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Open mike 25/03/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2016 - 136 comments
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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 …

136 comments on “Open mike 25/03/2016”

  1. dave 1

    THE STADIUM THE STADIUM haahahahaahahahha

    • Adrian 1.1

      Yeah, what the Warriors really only need is a billion dollar stadium. I,m surprised Key,s not fronting this!?.

      • Tautuhi 1.1.1

        Eric Watson and the Warriors want a new stadium, they can’t even afford F******
        club rooms and they are owned by one of the wealthiest men in NZ.

        Auckland City and Phil Goff will get sucked into this one and guess what we the taxpayers will pay for it just like Eden Park.

        Get Watson and private interests to build the new stadium, if its that good they should do it themselves?

    • Penny Bright 1.2

      Seen this?

      Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stadiums (HBO)

      Auckland already has three major stadiums – Eden Park, North Harbour and Mt Smart.

      I haven’t noticed thousands of Auckland citizens and ratepayers marching down Queen St, waving banners and chanting for yet another sports stadium?

      What are the public of Auckland?

      A giant CCO?
      (Ca$h Cow Organisation?)

      Who wants it, who will be paying for it, why do we need another one if the three we’ve already got aren’t working properly in an integrated and cost-effective way?

      What’s really behind this?

      An excuse to sell off North Harbour & Mt Smart so some greedy property developer(s) can get the land?

      Sorry – but as an Auckland Mayoral candidate, corporate welfare is something I’m just not into…..

      Looking forward to ‘user pays’ applying to corporate sport and those who own, operate and manage it?

      Penny Bright.

      (Her Warship 😉

  2. swordfish 2

    Amused by an (obviously English) Geezer commenting at the bottom of a Guardian article on the Flag Referendum. Replying to criticism that the Union Jack on our flag is an anachronism, he argued that, in fact, it’s the UK that has to make do with a quarter of the New Zealand Flag. (Which must make the Brits feel just a little bit inferior – like Wild Colonial Boys (and Girls)).

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/24/new-zealand-votes-to-keep-its-flag-in-referendum

  3. paaparakauta 3

    It is done. How much longer will Key want to stick around with damaged mana and reputation ? Politically, he is a dead man walking. If this were a general election the knives would have been sharpened long ago. Watch Paula and Judith – unless Joyce wants a go at this poisoned chalice. This crumbling parchment makes it hard to script ..

  4. saveNZ 4

    “Clinton’s speech last Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was a shocker. She wanted the US to provide more sophisticated missiles to Israel; she smeared the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as anti-Semitic; and then said “one of the first things I’ll do in office is invite Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] t visit the White House.”

    Bernie Sanders’ speech in Salt Lake City the same day was a good counterpoint. He criticised Israeli settlements on the West Bank and condemned “[Israel’s] bombing of hospitals, schools and refugee camps”. “Peace will also mean ending the economic blockade of Gaza,” Sanders said.

    Any Democrat who is truly worried about Trump becoming President should be backing Sanders. The last five national polls put Sanders beating Trump by a big margin, averaging 16%. Clinton also beats Trump, but by five points less, at 11%. An establishment-supported figure like Hillary Clinton is not the best person to beat Donald Trump, as some of Trump’s Republican challengers have already discovered. Sanders also has an 8% margin over Ted Cruz, whereas Clinton has only a 2% margin.”

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/03/25/sanders-train-still-picking-up-speed/#comment-330411

    • NZJester 4.1

      TYT on YouTube actually had a nice half hour long interview with Bernie live in their studio and discussed these topics with him. They talked about how even though he is Jewish he is taking a lot of Muslim votes away from Clinton for instance.
      Bernie Sanders | The Young Turks Interview (FULL)

      The interviw is also split up into smaller topic snipiets on there channel if you don’t have time to watch the whole half hour interview at once
      https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks

    • Chooky 4.2

      +100 saveNZ…Clinton is a menace and Trump is a wild card

    • Chooky 4.3

      ‘Trump vs. Clinton’

      https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/336868-clinton-trump-foreign-policy/

      “The foreign policy establishment vs. the novice – Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. Identified as a liberal interventionist, Clinton’s views are hardly distinguishable from those of the neocons. Trump, on the other hand, holds a number of unconventional – even controversial – foreign policy views. For better or worse, voters just might have a meaningful choice when they cast their ballots in November.

      CrossTalking with James Jatras, Daniel McAdams, and Richard Goodstein.”

  5. Jenny 5

    Labour MP Su’a William Sio is currently taking what he calls a “Climate Change Taskforce” to two of the frontline states of climate change in the Pacific Tuvalu and Kiribati.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201793795/nz's-labour-puts-focus-on-pacific-climate-change-threat

    • Jenny 5.1

      From the RNZ transcript

      @2:33 minutes
      “That it can’t just be left to the government of the day. Every parliamentarian of New Zealand needs to take a special interest in climate change, and particularly with what is happening in our region.”
      Su’a William Sio, MP

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201793795/nz's-labour-puts-focus-on-pacific-climate-change-threat

    • Jenny 5.2

      According to Bridget Grace of RNZ, Tuvalu’s High Commissioner to New Zealand has expressed strong support for the Honourable Su’a William Sio’s Climate Change Taskforce mission.

      From the RNZ transcript

      @3:18 minutes
      “He says, they welcome the Labour visit, as it’s really important for people to put a human face to the issue of climate change.” Bridget Grace, Radio NZ

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201793795/nz's-labour-puts-focus-on-pacific-climate-change-threat

      • alwyn 5.2.1

        ” Honourable Su’a William Sio’s”
        When did he get the honorific “Honourable”?
        I didn’t realise he was ever a Cabinet Minister.

        • Jenny 5.2.1.1

          Sorry, my ignorance. It just sounded ‘right’ to me. I should have checked my facts more thoroughly. I had thought “Honourable” meant something else. Please accept my sincere apologies for giving Su’a William Sio an honourific he has never had.

          Maybe some time in the near future….

          • alwyn 5.2.1.1.1

            You, like me, wish to think that someone who is called “The honourable X” really is honourable. Instead we discover that they are just another bloody politician.
            Right Honourables, on the other hand are even worse. Apart from the Governor General and the Chief Justice, who might be OK, they are merely the most successful of the politicians. The ones most adept at dishonourable deeds in fact.

    • Jenny 5.3

      From the RNZ transcript

      @3:24 minutes
      “If not resolved it will happen to everybody….”
      Samuel Laloniu, Tuvalu High Commissioner to New Zealand

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201793795/nz's-labour-puts-focus-on-pacific-climate-change-threat

      • Roger 5.3.1

        Su’a William Sio’s visit to neighbouring Pacific islands to investigate the direct threat they face from rising sea levels seems pretty important to us in the South Pacific region. Why has the media largely ignored this?

        • Jenny 5.3.1.1

          Does anyone know where, or if, the work of Su’a Williams Sio’s “Climate Change Taskforce” is being reported?

          Su’a William Sio MP has made himself and his team available for interviews.
          I have been told that Su’a is accompanied on his mission by Labour Party staffer, Chris Harrington, to handle all media inquiries, and to arrange all telephone and internet interviews.

          Does anyone know if anyone has contacted Chris Harrington for an interview with Sio and his climate change task force team?

          Does anyone know where can we see these interviews?

