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Open mike 22/03/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 22nd, 2016 - 186 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

186 comments on “Open mike 22/03/2016 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Disappointing to see the discussion on a UBI seems to be centered around the $200 mark.


    The discussion paper says a UBI would help to remove the insecurity associated with low wages or insufficient welfare benefits, which bred “personal shame, financial stress, poverty, mental health issues and the accompanying harms.

    However, at $200 a week (less than the current adult job seeker payment) a UBI largely won’t produce increased security and the other benefits touted in its discussion paper.

    Moreover, requiring people to seek additional top ups would require a lot of the current bureaucracy and its administrative costs to remain.

    Of course, the affordability factor comes into play. At $200 a week (less than the current single adult job seeker payment) a UBI is considered far more attainable.

    Nevertheless, to achieve increased security and the full benefits touted, a UBI would require to be set at double the $200 mark at the least.

    Therefore, if Labour genuinely wants to achieve the goals and benefits touted, the focus has to be on how to overcome the affordability challenge enabling them to apply a higher set UBI rate.

    It may be a UBI can’t actually be a full UBI. Meaning there may have to be a cut off rate. For example, no payments made to individuals earning $50,000 plus.


    • b waghorn 1.1

      I think $200 is about right, at $400 a couple could ,in cheaper parts of nz bump along semi comfortably with out working.
      Hell me and Mrs waghorn work 60 hrs between us and don’t clear much more than $800
      I still think we would be better served to just make winz less of a miserable out fit.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        $200 a week is insufficient to achieve many of the goals and benefits touted in the discussion paper, as laid out above.

        Additionally, another of Labour’s goals is the living wage. Therefore, a higher UBI will put upward pressure on wages, thus helping Labour to also achieve that aim.

        You and Mrs waghorn need to consider another business venture. You would both earn more on the minimum wage.

        • b waghorn

          My point is if we were being given $800 I’d probably stop being full time and cruise along doing a little bit of casual to top up , I’m not driven by money and I can imagine a lot of others would drop out of fulltime employment.

          • The Chairman

            In the future, there won’t be so much available employment, thus $400 a week will allow you to maintain your current living standard.

            While you may cruise along, a number of others won’t. As pointed out in the discussion paper. Which I recommend you read.

            • Nic the NZer

              This is an underlying issue with the UBI, it doesn’t challenge the future where there is less work available. A job guarantee would work so much better as it
              *shows the government can always provide as many jobs as needed by the community
              *allows a full time at the minimum wage income level be available to the community.
              * automatically adjusts to the number of job guarantee jobs needed.
              * gives job guarantee workers a sense of contribution to the community.
              * puts no inflationary pressure as job guarantee workers are those not wanted by the wider economy.

              • gez the rev

                why the fuck would you work full time for minimum wage

                • Nic the NZer

                  Because thats all the work you can find? A job guarantee doesn’t preclude increasing the minimum wage to be a living wage. It also doesn’t preclude offering part time work.

                  • gez the rev

                    What!!!!! Nazis cronies will never agree to a living wage
                    work your fucking arse off 7days a week to pay rent and put food on table, meanwhile your family don’t see you,
                    your life is fucked,
                    by the time your 45 your body is shot, (if some foreign low wage import hasn’t got your job years earlier)
                    the kids brought up by some freak at a day care who has nothing in common with you(maybe even a paedophile)(not uncommon)(or likes john keys morals)
                    is this the nz YOU want nic, the people who work for minimum wage don’t feel like they are contributing, they feel like they are being used, and they are

                    • Nic the NZer

                      I dont know what your problem is here frankly, you seem to be going completely bizerk for no particular good reason.

                      Many people on benefits would rather have work, even at the lowest available rate. I see no problem with that being an alternative available to them. And full time is forty hours across five days a week. Some of what your saying is just bizare for example the problem with many zero hours jobs is not that they pay around minimum wage its that there is far fewer than full time hours available.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      On a second look you clearly have no idea what a job guarantee is if you think that job guarantee work will be outsourced overseas. Look it up before commenting further.

                    • maui

                      You’re onto it gez. I know of a guy who has worked on some of the big infrastructure projects NZ has built over the years and spent his life busting his gut working and getting taxed. Now retired his back is screwed, he can’t stand for long periods without bad pain and has to sit down. He’s not eligible for a back operation currently because his pain isn’t deemed serious enough. Thats the kind of thanks he’s getting from the State.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Funny, my initial response to gez Godwin was where do we need to send the men in white coats.

                      Clearly what ever your guy was doing for a job is unsuitable work for inclusion into a JG program. If however you think that is a valid criticism of a JG program, you may be having trouble differentiating between a JG and a ‘forced labor camp’. A little background reading may help you


              • The Chairman

                Not only is a job guarantee far from practical in a future with less work opportunity due to automation, it also overlooks the work of caregivers at home looking after kids, the elderly and disabled. Which, is a benefit touted in the discussion paper.

                Moreover, it overlooks the fact that a number can’t work.

                Nor (on the minimum wage) does it assist in achieving a living wage or giving those struggling on the minimum wage a little more to help get by.

                Therefore, your suggestion would be lowering the bar, thus fails to meet many of the objectives touted.

                • Nic the NZer

                  A job guarantee does not become less practical in a future with more automation this only changes the nature of the work in such a programme.

                  It also raises the bar on the minimum wage front as now there is always an alternative to private sector work, a full time job (on minimum wage) on the job guarantee scheme. This then forces the private sector to bid higher (than full time at minimum wage). For example do you think zero hours contracts can survive such conditions?

                  Of course its also a good idea to increase the minimum wage to make it a living wage. Which can also be done while having a job guarantee.

                  People who cant work can still be covered by the existing benefits system and roughly the same for those who would rather be caregivers.

                  • The Chairman

                    Automation will not only change the nature of work, it will also make many current forms of employment redundant.

                    Merely providing an alternative to private sector employment doesn’t raises the bar on the minimum wage.

                    If the public sector is also only paying the minimum wage, there is no wage competition.

                    Therefore, your argument that a guarantee scheme would put upward pressure on wages is flawed. The private sector would only have to meet or better the work security a guarantee scheme provides. Those that couldn’t would have to look at providing other sweeteners, not necessarily a higher wage.

                    Existing benefits don’t acknowledge all caregivers.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      If you think automation will make jg work redundant then you dont understand what a jg is. If some jg work is made redundant by technology then a new less onerous occupation can be created to take its place.

                      What your describing about wage pressures is correct. And describes how a jg programme would immediately raise the minimum standard from where it is today (part time at minimum wage to full time at minimum wage). At that point raises in the minimum wage and jg wage need to take over.

                      No a jg doesnt deal with caregivers but it doesnt preclude programmes which do.

                  • The Chairman

                    Once automation is feasible and fully self sufficient all employment opportunity will cease to exist.

                    Guaranteed jobs only provides extra work security. Therefore, there is no direct wage competition. I concur being full time opposed to part time would allow employees to earn a full time wage opposed to a part time wage. However, the private sector would only have to match that work security to continue to attract applicants, thus they wouldn’t have to increases wages, hence there would be no upward pressure on incomes.

                    “No a jg doesnt deal with caregivers but it doesnt preclude programmes which do”

                    By advocating guaranteed jobs instead of a UBI it’s doing just that, precluding a scheme that would acknowledge all caregivers.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “Once automation is feasible and fully self sufficient all employment opportunity will cease to exist.”

                      When is sky net scheduled to take over again?

                      The only upward pressure on the minimum wage comes from raising the minimum wage rate or providing a better paying alternative. But it seems pretty unlikely that a UBI will be set high enough to compete with the minimum wage.

                      Though one would expect a small upward pressure on low wage rates from having fewer applicants to jg level positions (as employers will seek to retain their employed staff being uncertain they can be easily replaced).

                  • The Chairman

                    “When is sky net scheduled to take over again? “

                    Your above comment merely highlights your ignorance or denial to the technological advances taking place.

                    A UBI set at $400 a week would put upward pressure on the minimum wage.

                    And seeing as the living wage is also one of Labour’s aims, ensuring we get a decent UBI in place gives Labour the opportunity to also make some gains in this area (attaining the living wage).

                    As there is no wage competition in what you are advocating, employers would only have to match work security to retain applicants.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      What i dont really understand here is why havent labour stated they will raise the minimum wage to match the living wage?

                      Why all this convoluted stuff about indirectly pushing it up via a high enough UBI?

                      400$ seems high i would be surprised if thats part of any announcement on this subject.

                      If you think the possibility of automation cancels out the possibility of job guarantee work you dont understand a job guarantee. Say everything is automated. You can still have a job guarantee just creating positions where the humans work at leisure activities such as street performers poets etc… obviously automation will never reach such levels but anyway automation doesnt undermine it.

          • millsy

            To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there is anything wrong with cruising along. Slogging our guts out day and in day out , getting stressed out, doesn’t really help anyone.

            • weka


              Gives people a much better quality of life. And many of those people will also do things that make life better for everyone.

