Steven Joyce: It's a backdown

Finance Minister Steven Joyce says Labour’s move is undermining itself (photo: Jerry Yelich-O'Connor)
Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson addressed media this morning

Steven Joyce goes for the jugular over Labour's tax backdown.

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The Labour Party has reversed one of new leader Jacinda Ardern's first 'captain's calls', saying it will implement no tax reforms recommended by a working group before the 2020 election.

Announced by the party's finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, the move returns Labour to its position under the previous leader, Andrew Little.

The tax working group policy was always intended as a way to neutralise the political attacks that cost Labour votes in both the 2011 and 2014 elections when it campaigned explicitly on implementing a capital gains tax. Despite excluding the family home, the CGT issue played poorly with the electorate.

Labour scrapped the policy under Little, replacing it with the tax working group policy and a promise to take its recommendations to the electorate.

Ardern announced a change to that policy in an interview on August 22 with the New Zealand Herald, saying: "It is different leadership, different decisions. Andrew [Little] made a call that he would go back to the electorate. I made a call that if I was in government and presented with a tax working group paper that suggested these are the things you need to do to be able to tackle the housing crisis and inequality in your tax system, to then sit on that for one, maybe two years without doing anything didn't feel right to me."

The combination of attacks on Labour's tax agenda and over-reaching claims by the National Party of a large fiscal "hole" in Labour's budget plans are judged to have blunted the momentum that has seen Labour recover from a low point of 24% in the most-watched public opinion poll, by Colmar Brunton for One News, to a high point of 43% in a poll taken between Sept. 2 and 6.

Another Colmar Brunton poll is due tonight, but a poll taken last week for rival TV3's Newshub service by Reid Research, showed a reversal, with Labour trailing National by 9.5%age points on 37.8% support. While private polling undertaken by both the major parties is said not to show anything like as dramatic a shift as the Newshub poll, Labour insiders have been acknowledging the party's upward momentum stalled around a week ago.

Since then, Labour has ramped up its accusations of "lies" and "scaremongering" by the National Party, which released a new attack ad this week playing on Labour's campaign slogan, "let's do this", saying "let's tax this".

Joyce: It’s a backdown

Mr Robertson insists his party is still focusing on New Zealand’s housing crisis, despite its decision to push back further tax measures.

Responding to questions from media he reiterated several times Labour’s desire to get the right balance between certainty, and urgency.

“We cannot sit around and let the housing crisis get worse and worse as National has done over the past nine years.”

But Finance Minister Steven Joyce says Labour’s move “undermines its whole housing policy” as well as the party’s tax policy.

“Apparently this was an urgent tax change that needed to be done and they weren’t going to wait around. Now suddenly they can wait around for it, which I think puts a bit of a lie to their whole tax and housing policy.”

Mr Robertson denied Labour’s move was a backdown but Mr Joyce rejects his denial.

“If it looks like a backdown, it walks like a backdown and there is that backdown beating noise, then I think we can safely assume it is a backdown,” Mr Joyce told NBR.

Labour has proposed a 10c a litre regional fuel tax in Auckland to help fund transport infrastructure, an international tourist levy, a royalty on bottled water and a levy on commercial water use aimed mainly at irrigators, and to include 10% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the emissions trading scheme by 2020 as a first step in gradually bringing agriculture into the ETS.

It will also shift the so-called 'bright-line' test that requires capital gains tax to be paid on the sale of residential properties sold by non-owner occupiers within two years of purchase to a five-year threshold and "will end negative gearing" allowing property investors to offset mortgage repayments on an investment property against other income.

Mr Robertson and Mr Wood reiterated that "Labour will not make any changes to personal income tax, corporate tax rates or GST" other than reversing the income tax cuts legislated to come into effect next April.

‘Urgency and certainty’

Speaking to party faithful today in Greymouth, Ms Ardern echoed Mr Joyce’s comments regarding urgency but conceded that she “accepts that New Zealanders want certainty.”  

“We will not have any law enacted until the people of New Zealand in 2020 have a chance to vote. That is me balancing the need for urgency with that certainty that I know New Zealanders want too.”