  6. RedLogix 6

    Fonterra …. having just announced an excellent profit … now attacks the very supplier network it depends on.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78225580/fonterra-letter-tells-businesses-to-get-set-to-fight-for-the-coops-business

    The purpose of this exercise is to break up existing value-based supplier relationships that have been built and developed over decades with operational level staff, and allow senior management to kick them over. Not content with demanding suppliers act as Fonterra’s bank by pushing credit terms out to three months, they now want to put downward pressure on prices.

    Last week I had a fascinating dinner with a project manager with an amazing career background, for a global scale company everyone here would instantly recognise. Scale and budgets most kiwis engineers only dream about.

    When I asked why he had moved on to the much smaller project we’re working together on, his answer was along the lines …. that the big major company he worked for had become a hollowed out shell. It’s only working parts left were finance, marketing and the legal department. When it came to designing, building or running actual plant which was their core business they were totally dependent on a network of suppliers and contractors to get anything done.

    Being a smart man he could see how this story ended and he got out.

    Next evening another professional dinner. Met up with a man I’ve known and respected for decades, and someone who’s been a key figure within Fonterra for a very long time. But has just left. Without divulging specifics, the reason could be broadly described as similar in nature.

    This cannibalising of the business capability, outsourcing core functions, and the breaking down of professional and business networks it depends on will eventually destroy Fonterra. Any experienced technical professional in the industry knows this.

    The gulf between workers and the C-level offices is shifting upwards, even quite senior middle managers and core technical staff now find themselves contemplating their own Boards and corner offices with naked suspicion.

    • Olwyn 6.1

      Interesting, isn’t it, that “the return to the shareholder” principle has led to the finance, marketing and legal departments doing exactly what they were accusing unions of doing at the start of this sorry experiment – undermining the survival of the businesses upon which they depend.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        This is the true meaning of the corporatisation of the economy. A capitalist rentier class lording it over an insecure procariat worker base of employees and contractors.

      • Gabby 6.1.2

        And there’s no way the poor contractor shmucks will decide to boycott the dragons den ‘meetings’.

    • millsy 6.2

      ..”When I asked why he had moved on to the much smaller project we’re working together on, his answer was along the lines …. that the big major company he worked for had become a hollowed out shell. It’s only working parts left were finance, marketing and the legal department. When it came to designing, building or running actual plant which was their core business they were totally dependent on a network of suppliers and contractors to get anything done…”

      I would say most companies in this country are run this way. Spark/Chorus, is a large example.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Yep. NZ managers have taken to heart the idea of outsourcing, cost cutting and doing as little as possible for their really big pay checks. The inevitable end result is the destruction of the company that they work for and the society that they live in.

        It’s all pure RWNJ ideology.

        • Thom Pietersen 6.2.1.1

          This is a done deal now – 20 odd years after the start – no ‘visible’ business can provide a service without sub-contracting – the people do not exist in-house

      • tc 6.2.2

        Include councils, soe’s, govt depts and the like also.

        Many actually can’t operate most of their core functions having handed them over to the privatised outsourcers over the last few cycles along with the ops folk who run and fix stuff.

  7. Rodel 7

    Quote from Dr Phil:
    “At some point Donald Trump is gonna have to replace some of his adjectives with verbs.”

  8. The lost sheep 8

    Those figures are correct Weka.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m in favour of a ‘Guaranteed basic income’, and believe it is both workable and sale-able to the centrist voters that are key to it becoming a reality.
    But IMO there are a couple of serious issues with the idea of a Universal Basic income that make it very simple for UBI opponents to frame it in terms that render it unsale-able.

    I suspect Labour may have done proponents of the UBI a disservice by introducing the idea at a point where it is extremely vague, and so all that negative framing is wide open to be legitimately applied to a wide range of possible scenarios.
    So you’ll note JK, with all his influence on the centrist voters, has immediately applied “utterly unaffordable” and “barking mad” to a scenario that was left wide open for such framing.
    The danger is that the centrist voters will be able to quickly form a mindset that the idea is ‘barking’ and so it will be very difficult to get them to engage with further debate.

    IMO Labour would have been much smarter to have conducted an internal debate, and raised the UBI in a more focused form that limited the opportunities for negative framing of unrealistic scenarios.
    Ideally it would have been in a form that was both plausible and sale-able to Centrist voters….but unfortunately, salesmanship is not a strength of the current Left.

    One of those ways of negatively framing UBI is the suggestion that it is a Trojan horse for a re-distribution of wealth.
    So to your scenario Weka. If a Centrist voter were to ask you why introducing a UBI meant that everyone above the median income had to be worse off, how would you sell them on that being something they should support?

    • weka 8.1

      Thanks again for that! I’ve reposted some additional figures lower in the thread so we can discuss the maths separate from the politics.

      I agree that there are things to be thought through on how NZ could implement a UBI. I don’t care that much about how Labour did or didn’t get this right. They have limited resources, and it’s not just their responsibility. Let’s not make this about Labour, eh? The GP have investigating a UBI as core policy, and a UBI will have to have some degree of cross-party agreement.

      Beyond that, the figures I’ve put up are just one example of how a UBI could be done. If there is an income point at which some people start paying more tax, at what point would that be acceptable to NZ as a whole? I think rather than framing that as being around what would a centrist vote think, let’s look at what would benefit NZ, including the other policies that would need to be implemented (eg housing would seriously need to be sorted out). I think once we have that conversation, over time, and thoughtfully, then the ‘selling’ of it becomes a different issue.

      I’m not convinced that the median income is the right measure. Median/average hides the fact that very high incomes skew our understanding of what the income issues in NZ are. I’m having a look today at the mode income as well.

      • The lost sheep 8.1.1

        If there is an income point at which some people start paying more tax, at what point would that be acceptable to NZ as a whole?

        There’s the rub Weka.
        The answer to that would be bugger all. At this time no party that proposes any significant redistribution of personal income is going to get elected. Full stop.

        So if you want to link a UBI to a much broader shift in policies, you are putting it out to a future time when there has been a significant swing in public sentiment. That may be some time coming.

        Personally, I think if you framed a UBI / GBI in terms of something that had no negative impact on the majority of people, but through gains in efficiency enabled more income to be available to those who needed it, and had significant non-monetary benefits for all NZ’ers…..
        You’d have a bloody good chance at gaining some traction with it right now.

        Get one ‘radical’ policy widely accepted, and it may well accelerate the process of overall change…..

        • weka 8.1.1.1


          The answer to that would be bugger all. At this time no party that proposes any significant redistribution of personal income is going to get elected. Full stop.

          Basically you are arguing that if the point was set at say $1,000,000 most NZers wouldn’t support it. I disagree.

          Personally, I think if you framed a UBI / GBI in terms of something that had no negative impact on the majority of people

          Or, had a net positive impact on the majority of people, which is what I am proposing.

          but through gains in efficiency enabled more income to be available to those who needed it, and had significant non-monetary benefits for all NZ’ers…..

          What do you mean by gains in efficiency?

          I think you are still trying to argue this at a party policy level. I’m not. My starting point is what would work logisitically, and how to develop fair policy that benefits NZ from that. Your starting point is middle NZers will want to protect their income and so everything has to revolve around that. I think that’s a false premise. It’s also not a very creative starting point and I don’t think it will be productive. Design is better when you start broad and work through the problems as they become relevant. By all means present a model based on what you are thinking though. I think the more models we have to look at the better.

          • Sacha 8.1.1.1.1

            Has anyone modelled offsetting a UBI with capital and carbon taxes, not just income ones?

