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Making s%*t up

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, March 15th, 2023 - 41 comments
Categories: Dr Deborah Russell, making shit up, Media, spin, tax, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Is it just me or is Mike Hosking becoming more unbalanced?

An example from earlier this week came to my attention via this tweet from the excellent Lyin Ex Tobacco Lobbyist. It was based on an interview between Hosking and Chris Hipkins where Hosking attacked Hipkins for planning to introduce a top tax rate of 45c in the dollar based on a speech recently given by Associate Revenue Minister Deborah Russell.

I did what Lyin recommended and read the speech.

Nowhere could I find a suggestion that Russell advocated for a top tax rate of 45c in the dollar.  In face nowhere could I even find a reference to a top tax rate of 45c in the dollar.

Hipkins was clearly bemused at the line of questioning and had no idea what Hosking was referring to.  But Hosking chose to continue to badger Hipkins about a tax policy increase which was not actually announced or even hinted at.

The closest that I could find in the speech to a reference to increasing tax was a comment a the need to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share of tax.  From the speech:

I do worry about the growing gap between the super wealthy and the rest in New Zealand – and around the world. In fact, it’s a global problem.

Some interesting work is being done looking at effective average tax rates paid by different sections of the population, which I understand will be published in the next few months. The High-Wealth Individuals Research Project looks at the amount of tax that they pay on their economic or comprehensive income. By economic income I mean income including non-taxed gains such as capital gains.

As you know, this is purely a research project and is not connected to Inland Revenue’s compliance function.

What will be interesting is to have a better understanding of how much tax is paid by the wealthy relative to their economic income compared with the middle class. The issue here is to better understand if our tax system is fair – that is, are those with more resources paying a similar or even lower rate of tax than those with fewer resources.

I understand this work also takes account of the impact GST as a proportion of income. I think it’ll be interesting analysis for us to reflect upon.

While not all taxes need to be progressive the overall system should not be regressive. The very wealthy should at least pay the rate middle income earners already pay. It should also be fair between taxpayers of similar means.

I’m looking forward to seeing the conclusions of the High-Wealth Individuals Research Project so we get a better understanding of how progressive our tax system actually is.

Hosking is clearly afraid at the Government performing this analysis, no doubt because it will show that the wealthy are not paying their fair share of tax.  But attacking Hipkins over something that his Minister did not say is a new low.

Lyin has lodged a complaint.  It will be interesting to see how this works out.

41 comments on “Making s%*t up ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    ZB has had it's credibility badly dented recently with reality intruding into their dollar store Tucker Carlson routine, Hosking is probably feeling the heat. Climate change will do that to a man.

  2. Ad 2

    Well sure but why is Russell doing aspeech on tax when it's not her portfolio?

    Did she not understand what happened to Parker?

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Probably for the same reason she has been utterly supine on representing her Waitakere constituents in the face of the casual bureaucratic indifference of Waka Kotahi/AT – she is an utterly gormless politician.

      I mean honestly – an actual politician would do a bit of political theatre and turn up at the AT HQ with a film crew in tow and demand to speak to the CEO and get some dates on when her constituents will get their roads repaired, that way she might actually increase her vote share instead of presiding over a steady erosion of Labour loyalty until she goes list only and some right wing populist jerk takes over as local MP.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Bit tough. She has no control over AT who is primarily responsible for this. They have been working on the issue and access has improved considerably.

        • Sanctuary

          My view on this is doing nothing on the basis of deference to technocratic areas of responsibility is a bad look that cuts no ice with voters. If you don't want to lose to fake right wing populists who lump you in with the swamp they want to drain, then sometimes even middle class ex-academics have to hold their nose and do a bit of retail politics, political theatre ("I am getting into my car in two weeks and taking my dog for a walk and to buy an icecream in Piha, and if the road isn't open I'd like to see AT try and stop me") and bureaucrat bashing. AT is incompetent and incredibly unpopular with the Auckland public so laying into them in election year wouldn't hurt her re-election chances one little bit and might even get some action.

          Call it Chippie’s law of bread and butter politics.

      • Darien Fenton 2.1.2

        Deborah is my local MP. I have no complaints. I am glad to have a Labour person in my rohe after boundary changes in the past meant I was in a National seat. I deliver leaflets for her which I do voluntarily – doubt you do. I am invited to her LEC meetings and kept informed. But then I guess you have to be actively involved to know what is going on rather than making comments like yours Sanctuary. I think our Labour MPS in the rohe and our Labour Councillors have been utterly brilliant and it’s not always about media opps.