        • Nic the NZer

          Can you explain how a UBI puts upward pressure on the minimum wage?
          There are for example cases where the government subsidises businesses so they dont need to pay a full wage to employees themselves. This looks similar to me and therefore puts no pressure on the minimum wage whatsoever.

          • The Chairman

            The higher a UBI is, the higher wages would have to go to attract applicants, hence employers concern regrading the disincentive to work.

            • Nic the NZer

              Maybe. What if the govt introduces a UBI and drops the minimum wage to $5 (as a thought experiment). I would expect wages to fall in this case and conclude that the minimum wage is what actually drives the minimum wage rate.

              It seems to me that setting a UBI at a level where it competes with the minimum wage will never be a govt goal.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        I think $200 is about right, at $400 a couple could ,in cheaper parts of nz bump along semi comfortably with out working.

        And do you realise just how boring that is?

        At $400 people could be creative whereas at $200 they’d be just as stuck as they are now.

      • alwyn 1.1.3

        That is a very quick change on your part, isn’t it?
        About a week ago you were advocating what would have to be a much larger amount

        Go, technology, inequality, the future of work

        Falling into line behind the leader are you?

        • b waghorn

          No you’ve misunderstood me, my point in you’re link is unless its high enough to do away all other benefits its a pointless operation.
          I’m far from convinced a ubi is the way to go.
          As for my leader apart from kicking in a few dollars to labour for the good of democracy I’m not a Little follower yet, I’m more of an any one but key or collins or any of the horrible people they’ve had since shipley kind of guy.

    • Craig H 1.2

      I assume the figures being bandied about are from the Big Kahuna, since the discussion paper doesn’t really get into numbers. I’d like the figure to be higher, but there will be a limit somewhere. The Big Kahuna also retains the Accommodation Supplement and invalid’s benefits which are good plans IMO (I’d also keep state houses).

      • alwyn 1.2.1

        Andrew Little was on Morning Report talking about the possible “UBI”.
        Did anyone really understand what he was on about?
        It appears that we may get a UBI but it is going to be means tested. It will replace other benefits but we are going to keep the other benefits. We are also going to put up taxes on most people who work to pay for it.
        Why doesn’t he simply say that he has no idea what Grant is trying to impose on the party?

        He also had a swipe at John Key using taxpayer funds in Ambrose’s aborted defamation case. It was fine for Clark and Mallard but according to Little John Key was involved in an “Election Campaign” and nothing could be billed to the taxpayer.
        He has a very selective judgement does Andrew. During the prolonged campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party he, and the other candidates, were only too happy to have the taxpayer pay for all their travel around the country. That was different of course. It was Andrew who was benefiting from it. Why doesn’t he really have the courage of his convictions. He and all the others should immediately refund, with interest, the total cost paid by the taxpayer for all of their travel during that campaign.

        • gez the rev

          whatever, they are all the same, I am more than happy for them all to pay their expenses back. how about you A L W Y N ?
          they did it too is not an excuse, even my 2 1/2 yr old knows better than that
          how old are you, about time you grew up eh
          labour did it too(said in a whining voice)
          winnie did too(even more whiny)
          johns ok though (suck suck swallow swallow)

          • alwyn

            You certainly have a vivid imagination, don’t you?
            “labour did it too(said in a whining voice)
            winnie did too(even more whiny)”
            You can deduce the way I speak from written words?
            I can see you being a great success in a TV program. One of those ones where the lead character can read minds, or has a perfect memory. Whatever. They, like you, have very little connection with the real world.

            Why shouldn’t they charge these costs to the state? Key was only sued because he was PM. I am only pointing out how very selective Little is being. If he thinks it was OK for him to bill his costs in an election to the taxpayer he can hardly complain when Key puts the costs of a defamation case as well.

            • gez the rev

              the real world is what I live in man,
              the taxpayer should never have to pay that shit, wether it is national, labour, nzfirst, the greens, legalise marijuana party, or whoever
              nz taxpayer money should be spent on infrastructure, health, etc
              saying he is saving us money is crap, if just kept his fucking mouth shut, left the police out of it and just got on and done his fucking job it would have cost us

            • gez the rev

              actually those tv guys get paid quite well, where do I apply, can I get a reference

              “You certainly have a vivid imagination, don’t you?
              “labour did it too(said in a whining voice)
              winnie did too(even more whiny)”
              You can deduce the way I speak from written words?”

              I sure can

            • Crashcart

              So your assertion that he was sued because he was PM is frankly bullshit. I can’t remember where in the job description of PM it says he is required to defame people as part of his job.

              Where is that personal responsibility people always harp on about. Key made defamatory statements. He got sued and agreed that he was incorrect in making those statements. We end up paying for his mistake.

              This is in no way countered by “but but Aunty Helen did it tooooooo”. It is wrong when politicians use public funds for inappropriate means, no matter what side of the spectrum they sit. There is no way you can paint Little with the Clarke brush as he wasn’t even in government when that crap went down.

        • The Chairman

          “Andrew Little was on Morning Report talking about the possible “UBI”.

          Yes, and he raised another concern.

          He implied tax would be used to claw a UBI back.

          However, it was only the other day Labour were highlighting tax avoidance and how many high income earners minimize their tax burden.

          Therefore, what he seems to be overlooking is this would effectively allow high income earners minimizing their tax burden to largely escape the government’s attempt (using the tax system) to claw back their UBI.

          It would be far more efficient to set a cut off point, limiting who can receive a UBI, thus preventing tax minimisation structures allowing high income earners to escape the burden.

          • alwyn

            ” set a cut off point, limiting who can receive a UBI”.
            If it has a cut-off, and that seems to be what Little, and today, Robertson seem to be contemplating it is not a UBI. The U means Universal and as soon as you have any cut off at all it isn’t that. It is merely another form of means, or income, tested benefit and you have all the overheads of administering any other benefit.

            One of the advantages of a real UBI is that administration is very simple. You only need to keep track of whether a person is still alive. That is one of the great advantages of National Super. The administration of that is a breeze compared to most other benefits.

            Having a cut off is not going to have any effect on tax minimisation. The only real way to reduce your taxes is to reduce your taxable income. Anyone who does that successfully will become eligible for the quasi-UBI if the cut off is based on income.
            If the cut off is based on assets there will be a lot of asset rich, income poor, elderly in Auckland who are going to miss out. I know a couple whose income is almost entirely National Super who still live in their Epsom house that is supposedly worth well over $2 million. Even their rates come close to forcing them to move. Are they going to have to shift away to some small, cheap housing, town where they know no-one if they have to sell their home and live off their savings?

            • The Chairman

              “If it has a cut-off, and that seems to be what Little, and today, Robertson seem to be contemplating it is not a UBI”

              I agree. Nevertheless it would be a WBI – a widespread basic income able (if set correctly) to achieve all the goals touted.

              Income would be assessed by IRD who would also administer the allowance Therefore, there would be little extra bureaucratic burden.

              Having a cut off will prevent the bureaucratic burden of dishing out the allowance only to attempt to claw it back through income tax.

              I didn’t claim having a cut off is going to have an effect on tax minimisation. Nor did I advocate a cut off based on assets.

              I pointed out how having a cut off will escape losses through tax avoidance/minimisation. But you are correct on minimisation and the eligibility point.

              Apart from addressing tax minimization (such as ring fencing losses, etc…) a number will slip through, but only a few high income earners would be able to get down to a $50,000 cut off.

              • alwyn

                “claw it back”. You don’t claw it back. The way Robertson last tried to describe it is a tax credit. There is no burden.

                “I didn’t claim having a cut off …”. In that case I don’t understand what you meant by your previous comment that talked about “set a cut off point, limiting who can receive a UBI, thus preventing tax minimisation” .

                “cut off based on assets.” I just gave both ways of having any proposed “cut off”. I certainly wouldn’t have any cut off at all. Certainly such cuts are used. The Australian state super used to, at least when the New Zealand Government forced me to apply for it used both assets and income to limit access to the scheme. There was a 46 page form to fill in.
                I had to apply, even though it was impossible to get it because I had worked there. New Zealand Super is much easier to administer because it doesn’t have to be abated.

                ” only a few high income earners”. I think you would be surprised. Wouldn’t anyone who owns a company and leaves the profits in the company get the UBI in their personal account? They wouldn’t be cheating either as the company could pay its taxes honestly.

                I suggest you carefully look at what Lanthanide has been saying. I think he is giving really good explanations to your concerns.

      • The Chairman 1.2.2

        The Big Kahuna has be acknowledged in the discussion paper. It has also been costed.

        However, the Big Kahuna sets a flat tax rate of 30%, disadvantaging those currently on lower tax rates, this lower incomes. Effectively making the poor cover a percentage of the cost of a UBI, which largely defeats the purpose.

        Moreover, it would tax the annual paper gain (not gain achieved) of housing. Leaving those such as pensioners (and others on fixed incomes) worse off.

