Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Through the Looking Glass

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's already possible for the IRD to tax gains on property speculation

    Yes, but the law's so vague it creates no certainty. How do you determine what someone's "purposes and intentions" were?

    If they started to enforce it rigorously it would cause much wailing from people that (maybe reasonably) expected not to be taxed.

    A simple rule that (for instance) taxed profits from sales of second properties, first properties worth over $600k and properties rented out for more than half the period of ownership would leave people in no doubt.

    What should really be done is to have a house price policy that in the long run seeks to limit price rises to below the rate of general inflation. There are a bunch of ways of doing this (removal of negative gearing and LAQCs, capital gains tax, transfer tax, mortgage interest tax, minimum mortgage rates, etc).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    The gummint in Queensland gave my mate AU$1500 towards installing a solar hot water heater on the roof of his Sunshine Coast home.

    @Blake Monkley from Noosa (up the road a wee bit from my mate), did you get the same deal?

    The hours of sunshine they get over there probably make it more of an economic proposition, but why can't we have more thinking along those lines over here? Here is a bit of cash in the short term which will save you more money over the long term... and possibly save the country from having to spend capital to build extra generation capacity in the future. Everybody seems to get a win out of that...

    What is the downside?

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 190 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I think the last week has given this fiscal conservative ample reason to be entirely cynical.

    Maybe, but I think your cynicism should be directed at human nature, rather than the politicians exploiting it.

    It seems to me that fiscal conservatism is well out of fashion in NZ at the minute, so I do have some sympathy. The neo-Lib reforms of the 80s & 90s have given it a bad name <they're not the same thing, I know, tongue in cheek> Act feel this need to jump on any populist bandwagon that might get them elected, no matter how incompatible with their livertarian roots, and the Nats are stuck in some half-life where they want power(maybe they even need it to survive in their current form) so have to compromise to an extent that drives their supporters crazy. Interesting.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    "I think you're confusing Minister of Finance with Minister Responsible for the Economy, which we don't have. Cullen is responsible for what the government does with its money. His responsibility for managing the economy is much more limited, and comes more under the heading of "if you screw up the economy you're unlikely to get re-elected".

    There seems to be a general understanding here that our elected representatives are only accountable when we actually land in the shit. My original post suggested that Key at least recognizes what is the real issue (the current A/C deficit) and that it needs to be addressed. The incumbent govt glosses over the issue while a large number of blindingly ignorant creditors potentially ruin their futures. Is it too much to suggest that our politicians actually employ some progressive economic thinking and foresight to these problems? Plenty of economic experts, such as Steve Keen of the University of Western Sydney, have been warning about these problems for years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Jarrod Baker,

    The gummint in Queensland gave my mate AU$1500 towards installing a solar hot water heater on the roof of his Sunshine Coast home.

    Energywise will contribute towards the cost of solar water heating right here in New Zild. And depending on your income they'll help with other energy efficiency stuff as well.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    what the hell are razor gangs ..weren't they like 1950 motorcycle gangs ? it's such an ugly image.

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

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Do you mean an equally applied capital gains tax across all investment asset classes?

    I'd go for that mostly with a few provisos:
    - a tax rebate for capital gains on anything held for some minimum time (3-5 years) so maybe 5-10% less than the top marginal rate (you register the purchase and file with the IRD)
    - no tax on someone selling their primary residence and buying another of equal value or higher - claimable once every 3-5 years (but equally if you claimed it when you bought it you can't claim it as a loss either)
    - a one time tax holiday on the first N$ ($500Kish) of a primary residence sold over age 55

    these are largely the US rules for pre Bush capital gains (IMHO their changes to let you claim the whole of selling a primary residence every 5 years added to the current mess and let a lot of people pull RE money out of the US market - including me when returning to NZ)

    They work well because they are relatively simple, almost everything is either short term or long term it doesn't distinguish between types of assets - except that it keeps out of the way of most people's house buying while discouraging property speculation

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2176 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    Whatever you do, read Bernard Hickey's latest blog on just how out of control the caboose is.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz//blogs/showmethemoney/2008/10/16/clean-up-this-dogs-breakfast-of-a-scheme-before-it-putrifies/

    Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    __I could be wrong - I can't think where I heard this - but don't a lot of advocates for a capital gains tax often suggest the first property be exempt? Start buying and selling multiple properties and yeah, the onus goes on you to show why you shouldn't be subject to the tax.__

    Yup. Because generally, if you're living in a house, it hasn't been purchased with the primary aim of resale.

    As it is in Australia for instance.

    the Cullen Fund was not the only option. It was created through an intensely political process (parliamentary democracy works like that), and nothing is written in stone. You can argue it shouldn't be.

