More dodgy Nat numbers

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 pm, July 17th, 2011 - 101 comments
Categories: election 2011, labour, making shit up, national, Steven Joyce, tax - Tags:

The government that can’t tell us how much their asset sales policy will cost in lost dividends and sales costs, yet they’ve magicked up some numbers with all kinds of dodgy assumptions that supposedly show Labour’s tax package doesn’t add up. Well, I suppose they would know something about borrowing for tax cuts but their attacks on Labour aren’t credible.

Keith Ng, I/S, Bernard Hickey, Gareth Morgan, Brian Fallow, Rod Oram, BERL, and every other respectable economic analyst in the country has had a chance to see Labour’s numbers. They have concluded that they add up:

National’s first mistake is to assume that this is all of Labour’s fiscal package. Clearly, it this isn’t Labour’s complete fiscal package, it’s just the tax stuff. Taxes are taken off good things and put on to bad things. When you look at the costings, you can see how they offset each other.

  • Agriculture into the ETS will pay for R&D tax credits, with some to spare towards the $5K tax-free bracket.
  • The new top tax rate pays for GST off fresh fruit and vegetables pretty much precisely.
  • Anti-avoidance and loss ring-fencing also contribute to the $5K tax-free.
  • Capital Gains Tax pays for the rest of the $5K tax-free with plenty to spare. Labour has given some insight into how that extra is spent:

Bugger all is on extra spending, most appears to be offsetting the revenue National has booked from asset sales, and getting debt down. In the end, Labour ends up with less net debt than National:

You can see that not only does Labour end up beating National’s official numbers, it beats by a country mile National’s actual numbers when lost dividends from asset sales are counted.

National’s come back at this with a shoddy piece of work that Bill English has washed his hands of, leaving Steven ‘Mediaworks handout’ Joyce to put his name to it:

Basically, they’ve decided to carve great hunks off the revenue from Labour’s new taxes and increase the cost of Labour’s tax cuts. There’s all kinds of pretty boring assumptions they made to do this. One is assuming that the cost of the $5K tax-free zone will grow as fast as tax revenue. That’s rubbish, since nearly everyone earns $5K and will get the maximum possible cut already, the cost won’t grow over time except from population growth. The most egregious assumption they’ve made, though, is simply not counting the $3 billion Labour will raise from anti-avoidance measures with the glib ‘the government is putting significant resources into this area’. All up, National has knocked $12 billion off Labour’s revenue and added $15 billion to their costs.

I also find it very interesting that they haven’t included the restart of Cullen Fund contributions, which Labour has talked about doing. How many billions extra would that add to the government books by 2025?

It comes down to who you find the most credible. The government that hasn’t been able to predict its own deficits within cooee year after year, hasn’t counted the costs of asset sales while booking the revenue, won’t admit the impact of restarting Cullen Fund contributions, and knocked out some dodgy numbers in a couple of days or the party that went to BERL to get their package costed, with numbers that have widely been assessed as very conservative?

The choice is yours.

– Bright Red

101 comments on “More dodgy Nat numbers”

  1. chris73 1

    The Nats don’t need to explain because the people don’t care, didn’t you know that?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Well, that’s what the NActs want to believe.

      • chris73 1.1.1

        Actually, that’s what Trevor Mallard believes

      • akldnut 1.1.2

        It’s a bit annoying that most Joe Blows I’ve spoken to have bought into the Nat line that this is going to be bad for them without really knowing anything about it, but are they are definately taking their word for it.

        • chris73 1.1.2.1

          I don’t think its going to be bad as such, just that Labours own figures are…interesting to say the lest and there are so many holes

          Eg Dead Man Walking says its not right that someone sells a house and doesn’t pay tax on the profit, ok fair enough yet someone can sell a painting and not pay tax, not pay tax on gambling winnings?

          The big winners out of this will be the tax law specialists (again) and thats not right

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            working against the future of your family and your neighbours chris? Good on ya.

            • chris73 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Whatever, maybe if Labour could sort their act out for five minutes and try to pretend their professional and not release policy with more holes then a swiss cheese then maybe they might be a chance at the next election

              Naah, just blame the VRWC, the MSM, voters who don’t “get it” in fact blame everything and everyone but yourselves

              Yeah that’ll work

              • Colonial Viper

                Just notice the people getting poorer in the supermarkets and around the shops in town. A few peeps doing very well certainly, but most struggling, many of them struggling a hell of a lot.

