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Nobody else is doing it so why should we?

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, January 21st, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: class war, tax - Tags:

A commenter asked an interesting question yesterday:

of the countries that are wealthier than us, how many have aligned their top income, corporate, and trust tax rates? And which countries are they?

Well, I did some looking and here are the countries with higher GDP per person than us and their top tax rates:

  Personal Corporate     Personal Corporate
Australia 45.00 30.00   Italy 43.00 27.50
Austria 50.00 25.00   Japan 40.00 39.54
Belgium 50.00 33.99   Korea 35.00 24.20
Canada 29.00 31.32   Luxembourg 38.00 28.59
Denmark 26.48 25.00   Netherlands  52.00 25.50
Finland 31.50 26.00   Norway 25.30 28.00
France 40.00 34.43   Spain 27.13 30.00
Germany 45.00 30.18   Sweden 25.00 26.30
Greece 40.00 25.00   Switzerland 11.5 21.17
Iceland 22.75 15.00   United Kingdom 40.00 28.00
Ireland  41.00 12.50   United States 35.00 39.10

(sources income, corporate, seems most countries don’t have a seperate trust rate. When comparing rates between countries, you need to bear in mind that many countries have state taxes and/or pay social security tax additionally to income tax)
So… none of them have aligned their top tax rates. Why not, if it is such a great idea? Why, if we want to catch Australia, would we adopt an idea that the Aussies and everyone else have rejected? The fact that not a single one of the countries that is richer than us has aligned its top tax rates destroys the argument that alignment is both good and necessary, which has until now been held up as an undoubtable truth by the Right and accepted as such by the media.

Look, tax avoidance is a problem, but not a huge one. Not one you go throwing out your entire tax system over. The solution isn’t to let the tax avoiders win by giving them all a big tax cut and leaving the rest of us to bear the burden. We should just close the loopholes that let the bludgers pretend their personal income is trust or business income. They are ripping the rest of us off and we shouldn’t allow it. If  people were using loopholes to get benefits they shouldn’t, would we change the rules to make it OK? Why have different standards for the well-off?

You have to remember that this clamour for reducing the top tax rate by 8% to align it with the corporate rate is all part of a campaign by the wealthy to reduce their taxes that has been going on for decades.

Of course, they always dress it up as good for the economy. Back in the 1980s they promised us tax cuts for the rich, paid for by asset sales and slashing public services for the poor and the middle class, would lead to more spending creating jobs. But we found out that trickle down economics doesn’t work.

Now, they say that people will only work hard if tax rates are lower and it alignment will eliminate the false economy of tax avoidance. Even if small changes in tax rates change behaviour (and I don’t think they do), most people won’t be getting a tax cut anyway – only 22% of people earn enough to pay tax in the top two brackets. All lowering the 33% and 38% income tax rates to 30% will do is put a few tax accountants out of work and make the rich much much richer.

John Key stands to pay $26,000 a year less on his PM’s salary alone. The CEO of Telecom would make a whooping $400,000. It will be the poor and the middle class bearing the cost, again, this time through higher rents and GST.

We are being sold a con once more by the monied elite. Will we buy it?

70 comments on “Nobody else is doing it so why should we?”

  1. Scott 1

    A couple of things to consider.

    A lot of the countries on that list don’t have trust tax rates, because the trust is a concept that does not exist under their laws.

    And simply comparing personal and corporate tax rates doesn’t tell the entire story about who in society is bearing the tax burden. For example it is often said that the poor are harmed more by increases in sales taxes, because they spend most of their income on necessities. The UK has a VAT rate of 17.5%, whereas our GST is 12.5%.

    Also, unlike NZ, most countries don’t allow shareholders to receive imputation credits, meaning that in most countries corporate profits are effectively taxed twice.

    Also, shutting down loopholes may sound easy, but the IRD has dozens of people devoted to doing this. The more laws they pass the more complex the system becomes, and the more doors tax accountants find to open. Arguments about equity aside, there are some good reasons to look at aligning tax rates, to discourage avoidance schemes.

