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Open mike 11/06/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 11th, 2010 - 30 comments
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30 comments on “Open mike 11/06/2010 ”

  1. Bored 1

    Kingz of ScuZ……big warning for Labour, you just are not good enough or clean enough to play the dirty politics game. Time for a big spring clean of policies and procedures for MPS and staff. Perhaps some hard and fast guidelines and governance of your support crew, (the media minders and secretaries, strategists etc). Everybody on the team is culpable and needs to pick up their act.

  2. Sam 2


    Dunne getting in on opening up tax loop holes.

    Aaron Quintal, a tax partner at Ernst & Young, said the proposals appeared contrary to other government plans to move tax liabilities away from trusts and onto individuals. The reason gift duties collected so little revenue was because people stayed within the rules to avoid them.

    “You only end up paying gift duties if you make a mistake somewhere,” Mr Quintal said.

    The Government claims the alignment of the top personal tax rate with the tax rate on trusts in last month’s Budget would cut the possible tax benefits of making gifts to trusts.

    Mr Quintal said bringing the top personal tax rate into line with the tax rate on trusts removed the advantage of transferring assets for the time being, but he predicted many people would use the end of gift duty to transfer money into trusts because of concern over what might happen in the future.

    I think you will see a flood of stuff going into trusts, concerned about what if the top tax rate goes up in the future? They could give it all away if they give people a window to get around gift duty.

    • prism 2.1

      Another tax revenue stream that has been lost came from the wiping of
      paying stamp duty on property sales. Let’s widen the net beyond the GST focus.
      What do people pay on death duty nowadays? These don’t have to be high, severe taxes by the way.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Certainly having to fuss around with gift duty and setting up special systems to put money into the trust over time is one thing that has kept me looking at getting a trust. If the gift duty is completely abolished, I’ll probably set up a trust even though I don’t really have much need for it.

  3. ianmac 3

    The way Jim Anderton and Chris Carter explained how hotels make up the bills, on Nine to Noon this morning first thing, is significant. A hotel bill contains all charges, is dealt with by staff accompanying a Minister. Back in NZ the bill is checked by staff and any personals are paid for by the Minister. Seems reasonable to me. It also seemed that Katherine was caught up in the blame game and struggled to continue the blame against the facts. Well done Jim and Chris.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yip, that’s how hotel bills work.

      However it is also notable that in all of HC’s time as PM, she only had a single personal expense on her CC. So clearly it is possible to sort out hotel (and other) bills into personal and public at the hotel, rather than having to reconcile it later.

      However the blame ultimately comes down on ministerial services, as Jim Anderton said. He was doing the reconciliation system for 9 years, and if they ever had a problem with it, they never once approached him or his staff about it.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4


    Addicott then makes this telling observation:

    They have informed high-level CIA officials about their concerns that the program is backfiring, Addicott told IPS.

    “The people at the top are not believers,” said Addicott, referring to the CIA. “They know that the objective is not going to be achieved.”

    And there you have it. The “people at the top” are indeed well aware that the stated objectives of the ever-expanding drone program — and the ever-expanding Terror War — are not going to be achieved. They are not meant to be achieved. They are meant only to give the illusion “that we’re winning,” to keep the great game going, to keep the money and the power rolling in.

    Oh dear, Americas attempt to become the supreme empire seems to be failing.

  5. prism 5

    Money is now available for high performance sport to whit $18 million plus, but not for education initiatives for ordinary citizens beyond school age study and vocational education. The study of physics and human dynamics, how to bulk up muscles and get greater performance is more important to NACT politicians than a thirst for further knowledge. Self-obssessed minds like theirs are needed to achieve in sports. Farmers sons and our clever little girls trained to earn a good living in the paying fields so they can accumulate money, that’s the use of education to the NACT mob.

