When did telling the truth become a mistake?

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, April 15th, 2010 - 71 comments
Categories: gst, john key, phil goff - Tags: ,

In Phil Goff’s shoes, would I promise to reverse National’s GST hike, even knowing that National might leave me in a position where that isn’t possible?

If I was an unprincipled character, yes. In fact, it would be a classic John Key move: make a rock solid promise, then break it a year later claiming new information (which he had at the time he made the promise), get applauded for being a pragmatist.

That’s exactly what happened with National’s 2009 tax cuts, you’ll recall.

But a principled person can only say one thing and that’s what Goff is saying: ‘we don’t want GST to go up, we oppose it completely. If National does put GST up, when we become government we try to see if it is affordable to reserve it but it will depend on whether that is responsible given the government’s finances at the time’.

It’s a funny old world when political commentators on the Right, who supposedly are all about accountable government, will pillory a politician for being straight up with the public, rather than telling them what they want to hear with no intention of following through.

71 comments on “When did telling the truth become a mistake?”

  1. Good comment.

    Only an imbecile or someone intending not to keep it would promise to cut GST in 2 years while having no idea of what the Country’s books will look like.

    You are right about the last campaign. Labour shelved its spending promises because of the financial crisis which was then very evident.

    National did not and promised tax cuts they clearly could not afford.

    Where is that $50 per week that Key promised?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It’s an easy enough promise to keep. Drop the GST down to 12.5% and put the top tax rate back to 39%. Reversal of one doesn’t preclude the reversal of the other.

      Worried about middle income? Leave their tax rate @ 33% and put the top tax bracket @ $150k. Although, if you did that you would probably need to make the top rate 45% rather than 39%.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        A bit 1 dimensional. That is why I am calling for the tax system to be rewritten. If you want tinkering keep what you have mentioned but instead of 39-45% increase find other alt sources or get the IRD to do their job properly and collect the tax that is due to the country. Then you could get by with your suggestion, but also remember there is the bonus of the Nats with depn of rentals and GSt on those who do not earn within the country e.g. tourists so there will be an addn 2.2% on tourist spend not to sure what that equates to. But this swap/replace one tax with the other will return us to thewonder years of Muldoon and requiring a phd of Tax to file any returns due to the complex nature of the system. One good thing Douglaus and Lab 85 did achieve.

  2. salsy 2

    Its time Labour stared lying. The country clearly loves a liar “hey he’s just human”. Lets get Labour lying” – Level the playing field.

  3. Herodotus 3

    Remember “FREE” child care for 3&4 year olds – but wait after we were elected free became a partially subsidy. Funny how this free cost me more in a term than for a subsidy for an MP to travel to Britain business class!!!!
    Or about the top tax bracket when being increased to 39% would apply to about 5%, how this turned out to be over 10% (including teachers,nurses etc)your perspective or the world changes.
    I have issues with many things the current regime is doing (ACC, cont LAbs policy of mining DOC land etc ), but to be realistic both major parties do it, have done it and they will increasingly do it. The reason that the minnows don’t is that they have not had the chance.
    Phils “we will see” is extremely hollow to me, there are plenty of other avenues to claw back this increase if there is the will. Say CGT, or the carbon tax effects on profitability and dividends from power generators that will be sitting in the govt piggy bank.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      When the 39% rate was put in it was only the top 5%. That the brackets crept up later doesn’t make Labour’s initial statement a lie or somehow misleading. Really you should be happy that the top bracket crept up to 10% of the population – that shows the economy is growing and people were getting higher living standards.

      Of course when Labour did move to make bracket adjustments it was lambasted as being “chewing gum” taxcuts and eventually cancelled because of this.

      You can’t have it both ways.

      Also I would suggest that a good line Labour should use about reversing the GST is that it poses a cost on business to alter software as well as prices on shelves and they don’t want to make such a decision lightly (unlike National, who apparently hasn’t given it a second thought). IMO Labour would be better off keeping the 15% GST, rising the top rate back to 38%, extending the threshold out to 150k and giving the difference as tax cuts to the lower brackets.