          • The lost sheep 8.1.1.1.2

            Basically you are arguing that if the point was set at say $1,000,000 most NZers wouldn’t support it. I disagree.

            I’m not arguing that at all Weka, because we weren’t talking about 1 Million. The figures you have provided start taking money from peoples current earnings at 41k, and so that is the ‘point’ we are discussing.

            (To put that $1 Million figure into perspective. There are only about 1000 people in NZ who earn that much, and they currently pay roughly 320 million in tax, out of a total income tax take of 30 billion. That’s 0.1 % of the total tax.
            So you could increase their tax to 100%…and it is going to add 0.2% to the total income tax take. In other words, it would not be a very significant shift in wealth distribution.)

            Your starting point is middle NZers will want to protect their income and so everything has to revolve around that.
            My starting point is that the figures you have put up would have a negative impact on approx half of NZ income earners.
            Absolutely that group of people will want to be convinced of the reasons why they should lose money, and absolutely , you will not be able to impose such cuts unless they do support your plan to do so.
            So in that sense, any chance of a plan based on figures such as you quote becoming a reality does quite heavily ‘revolve around that’?

            I am saying that I have not yet seen any good argument put forward that provides a compelling case for that half of earners to believe they should lose money, and until such a case is put, I say you have zero chance of implementing a UBI based on the figures you quote.

            My alternative is to find a model that produces at most a very small, but ideally no impact on higher earners.

            What do you mean by gains in efficiency?
            Many have proposed that a UBI will significantly reduce the logistics and infrastructure currently involved in supplying ‘benefits / support’.

            • Andre 8.1.1.1.2.1

              The lost sheep, since you’re regularly called a RWNJ here, I’m curious what version of Guaranteed Basic income or Universal Basic Income you support.

              • The lost sheep

                Yeah. I am what other people call me on TS….sarc.
                Luckily, I am defined rather differently in ‘real’ life.

                I would like to see a ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’.
                That would be an unconditional payment made that would ensure that nobody dropped below a level of somewhere between say 14-20k per annum.

                At this point I can think of many ways it could work, but it is a very complex issue, and I think it needs far more work / discussion to make the best format clear.

                • Andre

                  Something like Roger Douglas’ Guaranteed Minimum Family Income? I never saw a properly fleshed-out proposal. The explanations I did see appeared to have very high effective marginal tax rates for earnings below the guaranteed minimum, which struck me as a serious flaw.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Not like that!

                    I strongly support the idea of people having an economic security and independence that allows them to be flexible and creative in how they express themselves / contribute to society, within the context of our rapidly evolving human situation.

                    I believe that allowing people to experiment with personal solutions to change is the best way for the ‘collective’ to successfully adapt….

                    If i was pressed on a GBI format, I would suggest that current technology should enable us to keep an up to date record of what every person had earned in the year to date, and so in any week that those earnings would cause the GBI average for the year to date to fall below that average, income gets topped up.

                    So, an individual citizen is confident that they will be able to feed and shelter themselves, and their family and friends will be in the same situation, and, there is room for everyone to explore further options.

            • weka 8.1.1.1.2.2

              “I’m not arguing that at all Weka, because we weren’t talking about 1 Million. The figures you have provided start taking money from peoples current earnings at 41k, and so that is the ‘point’ we are discussing.”

              A misunderstanding. I’m using figures that Red put up in a post some years ago. I’m using them because they’re handy (it would be too hard for me to create my own), and because I found his post was the first thing that helped me really get my head around how UBI could work. Could being the operative word. I’m not saying we have to use Red’s figures (or mine), I’m instead using them as a starting point because for those of us that don’t already have an understanding of such a tax system (or often the language to discuss it), a UBI becomes inpenetrable if we make that stuff clear first. Educating people is going to be a big part of it.

              When I say there is an income point at which a NZer would get an increase in tax (a lessening of income) I’m agreeing that that is an important issue and suggesting that we look at what that point would be.

              So obviously $10,000,000 wouldn’t be a problem for most people. Most people in NZ wouldn’t have a problem with that person being taxed more. Most probably wouldn’t have an issue with $1,000,000 either. So where is the point at which most or too many NZers would start to go, hang on…?

              The point about the numbers of mega earners being too small to count is well taken. I’d also like to catch up with Red and ask why he chose the rates he did (can’t remember if he covered that in the post).

              And how do we decide what is fair?

              This is what I mean when I suggest we don’t get fixated on $10,000/yr UBI, or how to force any new system to fit in with political expediency. Political expediency can come later on in the process (and sure, let’s keep it in mind, for instance I’m not going to suggest we print money and give everyone a UBI of $1,000/wk).

              I am saying that I have not yet seen any good argument put forward that provides a compelling case for that half of earners to believe they should lose money, and until such a case is put, I say you have zero chance of implementing a UBI based on the figures you quote.

              I’m not suggesting we implement a UBI on such superfical costings or plan. As I’m saying, we need to look at a range of issues. Starting with no-one will want that, is a very limiting and defeating way to go. I’m not interested in designing a system that is defined by the needs of imagined x bracket income earners. I want a system that is fair for all people.

              Money is not the only issue that is important to people.

              My alternative is to find a model that produces at most a very small, but ideally no impact on higher earners.

              And yet we haven’t even defined what a higher earner is yet. The points you are raising are valid, I just think you are jumping the gun. One sentence doesn’t a model make.

              “What do you mean by gains in efficiency?”

              Many have proposed that a UBI will significantly reduce the logistics and infrastructure currently involved in supplying ‘benefits / support’.

              Sweet. I think that’s going to be one of the big drawcards for many people.

              • The lost sheep

                All good Weka…. I’m going to have to think about that a bit….

                • The lost sheep

                  And how do we decide what is fair?
                  We vote.

                  And because of that reality there are 2 ways this UBI discussion can go.

                  The UBI concept can be inextricably linked to a fundamental re-organisation of society that looks, gosh, very much like the model currently favoured by citizens of a Far Left persuasion.
                  As such, it will be hugely popular on this forum and generally become part of the canon of Far Left dogma.
                  National will reject it completely and Labour will have some watered down version of it as a permanent ‘discussion’ item.
                  And parked out there on the Far Left is where it will stay until the revolution occurs.

                  Or, the discussion can focus on the UBI /GBI itself as an ‘apolitical’ stand alone tool that can be realistically implemented, and have positive outcomes for all NZ’ers.
                  National will reject it, but if it the idea has been successful in gaining widespread traction among voters, Labour may well make a practical version of it official policy (or at least a trial).
                  Given that Labour must get back into power sometime, a UBI/GBI might even be implemented! ( A really sale-able version might even help get them back into power!)

                  Over the years, I’ve observed that the people and organisations that create far and away the most progress are the ones that just keep knocking down the next modest achievable task in front of them.
                  The ones that achieve the least progress are those that are perpetually preoccupied developing a grand and complex vision.

                  So personally, I’m keen on the UBI/GBI as an immediately achievable realistic goal. Treated intelligently I think it is absolutely achievable. But as part of a grand vision that has little chance of being implemented, not so much.

                  • Incognito

                    Very good comments.

                    Personally, I don’t think the fairness of a policy is or should be decided in a general (?) election; fairness, among other things, needs to be decided during the stages of designing the policy and ideally through well-informed open & transparent public debate & engagement.

                    I think you’re right about the UBI debate; I fear that in NZ it will become a political football that will be lobbed across the political divide, just like many other big societal issues such as child poverty.

