Tax increases into law

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, December 11th, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: maori party, national/act government, tax - Tags:

The tax bill has just been passed into law. The Maori Party voted for it. They also voted against the Cullen amendment that would have created a tax credit to cancel ou the tax increase on low income workers.

Te Ururoa didn’t show up to Backbenches. I haven’t heard a single Maori Party MP defend their support for putting up taxes on the poorest New Zealanders. The once proud Maori Party has clearly learned National’s trick of hiding from the media when things are going bad.

The House is now debating an order of motion setting up the climate change select committee. At the last moment, National has flip-flopped and inserted at the last minute an additional clause to the committee’s terms of reference that questions the science of climate change. Hone Harawira wants an additonal term of reference referring to the Treaty but hasn’t tabled a motion to add it because National won’t support it. Wodney wins.

[correction: the Maori Party did speak once on the tax increases. Flavell spends most of his speech attacking Labour for not solving poverty. He says “It is difficult to accept that those earning under $40,000 will receive no tax cut in the first year. No Member of Parliament should be comfortable that low income families continue to struggle.” and then “We will support this Bill Mr Speaker, in honouring our confidence and supply arrangement with the National Party.” Coward]

46 comments on “Tax increases into law”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Why is this news, SP? The Maori Party’s support agreement with National is on confidence and supply issues. Tax is a question of supply.

  2. Tim. If you don’t like the topis we cover you can always go to Kiwiblog. What’s he talking about today? I haven’t looked. Boobs or something?

  3. ieuan 3

    I’ve struggled to understand how it is a ‘tax increase’ but after reading the Herald article on the bill I now understand.

    National are not in fact increasing anyones taxes they are lowering them but for some workers they are lowering them less than proposed by Labour, therefore in your mind National are increasing them.

    Kind of strange logic but things have been strange on this site since the change of government.
    [Labour’s tax changes were not ‘proposed’, they were the law. Nationa reversed those legislated tax cuts for those on low incomes. SP]

  4. ieuan 4

    ‘Labour’s tax changes were not ‘proposed’, they were the law. Nationa reversed those legislated tax cuts for those on low incomes. SP’

    They may have been the law but they had not taken effect, they were a future tax cut.

    National have replaced this with there own range of tax cuts, again spread out over time.

    Again National have not increased anyones taxes, for some they have decreased them less than they were going to be decreased. I think there is an important difference.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    That’s another way of looking at it ieuan, and a resonable one. But it’s really just a matter of opinion as to which way you choose to look at it. So saying “… National have not increased anyones taxes..” is opinion, not fact.

    My opinion is that they aren’t actually tax cuts untill the budget is ballanced at the new rates. Untill then they are just taxes deffered into the future with interest payments on the debt. Fair enough?

    One thing that isn’t opinion though is that if National hadn’t passed the law, many poor people would have a smaller tax bill coming up. Agreed?

  6. bobo 6

    The boobs are watching Nick Smith just now in the house saying that the new employment law will make employers more comfortable in employing criminals from Pari.. Laughable angry speech .

    So say you work for a company who decides before 3 months are up that actually the work load has dropped (quite probably in retail jobs) and don’t really need you, they are not obliged to give any reason or can just say bad performance as a excuse. So when you apply for your next job it looks bad on your cv through no fault of your own, you are left in limbo.

  7. ieuan 7

    Pascal’s Bookie – you could also argue that Labour progressively increased almost everyones taxes due to fiscal creep and the only tax decrease that they gave in there first 8 years of office was for wealthy businesses. When Labour finally moved to reduce personal income tax the government was no longer running a surplus and therefore they were financing those cuts from debt.

  8. rave 8

    And if you Righties want to stretch your narrow mind further, taxes are a redistribution of wealth already created by workers. This means that workers under $40,000 are going to forfeit another 700 mill to the bosses. That is what will get growth going. Lower wages and lower taxes on profits encourage investment so that GDP will grow, but off course so will profit outflow creating a bigger BOP deficit, declining dollar and rising living costs for workers.

    Result growth of profits and growth of poverty.

    Done deal. Welcome to Rogernomics Mk 2.

  9. Phil 9

    So say you work for a company who decides before 3 months are up that actually the work load has dropped (quite probably in retail jobs)

    Retail tends to be a large scale employer, and those with more than 20 are excluded from the 90-day bill.

    That said, why should ‘reduced workload’ not be a reason to make someone redundant?

    they are not obliged to give any reason or can just say bad performance

    Not true. Employers have to give a legitimate reason for letting you go, and show proof of attempts at training/upskilling, as well as showing suitable effort to redress poor perfomance.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    ieuan, what’s your point? That we all have opinions? Snap, that was my point too.

  11. ieuan 11

    Pascal bookie – actually its not ‘opinions’ its ‘spin’. There has been a fair amount of it on this site in the last month of so. Facts have taken a back seat to hyperbole and emotional bullshit.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    But dude, your argument is no less ‘spin’ laden than any other. Give me some definitions of spin and opinion that clearly show the difference between the two.

    Essentially it seems that you are arguing that no one could really hold opinions that differ from yours, so if they say they do, it’s just ‘spin’ to hide their real agenda. That’s arguing from motives and is a form of the ad hom error.

  13. Reading through the above ‘debate’ would I be correct taking the loss to lower paid workers as lost potential income? Further is that lost potential to fund greater expectations (viz post April 09) of the higher paid ..?


    Lower wages and lower taxes on profits encourage investment so that GDP will grow, but off course so will profit outflow creating a bigger BOP deficit, declining dollar and rising living costs for workers.

    Thanks for this.. has me wondering whether Key’s recently reported kiwi-$ shift downwards – below 50¢ on the USD – amounted in fact to financial market language for the above. The prediction was forward of course and likely operative from Q2/09. What would be interesting would be the nature and source/s of investment. How much of it kiwi, how much else? Helps among other things determine whether wealth welfare flows domestically as presumably desired or according to its own whims.

  14. ieuan 14

    Pascal’s bookie – Spin is a statement based on a limited or selective view of the facts, opinion is a judgement that is based more on belief than any facts or proof.

    In this case saying that National has increased taxes for the poor is a selective view of the facts (spin) because National have actually reduced the taxes for everyone (including the poor) just not as much as Labour would have for some lower paid workers.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    I’d say that opinions are beliefs held about facts, based on arguments.

    In this way steve’s belief that this is a tax increase is based on the fact that if National hadn’t passed the law, many poor people would have a smaller tax bill coming up.

    Your belief is based on the argument that because labour’s tax cuts hadn’t come into effect yet we can ignore the fact that they were legislated for.

    You say “Labour would have..” and “National have actually …”. Think about that.

    By your own definitions you’re spinning like a dervish. You need to apply the same standard to both. You could try again, but the horse has bolted I’m afraid.

  16. bobo 16

    Phil why do they have to give a reason if the employee has no recourse or legal right. In effect all workers are temp/casual until after the 3 months. Absolute trash the argument that the current law has been holding back small business the last 9 years, not so long ago companies were desperate to keep workers from job hopping as Generation Y aged workers tended to do. Does the law include franchises? Is a franchise which employs less than 20 people considered a multinational ?

  17. ieuan 17

    Pascal’s bookie – I’m not trying to spin anything just trying to add a few facts into what is quickly becoming a fact free zone.

    There is little point in arguing about opinions, it is a bit like me saying ‘marmite sucks’, which is an opinion, just because you say ‘marmite does not suck, it is great’ does not make me wrong or you right we just have different opinions.

  18. rave 18


    Most strategic assets are owned by multinational banks or corporations. eg Banks are all Australian owned except for Kiwibank. They have pumped billions out of the housing boom. Carter Holt the biggest player in the timber industry is now a private unlisted corporation that operates as a multinational. It is busy restructuring and closing down plants. The big prize looming is the Dairy industry where Key and others who have a stake in it want its biggest player Fonterra to convert its cooperative shares to tradable shares. So far the farmers are resisting but a global depression may change that under this regime. Some remaining key assets that are still in public ownership eg SOEs are being targeted without doubt. Softened up with PPPs.
    The National regime is operating on the supply side principles of Rogernomics, the cheaper the inputs the bigger the bonanza for the multinational parasites. Hence Rogernomics Mk 2.

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    I agree, my point is that you are not just inserting facts, you are ignoring facts just as much as Steve.

    Your argument that National’s policy does not raise taxes on the poor ignores the fact that if they didn’t pass this law, the poor’s tax bill would be lower.

    Your argument assumes that the status quo ante was not the law as it stood, but the law as it stood prior to Labour’s tax legislation. That’s worse than anything Steve assumed yet you accuse him of being a spin artist and paint yourself as some sort of objective spin police. Whatever.

  20. hi rave,

    take a peek at JS for what he put up on vanity fair right now.. good becos the skinny on pre-rogernomics = reagonomics [ at national’s conf this year they covered this source for the rank and file’s benefit but what they didn’t do was independently hold the feet of such policymakers or adopters to the fire ] is laid out for all to understand. Even NACT people if they still have so much as a smidgen of conscience left.

  21. ieuan 21

    Interesting the comment that Phil Goff made about this:

    “If you’re earning $750,000 a year, you’ll gain $260 a week under National’s plan, but all that families on the average wage of $45,000 a year will get is an extra $2 a week. On $44,000 a year, families will break even. But if families are earning less than $44,000, they will be paying more tax and subsidising the more affluent.”

    I would like to know two things, firstly what percentage of people earn $750K per year, 0.1%? And how the hell does someone on $44K a year end up subsidising the ‘more affluent’? Has Phil Goff ever figured out what someone on $44k a year pays in taxes compared with someone say on $100K a year and just for fun add the WFF allowance into this and see who is subsidising who. I’m not against WFF or our tiered tax system but these sort of lies and exaggerations make me angry.

  22. Jimbo 22

    A lot of sensible comments from ieuan. A fair amount of nonsense in response.

    As I said on another thread, I think the Left are now being ignored on the tax cuts question because of a refusal to actually engage on the real issues.

    There is spin (“tax being increased”, “Cullen’s Tax cuts” etc.) and bluster (poor “subsidising the affluent”) which is being ignored because it’s so ham-fisted.

    It IS NOT UNFAIR that, when tax rates are and thresholds are cut, someone who is “wealthy” might “save” more in tax than someone who is poor. Why is it not unfair? Because under a progressive system, the wealthy person might already be paying 2x, 5x or 15x what the poor person is paying. After the tax cut, she will still be paying a multiple of what the poor person pays… The system is still progressive, it’s just been adjusted so that there are new incentive effects in place.

    There are plenty of sensible and/or principled arguments against tax cuts. Very few are being raised here.

  23. Pascal's bookie 23


    If National had not changed the tax law, some people would be paying less tax in the future than they now will be because of National’s actions. True or False?

  24. Chris G 24

    I was watching parliament TV when Goff and Mallard slammed the Maori party (Directed at Te Ururoa Flavell cause he was the only one there) for supporting this bill. It was punishing, and all Flavell did was smile.

    What a twit, if I were Maori I’d feel awfully disenfranchised from the rampant Maori Party.

  25. RAS 25

    I’m sorry but it’s the height of deceit to pretend that canceling a “tax cut” which never actually happened somehow means they were “raised”.

    If Labour had really cared about such tax cuts, they could have implemented them any time during the 9 years they were in power, rather than holding them out as a cheap election bribe providing they were voted back in.

    In any case, I seriously doubt Labour’s “tax cuts” were ever more than a chimera . They would never have survived Labour’s secret-agenda Dec mini-budget and the voters knew it.

    Just one of the reasons Labour lost.

    The kind of spin in this post is another. You guys need to lift your game because a healthy democracy needs a decent opposition, and BS like this isn’t going to cut it.

  26. Pascal's bookie 26


    If National had not changed the tax law, some people would be paying less tax in the future than they now will be because of National’s actions. True or False?

    If that is true, then how is it deceit?

    Saying they never happened is a nonsense. They were yet to come into effect, but there was nothing that could stop them coming into effect except for a change in the law, now done by National.

