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Political punditry in 2019

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, January 4th, 2019 - 79 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Deep stuff, Donald Trump, greens, housing, jacinda ardern, Jeremy Corbyn, journalism, labour, local government, making shit up, national, phil goff, quality of life, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Stuff has, with a few other media outlets, come out with a new set of political predictions for the forthcoming year.

It has also given itself a mark of 90 out of 200 for last year’s predictions. This is apparently its worst mark yet. Maybe having a successful left wing Government has caught it out?

Some of the predictions were fairly predictable, like Bill English going and who were the likely replacements. Or that Kiwibuild was going to take some time to implement, of course it was going to take time to get moving.

Other predictions, for instance the budget one that the mini budget did most of the work and there would only be a couple of surprises, were as predictable as night happening after day. And a backbencher coming under fire for some sort of indiscretion? We are talking about Parliament here and 120 politicians. Of course someone was going to screw up.

And Stuff was totally wrong in its predictions relying on a knowledge of the inner workings of the Green Party. It is interesting how its reporters know what is happening within National with such detail but have very little idea what is happening within the Greens.

And a bombshell that will see a Minister resigning? I am struggling to think of a 12 month period where one has not resigned.

This flurry of sooth saying and predicting and reviewing has been summarised in these posts from Bryce Edwards where he reviews political sooth sayers’ predictions for the forthcoming year and the performance of various MPs. There are some jaw dropping conclusions.

Apparently the most disappointing politician was Clare Curran, not Simon Bridges.

I mean really? Believe me I am no Curran fan but Bridges’ performance as National leader has been really, really bad, so bad I hope he stays as leader for years to come.

Tracy Watkins’ view was the real clanger. She said this:

National’s team has been firing on all cylinders this year and Bridges deserves credit for that. He runs a slick back-office machine and – with the jarring exception of former whip and senior MP Jami-Lee Ross – his front bench has operated as a highly disciplined team.”

Does she occupy another dimension?

Shane Te Pou is quoted at length in Edwards’ review. I am not sure why. I know Shane through the Labour Party but have not seen him at many things recently. He appears to want to occupy the media position previously occupied by the likes of Josie Pagani where right wingers criticise Labour for not being right wing enough. It works on Newstalk ZB. It does not work with activists.

He and a few others are scathing of Phil Twyford and of Kiwibuild. I do not know why. It was always going to take years to improve the housing crisis and houses do not appear magically. It will take years of land acquisition, design, consenting and construction.

But if Twyford achieves it, and I am confident that he will be able to, then this will be a further strong reminder to people that if they want a Government that actually cares about ordinary people and is willing to use the powers of the state then they should vote Labour.

And for the media, if you want to have a go to person who will present critical views but from a Labour perspective then can I recommend Robert Reid or Neale Jones?

Anyway I thought that I would add a few predictions of my own. Here they are:

  1. Jacinda Ardern will continue to be loved and will develop into one of Labour’s truly great leaders like Clark and Savage.
  2. Cabinet ministers will continue to make the occasional mistake which National will jump on from a great height. Most of the population will go Meh.
  3. The Kiwibuild roll out will slowly increase and there will be thousands of young people grateful that they are able to afford their own home in Auckland.
  4. Phil Goff will be returned as Auckland’s mayor with the rump of right wing voters holding their nose and voting for John Tamihere.
  5. National’s caucus will continue to leak.
  6. Simon Bridges will continue to be National’s leader, with Caucus being unable to agree on a replacement and with the contenders realising that the 2020 election is Labour’s for the taking.
  7. National will continue to pull off stunts like its recent Three Billboards campaign which ignore the fact that the problems were of its own making and the projects would not have been funded if National had been returned to power.
  8. National will appeal the Court of Appeal decision regarding Eminem’s copyright breach and lose. They will then approach the Government for special legislation so that they can pay the bill and not commit a corrupt electoral practice.
  9. The Whaleoil site will become the defacto home for a nascent conservative party led by David Moffett which will campaign against climate change and immigration but fail to reach 5% of any poll. National will continue to have no friends.
  10. Trump will continue from disaster to disaster.
  11. Theresa May will not go through with a hard Brexit and will lose a vote of confidence on her soft Brexit proposal. Jeremy Corbyn will then be elected Prime Minister.