                You keep backing the big money masters though, so proud of you for knowing which side your bread is buttered mate.

              • KJT

                Sour grapes.
                Labour put in the best costed set of policies pre election of any party to date. National did not even know how much they were going to put us in debt for their election bribes.
                17 billion down the hole and counting. Thrown away without the stimulus intended because it was all wasted on tax cuts to people who spend it on holidays in Hawaii.

          • KJT 1.1.2.1.2

            Like how NACT’s are going to reduce their deficit hole by keeping us in recession, reducing taxes and increasing bailouts. 17 Billion and counting. Wasted on tax cuts that are spent on holidays in Hawaii.

            Less holes than no CGT. (According to none other than Bill English. Ha Ha ).

            (Though why adjust it for inflation- Kiwi-saver is not-and should be on marginal rate. Early days though. ).

            39% top tax rate on accountants. 🙂 Government will get some more out of the tax dodgers.

            $500 less tax for most people. Small business owners should be cheering.

            Tax cuts for 98%.

            Bludging landlords selling up cheap and leaving to pay 50% CGT in Australia. Really!

            Labour and Greens together rising trend in the polls. 🙂

            RWNJ’s your days of thieving are numbered.

            Even if NACT gets back in next election no one will ever be stupid enough to vote them in again! (After they put us 40 billion in debt) Ever!

    • r0b 1.2

      So chris73 – is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    • Ianupnorth 1.3

      If people continue to be dumb and dumber they will get what they deserve; I did not vote National because I have witnessed how similar governments disassemble what works and replace it with ideologically and theologically driven nonsense, leaving other to come in and do the expensive fixes at a later date.

  2. chris73 2

    Its a statement of fact and a bad look for both parties

    • r0b 2.1

      Interesting.  Care to expand on that?

      • chris73 2.1.1

        I believe all parties think very little of the people they represent

        • r0b 2.1.1.1

          That’s a rather pessimistic view. Certainly there are some within some parties that fell that way (read your Hollow Men for example). But I think that the majority in most parties know that they are the people that they represent. Politicians are just people.

          • Secret Squirrel 2.1.1.1.1

            I think you’re touching on one of Labour’s biggest problems if you believe that.

            Yes, politicians are “just people”. But they are not ordinary people, and they are often far to disconnected from ordinary people.

            Mallard emailed “The key point for us is not to be dragged down into the detail on the CGT. The pub­lic don’t care and we get boring.”

            It’s not that the public don’t care, sure there’s a lot of stuff they’re not interested in, but they do care about being dismissed and left in the dark.

            But if Mallard is correct and they’re not interested in the details you shouldn’t be worried about Nationals counter numbers.

            I suggest that most people will be suspicious of both sets of numbers. They have good reason to be.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, politicians are “just people”. But they are not ordinary people, and they are often far to disconnected from ordinary people.

              Speak for yourself Mr Politician.

              And how connected to “ordinary people” is our Rich List, which John Key is high up on?

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Have you seen how much detail there is on the site SS?  Like figures and analysis and stuff?  And yet you keep trotting out this “Labour is hiding the detail line” by misinterpreting an off the cuff sentence in a private email.

              Go have a read of the site and then list what information is being hidden.  And also tell me one occasion, just one, where National has gone into the same amount of detail to explain a policy. 

              • Yes, I’ve looked for the detail – I had to look because it wasn’t readily available, after a couple of large DOC downloads I found some – and read a lot of it. But that was general info, not the real detail, that wasn’t made available to the public as far as I could see.

                I first found the detailed numbers on Kiwiblog about a day after Labour’s launch. Odd, isn’t it.

                • KJT

                  Spin little squirrel, spin!

                  Took me all of two minutes to find Labour’s costings on the “own our future” web site.

                  NACT still do not know where the money is going to come from, apart from, cut taxes, cut services, borrow and hope.

                  Working so well, in the USA, UK, Ireland and Greece.

                  • KJT – link please, I still can’t see it.

                    I’m talking about the details including the table of numbers that finally appeared on The Standard on the 17th at 10pm-ish, over three days after the launch and nearly two and a half days after Kiwiblog.

                    • KJT

                      You have to read it.

                      http://www.ownourfuture.co.nz/

                      More detail than NACT has ever given.

                      Of course they do not want the public to know their real policy is to strip New Zealand’s wealth, and run away.

                    • That’s not detail. The site mostly talks about asset sales which have nothing to do with CGT, plus some canned comments (my comment didn’t pass the censor).

