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Possible $1.5b in tax cuts in 2008

Written By: - Date published: 2:55 pm, December 18th, 2007 - 43 comments
Categories: tax - Tags: , ,

From Stuff:

Cullen said “uncertainties” still existed, but Treasury had “significantly” lifted its revenue forecasts which meant the $1.5b in tax cuts in addition to more spending could be factored in to the budget.

“This figure is very soft as no decisions have been taken on the timing, size, shape or scope of our personal tax cuts,” Cullen said.

Cullen has also reemphasised that:

“I can say, however, that the Labour-led government’s personal tax cuts will meet the four tests that I have previously outlined. We will cut personal taxes:

– Without borrowing to do so
– Without cutting services
– Without exacerbating inflationary pressures
– Without creating greater inequalities in our society”

Cullen’s release is here.

43 comments on “Possible $1.5b in tax cuts in 2008”

  1. dave 1

    Heg guys have you seen the polls lately? Key is preferred PM

  2. Tane 2

    Thanks Dave, there’s a thread for that conversation over here:

    Polls

  3. Kimble 3

    Without borrowing to do so – National wouldnt have, the truth nobody has ever suggested borrowing to fund tax cuts

    Without cutting services – National wouldnt have but they would have worked to increase the efficiency of those services so that the money is spent better, something labour obviously doesnt care about, all that matters to them is the amount of money that is spent

    Without exacerbating inflationary pressures – they have as much chance as National would have in this endeavour

    Without creating greater inequalities in our society – Note they didnt say reducing inequalities.

  4. I agree with Kimble that both can hold with tax cuts. In regards to the other two points, I have a couple of questions I would like to be enlightened about.

    “”¢ Without exacerbating inflationary pressures
    “¢ Without creating greater inequalities in our society”

    What do we define as inequalities? How do we achieve both of these by only using tax cuts, or do we require a change in the composition of spending as well?

  5. Sam Dixon 5

    Matt Nolan –
    “”¢ Without creating greater inequalities in our society”

    What do we define as inequalities?”

    Some people have heaps more than others.

    If you cut tax for rich people more than poor people you will increase inequality.

    “How do we achieve both of these by only using tax cuts, or do we require a change in the composition of spending as well?”
    you misconstrue Cullen’s points, he’s not tlaking aobut ‘solving’ inflation or inequality, he’s talking aobut not making htem worse with tax cuts.

  6. Billy 6

    Fuck. United are backtrackingon support of the EFB.

  7. Tane 7

    Without borrowing to do so – National wouldnt have, the truth nobody has ever suggested borrowing to fund tax cuts

    Kevin List: How much will we be borrowing, in a hypothetical universe?

    John Key: We did some calculations prior to the election. You may remember we originally had said we thought over the term of the first, or over the period of the first term of the National Government, we were likely to borrow $3 billion more than what the current projections had been for the Labour Government.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0606/S00216.htm

  8. “If you cut tax for rich people more than poor people you will increase inequality.”

    Maybe, it really depends on the incidence of tax. The more inelastic demand is for a certain type of labour, then the less of the tax cut that labour group ultimately receives. As demand for highly skilled – highly paid labour is highly inelastic, a greater tax cut for these groups may not lead to higher income groups having a larger increase in income.

    Furthermore, what do we mean when we say cutting taxes more for the rich than the poor. If we cut everyones tax liability by 30%, the rich would get more than the poor (if the incidence of tax was equal between groups), by virtue of their higher income.

    “you misconstrue Cullen’s points, he’s not tlaking aobut ‘solving’ inflation or inequality”

    Fair point, sorry about that. However, if we were define inequality as ‘giving more to the rich than the poor’ then it seems like a difficult task to achieve that and not cause inflationary pressures. This comes from the fact that we keep inequality constant in this case by increasing the progressivity of the tax system (or in a broader sense of inequality we could leave the tax system just as progressive). However, this will increase effective marginal tax rates, reducing firms labour supply.

    Given that people will try to spend some part of their tax cut, and given that labour supply and thereby output have fallen, we will have inflation. As a result, there will by definition be a trade-off between these goals.

    If this is the case, then we cannot have tax cuts under those conditions.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    I genuinely don’t understand this ‘not borrowing to fund tax’ cut stuff.

    If a gov’t runs a deficit and cuts taxes such that otherwise there would not have been a deficit, then surely, in any sense other than the semantic they are borrowing money to fund a tax cut.