79 comments on “Political punditry in 2019”

  1. Darien Fenton 1

    I find these predictions about as useful as the commentariat on who was a good or bad Minister : the only thing it tells me is what we on the left face in 2019. Otherwise, I rely on the good old and sometimes challenging opinions of the “great unwashed”, including one today who told me to “Harden up”. I’m lucky that I get to meet, talk with them, hear from them, be challenged by them ; people like Bryce Edwards would be eaten up by in a nanosecond.

    • Darien Fenton 1.1

      PS : that wasn’t a go at your predictions Micky. My comment reflected my irritation with the likes of Shane Te Pou and Bryce Edwards et al

  2. Ad 2

    its so good to have a popular Labour-led government with piles of money, strong economic growth, bold policy, and very weak opposition.

    3 terms at least.

    • Marshy 2.1

      Surplus and strong economy thanks to National, you forgot that bit. None of that happened in the past 12 months

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Thank goodness for National’s unrestrained borrowing!

      • patricia bremner 2.1.2

        Marshy, you didn’t remember National’s other “achievements” homelessness poverty unemployment out of control house prices rotten hospital walls low wages bad building outcomes loss of the Christchurch city council and party infighting.

        You talk of the money and say little of what it could do for ordinary citizens, why? because it was ear marked for tax cuts for the top 20% that’s why’

        So don’t come here saying this is an unsuccessful left wing government, as more has been achieved for ordinary people in the last 14 months than in the previous 9 years.

        The fairy tale that National provide a strong economy is farcical, with their questionable use of insurance money, constant borrowing and failure to act on climate change you have exposed yourself to complete ridicule.

      • Craig H 2.1.3

        Which, in turn, were built on the foundations bequeathed by Dr Cullen.

        A strong economy is a tool, not an end to itself – it matters as much what is done with it as having it. National did some good things with it, but a lot of people were left behind.

      • cathy 2.1.4

        don’t you recall that when National last came to power in 2008 they inherited an economy with close to zero net government debt and a record of nine straight surpluses.

        courtesy of Labour.

        just in time to put them in the best possible position to handle the GFC

        which they screwed up.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.5

        National didn’t build a strong economy. They made the rich richer but doing that actually undermines the economy. That’s why we saw climbing homelessness and increasing poverty.

        That’s the main lesson from the last forty years neo-liberalism.

        Everything that the mainstream economists and politicians have told us about the economy has turned out to be wrong. National’s term in government proved that.

        • Ed 2.1.5.1

          Yes, New Zealand’s economy is reliant on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.
          A speculative economy.
          Neoliberalism sold, gutted and hollowed output our real manufacturing economy.
          And for that Douglas and Richardson deserve to be in court.
          Treason is a serious crime.

    • Unicus 2.2

      Yes and entirely without support from MSM – unlike National who relied on Fairfax APN and radio networks et al to sustain them before and after their last terms in Government.

      Why should anyone be surprised – we’re talking about privately owned buisiness here folks Edwards and co are employees simply doing the job of producing mush product for the burbs in east and north shore Auckland where daily they feed their employers customers the comfort food they need.

      It’s not a media it’s a dealer and dealers operate without concience or culpability

  3. Marshy 3

    I stopped taking any of this serious after I read ‘successful left wing Government ‘ … now that is funny

  4. veutoviper 4

    Mickysavage, while I usually take these sort of predictions with a large spoon of salt, a good list.

    In relation to your 5 (leaks) and 6 (Simon Bridges continuing as Leader of Nats/Opposition), have you read Chris Trotter’s article a couple of days ago on interest.co.nz?

    https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/97532/jami-lee-ross-gone-chris-trotter-wonders-why-national-party-leaks-continue-against

    I started a bit of a discussion on it on OM 31 Dec 2018* but would be really interested in your views on Trotter’s musings. Personally I am very much with his reckonings particularly. the second half of his article.

