Has UF been sensible?

September 30, 2008

Matthew Hooton  reckons that United Future’s dismal poll ratings might be reflected in support for leader Peter Dunne in Oahriu where National list MP Katrina Shanks is competing with him for the seat.

When Dunne was interviewed on Agenda on June 8 he said his party had paid back more than half the amount they owed parliamentary services after illegally spending public money on their 2005 campaign.

I wonder if they’ve done the sensible thing and paid the rest back? If not, like WInston Peters and NZ First, every cent they’re spending on their campaigns is a cent they owe us. And that would tell us they think getting re-elected is more important than paying back their debts.

Hat Tip: Roarprawn

Wood waste to boost soils

September 30, 2008

A Marlobrough company, Carbonscape has patented technology to turn wood waste into charcoal which has the potential to improve soil quality for farmers and horticulturalists.

The company’s website is here and a TV3 report on today’s plant opening is here.

Sth Canty Finance spreads brand

September 30, 2008

South Canterbury Finance’s 13 regional subsidiaries are going to take on the parent company’s name to raise its national profile and boost investor confidence.

There are several factors which have given the company such a solid foundation, including the integrity of its chairman, Allan Hubbard, and the fact it has a diversified, mostly provincial, investment portfolio with only a small percentage invested in Wellington and Auckland.

Carisbrook wins heritage status

September 30, 2008

The Historic Places Trust has conferred Category 1 historic status on Carisbrook.

Trust Otago/Southland manager Owen Graham said:

that given Carisbrook’s heritage value and iconic status as a sports ground, alternative re-development options such as creating a public reserve area merited full discussion.

“There is significant scope for sympathetic re-development,” Mr Graham said.

“Although the needs and pressures facing Carisbrook’s owner might result in change to its existing use, it is important to the community that Carisbrook’s character is retained for the benefit of generations to come.”

 The Dunedin City Council had opposed the registration, concerned about the impact it might have on redevelopment options it it succeeds with its plans to build a new stadium at another site. But registration by itself doesn’t offer any protection to Carisbrook.

They give with one hand . . .

September 30, 2008

It’s taken Labour nine years to allow us to keep a little mroe of our own money, but the day before the tax cuts finally happen we’re faced with power price rises.

On the eve of the Government’s tax cuts some Contact Energy customers have been lumped with a 10 percent hike in the cost of electricity.

The increase in Wellington, Nelson and Dunedin takes effect on November 1 – but is expected to be rolled out nationwide in the coming months.

The company is defending its decision to hike prices, a month after posting a $237 million annual profit, blaming a lack of new generation and problems transporting electricity to the South Island.

Raewyn Fox from the Federation of Family Budgeting Services says many people were hanging out for tax cuts, and this increase will make a big dent in them.

And as the government owns the company, the tax cut we get with one hand will go back in power bills paid to the other.

Correction & Apology: : As The Double Standard and Poneke have pointed out Contact is a private company. no excuses, I didn’t check my facts I apologise and I’m sorry.

However, the give and take still applies because Meridian which is an SOE and Mercury which is owned by an SOE are putting up their prices too.

Whack a poll

September 30, 2008

Suffering from daylight-saving induced grumpiness?

Give Whack a Poll a go – it’s very therapeutic. 🙂

Clark hints no more tax cuts

September 30, 2008

Helen Clark intimated to Jamie McKay in an interview on today’s Farming Show that there are unlikely to be any more tax cuts from Labour.

The interview will be on line here later.

And Bill English says  Clark’s promise of a pay jolt for teachers and Michael Cullen’s comments he’s beyond his comfort zone clearly put any future tax cuts from Labour in doubt.

Mr English says National has long been an advocate of placing more trust in taxpayers to make more decisions with their own money.”Let’s not kid ourselves. Despite the begrudging election year tax cuts, Labour thinks it can spend taxes better than taxpayers. If Dr Cullen is really outside his comfort zone, it’ll be Labour’s future tax cuts that are first to get the chop.”
Mr English says National will have an ongoing programme of personal tax cuts. It will be a responsible programme, and a transparent programme.

“National will build on the tax cuts due to kick in tomorrow. We will treat them as the first tranche in our tax-cut programme. That will be followed by another tranche of tax reductions on 1 April 2009, and further tranches in 2010 and 2011.

“We will be disciplined with the taxes that New Zealanders pay, and will make more effective use of existing spending, with a clear focus on the delivery of frontline services.

“The same cannot be said of Dr Cullen, who has been a fair weather Finance Minister. He has spent the windfall gains from the commodity boom, but failed to future-proof economic growth.”


Given my blue bias it’s not surprising I’ve never bought into the National as Labour-lite theory and there can be no clearer difference between the two parties than their attitudes to the public purse.

National treats taxpayers’ money with respect and its policies will create economic growth from which more social services can be afforded.

By contrast Labour has no repsect for taxpayers’ money and its policies focus on redistributing it than in economic growth.

UPDATE: The Farming Show interview is now on line. In it Jamie McKay asks if Labour can afford its tax cuts and the  answer from Helen Clark is:

Obviously they’re costed on the best information we had back before the budget was signed off so they proceed . . . but whether it would be prudent to go any further than that is obviously a judgement for the electorate.  We think we went to the outer edge of what we could do for folk when we made the decision for the budget.

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