    I realise that you can put the borrowing in a seperate box marked ‘infrastructure’ or ‘kitten purchases’ or whatever and say that the deficit springs from that, but the fact remains that you have cut taxes now, and borrowed money for spending that will have to be repaid by taxes in the future. eg GWBush.

  10. Pascal’s bookie (great name by the way), I think the point is that we have a structural surplus, which means that in the long-run tax revenue will exceed spending. As a result, we can cut taxes by the size of that structural surplus, and we will not have to ‘borrow’ in order to fund it.

    You are exactly right that tax cuts beyond this, without a corresponding reduction in permanent spending, would require tax increases in the future. However, a tax cut that is the size of the structural surplus is entirely consistent with no long-term borrowing.

  11. Kimble 11

    Tane, was he talking about borrowing to pay for tax cuts?

    Nope, you dirty liar.

    “The postcard says that National would borrow wisely to pay for roading and infrastructure.”

    This is the borrowing he was refering to. Borrowing to build infrastructure is perfectly rational.

  12. “This is the borrowing he was refering to. Borrowing to build infrastructure is perfectly rational.”

    I agree with Kimble. Infrastructure is an investment that benefits future generations as well as the current one. It is fairer to borrow and spread the liability for the construction of these assets over the lifetime of the asset, then to force the current generation to pay the whole cost of the investment.

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    Matt Nolan,

    If tax levels remained the same, there would be more money around for infrastructure in the first place. Kimble is trying to distort it by saying that on one hand, we won’t borrow for tax cuts, but yes we will borrow to spend elsewhere. This is, of course, saying National wants six, not half a dozen.

    In essence – don’t cut taxes and you don’t need to borrow! Key’s spin was, I thought, a really transparent effort to muddy the waters. Seems to have worked on some…

    Now, I like your point regarding infrastructure. I had not thought of it in those terms before. However (I guess this is where I disagree :)), the cost of borrowing is always greater than that of funding a project outright. It could be construed as burdening future generations with debts to pay for what we need now – those generations will have their own needs to fund, which will only be achievable if we’ve paid our share…

    If NZ can keep up with requirements, there wouldn’t need to be a borrowing cost at all, which benefits everyone, apart from the rich private backers (who would take their cut via tolls or interest payments).

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Thanks Matt.

    I understand your point about spreading the cost of the investment over the lifetime of the asset but worry about the moral hazard involved in having politicians making the argument.

    Afterall they are after the votes now, the electorate will have moved on in 5 years (let alone 30) and it is difficult to gaurantee that the loans will always be affordable over their lifetime. Maybe ‘affordable’ is too strong a word but I hope you catch my drift. The pollies have an incentive to spend lots now, and pay for most of it later, whether or not the investment is good will not be known till later, when those pollies are gone baby gone. The electorate has a tendency to fall for it.

  15. Kimble 15

    No Matthew you are once again wrong.

    There are very good arguments for funding infrastructure with debt. Dont blame me for your lack of understanding.

    The fact remains that Key wasnt saying that his government would borrow to turn around immediately and pay it out as tax cuts. Quite frankly it is retarded to even suggest that he did.

    “the cost of borrowing is always greater than that of funding a project outright”

    It depends on what else that money could be used for. If you can invest and get a rate of 10%, why not borrow at 7.5% and get a free 2.5%?

    Pascal, it sounds as if you are talking about climate change measures. Plenty of moral hazard there with politicians pandering for votes now, promising all sorts of reductions in CO2, but having the day of reckoning be well past their use by date.

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    Except Kimble, in the climate change debate, the pollies are asking that voters face higher costs now for possible future benefits/lower costs. So it’s exactly the opposite. Apart from that, good analogy.

  17. Kimble 17

    Moral hazard is moral hazard. The quibble you have raised over timing changes nothing. Votes now, comeupance later. But hey, you go ahead and keep grasping at straws.

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    So even accepting your logic, which I don’t for reasons that are obvious, it wasn’t a bad analogy but rather an obvious tu quoque position. awesome.

    Lord, grant me the strength to bear the idiots that can’t be helped, the patience to help those that can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

  19. Lampie 19

    There are very good arguments for funding infrastructure with debt. Dont blame me for your lack of understanding

    Why borrow if you have the cash?

  20. Santi 20

    “Tax cuts are a path to inequality. They are the promises of a visionless and intellectually bankrupt people” said Helen Clark at the 2000 Labour Party conference.

