Win for Cunliffe, win for Dotcom

September 17, 2014

Kim Dotcom threatened to bring down John Key and National.

His moment of truth turned into a moment of strewth, is that all there is?

The email on which he was depending to prove John Key a liar is a fake.

That ought to be the end of it, but it won’t be if Labour is in a position to form a government because in spite of Cunliffe’s yeah-nahing about working with Dotcom’s puppets in Internet Mana, he would if it meant he could be Prime Minister.

He has a chance to ensure IMP doesn’t get anywhere by firmly ruling out any post-election deal with it.

Instead of this he’s wishy-washy:

. . . Mr Cunliffe says he’s not particularly concerned if Mr Harawira loses and Labour is without a potential support partner.

Not particularly concerned? If he had the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders at heart he would be absolutely unequivocal that he’d be delighted if that happened.

“I want to see Kelvin Davis as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau,” he told reporters in Hamilton.

Mr Cunliffe has ruled Internet Mana out of a Labour-led government, but the door is still open for a confidence and supply agreement.

If he really wanted to see Davis as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau he’d make it quite clear that he was ruling IMP out completely.

He’s not prepared to do that which means a vote for Labour would also be a vote for Dotcom pulling the strings of MPs supporting it in government.

A win for Cunliffe would be a win for Dotcom.

The only way to rule out Dotcom is to rule out a Labour-led government.

The only way to do that is to give your party vote to National.

 


Foulers cry foul

September 14, 2014

Internet Mana  is complaining about Prime Minister John Key’s decision to declassify documents which will prove accusations against him are baseless.

. . .In a joint statement, Mr Harawira and Ms Harre say the reported intention of the Prime Minister “to arrange the selective declassification and release of documents for his own political purposes” represents an abuse of the Prime Minister’s authority in his capacity as the Minister in charge of the GCSB and the SIS. . .

If the PM didn’t release documents they’d accuse him of hiding something but when he says he will release documents they’re still complaining.

This is a case of the foulers crying foul.

They’re the ones who’ve allowed themselves to be bought by Kim Dotcom who is doing his best to interfere in the election.

The PM not only has the right to release this he has a duty.

This isn’t just about him. It’s about New Zealand, New Zealanders and our security.

Those who don’t understand that should read Charles Finny’s excellent guest post at Kiwiblog:

. . .  The Labour Government that saw us through World War II, and those from 1957-60, 1972-75, 1984-90 and 1999-2008 have not sought to change our position in “five eyes” because the leaders and senior Ministers of those Governments have realized how lucky we are to be part of this agreement and knew how fundamental the intelligence derived from it was to the security of New Zealand.  Ultimately the most important function of government is to protect the people.  “Five eyes” plays a very important role in our ongoing security.  There was a wobble under Lange which saw New Zealand denied access to some processed intelligence from the US, but access to the raw communications intercepted by the four allies continued throughout.  Under Helen Clark the full flow of processed intelligence resumed.

I cannot believe what I have just heard saying about today.  What we now call is as much a creation of Labour as it is the National Party.  It is crucial to our continuing security.  It protects us against the hostile actions of foreign governments, terrorist organizations, and international criminals.  Of course the same foreign governments, terrorist organizations and criminals hate the ‘’fives eyes agreement” and want it dismantled because it stands in their way.  I can’t believe that a Labour Leader would align himself with these forces and put this agreement and our position in it so much at risk.  If his senior colleagues do not call Cunliffe on this, shame on them too.  Our national security is too important to be put at risk by short term political opportunism.

Even when Helen Clark thought we lived in a benign strategic environment her government didn’t short-change  or subvert our security the way the left is now attempting to.

 

 


Only National can provide stability

September 12, 2014

Trans Tasman:

Polls midway through the campaign are continuing to point to a win for the incumbents on September 20, but Ministers reckon it will be a “tight finish.” On current polling, the Centre-Right parties appear to be about 15 points ahead of those on the Centre-Left. So is NZ becoming more conservative? Or is the Centre-Right domination of the political landscape due to John Key shifting National to the centre? The answers to those questions may only emerge in time, but after the hard slog through the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes, NZers have a clear and pressing priority. They overwhelmingly want a stable Govt to deliver steady, if not spectacular, progress.

They are averse to radical, dislocating change, or of “reformers” who want to re-shape their world. . . .

Only National can provide stable government.

The internal divisions in Labour  have been overshadowed by other events and issues in the election campaign.

But they haven’t gone away and are one of the reasons the party is polling so poorly.

The unions and members lumbered caucus with a leader they didn’t want and who some still don’t support.