    * /open-mike-31-12-2018/#comment-1566735

    I personally would add one more to your list – that the Sroubek case is far from over but it is likely to backfire on the Nats rather than ILG and Labour. A lot more there than meets the eye.

    [In the longer term,, I also predict that Sroubek will not be deported on the basis of his immigration fraud with the double jeopardy provisions of the BORA employed in his defence on possibly two, if not more, grounds. However, this prediction does not rule out his being extradited at the request of the Czech government.]

    • Craig H 4.1

      Cancellation of visas following convictions or other matters normally isn’t seen as double jeopardy by the courts as visas are seen as being civil law, not criminal law – if it was double jeopardy, deportation on the grounds of criminal convictions would automatically fail whenever it was appealed, and there would be no need for character provisions for visas as refusing a visa on character grounds due to criminal history would also be double jeopardy.

      Given one of the grounds was concealed serious convictions in his home country, he might succeed in an appeal, but I think that would be based on longevity and his life in NZ, not double jeopardy.

      • veutoviper 4.1.1

        As I have said elsewhere here, this whole saga has more legs than a centipede. Sroubek’s court record etc is an interesting mixed bag of convictions and acquittals and in betweens.

        This RNZ article gives a detailed, but sometimes muddled, timeline of the sequence of his court dealings.
        https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/370120/karel-sroubek-who-is-he

        For example, (my part summary of their summary):

        In 2008 Sroubek was granted permanent residency – albeit under his alias of Jan Antolik – under the sports talent category as the current world kick-boxing champion at that time.

        In 2009 Sroubek faced charges of kidnapping and aggravated robbery for which he was acquitted.

        2009: The High Court in Auckland gave Sroubek permission to travel to the Czech Republic, ahead of an impending court case. (The judgement also said Sroubek had been granted a similar application earlier in the year, despite the opposition of the police.)

        In 2011 he was found guilty of supplying false information to the Immigration, and of having a false passport. “After completing 200 hours of community service he was discharged without conviction, avoiding any risk of deportation.”

        Also that year (2011) he was convicted with being a party to the manufacture of a Class C controlled drug. The latter conviction was quashed on appeal.{But the article also reports this as “He was convicted, but that conviction was quashed, and a retrial never went ahead. on appeal.”)

        In 2016, Sroubek was jailed for five years and nine months for importing 4.9kg of the drug MDMA, with a street value of $375,000.

        The comments reported in the RNZ article by former National Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere are of particular interest re deportation.

        But that is only one of the larger legs of the story. Related company records are quite interesting, and it also appears to be heading for a very messy, probably acrimonious marital divorce process, which involves a joint active NZ Ltd company.

        Finally on the extradition side, these bits of the RNZ timeline indicate that there is probably more to come:

        2015: Czech Republic contact New Zealand to indicate they “may be interested” in requesting Sroubek’s extradition.

        2 November 2018: The Czech Republic said it was soon to launch efforts to extradite Sroubek from New Zealand.

        • Craig H 4.1.1.1

          He does have quite a storied record in NZ, but his most recent deportation liability is due to concealment of criminal convictions in the Czech Republic – essentially, he was not eligible for a visa due to prior criminal offending, but did not declare it as required and his fraudulent identity meant his police certificates did not reflect his actual criminal record.

    • Re the continuation of leaks from National – Trotter claims “The leaks kept coming” but with zero details – how many leaks after Jami-Lee Ross was admitted to hospital and no longer went public, and after Cameron Slater had his stroke and stopped posting on Whale Oil (after having made threats of ongoing revelations), with leaked information that Jami-Lee Ross would not have had access to prior to being dumped from National?

      from what I’ve seen people just keep repeating ‘the leaks continued’ with scant or no evidence that it was an ongoing problem in the post-Ross national caucus.

