More feathers more hissing

One fact which is rarely mentioned in discussions on inequality: around 40% of people pay no net tax:

. . . A table from Finance Minister Bill English’s office shows 663,000 households – or 40 per cent – receive more in tax credits and other benefits than they pay in tax. Thousands more are neutral contributors, or are close to it. . . 

Households earning less than $50,000 receive more in credits than they pay in direct income tax by about a third.

By comparison, the top 3 per cent of individual income earners, earning more than $150,000 a year, pay 24 per cent of all tax received.

Mark Keating, a senior lecturer in tax at the University of Auckland Business School, said the idea of “net tax” – the amount paid after credits and benefits were deducted – was hard for some people to get their heads around.

But he said people who received any benefit, or superannuation, as well as people who worked and met the criteria for Working for Families tax credits could end up with a net result that was negative or neutral.

“If you are working and earn $1000 a week but have four children, you might pay $200 a week in tax but get back $300.

“They are net receiving. It’s quite a strange system. It’s not common overseas because it’s quite bureaucratic.”

This is income tax. Everyone pays GST too and while poorer people are more likely to spend a greater proportion of their income, wealthier people generally spend more in total and therefore also pay more GST.

Peter Vial, New Zealand tax leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, said some people would be surprised to find they were not paying more than they received.

“It’s not a calculation they would do automatically. In an ideal world it would be good if there was more knowledge about the interaction between the tax and benefit systems.”

Many were unaware how dependent New Zealand was on a small group of high-earning, salaried individuals to pay a large chunk of the tax, he said.

“We never talk about that. It’s always a risk to our tax base because people are mobile and can move. But New Zealanders want a progressive tax system, the more you earn the more you pay.”

This is something those called for higher taxes on higher incomes overlook.

Jean-Baptiste Colbert said, the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing. 

Tax is necessary to fund essential services and infrastructure but there comes a point when people believe enough is enough and the extraction of more feathers will result in more than just more hissing.

If taxes on higher incomes become too high, at least some of the geese laying the golden tax eggs will start looking at ways to minimise their liability which will hit productivity and discourage investment.

It could also encourage flight to countries with less punitive taxes leaving fewer geese to provide more feathers.

 

81 Responses to More feathers more hissing

  1. Andrei says:

    This is spin and is wrong

    Everybody pays tax – they pay GST, they pay various levies on petrol, levies which attract GST, a tax on a tax – they pay excise duty on Alcohol and tobacco both of which attract GST, more taxes on tax

    Most recipients of Government largess are in fact only getting some of their own money back – working people who are subject to PAYE then get some of this back as WFF but then the Govenment gets it back again via GST

    For current superannuates the deal was that they would fund superannuation for those eligible while they worked and in return would receive super when they retired – This was Robert Muldoon’s scheme enacted in the 1970’s – of course the whole thing was a con – National brought the 1975 election and political power with this scheme by giving all New Zealanders over 60 2/3rds of the average wage taking it from the working age population of the time

    The chickens are coming home to roost on this one but what do the politicians responsible care? They got the power they craved and were all in the ground when their ponzi scheme started to collapse

  2. JC says:

    Once you start to explain the effect of tax on people you inevitably reach a stage where you identify that each person costs about $15,000 per year in Govt services.

    Once tax from all sources greatly exceeds this figure or some other perceived amount then the high earner also feels an inequity. In fact you could make a case that beyond a certain income the rate of tax should *decline*.. not increase and maybe the high tax payer should have some choice as to where his excess tax should go.

    The thing is.. high income earners or young persons with good prospects have choices on where to live and work and a country needs to ensure it doesn’t encourage migration because of a punishing tax.

    It strikes me that honesty about tax is a two edged sword.. some people could be appalled at how much tax is required in a modern economy and the way it’s distributed whilst others could be reassured and comfortable with the distribution.

    At least with an honest approach you have a better comparison with other regimes and a more informed view on how it could be improved.

    JC

  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree with Andrei about the accuracy of this tax spin. All SOEs and Housing NZ etc pay hefty dividends. Electricity charges are like another form of tax and those with the least money, living in poorly insulated rentals pay well over the cost of actual supply so that bigger dividends can be provided.

    The richest 10% of NZ have captured 50% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 50% have to share 5% of our wealth between them.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/74846955/The-richest-10-per-cent-own-436-billion-of-New-Zealands-wealth-research

    You can’t suck money from people whose incomes don’t actually cover day to day living expenses and even if what was stated in the post was true there is this damning evidence that the majority of the very rich still don’t pay their share:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10887756
    http://www.inequality.org.nz/understand/rich-really-pay-tax/

    It is important to have all the facts and an informed discussion.

  4. Will says:

    ‘Captured?’ How, with a big, scary, capitalist bear trap? A pit with sharp stakes? Perhaps they just created it.

    It’s important to know how to use buzz-words and rhetoric. We’re getting plenty of practice these days.

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    “‘Captured?’ How, with a big, scary, capitalist bear trap? A pit with sharp stakes?”

    Will as the retiring Children’s Commissioner claimed, New Zealand is no longer a country where every child can aspire to succeed. There is wealth capture when children of the rich tend to inherit the wealth of their parents and many are financially supported through their eduction and buying their first home. Poor children experience none of those advantages and if they do work hard and pay for tertiary training, they start their adult lives with huge debt.

