.

              • RedLogix

                No he doesn’t. I’m totally open to discussing any other well documented alternatives. As I’ve said a few times, I point to it mainly because it is costed, well described and looks at the entire system well beyond the UBI idea itself.

                And given Morgan seems hated by both lefties and righties in roughly equal measure, it makes him OK in my book.

                • weka

                  I don’t hate Morgan (apart from the cat thing), I just think there are some flaws in his model that need addressing. Nothing wrong with that.

                  Your original post on a UBI that used his figures is very useful.

                • The Chairman

                  “I point to it mainly because it is costed”

                  Which highlights it’s time Labour put forward a number of other costed alternatives if they want us to have genuine debate.

              • BM

                Citation need, because you obviously have no idea how AS is calculated, but I am curious who is feeding you those numbers.

                Single 25 and over is $234.78 with accommodation supplement it would bring the total to around $300 which is $15600 per year.

                http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/brochures/benefit-rates-april-2016.html

                • weka

                  How did you get an AS of $65?

                  AS is capped at somewhere between $45 and $140/wk depending on where you live. That’s a difference of $4940/yr for a start. Plus the AS is only a proportion of the rent you actuall pay. Then you have to factor in those people getting TAS and those not getting TAS, those with assets over the asset limit, those who are working and having their benefit abate at the lower rate or the 70% rate, those who lose tax credits, whether you are sinlge or not, have kids etc etc etc.

                  Your figures are a nonsense. You’d be better off going to Stats NZ and asking for the range of total benefits paid. I have no idea if the govt keeps those figures though.

                  Before you start going wah, wah a UBI won’t work, go educate yourself on schemes that have topups vs those that don’t.

            • Craig H 3.3.1.2.1.4

              The 11K figure is the dole because the BK keeps the accommodation supplement, so it doesn’t need to be rolled in.

        • Sabine 3.3.1.3

          you should ask National, aren’t they running on cutting Taxes in 2017 🙂

          The UBI is just a discussion paper atm, not policy, you know. While cutting Tax is about the only policy National has and had. Oh, and bribes. They are good at handing out bribes. Saudi Arabia anyone 🙂 Sheeps, Abbattoirs, and the likes.

        • OneTrack 3.3.1.4

          Usurious.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Being unwilling to seriously debate the cost of UBI, and how it will be plausibly funded is quite an admission of weakness.

      How about by actually collecting the taxes that our tax system is supposed to collect in the first place?

      Just delivering on the intention implicit in the government’s own income tax policies would boost revenue substantially – by at least 20%, presumably something Mr Key would like to see – unless he’s a champion of institutionalising tax dodges.

      The policy would have not only been properly costed, there would have been a good indication of how it would be funded.

      They haven’t got a policy – they’ve got a discussion document. If they had a policy it would be properly costed as Labour policy always is. It’s only National policy that comes without proper costing (which explains why National shot down the Greens suggestion of Treasury costing all party policies).

      The problem is that the RWNJs aren’t discussing, just trashing the idea. I think that they’re truly terrified of it as they know that they won’t be able to keep they’re businesses going if one was applied. Won’t have anything to do with people not wanting to work but the fact that no one will want to work for them.

    • So you are arguing that Labour should have come up with the kind of costings and rationale which have been so notably absent in the transfer of a 25000 public houses to a shell company with no expertise in public housing.

      Perhaps you have noticed that the capitalist media is often a willing and effective accomplice in destroying socially progressive ideas so that as you say “any other meaningful discussion” is simply crowded out. This has happened with quantitative easing and capital gains tax – unremarkable policies throughout much of the OECD.

      There has been no backtrack by politicians or media so far to apologise that the PM’s off the cuff soundbite in his “barking mad” interview underestimated by a factor of more than 50% the total tax take and overestimated the cost of the policy by a very large amount.

      I imagine you would argue it is OK for the government to simply expropriate public property (as it has in Tamaki) in pursuit of an ideology of providing economic opportunity and reducing the lifetime cost of supporting vulnerable people without any public costings, a transparent process, an electoral mandate or a clear understanding for the public of the nature of the transfer that has actually taken place and in a decision that seems to have taken place in secret as recently as a month ago.

      I would argue that for an opposition party to discuss and debate an idea that would afford ordinary people their human dignity and which would ensure that much of the work in society (that the market will not and government does not carry out) can be done does not need to be constrained by costings and method from the outset of the discussion. The media can attack and it does but that does not mean it is right or that democracy is served by that silencing of voices and options.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1

        I imagine you would argue it is OK for the government to simply expropriate public property (as it has in Tamaki) in pursuit of an ideology of providing economic opportunity and reducing the lifetime cost of supporting vulnerable people without any public costings

        National aren’t reducing the lifetime cost of supporting vulnerable people – they’re increasing it. What they’re doing is providing an unending government guaranteed profit for their rich mates (which is why the cost will be going up).

        • Jan Rivers 3.5.1.1

          I agree. The attempt is a fiasco for ethical and efficacy reasons and because of the way that universal services are being withdrawn in favour of intrusive targetted ones. When Gareth Morgan’s ideas shop is onside with both UBI and highly critical of the government’s data driven ‘social investment’ http://morganfoundation.org.nz/will-bill-english-really-save-broken-families/ there is a serious credibility gap beginning to open between a conservatism that has enough heart to address the big issues we face and the kind we are seeing in our political leadership.

      • RedLogix 3.5.2

        Absolutely right. While I’m happy to dig into details if people want to challenge me on them in good faith, you are absolutely correct that the battle cannot be won on ‘explanations’ alone.

        Your comment brings the perspective back to where it belongs. Thank you.

      • Jan Rivers 3.5.3

        Mistake in my post actually 2800 houses were ‘transferred’. I overestimate by ninefold. Apologies. No excuse but exaggeration is kind of zeitgesity.

  4. Wayne 4

    Just to add to my point.

    If Labour believes that at some point in the next ten to twenty years there will be a huge increase in structural unemployment due to technological change, then they would be better to let the UBI discussion evolve on the margins.

    The time to pick it up is when the concept is more fully developed and the structural change has actually emerged. Flying kites is always risky for major parties.

    So far in the last thirty to forty years of computerization and global supply chains there has not been a significant drop off in employment. Of course the nature of work has changed enormously in the last 40 years, but outside recessions there has not been a notable reduction in employment.

    The latest Economist, as its main item, has a very interesting article on how US corporations are retaining too much profit and are not fairly sharing the profit with their employees. It is a different approach to inequality. The article seems to be in response to the rise of Sanders and Trump and how they are both appealing to dissatisfied America (presumably different parts of it).

    • maui 4.1

      There’s a looming economic crisis, you know all that news about dairy. The left has some solutions for large scale unemployment and getting them out there early may be a master stroke.

    • pat 4.2

      “If Labour believes that at some point in the next ten to twenty years there will be a huge increase in structural unemployment due to technological change, then they would be better to let the UBI discussion evolve on the margins.”

      I take it from that statement then that National does not believe there will be a structural increase in unemployment over the next 10 to 20 years?

      • Sacha 4.2.1

        “I take it from that statement then that National does not believe there will be a structural increase in unemployment over the next 10 to 20 years?”

        Given that the current government is investing in last century’s economy like highways and science jobs, that seems a fair asumption, yes.

        • pat 4.2.1.1

          On past and current performance it would not surprise at all to learn that National have not considered the economy beyond the next election …let alone the next 10 or 20 years

        • Jan Rivers 4.2.1.2

          “The time to pick it up is when the concept is more fully developed and the structural change has actually emerged.”

          This is as accurate a summary of the conservative worldview as it would be possible to make. From structural unemployment to poverty and inequality, and from the internet of things to climate change the means to address public problems is to let the problem arise and then put an under-provisioned ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

          Unintentionally funny.

    • RedLogix 4.3

      Yes there are two fundamental approaches to inequality. The Spirit Level explored this when comparing countries like Japan where their corporate consensus kept incomes relatively flat across the organisation. Typical CEO’s only earn 5 times the median, not the 20 or more times that have become common in the West.

      So yes if we had a culture which innately moderated the extremes of wealth we currently see … then mechanisms like the UBI would not be so compelling.

      But we don’t and I’ve never seen a right winger advocating for such either.

    • dv 4.4

      So Wayne what is/are Nats plans for your points?

      You comments show there is need for some serious thought and discussion.

    • Colonial Viper 4.5

      If Labour believes that at some point in the next ten to twenty years there will be a huge increase in structural unemployment due to technological change

      Both National and Labour are in the throes of extend and pretend. National more so than Labour of course.

      In my view, there is a better than even chance that within 20 years, there will be broad recognition that we are fucked as an industrial and technological civilisation. Not due to “technological change” (which is Labour’s way of weasling out of having to confront financial capitalism, neoliberalism and oligarchy directly) but due to:

      – Steep fossil fuel energy depletion
      – Accelerating climate change
      – Oligarchy and financial instability

      • maui 4.5.1

        +1, the Google self-driving car, vacuum cleaning bots and drone courier service future seems like fantasy to me. We would all need hefty UBI’s to pay for all that!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.6

      So far in the last thirty to forty years of computerization and global supply chains there has not been a significant drop off in employment.

      Really? I recall a time when we had full employment and now we don’t.

      The unemployment seems set to increase under present conditions. This increase will further increase profits while decreasing wages. The inevitable result will be the final collapse of society.

      • Jan Rivers 4.6.1

        Clearly already having upwards of 30% of people in precarious temporary, part-time & low wage employment and under-employment that doesn’t count in this worldview.

  5. dv 5

    All I can say is that some commentators envelopes are to big

  6. Ad 6

    I would rather Labour not focus the debate on essentially social welfare, and focus more of the debate on generating a more prosperous New Zealand. They need an aspirational plan, not a plan that descends quickly and predictably downwards.