                      The only detail on there is via downloads, and that doesn’t include the table I’m talking about.

        • lovinthatchangefeeling 2.1.1.2

          Politicians are interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.
          — PJ O’Rourke

        • bbfloyd 2.1.1.3

          getting tired (as are all my friends) of this obsession the tories have with transference..
          it shows a total lack of independent thought, coupled with a worrying lack of empathy with the society these same people aspire to rule.(or is control the better term?)..

          it also screams GUILT at any who care to think past the bleedingly obvious. guilt that comes from knowing deep down that they are enriching themselves at the expense of the majority. guilt that comes from knowing that the mechanism of information that the majority of society relies on for making it’s decisions regarding how we are administered, is being used to misinform, and marginalize people, and policies that would actually help society move on a more natural, evolutionary path toward a true balance between economics and environmental co-existence.

          the sad thing is not so much that these people are indulging in self serving, pointless, and ultimately self destructive practices, but that so many have bought into the propaganda so completely that they would have us slip into the third world without a qualm.

          as long as they can use the labour party, and any other group who’s political tenets revolve around achieving this balance through proper, and rational redistribution of resources, and a more defined focus on sustainable development as a scapegoat, then the idiocy rolls on down the hill into the swamp…

  3. NickC 3

    Even more dodgy numbers?

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/labour-support-plummets-in-latest-poll-4308126

    I must admit I don’t think National have done much to deserve this RE the CGT. Hyperbole is not a substitute for rational debate.

    Also it has occured to me: Why didn’t Labour just propose to treat capital gains as a regular part of income? I.e. if you make $100,000 in a year salary and $20,000 in capital gains, treat your income for the year as $120,000.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Option was one of many considered and discarded.

      • NickC 3.1.1

        Which begs the question: Why was it discarded? If the principle behind the tax is to treat all forms of income equally it would seem like the logical way to go about it.

        I also await the crys of horror that labour is in the pocket of the casino industry over the exemption of gambling profits: /law-for-sale-again/. Perhaps the Vela family and Goff have been chatting over a few drinks. Should I be holding my breath?

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Come on mate, Key cut a deal with the big wigs at SkyCity corporation to make life easier for the casino. Hardly the same thing as keeping racing, scratchies and pub pokies out of the CGT.

    • Bright Red 3.2

      because it would be an inflation tax then.

      in aussie, they do that but discount 50% of your capital gain to allow for inflation. Other countries just go with a reduced flat rate like Labour will. Pretty much the same effect since most capital gains would otherwise be taxed at a high marginal rate.

      A handful of countries just make people pay tax on inflation ‘gains’. Nobody seems to actively index sales against inflation. Perhaps its seen as too complicated. Especially since inflation is different for different prices in the economy, and if you did inflation-adjustment on a sector basis, you could end up calling all capital gains inflation, which clearly isn’t true.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_gains_tax

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Who is advising National these days? Rupert Murdoch’s Faux News?

    • chris73 4.1

      Whos advising Labour these days? Brick Tamland from KVWN-TV Channel 4 Evening News?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        You still kowtowing to your Money Masters and working against the interests of your friends and neighbours?

        Really think the top 2% are going to give you any thing more than drippings from their dining table for your efforts?

        • chris73 4.1.1.1

          Wow you do know how to stay on message don’t you

          You don’t seem to accept/understand that the majority of people in NZ are holding similar views to myself, not similar views to you

          I’m betting that even when Labour get a spanking at the next election you still won’t accept that Labours policies arn’t wanted

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            I’m betting that even when Labour get a spanking at the next election you still won’t accept that Labours policies arn’t wanted

            People get the Government that they vote for. Labour has given them a pretty stark choice.

            One off asset sales which will pay back 2 months worth of debt, or a very limited CGT on the most wealthy in society allowing us to keep our assets and give everyone a tax break.

            Wow you do know how to stay on message don’t you

            Roughly 5% of people earn over $90K pa in this country. You’re working against the interests of the rest. Be proud to be a Kiwi eh.

            • chris73 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Curious about something, what tax bracket provides the most tax in NZ?

              National = Growing the goose
              Labour = Gouging the goose
              Colonial Viper is a goose

              • Colonial Viper

                Curious about something, what tax bracket provides the most tax in NZ?

                Those earning under $100,000 p.a. = more than 90% of NZ workers.

                Which is about to be balanced out by widening the tax base to include capital gains 🙂

                National = Growing the goose

                Don’t be silly, NZ will have low to negligible economic growth as long as petrol is over $2/L.