        • Sanctuary

          Actually, it is always about media opps. If I were a electorate MP I'd turn up to the opening of an envelope. I remember the days when local MPs would call the mayor on your behalf and give them a serve if your planning permission was unaccountably held up. Local nobs would tut tut at political interference and would moan about it to anyone who would listen, and the locals would adore you and return you with massive majorities. Too often these days our MPs come from the same class as the bureaucrats they are meant to be chastising.

          • Darien Fenton

            If I were an electorate MP in West Auckland, I would turn up in my gumboots to give a helping hand, as indeed our Westie Labour MPs and local Labour Councillors have been doing, And I would be concentrating on ensuring locals get support through btw those "bureaucrats". I wouldn't waste my time calling Wayne Brown.

      • tWiggle 2.1.3

        Sanctuary, Auckland Transport lists more than 20 road closures in West Auckland. Multiply Karekare times five. Each cut-off community wants things done yesterday. But in a large-scale event like this, they do have to be self-reliant. There is just not enough immediate resource for small communities at the ends of long roads. Repairs, rightly, should prioritise key roads and more densely-populated areas.

        Judging from the post you put up, looks like these communities probably aren't working well together to sort out the important stuff for themselves, like carpooling to minimise road traffic, for city workers, kids to school, and ill people to appointments.

        There was also significant flooding in parts of Henderson, a poorer community. Maybe the Waitakere MP is more focused on helping that group, over people likely to have greater personal resources.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Why is Russell doing a speech on tax when it's not her portfolio?

      She is associate Minister for Revenue and I am sure the speech was vetted.

  3. Hoskin, Luxon and their ilk work on the principle that once the seed of an idea is planted it will grow and fester in the minds of the easily influenced. Totally unprincipled and lacking in integrity, just rabble-rousers.

    • Tricledrown 3.1

      This tactic has backfired everything Hipkins has done so far shows that he is after the soft National vote Thats why National are trying to portray him as extreme but like Simon Bridges ,Judas Collins it has backfired.Luxon's popularity wanes as he is seen as a perpetual whinger.

    • Thinker 3.2

      Someone once said if you tell a lie that's big enough, people will believe it.

      That seems to be the strategy they're adopting.

      'nuff said.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    “Mi–cockskin” has to be one of the most degraded media channel figures to ever operate in this country. An employing class mouth for hire, with an obvious element of sadism in there too.

  5. tWiggle 5

    Like Tucker Carlson, the views he peddles aren't necessarily his own. They come from the media company. His father-in-law, the respected former media journalist Jon Hawkesby, said more or less that when asked how he could tolerate his SIL's opinions. On the other hand, Hoskings takes money, and large lumps of it, to sell nastiness and political slant. That puts him on a similar shelf to WhaleOil.

  6. Ad 6

    You can almost do an Obama-style Angry Obama Shadow to Russell here.

    The great majority of kiwis are terrible at discussing policy. So it is really important to track the content of Minister Russell's words as a growing body of evidence that supports strong progressive changes to the tax sources and income tax brackets:

    "I understand this work also takes account of the impact GST as a proportion of income. I think it’ll be interesting analysis for us to reflect upon."

    The government has essentially become addicted to GST income, and it is like a blood cancer on the poor. We know we need to wean government off it.

    "While not all taxes need to be progressive the overall system should not be regressive. The very wealthy should at least pay the rate middle income earners already pay. It should also be fair between taxpayers of similar means."

    We made a big signal with the harder Bright Line Test, and with the work on Trusts, and with the +$180,000 income rise. But make no mistake we were defeated internally on Capital Gains Tax and we are still coming for the rich if we get the numbers.

    "I’m looking forward to seeing the conclusions of the High-Wealth Individuals Research Project so we get a better understanding of how progressive our tax system actually is."

    Lock and load team we have your names and addresses.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    It is interesting though, that I haven't heard any senior Labour politician rule the idea out yet. I would have thought it would be easy to do this if it was a proposal they weren't even considering and had no intention to impliment.

    For instance, if an interviewer asked out of the blue if they were considering implimenting an 80% tax on income over say $100k, I am sure that would be ruled out straight away without any second thought.

    Time will tell I guess…

    • AB 7.1

      All you are saying is that a 45% rate is within the boundaries of the thinkable for Labour politicians. It implies nothing about whether they will actually do it or not.