    Personally I would have focused more on their point about major economic development partnerships with iwi groups. Maori is where much of the poverty is, and much of the post-settlement potential.

  7. weka 7

    “depending on assumptions”.

    Hooton is a dick. He’s also probably depending on many of his NBR readers to not dig too much further, given he’s the reputable commentator that he is 🙄 and thus cement in the bias and inaccuracy in that part of society. Pity they can’t see the lies coming.

  8. seeker 8

    From Rob Salmond’s sweet tweet above:

    “Print @matthewhootonnz column in two-ply. More useful.”

    So apt, so hilarious……. more laughter on this especially giggly first day of April.

    Thank God for laughter, it so helps when dealing with, as weka so gently puts it, “dicks”. (hope you don’t mind me quoting you weka..)

  9. doug stuart 9

    Time for Labour to come clean,how much will it cost extra and who will pay the tax increases.??????

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      You don’t want more money in your pocket? Then don’t sign up for the UBI.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Doug

      Go and do your homework. At the very least read something before demanding we provide you information.

    • BM 9.3

      The Morgan Foundation’s universal basic income proposal keeps its flat rate income tax down at 30% by introducing a comprehensive capital tax of 1.8% per year. Note that this isn’t a capital gains tax but a tax on capital in and of itself. It would tax New Zealanders, including cash-flow poor retirees, simply for holding a family home.

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/04/jim_rose_on_ubi.html

      So if you have a house worth 500k you’ll pay the government $9000 per year.
      Certainly cuts into the UBI/super.

      • RedLogix 9.3.1

        Again you can’t take one factor in isolation:

        Income: $85k

        Partner Income: $25k

        House Value: $500k

        Equity in House: $200k

        Increased household income pa: $8.3k

        So for a quite average middle class scenario, this household is definitely better off.

        Yes Morgan is quite upfront about the ‘asset rich cash poor’ scenario many elderly are in. This of course neglects that these same people, or their family, will eventually cash out these assets and under the current system suddenly have a very large untaxed windfall income. The whole idea of the Big Kahuna is to treat all forms of income equally.

        As we’ve discussed in an earlier thread, there are many ways to avoid impacting people who are too late in their lives to rearrange their affairs.

        But in the long run we cannot sustain an economy built on people using their homes as ATM’s. That has to stop, and the tax system has to stop incentivising it.

        • Foreign waka 9.3.1.1

          This constent envy talks about older people who HAVE WORKED ALL THEIR LIVES to get where they are only to be confronted by this hubris of “eventually cash out these assets and under the current system suddenly have a very large untaxed windfall income” is unbelievable.
          The money that paid over years and years of high interest banking times for their HOME has been taxted many times over. (this is true for most of the old folks)
          What this discussion has done however, is for me to never vote for labour because if this is what they stand for its not for the next generation but all about envy, being the same (conjurers Mao up in my mind) and having the last reserves dived up for those who wont see beyond the next 20 years.

          • RedLogix 9.3.1.1.1

            Interesting. Absolutely you are right that the current banking system has made a LOT of money off interest rates 2 -3% higher than most places in the world.

            And people have generally only tolerated this because they knew that their increasing equity, driven up by banks pumping more credit into the market, would also be tax-free when they sold up, or they finally got their mitts on Grannies estate.

            Of course with house prices in Auckland grossly out of line with employment incomes, Morgan’s CCT, with its even-handed treatment of income across the board, casts a very stark light on what is going on.

            Otherwise I’ve repeatedly shown plenty of ways to avoid hurting the current generation of retirees who cannot rearrange their affairs. Stop putting words into my mouth.

            • Foreign waka 9.3.1.1.1.1

              ???? Words into your mouth. I have stated what my opinion is.
              I have grown up in a country and time where social welfare supported many people with great success.
              What I see here is a belief that Mr Morgans submission is a ready to go program regardless of the variety of circumstances people find themselves in. Then comes the motion that the “rich” (and those are all who do not live in a tent) need to be taken to the cleaners. Essentially, everybody needs to be equally poor and all will be honky dory.
              My word, never have I seen such immature and blind discussion. Real life is a bit more complex and to just propose in one fell swoop that Mr Morgans submission is the panacea makes me speechless.
              The whole discussion is biased and skewered for a particular outcome (surprise, surprise) and for those who hope for some honest solution a disappointing experience. Good luck.

              • RedLogix

                Actually that is the whole point of the Big Kahuna, treating everyone big or small, regardless of how their income is earned … exactly the same. If you want to argue against this kind of equity, please feel free.

                But here’s Bernard Hickey this morning on exactly how the rich/poor divide works in this country:

                To cut to the chase on what most of us think and do about wealth: we get a regular high-paying job so we can save a deposit and then borrow heavily to buy a house to live in.

                Then, if we’re lucky (which has meant living in Auckland over the past five years), we can leverage those tax-free gains in our equity by buying rental properties and/or investing in a small business.

                Once we have the five rentals, the bach, the business, the boat and the BMW, we can sit back and live rentier-style into a comfortable retirement. We can supplement a steady stream of rents and untaxed capital gains with a non-means-tested pension that rises with average wages, rather than the much more measly inflation rate.

                Perfecto! That’s what the majority of the population has come to believe we do to get wealthy in New Zealand.

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11615870

                The only reason why the BK hits elderly people who are asset rich and cash poor is because our current tax system encourages them into this situation. Now I’ve repeatedly and clearly given multiple ways to avoid impacting the current generation adversely, but you haven’t acknowledged that at all.

                In my experience, when people start getting unnecessarily emotional in a discussion it’s because they have an interest in it they are not being quite honest about. For that reason I’ll draw this to a close with you.

                • Incognito

                  Frankly, I’m a little surprised about the level of resistance to the idea of any tax on people’s homes. There’s an almost instinctive reaction to protecting these assets & wealth because retirees have worked and paid taxes all their lives. At the same time there is a (increasingly?) large number of retirees who have worked and paid taxes all their lives who are still renting, and will be till the end.

                  Protecting assets above treating all people equally & fairly is something I’d expect more from right-leaning people and less so from people on the left of the political spectrum, almost as if dictated by ‘common sense’.

                  • Foreign waka

                    A transaction tax when selling a property is one thing but a person being taxed because he/she have lived all their lives in one house that they have worked for is quite another. The land value is being increased to get the rates artificiality inflated and thus one is being taxed more then the rate of inflation.
                    And by the way whether I am left or right leaning (I personally find NZ almost very far right quite frankly) is not the issue. And yes, if I work 60-70 hours each week to make something out of myself, then I like to see the rewards which are not anybody else’s property. Full stop, no discussion. What is this? Soviet Union in the 50’s?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2

        Really? You’re getting your information about Morgan’s Big Kahuna from Kiwiblog?

        Why didn’t you just go to his actual website on it? At least then you’d have accurate information rather than the lies that Kiwiblog propagate.

  10. doug stuart 10

    The pension rate for a single retirees is $ 23058.36 per year, proposed UBI $11000.00.
    Will the difference be made up ???? and then if a 1.8% capital tax of $9000.00 has to be paid each year on their average home most retirees will be tipped on to the streets.
    I thought only home equity release loans ripped of the pensioners.

    • Craig H 10.1

      Yes the pension can be topped up where we deem it necessary – the BK proposes using the Cullen Fund to do so.

      Also, the UBI is tax-free – the single living alone pension rate after tax is $20,007 from today. Admittedly, still a drop, but not quite that big.

      The capital tax of 1.8% is based on an income tax rate of 30% and a deemed return of 6%, which was the 10 year rolling average 10 year government bond rate in 2011 – a more accurate return now is 4%, so closer to 1.33%.

      Not ideal, and either a higher UBI for seniors or a top-up may be in order for cash-poor superannuitants, but that’s eminently doable if we so wish.

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        And here in Australia everyone would think it weird to be discussing retirement without mentioning funded Superannuation schemes.

        In the long run both the Cullen Fund and Kiwisaver are the sort of funded mechanisms that need to be added into the mix as well.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          why? Both assume ongoing economic growth over the next ten to twenty to thirty years until the invested funds need to be withdrawn.

          Scenario 1 the growth is not going to occur, leaving the funds deeply in the red
          Scenario 2 the growth occurs, destroying the biosphere, leaving the funds irrelevant.

      • Matthew Hooton 10.1.2

        How does the single 80 year old widow living in a $200,000 home in Hokitika, in which she and her husband brought up their kids, pay her $3600 a year ($70 a week) capital tax?

        • adam 10.1.2.1

          I love your fear maths Matthew.

        • vto 10.1.2.2

          Matthew Hooton, you are answering the questions in all the wrong order.

          You should never climb into the detail so early as you will get tripped up as has just happened to you there.

          The important thing at this point in the debate is the big-picture conceptual view.

          For example – can the country afford it? Well, given it is a closed system, of course the country can afford it. The country has a GDP of approx. $220billion now. The country will have a GDP of approx. $220billiion after implementation. It is merely a matter of re-arranging the currently-arranged income distribution system.

          There is no cost to the country, Matthew.

          None.

        • RedLogix 10.1.2.3

          Other than seconding vto’s comment, there are several obvious answers that a person of your wit is perfectly capable of dreaming up.

          1. The CCT could be deferred and paid with a small interest charge out of any estate. Which at 80 yrs old is not likely to be too far into the future.

          2. The beneficiaries of the estate, if any, could chose to pay the CCT now and avoid the interest

          3. Kiwibank could be charged to fund very low interest rate reverse mortgages to cover the tax

          4. We could simply write into the rules an exemption on the first $500k of assets held by people over say 70 with less than the median adult income

          5. You could introduce the CCT on those who are ‘asset rich and cash poor’ over several decades, avoiding any impact on people too old to rearrange their affairs, but clearly signalling to younger generations that the era of being able to treat your home as a tax-free ATM is coming to an end.

          And so on. I’m not even a proper policy wonk. A real one would have a list containing twenty major headings each with a half dozen bullet points by now.