      All parties leak, especially when in Opposition, so it’s on the cards that inside maneuvering continues, but I’d like to see evidence rather than repeated unsubstantiated claims.

      • It’s an interesting situation, Pete. Over the Xmas break, there really is nothing to leak or, alternatively, no point to leaking anything. The leaker (assuming it’s not JLR) may as well keep a low profile.

        My understanding is that a couple of journos know the identity of the leaker.As far as I know, nobody in the Labour caucus knows for sure and I imagine it’s the same in National. The Tories are probably hoping against hope that it is JLR, but if it’s not, then Bridges is going be back in the gun once Parliament resumes.

        • Pete George 4.2.1.1

          Claims like ‘the leaks continued’ have been happening since late October when JLR was admitted to hospital – for two months including Trotter’s claim – and not over the Christmas break.

          It will certainly be interesting to see how that pans out this year.

          There’s almost certain to be some sort of leaks at some time. and there is certain to be more speculation and more mischief making assertions. That’s politics.

      • veutoviper 4.2.2

        To quote one of the comments on the Chris Trotter article at interest.co.nz

        “… Keep up with the play. “But the internal poll figures have checked out and so too have other claims made – which could only have come from a caucus member.
        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12171953

        The 6 Dec 2018 Herald article by Barry Soper is quite specific as to why the latest leaks must come from a current National Party Caucus member as they contain information JLR would not be privy to, ie:

        ” The rumblings in the party are now becoming audible.

        They started out with the leak of the internal polling which rained on the Colmar Brunton poll, giving it 46 per cent support while in reality it was at just 41.

        An MP, either acting alone or with the knowledge of others, is undermining Bridges by using a burner phone, not taking any chances with the internal phone records of MPs inspected during the Jami-Lee Ross probe.

        The number can’t be traced and since the texting started the number’s changed.

        But the internal poll figures have checked out and so too have other claims made – which could only have come from a caucus member.

        They talked of an email sent by the leadership to MPs the night before this week’s caucus, telling them how to respond to media inquiries about bullying emphasising the “strong culture” in National and that “people like coming to work” for the party and that Parliament’s a robust place.

        The next morning Paula Bennett talked to reporters before her leader, which she’s taken to doing of late, and had the phrases off pat.

        A short time later Bridges sounded like a cracked record repeating them ad nauseam.

        The MP feeding the information’s going to a lot of trouble, texting with a third burner number, giving an insight into what went on in this week’s caucus.

        How Maggie Barry, who’s being besieged with bullying accusations, stood up and thanked her colleagues for their support, greeted by a stunned silence.

        Her colleagues remember her outburst in October, castigating Jami-Lee Ross for his behaviour towards his staff.

        The texter said they were bracing for more accusations against Barry, and they came.

        It’s unlikely this texter’s acting alone.

        It’s clearly a campaign to undermine National’s leadership team and the strain is beginning to show.

        When Parliament rises for the Christmas break in two weeks’ time there’ll be keen interest in who’s invited to what barbeque but one thing is for sure, early next year they’ll be burning Bridges.”

        IIRC the previous leak before the one discussed above (but also after JLR had been thrown out/resigned from the Nat party/caucus) similarly contained information only someone in caucus at the time of the leak would have known. I don’t have time right now to find links, but references were made to this fact in a number of media reports. I also recall that other media eg RNZ News who were also in receipt of all the leaks, also reported briefly on the two leaks post JLR with references to these aspects of the texts that indicated that the leaker was still in caucus.

    • mickysavage 4.3

      Hi Veutoviper

      I generally agreed with what Trotter said. It seems clear to me that National has multiple leak problems. Bridges could not engage i a second witch hunt because the first was such a disaster.

      It is also interesting that Stuff’s predictions concerning the National Party tended to be on the money but it had no idea about what was happening with the Greens.

      If National’s polling goes south, and there must be a pretty good chance that it will, I may have to reconsider prediction 6!