    There is wealth capture when those who are already rich are capturing the majority of the housing supply. Those who can afford to buy property are more likely now to own multiple properties, little different from a game of Monopoly where wealth builds more wealth as most properties become captured by a few.

    I attended Invercargill’s Grey Power AGM today (I am a member) and there was talk of past attempts to asset test the elderly. It was mentioned how the very rich retain their wealth through trusts and can appear asset poor, when in actual fact they have access to substantial funds if necessary.

    It is wealth capture and I can’t think of a better word to describe it, the more that is captured at the top, the less there is to go round for the rest.

    http://www.economiaepolitica.it/primo-piano/the-western-world-in-the-wealth-trap/

  6. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I see we have a new buzzword. Useless though, because liking the way the words sound as they roll, repetitiously, off your tongue doesn’t achieve a thing.

    “Wealth capture” doesn’t seem like something I would necessarily disagree with, but you seem perturbed by it, so will you say no to another overseas trip and instead put the money in the bank in case you might one-day need an operation? For why should someone (who can afford to pay) receive anything for “free” whilst others, perhaps more needy, may wait or even miss out? Putting aside money for a trip when you’re getting older and are fully aware of what may lie ahead…”wealth capture” wouldn’t you say?

    What is that, I hear? You have paid taxes all your life as some kind of insurance for later on…Exactly what the older people will tell you if you listen. When they set out paying tax as young people (some of which was expected to pay for their pension, healthcare etc) were they to know that they might end up with some accumulated wealth in their latter years? If so, how?

    Very few people I know were born into wealth, or were gifted it, and those that are handed down wealth often fritter it away. So how does someone plan to reach the end of their life with some wealth? And if it really is that easy we should be able to expect everyone to do it, right? Yet we know that’s not realistic.

    At some point it probably does become apparent to an individual that they have/or will accumulate a certain degree of wealth by retirement. However, for most, this point won’t be until decades after they first started paying tax. So there begs a question; should those individuals be able (at that point onwards) to choose going-it-alone, ie. independence from the State, in terms of either paying tax or receiving any State paid services? Fully user-pays in other words.

    Because I think that would be a very tempting proposition for some.

    I’m sure you would not agree. You would prefer to have them continue paying tax, perhaps greatly in excess of the services actually used, and means test them at the other end in order to milk them for all they were worth.

    Do you see where this argument ends up? I can, and I don’t think you’ll like it.

  7. TraceyS says:

    “the whole thing was a con”

    Was it Andrei?

    I’m a working age person, a taxpayer who is contributing funding in part to the national superannuation of my parents, in-laws and others. Have I been conned?

    No I don’t think so. Because if they didn’t have that income then they would probably be on my doorstep looking for somewhere to live. Them having a pension allows me to have more independence and to be more productive at what I am good at (which is not running a rest home).

    For some families, having their elders live with them could make them more productive. It depends on their situation. Most families I know would rather their parents and in-laws stayed as independent from them as possible for as long as possible. Our taxes and the pension scheme they pay for helps to achieve that.

    Mucking around with national super could foist social shifts upon people that are not wanted by them. But I guess that’s the sort of thing we have elections for.

  8. Andrei says:

    “the whole thing was a con”

    Was it Andrei?

    Yes it was Tracey – a major issue of the 1975 General election was Superannuation

    Labour had introduced a super scheme whereby money, a percentage of the earnings was taken via the tax system and invested in a super fund for the wage earner – a super fund which matured at age sixty. You could elect to invest your money in a private scheme rather than the Governments one but everybody had to put aside a percentage of their earnings for super in 1975

    Robert Muldoon campaigned against this scheme – his policy to pay universal superannuation from age sixty at 2/3rds the average wage from the general fund – It was a “pay as you go” scheme he said. The concept being that current income earners would pay current super-annuitants and in return would receive superannuation themselves when they reached sixty

    Furthermore as a bribe the money already invested in Labour’s scheme would be returned to the contributors and thus was the 1975 General Election bought by National

    A famous ad from that campaign🙂

  9. Paranormal says:

    Andrei is right on this one Tracey. This was one of Muldoons worst decisions. If we had run with Labour’s Super scheme the country would be far better off economically and socially.

  10. Mr E says:

    Paranormal and Andrei,

    Labour / investment in the same sentence = oxymoron.

  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I wonder if you could describe what National invests in? Thanks to this Government we now have over $50 billion of public debt, a housing crisis, a health crisis, a child poverty crisis and heavy investment in corporate welfare. This Government invests heavily in the already rich and unnecessary motorways.

    In this case I agree with Paranormal and Andrei, past National Governments have done some terrible things and this National Government will be remembered for reducing the growth of Kiwi Saver.

  12. Will says:

    All government spending is termed “investing” and moterways are not unnecessary. Windfarms however…

  13. Will says:

    Motorways are also important.

  14. Mr E says:

    Haha funny,
    The Greens have seemingly forgotten about policies they collaborated on.

    I’ve met more impressive goldfish.🙂

  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    It does seem as if people have short memories and don’t listen to the news. Few motorways pass true cost/benefit analysis and the Government’s backtracks in Auckland are becoming a regular feature of that transport space.

    The investment in Solid Energy resulted in a negative outcome and so has many of the Government’s investments. Surely an investment should have positive outcomes. Too much money has been thrown into areas that profit a few individuals and companies that the country as a whole has not benefitted from.

    Mr E, you will have to be more specific. A little like Andrei on another thread, you make vague charges that have little substance.

