Red Alert

By The Numbers

Posted by on February 22nd, 2013

1,600,000,000 – In tax evasion v $39 mil in welfare fraud.  White collar v blue collar = double standards?

67,000,000 – Our returns halve when Mighty River Power is hocked off by the Government

180 – Dollars – the latest median weekly wage gap with Australia

24 – Hours of porkies, pokies and pork barrel politics from National

1 – Problem gambler

29 Responses to “By The Numbers”

  1. indiana says:

    Following the link to tax evasion, We are confronted by a graph that shows an “estimated” figure of up to $1.6B. So tax evasion could be as little as $1 per year and possible as high as $1.6B but we have no real measure for that, so lets just take a guess instead.

  2. bbfloyd says:

    Nice try undie…..If the tories need to bury the truth that much, then I suggest using a front end loader…

    It will take at least 5 tons of horse manure to cover the stench of corruption that permeates the government benches at present..

    Only a blind fool tries to argue there isn’t tax avoidance being actively, and enthusiastically pursued by the wealthy, and well off….(I have been to the parties where they brag about how much they are getting away with, followed by the nudge nudge jokes whenever government intervention gets a mention)

    And that it’s being encouraged by what amounts to no more than a diversion. Which is what passes for governance whenever the raiding party is able to lie it’s way into power..(a feat that would be impossible if we had a fourth estate that amounted to more than a craven mouthpiece for their(and the nats) corporate owners…

    Hopefully, you will be the only apologist that wastes our time trying this specious rubbish…I look forward to a real discussion… from the group of intelligent, thoughtful people that contribute positively to this site….

    David is only quoting what those who are using the “real world” as their guide, know to be the truth…I know it..everyone who lives in the Remuera/parnell/St Heliers/Kohimaramara area knows it… and every other part of the country that has a large proportion of the wealthier residents knows it…

  3. phillip ure says:

    some more numbers in a piece i linked to today..

    “..The richest 400 Americans – for example – increased their wealth by 54 percent between 2005 and 2010 –

    – while the median middle-class family saw its wealth decline by 35 percent.

    None of this is accidental.

    It’s not the result of mysterious global forces – or technology – or China – or structural problems concerning the skills and education of our workforce.

    Rather it is the direct result of policy choices made by Democrats and Republicans alike.

    Together, they swallowed the Kool-Aid of unregulated market mania –

    – and now we are paying the price..”

    (and of course here we have labour and national in place of democrats and republicans..

    ..but it is also most definitely about here..over the last 30

    ..i really hope you have learnt that bl*ody

    ..please tell us you have..

    ..’cos you haven’t done/said that

    ..labour is/has been a mea culpa free zone..

    ..we are still waiting..

    ..and to be honest..that failure to tell that to those who have been hurt most by this mad neo-lib experiment.. the reason why so many still do not trust/believe

    ..and you are going to have to deliver some serious/seachange policies come next

    ..’cos so far people are just seeing more incrementalism/fiddling at the edges of the burning

    ..and just more of the same won’t see yr numbers rise much more..

    ..and certainly won’t draw those back who have turned their backs on you..

    ..but you know all

    phillip ure..

  4. Grant Hay says:

    @phillip ure. +1

  5. Jack Ramaka says:

    A Merrill Lynch merchant banker as PM the only thing worse perhaps is a Goldman Sachs merchant banker, they all know how to screw the playing field.

    State Asset Sales have been one big con job and New Zealanders are still falling for the sale of our last remaining State Assets, people believe what the Press tell them and who owns the Press, the Tories. We keep getting told how good State Asset Sales are for the country, and how good it is for the country to sell our farmland and houses to the Asian Investors.

    Look what happened to the Maori people when they lost their land through confiscation and appropriation through the Maori Land Courts, the Maori race lost it’s spirit and it’s wairua.

    I get the feeling a number of New Zealanders have lost their spirit that’s why the young people are migrating to Australia and beyond, we are not preserving our assets for the benefit of New Zealanders. The apathy at the last election indicated that alot of people have lost their spirit or interest in the well being of the country. Our PM comes from an industry where “greed is good” he does not see the big picture, evrything is measured in $ terms in his mind, he does not have any empathy with the man in the street or the less fortunate people in society.

