Word of the day

31/01/2022

Shinder – to shatter to pieces.


Sowell says

31/01/2022


Rural round-up

31/01/2022

MIA Immigration Minister risking food production:

At a time when supply chains are already frayed, the Government’s inaction on border class exceptions for time-critical workers could have an impact on food production and distribution in New Zealand, National Leader Christopher Luxon says.

“Workers for the grain harvest are needed here in February, but because of Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi’s inaction they’re unlikely to get here on time which could mean late and limited supply of essential food, like bread.

“Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced on 12 December last year that he had created new border exceptions for 200 mobile machinery operators, 40 shearers and 50 wool handlers.

“The Immigration Minister should have sprung to action to enable these workers to get visas, but he sat on his hands for six weeks and didn’t sign off instructions allowing the workers to apply for their visas until 21 January. . .

Marlborough farmers turn to barge travel as road repairs drag on – Maja Burry:

Farming in Marlborough’s Kenepuru Sound has turned nautical, as locals wait for road repairs to be completed following a storm in July last year.

The storm caused significant damage to Kenepuru Road, leaving farmers no option but to use barges to shift tens of thousands of sheep and cattle and bring in farm supplies.

In December, residents were allowed to start using Kenepuru Road againduring set times, but no trucks or trailers were allowed.

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing at Johnson’s Barge Services in Havelock since the storm. . .

Sri Lanka to pay $200m compensation for failed organic farm drive :

Sri Lanka has announced compensation for more than a million rice farmers whose crops failed under a botched scheme to establish the world’s first 100-percent organic farming nation.

The island country is currently reeling from a severe economic crisis that has triggered food shortages and rolling blackouts as the COVID pandemic sent the tourism-dependent economy into a tailspin.

Agricultural chemicals such as fertiliser were among the imports banned last year as authorities tried to save dwindling foreign currency reserves. The restrictions were lifted months later after farmer protests and crop failures.

The government will pay 40,000 million rupees ($200m) to farmers whose harvests were affected by the chemical fertiliser ban, agriculture minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said on Tuesday. . . 

Woolshed and a gym – Richard Gavigan:

THE DOCKING IS DONE FOR 2021 AND it’s not a record result. Last year we did 152% lambs docked to ewes mated, our best ever. This year, despite a lift in scanning, we slipped to 142%.

Tight feed conditions during late pregnancy and lambing, the result of slow pasture growth and Porina damage, didn’t help. More significant was the effect of continuous cold, wet, windy weather during lambing.

My neighbour, Don, summed it up. “We didn’t even have a pet lamb this year,” he said. “The weather was too rough to go round them. If we’d gone out and disturbed the ewes and lambs we’d have done even more damage. As it was there were a fair few dead lambs behind rush bushes.”

We now need to focus on making the most of this year’s lamb crop. Pastures are high quality with the clover coming away, but the low covers have affected ewe lactation performance and lamb growth. With this in mind we decided to try weaning an early lambing mob of 300 cull ewes at around 70 days, with the lambs heading off to new grass on our equity partners’ property just down the road. The process has been successful, with both the ewes and lambs now doing well, and me feeling much better having made some decisions and taken positive action. . .

Hawkes Bay deer farm part of national project involving more than 2000 farms :

A Hawke’s Bay deer farm is part of a ground-breaking Ministry for Primary Industries-funded project providing a national snapshot of farm performance.

The four-year project is bringing together detailed physical/production, environmental and financial data from more than 2,000 farms across the dairy, beef and lamb, deer, arable and horticulture sectors.

“The significance of this project cannot be underestimated. It is the first time such robust data has been collected and analysed,” said Matthew Newman, who’s leading the project for MPI.

“Having quality farm data will enable better decision-making by farmers and growers, industry organisations and policy makers.” . . 

Sam Bain announced as 2021  Corteva Young Viticulturist of the Year :

Congratulations to Sam Bain from Villa Maria, Hawke’s Bay who became the 2021 Corteva NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year on 27th January 2022.

“I’ve finally got it!” he said with a mix of relief, pride and excitement, as it started sinking in that all his hard work had paid off.