      • Herodotus 3.1.1

        Nice to see someone out there giving alternatives Lanthanide, the cost to business changing tax codes is min from my experience just changing a parmeter some inputs at a macro level. Costs to business e.g. those who sell “commodities” e.g. land, spec house etc that has a market value. GST goes up the net income to the organisation is 2.2% less resulting in a reduced profit or increased loss.
        tax bracket crept up yet for those who reveived cost of living increases their disposable income went down as the tax % of their income increased. This was no gain for the people, just a sly increase in tax to be siphoned off along with power increases.
        Landthanide my only concern with your suggestion $150k threashold is that it is fiddling tax system. It for me require a compro review and to reduce the management of incomes by cleaver accountants and lawyers.
        PAYE workers always get screwed under the current system BUT no one wants to fix the problem.

    • Bright Red 3.2

      The 39% tax rate was well signalled throughout the 1999 campaign and the 20 hours free was always 20 hours free numbnuts.

      • Herodotus 3.2.1

        Bright Red no need to get aggressive. Go to any child care free is not free there is a scale as the the subsidy generally covering a couple of dollars a session. So for many who are paying $000 per term for less than 20 hours how is that free? Do not try to spin this it is not free and never was. Do you not remember that evan after the election Chris Carter (If I recall correctly) kept changing to what organisations were to be covered then it was that it was to cover only a basic level. We (Lab) got caught and did the best we can do Not delivering on the promise A Lie under this definition used on the post subject. Perhaps some should talk to chilcare organisations, Kindy Trust boards and find out what really happened and the amount of compliance work that was required.
        Yes the 39% was ignalled but it was to cover only about 5% there were to be adjustments made over time. Who lambasted Cullen a few in the paper so he pacted his toys so the rest of us could not play. Petty IMO

        • Stacktwo 3.2.1.1

          If I was paying nothing per term, I would think it was free! ‘:smile:’

          • Herodotus 3.2.1.1.1

            Unfortunatelt my $500+ term for 16-20 hours reduced to $400+ term. Since then I started to listen more intently on the words and phrasing that ALL politicians use and how they are fully aware of not telling a lie. The phrasing and usage of words certainly paints a different sub picture to the one that appears to be painted on the surface. A bit like the Rolf Harris TV days when the painting morphed into something completely different from start to end.
            They are all the same blue, red, green or any other colour. They will not tell a lie, but they also will not tell the truth.

            • Zorr 3.2.1.1.1.1

              The situation with that 20 hours free ECE and the costs that childcare centres charge, if you bothered to actually look, is that they are all “administration fees”. It seems impossible for any government to be able to prevent individual businesses charging costs under the “administration” label.

              Don’t get mad, get educated.

              • Herodotus

                After the promise was made it had to be kept, but to implement was openly communicated. From recollection it was only to cover Te reo and public kindies. But as in the area I live in when the only public Kindy was servicing 10k pop. and the waiting lists allowed for inatkes of students at 4 1/4 that wasnt going to fly, then it slowly regressed down to a stage that of today whereby it covers the basic/standard? service if the organisation wants to have say a lower teacher:student ratio of other services beyond the accepted then that was to be passed on. It could not be adonation as this would allow some to pay others not and then those who paid whould have to pay more to cover the underpayment or reduction of servicers.
                Dont get me wrong what was offered helped all, BUT it was not FREE as we all know, as with many electon promises there is no small print given that happens AFTer the electon as is “managed” to be within the guise of the promise but not delivering what many would take as the intention.
                And that to me is a major issue with electons we get these promises the media are crap in their ability to tease out details, generally we get “The details still need some working on” type of response so how can we find out that there is some small print under a great Headline promise.

  4. tc 4

    Spot on marty……sadly it appears the voters of NZ prefer a snakeoil salesman rather than some open honest toil and accountability they grew tired of under Clark and co.

    mickey’s right….who knows what state the country will be in when they’re gone and all the chooks are returning to roost…PPP/Whanua Ora/no R&D spend/high unemployment/F&S free for all iwi/frontline rehabilitation gone/night school gone/uni’s that lower standards to keep rejoyce’s pass rates where they get funding etc etc

    They’ve still got a minimun of over 12 months playtime left and a few budgets so who knows where we’ll end up.