She says she “absolutely stands by the fact that this election we have an urgent set of issues to tackle.”

ACT leader David Seymour lashed out saying such a big policy back down nine days out from an election is “astounding.”

“Today’s performance isn’t just incompetent, it’s dishonest. The backdown is a smokescreen – Mr Robertson wants the headlines to read ‘no new taxes’ when Labour’s policy is still to bleed New Zealanders dry with a water tax, higher income tax, regional fuel tax, and more.”

RELATED VIDEO: Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson go head to head on money matters (Sep 8)


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Has he told Taxinda
One minute there is a tax - next minute it's gone. All the things the tax working group were going to fix are now delayed for 3 years - Gezz these clowns had 9 years have had to come up with something sensible so now we are asked to vote for them and wait 3 years for the fix - why without the taxes there plans for world peace are in ruins....

What credibility can we give them to manage this country - very little they can't even manage their own announcements.

The question now is how the hell do they pay for the lolly scramble they have been announcing every 5 minutes – DEBT that’s how and with interest rates at historic lows – I personally worry about more debt.

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Did you worry about the huge rise in debt under the National Government for the last 9 years? Did you worry about their increase in GST without ever telling anyone at the previous election?

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Thats a bit unfair. Most of that new debt can be attributed to the GFC and the Canterbury earthquakes both out of control of the government.

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They have racked up 52b in net debt.
Please itemise and give a breakdown of the amounts specifically to do with the gfc, and the earthquake. Otherwise it is sounding like another well worn and vague excuse.
Let us also not forget that they also sold off and received over 4 billion from assets sales, without this we would be talking 56b.

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Makes for a good sound bite but doesn't look so good when you add context, true there is debate about the actual cost to the government of the Christchurch earthquake but treasury cites around $15.6b and rising. Kaikoura adds another $3b give or take but let's look at the economic conditions when the National government took power. After the GFC core crown revenue plummeted by about $10bn per annum as jobs and profits shrank. This also had the knock on effect of increasing education costs as people retrained. Thanks to the Clarke government and its blatant election bribe of interest free student loans (which admittedly Key's government never had the stomach to abolish) the government has written off about $6bn in interest charges and it continues to rise. WFF and other transfer payments (read middle class welfare) continue to rise year on year and are well over $2.5bn pa (another Labour government pearler). Also just to lob you an underarm lets not forget the $1,6bn the National government had to pay to savvy investors in South Canterbury Finance after Clarke and Cullen provided government guarantees to the banking sector but failed to exclude certain finance companies (how many state houses could you have built with that). Also the government has completed the widening of the Newmarket flyover, replaced the Kopu Bridge, opened the Waterview tunnel and completed a number of other major infrastructure projects. Also recently completed the pay equity deal for aged care workers at around $500m pa and also signed off on over $1.6bn in Treaty settlements, far more than had been achieved in the previous 15 years. During this time health, education, law enforcement costs have all risen not to mention the fact that benefits such as superannuation have increased, so yeah net debt has increased but don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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You've missed out their lowering of the highest tax rate for their mates.

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true, at the end of the day it is after all the government's money not ours and they know better how to spend it than we do...

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I agree with the CHCH earthquake costs, at somewhere around there, but the govt also recouped a lot of GST from the rebuild as well. Must surely be 3 or 4b in GST alone? So lets say a net cost to the govt of around 12b?
Not to mention all the additional PAYE and income tax generated from the rebuild.
I looked at the 4 years after the 2008 GFC and on average govt revenue was down 4b per annum, so a lot less than the 10b per annum you were suggesting. Some of this can also be credited to National cutting income taxes in 2009 right in the middle of these reduced revenue years!
The tax cuts have effectively added to the debt tab for the last 8 years.
Since then there has been at least 5 boom years with rising govt revenue averaging 12b per annum more than when they came in, yet net debt has continued to rise in every one of those years.
You mention the additional costs of WFF, and interest free loans, (don't forget landlord supplements as well).
But National did not scrap any of these in the 9 years they have been in, (as you say), and in fact have kept and increased them.
So if they knew they were part of their budget, why didn't they do anything about raising enough revenue to cover them, instead of putting it on the debt tab?
You mention other costs rising also. Clearly some of this is due to the policies of rapid immigration putting strains on health, education, infrastructure, housing and law enforcement. In other words it is of their own doing.
Their projections out to 2022 are not much better showing them reducing debt only to 56b.
To me it looks like this debt is now here to stay, to be passed on to the next generation, along with countless other issues, unless the govt starts making some hard decisions, i.e. increasing it's tax base and/or looking at it largest future growing costs, in particular superannuation.
If the govt can not reduce debt in the boom years when is it going to? What happens when the next crisis comes? Just add some more on the tab? Are further tax cuts warranted when it is being done with debt?
How many more additional strains are yet to be accounted for due to it's rapid and seemingly poorly planned immigration program? They seem to be throwing new money at it every other week lately.