        Additionally, the set rate is far too low to achieve many of the other goals and benefits touted in the discussion paper, one of which is shifting away from benefits.

        • alwyn

          That all seems to match my own memory of the book. I read it when it came out so my memories are fading a bit of course.
          It is however unfair to complain about the low rate of benefits AND the level of taxes. These numbers have been identified because they will match income and expenditure. Sure the amount to be paid may be lower than you want and the taxes higher than you desire but they match.
          If you don’t identify real costs and real benefits you are not doing economics. You are just living in fantasyland. Putting in actual numbers and observing what happens is, unfortunately, why they call Economics “the dismal science”.
          A lot of the discussion on this blog was, regrettably, of the fantasy kind.

          • The Chairman

            “Sure the amount to be paid may be lower than you want and the taxes higher than you desire but they match”

            Yes, it costed. However, it doesn’t enable many of the benefits touted. Leaving those cash poor worse off.

            Moreover, the poor will only receive around half of the UBI as tax increases eat into it. Whereas, the rich will minimize/avoid their tax and get to keep it all.

            That’s why I’m advocating that Labour acknowledge this and set their focus on finding a feasible way to allow a higher UBI set rate. While averting the extra tax burden on the cash poor and asset rich.

            • alwyn

              You don’t seem to understand what I am saying.
              You are still saying you want higher benefits and lower taxes.

              That is Fantasyland. Put down what you propose and work out what the numbers would be. Without that you are just dreaming and debate is impossible.

              You also don’t seem to have appreciated how the UBI would work and how high incomes would have to go before taxes would increase. Lanthanide has worked some examples and you have to get up to about $100 k or so with $10,000 UBI and 33% flat tax to be worse off.
              They are further down in this post.

              • The Chairman

                I clearly understood what you were saying and I addressed it. It’s you that seems to be having difficulties.

                Of course the affordability factor comes into play. But it’s also vital to get bang for our buck (maximizing and capitalizing the benefits touted) .

                A higher UBI will enable better outcomes, but of course, taxes at the top end would require to be higher. I’ve never disputed this as you seem to be implying with your fantasy-land comment.

                However, Labour could also look at redirecting expenditure. Making cuts say in the defense budget to help offset the cost of a higher UBI.

                They can also look at charging and increasing royalties, oil, gas water and gold, etc…

                Increasing tax on alcohol. Reducing consumption and its associated harm, which many would see as a win-win.

                A financial transaction tax between financial institutions could also be considered.

                These (above) are the things Labour should be considering and one would like to think they are.

                Lanthanide points were also addressed. It’s not about incomes having to increase. It’s about a flat tax set higher than current lower rates negatively impacting on the poor and the asset rich you were so concerned about in your other post. Their higher tax payment would eat into their UBI. Leaving them with around half of the two hundred that’s been suggested (less for the asset rich) thus reducing the ability to achieve the benefits claimed in the discussion paper.

                A tax free threshold (as was mentioned elsewhere in this discussion) could help offset this tax negative.

                • alwyn

                  That is fine. It is still not really capable of discussion if you don’t put down some real numbers for what you propose. I, for example put some numbers together for a proposal that was floated of $400/week. That indicated we would have to double the tax take. That shows what is involved. You will have to do something similar if you want your ideas to be considered.

                  For example the Defence Budget is about $3 billion. What would you cut out? Would you do a Bob Jones and scrap the lot? There goes the fisheries protection vessels of course.
                  What level would you set the UBI at and how would you pay for it?

                  The tax on alcohol is about $900 million. What would you put it up to?

                  ” Their higher tax payment would eat into their UBI. Leaving them with around half of the two hundred that’s been suggested”.
                  The UBI was meant to be a basic income. It isn’t meant to be additional to whatever they are getting now. You are only meant to get the lot and keep it if you have no other income.

                  • The Chairman

                    If Labour genuinely want to achieved the goals and benefits touted, it’s up to them to look at the options and do the maths.

                    This is the point I’m raising.

                    The reason being, at less than the current single adult job seeker rate ($200 a week) that’s been suggested, it will struggle to meet the full potential of the benefits touted.

                    How much do you think a financial transaction tax between financial institutions could produce?

                    Charging and doubling our royalties will muster several billion.

                    I would consider doubling the tax on alcohol. Which would also produce savings from the reduced associated harm.

                    As welfare cost would be reduced, coupled with the other tax suggestions in the post above, the tax rate wouldn’t have to double.

                    A UBI is most relevant when one has no other income. It is supposedly being considered to deal with the future of work as more move in and out of work, thus have no income.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.3

      Sorry I’m not up to play on the UBI but does this mean every adult regardless of working or not gets the UBI?

      • Eyre 1.3.1

        Well yesterday, according to Robertson it did. But this morning, according to little it doesnt.who knows

        • Puckish Rogue

          If Labour want this to go then they’ll have to be very tight and on message, I can’t see advocating for politicians getting more money (as an example) as going down well with the voters

        • alwyn

          Little certainly didn’t, that was for sure. He came across as a babbling idiot.

          • BM

            This is where Labour will always fail, they completely lack the skills and people to market a idea or concept.

            Andrew Little couldn’t convince a person dying of thirst to drink a glass of water.

            • Puckish Rogue

              I could see it working for the unemployed and those on other benefits, I’d market it as streamlining the whole system but where would be the cut off point for working people?

              Would someone go from full time to part time etc etc

              • gez the rev

                suck suck swallow swallow
                bit of a competition today to see who gets the goodies tonight eh kids

              • BM

                Do you think Labour have to people or skills to do that?, I certainly don’t

                I even doubt National have the skills to market a UBI and convince every one it’s a great idea.

                Most people are fairly simple and conservative in their outlook, just look at the flag debate, people getting so bent out of shape over a piece of cloth, completely ridiculous.

                Trying to convince the sheeple that something as revolutionary as a UBI is a great idea hasn’t got a chance, all people will hear is Labour wants to make every one a bene and hike taxes.

                Labour has shot its self in the face with this one.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  John Key and Bill English potentially could but it’d be a tough ask but in this case you’d have to be on the money when it comes to calculations (dotting the eyes and crossing the tees so to speak)

                  You’d also have to get cross-party support on this as well

                • Whispering Kate

                  At the moment Andrew is just putting it out there for debate, he does admit it is a big contentious subject and it needs plenty of input from everybody as to how it could be implemented. Of course, he doesn’t have anything definitive to state about it – if he did you whinging Tories would say he was being a dictator – at least he is airing the subject, much as Gareth Morgan has and others. Instead of being a tin pot flash in the pan flag debacle, at least Andrew is wanting to have lots of ideas put forward. Why do you lot always rubbish him – he doesn’t mangle his words any more than your precious “no name” and doesn’t disgrace himself in public either- give the man a break.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    We rubbish him firstly because, well hes rubbish. He can’t win an electorate seat, he changes positions almost daily and is uncomfortably close to being an out and out racist

                    Secondly while most of us on the right think John Key is center and edging close to center-left hes still a better option then the unions man Andrew Little so he has to be beaten

                    Thirdly are you serious? Give the man a break?? If you can’t handle some criticism on a web site how is he supposed to handle Winston Peters in full flight, trade negotiations or when if the media start taking him seriously?

                    • Whispering Kate

                      The media will never take him seriously because they are in the pay of the right. What’s Winston got to do with it, did I mention him? I criticise the left a lot, they need to get their act together – but rubbishing everything Andrew Little does from you lot borders on paranoia. Now, your leader definitely does warrant criticism, if the hat fits wear it , he lies like there is no tomorrow and is nasty with it. He is an embarrassment to the country and dangerous to boot.

                      Your type of comment doesn’t bother me one wit sunshine.

                    • DoublePlusGood

                      Such first past the post thinking! I really don’t care if he wins in fairly conservative (and becoming more so) New Plymouth or not. I care whether or not he wins support across the country, because that is what determines seats in an MMP system.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Sure its FPP thinking but since, just like in FPP days, you can choose National with support parties or Labour with support parties its a moot point.

                      The argument (and thinking) is that if someone can’t convince an electorate to vote for them then why should a country and if (a very big if of course) that it comes down to Labour, Greens and NZFirst who’ll be the PM then?

                      I’d say the person that can win an electorate seat has the best claim to the throne

                    • Whispering Kate

                      DoublePlusGood, because, as I have said the media doesn’t give anybody who is not National or Act any chance to put their ideas across , all they do is slag off the opposition with the likes of Hoskings and Hide, plus Audrey and Fran so how are the people going to hear anything positive that the other parties have to say. The law of averages does not mean that National/Act are perfect and correct all the time does it. Even the polls are never correct, people deserve to get a balanced press, why do you think heaps of us have cancelled out of MSM and never bother to access it. I had family here recently and they brought over from the States some periodicals for me to read, two come to mind “The Atlantic” and “Time” magazine – why can’t we access decent NZ grown stuff like this instead of drivel and trash.