  5. ianmac 5

    On one hand admire Phil’s honesty. But as the National Party knew being virtuous in Opposition is not an option. Win at all costs. The people soon forget the detail. The people are more interested in persona and impressions. Ask people if they can remember more than 3 details from a 30 minute political speech? Few can. They are more likely to say that he was a great speaker (passionate), or that he really believes in himself, or doesn’t he dress well. Winston does those parts well. A few important ideas sold well. Would a computer salesman reel off strings of stuff or find out what the buyer wants most and tell him what he wants to hear. John Key?

    • Lew 5.1

      Not at all costs. There’s a tradeoff to be made between tacticala nd strategic political gains. Making rash promises might result in a short-term boost, but they would cause a longer-term slump as expectations went unmet. The Key government might begin to feel this at some stage if they don’t begin delivering on some more of their undertakings to the electorate — especially around employment and tax cuts. Forcing Goff into a position where he had to promise to revert to 12.5% GST when next in office would be a huge win for the government, since he would be writing a cheque with no knowledge of whether he could cash it.

      Beyond tactical gains, to maintain you have to keep the political equivalent of your immortal soul intact. This means that if your party is about “telling the hard truth” then you tell the hard truth even though it draws fire and criticism. This means that if your party is about “sticking by the downtrodden”, then that’s who you stick by. This is why it’s folly for Labour to go down the native-bashing route, among other things: it casts doubt on who they historically are.

      L

  6. ianmac 6

    I read once of advice for public message speaking.
    Make a statement. Wait for maybe as much a minute.
    Make next Statement. ” ” ” ” ” ”
    Make next Statement ” ” ” ” etc
    The effect is that the audience has time to consider and leaves at least knowing what the messages were.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      Goff is improving in recent months.

      And I’d suggest someone takes Goff through the speed, pacing, emphasis and rhythm of Churchill’s sound files (NZ’s Winston seems to adopt a similar kind of delivery), plus Blair’s and Obama’s.

      Shadbolt has developed a certain style that draws people to listen. He had singing lessons when young.

      Get some good speech drama actors/coaches for finesse.

      Goff has the brains and ability to be a great PM. The substance is there.

      • Salsy 6.1.1

        Excellent point, i think deep down most Kiwis have labour hearts – its the working class instinct and the fact that our tall poppy syndrome helps us hate the rich and successfull 🙂 .
        I havent believed in Goff, I want to believe in him, I hope he rises up.

  7. Parnell Boy 7

    All Goff needs to say is “I can’t announce our tax policy now, I don’t know where the balance of the books will be in two years. I do make this pledge though, unlike John Key I won’t lie to the electorate about whether I will put GST up or down. I’ll stick to what I promise.”

  8. Blue 8

    At the moment, the public are quite happy to be lied to, as long as it’s John Key doing the lying.

    Smile and Wave.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      25% drop in the govt confidence rating so far this year – % saying the country is heading in the right direction has gone from 715 to 57% – wrong direction from 20% to 31.5%

      First time Nats have gone below 50% in the Roy Morgan since 2008.

      http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4483/

      It’s wearing thin.

  9. Alwyn 9

    When Labour introduced a 39% tax rate the logical effect of that was to reduce the average after-tax income. Thus the national superanuation level would have been lower than if the new tax bracket had not been introduced.
    Thos of us who wish to introduce higher tax rates on the return of a left government should be preparing our spin on why this will not be affecting the rate of superanuation.
    Luckily we have a lot of years to work out a rationale.

  10. nzfp 10

    A Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in conjuction with a Land Tax would provide all the tax revenue required to abolish GST and Income Tax and significantly reduce SME corporate tax. The benefits would be a highly competitive New Zealand Labour market that is well paid along with New Zealand products produced without the added anchor of bank interest and debt.

    Maybe this is the GST tax cut Goff is considering?

  11. Jim Nald 11

    A tax is a tax is a tax …..

    Since governments existed, when has a tax ever been good news?

    Were you born yesterday
    Obviously Grey Power members aren’t.
    Even NBR has to report it as it is – Grey Power are not convinced with the Government’s attempt to hoodwink them.

