Red Alert

By the Numbers

Posted by on December 7th, 2012

169,000,000 – Dollars higher than forecast: National’s deficit keeps growing…

450,000 – Dollars – the cost to taxpayers of two reports into the MSD privacy breach.

50,000th – Kiwi left for Oz yesterday

7000 – Teachers have signed a petition rejecting the Government’s education reform agenda in Canterbury.

1 – Good case of ‘Claustrophilia’. 520 Wellingtonians donned Santa suits last night in a charity run for KidsCan – Merry Christmas!

27 Responses to “By the Numbers”

  1. Matt says:

    Maybe you should say that deficits mean nothing? And why would one expect any different outcome to the one you’re pointing out? How about removing oneself from the bunk Parker omits there? Have we not had enough Neo-liberal crap from the Labour Party?

  2. David Clark says:

    @Matt of course deficits matter. But we’ve always been clear that private debt is the biggest issue for NZ. Macro-prudential tools to assist with jobs and export-led growth are needed as are compulsory savings and pro-growth tax policies. NZ has to pay its way in the world, and endless borrowing to fund consumption of overseas consumer goods is not the answer to creating a successful NZ.

  3. Jack Ryan says:

    Macro-prudential tools!? Love the jargon :) but would be nice to actually know what exactly you mean and are going to do. Pro-growth tax, I assume you mean capital gains tax, that is sure to encourage growth. Just say what you mean.

  4. David Clark says:

    @Jack Ryan.

    The jargon, of course, is useful shorthand. M-P tools are many and varied and Labour’s plan would enable the reserve bank to intervene in markets to assist the achievement of goals other than just managing inflation. Pro-growth tax reform would involve a CGT – yes, and also R&D tax credits, and possibly also depreciation measures.

    Clearly you don’t love the jargon. You should just say what you mean. 😉

  5. Jack Ryan says:

    David, I use jargon all the time in my profession, but would not use it in a general setting. So wiki helped me get a feel for M-P, seems like its just capping lending, but i am no expert in this field. How will this effect the housing plan? I’m sure it will all be coordinated.

  6. SPC says:

    David Clark, our private borrowing is not to import goods but to buy local property – housing and farmland.

    Establishing complusory saving will simply reduce the amount of discretionary spending locals have the capacity for, it will not reduce private debt (except for those pushed over the edge into hardship – and their debt will be with loan sharks or on the credit card – little difference). It also could undermine the future of universal tax paid super – either a lower rate (hardship for those without othr income) or means testing or both. But this depends on the rate, a low rate would not do so but one at the Oz level inevitably results in this impact for the existing tax paid scheme.

  7. Fortran says:

    A capital gains tax will take up to 15 years to produce more income that it will cost to police.
    Whilst not a bad idea be realistic on the ability to obtain a meaningful tax income for those who pay tax.

    [Fortran, this is a specious comment which needs evidence if it is to be taken seriously. The period to produce more income than it costs to police is entirely dependent upon how the tax is devised and how it is policed. A CGT is likely to generate additional tax revenue through other channels too as it makes wholesale avoidance more difficult. David]

  8. Dan says:

    Hi David,

    Would you consider a more aggressive CGT than the one pitched in the last election?

  9. SPC says:

    I suppose I should have noted that compulsory saving might reduce the value of residential property (and thus private borrowing to own) – by reducing affordability to either own or rent.

    But the extent of this would depend on the balance with the employer contribution – in Oz a high employer contribution means little impact on house prices. But in New Zealand this might mean limited wage growth – unless there was a minimum wage rise to $15 an hour to maintain upward wage pressure (especially in the $15-$20 an hour area where wage growth is slow).

  10. Neo colonial viper says:

    Not looking pretty for poor NZ. Time for a solid policy platform from labour over the next year or so and take it to the tories

  11. Jack Ramaka says:

    The main driver of property prices is Asian Investment, many Asian are parking money here in NZ as a safe haven, at an Auction a few weeks ago I am told 19 houses were on offer and they were all bought by Asian Buyers.

    In the suburb I live in Auckland, many of the properties are Asian owned by absentee Asian owners.

    I hope they are paying the right amount of tax on properties they buy and sell.

  12. Jack Ramaka says:

    Interesting to note housing/rent costs are not in the inflation index yet this is one of the major costs out of people weekly income and the cost of living expenses, makes the inflation index a joke and a real blunt instrument.

  13. Dave says:

    Here’s a number for you: 1. The number of Dunedin MP’s who threatened to “out” anonymous Labour bloggers because they criticise her performance, and go off ‘message’.

  14. Geoff Cartwright says:

    A question for the party.
    How long with the reorganisation process take cause I’m 42 now and I’ve waited 15 years so far.
    Also I have a degree in operational management and another in marketing…do you think this would be any help or any interest to my local LEC or MP, nope.