  16. Will says:

    My memory is worryingly short and I gave up on the news about two years ago. However I do drive to Auckland fairly regularly. I suspect you do not Dave. To hell with cost-effective whatevers, you would not be able to move!

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    “To hell with cost-effective whatevers, you would not be able to move!”
    National are driven by cars (BMWs mostly) and have ignored the facts around what would really be a game changer in Auckland:
    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/44076

    Julie Anne ran rings around Gerry when he was the Transport Minister and Simon is now struggling. I have recently driven in Auckland and I have experienced a number of international airports (I do penance for my carbon footprint in many ways) and Auckland Airport is the worst connected in terms of public transport I have experienced. Most in the world use trains to connect to the city centre and there are logical reasons for that.

  18. Will says:

    We all know you fly a lot Dave, and that you belong to a weird cult that requires some token of expiation. It just seems rather trivial right now.

  19. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    You asked what the National Government invests in. I tried to remind you that you collaborated on a policy of investment. You are still in the blue, so to speak.

    Crickey…..

    I am amazed.

  20. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, do you mean the toxic site clean up that National has put on the ‘go slow’ or the home insulation initiative that is probably the single most successful thing that National has done (except the very worst rentals haven’t been touched and they have scaled it back).
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/81279461/cash-set-aside-to-clean-up-former-miramar-gasworks-has-not-been-spent
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11261970

  21. Mr E says:

    ” do you mean ”

    Oh look your memory is returning

    ” the toxic site clean up that National has put on the ‘go slow’”

    From your article.

    “The ministry says it cannot release funding for the Miramar site until it receives an application from Greater Wellington Regional Council, “which hasn’t taken place”.

    The council confirmed it had not applied for funding for a cleanup in the past four financial years, but said it planned to “scope out if a funding application is required in the 2016-17 financial year”.”

    Are are fact so hard for the Greens?

    Then you go on to say:

    “the very worst rentals haven’t been touched and they have scaled it back”

    So you think that rentals are the problem. The government has allocated 18 million to deal with rental homes. That will deal with around 10,000 rentals.

    So how big is the problem?

    We have approx 450,000 rental households in NZ.

    A 2012 survey of approx 2,200 found 84% of rentals have ceiling insulation. This translates to 380,000 leaving 70,000 uninsulated.

    Since then $100M has been spent. If we assume half of this went on rentals a further approx 30,000 rentals could have been insulated.

    So that leaves 40,000 of which the Government is planning to tackle 10,000. That means there are 30,000 left.

    So why wouldnt the Govt cover the remaining 30,000?

    “31% of these respondents said that the scheme was not working. Reasons included the total cost being too high and Installers adding an extra margin that negated the benefit of the subsidy.”

    “Some respondents claimed that it was considerably cheaper to negotiate the purchase of insulation materials themselves and pay an installer directly to install it.”

    Some subsidies create ‘fat cats’ that exist to clip the ticket and as the opportunity approachs saturation, they look for more novel ways to keep their business afloat.

    This subsidy is cooked – so to speak.

    National,
    Continue to scale back this subsidy or rethink it paalease.

    Pay no attention to the Greens, it appears they are serial money wasters.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1209/S00310/survey-shows-that-rental-properties-are-well-insulated.htm

  22. Mr E says:

    opps

    *Why are facts so hard for the Greens?*

  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I’m fine with the facts as long as they are used in proper context😉

    Governments should lead and it does seem as if the money set aside for toxic sites is deliberately being kept low on the radar so that it isn’t spent.

    I had to chuckle when I saw that you used the Property Investors Federation survey (269 respondents) to determine that cheap rentals are being well insulated.

    The retiring Children’s Commissioner has a lot to say about the substandard housing around 25% of children are forced to live in.

    I’m sure there are some business that have taken advantage of consumers and the subsidy, that is the nature of the real world but isn’t reflected down south where the insulation scheme has worked well in Bluff and Invercargill.

    The very worst subsidy is the accommodation allowance that has kept rents above what can be naturally afforded and filled the wallets of private landlords.

    I am more than happy with the Greens financial record, we run a tight ship ourselves (more income than Labour) and are the only party that has had independently costed policies.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11583027

    This Government uses smoke and mirrors to support its success as a financial manager but according to outside observers we are squandering opportunities and our economy could have been so much better. We need progressive rather than regressive leadership again.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68600911/income-inequality-how-nz-is-one-of-the-worst-in-the-world

  24. Mr E says:

    “Governments should lead and it does seem as if the money set aside for toxic sites is deliberately being kept low on the radar so that it isn’t spent”

    No it doesn’t. The funding is there and the Council has not applied for it. Nothing it hidden or restricted.

    “I had to chuckle when I saw that you used the Property Investors Federation survey (269 respondents)”

    269 respondents representing 2200 properties. Show me a better survey of insulation Dave.

    “The retiring Children’s Commissioner has a lot to say about the substandard housing around 25%”

    He’s said not much about insulation… He did submit to the Govt that rentals meet current insulation standards and the Govt past that bill recently with this included- did you miss it?

    You prefer one persons view over a survey of participants?

    “I’m sure there are some business that have taken advantage of consumers and the subsidy, that is the nature of the real world but isn’t reflected down south where the insulation scheme has worked well in Bluff and Invercargill.”

    Yet in my experience there are people who have ignored the insulation scheme because it was cheaper to go without. You haven’t seen this? (i have mentioned it before)

    “I am more than happy with the Greens financial record, we run a tight ship ourselves (more income than Labour) and are the only party that has had independently costed policies.”