    Adjustments? Come on … but really ….. they’re false placations.
    Adjustments will vaporise and vanish.
    Whatever income we’re on, we’ll be left with higher prices that continue to increase.
    When have you seen prices of food, power and petrol truly drop in the history of consumerism?
    Prices go up, GST rides along up.
    It’s just that various wage/salary groups will be hit at different times. The poor gets hits first. Next, the middle class. Like a pandemic, a GST hike will hit those who are weaker.

    NZ voters are truly stunningly stupid.
    You get the government you deserve.
    You know Bill English is right.
    Oh, ….. and smile and wave

    • nzfp 11.1

      Hey Jim,
      A tax is a tax is not true. A land tax in conjunction with the abolition of GST and Income tax could be a zero sum gain to the government and the citizens with the Banks and Financial Property speculators picking up the bulk of the tab.

      Personally I subscribe to Economic Democracy, my advice to the Finance Minister is to abolish GST and income tax, implement a land and FTT tax and also implement a guaranteed national income that would be funded by the FTT and Land taxes and the RBNZ.

      For information on how a land tax is beneficial and necessary for the wellbeing of our nation and it’s citizens listen to American geo-onomist (geo-economist) in an interview on the Australia radio show renegade economist on 3CR “Wendell Fitzgerald — “Conflict on Interest’ on Renegade Economist, 3CR (Thursday, 27 August 2009)”[1]. Wendell Fitzgerald discusses the conflict that land owning MP’s and bankers face as well as the merits of land tax vs income tax and how a land tax a tax on unearned income, a free lunch could remove the requirement for income, value added, sales or any other tax on earned income.

      For information on how a Guaranteed National Income or National Dividend could be funded, applied and how it could be beneficial to our nation listen to former U.S. federal government analyst Richard C. Cook discuss his plan for monetary reform, including a national dividend on the GlobarlResearch News Hour “Richard C. Cook — Bailout for the People, ‘The Cook Plan.'” (09:20)[2]

      [1] “Wendell Fitzgerald — “Conflict on Interest’ on Renegade Economist, 3CR (Thursday, 27 August 2009)” http://reformthemoney.blogspot.com/2010/04/wendell-fitzgerald-conflict-on-interest.html
      [2] “Richard C. Cook — Bailout for the People, ‘The Cook Plan.'” (09:20) http://reformthemoney.blogspot.com/2009/03/richard-c-cook-bailout-for-people-cook.html

  12. Santi 12

    Unfortunately “Philler” Goff is the best thing that could’ve happenned to Key’s government. With him at the helm the opposition will hardly get any traction.

    Even the weak and lazy Key appears strong when compared to Labour’s leader.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    He could easily promise to revert GST to 12.5% if he said that he would make up the lost income by increasing taxes in other areas. But he wouldn’t want to mention the possibility of increasing taxes, now, would he?

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      That all depends T.

      People like what the state does. They really do. You can win them over with tax cuts, but only if you promise to do so without cost towards those things people like the govt doing.

      This is why NACTy types talk about efficiency, and cost cutting, and never ever get around to talking about doing the sort of thing could really allow for tax cuts. They are simply lying and rorting and stealing off their kids.

      If there are still big deficits, we need to fix them. That means either making actual cuts to services, or taking in more taxes. That’s a fight the left would be happy to have. Would that our discourse was honest enough to have it.

      The option the right has to reduce the perception of deficit, is to try the privatisation route, selling state assets. That isn’t really dealing with the problem though. The tax structure needs to be able to pay for the things the people want over the business cycle. If we need to asset sales to make up the difference, we are failing.

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        “If there are still big deficits, we need to fix them. That means either making actual cuts to services, or taking in more taxes. ”
        What then happened in 06/7 when services were being reduced and yet the govt was taking ever more taxes.
        DHB in Auck ceased conducting breast surgery for those unfortunate to have a mastectomy as a cost cutting as one example. All these were and are done on the sly so do not give me that the current govt are not the only ones doing this. Lab were as well only it was those who experienced the cuts that were made aware of be it health,education or any other dept. So how can the left have this arguement when they displayed by their actions fault as well!!!

        • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1

          Were services being reduced overall?

