PSA broadens tax debate

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, June 24th, 2008 - 19 comments
Categories: tax, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

It’s good to see the PSA broadening the public debate on tax cuts with a UMR poll showing the majority of Kiwis don’t want bigger tax cuts if they come at the expense of public services.

To summarise:

  • 71% of New Zealanders would prefer to keep taxes at current levels than have higher user charges for public services.
  • Only 33% would support tax cuts larger than those in the Budget if that meant cuts to public services or an increase in government debt.
  • Just 23% preferred paying higher user charges to fund larger tax cuts.

The PSA has also asked parties to explain how they plan to pay for tax cuts without cutting public services or increasing borrowing. As expected, National continues to insist it can do so by eliminating $3 billion of public sector ‘waste’ – something The Standard‘s waste-o-meter has repeatedly shown to be impossible.

Unless, that is, National thinks ‘waste’ includes the wages and conditions of the PSA’s 55,000-strong membership.

19 comments on “PSA broadens tax debate”

  1. Dark Watcher 1

    The PSA’s membership are useless cardigan-wearing bureacrats. Sack the lot of them and use the money to cut my tax bill. Pity they’ll all be unemployable in the private sector after years of leeching off the state’s tit. A good round of benefit cuts will put paid to that.

  2. mike 2

    What a joke. Look at the framed question…

    “As you may be aware, the recent budget included tax cuts costing ten point six billion dollars
    over the next three years. According to Treasury, the surplus is now gone and larger tax cuts
    would require the government to increase debt or reduce spending on public services. Would
    you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose larger tax cuts if
    they meant increased debt or reduced spending on public services.”

    Why did not just ask ” Fact: John Key eats babies. Do you want John Key to babysit your kids?”

    A bit like the sensible sentencing trust doing a survey on parole. Pointless

    [what’s actually incorrect about the question? There is no surplus. The money has to come from somewhere. SP]

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    Hmm, I’m not sure about that, Dark Watcher. Someone dim enough to say that cutting benefits will “put paid” to unemployable ex-public servants (an entirely unintelligible couple of sentences) doesn’t sound like they are capable of generating a tax bill in the first place.

    DW, do you think the DIA employees who helped put paedophiles behind bars, for example, are useless? Have you ever got a passport? Ever had an x-ray? Needed care for your disability? Used any form of tertiary institution? The latter I doubt, but I’m sure most of the others will come in handy for you one day. Don’t knock the people who will help you out.

  4. T-rex 4

    Dark Watcher – Go play in traffic.

    Mike – Yeah, sure is a prick when reality intrudes on fantasy. Who knew tax cuts meant the govt had less to spend! Colour me shocked.

    Don’t be ridiculous. John Key doesn’t eat babies. Not for free anyway. What do you think he is, some kind of altruist?

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    Mike, that’s actually the truth, sorry if it’s not what you want to believe but I can’t help you. If you want a real (as opposed to made up) version of a stupid question, try this (petition 1).

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    ‘ Fact: John Key eats babies. Do you want John Key to babysit your kids?’

    If it was fact that JK ate babies, what would be wrong with that question Mike?

    Or are you saying that the surplus is not gone?

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    PB – maybe he means eating veal or lamb. That wouldn’t be the reason I wouldn’t want Key to babysit my kids.

  8. Draco TB 8

    What a joke. Look at the framed question

    Oh Noes, they actually provided people with the information needed to answer the question intelligently.


  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    …or Australian babies

  10. Just received an email from a friend who used to work for the public service. Quote:

    “Excess of riches ( budgets) means lots of room for pet projects and development of a silo mentality. Business areas within large departments build their own internal service teams mirroring the function provided elsewhere but of course with own business slant to justify the roles created.”

    I worked in the public service myself back in the 80’s and this kind of empire building was the norm. A mangers salary was determined by the size of their establishment: more underlings equals more money. That is a no-brainer way to encourage duplication and waste.

    This is why government spend is around 50% of GDP.

    If you want to see the kind of waste that has been going just have a troll through the Green Party website 🙂

  11. gobsmacked 11

    The question is far less ludicrous than the usual media nonsense. An online poll asking if people want $20 or $50 or $100. A TV vox pop asking people if they’d like more money (amazingly, they say yes!). We’ve had months of this, without context, without cost. Economics as game show.

    Still, if people want to believe they’ll get something for nothing, let them have the government they deserve. It’ll be a short one.

  12. mike 12

    “According to Treasury”
    So now is agood time to listen to Treasury is it guys?

    It was an ideological burp when Treasury said Cullen should cut taxes – you cannot have it both ways.

  13. Tane 13

    Bryan, the fact you have to make your arguments based entirely on unverifiable anecdote says a lot about the quality of your arguments.

    Here’s a challenge – find me $3 billion of verifiable examples of waste, then we’ll talk.

  14. Joker 14

    How about this as a question?

    Despite the best global economic environment in a generation the Government didn’t see fit to offer tax cuts in their nine years of power. Only impending obliteration at the ballot forced them to provide cuts in 2008.

    Should tax cuts have been given earlier?

  15. Tane 15

    The question was about the trade-off between tax cuts and public services – a question of fact. Yours is a political rant followed by a whinge.

  16. rave 16

    Can you explain to me why this govt taxes the food out of childrens’ mouths while it allows Aussie owned banks to evade taxes to strip billions from those same childrens’ futures?

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    No rave, I can’t explain what does not happen, for the reason that it does not happen. Stink eh?

  18. lprent 18

    Joker: You obviously don’t know how to read budgets. Perhaps you should learn.

    Despite the best global economic environment in a generation the Government didn’t see fit to offer tax cuts in their nine years of power.

    Over that period Cullen managed to remove all long-term debt from the governments books. That is to say the debt that your parents (or even grandparents) incurred on your behalf in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    It was spent mainly on Think Big (which turned out to be Think how to waste money), SMP’s (how to increase the sheep population of NZ), and paying for jobs that weren’t really jobs.

    This was effectively finally paid off in the 2007 financial year. Guess why Cullen was finally willing to have tax cuts in 2008.

    Please please learn some accounting – your ignorance is appalling. Hell even reading Cullen’s old budget speeches would have told you that even if you couldn’t read numbers.

  19. burt 19

    $82.5m can be saved by removing the $1,500 bonus payment to PSA members each year. There is a start.

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