                      New Plymouth is oil driven and I know is a conservative constituency and probably will be next time. He shouldn’t have stood there but that doesn’t mean he cannot be a decent leader – we are in the shit with this Government, he could do much better – hell’s bells it wouldn’t take much to do better.

                      Anyway I can’t follow your thread, where was I discussing FFP??

                  • Puckish Rogue


                    Yet somehow Harry Duynhoven (1987, 1993 – 2005) managed it, maybe its something to do with the person?

                  • Expat

                    Whispering Kate


                    Good on you for referring these anti Labour types, to the “facts”, they much prefer to make stuff up and then tout it as as the truth, you can see how shallow they are.

            • Stuart Munro

              Yeah but that’s the difference between the left and the RWNJ BM – thirsty lefties don’t need to be told what’s good for them.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Its not that, its just that Little is so untrustworthy we couldn’t trust what was in the water

                • Stuart Munro

                  Yeah right. Let’s see a list of Little’s lies that comes close to Key’s.

                  The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen, and stupidity. When RWNJs are involved the possibility of stupidity can never be ruled out.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    John Key has been leader of NZ since 2008, Andrew Little is the leader of a (rapidly becoming) minor party

                    John Key won an electorate seat and then won three (soon to be four) elections

                    Andrew Little has failed twice in winning an electorate seat

                    • gez the rev

                      john key also pulls ladies ponytails
                      pisses in the shower proudly
                      wanks himself(sorry bronagh) over ponytails
                      loves the cock
                      bends over in cages with soap and stuff
                      cant talk properly
                      pulls funny faces as he squirms(whats up his arse?)
                      walks like a fag(by fag I mean fag) on the catwalk
                      says a lot about his electorate eh?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It’s funny how you never answer a question PR.

                      You claimed Little is untrustworthy.

                      Evidence, troll.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Really – so there are no Chinese buyers? I rather think you’ll find that there are.

                      Not withdrawing from the TPPA is frankly pretty stupid – but Labour leaders, unlike Gnats, are not completely autocratic.

                      What you have here is only evidence of the bias inherent in your shrivelled and twisted excuse for a character – fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; dull as night, dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You just don’t get it though (as per usual) its not what I think, its not what you think its what the voting public think

                      Its why John Key will secure a fourth term and why Labour will have to wait until 2020, at the earliest, before they gain power

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It’s just as well it’s not what you think – there’s just not much there. It’s not about ‘winning’ it’s about good governance. Key’s omnishambles has achieved so little at such cost it will take decades to recover.

                      In a good year Cullen could scrape up a surplus of about $2 billion. Key et al have run up $120 billion in debt – $150 billion by the end of this year. That’s 75 years of Cullen just to get us back to zero.

                      Hordes of folk are out of work and the economy is basically screwed. The international situation won’t be rescuing us. But the public are waking up to Key – they’re dumping his flag and pretty soon they’ll be dumping him.

                      Why don’t you take your whining to Whaleoil where you belong and stop pestering the folk here with your ill-informed and malicious nonsense? Have you no shame at all?

                    • Whispering Kate

                      A baboon could have stood in Helensville and won if he represented National – that is no argument at all that if you can’t win a constituency seat you are not capable of winning over the country. Helensville is a safe seat, put him in somewhere like South Auckland or some other depressed area in one of the many depressed provinces and see how he would do. Ask the people of Helensville how often he visits his office out there – its a farce, he doesn’t even live there.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Yeah keep telling yourselves that, you probably even believe it yourself

                    • swordfish

                      Key made sure he stood in an already deeply Blue seat.

                      In stark contrast, far from lining up a safe Red seat, Little was prepared to stand in one clearly leaning Blue.

                      And did comparatively well …

          • ianmac

            @alwyn “Did anyone really understand what he was on about?”
            Never mind alwyn. Your Minder might find time to explain it to you in one syllable words. You must try harder.
            1. UBI is a just discussion to be had by fair-minded non-partisan people.
            2. Every adult would get an allowance regardless of employment (or maybe an income limit could kick in.)
            3. A huge downsizing of WINZ would help pay for it. Taxes would be adjusted accordingly.
            4. It is not Labour Policy. Gareth Morgan has been regarded as a right wing economist and he raised the idea a year or two ago.
            5. Because of future employment uncertainties some plan will have to be developed regardless of Party Stripe.


            • alwyn

              Can I suggest that you can simplify this “explanation”
              Point 1 should say
              “Only people who love Andie and hate John are allowed to comment”
              Point 2 could simply be worded
              “2. Every adult would get an allowance regardless of employment, or maybe they won’t.”
              And, from the way they are talking about it, point 3 should say
              “3. A huge reduction in National Super levels would help pay for it”

              • ianmac

                3. That is right. Morgan pointed that out. “A huge reduction in National Super levels would help pay for it.” Mine would drop from $269pw to $200pw.
                2. That’s right too. It might even include children.
                1. alwyn would be welcome to comment on the pros and cons but if she just sneers because she thinks its a Labour issue she may as well not bother.
                It is an issue for all society in view of the huge changes going on with employment around the World. What better way would there be alwyn?

                • alwyn

                  Why do people insist on thinking that Alwyn is a female name?
                  I have never met any woman named Alwyn and I have, on a number of occasions pointed out that it is a male (Welsh) name.

                  I don’t think it is a Labour issue at all. It was actually proposed by Thomas More in 1516 so it has a very long history.
                  If, however the Labour Party is going to propose such a scheme they should at least have a consistent view of what they are talking about. At a minimum can they get their Leader and Finance spokesman on the same page in the songbook?

                  They are behaving like idiots and doing a great injustice to New Zealand when Andrew and Grant are proposing radically different visions.
                  How can it possibly be discussed if there is nothing of substance?
                  This went on in a very large post a week or so ago on this site where every man and his dog was saying what was going to be in the Labour Party proposal. It was futile because nobody had, or has, any idea.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Why would Grant want to be on the same page as Andrew? Andrew has what Grant wants…

                  • ianmac

                    @alwyn:”If, however the Labour Party is going to propose such a scheme they should at least have a consistent view of what they are talking about.”
                    There is no policy to be consistent about, yet. So I would welcome, they would welcome, the whole country would welcome a discussion on all aspects. Pros and Cons. Please?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I see where you’re coming from and its true but considering how polarising this issue could become you’d have thought Little and Robertson would have gotten to together to discuss how to talk about it

                      Unless Robertson is setting Little up…not that he would of course 🙂

                    • BM

                      There is no policy to be consistent about

                      That’s ridiculous, why are they even talking about a UBI?

                    • alwyn

                      You mean, I assume, that Grant read Gareth’s book over his Christmas vacation and likes all the big words? If they are thinking about Morgan’s proposal we can discuss it. At least there is something more than smoke and mirrors to talk about.
                      So far however there isn’t anything real to come to grips with.

                    • weka

                      “That’s ridiculous, why are they even talking about a UBI?”

                      Read the report BM. It’s a discussion document. I’m sure you can figure out what that means.

                  • gez the rev

                    funny your whining sounds like a 2 yr old girls to me

                  • framu

                    “At a minimum can they get their Leader and Finance spokesman on the same page in the songbook?”

                    theres that john and bill show where they often have different scripts as well.

                    Yes alwyn – its a joke – dont get too excited by it

              • North

                You’re getting too excited now Trollwyn.

      • The Chairman 1.3.2

        “Does this mean every adult regardless of working or not gets the UBI?”

        It’s currently still in discussion. Nothing has been finalised.

        • BM

          Quite hard to build a case for a UBI when nothing has been finalised.

          Why would they float the idea is such an unfinished state or was it leaked?

          • The Chairman

            “Why would they float the idea is such an unfinished state…?”

            To get the public discussing it, hence allowing for some public feedback.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

            • b waghorn

              You’re kind of right in a way, labour seems to think people are capable of understanding that they just want to chuck the ubi idea out there for debate,
              You and your mates prove that many aren’t.
              Lefties tend to fall into the trap of thinking the best of people.
              Stupidly optimistic is about right.

              • BM


                Stupidly naive is about right.

              • Puckish Rogue

                There seems to be a habit of Labour “chucking things out for debate” and it always seems to backfire yet Labour keep on doing it

                “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

          • Craig H

            It’s part of the Future of Work commission. The paper, like all similar discussion papers, was deliberately long on concepts and short on details because policy will follow later after the discussion and feedback based on the discussion paper.

        • gsays

          hi chairman, it is well named, a universal basic income.
          everyone receives it.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Therefore, if Labour genuinely wants to achieve the goals and benefits touted, the focus has to be on how to overcome the affordability challenge enabling them to apply a higher set UBI rate.

      That’s actually easy but it requires a significant mindset change and a lot of work (It won’t be the fiddling at the edges that governments seem to have grown so fond of over the last couple of decades). All it requires is seeing the government as the source of all money in the NZ economy (This is actually BTW). Then the UBI just becomes the source of money into the economy.

      The tax system would have to be rebuilt around that mindset change as well but, then, the tax system needs to be rebuilt anyway as it’s no longer fit for purpose.