    Wow. How times have changed! It goes to show that socialist Labour will do whatever it takes to stay in power.

    Corrupt to the bone, these people are contortionists of the lowest order.

  21. Lampie 21

    What year is it?

  22. Kimble 22

    “Why borrow if you have the cash?”

    Because paying for infrastructure isn’t like buying a house, Lampie.

    You will find a better explanation elsewhere than I can give at the moment, just do a little digging.

    The point is, Tane once again relies on misquoting Key in order to find anything objectionable to say about the man.

  23. Lampie 23

    No, it’s not like buying a house but no need to borrow if you budget and still make a surplus is there? If you borrow for other things and still give tax cuts, it really is defeating the purpose i.e. living beyound your means. Only real winner is a short term benefit to the tax payer. If you can fund your expenses within your budget and still have a little left over (well 8 billion sounds more than a little) then revenue could be decreased (revenue is a bit hmmmm wrong to say).

  24. Lampie 24

    mind you depends if we are talking long term or short. Short term yeah, speeding up projects by issuing bonds, too right. long term hmmm nah, mind you define short term 10-15 years is most likely short for a Govt.

  25. Wayne 25

    “Tax cuts are a path to inequality. They are the promises of a visionless and intellectually bankrupt people” said Helen Clark at the 2000 Labour Party conference.

    No she didn’t, she said: “Tax cuts are a path to inequality and underdevelopment in today’s circumstances. They are the promises of vision-less and intellectually bankrupt people”

    [http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=643]

    You’re deliberately misquoting Clark for political gain. How hypocritical.

  26. Kimble 26

    Lampie, you are really trying and that is good. I am not going to bother explaining why, as I said, others have done it much better elsewhere. Go find what they have said, educate yourself.

    But let the record show that Tane has lied once again. He has been caught using a quote completely out of context and then lying about what Key was saying.

  27. Wayne 27

    Kimble you’re trying hard with the “lying” tag aren’t you? Follow the link Tane has provided and you’ll find the article is entitled “Scoop Talks To Key About Tax Cuts”. It’s pretty clear any talk about borrowing for infrastructure is being done in the context of tax cuts. Stop trying to label people liars when you can’t even do your basic research.

  28. AncientGeek 28

    Actually I think that Kimble is correct in what he says about raising debt for infrastructure. However he is also wrong at a government level because of the intergenerational issues with the super system.

    The only reason for putting in infastructure is to ensure that there is a return over the longer term. ie that the return off putting it in now will pay off over the long term. Thats a classic Nett Present Value (NPV) calculation against an alternate use of the money. Typically calculating against the cash flows in present values into the safest possible investment – usually calculated as bank interest. The more risky the investment – the higher you make the discount rate.

    Since most of the return accrues in the future, then the costs should also transfer to the future generations. That allows the available cash to be used for things that have more return in the short-term.

    BTW: The reason why governments do this kind of long term investment is because businesses are typically risk adverse past the medium term, and the risk in long-term investment is high – as reflected in discount rates. Look at investments by governments before; Think Big, Marsden B, the tar-sealing of the rural road system, etc. I don’t think any of those paid back the initial investment. Others like Huntly power, the main road network, the phone system, etc have.

    However at present, the opposite applies. Currently we have incurred a future liability with a aging population and our superannuation and health system. These require that future tax-paying generations pay for the current generations when they need those services. At this point this cannot be changed to a more equitable inter-generational basis in less than a 20 years basis (even if you wanted to).

    So the best possible uses of cash now on an intergenerational basis (and NPV) is to put the money into investments that ensure that make sure that the next generations of taxpayers are not too heavily burdened in taxes by past decisions. There is a less altruistic reason for current voters as well – if the burden isn’t reduced by current voters – then you virtually guarantee a tax-payer revolt later, and a reduction in benefits.

    The safest investment is to put the money ‘in the bank’ – effectively something like the Cullen fund. The next safest investment is to do something like KiwiSaver – effectively to reduce the need to increase super because people have their own supporting investment. The risker strategies are to put investment into infastructure that means the economy is more capable of paying for it – ie education, job creation, physical infatructure etc.

    The riskiest investment of cash now is probably taxcuts because until you do it, you can’t really figure out the probable economic effects in 20 years. Therefore you have to put a really high discount rate on it. This is because there isn’t that much evidence supporting the assertion that says a taxcut will be used by the recipients in better investments or savings that benefit the economy in the long term.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    BTW: The all time best government investment in the past has got to have been the water and sewerage systems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The nett effect of these has been to increase the effective working life of the whole population, and therefore our ability to pay for everything else since.