          I don’t really get your point. I am not the Labour party. I’ve voted for them exactly once. The Labour party is not the left. I make the arguments I make. No one else is responsible for them, and i am not resposible for, of all things, the Labour party not living up to my arguments.

          I get that you are a cynical old bastard. That’s great. But political parties, inasmuch as they pay attention to citizens, ignore cynical old bastards. Instead of demanding purity from blog commenters and parties, how about actually saying what you think should happen.

          My argument is simple. The people want the government to do certain things. They also do not like paying taxes. An honest political debate is one where that conflict is explicitly worked out.

          ie. What services will we need to cut to have these tax cuts, and shall we do that?

          A dishonest political debate is one where we are promised free tax cuts, and end up with degraded and crappy underfunded services, which are blamed on ‘the public sector’.

          What is your issue with my saying that?

          • Herodotus 13.1.1.1.1

            DHB’s use to fund breast surgery post op, but as funding in the last few years was required else where this op is now considered not essential. There is the mental strain that this puts on patients, and it has been argued (I support) that breast replacement is part of the process in dealing with cancer. The removal and kemo/Radio is only part of the treatment.
            I may be cynical but I take umbridge at OLD !!
            I agree with an honest debate on this yet there are no willing parties ( I will take it that Lab rep the vast majority on the left and are the only viable bases for the left to be rep in parliament in nos that allow for changes)
            My issue was that under Lab there was a diminishment of services yet the cup was overflowing with funds. Yet to use your phrase there was no honest debate as to these reductions they just happened.
            We do need an honest debate yet politicians of all persuasions could not “perform” this. As there needs first principles of what should the govt manage, what are suitable levels for socialservices,health, education and the countries ability to fund and how. And if we need to borrow how we are to pay how GDP will grow to cover and what are we willing to sacrafice. The give a man a fish and you feed him for a day teach him and he is feed for life. So if we have to sacrafice a hill to mine that will feed us for a life time then fine, if it is to buy a fish then no. But made apparent the expected outcomes and costs. None of this using language to hide our meanings or play the political game of finger pointing.
            In conclusion re honest debate, what is wrong with a change of tax whereby a rebalancing from tax sourced from income to a consumption base in principle?

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              My issue was that under Lab there was a diminishment of services yet the cup was overflowing with funds. Yet to use your phrase there was no honest debate as to these reductions they just happened.

              Got a link to these reductions? Because, as I understand it, Labour massively increased funding to public health.

              • Herodotus

                http://www.breastcancer.org.nz/reconstruction.htm
                But have had personnel experience also. Unfiortunately those who require reconstructive surgery it is more than just physical there are deeper levels.
                Every govt should be able to increase funding in dollar be it heath, education, roading etc as inflation alows the means for those in power to comment “we” spent more than “you” .
                How do you measure outcomes? dollars are so much easier to convey in a 30 sec segment. Espescially as with a 3 year term, it would be a pretty sad reflection on NZ for any govt not to be able to say that they have achieved a greater spend.

              • Herodotus

                ps A reconstruction costs the same if not more than an enlargement, as for an enlargement it is “adding padding” for a reconstruction there is the “padding” and the creation of the nipple and the tat colouring. One of the great marvels of plastic surgery how this is achieved.

            • Jenny 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Quoting Herodotus

              “In conclusion re honest debate, what is wrong with a change of tax whereby a rebalancing from tax sourced from income to a consumption base in principle?”

              However there seem to be some things that Labour Party supporters refuse to debate at all.

              What would be even better, would be an “honest debate” on a tax not on consumption, or income, but on speculation and profit taking by banks and financiers.

              Several commentators on this thread have mentioned a FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX. A tax that would more than compensate for the total removal of all GST.

              Yet the Labour Party cannot even move past supporting the removal of GST from food.

              And if the Maori Party bill to remove GST from food is ever drawn from the ballot has vowed to side with National and ACT to vote it down.

              Marty has said, it is a classic John Key move: make a rock solid promise, then break it a year later claiming new information.

              How about this new idea, for Goff to gain people’s attention, make a rock solid promise then keep it.

      • tsmithfield 13.1.2

        I certainly agree with running a surplus PB. I guess that depends on how we get there: By increasing the revenue stream (tax increases) or by cutting the cost side of the equation. That is probably the key difference between the left and right IMO.