    Oh yes – like the carbon tax applied to dairy farmers on a $7.40/kgMS payout. Fully costed indeed.

    This Government is recognised globally for it’s leadership during tough times, and maintaining voter support.

    Whereas the Greens are recognised for stalling in the poles – despite leadership changes.

    I think the Greens should spend more time looking the the mirror at their own silly policies than they do pointing the finger at others.

  25. Dave Kennedy says:

    “269 respondents representing 2200 properties. Show me a better survey of insulation Dave.”
    It would be if it was a random survey, Mr E, but it was through a voluntary response, read again. 😉

    Your arguments would be so much more convincing if you did have genuine facts as a basis.

  26. Mr E says:

    Haha.
    I provide a survey of hundreds of individuals, a voluntary survey as nearly all are, and Dave not willing to accept it.

    I’ll remember that when he is citing testimonials from individuals about industry trends.

    One view is better than many when it suits the Greens agenda.

  27. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I provide a survey of hundreds of individuals, a voluntary survey as nearly all are, and Dave not willing to accept it.”

    Oh dear Mr E, i thought you had a university education. Random samples are essential for the sort of thing you were promoted, it is less likely that landlords would volunteer information on their substandard rentals😉

    http://www.experian.com/blogs/marketing-forward/2013/04/02/the-importance-of-random-sampling-in-statistical-experiments/

    http://survey.cvent.com/blog/cvent-web-surveys-blog/random-sampling-for-survey-research

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survey_sampling

    You have shown before that you look for evidence to support your argument rather than using the evidence to determine your argument. The evidence should always come first Mr E and context is hugely important too.

  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops “the sort of thing you were promoting”

  29. TraceyS says:

    Dave

    “…I have experienced a number of international airports (I do penance for my carbon footprint in many ways)…”

    People who accumulate wealth over a lifetime often do penance too. Only theirs is to go without so that they may save for a long, comfortable, and secure in their retirement and perhaps to leave a little behind for the family.

    In order to balance the books on equality should they instead rid themselves of wealth by increasing their carbon footprint or some other means? If the majority of our wealthy elders had done this then the stats on equality would look very different but would the world be any better place?

    You might argue that there are other things to spend money on which are far better for society than air travel. Yet in your own example prove that it is difficult to get people to spend their own money on anyone other than themselves.

    Means testing at the age of pension eligibility would encourage people to spend rather than save over their lifetimes. This would not be good when people enter residential care because the income received from accumulated wealth reduces the burden on the State to pay for their care. Yes, even if the funds or other assets are in a trust.

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, in my case the majority of my flights are related to voluntary service and, in the most recent long distance flight, attending a family funeral. To suggest the flights are just for myself would be inaccurate.

    I have no issue with a universal superannuation as long as any extra income is taxed appropriately. If we ensure that there is a universal income for our elderly from the age of 65 (many I know at that age are still very active and working in high paid jobs still), then there should be similar for students and young families. Surely we should ensure the oncoming generations are given a good start in life so that their full potential can be realised for themselves and our country. Student debt is now reached a total of $15 billion and yet I had no debt when I finished my tertiary study. We support those in their twilight years with inflation adjustments and yet students get less support and working for families isn’t inflation adjusted.

    While it is nice to be able to support your children financially (as we have done too) there is still a wealth capture where the assets of the wealthy are retained in families over generations. Now that the bottom 40% of New Zealanders have only 3% of the country’s wealth to share between them, those born into those families have little to pass on.

  31. Will says:

    And yet that 40% does not vote for you. The Greens are a self-serving, rich elite who presume to know what’s best for everyone. People can see through it.

  32. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You can’t claim that the survey doesn’t represent a random sub-sample. The methodology is such that we will never know. And frankly speaking, I never said the evidence was perfect.

    And if you wont accept that how about we look at a BRANZ survey instead- it is a little old (completed in 2010). This survey says only 5% of all houses have no ceiling insulation and 28% had no floor insulation.

    In 2010 there were 1.7M houses. that translates with 85,000 with no ceiling insulation and 480,000 with no floor insulation.

    Since then we have subsidy insulated around 300,000 homes. And while that has happened owners have insulated without subsidies. We must be getting extremely close to saturation. Yet the Greens want to spent $327M on insulation, claiming they have fully costed policies. Ignoring reports of subsidies not working.

    So how about you hit me with your full costing Dave. I’d ask for random surveys but I know full well I will get randomness.🙂

  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    Chuckle…more hole digging.

    “Ignoring reports of subsidies not working.”

    The operation of the subsidies is the Government’s responsibility, Mr E. The MOU with the Greens was discontinued some years ago and it is National that has been crowing about the success of the scheme recently.

    This is also the Government that would rather continue subsidising wages than insisting workers were paid enough to live on and is the same Government that fills the wallets of landlords with rent subsidies. I’m not surprised that they have made a dogs breakfast of the home insulation subsidies too.

    You have scored an own goal😉

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, let’s get this right. National know what is good for the rich, that is why they have poured millions into private schools, given the rich tax cuts and refused to effectively tax capital gain. That is why 10% of New Zealanders have now captured 60% of the country’s wealth and the richest have seen their wealth increase between 10-20% every year under National (according to the NBR).