                    Interestingly, in other countries where UBI is being discussed, and certainly in the Netherlands, all major political parties are involved and on-board, so to speak; the support comes from across the political spectrum. IMO these countries are more ‘politically mature’ than NZ.

                    It has been suggested that a UBI not only crosses the classical left-right political divides but it transcends these. I, for one, would love to see this happen because I think mankind needs new & better ways of conducting its affairs.

  9. millsy 9

    Enjoy the ambiance of the shops being shut today folks — it will probably be the last time, on Good Friday at least.

    It is an ambiance I quite like.

    The earliest Easter since 2008, so still time to enjoy some sunshine before the late autumn/early winter gloom sets in.

  10. millsy 10

    About to watch a doco on Ronald Reagan on TV.

    What’s the bet that it will gloss over his dismantling of USA’s social safety net, as well the mass closure of mental hospitals, throwing a whole heap of mentally ill on the street?

    • alwyn 10.1

      “as well the mass closure of mental hospitals”
      I don’t know what might, or might not have happened when Reagan was President but closing mental hospitals and putting the patients back into the community was a world-wide practice from about 1970 onwards.
      It certainly happened in New Zealand. Closures included
      Seacliff (1973), Carrington (1992), Cherry Farm (1992), Tokanui (1998),Ngawhatu (2000)
      There were others as well. Whether it was good or bad I have no idea but it was certainly a world-wide practice, and cannot really be attributed to President Reagan.

  11. weka 11

    I’d like to put up a guest post about the UBI, and I need some help to double check the figures below. Can two maths literate people please help out?

    I’d also like some help on understanding better what the mode income in NZ is. Macro are you around?

    For the people that noted my UBI calcs the other day (link below), the lost sheep did check them and pointed out where they were wrong (I used a single tax rate for each income bracket instead of variable ones for each bracket within the bracket). Below are what I hope are the correct figures, with some additions that haven’t been checked by anyone yet.

    These calculations are based on a UBI of $10,000/yr and a flat tax rate of 40%, from Red’s post on the UBI (link below). Current tax was calculated from IRD’s calculator

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/calculators/keyword/incometax/calculator-tax-rate.html

    Current tax system: income of $12,200 – tax (variable tax rates) $1,281 = $10,019 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 10.5%
    UBI system: income of $12,200 – tax 40% $4,480 = $7,720 + UBI $10,000 = $17,720 cash in hand income . Total nett tax rate = 0%
    Difference = +$7701/yr or +$148/wk
    Note, this means the dole (single person, no kids) rises from $210/wk to $340/wk, which immediately raises a whole bunch of people out of poverty. Superannuation is $374/wk

    Current tax system: income of $25,000 – tax (variable tax rates) $3,395 = $21,605 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 13.5%

    UBI system: income of $25,000 – tax $10,000 = $15,000 + UBI $10,000 = $25,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 0%
    Difference = +$3,395/yr or +$65/wk

    Current tax system: income of $60,000 – tax $11,020 (variable tax rates) = $48,980 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 18.3%

    UBI system: income of $60,000 – tax $24,000 = $36,000 + UBI $10,000 = $46,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 30%
    Difference = -$2980/yr or -$57/wk

    Current tax system: income of $100,000 – tax $23,920 (variable tax rates) = $76,080 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 24%
    UBI system: income of $100,000 – tax $40,000 = $60,000 + UBI $10,000 = $70,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 30%
    Difference = -$6,080/yr or -$117/wk

    Current tax system: income of $200,000 – tax $56,920 = $143,080 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 28.5%
    UBI system: income of $200,000 – tax = $120,000 +UBI $10,000 = $130,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 35%
    Difference = -$13,080/yr or -$251/wk

    Red’s original calculations /universal-income-revisited/

    Original thread from the other day /open-mike-23032016/#comment-1151517

    • Bill 11.1

      I’m throwing a link to this comment into the back end. Sorry Weka – me head no do numbers.

      • weka 11.1.1

        Thanks Bill. I was hoping that McFlock or Lanth etc might be around, but it’s Easter so I might be better of submitting the post after that anyway.

    • weka 11.2

      I could do with some terminology help too. What’s the name for the variable tax rates in any given income? eg if someone earns $100,000 their income gets taxed at 4 different rates.

      btw, I did the calculations based on the 2015/2015 tax year.

      • Craig H 11.2.1

        I think the word you’re looking for is marginal i.e. marginal tax rates.

        • weka 11.2.1.1

          thanks. Or progressive? Just trying to figure out the difference.

          • Andre 11.2.1.1.1

            Marginal tax rate is how much tax you pay on your next dollar of income. Progressive means the marginal tax rate gets higher as income increases.

            NZ marginal tax rates are 10.5% on income up to $14000/yr, 17.5% on income between $14001 and $48000, 30% on income between $48001 and $70000, and 33% on income over $70000. So NZs marginal income taxes are progressive.

            ACC earner levies are somewhere around 1.5% on income up to somewhere around $130000/yr, then 0% above that. So ACC levies are regressive, ie the rate decreases at higher incomes.

            Effective marginal tax rate (EMTR) includes the effect of abatements in things like benefits, WFF etc. So, take someone becoming unemployed after already earning $70000 in that year, and goes on Jobseeker Support. S/he has other income amounting to $80/wk (say from having a flatmate in the house), so any additional income incurs a benefit abatement of 70c/dollar earned. The effective marginal tax rate is 103%, being the 70% abatement plus the 33% marginal income tax, ie for every dollar earned, s/he pays $1.03 in abatement and tax.

    • alwyn 11.3

      Your calculations are all correct.

      However the general principle of a UBI is that it would REPLACE the other benefits.
      “Pure universal basic income (UBI) systems, in theory, would give adults a regular income from the government regardless of their income or assets.
      They would replace other forms of welfare, such as pensions, benefits and student allowances”
      Which is from this story
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/77710601/labour-leader-andrew-little-promises-debate-on-universal-basic-income

      You have a note that says
      “Note, this means the dole (single person, no kids) rises from $210/wk to $340/wk, which immediately raises a whole bunch of people out of poverty. Superannuation is $374/wk.”

      If we went for what is generally claimed about UBIs then a person on the dole today would instead, not as well, get the UBI and would receive $10,000 in total.
      The National Super would also drop (from about $19,500 to $10,000).

      This replacement of all other benefits is considered to be one of the main advantages.
      As Little himself says, in the same article
      “The question is whether you have an income support system that means every time you stop work you have to go through the palaver of stand-down periods, more bureaucracy, more form filling at the same time as you’re trying to get into your next job”
      In other words, get rid of a complicated dole system and have a UBI instead.

      • weka 11.3.1

        “Your calculations are all correct.”

        Thanks.

        Yes, there are things to be worked out on how a UBI works. Myself, I think seeing it as solely a replacement for welfare benefits at the weekly level is not that helpful because it seems to be taking people to a place where they stall instead of seeing how to make it work. I’d like to save the rest of that conversation for when I put a post up about it (otherwise the post won’t get done).

        • Andre 11.3.1.1

          There’s certainly a lot of clarification and decision-making around whether it is intended to be a replacement for all other benefits (in which case it would need to be around the $350/wk level), or a just a backstop for the able-bodied workers that may be going into and out of employment regularly (in which case around $200/wk would work fine, but there would need to be extra traditional-type benefits for those with extra needs).