Congratulations also to Jess Wilson from Whitehaven Wines in Marlborough who came second and Courtney Sang from Obsidian, Waiheke Island who came third.

The other contestants were Albie Feary from Ata Rangi, Tristan van Schalkwyk from The Boneline and Katrina Jackson from Chard Farm. . .

 

 


Yes Prime Minister – Unforeseen Problems

31/01/2022

Contact tracing failing

31/01/2022

Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are isolating after being told they are close contacts of  a flight attendant who has Covid-19.

That’s as it should be but what is not as it should be is the time it took to contact trace them.

The flight was last Saturday, it took until this Saturday for them to be traced and told to isolate.

Why did it take so long?

Have others on the flight yet to be traced?

Does the delay mean the bluetooth system on the Covid app isn’t working?

This isn’t the only slow tracing. Thousands of people who attended the last weekend’s Soundsplash Festival weren’t alerted to the risk of infection until Thursday.

If contact tracing is failing when numbers of infected people are still relatively low and it is so early into what is expected to be widespread outbreaks of the Omicron variant, we can have no trust in the system coping when numbers escalate.

Apropos of government mismanagement, the story of government seizure of rapid antigen test (RATs) gets worse:

The Government’s confiscation of rapid antigen tests ordered by the private sector has gone from bad to worse, National’s COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Businesses who have had rapid tests seized by the Government have been told that they will not be able to get access to their orders and no compensation will be paid for the seizure of their property. The Government will decide who gets the tests, and how many they will get.

“At the end of last year many New Zealand businesses ordered rapid antigen tests to use for surveillance testing in their workplaces, after finally persuading a deeply reluctant government that the rapid testing ban should be partly removed.

“Having negligently failed to order enough tests for itself in time, the Government is seizing tests ordered by the private sector, overriding private contracts without compensation, and rationing the kits to a limited number of businesses.

“The only businesses who will definitely get tests are the ones doing ‘critical work’ (which will be different to the definition of ‘essential work’). Businesses will have to apply to be registered as ‘critical’, but as yet there is no definition.

“The only purpose the tests can be used for is for workers isolating who can then ‘test to return to work’. The tests will not be able to be used for surveillance purposes.

“Around the world rapid testing is used by many companies (and governments) for surveillance purposes. The test results come in just 15-20 minutes allowing many people to test themselves.

“The New Zealand Government needs to allow every rapid test approved by Australia into New Zealand and let anyone who wants to import tests into the country. Allow them for sale at pharmacies and supermarkets, and stop nicking property from other people and businesses.”

Australia has approved dozens of RATs, last week New Zealand had approved only nine.

This is already having a serious impact on people’s lives:

. . . If Omicron is going to spread here as rampantly as it has in other places, self-testing kits will be vital for all workplaces and the functioning of the economy. Last Tuesday there were just 29 active cases of Covid in New Zealand and nearly 1000 contacts were isolating.

That’s nearly a thousand people, probably perfectly healthy, unable to go to work or school because somebody close to them had returned a positive test. If the same ratio holds when Omicron gets around, the consequences do not bear thinking.

The Government will let staff in health services and other “critical” industries, yet to be named, return to work with a rapid antigen test. All industries should be allowed to use them. It is outrageous the Ministry of Health has been allowed to commandeer (“consolidate”, says Dr Bloomfield) companies’ overseas orders so that the ministry can decide how a limited supply should be used.

The ministry thinks it is the font of all fairness and expertise in these things though its attempt to monopolise the vaccination programme last year proved otherwise. Let’s hope it doesn’t take until the second half of this year for us to be able to buy saliva tests in supermarkets. . . 

Lack of access to RATs will deter people who have mild or no symptoms from getting tested when they know they’ll have to wait a few days, isolating at home, to get a result.

Contract tracing is far too slow now it will be far worse when, as increasingly likely, we follow other countries with infected cases in the 10s of thousands.

The requirement to isolate for up to 24 days if you’re a close contact of a positive case is discouraging people from using the Covid tracer app and signing in which will make tracing harder, and slower still.


