Take the money and run

Written By: - Date published: 4:23 pm, July 24th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

I just read Gordon Campbell’s latest Scoop column about the omnibus tax bill and quickly followed it with Frog’s piece on the matter and I am not impressed.

The first reading of the government’s bill took place last night and within its myriad of dull tax stuff was a hidden barb for the quarter of a million New Zealanders who work in manufacturing.

That barb is the move to give tax breaks to manufacturers who move their production offshore. Yep. You heard right. The government will be providing New Zealand manufacturers with a tax incentive to outsource their production. Just as long as they keep their head office in good old NZ.

Sue Bradford has pointed out the absurdity of this situation most succinctly:

What the Government is proposing will give Icebreaker a tax cut for making lovely outdoor wear in China, but not Earth Sea Sky making lovely outdoor wear in Christchurch. Norsewear, that former iconic brand, will reap a financial benefit for having taken its jobs to Asia, while Swazi, staunchly staying local, will miss out.

This Bill will give tax cuts to large firms that send fish to China for filleting and packing, but not to small fishermen who process locally, and who create environmental and social benefits by not carting fish back and forth across the planet.

This Bill would give Fisher and Paykel a tax cut for the whitewear it makes in Mexico but not for the whitewear it makes in Auckland.

Cullen’s answer to this is that we will lose the whole kit and kaboodle if we don’t pay people to ship their manufacturing jobs overseas and we’ll be stronger in the long run. I’d like to see the not-so-good doctor tell that to the workers at F & P and their families.

And they wonder why people call them the red tories.

Hat-tip: Gordon Campbell; Frog

36 comments on “Take the money and run”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Thanks IB

    Are you sure they’re incentivising people to move offshore.

    While they should be free to manufacture offshore if it is in the best long-term interest of the company (I’m sure you might disagree and if I was holding your position I damn well would too)…. I find it extraordinary it’s being incentivised.

    I’ll go and have a read.

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    Once upon a time this would have been a vote winner for NZ First. Now they’re too busy whitewashing their own corruption and ineptitude. And anyway, just as the PM is prepared to hold her nose on Peters’ “donations”, he’ll hold his over this, which goes against many of its Fundamental Principles:

    Economic policy will comprise a strategy for export-led economic development… The employment of New Zealanders is our first planning priority.

    If they had any integrity – or even any shame – I’d be saying “watch them squirm as they all rise like well-trained meerkats to support this”. But they have none… they’ll support it without blinking an eyelid, because the bottom line is now nothing more than the preservation of their distorted sense of self-importance.

    There’s a market for a party opposed to this sort of policy out there for the taking…

    IrishBill says: There is. It’s called the greens.

  3. darryl 3

    What??? Surely this can’t be right? Surely it’s the smaller developing NZ companies that need the tax breaks more – otherwise where is your future growth going to come from? This seems ridiculous. Can we now negotiate with the government the amount of tax we pay if we are a big enough company?

  4. BeShakey 4

    Why not give the tax break to all NZ manufacturing companies with a NZ head office? It’d be more expensive, but would actually acheive what they are trying to, which is surely the point.

  5. Phil 5

    So… Labour is now in the pocket of big business too?

    Maybe Trav is right about this consiracy stuff!

  6. Tane 6

    I’d say they still have a strong vein of neoliberalism in them, a hangover from rogernomics. You see it from time to time in legislation like this.

  7. RedLogix 7

    Or you could just see it as one of the downsides of unrestrained globalisation.

    Anyone recall Nandor Tancos explaining how the govts of nations are being increasingly rendered impotent in the face of global interests that are either more powerful or bypass them on the one hand, and regional/cultural groupings on the other that seek their own self-determination?

  8. Draco TB 8

    Policy like this is absolutely stupid. They’d be paying people to make NZ worse off. Thankfully it’s only at the first reading – get your objections ready for the select committee stage.

  9. monkey boy 9

    I enjoyed this:
    “New Zealand’s approach to globalization is a bit like the stereotypes that people had of the Italians during World War II we’ve made an art form out of acts of surrender, and called it realism.”

  10. rave 10

    This is the logic of capitalism mates. Labour is a capitalist government which has always backed NZ manufacturing. Now the manufacturers are moving offshore, Labour is trying to serve its masters by dropping double taxing on profits.

    So while you condemn this neoliberal ‘aberration’, you applaud buying back rail etc., when this is actually socialising the manufacturers losses facing transport emissions they don’t want to pay for.
    So par for the course, privatising the profits and socialising the losses.

    Green capitalism? That’s something to behold. Manufacturers and farmers won’t pay for pollution. So who is going to pay? Those workers whose jobs the Greens save?

    Time for survival socialism.

  11. “survival socialism” – Ha! tell you what bro, you go off and do your survival socialism and then come back and tell us how it works out for you…

    Oh and Cullen should be ashamed for this shit. I very much doubt he is though…

  12. I agree Robinsod , hey rave you know where you can insert your “survival socialism”.What a sucker.

  13. vto 15

    are you fullas friends?

  14. r0b 16

    vto – If i was in to psychobabble I might describe them as “co-dependants” rather than friends…

  15. r0b -ease up on the psychotropic meds matey.

  16. Agreed dad – ‘sod depends on nobody. I’d say Dad doesn’t either.

    But back on topic – why is it that Labour seems so intent on sucking up to business when it just gets spit on by them again and again? I’m thinking lack of self-esteem – whaddya reckon r0b?

  17. RedLogix 19

    And if we do nothing manufacturing in NZ is stuffed anyhow. National seem to be opting for the ‘lets cut pay and conditions until we are competitive with China/Vietnam/Hellhole of the Day’ approach, and while Cullen’s strategy sure has a bad taste to it, but has anyone else got any better ideas?

    Seriously?

  18. r0b 20

    Don’t worry dad, with Hunter S Thompson as my spirit guide, what could possibly go wrong?…

  19. Billy 21

    And if we do nothing manufacturing in NZ is stuffed anyhow.

    There’s manufacturing in NZ?

  20. r0b 22

    I’m thinking lack of self-esteem – whaddya reckon r0b?

    I wrestle with this. In truth it is one of the main reasons I got politically active – to find out what it is that seems to go so wrong. Idealists become pragmatists, or they become extremists, Balkanised into tiny warring factions (People’s Front of Judea!) when they should be working together – witness The Standard / IS / 08wire / Frog spats we’ve had recently. I find it all very depressing.

    Anyway, focus. Labour as red tories (ech!). I think most of the answer is there in the early part of Cullen’s talk to Drinking Liberally. Our confrontational system, our short electoral cycle, our rabidly entrenched vested interests, our rather sad media, our short national memories and attention span – it all conspires to force tradeoffs between ideals and the pragmatics of staying in government and getting stuff done.

    Now Cullen is one of the MPs I know a bit better than most. He is no Tory, red or otherwise. I will personally give the man the benefit of just about any doubt when it comes to his good intentions. I haven’t caught up enough on the issues of this particular thread to make a case, but my first inclination is to believe what Cullen says. I’d wager that he’s no happier about it than some of the commenters here. But he has to balance ideals and pragmatics. He doesn’t have the luxury of being an armchair expert, who is never tested in the real world.

    My 2c.

  21. Don’t melt that 2c and make a bullet to insert in the side of your head just like your “spirit guide” did r0b.Talk about going wrong when your lonely brain cell is splattered.

  22. vto 24

    sheesh d
    i suspect there is a good heart behind that
    brutal lingo
    dingo

  23. ak 25

    Yep, bit of a swede-scratcher this one (and a turnip for the books) – Labour forced into the corner of “give us more money or we’ll piss off overseas”.

    No surprise but: old Karl predicted it way back. The logical progression of dog-eat-dog is ginormously powerful dogs – way bigger than Cully. The progression’s just sped up lately.

    Anyone who’s ever stood in the Warehouse scratching their nut as to how “they” can make a disc grinder for ten bucks knew in their heart that days like this were coming. And that days like that couldn’t last.

    Solution? Let the fat-cats piss off and instead concentrate on buffing up our enviable social and environmental house. Man really doesn’t live on bread alone: kiwis understand this.

    Let’s lead the world again – build on the proud legacy of people like JC, Te Whiti and Savage and give them more than a gimcrack toaster.

    If the ground’s right, anything will grow.

  24. “witness The Standard / IS / 08wire / Frog spats we’ve had recently. I find it all very depressing.”

    Think of it as keeping each other blog honest. Better than a tory style kiwiblog, whaleoil, cactus kate, nzconservative circle jerk.

  25. T-rex 27

    ak – I’m inclined to agree. We can’t compete on low skill manufacturing in the current environment – we shouldn’t even be trying. It’s not who we want to be anyway. Granted, we also don’t want to be unemployed and impoverished, but that’s the usual story. If people want to compete with the chinese on price, they need to be prepared to live like a chinese peasant. They’re not, so an alternative is required. I can’t see the benefit in ignoring reality.

