Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: What I saw at the step change.

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  • Scott A,

    Bernard Hickey summarised it well:

    decided not to challenge a generation of voters who are now rich because of the property boom and don't want to give it up.

    He is cementing in place the biggest transfer of wealth between generations in New Zealand's history.

    Options to the left, options to the right, something needed to have been done and could have been done. Key was even muttering about losing some of his "political capital."

    But, when the speech hit, National decided their political capital and own personal financial situationz were more important than the capital or finances of the country.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    a variety of exporters, capitalising on the growing Asian markets. Yes; of course it's not easy. But the alternative is harder yet, once the borrowed money runs out.

    Yeah I dig that. Like a national park. There are some companies doing that, and Malaysia for example is NZ's 7th largest export market, but for the most part New Zealand businesses and politicians don't appear to have a clue.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    You know what? I've suddenly gained a much greater appreciation for Gareth Morgan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    I know the detail is still to come, but I'm still disappointed about no announcement being made about one of the most distortion-creating elements of rental property investment; a key area created by oversight by Labour that makes it a very tax-attractive option for people with children.

    Currently, unless you "are in the business of providing rental properties" any loses you make from your rental investment (including, of course, book losses from the depreciation on an appreciating asset) can be offset against other income to increase your Working for Families entitlement. For everyone else involved in business-type activities their business loss is ring-fenced from the WFF entitlement. Similarly people whose rental properties are held in an LAQC also can't use that loss to increase their WFF.

    And, short of an investigation and debate about level of activity, IRD seems to generally accept a landlord's accountant's view of if their activity is a business or not. And given the amount of Family Support and In-Work Tax Credit you can get for working for a wage a number of hours a week while substantially supporting yourself with rental income this creates a big disparity between rental investors and the guy running the dairy down the road.

    That gap creates a large transfer of tax credits back to people whose actual living income is higher than their entitlement is assessed on. Such a simple thing to fix, too. But will they do so, or will they be happy just to remove the ability to depreciate the property?

    And, if the later is their track, they better put something in the law too to explicitly prevent people depreciating individual assets as fixtures and fittings rather than the property at a whole. IRD currently views that practice as "possible tax avoidance" but the law likely needs to be formalised in some manner.

    Oh, and another thing I want to point out to the "we're business people like any other" rental investment lobby; until I see you paying ACC levies on that (including a minimal rate even if you lost money) like all other "business" then I think I don't believe you.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    And each time we do, we're going to put a shiny dollar in Russel Norman's tip jar. Now I get it. Lay waste to the National Parks. It's a Steppe change!

    So I presume that the govt has come up with a way to mine for gold, coal, and minerals in the National Parks which DOESN'T make multinational mining companies rich(er) while trickling a mere pittance back into the Crown coffers?

    It's a CASH COW, people!!! We're SITTING on a GOLD MINE!!! Not. Assholes.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    He gets up there, stands alongside the mighty gun, pulls out a water pistol squeezes it and says: "I make no apologies for making a few of you a bit wet."

    Nice. Bernard Hickey also seems mighty unimpressed with the flaccid Key.

    He has finally shown his colours. He is a mediocre leader without the vision or the ability to change New Zealand. He is a seat-warmer who is too scared to scare the masses.

    He is saying he wants to get re-elected. How uninspiring. How pedestrian.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    People, people, enough of this cynicism. Be of good cheer, for Mr Farrar brings news: the Government is going to grow the cake, so everyone benefits in time.

    Yum, yum, delicious cake, in time. Meanwhile, more mining means more money for conservation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    more mining means more money for conservation.

    I've been trying to come up with an appropriate metaphor to illustrate the cynical absurdity of this idea. Then I realised I can't because it is the very fucking epitome of cynical absurdity and properly should only exist as a joke proposition conjured to illustrate something less horribly stupid and wrong.

    Paul, I salute your concision and understatement.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    There is plenty to criticise in the speech, and the PM's attitude to those in need of government support is pretty dire and signals a return to a more punitive benefit system with no as its default setting. They appear intent on pushing people into work despite their personal circumstances, with a large stick for those who can't comply.