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From my point of view all your arguments fall over when you start mentioning tax cuts. Like anyone else the government needs to live within it's means, it cannot simply expect the population to constantly pay more for it's decisions to spend more. As Bill points out we are not an ATM. I accept that paying tax is the price for living in functional society, the problem I have with the left is the philosophical view that tax cuts are 'giving the rich more money'. This thinking is fundamentally flawed, a tax cut is not giving more money, it is in fact not taking as much in the first place. Furthermore, this mantra that the 'rich pricks' to use the Michael Cullen vernacular should pay their 'fair share' is as poor a stereo type as the 'all beneficiaries are bludgers' view.
The top tax bracket in NZ is $70,000, anyone living in Auckland will tell you this is NOT the definition of rich. Based on this measure there are any number of rich prick school principal's, senior nurses and police officers, doctors, senior ambulance staff, senior fire fighters and other such tax payers all lording it over the rest of us who probably own multiple investment properties and have all their wealth hidden in secret trusts. The truth is the majority of people who earn above $70k have got there on the back of their own hard work, fearlessness in taking risks, or sheer bloodymindedness to do better for themselves and their families. The fact that National made an effort to address bracket creep in the 2010 budget should be applauded rather than condemn. This was also an effort to address the announced drop in company tax by the Australian government which could have seen business relocate across the Tasman, an effort to try and align the top rate on income, trusts and company tax to reduce the incentive to (legally) avoid tax and to also increase tax receipts through GST, which other than not spending is the hardest tax to avoid (also offset by an increase in benefits and WFF credits).
There are plenty of arguments about who pays what percentage of the net tax bill from PAYE pov, but the issue from my perception (rightly or wrongly) is National see's tax primarily as an income stream to fund government expenditure versus Labour who see it as a means of wealth redistribution, Cullen's Freudian slip an example of evidence for the prosecution. There are plenty of examples of National increasing benefits, not many of Labour reducing taxes (bar the major tax reform under taken by Roger Douglas who was more right wing than ACT).
To come back to your point about debt, if you are using it to fund investment spending then it is not a bad thing - ask anyone with a mortgage, but throwing money at pet projects like $38m for RNZ is champagne socialism at it's worst and I object to my hard earned dollars being used this way (would lump the flag debate into this category also).
To answer your question about when the government will reduce debt, the National party presented it's plan to pay down debt as well as giving back to the tax payer some of their OWN hard earned money. Labour's budget, despite a slew on new and increased taxation with no tax relief actually shows debt reduction being drawn out with no wiggle room for any internal or external economic shocks...maybe you should be asking them...

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I thought the quakes were a net positive for the NZ economy and without them we'd be many billions more in debt.

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...with GST compounding hardship on poor and strugglers at an equivalent 28.55% thanks to Labours emissions tax scheme.

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That's a 90.3% increase in GST. So let's see the detail of your figures rather than something anonymously plucked out of the air.

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You will see that debt rise even further if your Labour mates get into power.

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Labour's record was considerably lowering debt while also paying into the NZ Superannuation Fund. You get yourself too blinded by ideology Ivan.

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I do so miss Cullen, the most conservative Finance minister in 50 years

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Cullen bought a 1B$ train set that the vendor valued at $200m on the balance sheet so conservative is not a word I would use to describe him.