  30. Lampie 32

    This is good too

    “New Zealand operates a simple and transparent tax system relative to other countries. Our overall level of taxation – as a share of the economy – is one of the lowest in the OECD.”

  31. Lampie 33

    BTW: The all time best government investment in the past has got to have been the water and sewerage systems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The nett effect of these has been to increase the effective working life of the whole population, and therefore our ability to pay for everything else since.

    Isn’t that more local?? As I supply equipment to water treatment which are serviced by Councils.

    Basically Kimble, roads mainly have been disregarded by Govts. past for too long and now we are paying catchup. Been able to increase allocation to these means less borrowings yeah?

  32. Lampie 34

    Or is it local just recently?

  33. Lampie 35

    Crutch of the argument is, why borrow and decrease revenue at the same time? Regardless saying we need to borrow for this or that and also we shall cut taxes at the same time. Your robbing peter to pay paul (however you say it).

  34. Kimble 36

    Wayne, Key would only be talking about borrowing money to cut taxes IF you believe that infrastructure spending should be done using ‘cash’.

    That is a separate argument. Key’s position is that it shouldnt be. This is the context that is important.

    The truth is that Tane has taken what Key said, ignored what Key meant, ignored this vital context, and is going around telling people (though not in so many words) that Key is going to borrow money to pay straight back out in taxes.

    What is that if not dishonest?

  35. Matthew Pilott 37

    Kimble, however you spin it, if he cuts taxes and then borrows to spend on infrastructure the net effect is the same. There is simply no more basic way to illustrate that.

    There are very good arguments for funding infrastructure with debt. Dont blame me for your lack of understanding.

    There’s a critical difference between understanding a concept and agreeing with it Kimble, I can’t see how you would fail to make that distinction and assume you were lying here.

    It depends on what else that money could be used for. If you can invest and get a rate of 10%, why not borrow at 7.5% and get a free 2.5%?” Amusing that you would even suggest this in the same comment in which you called another concept retarded by the way. Given this scenario, can you point me to these lenders? I want to borrow $30 million at 7.5% so I can invest it at 10%. Cheers.

  36. Kimble 38

    The example was simply to illustrate a point Matthew, that debt is not always bad. What you can do with the debt may provide a greater return than the cost.

    The only way Key would be saying what you think he is saying, would be if he believed infrastructure should be paid for using cash. Given that he doesnt, he is not saying what you think he is.

  37. Lampie 39

    Think you may have missed the point of what everyone else is saying.

    why borrow and decrease revenue at the same time?

    We borrow now to spend on infrastructure, we just don’t need to borrow as much. Key suggest $3 billion more than we are currently borrowing to spend on roads as well as reducing revenue collection. He is banking that the infrastructure will deliver the difference (plus other means such as expenditure spending).

    Bit like I cut your income but your expenses have increased while your building your rental.

  38. Kimble 40

    Consider this. Government can borrow at the risk-free rate. The cost of future payments can be brought back to todays dollars by discounting at the risk free rate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discount

    So $100m borrowed at the risk free rate and paid back over 30 years, in todays dollars, equals $100m.

    So the government can either spend $100m today, or borrow and end up paying back $100m in todays dollars.

    Think about it.

    Captcha: interfering curries

  39. Kimble 41

    Also consider,

    If the discount rate is higher than the risk free rate, then the present value of the project is actually LOWER than the cash amount to be spent now.

  40. Rumpole 42

    Wayne
    Either things have changed since 2000 to make tax cuts appropriate or they havn’t. If they havn’t then Cullens tax cuts are vote bribes. If they have then unless the circumstances changed very recently then Cullen has been lying to us about their affordability or adviseability. Bollard appears to be warning against cuts on inflationery grounds so perhaps dividing the surplus equally between all taxpayeningimmigrationrs and placing the proceeds in a personal retirement account is the way to go. Not sure if pure beneficiaries should be included as they may not have contributed so giving them a share would increase inequality with taxpayers.

  41. Lampie 43

    Still missing the point of the argument with your accounting 101 stuff, I’m sure our friends at Treasury would really have that sorted from day 1. Give them some credit, thought you might had a look at those links with the borrowing programme, even Key mentions it.

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    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
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    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    7 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
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    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago