Key’s dodgy scheming

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 25th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: jobs, kiwisaver, privatisation, tax - Tags: , ,

*Key says that we will get to vote on his Kiwisaver cuts in the election. Truth is, they passed the law last week and the tax credits are cut from July 1.

The Herald has a good piece on this today. Key says that the tax credits won’t be paid until July 2012 but they are calculated on our contributions from this July. Key is simply being a smart arse trying to say the cut doesn’t happen until the payment date.

Don’t forget the sneaky tax grab on your employer contribution too. Was tax-free. Now up to 33% will be clawed back by the government. Hartevelt notes: “the tax is so powerful that as income levels rise and higher marginal tax rates kick in, the tax take effectively overtakes the Government contribution, making KiwiSaver a money spinner for the Government.”

Key talks about boosting savings but his Budget was all about taxing savings more.

*What’s up with the dodgy Kiwibank numbers? Plans for sale?

The Budget’s numbers on Kiwibank make no sense. For a couple of years it lends billions more than normal. Then, suddenly its lending nothing. And its mortgage book increases dollar for dollar with its deposits. That’s not how banking works.

Treasury says they got the numbers from Kiwibank. The bank says that’s bollocks.

Speculation is the figures project Kiwibank selling off its mortgage book. A way of privatising the company without privatising it. We’re left with a hollow shell of a company. The govt walks away with the cash to pay for tax cuts.

They’ve already done this with their ‘electricity reforms’. Forced Genesis (run by Jenny Shipley) to borrow half a billion to buy dams from Meridian. Then made Meridian pay the Crown a half billion special dividend. Net result – SOEs net worth less half a billion, and more cash to cover tax cuts. Just like selling but not. Magic.

*The govt is importing World Cup workers while 270K are jobless.

Us taxpayers are being made to fork over tens of millions to underwrite the World Cup that most of us can’t afford to attend. But at least there’s some more jobs out of it, eh? Nup. The Nats are importing foreigners to do the work, TVNZ reveals.

*Key’s jokes falling flat with pissed off voters.

Young Hartevelt has been following Key on his budget-selling exercise:

John Key is nothing if not brave – though cocky may be more accurate…

…He boasted about easing the tax burden on the wealthiest New Zealanders [thought the tax switch was revenue neutral – Eddie], not mentioning the $175 million a year in revenue his Government will start taking when it stops the tax waiver on employer contributions.

Mr Key got into dangerous territory when he started mocking Labour’s proposed research and development tax credit.

Employers like the tax credit idea and not many at the Upper Hutt luncheon were laughing when Mr Key joked that they would abuse the credit by somehow engineering a trip to Fiji…

…”He’s very personable, he has a very effective personality, but as a swinging voter, I’m a little bit sceptical. The Budget doesn’t seem to have had a great deal of imagination in it.”…

22 comments on “Key’s dodgy scheming”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    John Key’s 2011 Budget: kiss his ass or kick his ass?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Kick his ass. Hard.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        I think that John Key is laughing at us all. A thing that some do when they believe their own publicity and from a position of extreme arrogance. So perhaps we should hasten his downfall by praising him and bowing before him and kissing his ass till he explodes with his own invincibility?

  2. marsman 2

    Key is dodgy. Key is shonkey. Key is a liar. Key is screwing NZ. Kick his ass VERY hard.

  3. Bending immigration rules to allow unskilled workers take jobs New Zealanders are available to do completely undermines the immigration system. I haven’t heard a single decent argument for it and personally find it disgusting.

    The immigration system is actually a good one, when it’s run according to the rules. Unfortunately the current government has badly broken it.

    Problem 1:
    First they cut skilled immigration (by 16.5% in 2009 and 16.9% in 2010). This may sound like a good idea with kiwis out of work, but immigration has absolute power over who comes in. If we need more experienced electricians they pull more out of the pool. If they need more engineers they grab a bundle.

    The people being allowed in are purely to fill skill gaps and what with 42,200 kiwi citizens heading to Australia last year these gaps are widening not shrinking. If properly managed there should never be competition with kiwis for jobs, but Coleman is stuffing this up leading to burgeoning skill shortages which are costing kiwis jobs.

    So far this year there has been a 21.1% drop in hand-picked permanent skilled workers. That equates to around $1.35 billion for the year that will not be coming into the country to be spent in local businesses.

    Problem 2:
    There has been story after story about migrants being mistreated and kicked out of NZ. Martyn Payne for example who invested his life savings of $700,000 and six years of his life turning a crumbling garage into a multi-million business employing local people before being kicked out on the basis of a medical assessor who had never seen him disagreeing with doctors and a specialist who had.

    I spoke this morning to a migrant who had invested $4.5 million in NZ but is now pulling their money out because of this kind of treatment. They’re scared they’ll be treated the same way.

    As a result the number of skilled workers waiting in line to come here has dropped by 54.6% over the past year. At some point we might need these people, but they’ll now be heading off somewhere else, most to Australia.

    Problem 3:
    Now the government is allowing unskilled foreign workers to take jobs. This is madness unless unemployment is so low bodies just can’t be found. It undermines the whole system unnecessarily and makes no sense at all.

    Immigration is officially a train-wreck. When it could be adding billions to our economy, increasing jobs and growing business the Minister is using and abusing it. I’d like to know why and will be writing to the Minister, I’ll let you know what I get back.

    • PeteG 3.1

      Problem 3:
      Now the government is allowing unskilled foreign workers to take jobs. This is madness unless unemployment is so low bodies just can’t be found.

      Plenty of bodies can be found, but they are not willing to be in the places they are needed. I know it’s nuts but agricultural workers are very hard to get in NZ, it’s inconvenient to move to where there’s seasonal work available, or they don’t like working in the fresh air, or they don’t like getting their hands dirty, or the pay doesn’t make it worth them getting out of bed, or something.

      So we have to bring in seasonal workers to get the jobs done – who manage to move to where seasonal work is without too many problems.

      • Blighty 3.1.1

        we’re talking about hospitality workers in the major cities

        • Mike - move2nz

          Yes, as Blighty says, I’m talking about hospitality and accommodation workers in the cities. Agricultural workers are a completely different situation, fill roles farmers find it hard to sell to kiwis and actually support many kiwi jobs.

          I am sure there are plenty of kiwis who would be happy to have bar work, waiting tables, cleaning hotel rooms etc. which are unskilled. There is a place for migrant workers, but that should only be in the job market gaps. Competition between foreign workers and kiwis is simply an indication that immigration policy is not being applied properly.

          One thing I should point out is that I strongly feel this is not the fault of immigration staff. They have no choice and have been told to do this. Fault lies with policy makers.

          • Lanthanide

            Did you see Make the Politician Work with Trevor Mallard? He went out as an asparagus picking with the seasonal workers, and said it was damn hard work. The packing house however only employed NZers, and they preferred to mainly employ older people, but also gave a few young people a chance to get some work experience.
            The owner said that without the migrant seasonal workers, his operation would be considerably smaller (because he simply wouldn’t be able to find enough kiwis to do the hard work) and he’d only employ 1/4th as many kiwi workers as he did. So in this case everyone wins: migrants make more money in 1 week than they could in several months at home; the business is larger and more profitable; more jobs are created for NZers in jobs that they want to do (packing in the pack house).

            • PeteG

              It’s one of the best sorts of “aid” we can give to the countries the migrant workers come from.

              They have a real need and are prepared to go out of their way (and country) to work for it. There are not enough local unemployed that are motivated enough to do it.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Bullshit. In Hawke’s Bay there are plenty of workers who are complaining because they couldn’t get seasonal work this year who have done this in previous years – or had a shorter period of work in order for employers to keep on their overseas workers.

                It was bad enough competing against the newly unemployed and the new job seekers let alone against the overseas workers.

                The thing is the employers can do things with the overseas workers they can’t do with NZer’s e.g, if there is only 3 days work this week they can still pay the overseas worker for the full week and then have them make it up when they are at full picking, then can have them live on site or nearby and have them start earlier and finish later, the overseas workers don’t have to go home and look after their families or help their kids with school work (anyone who has ever worked away from home for an extended period of time knows how much easier it is to work long hours) and most importantly when the orchard next door is paying more money the overseas workers can’t jump the fence and go there as the New Zealanders can – the overseas workers are in effect indentured to that employer – cause the pay rates are not great and doing for instance a first pick is much better than doing a third pick in terms of making money – if the orchard you are on is on it’s third pick and the one down the road is on first it not rocket science about where you get the best income.

      • MrSmith 3.1.2

        More beneficiary bashing peteG.

  4. So even if we vote him out of office this November he would have lied in saying that he was going to the electorate to seek a mandate to change Kiwisaver.  He has changed it already and if we vote him out it still would have changed.

    • Alwyn 4.1

      But Phil and the Labour party will reverse the law to give us the $1043 taxpayer subsidy if they win.
      I’m sure he will guarantee to do it won’t he?
      Surely he has already made an unconditional statement on the matter. Phil is like that isn’t he. He would never prevaricate on such a critical subject

      • Craig Glen Eden 4.1.1

        No Alwyn Goff is quite different to Key, Key will tell you anything if it serves his purpose. Goff on the other hand is not media slick but he is more considered. Lets see how much fortitude Key has as the polls start to decline.Goff wont be promising much and I dont think he will need to Key is isolating more and more of the electorate.

        Goff has already said he wont be able to reverse the damage done by Keys give aways to the rich, Sadly this country’s current finance minister has taken his eye off the ball and the countys now in the shit.

      • mickysavage 4.1.2

        To be frank Alwyn they probably can’t afford to, at least in the first year.  Things will be stretched already.  There will be the $5b of asset sales that will not occur but which will put a hole in the budget, there will be $4b less tax collected presuming the IRD are correct and there will be a further $1b of cuts that no one knows where they will come from but which will probably otherwise come out of wages that Labour would be loathe to do.
        $10b worth of funding to find before Kiwisaver cuts can be reversed.
        David Cunliffe is really good but even he would struggle with this.
        Good attempted diversion though.  Ignore the cuts and somehow try and blame Labour for it.

        • Colonial Viper

          Time to rev up the electronic printing presses.

          If it’s good enough for the US and for Japan, it’s good enough for us.

        • Billy Fish

          Baaaaaa “Its all labours fault” baaaaaaaaaaaaa baaaa”Labours fault”……..

  5. ianmac 5

    Kiwibank. Ominous. Perhaps when hints were raised English/Key it was just a warmer for the mandate that they expect. What a shame. I expect that if the understaffed Treasury use dodgy figures then Key can argue that Kiwibank desperately needs investment –er from Kiwi mums and dads of course.

  6. Lazy Susan 6

    And look at how Duncan Garner allows English to get away with the Kiwisaver lie. It’s about 4mins 30 sec in. Sloppy at best or is Garner just complicit in the game?

  7. ianmac 7

    Duncan only has two positions . Panting as a sycophant. Panting as attack dog. One for Key. One for Goff. Guess which is which.

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