Keeping the buggers honest

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, May 18th, 2011 - 31 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government - Tags:

This rolling post is intended to be a record of the lies, misrepresentations, and misdirections the National government and its allies try to foist on us. It’s a ‘facts only’ post.

Today’s topic: borrowing for tax cuts

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

John Key said in Parliament yesterday:

National’s tax plan 2010—it does not matter how many times Labour members want to disagree with it; they are just making it up as they do with so much other stuff—was fiscally neutral.

The Budget, however, is quite clear:

It’s pretty clear. The cost of the tax cuts is $1.085 billion in the first four years alone, or $415 million if you count “macroeconomic effects”, which sounds a lot like wishful thinking.

Lying in Parliament. Isn’t there something that can be done about that?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The claim: The 2010 tax changes didn’t involve borrowing for tax cuts
The truth: The 2010 tax changes will cost $1.085 billion over the first four years, which will need to be borrowed.

The claim: Public sector wage growth under Labour vastly out-stripped private sector wages, justifying real wage cuts for public servants under National even if strong private sector wage growth occurs.
The truth: Median public service wages rose 41.8%, private sector wages by 39%, between 1999 and 2008.

The claim: rich families are milking the WFF system, so it should be cut.
The truth: Over 97% of WFF payments go to families on below average incomes.

If you’ve got an instance of the government or its allies being caught out like this, click on the ‘contribute post’ button and tell us about it. If it stacks up, we’ll add it to the list.

31 comments on “Keeping the buggers honest”

  1. ianmac 1

    Is it possible to make say $100,000 a cut off for WFF?
    I seem to remember Michael Cullen saying that it was not cost-effective to fiddle around the top edges.

    • Blighty 1.1

      that would create an over 100% effective marginal tax rate.

      Say you’re getting $500 a year in WFF on $99,999. Earn one more dollar and lose $500. In fact, you’re worse off until your gross income is about $100,850. They generally recommend against taxes of over 100 cents in the dollar.

      And it would be for a trifling $10 million a year savings.

      captcha: compute

      • Bunji 1.1.1

        Given the government apparently doesn’t even need the $72 million from the cancelled fuel tax rise, $10 million should be easy to make up…

  2. Deadly_NZ 2

    Yeah but we all know that ol’ smile and wave won’t want to annoy the rich people so it will be people like me who have been made redundant and now have medical problems who will have their WFF slashed while shonkey grant’s his mates yet another tax cut, and me and mine and people like me will starve.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Key claimed that public servants have been getting paid more. Even the figures The Standard cites confirms this (41.8% v 39%). Where is the lie?

    So far as the problem of bracket creep goes that The Standard has identified, National is trying to eliminate this problem with tax changes. So National’s tax changes are good, right?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Um, no, National has not tried to fix bracket creep at all. Bracket creep is when your salary increases by a fixed amount, putting you into the next bracket where you are paid more.
       
      The only way to fix bracket creep is to adjust the brackets (or completely remove brackets altogether). National has not completely removed any brackets, and they have also not moved the brackets at all. The shift from $60k to $70k, and $38k to $48k for the top brackets were from Labour’s tax cut in the 2008 budget that took effect in October 2008, that Key likes to take credit for in all the stats he gets Bill English to cook up for him.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        Are you saying you would like to be rid of tax brackets?!!! You’ll be a paid up member of ACT next. 🙂

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          No, not at all. I am saying your assertion that National is trying to eliminate bracket creep is 100% wrong, because they have done precisely nothing to “eliminate” bracket creep.

          They have helped to *alleviate* bracket creep by reducing tax rates, but that’s not the same as *eliminate*.

          • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.1.1

            They haven’t done nothing, Lanth. John Key would love to see wages drop, and that would eliminate bracket creep.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1.1

              But John Key himself has repeatedly said that average wages are rising. So clearly he’s failed to even manage that.

              • Armchair Critic

                So it’s a total fuck-up all round?
                Where is tsmithfield, surely he must know the answer. Or burt? I’m picking it is probably Labour’s fault.

    • Roger 3.2

      Less than 2% cumulatively over 9 years cannot really be considered as “typically…having higher levels of wage increases prior to National coming into office” now can it. Its funny how you have to clutch at straws to try to prove that Key is not trying to mislead the public.

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        A lie is normally when the facts contradict the statement. In this case, even by the figures stated, 2% is higher than 39%. So, even though the amount is small, the facts align with Key’s statement. Also, the public sector is likely to enjoy other cushy benefits such as higher redundancy packages etc that the private sector can’t afford. So the headline figure doesn’t necessarily equate to reality.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.2.1.1

          “In this case, even by the figures stated, 2% is higher than 39%.”