    Perhaps so Craig, but it's the best arrangement NZ's been able to manage since the 1970's and I'd be wary of how quickly it could be undone.

    The gummint in Queensland gave my mate AU$1500 towards installing a solar hot water heater on the roof of his Sunshine Coast home.

    Each state/territory has different arrangements - NSW had a universal rebate but it's now means tested.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    what are all these election billboards around the place printed on? is it recyclable?

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • sagenz,

    Key has just done a marvellous thing.
    As i said over 2 years ago

    The logic of diversifying investment by the NZ Super Fund internationally is intellectually impeccable. However New Zealands biggest problem is local equity investment. A policy of allocating say 50% of the funds to New Zealand would provide a vastly larger local pool. This would have the impact of increasing prices for NZ equities and would also make it a more attractive place to raise capital. The risk is that New Zealand will underperform. But that seems a circular argument. The following table shows less than 9% of investment is in New Zealand. Investment within New Zealand will have a multiplier effect on GDP. Thus the threshold rate for an investment in New Zealand should be substantially lower than for an equivalent overseas investment that will not have the GDP multiplier.

    It should be noted that the guardians can simply hold their battered foriegn investments and use new funds to invest in NZ. Despite the currency gain the equity loss and prospective foriegn gains make that sensible.

    I have never seen any economic analysis of the multiplier effect of GDP investment but it is real.

    uk • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Ventral Capital funds

    <i>They grow out you stomach?
    (Sorry)</i>

    no need to apologise I cringed when I saw it. As a scientist who is strong on Anatomy can I say I was having a Cajal moment?

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Katie Brockie,

    Our local ACT hoarding says :"ACT: Zero Tolerance for Grime"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Our local ACT hoarding says :"ACT: Zero Tolerance for Grime"

    Our one just changed to: "ACT: Change the Government"

    We change the government every election, but sometimes not much.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    I see Rodney's dropped the yellow jacket on the new billboards! And thrown in a few not-entirely-necessary exclamation marks!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 244 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I see Rodney's dropped the yellow jacket on the new billboards! And thrown in a few not-entirely-necessary exclamation marks!

    Clearly not a well-read man on what a multiplicity of exclamation marks is said to indicate about the user.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Clearly not a well-read man on what a multiplicity of exclamation marks is said to indicate about the user.

    And their billboards use ALL CAPS too. How rude.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Rodney was a University Lecturer at Lincoln (yes it is although I'm not sure that it should be a Uni) in economics.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Rodney was a University Lecturer at Lincoln (yes it is although I'm not sure that it should be a Uni) in economics.

    <sensitive>You think a country dependent on agri-business can't justify a specialist agri-business University? Why not? If it's economies of scale, I can understand, but Lincoln's got some of the country's (world's) leading research scientists doing precisely the research we need to add-value to our otherwise commodity-based exports.</sensitive>

    Disclaimer: I briefly worked at Lincoln in the '90s.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Rodney was a University Lecturer at Lincoln (yes it is although I'm not sure that it should be a Uni) in economics.

    I once had a lengthy debate over the correct use of it's and its with a lecturer at my university, in which the lecturer in question insisted that it's was the possessive form. Education is not an assurance of good grammar. (In any case, I was mostly referring to a Terry Pratchett quote which asserts that multiple exclamation marks are "a sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head".)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    (In any case, I was mostly referring to a Terry Pratchett quote which asserts that multiple exclamation marks are "a sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head".)

    Hah! I'd not heard this; good funny!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Re Lincoln: At least it wasn't AUT University - which I always think of as the Auckland University of Tautology.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Also, regarding Rodney's past careers, I thought National politicians prided themselves on a background in business and farming before being tapped to lead their people?

    Apart from a brief job on an oilrig (how did he fit in the helicopters) and recent appearances as a light entertainer, Rodders has basically been a student, lecturer and politician his whole working life.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Wasn't he pet economist at the Business Round table too?

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Good News - as of 3pm today on the way back from the beach (it was very flat and the tide was out - shud've check the webcam)

    ACT still has its Tolerence Bill Board out on Pages Rd Christchurch.

    Two with the correct spelling a one without, what was that Meatloaf said?

    Damn my cell phone camera and its lack of a zoom. There is a shot I tried to get of two of the signs the larger Tolerence and the smaller tolerance, but it didn't come out well.

    The problem with Lincoln (setting aside Dairy for a moment) is the ESOL, Computor Science, & Business School.

    Rodders & Lincoln are clear examples of the failure of our 'competitive' tertiary education system.

    One NZ University and direct the marketing budget to the Library.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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