    I’m not arguing in favour of the proposed reforms, because I haven’t digested them yet. But comparing our tax rates to those in other countries probably doesn’t help a lot, unless you look at their tax systems as a whole.

    • Marty G 1.1

      You’re missing the point. It’s not about distribution of taxation it’s about the argument for alignment.

      We’ve been told that alignment of the top tax rates makes sense by the TWG and the media.Here’s the Herald today:

      “Sensibly, the group wants the top personal, company and trust tax rates aligned”

      But it turns out no country richer than us does it. So why is it so sensible? Well, it sounds sensible to the ones who get the massive tax cuts, I’m sure.

      • Clarke 1.1.1

        … and just to be absolutely clear about this, if you’re on PAYE, don’t have access to company profits, aren’t a beneficiary of a trust, don’t own an investment property and aren’t in the top tax bracket you will be worse off due to the impact of an increase in GST.

        I would suggest that definition covers most people in New Zealand.

      • PT 1.1.2

        the fact other countries aren’t aligned doesnt mean there tax systems are right, most tax systems are leaky

        • Marty G 1.1.2.1

          I’m not saying their tax systems are perfect. But it destroys the argument that alignment is self-evidently good.

          Now, how about some actual evidence that alignment works (not work as in ‘gives a giant tax cut to the rich’ but works as in ‘lifts economic performance’), considering no richer country than us has seen fit to adopt it.

          • PT 1.1.2.1.1

            lots of countries have good economic performance despite bad tax systems. being part of europe means they have access to rich markets to sell to, having lots of natural resources means they can make money despite inefficient tax systems, that doesn’t mean new zealand shouldn’t pursue a perfect tax system.

            • Clarke 1.1.2.1.1.1

              The proposals of the TWG will result in a decreased level of equity in New Zealand as more of the tax burden is shifted from rich to poor. Since when is this a “perfect tax system” – or even a desirable one?

            • Marty G 1.1.2.1.1.2

              and you’re assuming that alignment is perfect despite no evidence and not a single one of 22 richer countries having adopted it.

              That sounds a lot like religion rather than rationality.

              • Uroskin

                If we’re so worried about tax avoidance by the rich, why not align the company and trust tax rate to the current highest rate instead of the proposed vice versa?

    • lprent 1.2

      I’d agree with a lot of that – especially having to look at tax systems as a whole.

      However the point of the post was to look at the simplistic argument (ie idiotic PR soundbite) that we should align our tax rates.

  2. Any argument which pupports to “broaden the tax base” is fact arguing for spreading more of the tax burden on to lower and middle income earners. This is why consumption-based taxes like GST are so favoured by the right.

    I have to agree with Scott on the loophole issue though – the tax loopholes are longstanding and not easy to solve – its not as if these were deliberately written in to promote tax avoidance. And in addition to the IRD compliance people working on them, there has been enough good intentioned legal and tax experts in Parliament, that if were a simple thing – it could have been solved. Peverse incentives can be created with the best of intentions – i.e. law of unintended consequences.

    I however, sympathise with the argument that just because some higher earners are avoiding tax, we shouldn’t just let them off. As I said earlier, increasing the corporate, and trust rates closer to the personal rate, perhaps with tax credits for R+D, and for firms that pay all staff at least 20% above the minimum wage.

    • Marty G 2.1

      On closing the loopholes. The biggest one seems to be family trusts. these didn’t always exist, so I suspect there was a law change at some point to assist them.

      I’m no expert on trust law but there must be a way to ensure they are for genuine purposes, not just tax avoidance.

      • fizzleplug 2.1.1

        Family trusts aren’t the evil you make them out to be. In my experience as an accountant, the vast majority exist for genuine reasons. One of the main purposes of a Family Trust is asset protection, not income re-distribution.