        I agree that selling the silver to keep food on the table is not sustainable. However, selling assets to repay debt and thus reduce interest charges is more acceptable because it reduces ongoing costs and thus helps reduce the deficit in the longer term.

        Deciding what we should or shouldn’t sell is the tricky thing. I think that services such as power generation is better managed as a single public entity as our population simply isn’t big enough for effective competition in this area, and long-term investment is required that may not provide quick enough pay-back in commercial terms.

        However, I think there are things that should be sold. For instance, I don’t see any point in us owning a valuation company or a bank (despite what Jim Anderton may think).

    • lprent 13.2

      The demand for increased taxes will show when the public realise (as they had by 1999) that decreased revenue for the government equates into higher costs for most taxpayers.

      The Nats only have had about 18 months, we have to give them a bit more of a chance to show how stupid they are to the public….

      • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1

        This budget should do it. Increased costs to everyone on less than 100k, increased money in the pocket for everyone over 250k courtesy of NACT+MP tax changes and decreased government services.

      • TightyRighty 13.2.2

        decreased revenue for the Government equates to higher costs for most taxpayers? so disambigous lprent. high taxes don’t help shit. they just pay for more pet policies, most of which haven’t actualy improved quality of life.

        • Pascal's bookie 13.2.2.1

          Well tax cutters should have no problem identifying these ‘pet policies’ and campaigning on abolishing them.

          But all we ever hear is generalised wanking about ‘cost cutting’, and ‘backroom not frontline’, and, ‘efficeiency gains’ and such like.

          Why, it’s almost like those pet policies are actually quite popular and tax cutters don’t dare suggest that they just be abolished. That’d be a strange fucking thing.

  14. The interview on this subject with Goff by Shane Plunket ( was a disgrace.
    The most one sided interview Ive heard onpublic radio ever.
    Shane Plunket must be 100% National .Its to be hoped that there are a number of complaints

    • Blue 14.1

      Ya gotta love Plunkett

      Plunkett: So, what’s your policy?
      Interviewee: We would –
      Plunkett: You’re not answering the question!
      Interviewee: Our policy would be –
      Plunkett: Just answer the question!
      Interviewee: Well, we’re going to –
      Plunkett: So you don’t have one yet. Okay.

  15. PS to above.
    Shane Plunket has shown his colours before ,but this so called interview was outragious .Goff never had a chance . when he did manage to get a point across he was cut off. I hope there are a number of complaints. Surely Public Radio has a duty to remain independent.

    • Lew 15.1

      Yeah, Plunket was unusually harsh in this case, but it’s not like he treats the government with kid gloves.

      L

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      I didn’t hear the interview, unfortunately, but just before 9 he said that they’d gotten many many comments and emails on the interview and thanked the listeners for them. Now having seen your comments here, I can just guess the tone of the comments they received.

  16. tc 16

    Shaun plunket belongs on talkback radio…..you can see why he’s been at loggerheads with management at RNZ on and off over the years with interviews like this and his efforts to get work both sides of the public/private media fence…..is it a plane….hot air balloon…no it’s Shaun Plunketts ego.

    I don’t know why they didn’t let his tantrum/toys out of the cot resignation stand and get some fresh blood in awhile back, you don’t get much out of experienced pollys with the rottweiller approach…water off a ducks back. You catch more flys with honey.

    • Lew 16.1

      This is just bullshit. Honey gets you little to nothing except what people want to give. The best hard-news interviewers we have in this country — Plunket, Mary Wilson, Kim Hill (if only she were still in news radio!), John Campbell when he’s on form — are all known for taking a hard line on prevarication and waffle, and placing the responsibility on the interviewee to answer questions and stick to the interviewer’s agenda (rather than trying to make the interview their own). This is extremely valuable, and while at times Plunket (and ‘Scary’ Mary) go too far, most of the time they succeed in extracting from these people the things they don’t want to talk about, which are much more important than the things they do.