              • Bright Red

                Since 1935: Average GDP growth under Labour governments 4.1%. Average under National governments: 2.9%

                Who grows the goose the best?

          • KJT 4.1.1.1.2

            Yeah! That’s why English hid his poll on CGT.

            Because of the overwhelming support for National??

            http://greenvoices.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/the-poll-result-bill-english-didnt-want-to-see/

    • mik e 4.2

      Crosby Textor thats why Brash and co are quiet happy destroy ACT, their DOG Whistle IS AIMED at the soft middle vote to make National look good

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    Dodgy numbers? Who know, who cares. As Trevor Mallard himself said, the volk don’t want to know details – and you can’t blame the public at large for not embracing tax policy anyway.

    But Labour’s disastrous new poll numbers mean that the intricacies of CGT will drop off the front page to be replaced with the latest coup speculation, etc. This has to come home to Phil Goff. If the next round of polls don’t show an improvement, surely it is time to knife Phil and give someone else a go, who can explain the good and rational reasons for having a CGT.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Bloody hell, NATs are so weak and clueless at this game that they’re having to recycle their hand from Q1.

      • chris73 5.1.1

        I’m surprised you don’t mention (in a shrill voice) that John Key worked for Merrill Lynch as well

      • queenstfarmer 5.1.2

        “recycle their hand from Q1” – ?

        • chris73 5.1.2.1

          Meaning hes got nothing to say in reply so he’ll go off on his own tangent (if it helps picture him saying what hes typing in a high-pitched, breathless shrill of a voice)

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2

          🙂

          You must be kidding if you think these poll numbers are serious. 50% of people in this country earn less than $30K pa and 80% earn less than $60K pa.

          LAB’s $5K tax free threshold is going to give the most loving to the most people while widening the tax base substantially via a CGT.

          Best of all…no clueless one off English asset sales, sales which would only provide 2 months of debt repayments anyway.

          • Secret Squirrel 5.1.2.2.1

            You must be kidding if you think these poll numbers are serious.

            If Labour doesn’t think the poll numbers are serious they are in more trouble than I thought.

            But they know they are serious, and the timing couldn’t be much worse. You could hear the stunned almost silence on The Standard last night. It’s a big blow to confidence that had been dipping it’s toes in the CGT water. The tide is going the wrong way for Labour, it’s hard to know hoe that can be stemmed with the current lineup.

          • davidc 5.1.2.2.2

            CV..”You must be kidding if you think these poll numbers are serious. 50% of people in this country earn less than $30K pa and 80% earn less than $60K pa.”

            you wanna post a link for me?

            Average wage is just over $25/hr and average time worked is just over 41 hr/wk..

            I think you must be including kids doing a half day a week at Maccas to distort your numbers..

            and why do you think the Country would be happy with Labour bribing 300,000 benificiarys with a $525 a year payrise?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.2.1

              Average wage is just over $25/hr and average time worked is just over 41 hr/wk..

              Average is not the median mate.

              Did you know the average income of two McDonalds burger flippers and the PM is $160,000 p.a.? Man they pay so good for flippin’ burgers! Who needs an education?

              you wanna post a link for me?

              Nah waste your own time

              • davidc

                I just cant understand why you think a kids wages doing 4 hours a week is relevant to this…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh by the way that kids wages – and those of your young family and relations – would be pushed down even further by National – thats why its relevant. Stop and think mate.

                  • davidc

                    My “kid” is 19… he gets $35/hr part time while at uni.

                    Get a life, try thinking aspirational thoughts for a change.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Try fantasizing for a change – your kid might have got that job through connections are whatever – but youth unemployment is over 25% and your fantasies don’t solve that.

                      But typical of the “we’re right Jack” Tory attitude.

                      $35/hr is more than all general administrative pay grades pay except the very top tiers which require years of experience and supervisory responsibility over staff or significant budgets so what kind of position is he in?

                      Also on that payrate he is earning more than 60% of all New Zealanders

                    • Ianupnorth

                      [deleted – not your best work! r0b] Or do you employ then and then write it off as a legitimate business expense?

                      BTW as someone who has worked for 33 years, has many letters after my name, gifted by proper education institutions I get $34 per hour – can your kid get me in?

                    • higherstandard

                      ianupnorth

                      There is a lot of robust debate on this site including a lot of filth [not that much at all all things considered] but to accuse someones kids of [original comment has been edited – r0b] is fucking unacceptable.