  3. Scribe 3

    I thought writers on the Standard were often trumpeting the need for New Zealand to be more like Scandinavian countries….

    • Marty G 3.1

      yeah we are…. Oh lolz, you think that the Scandinavians pay less tax on their income than us.. Scribe, please try to remember that when you look at the Scandinavian top income tax rates they don’t include social security taxes that everyone pays.

      Social security taxes are a mix of tax on income and payroll tax. They pay for benefits, pensions, and in some cases national health insurance, which we just pay out of the consolidated fund.

      The systems are too complex to easily compare to here but here’s info on the Swedish system:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_%28Sweden%29

      • Scribe 3.1.1

        Marty,

        This post is about aligning personal and corporate tax rates. The fact that Scandinavian countries have closely aligned rates was my point, not the actual top personal rate (which is not the point of this post). Having written it yourself, I would have thought you’d have known that.

        • Marty G 3.1.1.1

          oh, I thought you were talking about the rates.

          No the Scando rates aren’t closely aligned.Finland and Norway’s are way off, Sweden and Denmark’s are closer.

          None of which proves any economic argument for alignment.

    • vidiot 3.2

      Russia & China are in Scandinavia ?

      Also should add that we should do apples to apples comparison, Marty’s figure of 45% for Australia only applies on income > AUD $180K, I do wonder what incomes are needed in those other countries he lists with higher rates.

      This side of the ditch we pay 38% on income >NZD$70K (AUD$55K) and in Aussie they pay 38% once they >AUD$80K / NZD$100K

      • Marty G 3.2.1

        “Marty’s figure of 45% for Australia only applies on income > AUD $180K”

        irrelevant. We’ve been told that the top tax rates must be lowered to align the top rates.

        If that were true we should surely expect at least some of the countries that are richer than us to have aligned their top rates.

        Incidentally, (and this will come in relevant in a couple of hours) how would you feel about adopting the Aussie income tax rates and thresholds?

  4. vto 4

    Tangent …

    I see there is a proposal to remove depreciation on buildings. If so, then how does one get to recover the expenses of buildings when working out profit? And make no mistake, buildings depreciate and need replacing and cost. Just like any cost for any business.

    I just dont get it. When in business you take all costs away from all income to work out profit. It seems the govt wants to disallow certain costs. Perhaps we also dont count the income received which relates to that cost?

    • Marty G 4.1

      on whether housing depreciates. The TWG had a discussion of that in one of its sessions.

      Sure, the physical house wears out and needs maintenance but as an economic asset they tend to appreciate.

      • vto 4.1.1

        The underlying land appreciates. The buildings wear out and depreciate. Ask anyone with an old house or commercial building. It is a very real cost.

        Key is only doing this (and I dont doubt one bit there has been some puppetering going on) to avoid the capital gains tax political nightmare..

        But anyways I aint read the thing and am just banging on based on media reports etc..

    • d14 4.2

      But you ARE taxed on the depreciation claimed if and when you sell the property at a hight than purchase price.. It seems that the depreciation argument is s red herring.

    • Clarke 4.3

      The proposal is to remove depreciation allowances that aren’t backed up by real-world experience. For instance claiming a 2% straight-line depreciation would result in a building being worthless after 50 years – and if this was true, landlords would then be faced with the cost of demolishing it and building a whole new structure. Clearly this isn’t what happens in the real world.

      As I understand it, under the new rules the costs of maintaining the building would still be deductible, but you wouldn’t simultaneously be able to claim maintenance and depreciation, as it’s the maintenance that is preventing the structure from depreciating in real life.

      • vto 4.3.1

        ahaa.. so effective replacement cost (depreciation) is accounted for now through maintenance. Capital replacement of the building therefore now becomes a maintenance item.

        Effect of tax change therefore equals nil.

        nb: if a house has no maintenance it will last no longer than about 50 years. They break down and fall apart. This is actual real world experience. Also, note that building code requires a house to last only 50 years.