  6. George says:

    The IRD do not have enough staff to answer their phones, or attend to correspondence, in a timely manner let alone address tax evasion.

  7. bbfloyd says:

    @george…. They will settle for the easier job of harassing beneficiaries, nd their families… the information on them is already collated, and readily available… Much easier than chasing real theives…

    @ philly ural… I get it now.. Those labour bludgers have dropped the hair shirts… I keep forgetting that the labour party’s job is to take responsibility for not only the intergenerational destruction brought about by tory governments doing no more than stealing the fruits of societies labour, but they are also to pay penance for not being able to fix it all completely before they are hounded out by a craven, and corrupted fourth estate that does no more than play to the bigotries, and stupidity of people who should know better, but choose to ignore their own part in the process of disenfranchisement, and cheer for more of the “lolly scramble” being promised by a group that has proven, over, and over again, to be unfit to lead a modern democracy… well done…..

    Even the oversimplification you are so fond of is instructive…Any old rubbish can be made to seem credible if one is prepared to reorganise inconvenient reality out of existance…..And you do that well…Which is useful as an example of just how dishonest/self serving reactionary political debate can, and does descend to repeatedly…

    Thanks for the reminder….

  8. phillip ure says: childish pathetic name-caller..(how old are you..?.is it childhood..or the other end..senility..?..’philly ural’..i heard more potent in the primary-school playground than can’t even get a decent insult together..)

    ..labour ignored the poorest for nine long years..

    ..the waterways got dirtier/more polluted under labour..

    ..the poorest got even poorer under labour..

    ..(the list is as long as my bl*ody arm..)

    ..what don’t you get/understand about that..?

    ..(but it’s all nationals’!..and the ‘evil’ media..)

    ..a rightwing/neo-lib labour govt for nine long years..

    ..they weren’t the reasons why labours’ base-electorate stayed away in

    ..and you were defeated.. was nothing to do with the realities of their time in

    ..and i’m the ‘simplistic’

    ..and you have done none of that ‘to reorganise inconvenient reality out of existance’

    let’s make it short and quick.. about you list labours’ achievements..

    ..and then tell us if you think it was anything bar ‘the evil media’ brainwashing your core-support..

    ..who kept away those who didn’t vote for you..

    phillip ure..

  9. Jack Ramaka says:

    White collar crime is too hard plus you will upset the establishment, it is easier to focus police resources on those thieving Maoris and Beneficaries.

  10. SPC says:

    bbfloyd, you seem to be the acting whip here policing criticism from the left of the Labour Party on their blog. Possibly mimicking a Labour Party that is adopting Vatican practice and marginalising anyone in the party at variance with official policy dogma.

    Obviously the Labour party sees a more narrowly focused centre left party (less broad left) as the way to grow the Labour Party vote as National ages badly in office. National lite replacing Labour lite.

    This worked last time because New Labour/Alliance was there to the left – will this work with the Greens? It leaves the Greens trying to be the broad based party instead, incorporating policy to the left of Labour and yet also competing in the centre as an environment party.

  11. bbfloyd says:

    @spc.. What’s the problem? Don’t you enjoy a robust debate? I know I do… and have you got any issues with me expressing my opinions that don’t relate an emotional response? I’m all ears…

  12. Grant Hay says:

    @bbfloyd. But yours IS an emotional response. It’s certainly not a rational one. When you are challenged to answer the kind of charges that phil listed above you either go very quiet or do the opposite and launch into what can only be described as a frothy mouthed ad-hominum attack on the person who dared to challenge either you or the Party. You obviously detest Phil Ure (a good Scots / Norse name by the way) because of his admitted past, (I always thought the Labour Party was supposed to be about support and redemption, rather than judgement and condemnation), the way he chooses to express himself (have you ever read e. e. cummings??) and last (and probably least), his political opinions which closely mirror my own. Neither Phil nor I mind a robust debate, but let’s be clear. It was you who started playing the man rather than the ball.