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you obviously missed the reference to low interest rates. They won't be as low going forward

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These are politicians, people. Have Taxcinda + front bench state, in black ink, and widely distributed, they will resign immediately from the golden trough that is Parly and agree to never return.
Do not ever trust a single one of them -- Rule 1

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One minute there was an $11b hole in Labour's budget and then Steven Joyce got found out

Steven Joyce is turning into a bitter man as he fails as Finance Minister and campaign manager

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I just woke up to the fact that we all have been gamed by a backdoor deal between Peters Party and Labour.Peters bottom line was to all who wanted to listen ,dont vote early. Labour dos'nt want the toxic Greens any which way. Peters told Labour,flip flop on your tax policy,that will satisfy NZF and with the polls in Labours' Favour we will be your coalition partner. Wake up NATIONAL VOTERS, a vote for any other party,puts Labour/NZF on the treasury benches on 23 09 2017.

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I guess this includes the water tax?

... ETS for livestock is not technically a tax, so I guess that's still in for first term?

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Water tax is still on. Lest we forget.

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Great. Too right it is. No more free water to overseas bottlers making profits from our natural resources without being charged for it. No more water used excessively by farmers who don't care how much they use. No more filthy rivers caused by bad farmers who don't care about the environment.

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"No more water used excessively by farmers....". If the farmers don't use it productively, what happens to it? If I remember my science correctly, doesn't it flow eventually to the sea and it's not "used" by anyone?

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95% goes out to sea.
We currently use 1.5% of the water input to N.Z.

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Thanks for that. Those percentages put things in perspective.

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Aye, and that "1.5%" is only borrowed. It is not destroyed, it has to, must, find its way back into natures cycle and come back to us in its own good time. Just as it has been doing since the beginning of time..

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The source for your figures and a detailed breakdown please. Or have you simply made them up?

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So tax the sources that matter. E.g. aquifers and rivers where there are adverse consequences of taking too much.

Surely not even Judith Collins would argue that aquifers are infinite because "it comes from the sky". Aquifers in Canterbury that used to be at 15m are now at 45m consistently.

This shouldn't be that hard for people to get.

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It would be great if it was used productively but at the moment it is used indiscriminately. In the cities, we had to learn to use water productively when water meters and water charges were introduced.

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Ets not a tax? Eh?

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ETS is basically going to be per stock unit ... so an Animal Tax.

Animal Taxes, Water Taxes and Land Taxes will come under Labour. It's a farmers' worst nightmare, complete with a big teethed socialist monster drooling over control of food production.

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Shame you're not a good environmentally conscious farmer like many of your colleagues. Then you wouldn't have to be worried.

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"Environmentally conscious" and aversion to wasteful centrally-planned government tax-spend policies that do nothing to solve real problems are not mutually exclusive.

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So what you are then is an ideologue who wants to do whatever he wants whenever he wants, to build his profits without any responsibility to society. Really good for the environment.

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So... back to the stance Andrew Little had.

To give them some credit, they have obviously realised they cant answer all of the questions that need to be answered re the taxes proposed and chosen to take some time..... but they should have known that before they opened this can of worms.

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"To give them some credit, they have obviously realised they can't answer all of the questions that need to be answered re the taxes proposed and chosen to take some time ....."

They've had 9 years!! How much time do they want?

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No, it's National that's had the nine years.

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This is not about National, buddy, it's about Labour and its fitness to govern. What have they been doing for the last 9 years apart from playing musical chairs with the leadership? They are supposed to be a government in waiting ready and able to step up to the leadership. Based on the fiasco we have seen today however they are clearly nowhere near ready for that.

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Far be it for you to want to talk about National's 9 years in power Steve. You might have to admit all the mistakes they've made and their repeated mismanagement.

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Here is the kicker
No new taxes beyond what has been announced - i.e. Announced with no numbers attached - so they numbers get higher to cover their relentless spending of other peoples money

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No new taxes prior to the next election.
No new levies prior to the next election.
Both of these things are clear.
But is the door open to increase tax rates for existing taxes and levies at any stage prior to the next election?