          • Nic the NZer 10.1.2.3.1

            “Kiwibank could be charged to fund very low interest rate reverse mortgages to cover the tax”

            Seems like this would mean the government starts treating peoples homes as an ATM from now on then? Is that now considered a good thing.

            Note the same applies to 1,2 and eventually 5 as well though the exposition of this fact is more complex.

            • RedLogix 10.1.2.3.1.1

              The point is that asset price inflation is a form of income. And given that we generally consider taxation on incomes to be a ‘good thing’ … at least in the sense that it funds the public good activities of government … then I think your argument has a wee hole in it.

              But still I can see where you are coming from. Generations of kiwis have gotten used to the idea of making more money from flipping houses than we do working or anything actually productive.

              Well as free-rides go it will either come to a gradual controlled stop via policy change, or one that is not. Your choice.

              • Nic the NZer

                Asset price inflation is manifestly not a form of income until said assets are sold. If it were we wouldn’t be talking about how will pensioners pay for a CCT.

                I am fairly leary of CGT style policies as it seems plausible that (talking about houses) they might actually prevent investment in new housing which is presently happening causing demand to further outstrip supply further resulting in faster price rises. This could happen as the market ‘prices’ those properties which turn over in a period but the volume fluctuates but everybodies house (traded or not) is revalued.

                • RedLogix

                  Asset price inflation is manifestly not a form of income until said assets are sold.

                  So a CCT will bring the real-estate market in NZ to a grinding halt? Of course not; property will continue to be bought and sold as per usual. Nor will it stop people borrowing on their increased equity in their property.

                  And we’ve already covered off a number of ways for pensioners to handle a CCT without hurting them.

                  I’ll say it again, we tolerate low incomes, high interest rates, inadequate Universal Super levels, and an under-performing economy because those of us lucky enough to own property treat our tax-free equity in it as our real retirement income.

                  Housing demand is only being held up by a govt policy to encourage wealthy overseas people to park their flight capital here. And pumps up the ‘wealth effect’ for existing Auckland home owners. Wealthy people vote conservative. Win-win for National. Pretty much a lose for the rest of the country.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    “And we’ve already covered off a number of ways for pensioners to handle a CCT without hurting them.”

                    Taxing them is hurting them. You might plausibly claim the harm can be mitigated but not that your not hurting them with that change. Its clearly untrue.

                    “I’ll say it again, we tolerate low incomes, high interest rates, inadequate Universal Super levels, and an under-performing economy because those of us lucky enough to own property treat our tax-free equity in it as our real retirement income.”

                    This is highly contentious. If you are saying that the economy would be better off given lower investment in housing had occurred then probably untrue. The point behind this being as you said people trading houses can earn income via a capital gain (or borrowing against equity). So your also saying if this didn’t happen then NZs GDP would be lower. Since our financial system creates as much funding as in needed by investment the actual issue here is a lack of healthy productive businesses operating in NZ and absolutely not that finance for housing in pushing up interest rates for other more productive businesses.

                    The problem with house price inflation is actually the debt level which is created as people join in. But what your calling for does not address that, and in some parts may make it worse.

                    • RedLogix

                      Taxing them is hurting them.

                      Well one of the options is simply to defer payment onto their estate. Absolutely does not touch the pensioner’s cash flow at all.

                      Of course their beneficiaries don’t get a quite such a nice fat tax-free payout from the estate. But what was the justification for not paying tax on that income again?

                      Again NZ is almost unique as far as I’m aware in not having either a CGT or Estate Duties. All that does is set the stage for generational concentration of wealth, accelerating inequality, and making life worse for the poor in the long run.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Taxing them is hurting them.

                      Not taxing them hurts them more.

                      If you are saying that the economy would be better off given lower investment in housing had occurred then probably untrue.

                      We already have low investment in housing. What we have that’s causing so much damage to our economy and society is high speculation in housing.

                      Since our financial system creates as much funding as in needed by investment…

                      No it doesn’t. What it does is produce an over abundance of finance for housing speculation while the productive sector is massively starved of the funding it needs.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “Of course their beneficiaries don’t get a quite such a nice fat tax-free payout from the estate. But what was the justification for not paying tax on that income again?”

                      Oh don’t give me this nonsense again. Unless they sell there is no income. This massively undermines your argument if rising house prices created actual income we would not call them unproductive investments, or paper gains. You can’t have it both ways.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      How is the productive sector being starved of investment due to housing speculation? The financial system creates additional spending power at will it can lend to both if it wants to.

                    • RedLogix

                      @nic

                      Unless they sell there is no income.

                      So what you are now trying to tell me no houses ever get sold in New Zealand? Nor anyone borrow on extra equity? Or estate properties stay in the family forever?

                      And you say I speak nonsense?

                      If you are saying that the economy would be better off given lower investment in housing had occurred then probably untrue.

                      Well given that you’ve just characterised it as unproductive ‘paper gains’ you’d have to think maybe there were smarter places to have put all that money.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      What i am describing to you is the difference between a CGT and a CCT. You keep claiming that asset price appreciation provides income. It manifestly does not, if it did we would not consider houses as non productive assets.

                      Some of your other statements also claim similar confused notions. Someone who raises an equity loan does pay already for their borrowing at the market rate for equity loans. Its not income its leveraging.

                      “Well given that you’ve just characterised it as unproductive ‘paper gains’ you’d have to think maybe there were smarter places to have put all that money.”

                      The reason my conclusion is not this is that the banking system produces additional funds as they are borrowed. There is no tradeoff of where the funds end up but just a reduction in income of the country overall. Introducing a kind of capital tax is unlikely to change the causes of this (largely a lack of aggregate demand) and may make them worse if it actually eats into aggregate demand.

                    • RedLogix

                      You keep claiming that asset price appreciation provides income. It manifestly does not, if it did we would not consider houses as non productive assets.

                      OK so for the purpose of this discussion, would you be happy with a rule that says if you don’t pay the CCT, you are NEVER allowed to sell the asset?

                      Its not income its leveraging.

                      That loan sure works like cash when it buys the boat or adds a bigger deck onto the bach.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “OK so for the purpose of this discussion, would you be happy with a rule that says if you don’t pay the CCT, you are NEVER allowed to sell the asset?”

                      Why? The purposes of this discussion do not dictate what the actual implications of a policy are. Are you proposing a CCT which is deferred until an asset is sold? Similar to present depreciation rules? Which don’t seem to stop people claiming depreciation deferring it in practice. Though that sounds like an additional debt held against the property in practice.

                      “That loan sure works like cash when it buys the boat or adds a bigger deck onto the bach.”

                      But still having a loan to repay obviously. To the extent this is a problem why not look at a ban on those kinds of loans. Its certainly simpler to manage and likely more successful. My main concern here is just that there should be a further discussion of where the replacement spending (the net of taxation replacement spending that is) will come from in this case.

          • Wayne 10.1.2.3.2

            Red Logix
            Every part of that response shows why UBI is such a bad idea, at least as Gareth Morgan has proposed it be funded. Why on earth would you want to add all that complexity to the 80 yr widow’s life when the current Nat Super is so simple and efficient to give her a reasonable income.

            • RedLogix 10.1.2.3.2.1

              Well then go with Option 4. Zero complexity if this is so important to you.

              Of course I see you selectively chose to ignore all the other cases where Morgan’s UBI eliminates all the crazy making bullshit WINZ imposes into their lives right now.

              That doesn’t seem to worry you so much.

              • vto

                Wayne is very good at selective analysation…

                hence why he never responds to my point above about it being of no cost to the country.

                there is no cost to the country

                Keep ignoring it though Wayne – your failure to acknowledge assists in highlighting its validity

              • Wayne

                Hmm, the risks of reading a blog on a phone; too easy to miss things.

                Yes you could for Option 4, though that would exclude around half the residential property in New Zealand so would require a tax increase on the rest.

                vto,

                On your analysis, any tax and income redistribution system costs nothing. It does not matter whether the redistribution is 30% or 50% of GDP, and it does not matter what the tax rates are, since it all operates in a closed system that, in NZ’S case automatically produces $220 billion GDP.

                BUt there are real world effects. Too high a tax rate stifles initiative and investment, it reduces growth and it drives people to Australia.

                As I have said several times before, the NZ political debate broadly operates with govt spending (excluding local govt) being within the parameters of 30% of GDP (National) and 35% of GDP (Labour). Of course there are others (Greens) and many commentators here who argue for more than 40%. But they don’t get much traction when people look at the tax rates that are required.

                A ful UBI ($15,000 per person) would require govt, including the redistribution aspect, to be about 45% of GDP, with real risks of blunting work incentives. And these two reasons are fundamentally why the majority of the centre right oppose UBI.

                It might be different if structural underemployment as a result of technological change hit 25%. But I have been hearing this argument, that technology would reduce jobs, all my adult life and I joined the workforce in the 1970’s, so that is now nearly forty years. The job reduction has not happened. Instead the workplace environment changed, in some cases by a huge amount, reducing some/many production jobs, but increasing service jobs.

                When I left Law School there were 3000 practicing lawyers, today there are 12,000 practicing lawyers working, though doing a much more diverse range of things than ever envisaged in the 1970’s.

                So in my view a UBI does not make sense unless the promised utopia of reduced work actually happens.

                • RedLogix

                  A ful UBI ($15,000 per person) would require govt, including the redistribution aspect, to be about 45% of GDP, with real risks of blunting work incentives.

                  Not sure about your maths. A UBI of $15k for 3m adults is a total of $45b. That’s only 20% of GDP.

                  If the flat tax rate was around 35% then everyone earning below $42k pay would be on the positive side of redistribution, everyone above on the negative side. But for the vast majority of working people with incomes roughly in the range of $35 – 60k the net effect is pretty modest. In other words the UBI and the PAYE they pay are fairly close to each other, and the redistribution for many adults is small.