      • veutoviper 4.3.1

        Thanks MS. I though CT was pretty much on the money on this one. I sometimes think the complete opposite with about 1 out of 5 of his articles!

        Re your last sentence, it would really come down to each possible contender having to decide which was more important to them – narcissism or masochism. LOL.

  5. Anne 5

    Wow! I like your predictions – straight and to the point. And they are likely to be a darn sight more accurate than the self invented so-called MSM media experts.

    As for Phil Twyford. Having been involved in two former election campaigns with Twyford (before he entered parliament on the Te Atatu ticket), I can vouch for his extraordinary organisational ability. So bullshit to whichever ignorant media pundit it was who recently claimed he has no managerial or organisational skills.

    Creating a modern day version of a 1935 level of house building (which also took a long time to get off the ground) is without question a massive undertaking. To expect tangible results in 12 months is absurd in the extreme.

    • veutoviper 5.1

      Well said, Anne. As you say it is absurb in the extreme to expect instant results to the housing crisis.

  6. “9. The Whaleoil site will become the defacto home for a nascent conservative party led by David Moffett which will campaign against climate change and immigration but fail to reach 5% of any poll. National will continue to have no friends.”

    Currently led by Leighton Baker so that would require a leadership change. I doubt that Moffett would be a popular replacement. He looks awful on Twitter.

    Current deputy leader Elliot Ikilei has been posting occasionally at Whale Oil since September.

    After the dismay expressed by many there over Slater’s promotion of Winston Peters in the 2017 election I’m not sure there would be a lot of enthusiasm for WO becoming a champion of one small party with very little chance of getting anywhere near 5% – unless the aim was to take some National Party support to try and ensure they don’t succeed in 2020.

    And there would likely be significant conservative voter resistance to being promoted by the blog that destroyed any chance of survival of the Conservative party under Colin Craig.

    But with Slater sidelined since his stroke it’s difficult to predict what will happen there.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      I am referring to “a” conservative party not necessarily the current party although some sort of take over may be engineered.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Though PG would be right about Moffett. Ikelei has potential with conservative Pasifika voters in south Auckland but how many Palagi tories would support him?

        Wonder if Bob McCockring is available?

  7. Gosman 7

    Number 11 is hilarious

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Let’s see, there will be a Parliamentary vote, there is no majority for a hard Brexit and there is no majority for a soft Brexit. So how else does it end? And do you really think the electorate would give the tories another term?

      • Nic the NZer 7.1.1

        What’s a hard (or a soft) brexit?

        My current working definition, which I had suggested to others are the definition, was that a hard brexit plan that the pundit using the term, has a negative opinion of. Maybe you can improve on that as that definition appears vacuous?

        • mickysavage 7.1.1.1

          My understanding is that “hard Brexit” refers to a no EU deal Brexit.

        • Craig H 7.1.1.2

          My understanding of the difference between a hard and soft Brexit is whether the UK will continue in either or both the customs union and/or freedom of movement (e.g. Norway) – soft is being in one or both of those, hard is being in neither but still having an agreed outcome, so some sort of trade deal, customs agreements and other matters.

  8. Ed 8

    I hope many of your predictions are correct, especially Number 11. Labour under Corbyn’s election will be a massive blow to the neoliberal cult.

    Bomber Bradbury also put put out his predictions, which are a lot more gloomy. He even calls them ‘Pessimistic Predictions ‘.
    Sadly, I feel most of his forecasts are more likely to occur, but I’d be very happy if he were proved wrong. I am not as hopeful about him as climate change, though.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/01/03/pessimistic-predictions-for-2019/

  9. Wayne 9

    Some of these predictions are not so much predictions as wishes.

    For instance, #8 and #11.

    To take #11. While May not get her Brexit through, I can’t see the DUP and Conservative MP’s voting the conservative govt out through a confidence vote against the government, so that they can let Jeremy in. While I know Standardnistas think every conservative person is completely stupid, I am pretty sure the Conservative and DUP MP’s are not that stupid.