  15. Stuart Nash says:

    Geoff – move to Napier: we would very much welcome your help and expertise here :-) Stuart

  16. Geoff Cartwright says:

    @ dave, time for all of labour to get on and do the job….reorganise now, reconnect to the members and electorate now, create a dynamic modern structure to engage the public and non votes the swing the switch and grow the left voting block…get team labour on message….listen learn interact and participate but do it NOW.

  17. Geoff Cartwright says:

    @ Stuart Nash
    Thank for the kind offer but I live and breath South D.

  18. Geoff Cartwright says:

    In the theme of the post.
    15 the years I have been waiting for the elite parliamentarian wing of labour to reconnect to the party and hence the electorate, IMHO only through a vibrant active and inclusive membership will the TRUE natural party of new Zealand bring about the change needed. Bring on the TRUE LABOUR party.
    The trinity of climate change, oil shock and rampant capitalism are to be faced for the people by the people, not just the few….remember there is strength in the many.

  19. Jack Ramaka says:

    We need a Labour Party with a true vision for NZ which the majority of New Zealanders can understand and relate to.

    Appealing to the swing voters at each election is not what a majority of New Zealanders want.

    We want a plan and a roadmap for the country.

    Since Roger Douglas hijacked Labour and started selling NZ down the drain Labour has suffered from an identity crisis, Labour need to an all inclusive party with a vision for the country.

    Balancing the country’s books, growing the economy and living within our means would be a good start.

    People have to start taking ownership and responsibility.

    Likewise Asset Sales are not the magic bullet they failed before and will fail again, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing trying to get a different result. All the previous Asset Sales did was concentrate the wealth in a few priviledged individuals and priviledged families hands.

  20. bbfloyd says:

    Please excuse my ignorance(if that is what it is) when I point out to those who I expected to have greater depth perception, that, approximately a year ago(coinciding with the installation a new leader), there was a comprehensive review process initiated, which I can only assume has been the main driver of the important changes made at the last labour party conference….

    So what is all the “the labour party needs to”, as if they hadn’t ALREADY started the process of re-establishing their true path….

    Am I the only one capable of understanding that any process has to take “actual time”?

    Have our “left wing” intellectuals become so thin on the ground that the concept of a realistic timeline doesn’t compute?

    Please, people, don’t let the taint of shallow, self interest that has infected sites that used to be useful, like the “standard” etc to discredit EVERY vehicle we have that allows us to contribute to what will be a massive recovery operation, once the raiding party has finally been seen through….

    Earth to whingers…. things take time… nothing that is worth doing is going to be assisted by demands of “instant transformation”… Indeed, that is the way to ensure the process becomes pointless…

    Look at what HAS been achieved, rather than complain that the process hasn’t “instantly fixed” every little thing yet…

    Considering that every person who has an axe to grind about the labour party seems to have a unique perspective as to what shape the party structure takes, it strikes me as an impossibility for any party to be able to satisfy every whim…and leaves the impression of people who fundamentally misunderstand the impossibility of what they demand…

    Meanwhile, those same “left leaning” intellectuals are playing entirely into the hands of the true enemies of democracy…

    My word… what a clever bunch of pseudos we are….

  21. SPC says:

    On the topic of Affording our future – a recent Treasury economist address.

    My response to the problem of a future 7 to 11% rise in health spending or a 4 to 8% increase in tax paid super cost is this.

    We require a compulsory payment not into Kiwi Saver but into the Cullen Fund (English has put so little in it it is not co-financed) – 4% from each employee and 4% from each employer. Then this Fund can better meet some of the cost of future tax paid super. Clearly we are not going to have the budget surpluses required to grow this fund and this alternative has to be applied.

    The other option is a similar health fund – a charge to assist in the funding of health costs – say 1% from the worker and 1% from the employer.

    In the immediate future we need to do

    1. make universal super to those over 70 only.
    2. pay it under 70 to only those who have retired – thus a retirement pension between 65 and 70. Define retired as earning less than the median wage from employment.
    3. signal an increase in age from 65 to 70 (from 2022 to 2042). This gets us to age 67 by 2030.
    4. pay income support benefits to the unemployed at the rate of super between age 65 and 70, so there is no hardship for those who cannot find work at this age.

    A back up option is paying tax paid super at two rates. The assessment of the two rates being begun now and then applied when this was felt necessary.

    Universal at the current level plus the CPI.
    A means tested rate at the current level.