      If politicians must now rule out everything that is thinkable for them, it leads to some potentially interesting interview questions for Nat politicians:

      • have you ruled out implementing a flat tax of 15%?
      • have you ruled out lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 10?
      • have you ruled out implementing citizens' patrols that can detain all people on the street who look like they might commit a ram raid?
      • Have you ruled out increasing the qualification age for superannuation to 75?
      • Have you ruled out making unemployment benefits time limited to 3 months?
      • Have you ruled out employers being able to fire at will at any stage of an employee's career?
      • Have you ruled out de-funding humanities education at universities?

      And so on and on. It's not bad as a propaganda technique – make the interviewee rule out something you suspect they are capable of thinking. But it's not something an actual journalist would do. And there you have the explanation – ZB is not a news service, it's a propaganda arm of the National/ACT coalition

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        It is probably a moot point. It will obviously become clear at the budget.

        Who knows, for all we know, he might have guessed a number that the government is thinking about.

        The examples you give above sort of make my point really. Most of those are so extreme that they would be ruled out immediately I think. And if they definitely are not in the thinking of a potential National government, I would expect those questions to be ruled out straight away.

        • AB

          And if they definitely are not in the thinking of a potential National government, I would expect those questions to be ruled out straight away

          We can always fine-tune the questions, but the intellectual dishonesty of the technique remains the same.

          • tsmithfield

            But I really don't see why something wouldn't be ruled out if it isn't being considered at all. I don't see any downside to that. Not ruling something out doesn't mean it will happen. But it could mean it is being considered as a possibility.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              "Not ruling something out" "could mean" whatever one wants it to mean wink

              • tsmithfield

                True enough. But ruling something out is definitive, and leaves no room for doubt.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  But ruling something out is definitive, and leaves no room for doubt.

                  Do you mean 'no room for doubt' that it won't happen, or 'no room for doubt' that the pollie/party wants voters to believe that it won't happen?

                  PM defensive after video reveals GST flip-flop
                  Prime Minister John Key has come under fire in Parliament this afternoon after a Herald video revealed he had ruled out a GST rise during his election campaign in 2008.

                  Oh! let us never, never doubt
                  What nobody is sure about! – Belloc (1897)

                  Belloc's poem, "The Microbe", might also be relavent to weka's post.

            • Craig H

              For Labour at least, a lot of party policy comes from the party membership via policy committees and conferences. Ruling something out would be awkward if there is actually being work done on it and it appears in the manifesto. Easier just to not buy into that line of questioning at all.

      • Shanreagh 7.1.2

        Yes it is an unprincipled gotcha type of question and that being the case totally expected from Mr H.

        The asking again and again often makes the person answering look shifty or as if they are covering up something when they cannot answer. In courtrooms for instance some Judges rule that this is badgering the witness.

        I don't know who listens to motomouth (demographics) but presumably it is seen by PM/Labour as being important to be there. Noting that in the end PM Ardern did not think it was worth it.

        I follow LETL on Twitter as well.

        I am glad they are taking a complaint.

    • Incognito 7.2

      Hosking used the pig-fucker trick-argument – denying is losing, silence is losing.

  8. SPC 8


    Australian income tax rates for 2021–22 (residents)

    Income thresholds
    $18,201 – $45,000 19%
    $45,001 – $120,000 32.5%
    $120,001 – $180,000 37%
    $180,001 and over 45%

    It’s Mike Hosking’s guilt – maybe he is on more than $180,000, and we have no CGT, a GST that does not exempt food, nor 3-4% stamp duty on property. He knows the haves are in a different class to those who do not own property. And Oz has fairer rules than we do.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      Hipkins is the ultimate pragmatist and Narissist Hoskings crying Wolf like Fucker Carlson another Narcissist has been found out .Hoskings the Strawman can't keep lying about Hipkins because as we have seen Hipkins has reset Labour so as not to scare the horses ie middle of the road policies because Hoskings is desperate and has no evidence that Hipkins is non other than a devout centerist.Showing Hoskings the Narcissist frajile ego needs attention of any sort to feed his massively over blown ego so he thinks he is relevent.

  9. OMG Hoskings is a toad.

    The only thing I can think of is that there may have been questions after the speech by Hon Russell and some person has got the wrong end of the stick. I have heard this happen say if someone asked 'if a change to the upper tax rate was being looked at would 45c be the upper rate' or if someone misheard.