            • framu 5.1.2.2.2.2

              umm…. you do realise that “average” is not the same as “middle” or “median”?

              You can easily get an average that doesnt sit anywhere near 50% below and 50% above

              “and why do you think the Country would be happy with Labour bribing 300,000 benificiarys with a $525 a year payrise?”

              just curious here – youve said it before, but what are you on about? is it the first $5000 tax free bracket proposal?

              • davidc

                $525/yr – Yip

                • Colonial Viper

                  Not as generous as John Key’s $1000/wk tax cut for himself, admittedly.

                  By the way giving people a few dollars more a week to help them pay the powerbills and their grocery bills is not “bribery”.

                  To characterise it as such while backing a Government who moves more of our society’s wealth to the already very rich sucks on you.

                  Bill English’s household did not need or deserve a $400/wk tax cut and you know it, you kleptocrat wannabe.

                • framu

                  the first $5000 applies to everyone – even if you earn a *bazillion dollars a week you still qualify

                  youre calling every single person who earns income a beneficiary – you do realise that dont you?

                  what gives?

                  *fictional amount used for emphasis

                  • davidc

                    there are 2.2 mil “tax payers” in NZ not 300,00

                    • framu

                      there might well be – off the top of my head i dont know the exact number

                      but what relevance do those figures have to what im asking you? Explain you point a bit please

                      there could be only 5 taxpayers – but they all qualify for a theoretical $5000 tax free threshold

            • Blue 5.1.2.2.2.3

              Viper always includes beneficiaries as “earners”.

          • queenstfarmer 5.1.2.2.3

            Still curious what your phrase “recycle their hand from Q1” means. Quarter 1?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.3.1

              Yes, correct, recycling their hand of cards from the first quarter of this calendar year.

  6. Come on Labour,please sack all the sods associated with the Clark era and start again without all the lies.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      Come on D4j please engage brain before typing.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Labour represents the interests of the working class and the underclass in this country. If you don’t support that then don’t vote for them.

      • That’s what they try and kid themselves.

        Labour represents the interests of the Labour Party, and they use any class that’s convenient to try and pursue their goals. Labour acts as if it’s the top class and every other class is something to be manipulated. The trouble is they’re the class of last century, and there’s no sign of them modernising yet.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          yeah Labour is the class of the last century, its roots lie in the 1920’s and the 1930’s, and if you open your ACT eyes you’ll see that is exactly where National is taking the country again.

          The Tories, as usual, represent the top 5% tier of society and as always they are outnumbered 19:1.

  7. Tangled up in blue 7

    “Keith Ng . . . has had a chance to see Labour’s numbers . . . concluded that they add up::

    http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/easy-as-1-2-228-billion/

    There’s about $4-5b of legitimate gripes here. And it crystalises my view of Labour’s tax package: Using CGT to pay off debt is a rock solid policy core, but everything else about the package is haphazard, with a lot of question marks and not much rationale.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Time for Bright Red to get an author login, methinks?

    Great work, BR.

  9. I also find it very interesting that they haven’t included the restart of Cullen Fund contributions, which Labour has talked about doing. How many billions extra would that add to the government books by 2025?

    Labour haven’t included that in their figures? How many billions extra would that add to the government borrowings before 2025?

    Or are Labour going to quietly forget adding to the Cullen fund? And not add to the spending side of the budget anywhere else?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Oh SS elections are months off, there’s lots more detailed policy to be released yet, which will show up Key and English in even sharper relief 🙂

      • there’s lots more detailed policy to be released yet

        More taxing? More spending?
        Or all fiscally neutral?

        Labour can’t propose more spending without impacting on their CGT claims.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Hold your horses mate LAB doesn’t release policy to your time table.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    From the article:

    National’s first mistake is to assume that this is all of Labour’s fiscal package. Clearly, it this isn’t Labour’s complete fiscal package, it’s just the tax stuff. Taxes are taken off good things and put on to bad things.

    Hmmm, so we’re missing the expenditure side of the equation? Since when have Labour been famous for reducing expenditure? 🙂

    Anti-avoidance and loss ring-fencing also contribute to the $5K tax-free.