      L

  17. ianmac 17

    Parnell Boy: To be truthful is to retain integrity. OK.
    Prisons are being discussed elsewhere. Many MP’s KNOW what would cut prison numbers and what would reform Law and Order. How honest are they if they fail to speak out and be honest? How brave are our MP’s? Would it be too politically disasterous? What does it mean if they stay silent and yet call virtue in being honest on GST?

  18. tc 18

    And exactly what did Plunkett extract from Goff with his style that otherwise wouldn’t of been offered if he allowed him to finish…….

  19. gingercrush 19

    Goff got exactly what he deserved with the Plunket interview. The figures he gave at that speech to Grey Power were proven to be bullshit. Before Goff was introduced it was stated they’d be talking about the changes to GST and how they affect senior citizens. Yet Goff didn’t even want to talk about that because he got caught lying. Something Marty G and half a dozen other idiots in here can’t seem to comprehend. So instead of talking about that Goff decided to blah on about how Key didn’t signal GST before the election. He just looked pathetic in the process.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 19.1

      Did Key say during the election campaign he would raise GST ? In fact he said he wasnt going to raise it.
      Even worse he raising GST to cut tax. Which is even worse as the ‘tax cut’ is eroded by increased wages..

  20. Whatever 20

    “But a principled person can only say one thing and that’s what Goff is saying: ‘we don’t want GST to go up, we oppose it completely. If National does put GST up, when we become government we try to see if it is affordable to reserve it but it will depend on whether that is responsible given the government’s finances at the time’.”

    Sounds awfully like “I’m indecisive, but right now I’m not too sure”…

    Blah Blah Blah – is that guy really the best Labour can come up with?

  21. What’s wrong with Labour?
    The rich pricks are without clothes exposed as parasites and cons. Even former Ministers up before the courts charged with lying to investors. All fakers, fraudsters and fancy fuckers of whales and nuclear powers and the people of Auckland.
    And yet Labour doesnt seize the chance to burn their clothes. They may even want to try them for size like the founders of the ACT party.
    What price principles? GST is robbing kids of food. Cutting the top tax rate is killing kids in the mental health system. Isnt life before death a principle?
    GST should be wiped out on everything but luxury items. Tax cuts for rich should be reversed immediately. All land speculation taxed for capital gains. A Tobin Hood Tax.
    The workers who are getting screwed in this country are the big majority of voters and yet the party with the name Labour still sucks up to the rich pricks system. No wonder workers stayed home on in their 10s of thousands last election day. What worker wants to vote for a me too tory?
    Who cares about deficits? Only the bosses because they know that they are a big IOU that they from the profits that they stole from our labour in the first place.

    • SHG 21.1

      What the f*ck happened to “AXE THE TAX”? You know, the big red bus…?

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      Actually, the capitalists love deficits – guess who’s loaning the government money at interest and has no risk?

      The government should never, ever, borrow money. If they need more than what they get in taxes – print it. Just so long as there’s a reasonable amount of money taken out of the system to balance the amount printed there will never be an issue with excess inflation.

  22. gnomic 22

    The man whose name for the record is Sean Plunket (quite a few people don’t seem to know that) is the reason I don’t usually bother with Morning Report these days. He’s a member of the pointless badgering school of interviewers, but the real trouble is he only has one trick to trot out so most of the political regulars don’t have much trouble fending him off. Surely about time he tested his market value elsewhere in media land. Easily the most annoying Morning Reporter in living memory apart from the utterly dreadful Mike ‘Destined to Greatness’ Hosking who as recent history has shown really was made for talkback.

  23. randal 23

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    rather than being a government in waiting this government is just warming the benches untill a real government arrives. by real I mean people who are in the game for public service and not just a bunch of upstart arrivistes.
    it seems national are already mentally in opposition as they know that there polices and actions are incommensurate with serving the best intereasts of all people and not just their own.

  24. Jenny 24

    Headline.

    Politician tells the truth,”You can’t trust anything I promise you, I am a politician.”

    Why can’t Goff promise to repeal the increase in GST?

    Conditions may change.

    OK.

    Conditions could get worse, then those most hurt by the rise in GST will benefit more by it’s repeal.

    Conditions could get better, so the government could easily afford to cut the rate of this regressive tax without out even having to tax the rich more. (ie replacing the cut in GST with a progressive tax)

    What could possibly change that would make such a promise impossible for Goff to keep?