  10. newsense 10

    Lying has a cousin in the Auckland Mayor’s office now?
    How much is the conservative movement beholden to the tobacco lobby?

    Did notice that Chris Bishop neglected to tell the Spinoff about his tobacco credentials.

    Is the right’s message really so difficult to take they need people who literally sold death to help spread it?

  11. tc 11

    The title of this post could be there marketing slogan just add ' ….since 2002' when music stations started denting their audience and Paul holmes comes to the rescue amongst others.

    A code of conduct with heavy fines on the management is long overdue to put the onus on the broadcaster. They're the ones deliberately misrepresenting things and abusing their right to broadcast. Mikey does as instructed not that he needs much direction on such matters being very experienced in spin.

  12. Leighton 12

    Busy month for ZB's complaints team. I'm waiting for a response to my complaint about Mike and his wife's deliberate undermining and underplaying of expert advice about Cyclone Gabrielle. I suspect I'm not the only complaint they received about that particular day of broadcasting.

  13. tc 13

    Misinformation firm 'NewsGuard' launches here and in Oz.

    It's given Murdoch's 'Australian' , the ABC and guardian Australia full marks in all 9 criteria it applies…..wow full marks.

    Interested to see how granny, tvnz, tv3 and stuff rate. Imagine what ZB's would be with their roster of spin doctor's.

  14. One Day Calmer will bit Hosking like it did to Carlson Ingram and Hannitt. I can't wait for that day. If can happen Carlson it can happen to Hosking. I think Hosking my aggront now than ever. Can't wait for Hosking Mutch McKay from TVNZ who is advising Luxon and Du Plessis Allan to end up like Carlson Ingram and Hannitt. Christopher Luxon is no better than McCarthy in USA

  15. James Simpson 15

    We can only hope that Hosking is correct.

    That sounds like an excellent tax policy

  16. Peter Bradley 16

    Hoskings is a highly skilled commentator and effective advocate for the political right. He doesn't need to be accurate or truthful because his focus is on motivating his listeners and the voter base of the NActional party.

    Complaining will make no difference and he will continue to make claims about Labour raising taxes. Like most center left party's Labour will attempt to make denials and assurances that it won't raise taxes.

    Instead it could make the case for raising taxes and argue that this is a necessity to support building a future for our children and grandchildren. The economic evidence is there and the advocates and supporters for higher taxes and redistribution are also there. Labour should make the appeal to champagne socialists in NZ – the middle class who are comfortable with paying more – we do exist!

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Stuart Nash dismissed from Cabinet
    This evening I have advised the Governor-General to dismiss Stuart Nash from all his ministerial portfolios. Late this afternoon I was made aware by a news outlet of an email Stuart Nash sent in March 2020 to two contacts regarding a commercial rent relief package that Cabinet had considered. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax incentive to boost housing passes third reading
    Legislation to enable more build-to-rent developments has passed its third reading in Parliament, so this type of rental will be able to claim interest deductibility in perpetuity where it meets the requirements. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods, says the changes will help unlock the potential of the build-to-rent sector and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Law levels playing field for low-emissions commuting
    A law passed by Parliament today exempts employers from paying fringe benefit tax on certain low emission commuting options they provide or subsidise for their staff.  “Many employers already subsidise the commuting costs of their staff, for instance by providing car parks,” Environment Minister David Parker said.  “This move supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 40 years of Closer Economic Relations with Australia
    Today marks the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations (CER), our gold standard free trade agreement between New Zealand and Australia. “CER was a world-leading agreement in 1983, is still world-renowned today and is emblematic of both our countries’ commitment to free trade. The WTO has called it the world’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Amendments to mass arrivals legislation
    The Government is making procedural changes to the Immigration Act to ensure that 2013 amendments operate as Parliament intended.   The Government is also introducing a new community management approach for asylum seekers. “While it’s unlikely we’ll experience a mass arrival due to our remote positioning, there is no doubt New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Progress on public service pay adjustment
    The Government welcomes progress on public sector pay adjustment (PSPA) agreements, and the release of the updated public service pay guidance by the Public Service Commission today, Minister for the Public Service Andrew Little says. “More than a dozen collective agreements are now settled in the public service, Crown Agents, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further legislation introduced to support cyclone recovery
    The Government has introduced the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Bill to further support the recovery and rebuild from the recent severe weather events in the North Island. “We know from our experiences following the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes that it will take some time before we completely understand the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago

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