    This estimate for gains through closing tax loopholes is simply loony because with their new tax measures and all the complexities, convolutions, and exemptions, Labour will be creating heaps of new loopholes they haven’t even thought about yet. I bet the accounting industry is licking its collective lips in anticipation.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Hey only Switzerland and Turkey don’t have CGTs mate…and Switzerland is a tax haven for the wealthy 🙂

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        We already have a CGT. And that pays at around 30% compared to Labour’s 15%. And it catches any assets that have been purchased specifically for capital gain rather than long-term investment, compared to Labour’s half-hearted attempt that only catches a few classes of investment. So, why do we need Labour’s version again?

        • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1

          Labour’s CGT does not replace the existing law. It is in addition to the existing law.

          Better luck next time, ts.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            Oh…So its even more complex, convoluted, and open to avoidance than I thought. Nice one Lanth.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey dude if the Aussies, Canadians and Brits can manage it, maybe we can too?

            • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.1.2

              No, it doesn’t make it “more … open to avoidance” at all.

              I would agree on more complex and convoluted, yes, but really is still quite simple:
              1. Did you trade the property with ‘intent’ on capital gains, Yes/No.
              1a. Yes – pay it as income tax.
              1b. No, go to new CGT rules.

              You might argue that the new CGT rules are complex and convoluted, but throwing the existing law in there is only 1 extra step which should be simple enough for any accountant to get their head around.

        • Lazy Susan 10.1.1.2

          I see you’ve willing swallowed the Blinglish spin line ts. Unfortunately for you all the property speculators have given the game away already by bleating that the sky will fall in if Labour implement a CGT.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.2.1

            They probably haven’t sat down to talk to their accountants yet, who will probably say something like:

            If you structure your affairs thus, you will get caught with the old capital gains regime at approx 30%. But if you structure your affairs slightly differently you will only have to pay at Labour’s new rate of 15%.

            • Lanthanide 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Actually it’s more like this:

              Now: if you structure your affairs thusly, you pay income tax on your profits, likely to be 30-33%. If you structure your affairs this other way, you pay 0% tax.

              After CGT: if you structure your affairs thusly, you pay income tax on your profits, likely to be 30-39%. If you structure your affairs this other way, you pay 15% tax.

              • Colonial Viper

                And 15% seems a fair rate as you need to take into account the effect of inflation on a property or other asset over time.

      • Ianupnorth 10.1.2

        And the mighty Nepal!

  11. prism 11

    It’ should be a matter of debate as to how many people the Prime Minister can employ as part of his office staff. I have heard a horrendous figure which must be very expensive to us all. Getting facts and stats separate from Treasury or departmental bureaucrats is one thing, becoming a major employer of people employed either permanently or at those inflated short-term contract payouts o assist the person and party is a taxpayer subsidy.

    • marsman 11.1

      Indeed prism, why should it be a secret how many staff John Key has to prop him up. Didn’t Shipley have a huge staff to prop her up too? The people who are paying for the staff i.e. the people of NZ, have a right to know what their money is being spent on.

      • prism 11.1.1

        Well do you know marsman? I know I can be accused of being lazy for not finding out myself, but I thought I’d seen or heard 150 staff. So does anyone know the numbers in the PM’s Office or is it Department?

        With the distance control devices developed for dairy farms where the manager can operate gates and get the cows to the milking shed remotely we have an ideal device for running the country from Hawaii. With a big PM’s Department handling the work it could be just what the doctor ordered.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    One things certain under Labour we will still own our assets, under National we will be owned by foreigners for ever and everything will be aspirational.

  13. Afewknowthetruth 13

    I see that the implosion of the global financial system is accelerating. Gold is nearly $1600 and the Kiwi dollar is over 84 cents (remember when it was 42 cents US? I do.)

    And despite that, petrol has gone up.

    Economic collapse and environmental collapse will soon render all this discussion about outdated economic arrangements as useful as a discussion about how many angels can fit on a pinhead.

    But until collapse occurs, I’m sure the clowns we have as leaders will keep pretending the corrupt and inefficient political-economic system has a future. And uninformed fools will vote for them.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      No other options on the table mate. Oh, other than getting a big home vege garden and solar hot water heating sorted 😀

    • prism 13.2

      Afknowtruth
      I question what the punters know about the facts of what is happening in our country. If newspapers with hard copy of even soft facts are not read, then perhaps they turn to television or radio. The commercial radio hands out small helpings of useful stuff occasionally, in between manic ads, announcers, and music enough to drown out factual news. I listen mostly to Radionz because there is only so much time in the day and it’s a shame to waste it on junk listening. Television is venal a lot of the time, and is bent naturally to the visual but to the exclusion of the cerebral, except for Maori Tv which manages to put the others in shadow.

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