        • Clarke 4.3.1.1

          As I understand it, there is a significant change in the way depreciation is treated and the effect is that it becomes non-claimable.

          For example, if there is a 2% depreciation allowance on a $300,000 house (excluding land) then there is a $6,000 “expense” that can be applied to income from the property. This would disappear altogether. Any money the owner used to maintain the building would still be deductible, but this is real cash that they’ve had to spend, not just an accounting entry for the depreciation.

          So there would be a material and very significant impact on the net tax position of a great many landlords. It will be interesting to see if the same rules are applied to commercial buildings rather than just residential ones ….

          • vto 4.3.1.1.1

            Ok. Methinks however that 2% of the capital value of a building is a very real annual cost, whether it comes out as maintenance or depreciation. So the net effect to tax revenue will be the same over time. Unless landlords are rorting the system.

            I understand what you say regarding short term annual cashflow. But, as said, at the end of say a 50 year period the amount claimed, whether by way of depreciation or maintenance, should be about the same. Net effect nil.

            • Clarke 4.3.1.1.1.1

              But, as said, at the end of say a 50 year period the amount claimed, whether by way of depreciation or maintenance, should be about the same. Net effect nil.

              Yes, that’s very much the common sense way of looking at things, and it aligns well with real life. However it’s not the current accounting view!

              Under the current rules, you can claim the depreciation and the maintenance simultaneously. This means that after 50 years, you’d have a perfectly maintained building that now had a book value of $0! This is the anomaly that I understand is corrected in the TWG proposals.

              • Herodotus

                When dealing with land improvements e.g. Paving, the paving is not depreciable but all subsequent costs are able to be written off in the year that the cost is incurred. Follows on the line that you have here

  5. Nick 5

    Why bother with working groups when The Standard can just write the policy? After all, you guys know everything.

    • Marty G 5.1

      Sorry if it upsets you Nick but in this country, we have political debate on the issues.

      Maybe you would prefer it if everyone just bowed down to the supposedly superior knowledge of Government appointed taskforces.

      • vidiot 5.1.1

        So when you want to bake a cake do you employ a chef or political debate ?

        Case in point, the government (who aren’t tax specialists, economists) have sought advice from a group of trusted experts from across the spectrum to nut out some ideas.

        Bob Buckle, Faculty of Commerce and Administration, VUW (Group Chair)
        Rob Cameron, Cameron Partners
        Paul Dunne, KPMG
        Arthur Grimes, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
        Rob McLeod, Ernst & Young
        Gareth Morgan, Gareth Morgan Investments Limited
        Geof Nightingale, PricewaterhouseCoopers
        Mike Shaw, Deloitte
        John Shewan, PricewaterhouseCoopers
        Casey Plunket, Chapman Tripp
        John Prebble, Law School, VUW
        Mark Weldon, NZX Limited
        David White, Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research, VUW

        Members from Inland Revenue Department
        Matt Benge
        David Carrigan
        Robin Oliver

        Members from the Treasury
        Norman Gemmell
        Michelle Harding
        Bill Moran

        In addition, experts in various areas have been invited to attend some sessions:

        Len Burman, Syracuse University, New York
        Andrew Coleman, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
        Peter Conway, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
        Lew Evans, Victoria University of Wellington
        Phil O’Reilly, Business New Zealand
        Susan St John, The University of Auckland

        • Marty G 5.1.1.1

          These are government-appointed people, who by and large represent one strain of economic thought. Even if it was a balanced group it wouldn’t mean their conclusions are indisputable.

          Poke holes in my argument if you like but don’t fall back on the desperate ‘you have no right to argue’ line.

        • vto 5.1.1.2

          vidiot – virtually all academics, bureaucrats and accountants.

          … and so the world continues to turn …

          • Clarke 5.1.1.2.1

            …. a depressing number of whom are either from or previously worked for Treasury. And it’s worth noting that the support for the TWG (i.e. the actual research, running around and writing the analysis) came from Treasury and IRD officials.