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A nice parsing of the semantics Muzz... raising existing taxes to squeeze out of the bind of an unsustainable zero budget model? - quite likely. Yes?

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Interesting.

National also promised no new taxes (and no increase to GST) then went on to break that promise. Worked around one by calling it a levy instead and having Key tell reporters to "google it", it's different.

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A desperate attempt by a shifty and manipulative Labour Party, who has shown little regard for democratic norms and the will of the people. I remember my parents telling me as a child decades ago that you can't trust Labour governments, and nothing has changed.

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You may yet be surprised by the will of the people Steve and I look forward to your comments on democracy then.

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Fools and money are soon parted.

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Be nice to Steve.

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Labour is likely more honest than National was. National promised not to increase tax (including not to increase GST), then broke their promise and raised tax at least 15 times.

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I'm not a Labour supporter, but have to say what an absolute shambles. All smoke and mirrors at the front.

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Let's tax this!

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Incompetence rises to the top. This is unreal. How then are Labour going to pay for their outrageous spending promises, as the blogger above asks? Will they rationalise their election promises there too? Confused anyone?

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Labour need to find about $5B to cover their insane bribes, so can only think there will be an increase of existing taxes, and rather than introduce "new taxes", they will introduce "levies"

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It appears that Joyce was correct on the labour budget hole. Hard to spend what you don't have.

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Your forgetting one thing. labour very rarely keep their promises.

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That's a bit rich given National's history of broken tax promises.

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Steady on son, we're not discussing National's handling of the housing crisis here - i.e. incompetent.

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If they're not ready on tax policy, they're not ready to govern.

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Had to come out and say that because the uncertainty - and procrastination - was sinking them

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Labours poor handling of taxation matters and huge swings in positions on a daily basis gives the Doctor very little confidence in their ability to manage the economy. Like the flu Labour should be avoided if at all possible.

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You all post as if you believe them!!.

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I think this is a good call by Labour given that a lack of tax policy was one of National's main targets. We now have an assurance that there will be no new taxes until after the next election, at which point everyone can debate/vote on the tax working group's findings.

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Dont agree ,there will be a new tax if Lie-bour/Green Party win next week. Already there are tax cuts promised by National ,all legislated for. The cuts are spelt out. $80.00 per fortnight for a wage earning couple. $26.00 per fortnight for oldage pensioners and superannuands.The agreed amounts if National win are a done deal ,and to reiterate have been legislated for. The tax cuts as promised,will be cancelled,if there is a change of Government.That in fact makes it a new tax,because it will be gouged off the intended recipients.By reversing the legislation.

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Good god, now there's two of them.

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Just to give you some empathy and dont get to much down in the dumps.Robertson recycled copy typist,now Finance spokesperson ,and Helen Clarks' wee girl Miss Ardern said they listened to the people on the vote losing tax plan. They heard the "death rattle", of low polling results on their channel TVNZ and three more years in opposition and panicked. Surely not, just a coincidence.

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This is the fourth flip flop by joined at the hip Lie-bour/Green Party spokes people. Makes one wonder,who is running the show. Heard of driverless cars,now its sounding as if it is driverless Labour Party campaign. Miss Ardern, Helen Clarks' wee girl has been upsurped, by the latest confusing announcement on Labours'vote losing tax policy,by one of her backstops called Robertson. What is going on.

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This flip flop only adds to the confusion and doesn't make Labour look ready to govern. Then add the Greens and volatile Winston to the mix? OMG.

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Should have had this stance on day one. But good on them for changing to meet the calls for certainty. My guess is at least they now put the issue of CGT etc back on the table and voters can decide in 2020.

Will take some of the steam out of the National attack.

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The Tax Genie is out of the bottle, it's impossible to put back in, even for Komrade Jacindski.

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Yes starting to look and sound about the old adage. "The bitterness of poor quality remains ,after the sweetness ,turns sour".

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When Labour Party got a heads up on tonights TVNZ Colmar Brunton Poll. Alarm bells were ringing like Big Ben. Panic took over from realism,common sense went out the door. Labours tacticians said even though this is our fourth or fifth, flip flop on our fire from the lip policy by Miss Ardern. This time we had better salvage something,as it looks like we are taking a mauling in the latest electoral polls.Yet seems nothing much will change,most of Labours' punitive policies after the election are still on. Including the dreaded hated water tax, on the backbone of our economy the Farming Community.