Word of the day

30/01/2022

Meme – a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes; an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means; an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture; a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way; to create and spread memes; to make the subject of a meme.


Milne muses

30/01/2022


Maya muses

30/01/2022


Sunday soapbox

30/01/2022

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.

Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation – MIlton Friedman


Word of the day

29/01/2022

Thwankin – clouds that are gathering or mingling in thick and gloomy succession.


Yes Sir Humphrey

29/01/2022


Rural round-up

29/01/2022

Urgent action needed to stop carbon farming rort – William Beetham:

Federated Farmers is calling on the government to live up to its pledge and review the Overseas Investment Act ‘special forestry test’ and be fair to sheep and beef farmers

We understand that Forestry Minister Stuart Nash and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been lobbying for this fair and sensible step but Cabinet is dithering, and this is profoundly impacting our rural communities.

It’s well past time for action.  This is hurting rural people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

There are multiple factors driving the alarming and accelerating trend of productive sheep and beef farmland being sold for pine tree carbon farming, and a multitude of changes government must make to restore balance to land use policy. Sorting the special forestry test is straight-forward. . . 

Omicron outbreak may leave rural hospitals precarious staffing  levels – Rowan Quinn :

Rural communities could be left without local medical services for a time when Omicron hits.

Staffing is precarious in many small towns – and doctors, nurses or key administration workers will have to stop working if they get the virus.

Hospitals have predicted 30 percent of their staff could be off with Omicron at the height of the outbreak.

Rural doctor Jeremy Webber said it was hard to gauge the impact that would have on very small hospitals, which tended not to have staff to spare. . .

Horticulture, meat processors push for private RAT orders to protect supply chains – Maja Burry:

The horticulture and meat processing industries are among those advocating for the government to allow the private importation of rapid antigen tests, saying they’re worried Covid-19 testing capacity could impact on staffing.

The industry group Horticulture New Zealand said if Covid-19 testing capacity slowed that would impact monitoring – as well as return to work decisions – at a time when the sector needed as many hands on deck as possible.

Chief executive Nadine Tunley said it was imperative there was a focus on maximising the number of people available, to keep the supply chain operating during the Omicron response.

“We have strenuously pointed out to the government that our industry cannot withstand any further labour shortages as growers will be faced with having to leave vegetables in the ground and fruit on trees.” . . 

The taonga on fire: 40 days at Kaimaumau – Matthew Scott:

The fire at overlooked natural treasure Kaimaumau wetland began before Christmas, and it’s still ablaze

It’s been burning for more than 40 days and 40 nights.

Despite summer rains and being largely left behind by the media cycle, the fire in the Kaimaumau wetland in the Far North rages on.

The burning area is 2800ha, with a perimeter of 38km as of Day 41 – larger than Rangitoto Island. “On a national scale, that’s probably one of New Zealand’s biggest fires,” said incident controller Wayne Martin. . .

Robo tractor could revolutionise viticulture :

A driverless tractor able to perform up to three tasks at once is on the cards for New Zealand orchards.

The Government is contributing $622,360 through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to develop a prototype tractor, which is set to transform the productivity of trellised orchards while reducing carbon emissions. The Smart Machine Company Limited is taking the lead on the three-year project, and is contributing a further $945,520.

“The tractor will be able to perform several tasks, including canopy spraying, mulching, mowing, trimming, and leaf defoliation,” says Steve Penno, MPI’s director of investment programmes.

“As well as lowering carbon emissions, we could expect to see reduced spray drift, and improved soil and tree health. . .

Canterbury teen wins beekeeping scholarship :

Canterbury-based Alyssa Wilson (17) is the 2021 recipient of Apiculture New Zealand Ron Mossop Youth Scholarship in beekeeping.

Alyssa topped a strong field of candidates to win the scholarship, which includes $2000 to support training and set-up costs for new beekeepers, a one-year membership with industry body Apiculture New Zealand and attendance at Apiculture New Zealand’s industry conference to be held in June 2022.