            It’s notable that there is no input from anyone who represents low-income workers, beneficiaries, the small business sector, mum-and-dad property investors … it’s a long list of non-inclusions.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          Would you listen to “experts” if the theory that they were working from could be proven wrong?

          I know I wouldn’t.

          • TightyRighty 5.1.1.3.1

            National standards anyone, Sorry for trolling, but the oppurtunities for having a lash are too great when one expert is lauded because you agree with them, and another is derided because the “theory they are working from could prove wrong”, AGW springs to mind too.

            • snoozer 5.1.1.3.1.1

              but we don’t think AGW is true just because the experts say so. We think it’s true because the experts can explain why it’s true and the counter-arguments don’t hold water.

              We hold it up to the crucible of debate, which is exactly what you are opposing us doing with the TWG report.

              For goodness sake, Tighty, how do you get through life without the ability to critique what you are told properly? Is it that you just believe whatever best suits your ideology? Or do you just accept the angle of the first person you hear?

              • TightyRighty

                and yet i can critique and do so. what if i believe that the theory the AGW proponents could prove wrong, and the critics of the national standards are also working from flawed theory, i’m not saying that the theories i ascribe to are neccersarily correct either, but i don’t rubbish the experts of opposing theories by calling them idiots etc. which seems to be very popular around here. and as for accusing me of believing what best suits my idealogy, well. pot, kettle …..

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3.1.2

              The economic theory that the TWG are basing their recommendations on has been proved, beyond reasonable doubt, wrong (hell, even some of the people who wrote the theory in the first place said it was over simplified and assumed away too much). National standards in education have also been proved wrong. AGW has been proved, beyond reasonable doubt, correct.

              See, even when I posted that I knew some RWNJ would come back with that reply. I suppose it comes down to choosing to listen to the right experts. The TWG aren’t them because they’re basing their report on the wrong theory.

              • TightyRighty

                i disagree that the arguments you promote re AGW and national standards are proved beyond reasonable doubt, and I can see your point re the economic theory behind the TGW. my point was that “your” experts are always, always right, even if some of what they have said has been proved to be based on shonky evidence. whereas any experts “i” might agree with are always, always wrong because some of what they have said is based on shonky evidence. gee that makes me a RWNJ doesn’t it? just love the way the left argues, criticise the argument and face a negative personal label.

              • snoozer

                this discussion came out of someone sarcastically saying we shouldn’t even question the TWG’s conclusions:

                “Nick
                January 21, 2010 at 8:47 am
                Why bother with working groups when The Standard can just write the policy? After all, you guys know everything.”

                It’s not about experts always being right or always being wrong. It’s about the right to question.

              • TightyRighty

                i did myself was question why the experts you hold faith to are always right, while the experts quoted by those on the right are wrong, delusional, idiots and so on? it’s the dismissive nature of your responses to things you don’t agree with that leads me to believe that no one can question your beliefs. it’s this from DTB above that made me question the attitude towards “experts” of either side of the political spectrum shown by commentators on this site.

                “Would you listen to “experts’ if the theory that they were working from could be proven wrong?

                I know I wouldn’t.”

              • Draco T Bastard

                my point was that “your’ experts are always, always right, even if some of what they have said has been proved to be based on shonky evidence.

                No, they’re not always right but they do make adjustments when evidence suggests that they need to do so. I haven’t seen such adjustment from the right which is why I call them delusional – disbelieving reality has got to be insane.

                just love the way the left argues, criticise the argument and face a negative personal label.

                That’s a rather general statement considering that you were talking about me. Most of the left, IME, actually do argue the facts rather than throw insults at people. I generally try to but I find it’s like hitting my head against the proverbial brick wall as the right just don’t want to hear them.

  6. burt 6

    Marty G

    The top rates are meaningless without the thresholds where they are applied. Can you plublish the thresholds with that as well ?

    • Marty G 6.1

      you can follow the links burt. Don’t be a lazy rightie.