    If Labour had won, they could have changed the law also, cancelling those tax cuts and that too would have risen the tax bill coming to people. There is no evidence that they would have, and Cullen’s keyensian beliefs imply he wouldn’t have, and that his ‘mini budget’ would have been all stimulus.

    It’s not that hard.

  27. RobinsodsAss 27

    [lprent: dad you are banned]

  28. You’ve missed the apostrophe. It should be “Robinsod’sAss”. The apostrophe would either be possessive (as in the ass belonging to Robinsod) or signaling contraction (as in robinsod is ass). As I’ve said on another thread – you’re overrating yourself – even my arse could punctuate better than you…

  29. Pascal's bookie 29

    Robinsod is right Ass.

    The apostrophe in my name is possessive, as in ‘the bookie of Pascal’. If you can’t get that right then I can’t see why I should pay any mind to your assertions as to what is and isn’t ‘right’.

  30. ieuan 30

    You guys are all class, you have lost the argument and all you can talk about is where an apostrophe should go.

    Here a simple true/false for you Pascal’s Bookie, ‘under the new National tax cuts the majority of tax payers will pay less tax than under the earlier Labour tax cuts.’

    Is that true or false?

  31. Lost what argument you fool?

  32. ieuan 32

    Robinsod, if I ignore you will you go away?

    To the editors/controllers of ‘The Standard’: How about a button on the website that automatically hides all of Robinsod’s comments?

  33. [Deleted] 33

    [lprent: dad you are banned]

    [Tane: Change your username.]

  34. Felix 34

    A rash of new usernames on the board today. And I do mean rash. Eeew.

    signalled strongly before the election that they would have repealled them before they were enacted

    Care to provide a link or a quote to back this bizarre bit of piffle?

    p.s. it would have to be a quote from Labour, eh. Not some retarded speculation from Farrar or a Nat speech.

  35. The scary thing is I find it quite believable that these variations on the ‘sod’s name are all just elements of his personality.

  36. ieuan – no. I never go away. I dog and dog and dog. Just ask your mate Slater…

  37. Pascal's bookie 37

    Here a simple true/false for you Pascal’s Bookie, ‘under the new National tax cuts the majority of tax payers will pay less tax than under the earlier Labour tax cuts.’

    That could well be true ieuan, I’ve never denied it, and am more than happy to accept that it is true if you say so. So what?

    What is not true is that all taxpayers will be paying less tax than if National had not changed the law.

    Some will be paying more, so National’s changes can be reasonably described as a tax increase for those taxpayers. This is what you claimed was unreasonable spin and hyperbole.

    I notice that you still haven’t answered my question, avoiding it in fact by trying to reframe the debate with your own. And that is the crux of it really. Even now, your question backs away from asserting that National’s plan cuts taxes for everyone. And yet you try and spin it to say that you somehow ‘won the debate’ whatever that is supposed to mean. My only point was that you are just as much of a spinner as Steve, but now I think you are actually worse. Both in terms of skill at it, and honesty about it.

    Busy today, so probably won’t spend any more time on this.

  38. Nah Stevo – it’s just the right have this thing for me… I heard the other day they had their research unit trying desperately to find out who I am during the run-up to the election…

    F*ckin hilarious…

    Here’s a hint – I’m just down the hallway from you you stupid fucks.

  39. PeachyBehinds 39

    [lprent: dad you are banned]

  40. I wasn’t talking to you peachy – good to know you respond to “stupid fuck” though…

    Do you roll over and go fetch too?

  41. PeachyBehinds 41

    [lprent: dad you are banned]

  42. Ha! you can do sarcasm! Your mum would be so proud! If you had one…

  43. Chris G 43

    True and now we are in a good position to get through an international crisis. Job well done! Good stuff Peachy for pointing out the work of the good Doctor C.

    triple taxing even! The hysteria!

  44. PeachyBehinds 44

    [lprent dad – you are banned]

  45. Felix 45

    Aah, a dad-fest. It all becomes clear.

  46. Billy 46


    I was a bit worried abou the bottom-fixation which had arisen overnight. What with PeachBehinds and RobinsodsAss appearing at the same time, seemingly from nowhere.

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