    Frankly someone who defends a “Labour” party which has been the palest of pink hues for over a generation, using the language of the the old socialist left, to attack those well to the left of both yourself and the Party, calling us Tories amongst other things… Well, it’s a bit rich really isn’t it?

    I’ve called you out on the Tory name calling thing before and am still waiting for a response. On the subject of Phil’s literary style, I have been both amused and repulsed by the hate speak he has attracted from yourself and others (you know who you are) who should know better, simply because of the way he writes. He is clearly an educated person. He is probably better educated than either you or I and frankly it shows. But because of prejudice, a blind obesciance to conventions which, as any educated person knows are both historically recent and probably very transient in a rapidly changing world, you indulge in the good old Kiwi habit of knocking the unconventional outsider. You and some others I’ve seen doing the same thing, speak with your bigotry instead of your brains and principles when you address him.

  13. bbfloyd says:

    Putting simplistic transferrance aside…

    Given the fact that johnny seems to have been caught in a pretty obvious lie… is this going to be a “circuit breaker”, or confirmation that people have become “comfortable” with corrupt leadership?..

    I’ll keep betting on peoples better nature, but the odds make me nervous…

  14. Grant Hay says:

    I rest my case…

  15. Grant Hay says:

    What happened to robust debate?

  16. SPC says:

    I can only note that bbfloyd does not actually want to debate whether Labour adopting a (centrist) party line discipline is a good strategy.

    Labour did not attack Alliance before forming a coalition with them in 1999, so why is it smart to diss critics to the left (individuals and Greens ala Jones et al) now?

    Yes I got it’s so hard to be Labour when it has critics to its left and the media/corporate estate/world is unfriendly – but the media is hostile to the real left and Labour joins in on the attacks to “appeal to centrist voters” and keep its own left under discipline. And these are attacks on people necessary as activists/campaigners and allies in parliament.

    When even foot soldiers of the strategy, use runaway lines – such as “it’s just robust debate and any questioning if it is emotional” one wonders whether actual debate on this is possible.

  17. bbfloyd says:

    This is becoming rather tedious kiddies…

    If personality politics is all that can be thrown at any who would demur to settle for shallow, reactive emoting, then what does that say? Absolutely nothing useful…

    The issues are what count… deliberately oversimplifying, and thereby completely burying any actual argument that has been put forward(even when the only reason for said points made is to demonstrate flaws in what passes for political debate, in an attempt to draw out relevant comment, as opposed to emotional reactions).. It is always a disappointment when that is met with stubborn adherance to old habits..

    Nevertheless, it Is instructive to have demonstrated the very limitations people insist on forcing on others when it comes to intelligent discourse…

    The time for adolescent pride dominating debate over serious issues is long past… we don’t have the luxury of time any more.. the pace of destruction is being accelerated, and it’s vital that the process of rebuilding is informed by intelligent, forward thinking, progressive discussion…

    The message is simple… the points that are made are what counts in the debate, not the style of the person making them….unless one can answer the points, and refrain from simply attacking the source(a traditional method of silencing dissent) then one is part of the problem, not the solution…

    I don’t expect the majority of people to understand my comments immediately, but giving things some thought before leaping at shadows would be useful…

    So I’ll say it again… Johnny sparkles, on the evidence shown, has been caught telling blatant lies…

    Does anyone really care that the man who we are led to believe is so trusted can lie so casually?

    What does that signify when this realisation is applied to every statement he makes, and has made since entering parliament?

    This is an ISSUE folks… A real serious one… Is our prime minister a serial liar? Has the utter contempt he shows his own constituents through the deliberately misleading statements he makes on a regular basis, not an issue for New Zealanders?

    Or are we so degraded that wallowing in personality politics, and character assassination is as deep as it gets?

    Just a few REAL ISSUES to mull over…

  18. SPC says:

    bbfloyd, wordy prevarication. Just admit you don’t want to debate some issues and will attack those who do and you see this as being a “mature” loyalist accepting a place/role within an organisational heirarchy.