      And the thresholds aren’t relevant to the argument about alignment.

    • lprent 6.2

      Actually a good point….. But you’d really have to publish the whole personal tax structure for each country to make it meaningful. Because of course you pay tax at lower rates up to each threshold.

      It’d be interesting to see how many countries have lower taxes than we do for the lower incomes. I suspect that most of them do.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    If tax alignment is so important to stop the tax rorts that are happening ATM then I suggest that businesses and trusts get put onto the progressive tax scale and make dividends tax deductible from the business end (Ie profit of $500m for the business would have them on the top tax rate but if that $500m is paid out in dividends then they pay 0 tax). We’d also have to get rid of provisional tax but I’m all for that anyway.

    The more laws they pass the more complex the system becomes, and the more doors tax accountants find to open.

    In reality, our entire tax system needs going over with a look to make the laws more consistent to get it properly sorted out. This is likely to result in less, more concise laws and not more.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    “We should just close the loopholes…”

    You are joking, right? When one loophole is closed up, another one just opens right up. Ask any accountant.

    The simpler a tax system is, the harder it is to evade. Bringing tax rates into line certainly goes toward achieving that goal.

    So far as reducing the tax on the wealthy is concerned, I would assume that you would like to see the poor become wealthy? Reducing the top marginal tax rate certainly provides motivation to escape poverty.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Reducing the top marginal tax rate certainly provides motivation to escape poverty.

      No it doesn’t. It has no effect on the motivation to escape poverty.

      Of course, the whole reason why we have poverty is because capitalism wouldn’t work without it.

    • snoozer 8.2

      “So far as reducing the tax on the wealthy is concerned, I would assume that you would like to see the poor become wealthy? Reducing the top marginal tax rate certainly provides motivation to escape poverty.”

      Sigh, No it doesn’t. Living in poverty provides all the motivation you need. The problem is opportunities to escape poverty and the fact that there is always a need for manual labour, so how do we ensure it is fairly rewarded? None of that is changed by a few cents off a tax rate that is two or three times the income of most people.

      “The simpler a tax system is, the harder it is to evade. Bringing tax rates into line certainly goes toward achieving that goal.”

      Sure, but that’s rewarding the cheats – ‘we give up, just take the lower tax rate’ and it’s a hell of an expensive way to solve a small problem.

  9. burt 9

    lprent

    It’d be interesting to see how many countries have lower taxes than we do for the lower incomes. I suspect that most of them do.

    Thankyou lprent, that was where I was going. Links where I have said that I think we should have a tax free threshold for low earners are not hard to find on this site.

  10. “…virtually all academics, bureaucrats and accountants.”

    not to mention white, male and probably well off.

    …i can’t see the maori party voting for an increase in GST based on some throwaway assurance of ‘compensation for lower income families.’

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.1

      Err wasn’t that one of the reasons they voted for the ETS (apart from the iwi forest concessions)?

  11. Bill 11

    The reason NZ should do something that no-one else is doing is because this government is aspirational innit?

    The fact that the levelling of tax rates is covertly posited as an matter of fairness speaks volumes for the real ideological stance of this particular government innit?

    Which is why this government…shit!…ficking drugs are wearing off again

  12. RascallyRabbit 12

    Why hasn’t ‘first x of income be tax free been discussed?’ surely many of those same countries that are richer than us have this policy (Aus and UK as two examples)

    Seems to me like a good way to compensate for potential GST rises?

    Or am I missing something?

  13. SteveR 13

    If levelling the rates is such an important goal, why is there no discussion around raising the lower rate to meet the higher, or even moving both to meet somewhere between them?

    Of course, raising a rate is unpopular (though GST seems to be suggested for that treatment), but surely if levelling were so important that unpopularity would just have to sit there and be taken.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    SteveR “If levelling the rates is such an important goal, why is there no discussion around raising the lower rate to meet the higher, or even moving both to meet somewhere between them?”