    I can see where Cullen is coming from with this legislation. The alternative is that the companies in question will just leave altogether. Obviously there’s a significant degree of unfair competition, but no worse than that which we already face through competition with China. I think this is the best of a bad bunch of choices. As for the local fisheries etc – simple – buy local fish. If people don’t want to do that, then you have to question how serious they are about not wanting to see the little guys go under.

    We’re a nation of strong education, high literacy etc. Cutting wires to length is for robots.

  26. r0b. There’s nothing wrong with healthy disagreement. if we disagree there’s no reason not to do so openly, as long as it’s done in a constructive and respectful manner – we all still exchange emails on issues and it’s friendly.

    I think the philosophy of 08wire and ourselves (and the writers of the Standard have nothing to do with 08wire) towards politics is quite similar… in general, I think it’s we’re pro-Labour-led government but also very pro Green, a heavily green influenced Labour-led government would be what I want to see out of the coming election and I would think that applies to the other Standardistas and 08wire. I think Frog sometimes sees us and 08wire as ‘Labour’ quite distinct from Green and sees our pan-Left philosophy as, ironically, some kind of arrogant Labour control seeking and the Greens have a seep opposition to that streak in Labour… I/S I think sometimes sees us as blindly pro-Government, ie not principled, the fact that what we are interested in tends to be more the combative side of politics than the deeper stuff I/S does so well probably helps confirm that view….

    you’re quite right, r0b, that in some ways this division is between pragmatism and idealism, wanting to influence and win vs principles first… but that divide and diversity and tolerance of diversity are the strength at the heart of the Left.

  27. Rex Widerstrom 29

    IrishBill: Are the Greens opposing the Bill? Will they maintain their opposition all the way through the Third Reading if these provisions aren’t removed? If they do, I’ll take my hat off to them. But I’m not holding my breath.

    But with no stretch of the imagination could the Greens hope to pick up the high levels of support NZF once enjoyed, mainly at the expense of Labour. Those people are economic and social conservatives – they might have warmed to Rod Donald and find Jeanette Fitzsimons acceptable, but the high economic costs of spme of the Greens’ environment policies and especially the agenda of the Nandor / Bradford side of things ensures they’re unattainable for the Greens.

  28. r0b 30

    but that divide and diversity and tolerance of diversity are the strength at the heart of the Left.

    Ahh you’re an optimist Steve! Remember how badly we nearly messed up the 02 election over GE? Still and all, perhaps you’re right. Let’s hope so…

  29. Brownie 31

    Why not drop this stupid legislation, use the money to incentivise business, such as Oracle R&D, Microsoft, Motorola etc whom wanted to come here years ago and went to Ireland instead, to get back over here and use some of our great talent?

    Dumb move Doctor

  30. ak 32

    but that divide and diversity and tolerance of diversity are the strength at the heart of the Left.

    Wish you were right Steve: sadly, like r0b I think Left history since pre-1951 right through to the classic Alliance disaster paints the exact opposite picture of a recidivist defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory snatcher.

    Keep the big picture in mind and avoid even minor division at all costs: “healthy diversity” within underdog groups leads easily to rapid and alarming metastasis – a fact appreciated and exploited by divide-and-rule tyrants for centuries.

  31. Bill 33

    Redlogix has asked if anyone has any better ideas to Cullen’s attempt to make the best of a crap situation whereby corporations are able to hold governments to ransom.

    Here’s an analysis of an idea that is being realised in the real world right now. It’s too long to summarise but well worth the read.

    http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/18250

  32. Even if it isn’t possible to keep New Zealand’s 300,000 manufacturing jobs, I’d like to see a Government that tries. Which is why I’m so frustrated with Labour – on so many issues; trade, crime, immigration, environment, they’re well to the right of the political spectrum.

    Labour don’t have neo-liberal remnants, they are strongly in favour of an almost completely liberalised international free market. This does not preclude strong protection for workers, but inevitably jobs are shipped to where it’s cheapest to produce, as per economic theory. This is why the labour movement has to be international, and why the union movement supporting Labour this election is despicable. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the surprise expressed here, a lot of Labour’s friends and allies don’t realise this.

    (lprent – I can’t remember if I’m still banned, but it’s been about two weeks)

    [lprent: correct – I was otherwise engaged today. Just removed from moderation – I have to find or write a dbapp to do this.]

  33. George. Idon’t think Lynn’s looking 😉

  34. RedLogix 36

    Bill,

    Thanks. A very thoughtful link.

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    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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