    I make no apologies for the Green Party standing up for the poor, the low income earners and the homeless. You are right that many don’t vote for us (most don’t vote at all). We don’t presume what is best for everyone, that is what this National Government does, we just present the evidence and want fairness and compassion to influence policy again.

    No more half measures: https://www.greens.org.nz/news/speech/metiria-turei-speaks-annual-review-debate-child-poverty-and-rental-housing

  35. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    You want to spend $327M, where the Government is responsibly reducing the amount spent, to ensure the market is saturated and to ensure that a whole industry supported by a subsidy is not suddenly left in the cold.

    I ask you for costing of your $327M policy and predictably you have nothing . Zip, Zero, Nada.

    It seems the few figures that I have dragged together in a few minutes are more than the Greens have done before they have promised a spend of $327M

    Fiscally irresponsible it seems.

  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, a distraction. National promised $13 billion for motorways before they even did any cost benefit analysis and did the same with their flawed bridge promises in the Northland election. And you claim that the Greens are fiscally irresponsible…😉

    The $327 million is based on the current expenditure for each house to be insulated, from the Government’s own figures. The idea of saturation isn’t supported by the data and many homes that have been insulted some time before are now below current standards. There is a heap of work still in this sector and a lot of new houses needing to be insulated. You need to come up with some convincing data to convince me otherwise.

    As you say proper governance of expenditure should be expected but this Government’s track record of this is appalling. It would be much better under a Green Government as we have a proven record of achieving a lot with limited budgets.

  37. Mr E says:

    Dave

    “The idea of saturation isn’t supported by the data”

    What data? Again….

    “many homes that have been insulted some time before are now below current standards”

    Yeah many because you can’t insulate inside the walls. No amount of money can be spent to fix some. And some just need the insulation moved around to meet standards.

    “You need to come up with some convincing data to convince me otherwise.”

    I’ve provided plenty of data. You – none to the contrary. I don’t think I need to provide anything else. You have been found wanting.

    “Green Government as we have a proven record of achieving a lot with limited budgets.”

    What like? This?:

    Greens $5.04 spent per vote cast in favour the 2014 election
    cf Labour $2.11 spent per vote cast in favour the 2014 election
    cf National $2.27 spent per vote cast in favour in the 2014 election

    Wowzers!

    So little with so much more like it!

    Proven track record.

  38. Mr E says:

    Zip
    Zero
    Nada

  39. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, Mr E you are naive in believing that what is officially raised by a party is all their campaign expenditure.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/opinion/felix-marwick-govts-use-of-crown-cars-during-northland-by-election-unethical/

    There is also the value of the publicly funded TV advertising that heavily favours Labour and National.

    Do you really want me to also go into the donations National gathers outside of elections from wealthy donors that it then pours into electorate campaigns?

    You unintentionally opened a can of worms and another own goal😉

  40. Mr E says:

    “the data” Nada
    “Fully costed” Nada.

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E….Good grief!

    I thought you were wanting to project an image of a mature and rational man?

    This is what solid policy looks like.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/policy-pdfs/Equity-Housing-20140826-3-FINAL.pdf

    I wonder if you can find something similar from the National Party?

  42. Mr E says:

    Ummmm,

    Nada.

  43. Mr E says:

    Green’s have committed $372m without any idea of the scale of the issue.

    National would never do anything similar to that.

    Fully costed. What a joke.

  44. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Green’s have committed $372m without any idea of the scale of the issue.”
    The policy paper I linked certainly scoped the scale of the work and the research sources were included.

    “National would never do anything similar to that.”
    Chuckle, what an opening…

    $11 billion to RoNs
    “It announced the seven roads in March 2009, nine months before it received the economic analysis. It didn’t like the analysis, so spent another seven months getting the answers it wanted, according to documents coming to light.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/4366408/Going-down-the-wrong-road

    $20 billion to the new Zealand Defense Force
    “A $20bn price tag over the next 15 years would be needed to implement the plan, but the White Paper did not contain a specific breakdown of costs.”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/305878/nz-defence-force-to-get-$20bn-upgrade

    Yet another own goal…you really don’t know what you are talking about, Mr E.

  45. Mr E says:

    “The policy paper I linked certainly scoped the scale of the work and the research sources were included.”

    Please quote the numbers used to assess the scale of any insulation issue.

    This thing called ‘certainty’ is exciting isn’t it!

  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    From the policy link:

    “The number of people who rent their house has increased
    from 25 percent in the 1990s to 35 percent, and rising,
    today. About 418,000 children – 40 percent of all kids –
    now live in rental homes.”

    “A 2010 survey by BRANZ found that only 22 percent of rental properties were in good condition and 44 percent were in poor condition.”

    “The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) estimate that 900,000 homes are poorly insulated. Often they lack heating or other essential facilities.”

    “Initial estimates suggest a Warrant of Fitness check would cost around $200-300. To encourage early compliance, the Green Party will set aside $24 million over three years. This will partly subsidise the costs of having checks done, as well as funding the cost of employing extra inspectors. This is on top of over $300 million in subsidies for home owners (including landlords) to insulate their homes.”

    The Greens generally use the parliamentary library to research the most current data and would like to use Treasury to cost policies in the future, to be assured of fiscal accuracy. We often use Infometrics currently.

    We think this approach is wiser than committing billions on an ideological guess then shaping the evidence to fit afterwards.

    I note you have found nothing from National that has a similar approach to developing policy😉

  47. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    The only part that is specific to insulation is the EECA citation. Can you please refer me to the research that the EECA produced that the Greens are using as the basis for their policy?

    This is becoming revealing.

  48. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, don’t be so pedantic, the sources are listed on the policy paper and your main point was that National is more fiscally responsible. You need to produce evidence of that, because as I have shown they have already committed billions on ideological whims.

    Revealing indeed😉

  49. Mr E says:

    Through all of this we still have:

    Zip
    Zero
    Nada

    Green’s can’t back up their own policies.

    Fail.

  50. Dave Kennedy says:

    Repeating nonsense won’t give it substance, Mr E. Try a real argument😉

  51. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Your policy has no reference for you EECA 900,000 houses claim.

    Seemingly you won’t produce one either.

    Your policy has hidden foundations.

  52. Dave Kennedy says:

    I’m sure it can be found if I asked, Mr E. Your evidence that National bases it’s policies on more robust evidence is…?

    No explanation or defense of my examples of National’s approach?

    You suggested a comparison but the Greens are well ahead based on the evidence so far.😉

  53. Mr E says:

    Dave

    “I’m sure it can be found if I asked, Mr E”

    You can’t deliver on a foundation question for your policy. ?

    The 1st survey I provided seems to have more teeth than your policy.
    Oh well.

    Happy as to ask questions about Nationals policy. Nick – you there?

  54. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Happy as to ask questions about Nationals policy. Nick – you there?”

    Try an OIA, but I understand it takes up to six years to get a response😉

  55. Mr E says:

    I did speak to Nick recently, face to face. Could’ve asked then I suppose.
    I’ll keep it in mind.

    I’ve alway been impressed by how Nat MPs make themselves available.
    Met both Todd and Sarah. They’re both very approachable.

  56. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I’ve alway been impressed by how Nat MPs make themselves available. Met both Todd and Sarah. They’re both very approachable.”

    I have found the same Mr E as I have had regular contact with both and Sarah supported my organisation to get candidates into secondary schools. Ria Bond is very approachable too and so was Lesley Soper as a past MP. Many people have been impressed by the public engagement of all our Green MPs.

    I’m not sure of your point as most MPs on a personal level are engaging and personable. However you will be aware that I have written letters to the Southland Times on a number of occasions to point out factual errors and obvious spin in both Todd’s and Sarah’s MP columns and letters.

    Todd has lost the support of many local National members because his management style and Sarah has frustrated many in Invercargill because she rarely fronts up (like Eric used to) and appears to be more a mouth piece for government spin then truly representing and advocating for her electorate. I will say that her office has been supportive of an issue relating to our Farmers Market (although the problem is partly related to the Government’s own policies).

    I would be surprised if either of them could clearly articulate this Government’s strategy for managing our poverty crisis or our housing crisis. Neither really featured in the last budget and the largest item of new spending is going to our military ($20 billion).

    Here is National’s most recent housing policy, Mr E, It is dripping with political spin and there is no justification or evidence underpinning it.
    https://national.org.nz/files/documents/housing.pdf

    There is no vision or clear strategy, compare it with the Green Policy and you will notice a clear vision and strategy:
    https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/housing-and-sustainable-communities-policy

    Just listening to the news tonight, the TV one reporter commented that National has “no big ideas to deal with the housing crisis” and was clearly “winging it” with its current approach. Ask Paula, Nick or Bill to tell you how many low cost (less than $300,000) and social houses have been built since 2008 and you will find it very revealing…30,000 to 40,000 needed, how many built?

    I don’t want just approachable MPs and Ministers, I want leadership and competence and so do tens of thousands in our country who are housing poor.

  57. TraceyS says:

    Dave, you do expect a lot, especially when you have openly stated your view that National voters “support worker exploitation”. Which is, as anyone can see, a factless and deliberate smear.

    I do hope that, in the interests of transparency and all, you disclose to Sarah and Todd your views in the same language you used here. For one can deduce that you must surely also apply your views to them as representatives at least as strongly as you would apply them to voters.

    There is the possibility, however, that you reserve such strong opinions for those who dare disagree with you whilst keeping them hidden from those from whom you seek something.

    So in the interests of transparency, which is it?

    If you’re having trouble with transparency then I could easily pass your comments on to Sarah and Todd. You did make them publicly, after all, with your name attached. You were also given multiple opportunities to retract and apologise, which you declined, preferring to stand by and justify what you wrote.

  58. TraceyS says:

    “*attempt to* justify”

    (unsuccessfully I might add)

  59. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    I spent days trying to get some simple data – the basis for a policy. My efforts were wasted.

    Good luck with your requests.

  60. TraceyS says:

    Your efforts are not wasted Mr E.

  61. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I spent days trying to get some simple data – the basis for a policy. My efforts were wasted.”
    At least I had some Mr E, as the Speaker of the House often says, I “addressed the question”. You made the claim that National wouldn’t implement any activity or project without doing proper costings and yet you have no produced non evidence that they do, while I have found plenty of evidence that large budgets are committed on ideological whim.

    When Julie Ann Genter pressed Gerry Brownlee (as the transport Minister at the time) to produce the evidence used to build the RoNS he couldn’t. The Speaker was forced to draw the conclusion for Brownlee that the motorways were being constructed mainly because the Minister thought that they were a good idea.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/brownlee-suffers-knockout-in-transport.html

    Perhaps you succeed where Mr E has failed, Tracey😉

  62. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops, “perhaps you can succeed where Mr E has failed, Tracey”

    I will wait with interest😉

  63. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I haven’t got time for those who answer a question with a question. If you want answers then be prepared to give them yourself.

  64. Dave Kennedy says:

    I did Tracey, only Mr E didn’t like the answer and he still isn’t prepared to show what tI am competing against. I did provide some of the evidence and research that underpins the Green Party policy and discovered National’s policy is just spin and politics.

    The challenge for you is to provide what Mr E couldn’t…

    As I said, I’ll wait with interest.

  65. Mr E says:

    “At least I had some Mr E,”

    Nope you had none. Zip zero nada.
    (About insulation, the query raised, the EECA estimate was without data)

    “You made the claim that National wouldn’t implement any activity or project without doing proper costings”

    That didn’t happen.

    “Perhaps you succeed where Mr E has failed, Tracey😉”

    If you are referring to getting supporting evidence for your claims Dave, I suspect you are right. I doubt any of us have any chance there. You’ve already proven me right. Tracey asked some simple questions and you delivered a massive side step. Predictable.

  66. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear this is like the LAWA debate, Mr E. No amount of information and evidence I put before you penetrates beyond your preconceived view.

    “When the programme started in 2009, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) estimated around 900,000 homes in New Zealand had sub-standard insulation. But despite the initiative’s popularity, New Zealand’s housing stock is still vastly sub-standard in terms of energy efficiency and warmth, and industry experts are voicing concern about the lack of a clear path forward.”

    “Homestar director Leigh Featherstone said out of the country’s 1.6 million houses, one million did not meet current energy performance standards.”

    “The unhealthy state of our homes contributes to an extra 1600 winter deaths each year and costs millions in lost productivity.”

    “http://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/wrapping-up/”

    “It is intolerable that we have 42,000 admissions and 15 deaths a year for children with conditions associated with poor housing and poverty.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76917804/Childrens-Commissioner-set-to-unload-on-MPs-over-shameful-tenancy-bill

    So many different bodies and organisations (governmental and otherwise) have evidence of large numbers of uninsulated homes. Even if you decide that you don’t trust EECA’s estimate and want to know the data used as a basis for that claim, the fact that the Greens policy only addresses a small fraction of the perceived need makes it a conservative policy. Or are you going to claim that EECA is completely making up that estimate because I personally can’t find the data they based it on.

    This may not be good enough for you but considering you were promoting a small industry based survey (that had voluntary participation) to prove that insulation wasn’t a problem in rental properties, your credibility is pretty shot😉

    Even the value of the insulating homes is well supported in a MBIE review, the scheme provides an excellent return on any investment:

    “Thus even our conservative estimates of benefits indicate that the programme, overall, has had considerable net benefits. While care must be exercised in formulating benefit cost ratios (owing to alternative ways of attributing certain categories either as benefits
    or as offsets to costs), the ratio of benefits to costs in Table 30 ranges between 2.6 and 4.6, with a central (4% discount rate) benefit-cost ratio of 3.9. These results indicate that, overall, the Warm Up New Zealand: HeatSmart programme has been well justified in terms of positive net benefits.”

    http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/energy-efficiency-environment/documents-library/energy-efficiency-docs/nzif-cost-benefit-analysis.pdf

    You did indeed suggest that National would never invest in anything without solid data and I was able to prove the opposite. You still can’t show me what evidence National used for it’s current housing policy because none exists. The silence in this space is deafening.

    Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if they were relying on the same survey that you were basing your argument on…and that would be truly frightening.

  67. Mr E says:

    And Just like the LAWA debate – you have no evidence, and are drawing weird conclusions.

    To repeat myself for the umpteenth time : You have a policy that has no data around insulation.

    Your policy is based on an EECA estimate. That is not data. It is an estimate – for which you seem to have no knowledge of the source.

    Perhaps that estimate is based on the fact that there were 900,000 built before insulation became a legal requirement in housing? And if that is the case you can see how wildly ridiculous the Greens policy is.

    Compare that to the BRANZ 2010 survey that suggests 85,000 homes have no ceiling insulation and 480,000 have not floor insulation . Since then 300,000 homes have been insulated bringing the uninsulated number down to 265,000 between 180,000 uninsulated.

    On that basis I would suggest there will now only be a very small number of houses that don’t have ceiling insulation. There will be a significant number of homes that don’t have underfloor insulation, and many either won’t want it or cant have it.

    Your estimate is vastly different to what facts suggest.

    You seem to want me to defend Nationals policies. I am not National. It is not my role to defend their policies.

    You might like to challenge Nationals policies in their absence, but I think that is pointless and shows weakness.

  68. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E all your efforts reveal is that the Green Party is using the best evidence the Government has made available on which it has based policy that meets an obvious need and has an excellent cost benefit ratio.

    This Government has an aversion to collecting data into areas where they may be found wanting. As you said, their management of the home insulation scheme has allowed corruption.

    It was you who declared that National wouldn’t enact policies without evidence, yet you are not prepared to support that claim.

    “Green’s have committed $372m without any idea of the scale of the issue. National would never do anything similar to that.”

    I have provided evidence that National’s motorway and military policies involve billions of dollars of unsupported spending and in an attempt to defend your arguments you have achieved numerous own goals.

    You are welcome to continue your digging and misguided goal kicking😉

  69. Paranormal says:

    Just a couple of details may have slipped your grasp DK.

    Firstly the defence spending is based on a white paper that identifies the defence force requirements for the next 20 years. A thoroughly considered example of a government spending on an essential core government role.

    Compare and contrast that with Liarbour with Green party support spending like drunken sailors in a whorehouse. First there was hundreds of millions on the LAVS that were over-ordered, uncertainty if they were fit for purpose (tracks vs wheels debate) and then the whole issue that the NZDF are unable to transport them to where they’re needed. but hey Helen thought they looked great cruising around European highways.

    Lets not get started on the whole Navy spending with no idea what was required or operationally effective. And don’t mention the Skyhawk debacle where it was Lefty ideology trumping practical reality.

    As for motorways, if you weren’t based in the bottom of the South Island and actually regularly used the motorways you would see the evidence daily. But then again that would go against your antediluvian ideology so you just wouldn’t see it.

  70. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “the Green Party is using the best evidence the Government has made available”

    Why do you have to rely on the Government for your information?. I produced the BRANZ survey data around insulation. Which you have seem to continually ignore instead preferring an estimate with unknown quality.

    Also why not use logic that demand will be decreasing – and accept reports from people who say they are not interested in the subsidised insulation because it is cheaper out of scheme?

    Is it possible that logic and greens are mutually exclusive terms?

    “It was you who declared that National wouldn’t enact policies without evidence, yet you are not prepared to support that claim.

    “Green’s have committed $372m without any idea of the scale of the issue. National would never do anything similar to that.””

    I never declared “that National wouldn’t enact policies without evidence”

    National didnt do anything like what the Greens are wanting to do. They only committed $32M – 1/10th of the Greens $372M.

    Sometimes it seems you read things backwards.

  71. Dave Kennedy says:

    “A thoroughly considered example of a government spending on an essential core government role.”

    Paranormal, an own goal I’m afraid.
    “A $20bn price tag over the next 15 years would be needed to implement the plan, but the White Paper did not contain a specific breakdown of costs.”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/305878/nz-defence-force-to-get-$20bn-upgrade

    Mr E, stop digging, most of the Greens’ policies are small scale in the big scheme of things, National has committed billions without substantial evidence or proper costings. We are still dealing with the $13+ billion mess that was a result of meddling with building regulations in the 90s and the Transmission Gully PPP is going to cost tax payers billions of extra spending too.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-releases/ppp-holiday-highway-will-double-cost-taxpayer

    The sooner we get the Greens into Government and put in place some more responsible decision making, the better!

  72. TraceyS says:

    Dave, the goal is yours I think. Just because the White Paper itself didn’t contain a specific breakdown of costs doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    Didn’t you read Phil Goff’s press release where he said “… it is not sharing its ideas with the public…”?
    (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1606/S00156/shortcomings-in-defence-white-paper.htm)

    You have assumed that not sharing ideas at this stage equals not having done the homework. Such an assumption is both premature…and immature.

    Doing my own “digging” I came across this, extensively redacted, document which clearly indicates the existence of costings:

    http://www.defence.govt.nz/pdfs/dwp2016/nsc-16-sub-0011-dwp2016-funding.pdf

    Can you understand why Defence might choose not to share ideas, costings etc any earlier than is absolutely necessary?

  73. TraceyS says:

    “The sooner we get the Greens into Government and put in place some more responsible decision making, the better!”

    Please not in charge of Defence!

  74. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear Tracey, the own goal is yours, Phil Goff is correct (especially as he knows what it should contain as a past Minister). 😉

  75. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “Mr E, stop digging, most of the Greens’ policies are small scale in the big scheme of things, National has committed billions”

    Your argument has diminished to – ‘ours is not as bad as theirs’.

    Even if that was true, that is hardly a reason to accept a fundamentally wrong policy. One that spends millions of tax payers money. Millions that could be spent on housing or improving the situation for the poor.

    So this is the Greens list of shameful policies we have discussed here:

    Carbon Tax policy – shockingly flawed, as it is on the basis of $7.40/kgMS

    GE policy – Wrong in your own eyes. “I am not entirely against GE myself, many useful medical advances are based on it and there could indeed be some agricultural benefits”

    100% Organic NZ – As dumb as it comes.

    Perhaps I should stop digging as you say. It seems every policy I dig into is silly, stupid, flawed, and should be stuck in the bin.

    I hope for all our sakes you are taking notes and taking it back to headquarters to rebuild. I doubt this will be the case though. To come up with such silly policies in the first instance, would require ignoring common sense.

  76. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I was not disagreeing with what Phil Goff said. He said that the detail was not being shared.

    Not shared is not the same as not existing. The detail looks to be there alright. It has just not been shared with the public yet.

  77. Dave Kennedy says:

    You really are desperate, Mr E. If only the Greens had been in this current Government, farming would have been in a far better position. Even if we had 10% of farms operating organically it would have softened the dairy slump.😉
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2016/03/what-would-really-happen-to-farming.html

    “The detail looks to be there alright. It has just not been shared with the public yet.”
    Like it was for the motorway policy, National Standards, irrigation schemes, oil drilling, coal mining expansion…? Oh dear, Tracey, you are so trusting.

  78. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, you are so trusting…”

    Trust is earned, Dave, and not by whining, pessimism, or scaremongering.

    Hopefully you get a handle on that before next year.

  79. Dave Kennedy says:

    And National’s record certainly hasn’t earned my trust in them, good point, Tracey. They have made a dogs breakfast of everything they’ve touched.

    Love to see your examples of whining, pessimism and scaremongering😉

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