  22. Geoffcartwright says:

    @ BBfloyd impatient more likely that we have waited soo long for a real democratic process within the party but yes I agree this perceived divide is clouding the real conflict….we the people are desperate for a left leaning party block to win the next election but this time the fight is a dual approach.IMO we will only win if we can mobilise and reconnect to the lost voters who either couldn’t wouldn’t and didn’t vote labour but also in the long term we need the local party, the grass / flax root and branch of our broad left leaning tree of hope to reestablish and reconnect to the wider community as well. This mimic of the Tory elite parliamentarian structure role and function doesn’t suit the left cause we are not the imbedded societal influencers, at present. We don’t need infighting, we don’t need separate wings, we don’t need loaned lone wolf ego twits who speak and speak and do nothing, want we need on the left is UNITY.
    we need a reestablishment of the connectiveness of people and community groups who are striving for what we on the left believe in.
    Do we have a plan or is it simply our turn for the next two term after 2014.
    I am one vote, one member, one voice but I am tired of seeing the despite and suffering of far far too many people in the main streets of south d.

    Let’s start the campaign now. Let claim back our community and people, let connect and provide hope again to those who once voted labour because the people need labour strong resilient and united.

  23. Jack Ramaka says:

    Bbfloyd and Geoffcartwright good comments I believe with Shearer and some sound pragmatic leadership New Zealanders will start to give the Labour Party some more credibility.

    We need to have Government who embrace all New Zealanders it is not just a left and right argument which the press tend to portray. We need to grow the economy and grow people within the economy, if we can get balance everybody wins.

    The big wealth transfers in NZ to the people in the top 1% of society have not helped the growth of NZ as a country or a nation despite the rantings and ravings of the right wing supporters of State Asset Sales.

  24. The Al1en says:

    “I believe with Shearer and some sound pragmatic leadership New Zealanders will start to give the Labour Party some more credibility.”

    Get someone in Labour’s caucus to publicly post a target figure of where they want the party to be sat in the polls in six months.
    What are they afraid of?
    Get close, and your argument will have more credible than roy morgan has recently suggested.

    Good luck with that, eh.

  25. Matt says:

    @David Clark, yes but in what sense? It’s clear deficits are too small, not too large. Look at the real figures, unemployment, underemployment? 22% at last look. Massive amounts of spare capacity that want to work, but can’t… Monetary policy won’t fix these. Neither will “earning our way”, what use do Kiwis have for a foreign currency? Zero. Neither will monetary policy create the possibilities you wish, they won’t. Exports are a cost, not a benefit to NZ’s. Undermining our collective standard of living for foreign entities… Great.

    @SPC always lurking. There is NO possibility of running out of NZ nominal deposits into Super accounts… The Treasury spends via directly crediting bank accounts. And I will post our favourite US politician…

    PAUL RYAN: “Do you believe that personal retirement accounts can help us achieve solvency for the system and make those future retiree benefits more secure?”

    ALAN GREENSPAN: “Well, I wouldn’t say that the pay-as-you-go benefits are insecure, in the sense that there’s nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody. The question is, how do you set up a system which assures that the real assets are created which those benefits are employed to purchase.”

  26. bbfloyd says:

    @alien….You can’t be serious, surely?……. “publicly post a target figure of where they want the party to be sat in the polls in six months”.

    You obviously want the labour party to make itself into some sort of pathetic joke….

    Well, it ain’t going to happen young wishful thinker…. No matter how much some people may fear it, this labour party, with this leader, is doing the REAL work, addressing REAL issues, and preparing for what they know is going to be a massive recovery operation….

    Not one of it’s mp’s is going to waste their time giving those poor excuses for journalists inhabiting what once was our “fourth estate”, a handle to humiliate them with…

    Silly numbers games are best left in the hall cupboard, along with the old monopoly set….to be dragged out at christmas to keep the children amused…

    Although the raiding party would probably appreciate any ideas you might have for new ways to play silly games…. Judging by the maisma hanging over their caucus at present, they could use a few meaningless diversions to feed the news media….

  27. GeoffCartwright says:

    Trouble is my friend I can’t see and all indicators from overseas state that the economy is not going to get better after 2014 so of we have a left block govt but still no cash what then.
    While the people desperately need a left govt a social democratic party, we don’t need a shuffling of the deck chairs of mico policy we need real solutions in a timely manner to climate and cheap oil impact upon our economy.
    We need a raft of macro monetary policies a whole paradym shift to solve this issues.
    Why should mega companies pay little tax when our children starve, why should labour be devolved into simple a calculation of profit for offshore entities,.
    Where is the labour party…
    I want a powerful connected energised united and focused party with one objective…to provide a new direction. A direction for the betterment of all new zealanders not just the few at the top.
    We need action now, we need policy now, we the new direction signalled early.
    I don’t want to be just a number anymore in a unfair an unjust and unequal system.