    Nevertheless, there is one thing to praise, and that is the promise that abatement rates on beneficiary incomes will be dramatically reduced. These have been kicking around for decades, and Labour refused to remove them. Part time work for those on a benefit was virtually uneconomic, despite any potential improvements it might have brought. I'm glad to see that vestigal part of the system cut off.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    and surely to God the National Party has some of them

    David Slack rules! OK?

    actually, could we just have a revolution and install Mr. S as PM, Generalissimo, and Supreme Leader? maybe not for life, just till he trades in the step ladder?

    please!?

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    I reckon these guys will be remembered in the end not for what they did, but for what they failed to do.

    God help us if they end up being remembered as the ones who destroyed our national parks - because once they're gone YOU FUCKERS we can't get them back. Ever.

    There's not much that would tempt me out of my comfortable life and back to my old days of non-violent direct action and protest, but the mining of our national parks sure as hell is one of them.

    *scurries off to make plans for chaining myself to a tree for months on end - or whatever I need to do to stop the BASTARDS destroying my adopted heritage.*

    *also bangs head repeatedly against the wall because I.just.cannot.believe they're planning to do this.*

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    As John Paul Getty once said "the meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights." Funny, innit, that the PM has ruled out a land tax; you could not make this stuff up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Nice. Bernard Hickey also seems mighty unimpressed with the flaccid Key.

    It would be fair to say that Bernard is fucking furious with him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Is this our Obambi moment? Like you David, I thought they'd do things that might not have been always to my political preference, but would have been based on the good advice they'd paid for.

    When Key talked about "spending political capital", I thought, great: they're going to deal with the property investment problem. That's something worth spending political capital on . I was kind of excited about it.

    And then they didn't. But they did undertake to do the thing that the Task Force was most lukewarm about: raise GST.

    Key also had a crack in his speech at recipients of the Invalids Benefit, apparently suggesting that a stern inspection of them would meaningfully impact the books.

    FFS.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    First actual fuck up I reckon. Up till now they've done if not the right thing at least the effective thing, but this was a bona fide fuck up.

    Key could have pulled off a property-tax-type-thing and looked statesmanlike. Instead he looks like he can't make the tough decisions.

    Also, that thing about finance? Every neo-liberal chancer of a government tries that one, and it never works. Turns out Zurich, New York, and London have finance sewn up pretty damn tight between them.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Instead he looks like he can't make the tough decisions.

    And whose hands does that play into?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    I wonder if Allan Bollard is crapping his daks over the inflationary effect of a GST hike.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    And then they didn't. But they did undertake to do the thing that the Task Force was most lukewarm about: raise GST.

    You're not honestly surprised are you? He's a frikkin merchant banker for Chrissakes!

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    And whose hands does that play into?

    Ahh yes, our Mr Brown quietly waiting in the wings. A real man who can make real decisions. And of course Treasury would be simply unbearable...

    I do so enjoy living in countries run by accountants and bankers. Now pardon me, I'm off to check ticket prices...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    That he is, and we must admire his thinking: rich folk need to be incentivised by tax cuts; poor folk need to buy things, things called necessities. So the money for the rich can be raised from the poor, as well as from everyone in between. It is all a matter of wealth redistribution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'm off to check ticket prices

    For the Pixies?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So the money for the rich can be raised from the poor, as well as from everyone in between.

    Agree it's regressive redistribution, and am reminded of Keith's pie graphs. However, I reckon they're making all those in the middle pay the most. That way, the govt get to say they're not being mean to the poor and yet the wealthiest still make off like bandits in the name of incentivising success.

    I hope our hard-working mainstreamers begin to see they've been sold an expensive pup and they don't even get to pat it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • jb,

    What he ACTUALLY said was

    "I make no apologies of making a few of you a bit wet."

    a.small.town.in.germany • Since Jan 2007 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    What he ACTUALLY said was

    "I make no apologies of making a few of you a bit wet."

    Which, ACTUALLY means, "The National Government (mark4) has many investment properties and hey, fodder got their Flag, the majority can pay .oh , and get a real job, because the bludgers wont be getting benefits soon. We campaigned on that one. Why? because we had a nice holiday, and you have only been back at work one month, need a few of you to pay for our salaries."
    Jesus, 25c is really going to help out that gst increase.The plebs should be thankful.
    NOT!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The proposed GST increase is witless but another thing to worry about is Key going on about unidentified 'lazy students' who need to be turfed out of tertiary institutions. This is another case of chasing phantoms? Or code for closing down transition education, or wananga and other initiatives which attempt to increase education opportunities?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

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