The scholarship was set up to help young people into a career in beekeeping and the judges identified Alyssa as showing great potential. “She’s clearly not afraid to get stuck in and learn as much as she can. With a strong work ethic and a real interest in bees, she is going to be an asset to our industry,” says judge Neil Mossop.

Alyssa says she was “pretty chuffed” to win and is planning to use the scholarship to help fund her involvement in the New Zealand Apprenticeship in Apiculture scheme run through Primary ITO in partnership with Apiculture New Zealand. . . 


There’s a better way

29/01/2022

There’s what the government is doing about the shortage of rapid antigen tests (RATs):

And there’s a much better way – Sir Ian Taylor writes of solving the RAT crisis in three hours:

Businesses had argued for months about the importance of rapid antigen tests as one of the tools to help keep businesses operating once covid began to spread across the country. But, as has been the case on so many fronts now in our Covid response, we have lagged behind the rest of the world in approving the use of rapid antigen tests and even further behind in finding reliable sources.

And so it was that when our Government finally recognised the importance these tests would play in keeping our businesses operating during an outbreak, the US government had already moved to make rapid antigen testing its number one priority in its Covid response which meant that, just as we had seen with vaccines, our little country at the bottom of the world faced the prospect of having to take whatever we could get, at whatever price we were being charged.

And up to last week that meant that the only immediate source the government could find was what businesses had already ordered themselves and, no matter what language you choose to use, those supplies were requisitioned by the MOH. . . 

They didn’t only requisition the RATs, they have taken it upon themselves to decide on who would be the critical workers who would be permitted to get them.

The irony of all of this was that for more than two months there was an offer on their table from a company called Kudu Spectrum to deliver 1 million tests every 10 days with offers of up to 30 million delivered in six weeks. The offer also sat between 50 and 60 per cent below what the Government, and businesses who were lucky enough to find a source, were being charged at the time.

Not only more, but cheaper.

A week ago, working alongside the lawyer representing Kudu Spectrum and business leaders like Don Braid at Mainfreight, I finally got through to the MOH and within a day the first order for 5 million was placed.

In the space of 24 hours, Don had brought together 26 businesses with enough clout to order a further 1.1 million to keep key industries running. He then worked with Greg Foran at Air New Zealand to arrange the transport of the tests to New Zealand.

Order for 20 million

Today I heard that the Government has placed an order for a further 20 million. If they had moved eight weeks ago when the offer was first made, those supplies would be here already.

Just to place all of this in context, I forwarded the contact details provided to me by the Kudu Spectrum lawyer to Dr Bloomfield last Friday morning. That’s exactly one week ago. The encouraging thing about that is it reaffirmed something I did know from past experience. There are officials buried inside government who do want to make a difference and just need to be given the freedom to act.

If ever there was an example of what I meant last September when I urged the PM to start looking to the bench for help, this was surely it.

And it gets better.

Over the past 24 hours I have been inundated by small businesses, like a fashion shop here in Dunedin, which simply has no idea where they can find rapid antigen tests to protect their staff. The big companies that can afford the upfront costs of buying the test have been taken care of, but what about the small companies?

Small companies include those that produce, process and supply essentials like food.

At 7.30 this morning I broached that question with Don Braid. I explained that we had to find someone of scale who could pay the upfront fees to bring supplies in to service the small businesses that currently have nowhere to go. And we needed that someone to agree that this was in the interest of all New Zealanders so it could not be a profit-making exercise. By 8.30am he had put me in touch with Chris Quin, CEO of Foodstuffs North Island.

Foodstuffs was one of the early business adopters of RATs and they were key to helping to keep their teams safe and ensuring food was on their shelves through the last lockdown. They were one of the first companies to take advantage of this latest offer to bring in their own supplies, but he agreed that something needed to be done for smaller companies and asked what I had in mind. I told him that we needed an organisation that had a country-wide distribution that was prepared to bring in RATs through the Kudu Spectrum supply chain and was prepared to deliver those to businesses, basically at cost.

As I was asking this, I was reminded of a couple of tag lines that I hadn’t heard for a while.

“Be kind – we are all in this together.”