          Personally, I favour a UBI around $200/wk (with top-ups for those in extra need) with a flat tax around 35% to 40%. That nets out to being fairly similar in-the-hand for most people in full-time work compared to the current progressive tax structure. Lower income workers would get a small boost, paid partly by a tax increase on top incomes, and partly by whatever other taxes introduced at the same time (GHG, capital gains, ???). It puts everyone in work on the same tax footing, easily allows removal of the ridiculous abatement rates (which can mean effective marginal tax rates go over 100%) that are a real disincentive to irregular work.

          Seems to me that a UBI around $350/wk that replaces all benefits is a lot harder to pay for (and sell to the voting public), kinda gives the middle finger to those with extra needs at the same time as it risks being a “license to laze” for the fully-fit-to-work.

          • weka 11.3.1.1.1

            I really think the whole benefit replacement thing is an unhelpful way of thinking about it/framing it. It’s only useful at the level of understanding that a UBI should simplify welfare. But when you are talking about people’s incomes it just leads us into a cul de sac.

            For instance, if you talk about a set higher rate of $350, presumably without supplementary topups, then you are completely ignoring that people currently get entitlements based on individual circumstances. There is no way around that. Someone with 3 kids on the DPB and one of those kids with a severe illness, who lives in Auckland is going to get their entitlements assessed differently than a single person who is fit and healthy and has no dependents and lives in rural Southland. You can’t replace both those benefits with a flat rate, it’s simply not possible to do so fairly. Better we just stop thinking about ‘replacement’ of income, and instead think of income security and how to create that.

            Personally, I don’t have a problem with people who can live on $350/wk not working. Good on them. NZ has one of the highest work rates in the world. We work too hard, and we actively and passively penalise people who don’t keep up. Some people like to work hard, others don’t. There is no reason why we cannot function well across that whole spectrum. People who appear to not work hard often bring other benefits to society.

            • left for dead 11.3.1.1.1.1

              People who appear to not work hard often bring other benefits to society.

              good point weka, looking forward to your post, good luck. 🙂

            • Incognito 11.3.1.1.1.2

              Hi weka,

              I look forward to your Guest Post here on TS.

              I think you’re spot on that the framing is hugely important; the “I” in UBI makes all the difference.

              The UBI will require, and in some ways induce, more than a mind-shift and change of attitudes; it will be a paradigm shift IMO. Often our ‘sense’ of wellbeing, our identity & status, are almost inextricably linked with the way we make an income. It is not uncommon for unemployed and certainly beneficiaries to be stigmatised. I think one of the attractions of the UBI is that it is brutally fair.

              I wonder how a UBI would work in relation to superannuation, which is universal in NZ. The lines between semi– and fully-retired people have blurred. In fact, one doesn’t have to stop working to meet the eligibility criteria for receiving NZ Super.

              Points 6.1 & 6.2 of the excellent Discussion Paper nail it IMO; they go beyond issues of costing and point to far- and wide-ranging implications of introducing a UBI. The transformative effects of UBI on society will be immense – obviously, this will scare some people.

              PS this discussion thread is superb!

              • weka

                I agree, lots of really good stuff coming out of the discussion.

                I also agree that we need to focus more on the wider benefits of the UBI. We will get bogged down in the money fear factor if we don’t.

                Paradigm shift indeed.

                • Jenny

                  All very worthy, I’m sure.

                  And it looks very likely weka that yours, and others, efforts will see the UBI made into a, (if not the), leading election issue of 2017.

                  If you succeed, I further predict that John Key will make mince meat of you.

                  (See if I I’m wrong)

                  Sorry to be rude, but while you guys are arguing over the rearrangement of the deckchairs on the Titanic.

                  This is happening:



                  • weka

                    If you think in terms of systems, the connections between a UBI, governance and doing something useful about CC (other than sitting on a blog criticising) are obvious.

                    If you have some strategies for what to do about National and CC, I’d love to see a discussion on that.

                    btw, I have been reading your comments re Pacific Islands, Labour and CC, they’re good and would make a useful guest post which would trigger discussion (a post doesn’t have to be involved, you can collate and do a bit of editorial).

                    For many of us, more information isn’t what is need regarding CC action. It’s useful but it’s not sufficient in and of itself. Do the next thing as well.

                    • Jenny

                      Thank you for your vote of confidence weka. And your suggestion that I do a guest post. My chances of getting a guest post at The Standard are exactly zero. Instead, I have been gently trying, without antagonising them, to get The Standard authors interested in doing a post on Su’a William Sio’s climate change task force.

                      Su’a has said that he is available to be contacted for interviews and questions from ground zero. And has taken Labour Party staffer Chris Harrington with him to facilitate this.

                      As far as I have been able to determine, no one from the MSM, or Alt-media, has contacted Chris Harrington.

                    • Jenny

                      “For many of us, more information isn’t what is need regarding CC action. It’s useful but it’s not sufficient in and of itself. Do the next thing as well.” weka

                      I agree. You would have to have been living under a rock, not to be aware of the compelling scientific case for global warming. When even David Seymour the ACT leader describes himself as a “warmist” and says that, “there is a serious precautionary case to take some action.”

                      Then you know, it not just a matter of more information.

                      “That humans have had some influence on warming in more recent times, say the later stages of warming through the 20th century, is very likely. How much, is rather uncertain.
                      But there is a serious precautionary case to take some action.” DAVID SEYMOUR, Leader’s speech to Act Conference 2016

                      http://www.act.org.nz/posts/leader%E2%80%99s-speech-to-act-conference-2016

                      Just as you say, weka more information is useful, but it’s not sufficient in and of itself.

                      So what’s the next thing?

                      Tuvalu’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Samuel Laloniu, has said it’s really important for people to put a human face to the issue of climate change.

                      I think that this is what Su’a William Sio is trying to achieve with his Climate Change Taskforce to Tuvalu and Kiribati. Which may partly explain why he is having such trouble getting any media cut-through.

                      To witness the reality, and to hear the very real human stories first hand, and to know that this could happen to your family and loved ones creates a moral imperative to act.

                      Making it much harder to turn away and decide to do nothing.

                      As Samuel Laloniu said,
                      “If (climate change) is not resolved it will happen to everybody….”

                      Maybe The Standard Authors will do something, maybe they won’t. We will just have to wait and see.

                    • weka

                      Sorry, but why are your chances of getting a guest post zero?

                  • pat

                    so why would anyone vote for Key when all his party’s policies ignore this fact? strange logic.

                  • Jenny

                    Are you really that interested? I suppose I could tell you privately. But there seems to be no way to have a private conversation with other commenters on this site. (Now there’s an idea. Maybe this is something that the web designers could look at. I know they read everything I post.)

                    So as the old joke goes; “I could tell you, but I would have to shoot you.”

                    If you are really that interested.

                    Why not send a private message to the moderators and ask them. I also give them my permission to release to you, my identifying contact email.

          • alwyn 11.3.1.1.2

            @Andre
            ” I favour a UBI around $200/wk (with top-ups for those in extra need”

            You can have additional benefits that increase the amount you get above the UBI. The only requirement is that the criteria for receiving them does not depend on your income or your work status, and for which the need is as close to permanent as possible. Anything else, like an unemployment benefit, is simply adding another layer of admin to the current process. Little is quite clear in the article I referenced that he does not want that.

            You could, on the other hand easily do it for National Super. Simply redefine National Super as being $9,500 a year payable to someone living by themselves who is over 65. They get that and the UBI. Lasts for life and is universal for the elderly.
            Permanent disability could be done the same way, I should think although I don’t know what the rates might be.
            So could a child allowance. so long as it is paid for all children from say birth to 18 it would be quite easy to administer and co-exist with the basic income. After 18 you could simply go onto the UBI and start paying board to your parents. Like National Super you only have to check that they qualify on age and are still alive.