      It may be a UBI can’t actually be a full UBI.

      Oh, it can be – it just requires that mindset change that I mentioned.

      And according to the poll on that page the people are in favour of it.

      • ianmac 1.4.1

        @ Draco:” it requires a significant mindset change and a lot of work (It won’t be the fiddling at the edges that governments seem to have grown so fond of over the last couple of decades).”
        Very true. But we can see above that battle lines are being drawn on political lines. Pity. Wonder how the angry ones reacted when Morgan floated the idea in the Great Kahuna a year or so ago?

    • Lanthanide 1.5

      “It may be a UBI can’t actually be a full UBI. Meaning there may have to be a cut off rate. For example, no payments made to individuals earning $50,000 plus.”

      The defeats the entire point of a UBI.

      All you need to do is structure the tax level to achieve the same outcome. A flat tax is by far the best option, but if that won’t work, a simple two-tiered progressive tax will.

      • The Chairman 1.5.1

        The problem is a higher rate UBI given to all will cost far more, thus tax will have to increase far more, hence may not be such an easy sell to the general public.

        A higher flat tax rate will disadvantage those currently on lower tax rates, thus lower incomes. Effectively making the poor cover a percentage of the cost of a UBI, which largely defeats the purpose.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The problem is a higher rate UBI given to all will cost far more

          Stop thinking of the UBI as a cost and start thinking of it as the fuel that the economy needs to run. Do that and it, and everything else, falls into place. It tells us that not only can we afford the UBI at any level but that we actually can’t do without it.

          The taxes will need to be adjusted but then the entire tax system is centuries out of date, not fit for purpose and thus needs replacing any way. Start from the ground up with redesigning it and include the UBI in that redesign.

          Labour has bitten off a lot and they probably didn’t realise how much. They, and others, probably haven’t realised that you have to replace the current tax system with the introduction of a UBI and, in fact, build it around that UBI.

          • The Chairman

            “Stop thinking of the UBI as a cost and start thinking of it as the fuel that the economy needs to run. ”

            Can you expand on that?

            “Taxes will need to be adjusted”

            Can you also expand on that? How do you recommend they are adjusted?

            Labour are considering tax implications. Little implied the tax system could be used to claw back a UBI allowance (see my earlier post to alwyn).

            • Draco T Bastard

              Can you expand on that?

              Think of the economy as an engine. Fuel goes in (government created money) and exhaust comes out (taxes).

              The engine itself is the resources that a people have in their borders and what they do with them to provide for their needs.

              For the distribution of those products we use a market system. People use money to buy what they want and money is also used to encourage people to work in particular fields.

              So, the UBI now becomes that fuel. People have money to spend on the products that they want which encourages people to produce those products.

              Of course there is also other government spending and other reforms that makes money available.

              How do you recommend they [taxes] are adjusted?

              I’m going to be very general here.

              Close the loopholes. Our system has been designed to put the tax burden upon the poor. This is why we have the people with the greatest wealth paying, proportionally, the least tax.

              We need to change that so that, because of taxes, no one can afford to be rich. Financial transaction taxes and capital taxes including a tax on money in the bank (demurrage).

              Increases in taxes on high incomes up to 100%. The idea isn’t that people will be taxed at 100% but that they just won’t have an income that high, i.e, taxes used to limit income.

              Direct taxes upon resources used. Basically, what I’m getting at here is that the resources that are extracted from the land are taxed. Although, in the case of extraction and processing of raw resources (Think iron, gallium, thorium, gold) I think the government should do it directly. The sale price of those resources then becomes the tax.

              • The Chairman

                When you say government created money do you mean in tandem with the banks? Dual currency? Or Government takes back the sole right to create money?

                “The engine itself is the resources that a people have in their borders and what they do with them to provide for their needs.
                For the distribution of those products we use a market system. People use money to buy what they want…”

                That largely takes place now.

                How would you like to see money used to encourage people to work in particular fields?

                So the money created now becomes the UBI to be spent into the economy creating demand and supporting commerce.

                How will that impact on the dollar? Would you have a limit on money created, therefore,won’t this (UBI expenditure) limit other government expenditure? And how do you see it impacting on inflation?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  When you say government created money do you mean in tandem with the banks? Dual currency? Or Government takes back the sole right to create money?

                  The government becomes the sole creator of money and no other money can be used for NZ products.

                  That largely takes place now.

                  In a fucked up system that doesn’t actually work. If it worked we wouldn’t have people saying that we couldn’t afford to keep people out of poverty.

                  How would you like to see money used to encourage people to work in particular fields?

                  They get paid.

                  So the money created now becomes the UBI to be spent into the economy creating demand and supporting commerce.


                  How will that impact on the dollar?

                  That would depend upon how the government sets the exchange rate. I’m in favour of it being set by a maths formula tied to imports and exports.

                  Would you have a limit on money created, therefore,won’t this (UBI expenditure) limit other government expenditure?

                  I wouldn’t have a limit on the amount created but I would have the RBNZ setting the tax rates to offset the spending. The government sets where the taxes are, the RBNZ and probably in association with Treasury set the actual rates.

                  And how do you see it impacting on inflation?

                  On normal goods and services inflation would remain the same. Some would see deflation.

        • Lanthanide

          “A higher flat tax rate will disadvantage those currently on lower tax rates”

          Yes, but only up to a point. Because of the mathematics of the current system, a flat tax rate can go up quite high before anyone on a lower income pays more tax under a UBI system than they would pay under the current system.

          Eg, with a $10,000 annual UBI and a 33% flat tax rate, someone earning $30,000 from private employment would have this:
          $10,000 UBI
          $30,000 private income
          -$10,000 tax
          $30,000 after-tax income

          At the moment, someone earning $30,000 from private employment (and assuming no other benefits like accommodation allowance) would pay $4,270 in tax for an after-tax income of $25,730

          With 33% tax, someone earning $50,000 through private employment would pay a net tax of $6,500 vs current tax of $8,020.

          With 33% tax, someone earning $70,000 through private employment would pay a net tax of $13,100 vs a current tax of $14,020.

          With a 33% tax, someone earning $90,000 through private employment would pay a net tax of $20,000, vs a current tax of $20,620.

          These figures are all with a $10,000 UBI; if it’s $11,000, then subtract another $1k off the net tax paid.

          So as you can see, a 33% flat tax rate results in a tax cut for the bottom 90% of workers. The Big Kahuna proposed a 30% income tax rate, but this is helped along by a capital tax which is the most politically fraught part of the deal.

          A flat tax of 40% would still seem reasonable, although I haven’t done any numbers on that.

          • Craig H

            The capital tax made sense to me since it only gets paid if income tax does not cover it, but agree that selling it would be difficult.

            • The Chairman

              The concern with the capital gains tax is that it will be on annual paper gains, opposed to actual gains achieved. Disadvantaging those who are asset rich but cash poor, such as a number of pensioners.

              • Craig H

                It isn’t a capital gains tax, it is income tax charged on the deemed rate of return of fixed assets. The government sets the rate annually in the budget (Morgan’s view is that it should be based on the longterm average of 90 day or 10 year bill rates), and goes from there.

                • Lanthanide

                  That doesn’t actually address Chairman’s concern, in fact it just reinforces it.

                  If you have a ‘deemed rate of return’, but don’t actually receive income from that asset (eg, your personal home in Auckland with no mortgage that is worth $2m on paper), then you have to find the money to pay the tax. For many pensioners, that money doesn’t exist.

                • The Chairman

                  ‘It is income tax charged on the deemed rate of return of fixed assets”

                  Yes, assets taxed at the deemed accumulated value gained is a capital gains. tax. One that works by taxing paper gains and not actual gains achieved. Negatively impacting those that are asset rich and cash poor.

                  • Craig H

                    That’s the whole point of it – to stop people storing up wealth and not paying tax, or paying very little tax, despite having a much better standard of living than someone with a higher income but no or few assets. The aim is specifically to hit asset-rich people to force them to use their assets productively, not just accumulate them – the cash-poor aspect is unfortunate, so finding a way around that would be useful, but bear in mind that under a UBI, income-poor people are paying little to no income tax, so it’s not all bad news.

                    Also, it’s a deemed income tax, so most people won’t be affected because they will pay enough tax not to have to pay the CCT as well.

                    • The Chairman

                      “That’s the whole point of it – to stop people storing up wealth and not paying tax”

                      First off, a lot of people worked hard and paid their taxes to attain their wealth.

                      Therefore, how do you think they are going to feel when they find what wealth they have accumulated is going to be taken from them by new taxes?

                      What sort of message are we giving the next generation? Don’t work hard and accumulate wealth, it will only be taken off you further down the line.

                      I totally disagree with any tax that taxes gains that have yet to been achieved. It leaves many struggling to meet the burden, thus it’s totally unfair.

                      Moreover, the estimated gains may never eventuate.

                      “The aim is specifically to hit asset-rich people to force them to use their assets productively”

                      If the aim is to get people to invest productively, then we need to encourage them to do so before they buy unproductive assets.

                      Additionally, some did invest productively, allowing them to buy and enjoy non-productive assets. And you support robbing them of this?

                      “The cash-poor aspect is unfortunate”

                      Indeed. Hence, it’s vital the problem is overcome. We don’t want to increase poverty with our enthusiasm to see a UBI introduced.

                      Therefore, it’s vital new tax settings are right. They can’t afford to further disadvantage the poor and cash poor.

          • Expat

            In Aus , there is a $18200 threshold before you pay any tax at all, and applies to all, you could introduce this at a higher rate to replace the UBI, this system would be cheap to implement, changing to a flat tax rate would be disastarous, when 40% are on the minimum wage.

            The biggest benefit would be the the extra money would be fed back through the economy, which would increase employment levels.

            • The Chairman

              That (a tax free threshold) would certainly help. However, it wouldn’t achieve the wider benefits of a decent UBI of $400 a week. A combination of the two would be a good consideration.

          • The Chairman

            As soon as a flat rate of tax exceeds the lowest tax rate it disadvantages those currently on the lower rate. The higher the flat rate is set, the more it disadvantages those currently on lower rates.

            Which is one of the problems with The Big Kahuna.

            At the moment, someone earning $30,000 is taxed at 17.5%.

            Increasing their tax rate to a flat tax of 30% will almost double their tax burden.

            So as you can, see it will put them at a disadvantage.

            • Craig H

              Double the tax when you get tax free payments of $200+ per week is only an issue higher up the pay scale – minimum wage earners will be better off in terms of money in the hand.

              • The Chairman

                “Double the tax when you get tax free payments of $200+ per week is only an issue higher up the pay scale – minimum wage earners will be better off in terms of money in the hand.”

                The thing is, they would be better off in the hand if the tax rate doesn’t become set at a higher rate than their current lower rate.

            • Lanthanide

              I see you didn’t read my comment at all, or didn’t understand it.

              A UBI acts as a negative tax rate.

              Someone earning $30,000 under a UBI with 33% tax and $10,000 UBI payment pays $0 net tax.

              $0 is less than what they currently pay, which is $4,270.

              $0 < $4,270.

              Therefore someone earning $30,000 a year is better off by $4,270 compared to the current system, so they are not "put at a disadvantage" as you claim.

              Trying to deny the mathematics shows you don't understand what you're talking about.

              • The Chairman

                Clearly, you failed to understand my comment.

                Someone earning $30,000 under a UBI with a 33% tax rate would not pay zero. Moreover, it’s yet to be decided if the UBI will be added to ones taxable income. Therefore, in that example one would be taxed 33% of $40,000. The thirty earned plus the ten UBI, giving a total income of $40,000.

                Additionally, as I pointed out to Craig H above, individuals would be better off in the hand if the tax rate doesn’t become set at a higher rate than their current lower rate. Effectively forcing the poor to pay a percentage (in this case close to 50% of their UBI allowance.

                • Lanthanide

                  Someone earning $30,000 under a UBI with a 33% tax rate would not pay zero.

                  They would pay a net of $0 income tax.

                  Moreover, it’s yet to be decided if the UBI will be added to ones taxable income.

                  In the Big Kahuna, which is what Labour are explicitly using as their basis for these early discussions, UBI is tax-free.

                  In fact the only reason to add a UBI to taxable income, would be if there were tax brackets. A flat tax does not require the UBI to count as taxable income. Even if there are tax brackets, the UBI could still be tax-exempt, and the tax brackets could just apply to income from all other sources.

                  Therefore, in that example one would be taxed 33% of $40,000. The thirty earned plus the ten UBI, giving a total income of $40,000.

                  Yes, but at the moment there is no suggestion that the UBI will be taxed that way by Labour.

                  Additionally, as I pointed out to Craig H above, individuals would be better off in the hand if the tax rate doesn’t become set at a higher rate than their current lower rate.

                  Everyone would also be better off if the government gave every person over the age of 18 a free car, too.

                  Effectively you’re saying “the UBI needs to be flat cash increase on top of what every single ‘low-paid’ person is already earning, eg everyone should get an additional $11,000 per year on top of what they already earn’.

                  Except there is no feasible model of a UBI that would allow that structure – it simply costs too much. Just as there is no feasible model of a UBI that pays every individual $22,000 a year while keeping the tax rate at 17.5%, or no feasible model of a UBI where the government gives everyone over the age of 18 a brand new car.

                  Instead of having theoretical conversations about “what might be” that are completely unrealistic, instead we should discuss what the current proposal is: $11,000 UBI per year with a flat-rate of tax set at 30%, as per The Big Kahuna. Under such a proposal, someone on a low-wage would get to keep several thousand more in the hand per year than they do currently, and even if the flat tax rate were increased to something like 45%, that would still be true.

                  • The Chairman

                    “They would pay a net of $0 income tax”

                    That is incorrect.

                    Labour is not explicitly using the Big Kahuna. So again, it’s yet to be decided if the UBI will be added to ones taxable income.

                    Little has implied the tax system will be used to claw back a UBI allowance from high income earners, which, with current tax avoidance structures is flawed.

                    “Effectively you’re saying “the UBI needs to be flat cash increase on top of what every single ‘low-paid’ person is already earning, eg everyone should get an additional $11,000 per year on top of what they already earn.”

                    Indeed, Moreover, it would be required to be higher than that if it were to replace benefits (but could be tapered off as incomes increase) and one wanted to achieve the goals and benefits touted in the discussion paper.

                    “There is no feasible model of a UBI that would allow that structure”

                    Which is one of the main points I’m raising. This is the challenge Labour needs to focus on to make a UBI (with all it’s touted benefits) work.

                    Forcing the poor to cover a large percentage of it while allowing the rich to escape the burden (through tax avoidance thus tax minimization) is counterproductive to its aim.

                    “Instead of having theoretical conversations about “what might be” that are completely unrealistic, instead we should discuss what the current proposal is: $11,000 UBI per year with a flat-rate of tax set at 30%…”

                    The conversation is about the current proposal at $11,000 coupled with a flat tax rate and a CGT being unfair (on the those it’s meant to assist) and insufficient to achieve many of the goals and benefits touted.

                    Hence, the need for Labour to change the focus to how are they going to pay for a sufficient UBI amount that will achieve their aims.

                  • The Chairman

                    Being a tax credit won’t help someone who has just become unemployed. They can’t afford to live on nothing till they wait to claim their tax credit. Destroying the suggestion that it would replace benefits.

                    Early days. It seems Labour are yet far from aligning the touted benefits with the structure of the UBI scheme.

                    It’s ambitious and complex, but I generally support the concept. It has the potential to do so much, one hopes Labour get it right in the end.

                    • Lanthanide

                      He said “effectively a tax credit” during a brief interview where he was trying to explain the concept to Guyon, not “it is exactly like a tax credit and someone who is out of work would get $0” – when he already said earlier in the interview that someone who did 40 hours work one week and 10 hours the next would get paid $200 each week from the government.

                      “Effectively a tax credit” means “this payment you are getting is not taxed, but there will be a higher flat rate of tax on earned income than there is presently”.

                      I feel like you’re deliberately mis-interpreting what Labour are saying when they talk about this proposal.

                    • alwyn

                      There has to be another major difference to a tax credit though.
                      All the current tax credits only become available after you have done your tax return in July the following year. Some (dividend imputation credit) don’t even allow a refund if they exceed the tax you owe.
                      That isn’t going to be of any use to anyone is it, and can’t possibly be what he means? Isn’t there some better way to describe them?

                    • Lanthanide

                      Rather than describing it as a tax credit, he should have said it acts like a completely smooth progressive tax, where the bottom tax bracket is actually a negative tax rate.

                      If you listen to the interview, Guyon later says “well couldn’t you just scrap abatement rates for benefits” – but that’s actually what a UBI is. There is no abatement to the payment itself.

                      The obvious question becomes, of course, if someone who is on the unemployment benefit finds a full time job, and you have 0 abatement rate, then that person will permanently get a benefit from the government even while working full time. But why should that person get a permanent benefit, and his neighbor who always had a full time job, not get one?

                      So in some ways the UBI can be thought of as an unemployment benefit that is paid to everyone over the age of 18, with no abatement rate.

                  • The Chairman

                    “I feel like you’re deliberately mis-interpreting what Labour are saying when they talk about this proposal. ”


                    One can only work with what’s being communicated. He also said it wouldn’t be in the form of a payout when he stated it was going to be in the form of a tax credit.

                    Don’t jump on me for his contradictions.

                    Again, clearly it’s early days. Obviously, there is a lot more work to be done.

                  • Craig H

                    I ran the numbers on the Big Kahuna website calculators, and 15% GST, 40% income tax and 6% CCT pays for $250/week UBI for everyone 21+, $200/week for 18-20 year olds and $100/week for under 18s, so that’s not a bad effort for most people IMO.

                    • alwyn

                      It is a long time since they updated this website.
                      The going rate on a 6 month TD is about 3.2%.
                      I would love to know where you could get the 6% required return on capital, any capital.
                      Do you realise he was going to tax you this on your home? If, as is depressingly common, you owned a $2 million home in Auckland you would be treated as having an income of $120,000 per year and would have to find $48,000 to pay your tax each year?

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Oh stop it, throwing figures like that around on here you will get the activist base all excited.

                    • alwyn

                      Oh dear. it is really time they got their sleep. I won’t do it again.

    • Bill 1.6

      2/3rds of the minimum wage or nothing at all I reckon.

      Even at that rate, it could only be for a single, healthy person and a bureaucratic structure would have to be developed for those suffering ill-health etc…unless, of course, health care (all aspects of) got back to being universal and free.

      • The Chairman 1.6.1

        2/3rds of the minimum wage (at 40 hours a week) is almost $400 a week. Which is close to what I have suggested.

      • weka 1.6.2

        All aspects of health care have never been universal and free. There are people getting support for health and disability via WINZ that they would never get from the MoH. This is going to be one of the the trickier aspects of a UBI, how to improve the system for people with other needs.

    • Colonial Viper 1.7

      Wait until Labour mention that super eligibility is going to have to be cut back to make a UBI affordable.

      • Craig H 1.7.1

        Maybe, but the Cullen Fund will help – the Big Kahuna suggests a transition period in which the Cullen fund is drawn down.

  2. ScottGN 2

    So Audrey Young and the Herald get a so-called exclusive on the appointment of the next GG to run the day after it’s announced that the PM is using taxpayer funding to settle a five year old defamation suit. How convenient.

    • TC 2.1

      Dont forget the ‘tough’ stand shonky is taking on taxpayers money for a waterfront stadium granny is running with….flag, teapot tapes, tppa, milk.

      Distraction central the herald.

  3. Chooky 3

    Putin says so long to Syria, Brazil sees a political shake-up and Trump just keeps going strong.


  4. Observer (Tokoroa) 4

    Hi Chooky
    It is difficult to see why Trump is deemed an extraordinary phenomenon.

    He is just doing what the Republican Congress and Senate have trained him to do. They have trained him by their shocking and despicable example.

    By letting the Banks fiddle their books to the tune of Trillions. By allowing the Corporations to run riot and seize resources. By shipping millions of American jobs off to Asian slaves. By denying millions of Americans fair Health Cover. By slugging American students with gross Fees.

    By dreaming up foul excuses (such as non existent Weapons of Mass Destruction) in order to slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children on the other side of the world.

    By making sure that the Current President of USA cannot get his mandate through the American Parliament.

    There is nothing exceptional about Donald Trump. He is just a stock standard greed ridden Republican politician. He stinks with the stench of the entire Republican movement.

    • alwyn 4.1

      I don’t really see how you can blame Republican Party faults on Trump, or Trump’s faults on the Republican Party.
      He only joined the party last year I gather. In his only previous attempts at a political career he tried to get the Reform Party nomination in 2000.
      It is also a trifle unfair to blame Trump for supporting the Iraq war. There is little evidence of his feelings prior to the war but two weeks after it started he was expressing unease. He greatly exaggerates the strength of his opposition then when he talks about it today of course.
      Hillary was strongly in favour at that time.
      Trump is still a nutter though.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Pretty much all authoritarians are. Some are just better at hiding the nuttiness than others.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Clinton and Obama enabled both the banksters (by repealing Glass Steagal) and the ongoing bailout of the banksters after the GFC. Not the Republicans (GW was responsible only for the initial rounds of the banker bailouts, which Obama continued at pace for years).

  5. This video is a must watch for anybody who wants to understand were John Key is coming from and how the international bankster criminals have effectively taken over the US justice system and hence the Federation.

  6. weka 6

    Re the UBI, I’m posting some information on what Labour are doing and what the UBI options are below.

    Alwyn is telling lies and doesn’t understand what a UBI is and doesn’t get that Labour have put up a report exploring various options. All alwyn’s comments today are misleading and IMO designed to undermine Labour and fuck with the debate here on ts. Don’t buy into it. Alwyn has one purpose here and that’s to destroy things.

    Instead, how about we take the time to inform ourselves and see what the options are.

    Little on Morning Report, pointing out that depending on the model used how tax is assessed means people on different incomes get an increase of different amounts. This isn’t means or asset testing. He doesn’t say much in the piece other than to point to the value of a UBI for people on variable work hours every week, and that no millionares won’t be getting $200/wk. Both are reasonable points and both are consistent with the general debates about UBIs. Starts at 2:50


    Labour’s Future of Work UBI report, which looks at what a UBI is, what the NZ context is, and some of the models we could use (PDF),


    Previous posts on ts (not all of them)

    http://thestandard.org.nz/universal-income-revisited/ (Red’s post that looks how a UBI can be paid via a negative tax system).

    Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna

    Three posts from KJT,


    UBI (2) Why should we push for a UBI? (Universal basic income).

    UBI (3). Taxes, income and Welfare


    • alwyn 6.1

      “Alwyn is telling lies and doesn’t understand what a UBI is and doesn’t get that Labour have put up a report exploring various options”
      In your favourite phrase weka.
      “weka you are lying about me again”
      Why do you have to do that when you find you cannot rationally answer my comments? I know very well what a UBI is and how it can work. However when nothing except the mantra “UBI” is declaimed it is quite impossible to even consider the subject of what Labour are talking about.

  7. Observer (Tokoroa) 7

    Hi Alwyn

    Whitewash Trump and the Republicans as you wish. You are telling me that he is an innocent little man. With innocent little polices ?

    The Republicans never ever kill hundreds and thousands of innocent people. Never keep millions of Americans in poverty.

    Well and good. You make me smile….

    • alwyn 7.1

      Like hell I am saying that Trump is an “he is an innocent little man. With innocent little polices”. He is crazy, and a danger to humanity I fear. You are attributing to me things I have never advocated. You can have your fantasies if you like but don’t ask me to accept the opinions you falsely attribute to me

      “The Republicans never ever kill hundreds and thousands of innocent people”.
      That is the Republicans in Iraq I assume. I am saying that there is little evidence, not none but little, evidence that Trump was in favour of the war.

      On the other hand Trump has suggested that the US should kick out all “illegal” immigrants from Mexico. That was quite different to the policy George W advocated.
      As I say Trumps policies, bad or not so bad have almost nothing in common with anything the bulk or Republican politicians have advocated.
      Can you, for example see any real similarity between Trump’s views on immigration and the approach Bush advocated?

  8. Jenny Kirk 8

    Distraction politics from a PM caught using taxpayers money to pay for his electoral costs ?? ?

    He wasn’t giving away much on Monday other than to say he wanted someone who “can carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Governor-General with the mana and respect that the office deserves”.
    Also in the “highly rare event there was a significant constitutional issue”, Key said he would want someone in the role who was “bright enough to understand themselves but also be able to take advice”.


  9. joe90 9

    Elizabeth Warren puts the needle in.

    Allegra Kirkland Verified account

    Trump just referred to @SenWarren as “the Indian” twice during a press conference


    What were we JUST saying about how Republican menfolk are a-scurred of Elizabeth Warren?


    And now she’s taking aim at Republican presidential frontrunner Donald J. Trump, in a series of tweets that seem tailor made to cut him down to size, if you get the subtle dick joke we are going to be making all the way throughout this post.

    She starts off in Nerd Land like she always does, saying hey maybe if Donald Trump The Terrific Doubloontillionaire was better with ahem! money, he might have way more Ameros than he currently has:


  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    TO: Travellerev

    The corruption of main stream Republican Politicians and Government Officials is akin to total evil.

    Donald Trump has copied the Republican techniques (selectively) and he is seeped in their disruptive criminally cruel policies and warmongering. It will be nothing to him to eliminate hundreds and thousands of Mexcans. It will be nothing to him to let down his wide eyed followers. The republicans routinely eliminate Hundreds and Thousands of innocent people.

    They also relieve massive numbers of people of their money – via the USA Banks and Financial Institutions.

    The Republicans have brought about the most severe hardship worldwide – ever in the history of the world.

    It would be good for people to listen to the Video ! Our National party is a clone.

  11. Observer (Tokoroa) 11

    TO: WEKA
    The contrived barrage against Andrew Little is a sure sign that he is troublesome to dishonest trolls and followers of Key and English.

    So do not be surprised at the Alwyns, the BMs and the Hootons and the C Vipers (and the Press and TV muppets). They try and drag Andrew Little down. But the problem is his honesty.

    Keep up your explications and support of Andrew in the lying quicksand of John Key and his friends.

    They know Key and his caucus are steeped in dishonesty and Spin and they are terrified that New Zealanders will find out.

    Actually, you would think the trolls would be out and about advising the schools and kindergartens when and where the PM will be visiting next. He needs all the assistance he can get to overcome his disgusting fetish for lil girl’s heads or hairs.

    let the negative Greens and the negative Vipers know, that if they wrongfully sully Andrew Little, they will make sure that our devious and laughable PM will be voted in for a further anti- NZ term.

    • BM 11.1

      Do you not know how to use the reply button?

    • Jenny Kirk 11.2

      Really good comments, Observer (Tokoroa) – I totally agree.

      And it was possibly Andrew Little being so clear this morning on Breakfast TV that the teapot tapes was an electoral issue – not the ordinary legal issue for a PM or MP going about their daily work – that has led to Key backing down on his attempt to get the taxpayer to front his payout to Bradley Ambrose.

      • Observer (Tokoroa) 11.2.1

        Hello Jenny Kirk

        I really enjoy your straightforward observations too ! Well done

        It is hard for us to realise that John Key has numerous people working behind the scenes day and night to smokescreen his Lying and his Doubtful personal behaviour.

        The smokescreen is forwarded to the muppets on Tv and Radio; and to the “falsehood departments” of The Sick Herald.

        These people, in particular The NZ Herald senior journalists, have spent a large part of their miserable job of hacking down a profoundly good person named Helen Clark.

        They crucified her over and over. Partly because she was a female; but mostly because she governed well.

        They have spent lots of time trying to throw Winston Peters into the Herald dung heap. That’s what senior Journalists do at the Herald. Its all they do. They accused him and accused him and accused him

        They then came across an honest and intelligent man called David Cunliffe. They hated Cunliffe because he was such a contrast to the highly dishonest low class leader called John Key.

        Only one Journo from the desks of the sick Herald apologised to Cunliffe for what they did to him. That would be considered a pissy weakling by his Herald colleagues.

        Now the guys and dolls at the Sick NZ Herald – and at the toe cutting radio stations – and at the trivial television Stations (does any other nation have worse TV than us?) have selected their role in life – as burying honest Andrew Little in 900 meters of printed and broadcasted concrete

        Andrew Little is a better person than anybody working in the NZ Media. He is honest.

        They will crucify him; they will rate him as so much dog poo and with other forms of faint praise. They do it because journalists are by occupation dishonest and egotistic – they cannot abide an Andrew Little.

        • Jenny Kirk

          Yeah – Observer ( Tokoroa ) at 11.2.1 – I just hope that Andrew Little is strong enough to withstand all the bricks and bolts that will be thrown at him. I think he is ….. but he’s in for a stormy time ahead.

          By the way – today in Whanganui – a car with Chester Borrows Nat MP plastered all over it – and presumably with CB and Paula Bennett in the car – kept driving thru a small group of protestors who’d momentarily/ temporarily blocked the driveway ……… and in doing so, ran over one of the protestor’s feet. And they kept on driving ………
          No waiting for the two cops who were there to clear the way for them
          No stopping and checking to see if anyone had been hurt …..
          Someone with a very good camera took a load of photos – I expect they’ll be all over Facebook by now.

          It’ll be interesting to see what sort of spin the MSM put on this “incident” !

          • Observer (Tokoroa)

            Crikey Jenny Kirk !

            I would not wish Paula to stand on any part of me.

            These bad companions of our bizarre and dodgy Prime Minister, have learnt so many rotten habits from the great fraudster.

            In my experience of business – Corporations and the like as well as small Cafes and hardware shops – the staff are a mirror reflection of the CEO in character and behaviour.

            Do you have similar experience?

            You work with John Key; you become like John Key.

            Regards .

        • Expat

          Observer (Tokoroa)

          Great historic observation, the points about Clark were spot on, Gillard had exactly the same problem.

          Great to hear some defenders of the Labour Party, as their are so many trying to discredit them from both sides of the political divide, still blaming them for NZ’s current position, this is illogical after nearly a decade of Key. I sometimes wonder if a degree of brain washing has occurred through the medias persistent negative representations over a long sustained period.

          ” (does any other nation have worse TV than us?) ”

          I don’t think so, TV in NZ has deteriorated over the last few years, it was shocking when I was there in January, but it was outside the rating period, so it may have improved.

          • Gristle

            Ratings are run continuously. Every morning there are viewing figures coming through for the previous day and the “profitability” of different programming decisions can be assessed. And that has been in place since at least 2002.

  12. logie97 12

    Anyone else experiencing this difficulty?
    I cannot stand listening to Newstalkzb – it’s bevy of hosts are mostly impartial RWNJ’s. bordering on FoxNews calibre.
    So I scan the online news outlets, including the Herald only to find that the same radio hosts now have regular column space there.
    You can choose not to switch ZB on, not watch 7 Sharp and you can choose not to visit the ZB home page, but you don’t expect to see the likes of Williams and Hosking on your general news pages. How long before the Herald gives column space to Leighton Smith?

    • maui 12.1

      No surprises Newstalk was used at Guantanamo. You can practically pickup that station no matter where you are in the country. Just be thankful your workplace isn’t tuned into it for the whole day.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    Well this charming, typical behaviour from a union man you’d have to say


    Wonder if its the same guy:


    • McFlock 13.1

      Why would I have to say that? Is it because if I don’t say it, whaleoil will do one of the many things he’s accused of?

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        Well hes a union guy and union guys have a reputation for unsavoury acts

        • McFlock

          I agree whaleoil has a reputation for unsavoury acts (starting with his his nom du wank), but I’m not sure he’s a “union guy”.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Yes very amusing pretending I’m talking about Cameron Slater instead of the union guy wanting to use a sex toy on Paula Bennett

            The left love to talk about “rape culture” in NZ especially in linking it with the PM but when its one of their own, well the silence is deafening

            • McFlock

              Really? I didn’t read the link to whaleoil’s site, as the fuckwit is a known liar with an admitted hatred for unions.

              I’m sure if slater has evidence of a criminal act, he will forward it to the relevant authorities. Unless that would result in self-incrimination, of course.

              IF the behaviour you describe is described accurately, then no it is not acceptable.

              But equally, if you described the behaviour accurately then no, it would not be “typical behaviour from a union man”. The only person who would “have to day” such a thing would be a lying piece of shit with a compulsive hatred of unions that overwhelms their regard for reality.

              Or someone being threatened by a lying piece of shit.

              And it’s not “typical behaviour from a union man”, because then it wouldn’t be news, would it.

              But typical behaviour from a lying piece of shit is to clickbait for whaleoil.

            • McFlock

              I suspect my initial response is in moderation.

              Something about your insistence that I’d “have to say” it was typical behaviour led to me saying quite the opposite.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Ok then how about male attempts to shame/silence female, because he disagrees with her views, by way of implied sexual violence and verbal harassment

                Is that better?

                • McFlock

                  If I were to assume that your description of wo’s description of the event is an accurate description of the event, then yes, such behaviour is very very wrong. Go have yourself a lollipop.

                  But it’s not so much typical of “the left” or “a union man” as it is of “fuckwits” and, to a lesser extent, “society in general”.

    • Gabby 13.2

      How’s that typical? The man’s a moron, and quite possibly brain damaged. It’s Col’n Crige level fuckwittism.

  14. McFlock 14

    So now creepy key says that his defamation settlement won’t be paid with public money – just national party money or private donations.

    Why is this not a campaign expense?

    Also, his office announced it “after taking advice from Parliamentary Service”. So he wanted to, but it wouldn’t be legal. And, more importantly from his perspective, he’d be caught.

    • Chuck 14.1

      “Why is this not a campaign expense?” sure you jest McFlock? you can’t be serious…

      How would Key be “caught” if he used Parliamentary Service budget? it was no secret Key him self said it yesterday (either Parliamentary Services OR National Party will pay it). Taking advice is what normal people / organisations do to determine the right option to take.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

        He’d be “caught” because people would find out.
        “Taking advice after throwing a couple of options out there is what tories do to determine the limit of what they can get away with, regardless of morality or legality.”

  15. dv 15

    Interest .co has done a very long piece on YOUI insurers
    I would be VERY careful before insuring with them.


    One major complaint (among others) was YOUI ‘demand’ cc nor or bank ac nos for a quote.
    There are several example given where deductions have been made, without agreement.

    The Consumer Protection representative said the cases cited by Interest.co.nz could raise issues as to whether the insurer used reasonable care and skill in supplying a service as a result of:

    • asking for credit card or bank account details when a consumer is only seeking a quote;
    • not explaining why payment details are required/misleading a consumer as to the reason;
    • acknowledging (by email) that an insurance policy has been cancelled but later requiring a consumer to provide further cancellation notification;
    • not advising a consumer that further cancellations would be required and in a different mode from the original form such as text instead of email. And;
    • loading a consumer up to an insurance policy even when the consumer has cancelled – requiring the consumer to opt out.

  16. ianmac 16

    “Shon-keyArrested at Pacifica.” So reads the headline.
    Has this arrest of Penny Bright been noted?
    “Anti-corruption campaigner Penny Bright wants to know why she was arrested at one of Auckland’s biggest festivals. Dressed in the persona of “Shon Key”, Bright was arrested at last weekend’s Pasifika Festival.”

    Seems a bit of a blow for Freedom of Expression?

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