    When Romans lorded it over Britain they paid gladiators to provide entertainment. According to a recent item on gladiators graves there they had one arm noticeably larger than the other through concentrated practice with that weapon arm. We have long been a country dependent on the bovine industry and land-based muscle building work. Our main sports preoccupation is still with thick-necked and thighed rugby grunts knocking into each other. There is a knockabout callous attitude to the sport that allows eye or ear gouging or balls twisting to be accepted if not sanctioned. Sport in NZ now enourages the mindless phsyical training and performance like those gladiators and the same acceptance of damaged lives.

    (I think sport now it is professional is treating its players like bulls to be farmed and exercised. More money could be made with a tv show that exploits that. Julie Christie could make a reality show with Lost overtones where we see the ‘players’ and then their home lives, and show the players jostling to get in the final team and viewers can vote blokes on or off each week. My idea is free, anyone who is interested. I won’t even want tickets to the grounds or studio.)

    We should be encouraging people’s mental gifts, seeking use of the intellect, understanding more of the world and people, not the contrast of more money spent on sport and less on universities. The desire to learn more and understand, to gain skills, to do positive learning with others particularly in rural areas, should be at the top of the list if we are to prevent ourselves becoming a dire, dour, dairying backwater receiving growing unfavourable comments from the diminishing tourists who once formed our second main income.

    • igiveup 5.1

      Have the interest free loans for tertiary education been axed then – I missed that bit of news.

  6. prism 6

    Google’s logo feature is Jacques Cousteau’s 100th birthday. Have a look.
    And follow up if you don’t already know all about the plastic vortex in the seas with this link which shows that the problems and wonders he showed us continue.


  7. Blue 7

    I think the National Radio story about Nick Smith trying to loosen up air quality controls is worth following up.



    • prism 7.1

      Haven’t time to listen to clip at moment. But I know that there was a draconian level of air clarity set with some places only being granted one day’s ‘misdemeanour’ per season. Apparently that has been changed to three a season so it is not hugely irresponsible as some people will no doubt say. The result of multiple misdemeanours would be that the area could have no more industries that would cause some air pollution.

      Small businesses like tomato growing couldn’t cope with the regulations as mostly they used coal to fuel the heaters for their glasshouses. Houses have been forced to have expensive refits of heaters, or only electricity. (Heard recently that there has been a giant flare burning for decades? in one of the Stans over in north Europe. I wonder how much it, and the first Iraqi war have contributed to many of us being forbidden wood burning heaters?

      There was mention about people dying early. Some people have very compromised breathing systems from childhood, some have inhaled some nasty stuff before awareness of it, and that also applies to tobacco. Systems cannot come to a halt because of their frailty, help to cope is the appropriate action. And the broad field of numbers gathering of lung problems and deaths includes people up till the end of life. Not surprisingly the biggest numbers affected are over 65 when a higher death rate normally occurs, and also more deaths will follow in this group because of cold living conditions.

      In other words, they would be better off for their longevity to have a coal fire and be warm, than a costly electric heat exchange that might be the only allowable type, with power bills that soar and cause the vulnerable person to go without. Interesting about power use, a business couple’s private use apparently amounted to about $900 for one month. Whether that was just one month’s use I don’t know but $450 a month is high. And some of the power companies are tricky with their estimates. A solo mum invalid beneficiary had hers jump from about $150 to $900 for an estimate. Now that is treated as the amount to be paid, even if adjusted in a later month. This is the sort of thing beneficiaries struggle with, and no practical help from Paula and social welfare I think hardened up under Labour (apart from special groups who won some help.)

  8. Descendant Of Smith 8

    There’s been quite a bit of comment about the gradual shift in this country over time to the right. To the point where Labour is really a right wing party.

    We are ever getting closer to the American Democrat / Republican split where no one represents the workers.

    This got me thinking about some of those things I grew up with that we were proud to have from a working class perspective and could they apply today. These things probably wern’t talked about much in well off households. This was modified with some of the thinking I’ve ddeveloped over time.