            • weka 11.3.1.1.2.1

              You can have additional benefits that increase the amount you get above the UBI. The only requirement is that the criteria for receiving them does not depend on your income or your work status, and for which the need is as close to permanent as possible.

              Some topups can be fixed, because they are not only permanent/long term, but they don’t vary eg being elderly, having 3 kids (until they are 18). But many can’t be fixed because they are either not permanent/long term or they vary eg accommodation costs as someone moves or takes in a flatmate, disability related costs, kids becoming adults etc.

              There are issues on how to determine entitlement for people with varying health needs. At the moment we’re pretty crap at it because we take a punitive approach and apply it very unevenly (cf someone who needs state assistance for 6 months because they had an accident at work to someone who is undergoing cancer treatment and you will see another glaring failure). These issues need to be first addressed from the communities that are affected by them (unwell and disabled people). It’s pretty obvious to me that many people on ts don’t have sufficient understanding of the issues.

              Anything else, like an unemployment benefit, is simply adding another layer of admin to the current process. Little is quite clear in the article I referenced that he does not want that.

              Can you please quote the bit you are referring to? From what I can see he is referring to base benefits not supplementary ones. Elsewhere I have seen Labour say that supplementary needs will need to be accommodated.

              • alwyn

                The unemployment benefit was pretty clearly what he meant in the very last quote in this comment.

                Open mike 25/03/2016


                The palaver he was talking about was applying when you lose your job, and then telling them you have another job so they stop it.

                Benefits can be of two kinds really. They can be universal. In that case they don’t target where the money goes terribly accurate but they are very cheap and easy to administer. Fraud can’t really happen because there really aren’t any rules.
                National Super in New Zealand is an example.

                Alternatively they can be very carefully targeted and limited to the very specific group you want to help. They are efficient in paying out to the right people (even if possibly subject to fraud) but they are very expensive and time consuming to administer.
                I don’t really know that much about it but the Sole parent Support benefit might qualify. The clause about the “not in a relationship” and “without adequate financial support” probably take quite a lot of checking.

                • weka

                  Not really sure what your point is. Yes, the general idea is that if we had a well designed UBI we wouldn’t need the base benefits any more. We would still need the supplementaries and we would need to design systems that take a wide range of needs and circumstances into account. As I’ve just mentioned, your earlier comment about limiting supplementaries to permanent conditions won’t work (unless you are suggesting a very high rate of UBI, which I’m guessing you aren’t. A living wage is $800/wk).

                  As far as I can tell thus far, one way to obviate the need for UB is to have enough work available.

                  We really need to stop confusing benefits and the UBI in these conversations.

                  edit, to clarify, you are saying benefits can be of two types. I’m saying that there are at least 3.

                  • Sacha

                    You’ll note a wide range of estimated additional weekly costs for disabled New Zealanders in our only research so far, done as part of MSD researching Single Core Benefit rates: http://www.odi.govt.nz/resources/research/#CostofDisabilityresearch2

                    • weka

                      Did you mean The Cost of Disability Report? All the links are broken and I can’t find anything else online that gives me access. I’d be interested if you have another source.

                  • Red delusion

                    Interesting article from scientific America 1966

                    the crux, “technology elimates jobs not work”,

                    emperical evidence highlights that has been the case in the past, I suggest it will also be the case for the future, , thus UBI debate is pointless

                    TECHNOLOGY AND EMPLOYMENT

                    “According to the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress, the ‘vast majority’ of people recognize that technological change ‘has led to better working conditions by eliminating many, perhaps most, dirty, menial and servitude jobs…. Perhaps the [concern] most responsible for the establishment of the Commission has arisen from the belief that technological change is a major source of unemployment…, that eventually it would eliminate all but a few jobs.’ The members of the commission, for their part, concluded ‘that technology eliminates jobs, not work.’”

                  • Sacha

                    The Cost of Disability Report – yes, that’s the one. Can’t believe MSD tolerate broken links. Slackers. Contact me via my website and I can email you a copy.

            • Halfcrown 11.3.1.1.2.2

              Alwyn
              I have not read anything about the UBI, as I can’t see it getting off the ground. I suppose I really should inform myself, but I cannot see how peoples thinking will get pass the “I Have worked hard and now I will have my pension cut so some lazy bastard etc etc.” will get a payment”. With an ageing population expecting to draw the superannuation there will have to be a quantum shift in peoples thinking about unearned payments to less fortunate s before there is any acceptance of this and I cannot see that happening..
              Correct me please. Is my thinking correct that those on the super can expect a cut in their super payments to bring it down to the same level of payment of the UBI

              • alwyn

                It would IF the pure version of a UBI was implemented and the UBI was to replace all other benefits. That of course assumes it was set below $374/week.
                It also assumes that they go for a pure UBI.
                If I remember correctly that was what Morgan’s “Big Kahuna” envisaged and they are clearly copying that.
                What may be proposed is of course totally unknown. They really don’t know what they might do, if anything. Neither of course does anyone else.
                I think that Little and Robertson should have kept well clear of even mentioning a UBI until it was sorted out but that is only my opinion.
                Leave it to someone much, much less senior in the party to look at it.

                • Halfcrown

                  “I think that Little and Robertson should have kept well clear of even mentioning a UBI until it was sorted out but that is only my opinion.
                  Leave it to someone much, much less senior in the party to look at it.”

                  Thanks for that and I agree with you.

                • Craig H

                  The Big Kahuna envisaged Super being replaced by the UBI, but to assist current and soon-to-be recipients who may otherwise be caught short, it proposed drawing down the Cullen Fund in the transitional phase.

                  • weka

                    How did it deal with their UBI rate being substantially lower than current Super after the transition phase?

                    • Craig H

                      They figured the time frame was sufficiently long that basically people would be expected to plan for it with Kiwisaver etc. I don’t have the book either, but the fund is quite large at $30 billion and able to generate income, so could be used to top up as required for many years e.g. anyone who is 50 at date of implementation is grandparented into the old scheme as they turn 65. That would probably still require some taxpayer funding later as well, but would be drastically reduced.

                      They also intended for the accommodation supplement to remain, so that could be used to mitigate some of the issues, as could increased numbers of state houses and units.

                      For anyone wondering, the $11,000 was based on the after-tax weekly rate of the single person unemployment benefit.

                    • weka

                      Thanks, I hadn’t seen that explained before. I’ve just had a look on their website too, there is a bit of detail there. Some glaring holes in their model. They’re suggesting that the Invalid’s Benefit (Supported Living Payment) is set lower than now and that the short fall be made up by either by govt providing services directly or by somehow addressing the charging policies (don’t really know what that means). It looks to me like they’re not well informed about what the needs of ill and disabled people are and how they are currently met via WINZ payments. This is the problem with the idea that you can do away with individualised support. You can’t without reducing support. Likewise, there are holes in the approach to retirees and those on the DPB. Not unsolvable but disappointing they didn’t put more thought into it. I’ll see if I can get hold of the book.

                  • alwyn

                    Your memory is clearly better than mine. Oh well, at least I qualified the statement with “If I remember correctly”
                    I read the book when it came out and that is about 5 years ago. I don’t own a copy to check.

                  • The Chairman

                    The Big Kahuna is a UBI model Labour should stay well clear of.

                    The Big Kahuna envisaged Super being replaced by a UBI at a lower rate than the current Super.

                • Incognito

                  I think that Little and Robertson should have kept well clear of even mentioning a UBI until it was sorted out but that is only my opinion.

                  Leave it to someone much, much less senior in the party to look at it.

                  In my opinion it is showing courage, vision, and leadership. The Future of Work is important and not something that may or may not happen in some distant or not so distant future but it is already happening. It affects all of us and Labour rightly chose to engage with the public and to initiate a public debate facilitated by experts. The UBI is part of this and the NZ public should be consulted as much as possible; this cannot be left to a nameless & faceless party staffer or academic hidden away in a stuffy room with a laptop. It is not just about what the NZ public may want or find acceptable, it is also tapping into the collective wisdom of our pluralistic society. In short, an open & transparent process with genuine public debate is the only (!) way to go. For this applaud the Labour leadership.

                  BTW, UBI is big everywhere: http://www.basicincome.org/

                  • alwyn

                    “BTW, UBI is big everywhere”.
                    That is hardly a very strong piece of evidence.
                    I could probably prove that there is enormous enthusiasm for Esperanto if I linked to an Esperanto website.

                    • Incognito

                      You’re quite right; my apologies for not making myself more clear – it was not intended as “evidence” but as an “observation” rather, hence the “BTW”.

                      You implied that UBI should be readied somewhere in the background and out of the limelight by a low-profile staffer. The point I was trying to make is that UBI has been researched, debated, and trialled in many places across the world and that it is out in the public arena, where it ought to be.

                      The Discussion Paper was quite clear about this too; it is now time to investigate and discuss a UBI in the NZ context.

      • alwyn 11.3.2

        Sorry but I missed on.
        The UBI net tax rate on $60k is actually 23.3% (14/60).
        I was really only looking at the tax and after tax amounts.

    • Craig H 11.4

      Just checking – are these calculations only on the current tax rates, or did you intend it be based on actual income tax paid currently? I ask because the Independent Earner Tax Credit changes the result of the $25,000 annual income example for people who don’t receive taxable government assistance or working for families, as the calculation would be:

      $25,000 – ($3,395 – $520 IETC) = $22,125 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate is 11.5%. Actual tax paid is $2,875.

    • gsays 11.5

      i certainly aint a numbers person either.
      one of the things that stayed with me after listening to prof guy standing was how a ubi had the ability to undo inequality. (women and children)

      i get that there has to be a economic aspect to it but so often it is seen as the primary consideration. as opposed to the opportunities it potentially opens up. education, community work, volunteer work, quality time with family.

      is a fairer distribution of wealth a dirty concept?

      perhaps the real tide that lifts all boats.

      a great ted talk: nick hanauer the pitchforks are coming. he talks of a living wage and how it has lead to a growing class in the state that it has been introduced.
      they have $ to spend along the lines of post war america where the middle class was an economic engine for the country.

      best of luck with your post, like decriminalising/legalising pot, a ubi is an idea whos time has come.

      • weka 11.5.1

        thanks gsays. Like Incognito above, I’m finding this discussion great, everyone is bringing in a range of ideas and contributions, and from across the political spectrum. I love what you have just said. For me the UBI is about social equity and the $ amount is secondary. The $ should serve the concept, rather than the concept following the dollar.

        • gsays 11.5.1.1

          yes, the across the political spectrum is the exciting thing.
          even the resistance on this site seems to be a little more moderate over the last few days.
          who would be against equity?
          who could oppose children lifted out of poverty?

          i like the idea of more quality family time for all.

    • The Chairman 11.6

      A problem the figures above highlight is that no one gets to keep (in the hand) the full 10 grand being touted.

      Therefore, not only will the public feel misled and shortchanged, Labour will also lose their trust.

      Moreover, the fiscal in the hand increase is insufficient to achieve many of the benefits/goals touted in Labour’s discussion paper.

      • gsays 11.6.1

        hi chairman,
        what if that first $10,000 or $15,000 was tax free.
        while we are at it, a hone/tobin/finacial transaction tax to supplement ubi and replace gst.

        • The Chairman 11.6.1.1

          A tax free threshold would assist.

          A Hone/Tobin/finacial transaction tax is something Labour should seriously consider.

      • weka 11.6.2

        Then stop touting it.

        • The Chairman 11.6.2.1

          Really?

          It’s a figure Labour have bandied about as part of their discussions.

          • weka 11.6.2.1.1

            It’s one part of a much broader discussion document. Labour don’t own the UBI concept, they’re not even saying this is going to be Labour policy. They’ve said they want a public discussion on it. If you don’t like one aspect of it, come up with some alternatives.

            • The Chairman 11.6.2.1.1.1

              Yes, I’m aware of that. Merely pointing out potential pitfalls to avoid, thus helping to strengthen their considerations, if they do decide to formulate a policy.

              “They’ve said they want a public discussion on it.”

              And that’s exactly what I’m doing, taking part in a public discussion on it.

              As for coming up with alternatives, I’ve made a fair few suggestions thus far.

              • weka

                Ok, let’s pick apart what you said,

                “A problem the figures above highlight is that no one gets to keep (in the hand) the full 10 grand being touted.”

                That’s only a problem if you don’t know what a UBI actually is, and if people keep misleading others about what it is. Hence my suggestion to stop touting it.

                “Therefore, not only will the public feel misled and shortchanged, Labour will also lose their trust.”

                If we are talking about the future, and an actual policy (as opposed to the discussion document), then I agree. It would be stupid beyond belief for Labour to have a policy saying that everyone was going to get $200/wk when they actually weren’t. Just as well Labour haven’t announced such a policy.

                “Moreover, the fiscal in the hand increase is insufficient to achieve many of the benefits/goals touted in Labour’s discussion paper.”

                Such as?

                • The Chairman

                  “That’s only a problem if you don’t know what a UBI actually is”

                  No. It’s a potential problem for Labour. One you highlighted, the other is they also have to be mindful it doesn’t become the expectation. Thus resulting in the associated disappointment and distrust, or a sense that it’s insufficient, hence a waste of time.

                  “Such as?”

                  I’ll give you an example tomorrow, I’m off to bed.
                  .

                  • weka

                    What I see Labour doing is instead of releasing a half formed policy (which is all they can really do at this stage of the election cycle), is putting out some ideas for discussion. If it were just a policy that would remain in Labour’s control I would agree with you. But it’s not, they’re intentionally leaving it open for everyone to discuss. It’s up to us to make this work as much as it is up to Labour. This is not Labour’s baby.

                    • The Chairman

                      At two hundred dollars a week (less than the current single adult job seeker rate) fiscal security isn’t going to increase Thus, nor will the touted entrepreneurialism. Nor will it improve the focus on lifelong learning. That’s the first 3 touted benefits from Labour’s discussion paper.

                      https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/4208/attachments/original/1458272685/Background_Paper_-_A_Universal_Basic_Income_for_New_Zealand.pdf?1458272685

                      While it will recognise domestic housework and voluntary work as work, $200 a week doesn’t reward it well. Merely lifting this group up to the fiscal hardship faced by current beneficiaries.

                      While the $148 figure will be of benefit to those on low incomes (helping to compensate increasing inequality). One would expect better if we are going to go down this path of major economic overhaul.

                      However, at two hundred dollars a week (less than the current single adult job seeker rate) inequality will increase.