    What you are talking about is a flat tax rate. This is what David Lange decided to put on hold when he had “his cup of tea”.

    Personally, I think having one single tax rate would be a great idea. Compliance costs would go way down, avoidance would be impossible, and the governments administrative costs would also reduce considerably. The IRD would probably be able to operate with 90% less staff. Also, it would be absolutely fair. Everyone would pay at the same rate. The wealthy would still pay more by virtue of the fact that the earn more to be taxed.

    • snoozer 14.1

      “Compliance costs would go way down, avoidance would be impossible, and the governments administrative costs would also reduce considerably. The IRD would probably be able to operate with 90% less staff.”

      No sense of scale ts. Those are minor benefits compared to the cost – a flat tax at any level implies a massive transfer of wealth from those on low and middle incomes to those on high incomes – either through higher tax on low incomes and lower tax on high incomes or a slashing of the social wage if the flat tax is too low to cover public services.

      I’m sure you have enough maths to see that for yourself.

    • SteveR 14.2

      No, all I meant was, why, if levelling the company and personal tax rates is such a vital idea that over-rides all other considerations, why not raise the company rate and trust rate to equal the personal one? Why are people only assuming levelling entails lowering the higher rates?

      Or is all this principled reasoning jettisoned directly self-interest seems threatened?

  15. randal 15

    well everybody is full of good ideas today.
    especially the ones who stand to gain a hell of a lot at the expense of lower paid workers.
    this is what is called voodoo economics and so far the high priests of making the workers money disappear are winning.

  16. randal 16

    well everybody is full of good ideas today.
    especially the people who want to make the workers pay for their tax cuts.
    this is what is called voodoo economics and so far the high priests of making the workers money disappear are winning.

    • Bored 16.1

      Thank God for that Randall, I have been watching the debate and it’s a bit depressing..too much focus on personal as opposed to corporate taxes so to add hereiss my wisdom on corporate tax differentials between countries, gleaned from years doing real business:

      1. Capital does not move because of tax rates. The most fundamental driver of capital migration is wage costs and conditions. Business will quit NZ, Australia or anywhere to produce more cheaply elsewhere as amply demonstrated by the growth of sweat shops in the third world. China too will face this problem. The corollary is that tax differentials between Aussie and NZ etc mean little in terms of “business friendliness’ and resultant capital investment / disinvestment.

      2. Capital also seeks places where there are few restrictions on what you can do (i.e beat up workers, rip down forests, pollute etc with minimal compliance costs usually a bit of bribery etc). This also trumps tax rate differentials between well regulated countries by a mile. The difference between 30% and 35% in the first world means nothing when you can pay only a bribe in the third world.

      3. When selling to a local market a few percent difference between countries in tax rates is often less than the cost of freight, making tax differences irrelevant.

      4. Tax is paid on profit: companies and in particular multinationals have crafty ways of transferring or hiding profits. A good example is transfer fees for “marketing collateral’ or “management fees’. These dubious and difficult to audit “costs’ mean that a multinational can set up transfers before tax to lovely spots such as the Cayman Islands where tax is sweet f.a.

      All of the above is a result of unregulated capital flow between nations in the true spirit of laissez faire, the whole tax differential debate is a smoke screen behind which corporate do things off shore we would not countenance here. Our refusal to prevent this makes us both culpable and ultimately as impoverished as where the production has gone to. So when I hear some “rich prick’ bleat on about tax rates I reach for the metaphorical rifle.

  17. deemac 17

    UK top rate of income tax is higher than the 40% you quote as you have to add National Insurance (pays for pension/sick pay/maternity pay etc) – plus tax rate will soon be 50% as crisis measure.
    Lots of tax evasion at highest levels – not unique but no political will to deal with it plus cutting tens of thousands of civil service jobs makes enforcement harder.

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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    41 mins ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    42 mins ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 hours ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 hours ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    17 hours ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    19 hours ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    22 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago