A start to closing NZ-Aust wage gap

August 25, 2010

New Zealanders’ after-tax average earnings have increased faster than those in Australia in the last couple of years.

Finance Minister Bill English said that was because Australia has had higher inflation and smaller tax cuts than we’ve had on this side of the Tasman.

“As a result, the wage gap between the two countries has actually narrowed slightly.

“We are not getting too excited about that, because we are such a long way behind Australia to begin with. But it’s a good start.”

It’s also a welcome reversal from the widening gap which happened under Labour.

Since September 2008, real after-tax wages in New Zealand have increased by 8.7 per cent. Using a comparable series, Australia’s real after-tax wages have increased by 4.8 per cent in the same period.

“By comparison, New Zealand wage growth significantly lagged Australia’s in the nine years to September 2008. Over that entire period, New Zealand’s real after tax wage growth was a paltry 3 per cent, compared with 19 per cent growth in Australia.

“Put another way, when Labour was in office, real after tax wages in Australia increased over six times faster than wages in New Zealand. No wonder the wage gap blew out under Labour’s watch.”

 The outcome of the Australian election will influence the gap – if Labor wins taxes are likely to increase more or decrease more slowly.

However, for the good of both countries we need the gap to continue to close because of progress in New Zealand not regression in Australia.

That means more policies which promote economic growth and continued reversal of the tax and spend policies which put us into recession long before the rest of the world.


Word of the day

August 25, 2010

Gadzookery – the use of archaic words or expressions.


Just wondering . . .

August 25, 2010

Shouldn’t the UK be the UQ at the moment?


12/15

August 25, 2010

12/15 in this week’s Dominion Post politics quiz.


Save whose farms from what?

August 25, 2010

A group of Aucklanders wants to Save The Farms .

Not from pests and diseases, high rates bills, compliance costs and a myriad of other real threats. They want to save us from the perceived threat of foreign ownership.

Rather than saving our farms, StF is threatening them.

It is an incorporated society whose purpose is to:

  • Maintain ownership by New Zealand citizens of all agricultural and sensitive land and land of cultural importance.
  • To gain an immediate Moratorium on the sale of this land to foreign investors.
  • To promote and stimulate informed public debate around these objectives in a non political and partisan manner.
  • To promote a revision of the Overseas Investment Act 2005.

To this end they want the government:

  •  to put a moratorium on the sale of the Crafar farms and other sensitive agricultural land.
  •  to give urgency to the proposed review of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 incorporating a robust programme for public submission as announced by the Prime Minister.
  • The moratorium on the sale of sensitive agricultural land remains until the review of the Act has been completed.

This is a direct attack on property rights and farm values.

What do they mean by “our” farms anyway?  The only farms which might be considered “ours”  are those owned by Landcorp.

The rest aren’t “ours”. They are the property of the many individuals, trusts, companies and other bodies who have purchased the land.

Excluding foreign buyers would have an immediate and negative impact on the price of farmland. Other would-be purchasers might enjoy that but would-be sellers and the hundreds of other land owners whose farms’ values would plummet, and their creditors, would not.

What makes farms special or different from commercial or residential property, businesses and companies that all foreigners should be prevented from buying it?

Around 80% of our forestry is foreign-owned as are many other companies operating here including several vineyards and wineries and hotel chains. A Chinese company has a big stake in PGG Wrightson which gives them access to PGW’s intellectual property in seed development.

Most of our banks are foreign owned and their policies and operations impact on the day to day life of New Zealanders directly in a way that farms do not.

The Overseas Investment Act  already requires vetting of would-be purchasers of more than 5 hectares of non-urban land.

Regardless of who the owners are they can’t take the land with them and are subject to the same laws and regulations governing what they can do with it as everyone else.

Bernard Hickey says SOF’s is a myopic, xenophobic campiagn which needs debating.

I agree with his adjectives and think a discussion on the facts would be helpful. It could start with a KPMG report which found:

  • There is no evidence that New Zealand is experiencing an unusually high level of foreign investment in agricultural assets.
  • No justification for significant changes to the overseas investment rules . . .
  • KPMG’s Head of Agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot says: 

    “As a small, developed economy New Zealand has always required inbound investment to support the standards of living we are now accustomed to, and this holds true even in the current environment. The agricultural sector in particular lacks sufficient equity to take advantage of the opportunities available to it and foreign investment offers the potential for us to maximise the value of our land. Events of the last year have demonstrated we are not always able or prepared to finance these opportunities from our own resources.

     “The high price of quality agricultural land in New Zealand and our remoteness to the rest of world means that even with the natural benefits of water and the link product has to New Zealand’s sustainable brand we are unlikely to be top of the list of preferred destinations for most international land investors currently looking for opportunities,” says Mr Proudfoot.

    In other words there is no need for SoF’s campaign because in spite of perceptions to the contrary, New Zealand farmland isn’t particularly attractive to foreign investors.

    Given that and our need for capital, those who want to come here should not be discouraged without good reason and not being citizens is not by itself a good reason.

     It is better for farming and New Zealand to allow, or not, sales of farm land to foreigners on a case by case basis than to cut off the investment and ideas which can mean foreign owners give far more to New Zealand than they take.

    The threat of foreign ownership is a perception, the threat to farms and their owners from a blanket ban on foreign ownership is real.


    August 25 in history

    August 25, 2010

    On August 26:

    1248 The Dutch city of Ommen received city rights and fortification rights from Otto III, the Archbishop of Utrecht.

    1530 Tsar Ivan IV of Russia – Ivan the Terrible – was born (d. 1584)

     

    1537 The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army and the second most senior, was formed.

    Badge HAC OR ShortArms.gif

    1580  Battle of Alcântara. Spain defeated Portugal.

    Batalha de Alcântara.jpg

    1609  Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.

     

    1724 George Stubbs, British painter, was born (d. 1806).

     

    1758 Seven Years’ War: Frederick II of Prussia defeated the Russian army at the Battle of Zorndorf.

    Bataille de Zorndorf.jpg

    1768 James Cook began his first voyage.

     

    1825 Uruguay declared its independence from Brazil.

    1830 The Belgian Revolution began.

    Wappers belgian revolution.jpg

    1835  The New York Sun perpetrated the Great Moon Hoax.

     

    1894  Shibasaburo Kitasato discoversedthe infectious agent of the bubonic plague and published his findings in The Lancet.

    1898  700 Greeks and 15 Englishmen are killed by the Turks in Heraklion, Greece.

    1900 Hans Adolf Krebs, German physician and biochemist; Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1981).

    1910  Yellow Cab was founded.

     

    1912 The Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party, was founded.

    "Blue Sky with a White Sun", the party emblem of the Kuomintang

    1916 The United States National Park Service is created.

    US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg

    1918 Leonard Bernstein, American conductor and composer, was born (d. 1990).

     

    1920 Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw,  ended.

     
    Polish-soviet war 1920 Aftermath of Battle of Warsaw.jpg

    1921  The first skirmishes of the Battle of Blair Mountain.

    Blair Mountain Fighting.jpg

    1930 Sean Connery, Scottish actor, was born.

    1930 Bruce Allpress, New Zealand actor, was born.

    1933 The Diexi earthquake struck Mao County, Sichuan, China and killed 9,000 people.

     

    1938 Frederick Forsyth, English author, was born.

     

    1942 World War II: Battle of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.

    Australian troops at Milne Bay

    1944 Paris was liberated by the Allies.

     

    1945  Supporters of the Communist Party of China killed Baptist missionary John Birch, regarded by some of the American right as the first victim of the Cold War.

    1946 Charles Ghigna (Father Goose), American poet and children’s author, was born.

    File:Ghigna goose.png

    1948 Three people died and 80 injured when a tornado hit Frankton on the outskirts of Hamilton.

    Killer twister hits Frankton

    1948 – The House Un-American Activities Committee held its first-ever televised congressional hearing: “Confrontation Day” between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.

    1949 Martin Amis, English novelist, was born.

    1949  Gene Simmons, Israeli-born musician (Kiss), was born.

    1950  President Harry Truman ordered the US Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike.

    1954 Elvis Costello, English musician, was born.

    1961 Billy Ray Cyrus, American singer and actor, was born.

    1970 Claudia Schiffer, German model, was born.

     

    198  Tadeusz Mazowiecki iwa chosen as the first non-communist Prime Minister in Central and Eastern Europe.

    1989  Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune, the outermost planet in the Solar System.

    1989  Mayumi Moriyama became Japan’s first female cabinet secretary.

    1991  Belarus declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

    1991 – The Battle of Vukovar began.

    1997  Egon Krenz, the former East German leader, was convicted of a shoot-to-kill policy at the Berlin Wall.

     

    2003  The Tli Cho land claims agreement was signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko).

     

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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