                      When considering such a major economic overhaul, one should be seeking to maximize the benefits touted.

                      What is also a concern is other accompanying tax changes.

                      At best, your figures highlight some will be better off by $148 a week. However, if tax changes also result in a CGT as the Big Kahuna suggests, house owning low income workers will be worse off.

                      With a 6% CCT (a Comprehensive Capital Tax suggested in the Big Kahuna) house owning low income earners would be paying an extra $18,000 annually in (yet to be achieved) capital gains. Calculated on owning a $300,000 home.

                      And that is just the tax on their home. A Comprehensive Capital Tax taxes all assets.

                      Therefore, this model of UBI would further impoverish those it was touted (in Labour’s discussion paper) to assist.

                      “If it were just a policy that would remain in Labour’s control I would agree with you. But it’s not, they’re intentionally leaving it open for everyone to discuss.”

                      Yes, again I’m aware of that.

                      However, what you’re overlooking is, if Labour wants to get the public on-board, they can’t afford to lose their trust.

                      A number of people believe Labour are considering giving them an extra $200 a week, unaware Labour may claw this back through new tax settings.

                      Therefore, Labour have to be mindful the discussion doesn’t mislead and build false expectations, only to later disappoint and create distrust.

    • RedLogix 11.7

      @weka

      Your calculation for the $60,000 pa income for the UBI case should be:

      UBI system: income of $60,000 – tax $24,000 = $36,000 + UBI $10,000 = $46,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 23%
      Difference = -$2980/yr or -$57/wk

      The UBI is automatically a progressive system, even if the marginal tax rate is totally flat.

      Despite the fact I’d be personally worse off financially, I think overall I’d be better off living in a fairer society.

      • weka 11.7.1

        Thanks Red (alwyn caught that one too).

        “Despite the fact I’d be personally worse off financially, I think overall I’d be better off living in a fairer society.”

        yes, this point is going to be a critical part of it.

        Can I ask why you chose $10,000 and 40% in your original article?

        • RedLogix 11.7.1.1

          I think I picked those numbers because they felt politically middle of the road, and were nice round numbers to make the arithmetic easy for the post. Plus they’re not too far away from Gareth Morgan’s numbers.

          But I’m not wedded to them especially. The more people talk about the idea the more interesting aspects come out that I had never originally considered.

    • NZJester 12.1

      The biggest step toward peace and justice for Palestine might actually be if Bernie Sanders was to actually become US president.
      One thing that those in Israel have used to shut down descent of what they have been doing is by tossing out the word antisemitic.
      Bernie sanders is actually getting Muslims backing him in the US even though he is Jewish as he is willing to meet with their leaders and have open and honest talks with them about such problems.
      Bernie is apparently willing to take on Israels leaders about their treatment of Palestinians.
      You should check out his half hour interview on the TYT channel on YouTube if you have not seen it.

  12. joe90 13

    Summary executions are okay.
    /

    Max Blumenthal
    ‏@MaxBlumenthal

    Orders from the top of Israel’s military and political echelon led to today’s heinous atrocity in occupied Hebron: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/israeli-soldier-filmed-executing-wounded-palestinian-man/

    Yousef Munayyer
    ‏@YousefMunayyer

    An Israel soldier executes motionless Palestinian ON VIDEO but headline is about Israel holding its own accountable

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/world/middleeast/video-shows-israel-soldier-shooting-palestinian.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur

  13. weka 14

    Laugh of the day. An Amazon reviewer complaining that The Penguin History of New Zealand wasn’t about penguins.

  14. Tautuhi 15

    Now after John Keys Flag Debacle it looks like Judith Collins will be the next National Party Leader you heard it first on The Standard?

    Looking forward to the coup and the shit fight that erupts?

    • Sacha 15.1

      Too many other factions for that to happen. May end up with a compromise candidate.

    • Chuck 15.2

      Your dreaming mate…really its just a wet dream by the far left.

      If the left want to win come 2017, do it on presenting a creditable alternative to National, not on hoping the flag referendum will have changed the landscape.

      • Anne 15.2.1

        I’m sure ‘the Left’ intend to do do exactly that Chuck but there’s no harm in individuals dabbling in a bit of speculation on a blog site such as this one. It’s fun to read and fun to participate and you never know… we might even get it right on occasion.

        • Chuck 15.2.1.1

          Fair enough Anne. I must admit in the past I have voted left (Labour) and even once for dear old Winston. It is even possible I may vote Labour again…but you know what I am going to say!!

  15. Muttonbird 16

    Where is the prime minister anyway? I’ve not heard a word from him since last night.

    • Jenny 16.1

      Changing his Lockwood flag embossed underpants, I suspect.

      • Jenny 16.1.1

        Both talkback radio channels were alive last night with calls about the flag referendum.

        The main themes were:
        1/ The alternative Lockwood designed flag was a corporate logo of a shallow rebranding exercise.

        2/ The waste of taxpayers money.

        On this theme, several professionals with expert knowledge rang in to say what the $26 million could/should have been spent on instead.

        The vast majority of callers were extremely dismissive of the Prime Minister.

        Many callers linked the corporate rebranding of New Zealand Inc. to the TPPA, and multi-national corporation encroachment on New Zealand’s sovereignty which they perceived the new flag to be a symbol of.

        Does this mark a sea change in the government’s fortunes?

        Political fortunes have changed direction on lesser issues.

    • Jenny Kirk 16.2

      He’s gone into hiding in his Hawaii palace. Seriously – he’s on holiday overseas – presumably Hawaii !

    • Rosie 16.3

      The PM of Nuclear Free NZ has gone to a nuclear security summit:

      https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/media-and-resources/news/pm-to-attend-nuclear-security-summit/

  16. Andre 17

    Microsoft sets up an AI to learn how to interact with people from social media. Within 24 hrs it more or less turns into Trump.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-deletes-racist-genocidal-tweets-from-ai-chatbot-tay-2016-3?r=UK&IR=T

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Now this is going to be interesting:

    For this reason, our friend Jeff McClintock (also from the Secular Education Network) filed a case in the High Court, asking for a declaration that Section 78 was inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. This case is due to be heard on April 26.

    Doing a double-take, Tanya and I realised that this would not fix the problem; even if successful, it would just take us back to the ambiguous law of 1977. Section 77 would still be in force and our churches would simply move their evangelists into the lunch break, after school, into Good News Clubs, and the like. And this is just our primary schools. Our secondary schools would just go on evangelizing as usual because — in another oversight — Section 77 doesn’t mention secondary schools at all. So they were never secularized to begin with.

    That’s why the two of us — David and Tanya — have filed a separate court action, aiming to present our evidence into Jeff’s hearing. Our application will be heard on April 6.

    The Human Rights Commission reckons this is of major significance and this week they applied to join the fight as well. The media is starting to take notice — of the Human Rights Commission as well as us.

    • Andre 18.1

      Heh. When my kids were at primary school, I helped out with their chess club. When we changed our time to when the school was “closed” for “Life Choices” education, the number of kids interested in chess almost quadrupled. Including the son of the leader of the “Life Choices” sessions.

  18. Thurston 19

    #CruzSexScandal just became the highest trending topic in the world.

    This GOP race is over.

    http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/03/24/the-national-enquirer-runs-story-of-multiple-ted-cruz-affairs/

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  • Electoral law breach allegations
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  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
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  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
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  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
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  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
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  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
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  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
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  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
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  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
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  • New safety measures for modified pistols
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  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
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