    Can anyone answer that question?

    Would you like to have a go Marty?

  25. Jenny 25

    You could hear a pin drop.

  26. Jenny 26

    Whenever did we lose the old fashioned tradition of debate?

  27. Jenny 27

    It occurs to me Marty that you are to quick to rush to Goff’s defence of his refusal to commit to reverse the increase in GST with the spurious argument that things might change on Labour becoming the government.

    You might think that I am being a bit harsh in calling your defence of Goff’s position on the GST rise as spurious, but taking your argument to it’s logical conclusion, if the change in the circumstances you allude to are big enough, Goff on becoming Prime Minister could even support a further rise in GST if these same circumstances demand it.

    Because of your sudden lapse into silence, I imagine that you and other sincere Labour Party supporters are struggling to come up with a logical excuse for Goff’s position. In the wake of this vacuum I and the public are left to speculate on Goff’s reasons for opposing a GST in opposition but possibly supporting it in office.

    When left to speculate on imponderables most of us, whether consciously or not, use the technique known as Occam’s Razor which holds that the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

    Unfortunately in this case the impression given, is that Goff supports the rise in GST to 15% and is reluctantly opposed, or at best half heartedly opposed to the increase.

    This is not the campaign start needed to lead the Labour Party back into office.

    What is needed is a leader who will electrify the electorate by making a rock solid promise to repeal the rise, with the intention of keeping it, and the ability to explain why. Let the Nacts try and impugn your integrity if they wish. Why should the left be making excuses for continuing regressive taxation increases on gaining office. It makes the left look weak and indecisive and uncertain.

    • Draco T Bastard 27.1

      Unfortunately in this case the impression given, is that Goff supports the rise in GST to 15% and is reluctantly opposed, or at best half heartedly opposed to the increase.

      Unfortunately, he probably does. Labour is a centre-right party and is no longer a party of the left, a party for justice and equality for all. As a centre-right party, they believe in capitalism and yet capitalism is failure. This is easily seen as more and more wealth is funnelled to fewer and fewer people.

      GST needs to be axed and progressive taxation re-introduced.

      • Herodotus 27.1.1

        DTB I hope my link regrading the cutting of services re brease reconstruction was of some benefit.
        Is Lab centre right not because the centre point of left:right not moved to the left, so what was left not is centralist?

        • Draco T Bastard 27.1.1.1

          Your link on breast reconstruction showed what happens when governments don’t tax enough to pay for government services. Governments not taxing enough is generally an action of the right.

          The Labour Party moved significantly right during the 4th Labour government. This shift moved the centre to the right, not the left. They haven’t moved back yet although they have been making some motions to do so.

          I use this as a standard to judge these things on. It’s not particularly accurate (I certainly have some reservations about the questions used) but it is a constant.

          Is Lab centre right not because the centre point of left:right not moved to the left, so what was left not is centralist?

          I have no idea what you actually said in this sentence.

          • Herodotus 27.1.1.1.1

            There is no stanrard or line in the sand. So what would you suggest is a basis for progressions/regression from where the centre point is. As this shifts like the sand on the beach.
            Re govts not taxing enough is that not the basis of most posts. The source of funds and what is “expected” from govt to utilise this tax on. Or what should govts duty be and on that how much will ity costs and where does this revenue come from, and what is an acceptable contribution business and individuals should be expected to pay?
            Alt this is how much tax we are able to collect how should we spend this?

  28. Jenny 28

    If Labour argue that a rise in GST to 15% is bad while they are in the opposition. Why could it be good if Labour were the government?

    What say you Marty?

    • Marty G 28.1

      I agree. But they’ll still have to see how they can afford to reverse it once they’re in power. and they can’t make that decision now, the election is still two budgets away.

      • Jenny 28.1.1

        And if each of these two budgets are worse than the last one?

        Surely the need to reverse the GST rise will need to be done, more than ever?

        If things improve, doesn’t this then remove any excuse why it couldn’t be done?

        What other reason could there possibly be, for not making this decision now?

        (Apart from secretly supporting taking more of the tax burden off the wealthy)

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