    If May’s deal doesn’t get through, it is much more likely there will be a no deal Brexit. In that case the UK and the EU will do emergency work rounds. From everything I read, that is where it is heading.

    The UK is not going to be cut off from Europe as if it was WW2. Trade will continue, planes will fly, currency transfers will happen, people will travel.

    • Ed 9.1

      I think the same criticism could be made to the corporate media’s predictions.
      However, there is no way Martin Bradbury’s forecasts are what he would want to happen.
      Which makes them interesting.

      • Wayne 9.1.1

        I think you mean mickysavage’s predictions, or perhaps you aren’t referring the micky’s Brexit prediction.

    • Nic the NZer 9.2

      Pretty unanimous of you there, letting Mickey off the hook for a big call on the UK.

      Also something which was pretty obvious regarding brexit before the event, brexit was never a big deal as, “The UK is not going to be cut off from Europe as if it was WW2. Trade will continue, planes will fly, currency transfers will happen, people will travel”.

      • Nic the NZer 9.2.1

        Edit: magnanimous not unanimous.

      • Wayne 9.2.2

        Some of the predictions for a No deal Brexit, prophesy that Britain will hardly be able to import or export anything, that all flights to and from Europe will cease, and the Britons will all have to leave the EU.

        A number of EU diplomats have told me that the UK won’t be able to trade on WTO terms (or any terms at all) anywhere in the world because every member of the WTO has to agree to the new UK tariff schedule. And if any one member objects, all other nations have to follow that lead. Similarly that no flights would be able to take place between the EU and the UK. I suggested that most nations will not let Spain or any other EU member dictate the trade policy for the rest of the world, and the EU is being foolish if they think that. I said the EU should not try to pretend that Brexit is the equivalent of WW2.

        I appreciate that there is a view that if parliament does not vote for anything (that is, no majority for the May deal, or for no deal, or for a second referendum, or anything else) that means the UK stays in the EU. In fact it is much more likely that the March 29 exit just happens. Parliament has already voted for that.

        However, I imagine some remainers will commence legal action to stop the exit. Would the court consider it should impose a solution of the UK staying in?

        Quite a lot for MP’s to consider in the next two weeks as they come up to the vote on May’s deal. No-one at this stage can predict the ultimate outcome. But I doubt a new election will happen. That would require around 15 Conservative MP’s and the 10 DUP MP’s to knowingly invite a new election which Corbyn may well win. I don’t see them doing that.

        • Nic the NZer 9.2.2.1

          Its been apparent to me for a while that “brexit” is no big deal and the hyperbole regarding what will happen when it comes into effect is just that. This follows on from the previous hyperbole regarding what was apparently going to (and has not) happened if there was a yes vote in the referendum.

          I think I can now understand this better however as for much of the present government their world is actually coming to an end, and the UK government is quite literally self destructing. Just that this clearly wasn’t the consequence they suggested for the yes vote in the referendum.

  10. soddenleaf 10

    Unions holding employees to ransom… …strange when union’s were foregoing pay rises nobody was saying employers were holding employees to ransom, you’ll be fired if you dare demand a pay rise. Seem our basic press narrative is pro employers because everyone knows starting a business is so resource sapping that if the existing business dare get any competition they goto the wall…

    We the people, of the people, by the people.

  11. Visubversa 11

    Most of us old Unionists remember Shane Te Pou. That is why we don’t give him any creedence what so ever.

  12. jam tomorrow 12

    Tracy Watkins and Shane te Pou , two political commentators for whom the purveying of fake news is how they earn their keep – two people who have ‘favourites’ and put personal grudges above intelligent analysis and unbiased reportage.
    Shame on them both.

  13. Pete 13

    When you’re Tracy Watkins and you know there’s a serial leaker, or leakers, you have to say they’re firing on all cylinders and Bridges deserves credit.

    Look at all the fodder that provides her and her colleagues!

  14. Jackel 14

    With the global economy slowing dramatically it will be a good year for pessimists. The more pessimistic the more accurate. So I predict Winston will have a bumper year.

    • Ed 14.1

      Bomber Bradbury has made some very pessimistic predictions.
      Global crash, the rise of a far right Party in NZ, ….

  15. Darien Fenton 15

    The big challenge for the commentariat in 2019 (and us) is having a sensible debate on tax reform, without the headline crap we’ve seen so far. I expect “commentators” like Shane Te Pou, who maintains he should be paying more than others (in his opposition to universal govt policies) to show us what he’s made of. My fear is the conversation will be limited to a “don’t like it” poll driven kind of nonsense. It will also be up to use to step up the debate to another level and not get freaked out by a conversation that is long overdue.

    • Ed 15.1

      The biggest challenge for the commentariat ( and us) in 2019 is to transform the issue of climate catastrophe from debate to meaningful action,

      Action 2. Restrict the left lane of all town and city motorways and dual carriageways for buses. Start this in February.

    • greywarshark 15.2

      Darien
      Where is there a discussion on the sort of tax changes that are wanted? Is there one where there is an opportunity for people to put up ideas, explain and debate them? While the wise old heads sit around looking at the effect of every change on every sector of the business and financial sectors, I think there should be a cogent argument coming from the bottom earners and strugglers of society. It has to be listed, with bullet points, an anecdote or two for each example, and perhaps a quiet Man or Woman of Steel, perhaps both so that every corner is covered.

      Has Susan St John and the Child Poverty Group got something going

      I think that tax changes that hurt the poorer person most are the ones that need dealing to. i am particularly hot about the way that a single parent who is on the benefit and who earns, has such a low threshhold of earning allowed. Then above that the rate that the benefit gets knocked back, and the fact that the benefit which is net, used to be decreased $1 for $1 gross from earnings (ie before tax).

      This sort of thing isn’t new. How can pressure be put on this bunch of self-satisfied self-important suits to attend to the unreasonable level of tax on the strugglers?

      • Darien Fenton 15.2.1

        Greywarshark : good points. I think many are disconnected from any discussion on tax. Im hoping with the release of the final tax working group’s report, there will be an opportunity for real engagement. But honestly, I fear it will become a CGT focussed argument, with the MSM and National doing the running.

    • Sacha 15.3

      We need clear and repeated messages about the benefits of taxes, not just the costs (which is all the opposition will be focusing on).

      • Jum 15.3.1

        ‘benefits of taxes, not just the costs’

        Very good point, Sacha.

        • Sacha 15.3.1.1

          Thank you.

          • Jum 15.3.1.1.1

            Sacha,
            In a 2014 election campaign meeting the act candidate tried to badmouth the Labour candidate on taxes. Several of the audience called out, impulsively from points around the room, so not just me, that taxes achieve public good. Several people also clapped in support.

            That shut him up!

            Left me with a big grin on my face for the rest of the evening. I had evidence that I wasn’t completely on my own in a nat stronghold.

      • Darien Fenton 15.3.2

        Yes indeed.

    • Nic the NZer 15.4

      The conversation also needs a sensible understanding of the economics around government spending and deficits. This is due to the fact that the government of NZ (like many governments) has no spending constraints and can always spend without collecting additional taxes. This in turn is due to the government (through the reserve bank) issuing the NZ economies currency itself.

      Ex Reserve Bank staffer says as much, its just how central banks work and ours is ultimately controlled by parliament.
      https://croakingcassandra.com/2018/02/09/parliament-should-fund-the-reserve-bank-annually/

      So there are no inherent constraints requiring that additional taxation be collected. On the other hand there will be some implications for the NZ economy to the government spending more relative to its tax take. First off the NZ GDP (a measure of the NZ economies total income) will be higher because government spending is a positive component of GDP. NZ private sector savings will therefore be higher as well, and the programs purchased by government spending will consume more of the physical constraints on the NZ economy (in particular as available workers). There is also the possibility that the NZ economy will become fully employed and will run into inflationary resource constraints at this point the government should probably look at collecting more tax (or reducing the most frivolous spending) to counteract its influence.