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Interesting that at last Robertson has had something to say on finance

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Hold on Tony. Have you seen tonight's poll? Simply shows that all your attacks aren't working. Labour and Greens can now form a a Government. National and all the others can't. In the end, the people can't be fooled.

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Dont follow TVNZs news or polls. Only reason anything out of that biased Liebour/Green trade union controlled Television Channel is usually fake news. Last thing i heard was there are 263 TVNZ employees in their newsroom. They report at leat twenty five minutes to the hour.The other thirty five minutes,is covered by adds and around seven to ten minutes sport and weather. Wonder if you are spouting their polls ,who is in charge of them. Surely not the Trade union infested Journalist Union, of course that is a possibility. I Follow Newshubs POLL.Much more believable,than a fake news outlet.

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Its too late for Labour as they have created lot of uncertainty in the mind of voters about taxes. National has kept it simple- $1,000 cash for everyone from Tax cuts and additional $10k for first time homebuyers. I think National will take it all

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I think you may be right and here's a case in point to illustrate it.

I know a family of four adults, one mother, two adult sons, and one of the sons has a fiancee. They live in South Auckland. They have decided to pool their resources and buy a house together. They will all be first home buyers. Each works full-time, but they are all on low- to middle incomes. Under National, each will receive a tax cut of ~$1000. That's $4000 extra a year that will go into that household. That's a great help when you've just bought a house.

Under Labour, however, they will get a big fat ZERO. In fact, it's worst than that. They will end up with less money in their pockets each week because Labour is going to put a fuel tax of 10c a litre on Auckland drivers. Given that three of them have to drive into central Auckland each day for work (trains don't service their areas) they will end up paying $4-$5 a week extra each week for fuel. So under National, they will be $4k pa better off. But under Labour they will be $1k pa worse off.

And to add insult to injury, as food prices increase because of Labour's water tax and other taxes on farmers, they can watch as students from wealthy homes get to go to University for free to study courses that will set them up for high paying jobs for life. And they (my friends) on low-incomes will be the ones paying for it and the big fat professional fees those wealthy students will charge them later in life.

And that apparently is Jacinda's vision for New Zealand.

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I'm surprised to hear that you have poor friends. And its a shame that they have had to pool their meagre resources to be able to get on the housing ladder, following 9 years of National, whose policies have fuelled this crisis and have created a low wage economy.

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Dont worry Mister, the sun will get up in the morning. Even though your potential NZ economy wreckers panicked. Lie-bour/Greens joined at the hip. If you are really worried,go and vote for another Party,as the one you have been flying a flag for,needed counselling after receiving the latest Electoral Polling results from TVNZs Colmar Brunton. This time with no massaging involved.

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Not at all. They are an Indian family, and staying together and pooling resources like that is a cultural norm. You and the Labour clowns below need to keep up with the changing demographics of your own country, drop the bitter bile of your own Left wing hubris and get over you narrow xenophobic selves. Oh and by the way, they are all voting National. Doesn't say much for Labour being the party of the Kiwi battler does it?

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What a hypocrite Steve. Your anti-Labour postings here are full of "bitter bile" and personal attacks. Unfortunately you can't see past your ideological nose.

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Lol. That's real rich coming from you!

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Try facts instead of hyperbole Steve and I could even respect you while disagreeing with you.

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Welcome to the National Party legacy.
A New Zealand where it takes four incomes to own a house, spun by Steve to sound like success.

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So right.time for a change...out with those pompous corrupt fools.

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73.6% of landlords plan rent rises if Labour wins
This message needs to be heard loud and clear to the rental community
Couple that with the back down on the tax cuts and the average punter is $2,000 worse off immediately under Labour - Ouch

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Really? What's the source of the 73.6% figure?

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There is another publication called the NZ Herald.... its in there. Refers to a survey from the New Zealand Property Investors' Federation.

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There you have it then. Purely and simply, a bit of scare mongering by a organisation with a vested interest.