                  So even then describing the full $45b as ‘redistribution’ isn’t at all accurate. I’d have to go away and do some proper maths to get to an accurate answer, but if you calculated the net redistribution weighted by the numbers at each income level, the answer would probably be closer to $25b.

                  Which is not too far away from our current settings.

                  • RedLogix

                    Ben Wilson (who years back was one of our finest commenters here at TS) has done the work for me and published graphs here:

                    http://publicaddress.net/system/profile?id=953

                    A parallel and useful discussion, but points out how it’s possible to design a workable system where the total net redistribution is as low as $5b. That’s a tiny fraction of the silliness put up by Nationals fear mongers.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Too high a tax rate stifles initiative and investment, it reduces growth and it drives people to Australia.

                  No it doesn’t because the people doing the innovating would do the innovating anyway. That’s just what creative people do.

                  …with real risks of blunting work incentives.

                  Because, you know, people just have to be forced to work.

                  Not that a UBI removes the monetary incentives. In fact, it makes them more worthwhile. So the only incentives that Wayne must be talking about are the punitive, soul destroying ones that National always put in place to lower wages as they increase unemployment.

                  Instead the workplace environment changed, in some cases by a huge amount, reducing some/many production jobs, but increasing service jobs.

                  Yeah, I don’t think that an increase in Bullshit Jobs is worth celebrating.

                  So in my view a UBI does not make sense unless the promised utopia of reduced work actually happens.

                  Actually, it makes sense even more sense if the decrease in jobs doesn’t happen as the surviving jobs will be more worthwhile and economic.

                  • RedLogix

                    Exactly. Wayne completely ignores the > 80% marginal tax rate that beneficiaries face under the current system. It’s so bad it has a name …. “The Poverty Trap”.

                    In Wayne’s World:

                    High tax rate for rich people = bad thing

                    High tax rate for poor people = good thing

                • pat

                  “It might be different if structural underemployment as a result of technological change hit 25%. But I have been hearing this argument, that technology would reduce jobs, all my adult life and I joined the workforce in the 1970’s, so that is now nearly forty years. The job reduction has not happened. Instead the workplace environment changed, in some cases by a huge amount, reducing some/many production jobs, but increasing service jobs.”

                  I note you have chosen “under employment” as opposed to “unemployment”……we may well be at that figure now if you consider the quality of many of the positions on offer currently (graduates working in semi skilled/unskilled employ, zero hours casualised employment, various forms of contracting) and the fact that the working/middle class have had reducing real incomes for decades to the point home ownership expectations of the younger generations are unobtainable to increasingly large segment of society and their working lives are now expected to involve multiple retrainings and employers, often at their own expense
                  .
                  “So in my view a UBI does not make sense unless the promised utopia of reduced work actually happens.”
                  The “promised utopia” of reduced work is perfectly capable of being implemented…..that doesn’t mean certain vested interests won’t fight it every step of the way.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes you could for Option 4, though that would exclude around half the residential property in New Zealand so would require a tax increase on the rest.

                  ummm … a $500k exemption for residential property, owned by people over 70, earning less than the median income.

                  Probably not 50% of all property by taxable value. Way less. Do more homework.

                • Incognito

                  So in my view a UBI does not make sense unless the promised utopia of reduced work actually happens.

                  You’ve got it back-to-front; a UBI will help to achieve the promised Utopia of reduced work. Please remember that we have been told, nay promised (!), for many years that technology & automation would free us from the daily slavery and life-shortening rat race and allow us more leisure time. However, we seem to be working harder & longer just to stay afloat!?

            • pat 10.1.2.3.2.2

              As with any policy if the expectation is a UBI will be a panacea for all social/financial ills then it will fail, however if the goal is to improve conditions for society as a whole then there are many aspects of this that a UBI can fulfill….provided it is well constructed.

            • KJT 10.1.2.3.2.3

              Wayne. You have just made one of the best arguments yet for a UBI.
              National super, is, of course, a UBI for seniors.
              The big Kahuna is not the only way of funding a UBI.

          • Foreign waka 10.1.2.3.3

            You just changed the approach from fear to envy. Enough said.

          • Incognito 10.1.2.3.4

            An impressive list for a non-proper policy wonk 😉

            Personally, I’d ditch #4 as it creates unnecessary complexity and thus cost. IMO exemptions & exceptions all too easily lead to loop-holes that will be abused. It also creates unfairness or the perception of unfairness; Super is universal and not (yet) means tested either. NB Life expectancy also varies by ethnicity and socioeconomic position.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.4

          The same way that people on the unemployment benefit afford far more than that in rent every year now.

        • Craig H 10.1.2.5

          The Capital Tax rate is based on the current 10 year rolling average of 10 year government bond rates, so currently, that would be around 4%, and this particular scenario would be $50 per week, not $70.

          Specifics of this scenario aside, the BK’s answer was to:

          1. Draw down the Cullen fund in the transitional period and use it to pay the full pension amount for current pensioners. If the pension was replaced by the UBI, this could be extended to anyone over the age of 50 (for example) at that time, or used to top up these kinds of situations.

          2. Retain Kiwisaver to avoid this being an issue in the longer future.

          3. Allow the tax to be deferred at an interest cost, in which case it would be payable when the funds are available, or when the house is sold or otherwise changes ownership (similar to the Auckland rates deferment scheme).

          4. Continue paying the pension (not the BK’s preferred option, but it is mentioned), in which case a higher tax rate is required.

          • RedLogix 10.1.2.5.1

            I’ve forgotten how Morgan proposed treating Kiwisaver. And I don’t have access to my copy of the book.

            • Craig H 10.1.2.5.1.1

              After reading through it, they barely mention it – it only comes up for current retirees and the soon-to-be retired as a means to lessen the impact of the lower Super. Could certainly make personal and employer contributions 5% + 5% and remove the govt contribution as a means to lower the cost to the taxpayer.

              • Craig H

                Found more on Kiwisaver – it’s not really stated as such, but implied in chapter 9 that Kiwisaver will continue in some form or another (it mentions that IRD will still administer Kiwisaver, and the discussion on future retirees vaguely mentions some amount of Kiwisaver being available).

                Side point on CCT – individuals only pay CCT on housing and land, and interest is subtracted from the CCT before tax is applied.

                For example: Someone who owns a house outright valued at $200,000 is liable for CCT of 30% of $8,000 (assuming 4% CCT). If they have a mortgage of $100,000 at an interest rate of 5%, and pay $5,000 in interest, then their CCT is 30% of $3,000. Make the mortgage $150,000 @ 5% and the CCT is now 30% of $500.

                As there is no CCT on cash or other assets, the retiree could mortgage or sell the house and invest the proceeds, or rent it out and live somewhere smaller, and would pay reduced CCT, or have an income to offset it with. Just a thought anyway.

                • RedLogix

                  Thanks.

                  The CCT is actually a very clever idea. Like so many of Morgan’s ideas on first encounter it offends many kiwis who aren’t in the habit of thinking about things much.

                  There’s a lot more to it than the impact on retirees that we’ve been discussing here. For instance consider the big overseas company that say owns a couple of big factories with a capital value of $500m. That’s a potential CCT of around $9m pa.

                  Now if they organise their NZ business to transfer price all the profit out of NZ, they become liable for the full CCT.

                  If they transfer the asset to an overseas shelf company, IRD demands to see the lease payments and they’re liable for GST on the transaction.

                  If they properly report their profit on the NZ operation, well and good because if they return better than $30m profit (6% on capital) the CCT is deducted off the tax they are paying on their income.

                  And so on.

                  • The Chairman

                    If the big overseas company you used for an example pay’s the deemed amount (6% on capital) of income tax, they will then avoid the CCT burden.

                    If they transfer the asset to an overseas shelf company, they again avoid the CCT burden.

                    • Craig H

                      On your first point, that’s the same as everyone else, and better than the current situation where they pay very little tax here.

                      On your second point, if the assets are physically in NZ, they are liable for CCT regardless of location of the owners.

                    • RedLogix

                      @Craig

                      Thanks for the clarification about the ownership of the asset. Logically you are correct, if it’s located in NZ someone has to pay it.

                • The Chairman

                  ‘That’s the same as everyone else”

                  Not exactly, Craig. Businesses that don’t meet the threshold are burdened with the new tax.

                  “On your second point, if the assets are physically in NZ, they are liable for CCT regardless of location of the owners.”

                  And the owners increase the lease enabling the company to deduct the cost. End result, the burden is avoided.

          • The Chairman 10.1.2.5.2

            You are clearly losing sight of the UBI’s objective.

            What you (and Morgan) are suggesting effectively puts some of the cost burden of a UBI on retirees.

            The goal here is putting in place tax settings that will result in wealth being redistributed from the top down. Not from struggling retirees or homeowners.

            The Cullen fund is meant to help cover the cost of super going forward, not supplement a cut in the super rate, that will then be used to help cover a UBI.

            Kiwisaver is meant to help complement super, not make up for cutting the rate of super. To again help cover the cost of a UBI.

            Allowing the tax to be deferred and incur interest adds to and merely puts off the burden, expecting struggling homeowners to help cover the cost of introducing a UBI.

            Therefore, you’ve got the objective of Labour introducing a UBI all wrong. Wealth redistribution has to come from the top down.

            • RedLogix 10.1.2.5.2.1

              What you (and Morgan) are suggesting effectively puts some of the cost burden of a UBI on retirees.

              Only retirees with a lot of wealth tied up in their home. Again explain to me how if you own a home with $500k or more of equity … exactly how the hell is this poor?

              Oh I do understand they may well have not much cash flow income, but they are not poor.

              Not compared with the another pensioner right next door who is on the same income, but renting.

              • The Chairman

                Owning a modest $300,000 home coupled with a flat tax rate would impact low income owners negatively.

                Additionally, our distorted housing sector has resulted in a number of people owing high valued homes. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the well off.

                There are people in NZ earning far in excess of $500,000 annually.

                Therefore, while someone with a $500,000 home may not be totally poor, they aren’t in the top of the wealth scale that a UBI tax setting should be targeting.

                The objective of a UBI shouldn’t be to tax a retiree with a home to help a retiree renting. The redistribution has to come from the very top down.

                • RedLogix

                  OK once again and very slowly:

                  Income = $25k (pre-tax Super or equivalent)

                  No partner

                  No children

                  Own a home worth $300k with no mortgage.

                  Big Kahuna result = $1495 pa better off.

                  http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/calculator/personal.aspx

                  That is what I call refutation. Numbers, references, facts.

                  • The Chairman

                    $25k income

                    No partner
                    No children

                    Income tax= $3,395.

                    $25k – $3,395.00 =$21605 income after tax

                    $25k income

                    Flat tax 30%= $7500

                    CCT on a $300,000 mortgage free home=$5400

                    $7500 +$5400 = $12900 total tax

                    $25k- $12900 =$12100 income after tax

                    Loss on annual after tax income =$9,505

      • Foreign waka 10.1.3

        OMG – Why not ask them to jump off the cliff?

      • The Chairman 10.1.4

        “The single living alone pension rate after tax is $20,007 from today. Admittedly, still a drop, but not quite that big.”

        Ponder this below:

        The cost of healthy living in retirement – New Zealand Super falls short

        Researchers Jessica O’Sullivan and Toni Ashton of Auckland University’s School of Population Health found living this modest lifestyle, the pension was short by $5600 to $7400 a year.

        In the best case scenario, a couple living together in their own home needed $109 a week from private savings, based on 2009 prices.

        A single renter needed $143.

        What a healthy retirement costs (weekly)
        Single renter – $453
        Couple renting – $602
        Single homeowner – $415
        Couple homeowners – $587

        Super shortfall (weekly)
        Single renter – $142
        Couple renting – $124
        Single homeowner – $104
        Couple homeowners – $108

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8191227/The-cost-of-healthy-living-in-retirement

        • RedLogix 10.1.4.1

          Well if your arguing for a UBI in the order of $30k pa, and Wayne tells me that any form of welfare at all is the road hell, then at $11k I’m pissing everyone off in roughly equal measure.

          Welcome to the definition of success in politics!

          But you are correct in one sense, that certainly the entire Super scheme as set up was predicated on the idea that most retired people would own their own home by that time of life.

          Well this assumption is most definitely not true anymore. Residential asset prices are inflating way beyond wages. There will be whole generations facing retirement and faced with the unpleasant prospect of paying increasing rents from a fixed income. But paying a high UBI in isolation is not a sustainable solution. All that does is treat the ever worsening symptoms.

          The BK indirectly treats the over-inflated price of real-estate with it’s CCT mechanism, which in the long run would solve the root cause of the problem you are concerned with. And there are other fiscal mechanisms the RB could put in place as well.

          I should add in that the BK figures are a little out of date now. They were calculated when after tax Super for a single was $17k, so the UBI itself could probably stand for a move upward from $11k if it was implemented tomorrow.

          • The Chairman 10.1.4.1.1

            “Well if your arguing for a UBI in the order of $30k pa, and Wayne tells me that any form of welfare at all is the road hell, then at $11k I’m pissing everyone off in roughly equal measure.“

            First off, the post above was highlighting how super is inadequate to provide a retiree a modest healthy living in retirement. Therefore, anything less would worsen the health risk.

            Secondly, pissing everyone off in roughly equal measure is not something Labour should do if they are trying to muster widespread support.

            That’s a recipe for policy failure and election disaster.

            Owning a property in retirement coupled with a return on savings and the fact super is tied to the average wage, is what’s keeping a number of retirees from severe hardship.

            While home ownership in general is trending downwards, the majority of New Zealanders currently own their own home.

            Turning around that home ownership decline isn’t helped by a capital tax that will add to the cost of owning a home.

            Nor will it help those forced to cover the capital tax burden by eating into their home, which Morgan estimated would take around 25 years.

            Additionally, the high cost of current housing has resulted in a number of generations living in the one family home. A capital tax will rob the next generation of that home. That’s not going to assist home ownership numbers.

            You say, “the BK indirectly treats the over-inflated price of real-estate with it’s CCT mechanism, which in the long run would solve the root cause of the problem you are concerned with. “

            No, it won’t. It adds to the cost of owning a home. Moreover, a capital tax doesn’t prevent as much as it tries to cash in on those gains.

            While after tax gains remain, speculators will continue to pursue them, pushing up the price of housing in the process. As the same distortion in offshore housing markets (that do tax hard) highlights.

            And this is why most commentators agree, a capital tax is far from a solution in itself or a required solution at all, taking into account its pitfalls.

            A capital tax could also potentially be passed on to tenants in high demand areas. Making it harder for people renting to save for a home.

            Compounding that, the less disposable income people have (due to higher rents or higher home ownership costs) the less they have to spend. Negatively impacting consumer demand, thus business returns. Making the hardship more widespread.

            Therefore, this tax model (the Big Kahuna) isn’t that coherent. Clearly a lot of variables are not taken into account.

            • Incognito 10.1.4.1.1.1

              While home ownership in general is trending downwards, the majority of New Zealanders currently own their own home.

              Incorrect. In 2013, 49.8 per cent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 per cent in 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand.

              A capital tax will rob the next generation of that home.

              Interesting dichotomy; it’s either all or nothing?

              What about the rental generation who have no home to gift to the next generation completely free of tax? How’s that fair?

              • The Chairman

                That’s not totally correct. You overlooked those held it in a family trust.

                In 2013, 64.8 percent of households owned their home or held it in a family trust, down from 66.9 percent in 2006.

                http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-national-highlights/home-ownership.aspx

                “Interesting dichotomy; it’s either all or nothing?”

                When you have a number of generations living in the one family home, the more the struggling families requires to keep all of that home.

                If the tax burden eats the home away (which Morgan estimates could be done in 25 years) those struggling families will then be forced to rent. Or forced into further fiscal hardship trying to cover the tax burden from their low weekly income. That’s not going to turn around the decline in home ownership. Moreover, it defeats the aim of introducing a UBI.

                Highlighting the flaw in this tax. It fails to distinguish between the wealthy and the poor, capturing all homeowners alike.

                We can’t blame the distortion in the housing sector, thus the plight of those renting on your average or struggling homeowner. But we can help them with a decent UBI. However, the wealth redistribution has to come from those (at the top) that can most afford it, not your average or struggling homeowner.

                • Incognito

                  @ The Chairman 3 April 2016 at 1:12 pm:

                  Actually, we both are totally correct but I am more correct than you because I quoted home ownership by individuals and you quoted home ownership by households. So, currently (in 2013, at least) a majority of New Zealanders do not own their own home.

                  RedLogix (and me too) has already explained multiple times that nobody needs to be forced out of their home or into financial hardship to cover any tax on their home. It would run counter to the underlying concept of a UBI, which is to improve all people’s circumstances rather than creating winners & (major) losers. Why is this so hard to grasp or accept?

                  A number (?) of generations living in one family home is likely to be receiving multiple UBIs and I’d be surprised if this would not off-set a minor CCT or similar.

                  • The Chairman

                    My initial statement was correct. The majority of New Zealanders currently own their own home.

                    Which you can see (from the link provided) is correct.

                    “RedLogix (and me too) has already explained multiple times that nobody needs to be forced out of their home or into financial hardship to cover any tax on their home.”

                    Which I refuted multiple times.

                    Indeed, it runs counter to the underlying concept of a UBI, hence the problem/concern.

                    A number of generations living in the one family home generally do so out of fiscal hardship. Receiving multiple UBIs at the touted $200 a week (which is actually less than what most already receive) isn’t going to help.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’ll help a household with two or three adults working part time or full time minimum wage jobs a hell of a lot.

                      $400-$600pw for the household is a heck of a lot of additional money.

                    • RedLogix

                      Which I refuted multiple times.

                      Where? Just saying so doesn’t count. I find that kind of dishonesty unimpressive really.

                      I explicitly listed at least six ways the system could be organised to prevent elderly people being forced out of their homes. You have addressed none of them and then claimed to have ‘refuted’ them. Well I call bullshit.

                      So while Grannie can happily live in her home of 40 years unencumbered by a CCT, of course there is the possibility that her family might not get such a large tax-free estate. And that is the thing you very clearly want to avoid saying.

                      The vast majority of estate property is sold, or turned into a rental. Put simply, either it is not practical for family members to live in it, or there are multiple beneficiaries which makes turning into cash a much more straightforward proposition for division.

                      So yes at some point the capital in Grannie’s house is realised. At present NZ is very unusual in having neither a capital gains tax, nor estate duties. The plain, undeniable result of this is that wealth concentrates over generations. Not a position I would have expected a leftie to be defending quite so vigorously.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ CV

                      While it will help if two or more are working, any relief would be largely offset by the new tax burden. (a higher flat tax rate and CCT).

                      The fact it requires two or more in employment also highlights the deficiency, thus lack of security, a $200 a week UBI would provide.

                    • RedLogix

                      While it will help if two or more are working, any relief would be largely offset by the new tax burden. (a higher flat tax rate and CCT).

                      Umm no. The UBI is universal regardless of whether either partner is working or not.

                      One of the big sources of low income family poverty in this country is the very low ‘partner qualifying income’ we apply to WINZ benefits. (It’s a lot higher here in Australia). The UBI would make this go away completely and immediately make a big difference to their lives.

                      Take a family, one income at $40k pa, another at home looking after 2 kids and getting a $5k pa WFF tax credit. And renting.

                      Under the BK they would be $11k pa after tax better off. That’s a massive 25%!

                      Just go to the BK calculator here and start playing about with some scenarios:

                      http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/calculator/personal.aspx

                      PS: This thread is getting way too long and messy to follow properly any more. I’ve more than adequately made my argument and my case. I’m closing it here.

                    • Incognito

                      @ The Chairman 3 April 2016 at 5:20 pm:

                      My initial statement was correct. The majority of New Zealanders currently own their own home.
                      Which you can see (from the link provided) is correct.

                      Your initial statement is incorrect.

                      I will repeat it once more, with bold emphasis and linking to the original document: http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/Census/2013%20Census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-housing/quickstats-housing.pdf

                      The data on home ownership by households shows that 64.8 percent of households owned their home or held it in a family trust in 2013, down from 66.9 percent in 2006. This includes households who made mortgage payments and households who did not. [p12]

                      The data on home ownership by individuals showed that the percentage who owned their home fell to just under half. In 2013, 49.8 percent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 percent in 2006. [14]

                      Unless you want to stick to your guns and argue that “just under half” is a “majority” I’d say that your statement is incorrect.

                      In 2013, the average household size in New Zealand was 2.7 people per household, the same as in 2006.

                      I find many of your other assertions increasingly unconvincing, which is not to say that you’re wrong; any policy proposal(s) will have to be fully costed and independently verified. Currently, we’re at the discussion stage and raising unconvincing pseudo-anecdotes (e.g. Hooton) and scare-mongering doomsday scenarios raise questions about the true motives of some of the ‘critics’.

            • greywarshark 10.1.4.1.1.2

              The Chairman
              Thank you for taking the time to go through this policy proposal. I have feared that the attraction of it as an elegant piece of economic legislation might well overshadow the bare facts that at its macro level it comes up as a good practical move, but not for the great number at the micro level. The people would again be pushed around the draughty board, feeling the cold wind of real economic hardship.

              When the rents were being raised for state houses in stages from practical affordability of about 25% of income to market, I noticed how few so-called charitable groups and individuals seemed to be bothered at all about it. Housing always seems to be a SEP.

              • RedLogix

                Interesting you should chose to believe the distractions TC has made over this thread. Over and again, every example he’s chosen to put up it can be shown that the vast majority of ordinary low income people will be much better off.

                That means yes .. the micro level. I repeat, the vast majority of working people earning below median level incomes would be see real improvements to their situation under a UBI system.

                Only a small minority of quite wealthy people who have a valuable asset in their home, and yet have chosen to depend on the state for their only cash income would be potentially worse off. Of course in the real world no govt would allow that to happen; there would certainly be some form of exemption or allowance to avoid impacting the elderly. TC has been blathering on about an entirely made up possibility.

                Of course what I suspect is going on here is that like quite a lot of MP’s and Labour people, TC has been getting a free-ride off the property market and is simply looking after his own interests; against the plain interests of working people he pretends to be concerned about.

          • RedLogix 10.1.4.1.2

            And all you are doing is arguing in favour of the current system which privileges tax-free income from capital gain over income earned from other productive enterprise.

            Actually Morgan CCT is a pretty modest form of tax. By itself it isn’t the magic bullet that will eliminate asset price inflation. Over the years I’ve argued for a range of new measures that will be required to tame that beast.

            And for a while I even argued against a CGT (Capital Gains Tax) using much the same arguments you are. All that a CGT does is remove a distorted incentive; but by itself it doesn’t prevent property bubbles. Overseas experience has demonstrated that.

            But look if you haven’t go the cash to pay for the CCT, then defer it until your estate pays it out. But don’t come to me with an argument that basically justifies generations of kiwis making tax-free income flipping houses.

            A capital tax could also potentially be passed on to tenants in high demand areas. Making it harder for people renting to save for a home.

            The Comprehensive Capital Tax (CCT) is an annual charge calculated by applying the flat tax rate to a ‘minimum required return’ from real assets less interest costs (the minimum required return is set by government but 6% was assumed in the Big Kahuna). The CCT applies to real assets such as land and housing and the long term (‘non-current’) assets of businesses. The CCT is integrated with business income tax so businesses that earn more than the required return pay no more tax as a result of the CCT.

            The CCT recognises and taxes the implicit returns possible from wealth while also acknowledging any cash income the wealth produces.

            The CCT achieves two goals – it contributes to a set of policies that effectively redistribute from the well-off to the rest of the community and introduces a common tax treatment for all real capital.

            The key to ensuring tax policies redistribute from those with lots of resources available to them is to recognise that it is wealth that matters (not just the actual cash income the wealth produces). Wealth can be used to produce cash income, and that is typically taxed, but it can also produce untaxed income (such as capital gains) and untaxed personal benefits. So it is important to tax all wealth equally, no exemptions. This is achieved by the CCT.

            As well, the CCT removes current tax distortions which influence investment. Current policies, by omitting to tax capital gains and personal benefits, create incentives for more wealth to be invested in housing and lifestyle assets than would otherwise be the case. This is a drain on our economy which has hampered growth.

            http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/comprehensive-capital-tax.aspx

            In effect if your investment income is greater than about 4% at present, then the CCT has no impact. So no effect on most rents.

            • The Chairman 10.1.4.1.2.1

              “And all you are doing is arguing in favour of the current system.”

              No. I’m arguing ceasing the gains (thus putting an end to the current system) doesn’t require this capital tax.

              Therefore, putting an end to current soaring gains will diminish the support for a capital tax, thus it’s ability to help pay for a UBI.

              Once gains ceases such a tax (that taxes regardless of actual gains realised) will not only be seen as unfair but also become unnecessary.

              Deferring until your estate pays out adds to the burden (incurring interest) and still eats into the wealth of the home, further robbing the next generation of their ability to own a home and turn that decline around.

              The CCT is integrated with business income tax so businesses that earn more than the required return pay no more tax, favouring the well to do, while placing the burden on businesses that don’t earn more than the fully required return.

              Leaving those not doing so well with the burden looking to pass it on (if and where possible).

              The above highlights how a CCT achieves wealth redistribution to businesses that earn more than the required return.

              The common tax treatment for all real capital capturing all wealth equally with no exemptions, highlights the tax fails to distinguish between the wealthy and the poor, thus capturing the poor in the same manner, hence the flaw.

              “Current policies, by omitting to tax capital gains and personal benefits, create incentives for more wealth to be invested in housing.”

              As explained numerous times now, a capital tax is not required to remove those gains that create incentives for more wealth to be invested in housing. Once people understand that, there goes its support, thus ability to help pay for a UBI.

              • RedLogix

                OK so if you manage to stop asset price inflation, then what are you worried about? At that point wages will come back into line with asset prices, and the CCT becomes no more burdensome than PAYE. And if house prices are stable, the next generation won’t need Grannies estate to buy their first home.

                But lacking either a CGT or Estate Duties, New Zealanders have become very accustomed to making more money from capital gains in their houses than they do working. It’s partly why we tolerate relatively low incomes and high interest rates; because those of us fortunate enough to already be on the property ladder (and I’ve always owned up to that myself) know we won’t get taxed on the eventual realisation of our equity.

                Of course for anyone else NOT on the property ladder its a shitty deal. I think that’s wrong, and like Sam Morgan, I’m arguing for what is right ahead of what is in my interests.

                • The Chairman

                  “OK so if you manage to stop asset price inflation, then what are you worried about?“

                  At that point CCT becomes an unnecessary and totally unfair tax, taxing gains that won’t actually eventuate. Adding an extra tax burden on incomes. Further hurting the poor.

                  Just because house prices become stable doesn’t mean the poor will be able to then afford them, thus those struggling would still require the full benefit of Grannies estate.

                  The problem here is you are arguing for an unnecessary tax to cease housing gains, while also arguing its merit to help support a UBI.

                  In the case of a UBI, its pitfalls make it impractical. Capturing the poor, thus defeating the objective.

                  Therefore, it’s an unnecessary tax to cease housing gains and impractical to use to help support a UBI.

                  A UBI requires a tax setting that can distinguish between the wealthy and poor, enabling it to pay a decent set rate while redistributing wealth from the top downwards.

                  • RedLogix

                    At that point CCT becomes an unnecessary and totally unfair tax, taxing gains that won’t actually eventuate.

                    And I think you are confusing a CCT with a CGT. Similar but different things.

                    The purpose of a CCT is not to capture capital gains. Get that? I never claimed that by itself it would stop excess asset price inflation. That is not it’s direct purpose or justification.

                    It’s purpose is to tax capital. Full stop.

                    Put that capital to work in some productive enterprise … then in most cases the CCT no longer applies as explained above. But have it sit around doing nothing in property, then yes it’s a tax.

                    And if you have so much capital tied up in a house that you cannot afford to pay the CCT on it … you are emphatically NOT poor. You are actually quite wealthy, but all you have done is arrange your affairs to avoid paying tax on your wealth. It’s become such an ingrained kiwi habit you’ve gotten used to thinking this is ok. It’s not. It’s a total rip-off on everyone who doesn’t own property.

                    Logically if house prices do stabilise then eventually wages will catch up. It might take a while, but then as I’ve said repeatedly, you can always organise the CCT to phase in gradually as well.

                    • The Chairman

                      “I think you are confusing a CCT with a CGT.”

                      No. I’m not. A CCT is designed to capture gains in capital at an annual deemed rate, regardless if the asset increases in actual value or not.

                      I’m aware you never claimed that by itself it would stop excess asset price inflation. I was highlighting that it’s unnecessary to achieve that aim.

                      You say it’s purpose is to tax capital. Full stop. Yet, go on to highlight (by putting that capital to work in some productive enterprise … then in most cases the CCT no longer applies) how it fails to do that.

                      Which I already explained above. It removes the tax burden from those investments that are most productive while placing the tax burden on those struggling to generate an income . That’s redistributing wealth up, not down.

                      As owning a home is the largest purchase most people make, it’s logical to assume most of their capital will be tied up in that house.

                      However, that doesn’t necessarily mean all home owners are well off as you are implying. And therefore deserve to be taxed.

                      You are overlooking the objective of a UBI. To redistribute wealth from the top downwards. Owning a home doesn’t put one at the top of the wealth scale. Therefore, you are classifying, thus incorrectly labeling, all home owners as being rich.

                      The objective of a UBI is to have tax settings that correctly identify the top of the wealth scale so as to then redistribute wealth from the top downwards.

                      The only way for a homeowner to rearrange their affairs to avoid the tax on their home is to sell their home. Forcing people to sell their home while at the same time discouraging home ownership (due to the new tax burden) isn’t going to turn the decline in home ownership around.

                      Phasing in a CCT isn’t going avert the pitfalls highlighted. It merely delays the full and final impact.

                      Again, the goal here isn’t to force your average or struggling homeowner to pay for a UBI, the goal is to ensure those at the top pay.

                    • RedLogix

                      Let’s put some numbers on this TC.

                      In the long run house prices should be around 3 times the median household income.
                      http://www.interest.co.nz/property/house-price-income-multiples

                      Let’s say the median household income is about $70k, this means the median house price should be around $210k. And if you owned this house with zero mortgage then the CCT would be about 1.2% of this, or about $2,250 pa. Still if you work through the total BK system, most households would still be better off.

                      Go here and bang in some numbers.

                      http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/calculator/personal.aspx

                      For say a couple with two kids, a total of $85k of household income, and a house worth $210k they own without a mortgage, they are still $1.5k pa better off. So you cannot argue this penalises them.

                      Of course with the median house price close to $500k the CCT on this is $6000 pa. Suddenly not so rosy.

                      It removes the tax burden from those investments that are most productive while placing the tax burden on those struggling to generate an income .

                      An investment that generates income is still paying tax on that income. The more income, the more tax. But a CCT removes the current incentive to park capital in investments that generate no income, and farm it for eventual tax-free capital gain.

                      A CCT would incentivise putting money into places that generate wealth, which is good for the whole economy, and ultimately if it is taxed fairly and shared fairly with a UBI … good for everyone.

                      At the moment all we are doing is concentrating wealth into the hands of a minority lucky enough to own property.

                    • The Chairman

                      While wealth is being consolidated in the hands of the few, it’s not being consolidated by all those who own homes. Hence, the continued flaw in your logic.

                      A number of homeowners are struggling. Therefore, this tax will be another burden driving them further down. This is not the objective of a UBI

                      The objective is to redistribute wealth from the top down. Not from struggling home owners and retirees to a couple earning a total of $85k

                      While an investment that generates income is still paying tax on that income. Morgan and yourself support a CCT bypassing them, thus allowing them to escape the CCT burden while placing it on those deemed to not be earning enough or anything at all.

                      Again, ending soaring capital gains also removes the incentive. This can be achieve without a CCT, thus it’s unsavory pitfalls that negatively impact upon the poor.

                      While a CCT would incentivise putting money into places that generate wealth, you and Morgan are also advocating these wealth generators escape the CCT burden, thus allowing them to escape funding a UBI.

                      You are losing sight of the objective. Therefore I must reiterate, the objective of a UBI is to have tax settings that correctly identify the top of the wealth scale so as to then redistribute wealth from the top downwards. Not from your average or struggling homeowner or retiree.

                    • RedLogix

                      While a CCT would incentivise putting money into places that generate wealth, you and Morgan are also advocating these wealth generators escape the CCT burden

                      Not quite. All that happens is that the income starts paying tax in the normal way. It hasn’t escaped tax, it’s just that for income returns over the 6% threshold CCT is deducted.

                      Think of it this way, on a capital of say $100m the minimum tax would be the CCT at $1.8m (assuming the 6% figure) on zero income.

                      Then as income increased it would be taxed at 30%. So by the time you got to say $2m income it would be liable for say $600k of tax, but the $1.8m already being paid on CCT would be deducted off this amount, reducing it to zero. Total tax = $1.8m

                      When you got to $6m income (6% return on capital) the income tax would be liability would $1.8m, exactly cancelled out by your $1.8m CCT already paid. Total tax = $1.8m

                      At say $12m income the income tax would be $3.6m and the CCT would no longer have an effect. Total tax = $3.6m

                      So in other words the CCT provides an effective minimum tax on capital, but in no way caps the maximum. So again emphatically … wealth generating assets do not escape tax.

                      By doing this is penalises the very common kiwi practise of farming investments, not just housing but across the board, for untaxed capital gain rather than wealth producing cash flow. And that’s a really bad habit making us ALL poorer.

                    • The Chairman

                      “It’s just that for income returns over the 6% threshold CCT is deducted.”

                      Exactly, which is how the burden is escaped.

                    • RedLogix

                      I think you play with words. At no point is the total tax paid ever less than the CCT. And given that the total tax paid is what matters, I fail to see exactly what is ‘escaped’.

                    • The Chairman

                      No. I was highlighting how the tax can escape some.

                      Those earning the deemed amount in income can deduct the burden, thus allowing them to escape it.

                  • Craig H

                    Living in one’s own house without a mortgage means not paying rent, so while someone may not be richer in terms of actual income, it’s quite a big difference in disposable income compared to people who do still pay rent.

                    • The Chairman

                      The benefit of not paying rent is what’s keeping a number of struggling families from facing further fiscal hardship.

                      Therefore, targeting them is not the objective. A UBI requires tax settings that can distinguish between the wealthy and the poor.

                      Wealth redistribution has to come from the top down.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Chairman – I’m confused.

                      You want to redistribute electronic spreadsheet numbers from those with the highest value spreadsheet numbers to those with the lowest value spreadsheet numbers?

                      And this will help society?

                    • The Chairman

                      @ CV

                      The objective of a UBI is to have tax settings that correctly identify the top of the wealth scale so as to then redistribute wealth from the top downwards.

                      This will help society in a number of ways. The benefits of this can be found in Labour’s discussion paper.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A UBI does not need to be funded by taking savings and income away from the top 10%.

                      Unless reducing wealth at the top end is a separate and distinct policy objective that you have.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ CV

                      A UBI can improve inequality. Therefore, it must identify and target where the wealth is largely concentrated, that tends to be at the top end. Don’t you agree?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Chairman – as I said previously. Providing a livable UBI to all citizens, and reducing the wealth held at the top end of society, are two different policy objectives which do not need to be conflated.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.4.1.3

            But you are correct in one sense, that certainly the entire Super scheme as set up was predicated on the idea that most retired people would own their own home by that time of life.

            It was also predicated upon NZers having a hell of a lot more offspring and a lot more immigration resulting in us having a large number of working young people. Instead we’ve got the Baby Boomer Bulge. Once the Baby Boomers start dying off en masse then we’re going to have a declining population which means we’re not going to have the people necessary to do the work supporting the declining older generation.

            Why else do you think that Labour was so keen to increase the retirement age to 70?

            It’s also why having lots of money in the bank (Kiwisaver/Cullen Fund) really isn’t going to do any good.

          • The Chairman 10.1.4.1.4

            “Where?”

            In the examples I presented. For one, Morgan’s estimate of a home being eaten into in around 25 years.

            You have suggested deferring, I highlighted the problems with doing that.

            You have suggested reverse mortgaging, similar problems (incurring interest,inheritance lost etc).

            You have suggested the beneficiaries of the estate could cover it. Totally ignoring the possibility they could also be struggling, thus causing them further hardship.

            You seem fixated with the belief all home owners and their offspring are rich.

            You have suggested phasing it in, which I also addressed.

            The only suggestion where we agree to some extent and would be of help if such a tax was implemented, are exemptions and a tax free threshold.

            Therefore, I addressed all of your points. You clearly weren’t listening.

            A large tax-free estate can be what helps keep offspring from being dependent on the state or keep them from further poverty.

            Again, you seem fixated with the belief all home owners and their offspring are rich.

            You claim the vast majority of estate property is sold , therefore that could just point to estates generally requiring to be divided as you say or highlight people require the money.

            Nevertheless, what you are once again totally overlooking is Grannies home shouldn’t be the target of a UBI tax.

            This is about wealth redistribution from the top down. Most Grannies are no where near the top end of the wealth scale.

            • RedLogix 10.1.4.1.4.1

              So yes you clearly and logically cannot deny that all the mechanisms I proposed have no impact on the cash flow of an elderly pensioner. Nor would any be ‘forced out of their homes’ as you keep falsely repeating.

              But what you are concerned that their estate will be impacted. This is the crunchie bit you keep returning to.

              A large tax-free estate can be what helps keep offspring from being dependent on the state or keep them from further poverty.

              Actually no. Life expectancy is in the 80’s these day, so most offspring are in their 50’s or 60’s before they are likely to inherit. And indeed this is exactly what many people this age are currently doing, loading up with lots of mortgage in non-productive property in the expectation that a nice tax-free inheritance will clear the debt before they retire. Or close to it.

              But of course what you totally overlook is that under a UBI system these same offspring will have been working much of their lives under a fairer and more efficient tax system that will have pulled them out of poverty already. And if property prices fall back to their historic 3 times median household income, there will be no need for massive mortgages, and no need for the tax-free bail out from Grannie.

              And of course at the really rich end of town, a CCT will slow down the rate of inter-generational wealth accumulation that is accelerating inequality in this country.

              As I’ve mentioned before, all of this is because generations of kiwis have gotten used to the idea that the safest way to stay in the middle class is to play the tax-free capital gains game in the property market. And I actually understand why; we had few options. But ultimately for the nation as a whole it’s a dead-end. In the end the only big buyers left will be overseas flight capital, and as we are seeing right now, slowly but surely we are becoming a nation of renters in our own land.

              • The Chairman

                Your suggestions (deferring, reverse mortgage etc) don’t impact cash flow, but they don’t remove the tax burden. They merely put it off.

                Additionally, the cost of doing so (interest incurred) increases the overall burden.

                The end result is the house will be lost. The only way to avoid the new ongoing tax burden is to sell the home. Therefore, to avoid the burden, people would be forced to sell.

                Of course one of the concerns is the loss of the estate. The inheritance can be what keeps struggling offspring from further poverty, regardless of their age.

                Just because someone is in their 50’s or 60’s doesn’t necessarily mean they are automatically well off. Therefore, new tax settings need to acknowledge this if we want to prevent further hardship.

                As stated above, a UBI is about wealth redistribution from the top down. Most Grannies are no where near the top end of the wealth scale.

                Therefore, new tax settings also need to acknowledge this if we want to prevent further hardship.

                If we addressed soaring capital gains, it also addresses the tax free gains on Grannies home.

                The introduction of a UBI is to deal with the future changes in work, anticipating less available work, thus less work security going forward.

                Therefore, under a UBI system these same offspring are unlikely to be in full employment most of their working lives, hence are more likely to be financially struggling and renting. Thus, an inheritance can be what keeps struggling offspring from further poverty. It may even allow them to escape the rent trap and own a home.

                The really rich end of town, those at the top end of the wealth scale, should see new tax settings impacting them. However, a CCT as presented by Morgan doesn’t distinguish between the two (your average granny and those at the top of the wealth scale) with all homeowners being captured by a CCT.

                You also seem to incorrectly assume all homeowners are also property investors.

                You claim to know why people invest in property, therefore you should also understand that a CCT will have little impact on their ability and desire to invest elsewhere.

                For example, a number that invest in property can’t get financing to invest elsewhere. Productive investment is considered more high risk, thus funding is more difficult to obtain.

                Not only does the risk impact on the ability to secure funding, it also discourages people’s desire to invest elsewhere.

                A number of property investors would never partake in the share market, cause they perceive the game is rigged and oversight is lacking.

                On a side note, there is no massive queue of companies seeking investment, thus looking to list on our stock exchange. There were only three main board IPOs last year.

                Therefore, there is far more work to be undertaken to turn our productive investment around than merely suggesting a CCT.

    • Foreign waka 10.2

      The upper most payout gross/net :

      Single:
      Gross: 22,416.20 – Net: 19,475.56
      Single, sharing accommodation:
      Gross: 20,600.84 – Net: 17,977.44
      Married, de facto etc:
      Gross: 16,967.60 – Net: 14,981.20

  11. upnorth 11

    UBI is just plain silly – I earned $125,000 a year plus medical plus a car and now I will get another $11,000

    I am going to buy a rental property in Auckland

    • RedLogix 11.1

      The UBI payment does not exist in isolation. Go and do your homework before commenting. At the very least read some of the thread before commenting.

    • Craig H 11.2

      Current tax on $125,000 = $32,170

      30% tax on $125,000 = $37,500

      Yes, better off on income tax once the $11,000 is added, but not by the whole amount, and there’s still capital tax to pay…

    • vto 11.3

      upnorth, your comment is what is plain silly

      go do some thinking first …

      to help you on your way, , , all income distribution mechanisms in the land such as tax rates, WFF, wages & salaries, dividends, subsidies etc etc will all adjust to a degree… it is likely your gross salary will adjust down to accommodate, so that your net income position (taking into account all of the above mechanisms) will be roughly the same.

      • upnorth 11.3.1

        why complicate a simple system already by paying me an extra 11000 I don’t need it

        • Craig H 11.3.1.1

          The Big Kahuna system is even simpler – one flat tax rate, one UBI payment, substantially fewer benefits to administer.

        • Colonial Viper 11.3.1.2

          why complicate a simple system already by paying me an extra 11000 I don’t need it

          Then don’t apply for the UBI.

          And don’t apply for NZ Super.

        • RedLogix 11.3.1.3

          @upnorth.

          Because the UBI does not stand on it’s own. The accompanying Flat Tax rate of 30-40% applies to all income, from the first dollar earned upwards.

          So while you get an extra $11k of UBI, you are also paying more tax on the first $40k of income that is currently taxed at low rates. Try and put some numbers in here:

          http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/calculator/personal.aspx

          Overall the idea of fixed UBI for everyone, and a flat tax on every dollar earned is an enormous simplification.

          • Craig H 11.3.1.3.1

            And it’s elegantly progressive – literally every dollar earned has a higher effective marginal tax rate (EMTR) than the previous dollar. I like that, even if I might add things like carbon taxes as well.

            • RedLogix 11.3.1.3.1.1

              a higher effective marginal tax rate (EMTR) than the previous dollar.

              And just to anticipate someone choosing to misinterpret that; the net total tax rate progresses from zero upwards and gradually closes in on the Flat Tax rate without ever quite reaching it.

              At no time does it ever go above the Flat Rate. (Typically between 30 – 40% depending on how you design the scheme.)

    • Colonial Viper 11.4

      UBI is just plain silly – I earned $125,000 a year plus medical plus a car and now I will get another $11,000

      That’s less than 10% more income for you.

      For others, a UBI will double their income. They benefit far more from it than you will.

  12. greywarshark 12

    As someone on the old age pension, called superannuation, I don’t want to have to seek paid work so I can exist. I am looking to continue doing volunteer work, helping with community building etc. plus be involved in helping my children, my friends on the present income which is just below being enough.

    How can I afford to pay my bills which are fairly basic costs, and run my old car which I use to cart me and things around when doing some project, if I am getting a bit over $200 per week, $400 a fortnight, which is half of what I get now. And prices are going up, and I am being asked to help support more and more things that the government is withdrawing from. I just don’t see how UBI will help me. All I would get is a set amount that even if the economy changed through UBI would not be enough for me to enjoy life, and that is getting harder all the time when one surveys the awful things that the wealthy and powerful are planning and doing.

    My belief is that volunteer work should be a demand for all able-bodied people who are receiving super, whether they are earning extra or not. Something to the citizen from the state paid for out of taxes, should bounce back to the other citizens in some shape or form. The real free loaders are the ones on super who do nothing for the country.

    Going for simplicity is always the catch cry it seems. But we have the technology to handle complexity. of welfare. We could just reinstate the idea of a safety net and encourage people to get into the circus, and pay them for having a go. Have people work for as long as they can in the day, and top up their earnings. Share the work around. Ensure that businesses employing part-time labour have proper rosters, pay reasonably and more for anti-social hours, and just treat their people fairly. Make some company tax allowances for training workers, for the number of part-timers they have working regular hours, allowing them a living or a portfolio, with government top-ups. Concentrate on having a busy, exciting, buzzing country with people doing their own thing and earning reasonable overall wages, rather than a zombie workforce getting tongue-lashed, sad, mad and desperate.

    We need less swingeing taxes on beneficiary earnings, we need encouragement to try new work, micro businesses with friends, small entrepreneurship, small employers given tax advantages, encouraged to have good work practices, people to make and do things, organise things, do volunteer work, build capacity, and not hear constant disparagement even hate of beneficiaries.

    Disband hateful WINZ and the punitive aspects of social welfare and that would free up money to pay for things we lack. Have a system that requires a certain number of hours of approved volunteer work, which might be looking after grandchildren, or helping with community gardens, or op shop, or helping with an annual parade, or hunting invasive weeds and insects. A social system that gives and receives, that is sure with income assistance that can be relied on, check ins with work trainers like life trainers.

    Have a senior career path for retirees who aspire to some volunteer position and retrain for it, or be part of a seasonal work force travelling the country and having a guaranteed booking at a chosen government apartment house let out on time share system for when the seasonal work finishes, and they have fulfilled their hours as contributing citizens. The bloke that drives the greenwaste collection truck in my street is looking forward to this. He is on tap to help out at present, but is up to retirement age, and wants to be available for occasional work also but have some time travelling. He could be part of the seasonal workforce if this idea was introduced, doing something that an older person could manage.

    The wealthy could avoid this communal co-operative thing by foregoing their super, and just receiving limited subsidised health care.
    edited

    • RedLogix 12.1

      How can I afford to pay my bills which are fairly basic costs, and run my old car which I use to cart me and things around when doing some project, if I am getting a bit over $200 per week, $400 a fortnight, which is half of what I get now.

      Short answer no. For a start the BK was written up a few years back now. Probably it would be north of $14k pa if you apply the average wage inflation increase since then.

      Secondly no-one has suggested that the BK would be imposed on current retirees. Obviously there would need to be a significant transitional measures in place to allow people and the economy time, at least a generation, to adjust.

      Thirdly it’s wrong to evaluate the BK purely in the context of the current economy. It is such substantial re-working of the tax/welfare system that will change many, many aspects of how our economy works. In the long run there is absolutely no reason why most long income households should not be a LOT better off with the right settings.

      But otherwise I complete support everything you are saying about the real value of all the community work retired people currently do. I’ve often argued that NZ gets really good value for money from it’s Superannuation system. The way the public debate around the ‘affordability’ of Super completely neglects and erases this huge contribution really pisses me off.

  13. The danger of providing money to an individual to be able to fend off for a day would mean suffering for the tax payers and encourage laziness among individuals. The current social system is not doing well, encouraging people to be ‘unemployed’ and finding ways in order to get money from the government, how much more this? This won’t settle well in the finances of people.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      webbrowan
      A lot of suppositions and unsupported opinion there.
      When I read phrases like:
      “suffering for the taxpayers”
      “encourage laziness among individuals”
      “The current social system…encouraging people to be ‘unemployed’
      “finding ways…to get money from the government”

      then I am reading repeats of phrases that float around the uninformed, or determinedly ignorant heads of all Right Wingers that write here and pompously discuss their inferiors in superior tones.

      I am sorry if you are having trouble getting your head around how the economy works to the detriment of most people, if not yourself, and your written language requires more practice as well. Try reading some of the links to neo liberal economic criticism that we put up here, they are a real help to those who want to learn about current economic and business malpractice.
      edited

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