Chris asked me to give him 24 hours to consult with his board and the South Island Foodstuffs Co-Op. Three hours later he was back to share with me Foodstuffs’ offer, approved by both of the Co-operatives.

“We believe collaboration is key to getting NZ through Omicron – so we are committing to join the effort to provide mass distribution of these critical tests to business, organisations and consumers as stock is available. We know these tests will make the difference to how we all get through this together and will supply the tests at cost to ensure everyone can access them.”

All of this was put in place by a major business organisation in just three hours.

Now all they need the Government to do is give them approval to wholesale and retail the test, at cost, and work with them to get sufficient supply because at this stage the government does not allow it.

Is there anything other than control freakery stopping the approval coming through, and coming through in a very short time?

Once they have clearance to do that, the plan is to grow the relationships that have been established, by business people talking to each other, over the past 48 hours. The RAT market is one under enormous demand globally. That we are even in the position to have these discussions is remarkable.

That’s what the bench can do Prime Minister: Let’s do this.

This is a very clear illustration of the difference between socialism and capitalism, between business thinking and bureaucratic thinking.

And not just business thinking, but businesses collaborating for the common good.


Saturday soapbox

29/01/2022

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.

By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. – John Maynard Keynes


Word of the day

28/01/2022

Mulligrubs – a despondent, sullen, or ill-tempered mood; ill temper; grumpiness; feelings of melancholy, sullenness, or depression; sulks, blues; a griping of the intestines or stomach; colic.


Rural round-up

28/01/2022

Farmers want to be critical workers as part of Omicron response

Farmers are warning of huge pressures on food supply if they’re not considered part of the critical workforce.

The government has laid out its three-phase plan to tackle Omicron, which would allow critical workers who are close contacts of a case to return to work after a negative rapid antigen test.

But they haven’t defined exactly which workers it covers yet.

Federated Farmers National President Andrew Hoggard told Checkpoint that farmers and other workers in the industry definitely met the criteria of being critical due to looking after animals and producing food. . . 

Farmers prepare as closed borders disrupt harvest amid Omicron outbreak – Samantha Gee:

With harvest season set to kick off for the horticulture sector in the top of the South Island, orchardists, growers and hop farmers are faced with staff shortages due to closed borders.

It is estimated the region needs 1500 more staff across a number of industries: hops, apples, pears, kiwifruit and pipfruit to name a few.

Valima Orchard business manager Matthew Hoddy, who grows apples near Nelson, said more than half of his 220 employees during harvest were made up of Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers and those on working holiday visas.

But February 2020 was the last time that car loads of travellers showed up at the orchard, looking for seasonal work picking apples. . . 

‘Razor’ shares rugby secrets with farmers :

Make sure you have someone to talk to when life gets tough.

That was the key message from Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and some rural mental health advocates at a packed gathering of the Ellesmere farming community recently.

Ellesmere Sustainable Agriculture Inc (ESAI), with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, invited its members and community to listen to four speakers sharing their experiences around leadership, stress, anxiety and depression and the strategies to cope with the pressures life creates in rural communities.

A capacity crowd of nearly 100 farmers, their families and their neighbours were captivated by Robertson sharing some of the secrets of the culture that created the Crusaders dynasty, including their methods to handle setbacks and stress, which according to Robertson apply to both the rugby field as well as the farm. . . 

Quinedale Farm & Stud – a family affair

Taupiri dairy farmer Balraj Singh jokes that when he married his wife Hardeep, he ‘converted’ her.

He’s not talking about sports teams or coffee brands, but cattle breeds.

“I’ve been milking cows since I was 14-years-old, and I was brought up with Holstein Friesians,” he says.

“Before we got married, Hardeep had a small herd of 75 pedigree Jersey cows, but I convinced her to start milking Holstein Friesians. . . 

New lending rules could benefit sector – Nigel Stirling:

New lending rules wreaking havoc on residential borrowers have not had any noticeable impact on farm lending and could even spur the banks to look favourably again at the sector after a lean couple of years.