      Considering good fiscal policy it would also be worth understanding that the private sector on average wants to run a small surplus of income, due to its requirement to save retirement funds. This surplus is largely a mirror image of the governments deficit, so on average the government should expect to run a small deficit to accommodate this.

      The main upshot of all this is that if there are additional spending programs needed these should be pursued directly by the political parties without a prior requirement to campaign on increasing taxation (which often defeats the political movement). A political campaign to increase taxation needs to justify itself on its own grounds without reference to promised spending programs, as these require no additional taxation to begin with.

      • greywarshark 15.4.1

        Thanks Nic the Nzr – this side of taxation and internal resources being available for use in NZ for the peeps purposes is something we should get our heads around. The idea that all money is created by putting a value on something that is held at a certain level so that it is not freely and widely disseminated is what we should be taught at primary school.
        Then the idea of creating a certain number of things in the country, using some internal mechanism of paying for it, that is factored into the government’s acoounts and keeps in balance would be understood. And when understood could be better expressed than I have done.

        • Nic the NZer 15.4.1.1

          I prefer to think of it as similar to a ticketing system. The government both issues and collects the tickets (NZ$ currency) according to some rules and departmental preferences. This analogy makes it easy to understand how the system works, and for analogy we can understand why nobody approaches the train ticket booth anticipating that the station will run out of tickets just because they didn’t clip enough of them recently (the ticket issuer doesn’t have a budget constraint).

          The problem seems to arise because this common sense is not explained directly enough in teaching. It needs to be explained directly as most of us never get to see or experience how the ticketing system works, apart from as a ticket users point of view. This then feeds into not having to explain further assumptions made by the economics profession, such as monetary neutrality (e.g you can assume that the monetary economy functions just as a barter economy without money would (an assumption for which there is no credible scientific evidence)).

          It would also help if the monetary system was reformed is some ways to make what is happening more obvious. For example the government should just stop issuing debt and instead legislate to have an overdraft account with the reserve bank (which would be a fully equivalent system to how it works today but one which makes it obvious how this works).

  16. R.P Mcmurphy 16

    Ten out of ten aint bad Micky S.

  17. Bored 17

    Labour loved after passing the CP-TPP? I seriously doubt that and the real problem is going to be the support they need from alliance partners who I suspect are going to nose dive in the polls as their voters realise there is little to be gained as their vote ends up supporting neo liberalism as touted by both National and Labour. Many like myself will simply stay home come 2020.

    Hardly ever come here anymore and I think this will be the last time.

    • Jum 17.1

      That’s sad Bored. I didn’t want the CP-TPP either, but it went through. The public backlash of less than xxx people did not sway the general population into marching in the street or contacting their MP.

      The advantage to the backlash, though, was to encourage the now Government to try to weaken the bad stuff nats were happy to sign off on. We also have to remember that the Labour Government promised to consider the well-being of ALL New Zealanders. That includes people whose philosophy we don’t like.

      What I think is sad, Bored, is that you will not continue to fight to bring better things for New Zealanders. I’ll be sorry to lose you, whoever you are, whatever your political leanings.

      Water is something that far more New Zealanders care about. Let’s fight to preserve that taonga from the greedy.

    • Nic the NZer 17.2

      When the opportunity presents Labour have traditionally excluded their minor and more left wing partners from actual government. I believe this strategy is trying to stave off as long as possible some of their more minor partners from overtaking Labour and what remains of Labour afterwards becoming a minor partner. The only way this period is going to come to a close is when these minor parties transition into the leading parties in government.

      In a similar vane I don’t expect the government to do anything about reducing the 5% threshold for a party to get list representatives in.

  18. Here’s a song to sum up the ChiNational party’s infighting for the foreseeable future…

    The Featherbrain Championship – YouTube

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