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I am pretty sure they will be putting the rent up anyway no matter who (apart from greed) wins.

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Ah...so it's only out of the generosity of their kind hearts that rents are at their current levels? Remarkable.

To think economics suggests rents are constrained by what the renters are able to afford, rather than being random figures landlords pull out of their hats.

At least we can do away with Economics 101 now.

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All these comments and no Scribe!
The only tax off the table is the CGT. All other taxes are still there as they have been announced.

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My hunch is that he and the other Labour activists who have targetted blogs and forums like the NBR as part of Labour's election campaign have been recalled to headquarters to await further instructions.

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Scribe is probably feeling a bit unwell at the moment

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My mum in-law is in a Retirement Resort here in Auckland. She carried out her own internal polling this morning....and it was 100% National. Once Labor announced they were still committed to canceling the April tax cuts, even the swingers didn't want a bar of them.

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There is another concern and I would like the NBR to ask Jacinda: how does the early voting procedure reconcile with the latest flip flop on policy by Labour? It is hardly democratic and I know some Labour voters are annoyed as she has changed the policy plan after advanced voting started. All in all, even Labour supporters must agree that this is a complete shambles.

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Very good point - Vote early you know all our policies
Thanks for your early vote - now we have changed our mind

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This flip flop only proves their inability to think these matters through prior to announcing them in the first instance. Hardly adds to their credibility.

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NZ Herald business section -
New Zealand Property Investors' Federation survey just announced

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Ah, thanks for the citation....

Okay, so 73.6% of 816 self-selecting respondents said they’d raise the rent they charge? Yeah, nah. This ‘stat’ really needs to be filed under the rubic, “for entertainment purposes only.”

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Like labour's tax policy

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Excellent reply.

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Let's just wait for comrade Jacinda to tear up and get emotional AGAIN and blubber on how the current tax and housing situation is all wrong and she will fix it all by herself - Donald Trump much ??

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I think that this is a pragmatic announcement by Labour to counter the ridiculous scaremongering from National and their supporters.

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But how is Labour going to fulfil any of its spending promises without the revenue from increased taxes? More debt (which then creates a bigger hole to fill with even more taxes later)? Surely this just means they won't be able to do anything they are promising this term. So why elect them?

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They will just increase the existing taxes

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Perhaps the worst Captain's call since the Titanic?

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The Captain's Call was changed, didn't you get the memo? It is now:

"Holed below the water-line, taking on water! Abandon ship!"

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When you look at it, nothing has changed in that as has been highlighted above Robertson says nothing new "beyond what has been announced".
The only change is any advice that they accept from the working group is kicked down the road which means they should delay forming the working group for a while.
This means Labour has achieved being seen to have made a big flip flop without actually announcing much change. That takes real political skill to achieve that sort of result (sarc/)

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Obviously National has been (rightfully so) hitting Labour hard re: tax working group and the lack of transparency.

But I wonder whether the true reason for today's flip flop from Labour is to appease Winston, because their own polling (and possibly Colmar Brunton due tonight) is confirming the likely exit of the Greens from Parliament. and therefore delivering to Labour the cold, hard reality that they cannot govern without NZF?

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Next property boom will be in dunedin if labour gets in - 10's of thousands of students looking for rental accomodation so they can party on there 1 years free accomodation. They already have issues with rentals down there. And Jacinda apparently cares about students? yeah right.

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The one's I feel really sorry for are Jacinda and Helen Clark. They both voted on Monday for a tax policy that no longer exists. LOL!!

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Comrade Ardern said it was her Captain's Call to back down from introducing new taxes in the first term of a Labour Government. Will she make another Captain's Call if Labour wins the election, and declare that she feel so strongly about new taxes that she will implement these new taxes ? Captain's Call sounds more and more like an inexperienced dictator call.

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Tactically Labour hasn't dealt with the tax reform issue at all well. It is not about cooling the housing boom or any other asset bubble. It's about creating a fairer regime in a world where wealth is being concentrated more and more in the top 10% (of which I am one). I for one have no problem with a capital gain, wealth or inheritance tax. Can't take it with you, and why on earth should anyone in the family have any sense of entitlement to an asset they did not create. Unless we start from a core premise that everyone gets a relatively equal opportunity from the day they are born, I'm afraid the social unrest that comes from inequality will get worse.