    I get it this is your place where one side attacks “them” currently in government and any internal questioning of strategy and policy is to be avoided to present a united front (in caucus/party and even on a party blog open to the public).

    And any of us amongst the public not buying into the strategy are seen as the enemy and called Tories or otherwise belittled as emotional or adolescent – because command and knowing better than others is somehow rational and mature. I hope you are not inferring emotional to be feminine and weak as part of some new language to promote Labour as in a new era as a party of by and for men – David Shearer welcoming back JT?

  19. Grant Hay says:


    “The message is simple… the points that are made are what counts in the debate, not the style of the person making them….unless one can answer the points, and refrain from simply attacking the source(a traditional method of silencing dissent) then one is part of the problem, not the solution…”

    This is a Labour Party blog. People like Phil and SPC and I are not the ones trying to silence dissent. We are visitors come to argue the toss. Silencing our dissenting voices is what you have been trying to do.

    Perhaps you would care to reflect on your own words above, compare them to your own ad hominem style of debate, your gratuitous attacks on Phil Ure and others, your refusal to engage in calm and rational political discourse and your habit of going mighty quiet when directly challenged by people who are not intimidated by your aggressive language.

    If what you want is a conflict free zone, where alternative views are banned from Red Alert and it is left to become an echo chamber for the Party faithful, that’s fine. Just get the moderators to send us away and we’ll all be happy. Until that happens, what say you try to stay civil and talk politics and not personalities? Because, I’ll say it again, up until now that is precisely the game you’ve tried to play. Phil has answered your arguments on many an occassion, you, on the other hand, never answer his (see above)in other than a flurry of angry “purple prose” and personal insults of the most juvenile type which rarely makes good sense when deconstucted and subjected to rational analysis.

    I’ve only seen this behaviour from the extreme political left or right before (and some denizens of The Standard). I think you’re worthy of a new socio-political category. Fanatical-centre-left-social-liberal?? :).

  20. phillip ure says:



    phillip ure..

  21. Grant Hay says:

    A bit like saying you have a blazing passion for tapioca pudding…

  22. phillip ure says:

    @ grant hay

    i quite like this one from a literate dismantling of downton abbey i found the other day..

    “ unambitious – platitudinous – liberalism..”

    ..sez it all

    phillip ure..

  23. Matt says:

    a) What is the actual reference to the paper published? b) I imagine most of said “evasion” is more like avoidance and completely legal under current law.

  24. SPC says:

    There is a 2012 media report here

    And as for the one reference to earlier work

    Lisa Marriott, John Randal and Kevin Holmes (2010). Influences on tax evasion behaviour: Insights from a behavioural simulation experiment – Forthcoming in New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy

    So I would look for a report in that Journal.

  25. SPC says:

    Matt, if you think $1.6B is too low a figure for tax evasion in New

  26. SPC says:

    Matt, If you think $1.6M is too low a figure for tax evasion in New Zealand you would be wrong.

    Personally I think it is under-estimated.

    From those doing cash jobs to rental property investors who are in it for the CG, to many others. I think the IRD would also say the $1.6B figure is under-estimated.

  27. Matt says:

    I don’t remember disagreeing with the point… It’s referenced as 2012, for which I saw no paper to such a topic.

    Point being, if they were found guilty under current law then I imagine they would be forced to recompense for their defrauding of the state. Second, would be hard to tell how much of said “evasion” flows back via other tax channels.

  28. SPC says:

    matt, I must have misunderstood your comment that most of the said “evasion” is more like avoidance and completely legal under current law.

    Yes sure we would get 15% of the money not paid in tax in GST, or some similar level of return via tax on interest and dividend income.

    The media report (2012) refers to a study she had yet to complete.

  29. Matt says:

    Just being pedantic, evasion vs. avoidance. If evasion, I imagine there would be a much higher return via prosecutions… But, stacking your books to current law ain’t illegal. And, who presides over law?

    It would just lower the amount that’s all, and drive output/production/employment at the most effective level – if it’s spent of course.