    These are the sorts of policies that if espoused by a party would get my vote.

    1. The principle of an egalitarian society with all citizens being looked after and supported
    2. A clear statement that an increasing gap between the top and the bottom is not to be desired due to the negative social impacts. That the country should move forward as a whole.
    3, A fair days work for a fair days pay. The 8 hour working day and the 40 hour wroking week should be re-instated. Anyone working more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week should be paid time and a half. Salaries – by which some employers currently use to get around the minumum wage rules – should be set a a minimum equivalent of 40 hours per week X 120% of the minumum wage.
    4. Benefit rates should be increased immeadiately by the $20-00 per week cut made years ago. Labour should be deeply embarrassed by reinstating this for NZS but not for benefits.
    5. Government should undertake as part of their social committment to provide jobs for young people and people with disabilites – particularly in times of recession. Government Departments should be funded specifically for this. The private sector should be supported to provide jobs for people with significant disabilities by having their health / productivty assessed on a 3 yearly basis and having the difference between the productivity assessment and the Invalids Benefit paid to the employer – until the person turns 65 and qualifies for NZS if need be. Workers must be paid at least the minimum wage.
    6. All shop trading should cease on Sundays from 12:00 pm so workers all have half a day a week to spend with their families. This includes bars. This will also be positive for people running small businesses who have currently little choice but to open because their big competitors are.
    7. Alcohol should not be able to be sold in dairies and similar outlets.
    8. Gambling machines except in the casinos should be banned – this includes pubs and RSA’s.
    9. A clear progressive tax system should be implemented with the proviso each year that 20% of any surplus should be returned to all tax payers in equal shares as a lump sum payment.
    10. Depreciation should be clearly removed as a tax deduction. The basic principle should be to claim your costs when you actually incur them.
    11. All employers can claim a flat $500-00 per year per employee for costs associated with keeping employees motivated – social clubs, Christmas and staff functions etc. No other costs beyond this can be claimed as a taxable expense. This puts all workers and all employers on an even footing.
    12. Families with non-working or part-time working partners ( less than say $15,000 per annum) should be able to split their income for tax purposes.
    13. Family Benefit should be re-introduced so all people with children get this assistance regardless of income. Raising childrenn should be valued.

    There’s some thoughts anyway.

    • prism 8.1

      Not sure but is it the workers not supporting the party that has more interest in their needs – ie the leftish Labour. Don’t know if they were wholly disillusioned but I looked to the Alliance which was reasonably strong and well supported and then separated into parts. Then I supported Jim Anderton for a while, and he seemed to support the workers, but they didn’t flock to him either.

      I wonder if the workers are a bit apathetic. The unemployed weren’t good at turning out if a rally on their behalf was organised.

    • just saying 8.2

      As for the American system where neither of the two main parties represents the poor (working or not) we are already there, sad to say. The number of people in this category is larger than anyone acknowledges, and growing all the time. Maybe when those who lost their grasp on being middle-class long ago stop feeling ashamed and start feeling angry we’ll start to see some pressure build.

      Like you I’d love to be able to vote for a party committed to the social justice. And I’d love that party to be Labour. My grandparents literally fought at the beginnings of the labour movement for prosperity and justice for everyone. Now, about half their grandchildren have a university education, and all had opportunities they could only dream of. The majority are now Tories, certainly most of the most wealthy are passionately so (big family obviously).

      And now, with record inequality, and as we are facing the biggest crisis humanity has seen, labour is trying to out-bribe National for the middle-class vote with tax “relief” with resources sucked out of our ever diminishing community taonga, while noshing $100 breakfasts and swilling bollie with the jet-set.

      • prism 8.2.1

        Yes just saying. I have well-off people in my family and think they may be Tories. It’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation.