Throw in the Green Party wanting around half the cabinet positions plus Winston Peters, Hone Harawira, Laila Harre . . .  and you get a recipe for instability and no progress.

Thanks for tuning in tonight. If you want a National Government, party vote National. #Decision14 #Working4NZ


Not as blue as polls paint it

September 9, 2014

Successive polls are showing National at around 50%.

That ought to be good news, but a Facebook friend looked at polls and elections results and found:

. . . In the final month of polling in 2011, we averaged 52.1%. On election day, we got 47.31% – a drop of about 4.8%.

In the final month of polling in 2008, we averaged 47.1%. On election day? 44.93% – a drop of about 2.2%.

In the polls currently taken in the month before E Day, we are averaging 48.91%. The polls that dragged the mean down in the final month of polling in the previous two elections (the ones taken in the final two weeks), have not been taken yet.

What does this mean?

The polls may go down. We may lose support. E Day could be worse.

If we expect previous trends to repeat themselves, we are on track for an MMP, nail-biting, screaming-at-the-tv, 1 seat majority, hum-dinger. . .

The election result is very, very unlikely to be as blue as the polls are painting it.

An outright majority was very rare under First Past the Post. It hasn’t happened yet under MMP and is very unlikely to this year.

The trend for Labour is downwards but if National’s vote drops much below the polls, we might not get a John Key- led government and it could be possible for David Cunliffe to cobble together a coalition with the collection of mis-matched parties on the far left.


Stronger voice for Maori with National

September 8, 2014

Helen Clark called the Maori Party the last cab off the rank.

That comment soured relationships between Labour and the Maori Party.

John Key recognised the mana of co-leaders Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples and their party by inviting them into coalition in 2008 and 2011 even though he could have governed without them.

Although it voted with  National for confidence and supply the Maori party often voted against it on other legislation and it has said it could support either a National or Labour government.

But David Cunliffe isn’t prepared to offer them that opportunity:

. . . Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this morning, Mr Cunliffe said he intended to only include the Green Party and NZ First in any government.

Asked if he was also ruling out the Maori Party, he said he would possibly talk to Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell after the election but “I just won’t have them in Government.”

He did not believe Mr Flavell would opt to side with Labour if it was in a kingmaker position, despite Mr Flavell saying they were open to working with either side and would take their lead from what Maori voters wanted.

“People need to know before the election that a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for the National Party.” . . .

This is the man who earlier in the year was doing a Winston Peters in yeah-nahing over whether he’d work with Internet Mana because it was up to voters to decide.

Now he’s ruling out the much more moderate Maori Party.

He’s probably gambling that this will hurt the Maori Party but the message he’s sending Maori is that they’ll have a much stronger voice and more influence with a National-led government.

Tama Iti has already got that message:

. . .  Iti said he had always supported the Maori Party and had decided to stand to boost the party’s support and because he endorsed the work it had done in government.

“Not very long ago I wouldn’t have thought about it but I see there’s more achievement…with National in terms of the treaty settlements so we have come a long way,” he said.

Having a Maori voice in power had led to gains in areas such as health and social services for Maori and it was important for Maori “to be sitting on the table rather than across the road throwing rocks at each other”. . .

Labour took the Maori seats for granted for years and now it’s ruling the Maori party out of any government it would lead.


Labour’s numbers don’t add up

September 6, 2014

The NBR has interviewed tax experts who say that Labour’s expert panel couldn’t sort out the complexities of the CGT in time to prevent a revenue hole.

The print edition has fuller coverage by Rob Hosking which says that wishful thinking and invention play too large a part of Labour’s fiscal policies.

. . .  The questions do not just involve the much discussed capital gains tax  – although this certainly features prominently.

Also under question are assumptions about an unspecified tax crack-down which is supposed to net $200 million ain extra tax revenue a year.

But more critical is the framework of all this – something highlighted by Labour leader David Cunliffe’s floundering response to a challenge by Prime Minsiter John Key in this week’s leaders’ debate in in Christchurch  . . .

One over-riding problem with the plan is the need for the panel to resolve technical issues and tax changes ready for the next financial year.

“I just can’t see them being able to do that,” says Ernst & Young tax partner Aaron Quintal. . . .

Deloitte technical director of tax Robyn Walkers . . . also warns the capital gains tax could be higher than Labour is promising. . .

Labour’s policy is for 15% CGT but the Green and Internet Mana parties want it to be levied at the individual’s marginal tax rate which will mostly be the top one.

The other question that could affect that narrow surplus target is promises for even bigger tax crack-downs that Inland revenue has been running in recent years.

Labour’s budget plan involves an assumption this crackdown will bring in $200 million a year in tax revenue.

“That is just a made-up figure says Deloitte tax specialist Alex Mitchell. . .

The other ‘revenue hole’ comes back to the capital gains tax and this is to do with the gap between rhetoric and the reality of such a tax.

The political and emotional attraction of a CGT is that it will combat inequality but it doesn’t gather enough to do that.

“Capital gains taxes do not raise much revenue,” Mr Quintal says. “In the UK it is around 1% of the tax take: in Australia it is half of 1%. . .

” . . . In New Zealand realistically we are only looking at something around $500 million a year probably.

“That is not going to do what they say it is going to do.”

The $200 million in extra revenue isn’t the only thing that’s been made up, so is the assertion that IRD have been consulted on the CGT.

Duncan Garner asked David Cunliffe if he’d consulted the IRD on Labour’s capital gains tax.

Cunliffe said he hadn’t personally but the party had.

Garner asked IRD and got a response saying they’d had no discussions on it:

Labour’s big spending promises are based on more and higher taxes based on rhetoric which won’t be matched in reality.

That would be bad enough if the party was able to govern alone. The higher spending and tax policies of the mis-matched group of parties it would need to from a government make the outlook under a labour-led government even more dire.

If the numbers don’t stack up nor will any of the other policies which depend on them.

John Armstrong says Labour is the living dead after its tax fiasco.

It’s suffering from a variety of self-inflicted wounds, not least of which is that its numbers don’t stack up.


Answer’s maybe and that’s final

September 5, 2014

David Cunliffe has given five different answers to the question of whether or not CGT will be due on the family home when your parents die.

The answer is maybe and that’s final as far as he’s concerned because whether it is or whether it isn’t he’s got a problem.

If it is it will be a death tax by stealth which would be politically unsellable.

New Zealand families will be distressed to learn that Labour would force them to sell their deceased parents’ home within a month of their death or face a punitive capital gains tax, National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English says.

“The more David Cunliffe tries to explain his complicated capital gains tax, the more he ties himself in knots and confuses New Zealanders,” Mr English says.

“Last night on NewstalkZB, he contradicted his finance spokesman by saying Labour’s capital gain tax would apply to a family home after the death of a parent, unless it was sold within a month.

“In other words, he would force families to rush through the sale of their parents’ family home at a distressing time in their lives, or penalise them with a new tax.

“Just hours earlier, on RadioLive David Parker said the capital gains tax would not apply.

“If David Cunliffe and David Parker cannot get their story straight, it is little wonder that New Zealanders are confused and uncertain about Labour’s higher tax agenda.

“This is just one of five new taxes Labour and the Greens would impose on New Zealanders. This would stall New Zealand’s good economic momentum, creating uncertainty and costing jobs

“By contrast, National’s clear economic plan is successfully supporting higher wages and more jobs. It is steering New Zealand back to surplus this year and ensuring government spending is invested wisely to deliver better results,” Mr English says.

But if CTG isn’t levied on the family home when your parents die the tax take won’t live up to their projections which will leave a big hole in their budget.

Voters have a right to know the answer before the election.

Prime Minister John Key stepped up his attack on Labour’s capital gains tax today, suggesting it will create a headache for grieving children who inherit a house on the death of their parents. . .

Mr Key said: “You’d have to say by any definition it’s a complete and utter mess.”

Mr Key said Mr Cunliffe had yesterday told New Zealanders “that if they don’t sell the family home of their deceased parents, then within one month they will have to start paying a capital gains tax”.

“‘That is a horrifying thought for New Zealanders to be put in that position. Probate wouldn’t even come through within one month.

“I think everyone would accept the number one priority when your parent or parents pass away is not whether you should be out there flogging off the family home so you don’t have to pay a capital gains tax, it’s dealing with all the emotions and stress and issues that go with losing a loved one.”

Labour’s policy states the tax is payable only on the gains since inheritance and only when the home is sold.

Mr Cunliffe this morning said the fine details of when an inherited home would be liable for the tax would be worked out by and expert advisory group.

“Other countries have a range of periods — Aussie uses two years, some countries from the point of death, others from the point of settlement.”

Mr Key said Labour should have the answers now.

“We are now a couple of weeks out from an election this is a key policy for Labour and they can’t tell New Zealanders when it comes to their number one asset, their family home, how it will be treated.”

Will Labour's Capital Gains Tax (one of five new taxes) punish Kiwi families when their parents pass away? Let's ask them.


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