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Right. So family shouldn't have a sense of entitlement but the government should. What did the government do to clip the ticket that your family didn't? I'll bet your family contributed vastly more to the creation of your wealth than the government did.

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Nope. Did it my own bat.

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Your view seems to be that people should no longer think about legacy or long term but live to today. Why build a multi generational business which is how many great businesses that thrive today were formed when you know the government will gobble it up the day after you exit stage left. We have enough of that in our world already thanks very much and it is the last thing NZ needs.

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A simple answer to your guilt of being in the top 10% is to give your money away, there are many outlets that would gladly take your money. We don't need a comprehensive tax overhaul for that.

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I disagree. It is the system (run by a Govt) that supports the well being of a society, and how that system is funded is the core issue here. Nothwithstanding there are some rich folk who are doing some very good philanthropic work, it needs much more than that to sort out the growing inequality - a wealth tax is one of the possible solutions. As an aside what I do with my money is my business, however, if my inheritance gets taxed on the way out, I have absolutely no problem with that. Not sure why you think this would be such an imposition.

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So basically you want to destroy any family owned business each generation or at best make the government a major shareholder in such business. Unless or until we see a world where nobodies can no longer become somebodies I don't see how this is necessary or desirable. If you look at the super rich on planet earth today they are still more or less first generation wealthy so that day has not arrived yet

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Hang on Tim. You seem to have extrapolated from my post that I'm advocating the Govt taking the entire (or majority of) an inherited estate. I am not. To be sure however, I am all for some degree of wealth redistribution particularly as wealth becomes more a more concentrated in the hands of a few, and the demands for returns on capital are seriously affecting those in the bottom rung of society. If one takes a macro view of the world, I cannot see how the imposition of some sort of asset tax (CGT, Wealth Tax, Inheritance Tax) can be seen as anything other than a benefit to society generally.

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But the distribution of an estate usually results in the dispersal of the wealth.
In the event of only one beneficiary , then nothing has changed.

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Sounds as if the Inheritance or Dead Granny Tax has just been deferred until further notice. Green Party still have it no deferrment here. All their joined at the hip green/Lie-bour Party have to do is piggy back on the Greens should they get over the line. That being the case,the threat of a smogasboard of threatened taxes will be resurrected. at this stage of the lead up to the election,its a matter of trust.Trust Liebour/Green Party if elected, to turn NZ into a Socialist Republic.

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They have denied an inheritance tax right from the start, just as they did a CGT on the family home and the land under it. But that hasn't stopped you scaremongers carrying on your hysteria. Struth you guys must be running really scared.

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Sam say after me in front of a mirror and weep,. the same advice given to one of your Lie-bour/ Green associates.,which i was fortunate to read earlier in the week. Think his name was Scribe. "Every one is entitled to be stupid,but you abuse the privilege"

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Give Labour credit for how they have u-turned on their tax package? Give me a break. They have had 9 years in opposition to get it sorted out, and 9 years to decide how they will implement with the support of the public. They obviously haven't a clue. It surely foreshadows how they will handle the big issues in government, and that is without understanding what they are doing. That scares me, especially in these days of a changing and dangerous world. Labour won't be getting my vote on their showing so far.

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If this is what Captain's call is all about God save their ship.

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Where's The Scribble, sorry The Scribe...

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Robertson on the radio denied being spooked by last weeks poll; two minutes later he claims they've been listening to the public. That doesn't compute with old Barnaby.

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One thing you can be sure of is Labour will find a way to up taxes from the day they get into power if they ever do.
How on earth could they possibly pay for all the goodies they have promised unless they di one of two things take away something we already have or up the taxes.
either way we can all do without them.
Then add in a smart ars like Taxsinder who thinks it is her right to tax the hell out of us....rather than live within our means.
The stupid over reach needs to stop we are already up to our ears in debt..

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What's good for the Goose (John Key) is good for the gander too.

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