        Actually I have the impression that it is human nature to climb the class ladder and then identify with the moneyed. Having risen out of hard times or just poverty doesn’t mean that people will remember the struggles and disappointments they had and understand those of similar ilk and also wish to help others up. One of my favourite guys is Fred Hollows who has a trust that helps people to good sight with a simple operation he developed and trained locals to carry out. He spent a fair time in an orphanage, had a good mentor in his older years, and has done great things.

        Are you saying that people are paying $100 for breakfast and bollie? Is that a fund-raiser? What do they do with the unfinished bottles? If they leave them at the back door, I’ll happily recycle them no charge.

    • prism 8.3

      Interesting thoughts dofS. Would like to see it as basis for discussion on blog.
      Social policy needs thought, not as sexy as making quick-fire criticisms of politicians drinking, spending or sex habits which many here find so enticing. P

      • Descendant Of Smith 8.3.1

        It’s all too easy to say what we don’t want – if we don’t say what we do want then we can’t expect it to be considered.

        Sometimes too the left get carried away with policy and research – it has it’s place but sometimes you simply need to stand by some principles and let policy and decisionmaking flow from that.

        You need to work out what is worth consulting on and what isn’t.

        As a manager for instance I never ever consulted about two things:
        The temperature of the air conditioning and where staff sat. There are some things that you will never reach agreement on and that take focus away from getting the real work done.

        It’s one thing the right do so much better – have a consistent set of principles from which everything else courses.

        • just saying

          Exactly DOS it’s the principles that matter and policy should flow from them. It is what has been lost. What we believe in.

          I saw a talk on TED on this subject and thought of the leadership of the left while I was watching. It’s what gets people on board and inspires confidence – apparently it’s a powerful political and marketing tool though that isn’t why it is important to me. And I’m so sick of politicians using shallow’techniques’ – it’s a big part of the problem. When did leadership become just craven pandering to short answer, narrow issue focus-groups.

          If the left can’t articulate what we stand for and our vision for the future it’s all just knee-jerk reactivity. Seeeing as this clearly isn’t working maybe this would be the time……

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Dangerous Exponentials by Tim Morgan. The Economist has an article on the report here.

    “Anyone who believes exponential
    growth can go on forever in a finite
    world is either a madman
    or an economist’.
    Kenneth Boulding

    That’s on the title page so should give you some idea as to what it’s about.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      As an addendum to that there’s Crash Course which is probably the clearest explanation of the delusion of our monetary system that I’ve yet seen.

  10. Cnr Joe 10

    ‘scuse me
    how does John Armstrong get away with calling Shanes Jones ‘boy’ on the front page of the granny?


    • Tigger 10.1

      Glad it wasn’t just me Joe. Because he’s a dick. Armstrong that is…

      • Willie Maley 10.1.1

        Anyone listen to Mora and Armstrong on the panel?
        My lord, we may as well have been listening to Key and English discussing this issue.

        • ianmac

          Yes. Jim Mora tried hard to paint the Lab Min as really bad and of course they must be really guilty. He sounded a bit pissed that his two panellist didn’t really agree. But wait! Armstrong was there to agree with Jim and paint as much darkness as he could, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Gone off Jim as he is far too partisan for a moderator! 🙁

          • Lazy Susan

            I’ve also noticed a definite swing to the right with Jim Mora of late.

            He recently rushed to the defence of Michelle Boag when she was on discussing the tax cuts with Bomber Bradbury. Hope he’s not heading for the Holmes graveyard of deluded broadcasters.

  11. kriswgtn 11

    If Jones and Carter are made to resign over the CC fiasco

    i expect Blinglish and the rest of those troughing pigs to be sacked as well..

    Goff is heading bk to deal with Jones

    Be interesting

    I see brand key is defending his drunken minister

  12. prism 12

    Gulf Oil spill – just been looking at a few items. One in May about BP not wanting reporters getting footage and info and mention of anecdotes of people’s cellphones etc being taken.
    blackout attempt

    and on contractors role –

    Probably most have already caught up with the details but this passes info to those like me still gobsmacked.

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