          That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into.

          • terryg 3.2.1.1.1

            out-pedanting a pedant 😀

            here’s a simple way to determine if someone is a pedant – tell them to “stop being so pendantic”. If they correct you, they are a pedant.

            Cue Python:

            hey you,
            you’re such a pedant,
            got as much brains as a dead ant,
            as much imagination as a caravan site

            • Vicky32 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Hey, speaking as a pedant, I gotta say, we are necessary, even if only as an irritant… 😀
              Vicky

              • terryg

                …..
                but I still love you,
                I still love you,
                ooh, ooh, ooh,
                how swee..e..eet

                (leaving off last line deliberately) ;}

            • Mr. Notpedanticintheslighest 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Of course, that would be a quote from a song by Neil Innes and not, strictly speaking, Python…

              • Jum

                Mr. Notpedanticintheslighest.

                So, r u b’ing ‘sly’ here, Mr N?

              • terryg

                (hangs semi-pedantic head in shame)

                Thanks! that’ll provide hours of entertainment 🙂

        • Roger 3.2.1.2

          The difference is just over 0.3% each year, or less than this if the principle wage is cumulative year on year, so let’s look at his statement.

          They have typically been having higher levels of wage increases prior to National coming into office; public sector wages outstripped private sector wages for a long period of time.

          Typically suggests that there is a clear characteristic of higher wage increases given to public sector workers. But if the average per year wage increase is around 0.3% then this suggests that they have not done better than private sector workers most years, or if they have done, the amount is miniscule and does not suggest a characteristic advantage.

          The comment about public sector wages outstripping private sector wages for a long time cannot be linked to the wage increases. The mix of private and public sector jobs is different, who do you compare police, judges, DOC staff etc to in the private sector. Do chief executives of public sector bodies compare positively to CEO’s of similar sized private sector companies? How do private and public sector doctors and teachers compare in wages? How many public sector employees are in jobs where no qualifications are needed. Public sector waiters, checkout operators?

          The reality is that Mr Key is trying to create the impression that public sector workers were milking it under Labour while the private sector were sweating it out. It’s rubbish

        • KINTO 3.2.1.3

          “Vastly” =/= 2%. QED.

  4. vto 4

    Starter for 10…

    How many shares did John Key and associated persons have in Tranzrail? Was it;

    a. 25,000
    b. 50,000
    c. 100,000

    • Kevin Welsh 4.1

      Depends on whether you are being asked by:

      a. Duncan Garner
      b. Guyon Espiner

      or

      c. Francesca Mold

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    When less than 1% of the populace can see what the real game is and everyone else chases the red herrings you supply, you are well on the way to fully-fledged fascism.

    • ZeeBop 5.1

      Its not a choice if one of two options you starve and lose your home.
      Gutter capitalism, gut and capitalize, is all National are.
      But where is Labour? Where is the principle language of rights?
      Labour were not much better, they also offered a tax cut,
      National just out brought the electorate promising no hike in GST,
      no savage cuts in services, the electorate will remember that.
      When Labour are returned it doesn’t mean anything much,
      it will still be the same more profits for absent landlords.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    The truth: Median public service wages rose 41.8%, private sector wages by 39%, between 1999 and 2008.

    That’s misleading as it gives an impression that public service workers are paid more for the same job. This may not be true. So, what are the wages to wages comparisons? I suspect you’ll find that they’re all within the ballpark of “market rates”.

  7. Peter 7

    Key in 2008 “After a decade of the most favourable global economic conditions in our lifetimes, all New Zealand has to show for it is an ocean of red ink 10 years into the future,”

    True to his word Key is doing as he predicted, creating an ocean of debt in the public sector and allowing it to expand in the private sector.

  8. Peter 8

    Key in 2008

    “New Zealand needs a Government that is prepared to walk the talk. ”

    That’s why Brash left, so as far as he is concerned Key has been less than honest.

  9. Jum 9

    The Standard,

    Great idea! I will be printing these out and keeping them in my wallet.

  10. National in Parliament are looking desperate today.  They are saying continuously that the tax cuts were broadly revenue neutral, if so I wonder where that huge hole in the country’s finances came from.
     
    And they keep saying that Labour will tax turnover and profit.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
     
    They should be talking up the budget.  Maybe there is nothing to talk up?
     
    And Jacinda has just called Key an “Empathy free comedian”.  Classic.
     

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    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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