Since the start of December, banks have been applying extra scrutiny to loan applications in response to legislation designed to protect borrowers from saddling themselves with unaffordable levels of debt.

While the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act had seemingly been motivated by a desire to crack down on loan sharks, it has ended up capturing a far larger share of the market than ever intended.

Bankers are being extra cautious under pains of fines of up to $200,000 if they are found to have failed to follow the letter of the new law when assessing loan applications. . . 

Upland farmers face ‘income crisis’ in transition to new  schemes :

Upland farmers have warned they face an income crisis if significant changes are not made to the UK’s post-Brexit agricultural support system.

In a meeting with Defra, the NFU uplands forum said the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) failed to offer a meaningful return for the costs of managing upland landscapes.

The SFI – the first of the UK’s new environmental land management schemes replacing the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy – will be rolled out this year.

The reform is the most significant change to UK farming and land management in over five decades. . .


Speaker series – Lucy Hone and Matt Chisholm

28/01/2022

Speaker Series is an initiative by Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and Dairywomen’s Network. It’s funded by Worksafe NZ.


Inflation is theft

28/01/2022

Government spin is trying to tell us that the highest inflation rate in three decades is due to global pressures. It’s not.

Inflation hit a 31-year high at the end of 2021, with a strong rise in domestic costs expected to create headaches for the Reserve Bank.

Statistics New Zealand said the consumer price index (CPI), the official measure of household inflation, rose by 5.9 per cent in 2021, the highest since 1990, shortly after the Reserve Bank was given new powers to use interest rates to keep prices stable.

While the figures were largely in line with expectations – several economists had predicted inflation hit at least 6 per cent last year – the breakdown of the theoretical basket of goods used to calculate the CPI suggested the current wave of increases is more of a domestic issue than some had expected.

Shortly after the figures were announced, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that the rise, predicted by commentators, was largely the result of global inflation pressures.

While tradeable inflation – generally reflecting costs imported from overseas – rose to 6.9 per cent, this was actually below expectations. Non-tradeable inflation, made up of the components of inflation that are mostly domestic, was 5.3 per cent, well above expectations and at the highest level recorded since Statistics NZ began providing a breakdown of local and imported elements. . .

A large contributor to the domestic component is government spending:

The Finance Minister must rein in his spending to avoid adding more fuel to the inflationary fire that is hurting everyday New Zealanders, National’s Finance spokesperson Simon Bridges says.

“At 5.9% for 2021, inflation is the highest it has been in three decades. It’s a thief in New Zealanders’ pockets, and it’s the least well-off Kiwis who will be doing it the toughest.

People on low and middle incomes are already over-stretched. Inflation will make life even harder for them.

Parents will have to put food back at the supermarket, workers will only be able to partly fill up at the petrol station, and there’s even less hope for young people trying to buy their first home.

“With wage growth of only 2.4%, well under half of inflation’s growth, New Zealanders are going backward. At the same time, we’ve got rising interest rates and record amounts of government spending.

“Grant Robertson’s spending has been 40% higher throughout his time as Finance Minister than it was under National. This year he’s planning to increase that to a staggering 68% at $128 billion, with $6 billion in new spending.

“While elevated spending was appropriate through much of the pandemic, some easing off and greater focus on the quality of spending is now required.

The elevated spending wasn’t all appropriate. Some that was authorised for Covid recovery was spent on other much lower priority projects and some, like the $50m on the bike bridge to nowhere, was simply wasted.

The big spend increasingly won’t achieve anything in a constrained economy where each public dollar is just competing with New Zealanders’ investments in scarce resources and workers.

“Even worse, big spending now will simply push inflation higher, which will act as a double whammy, hitting New Zealanders in the pocket twice through the inflation effect and as the Reserve Bank is forced to continue hiking up interest rates, higher than would otherwise be necessary.

Grant Robertson’s glib response on inflation in the past has been that ‘it’s international’. If that’s a complete answer, then he needs to explain why the domestic part of New Zealand’s inflation is also rising and why Australia’s is considerably lower than ours at 3.5% over the same period.

“More importantly though, he needs to act by focusing on the quality of his spending and reining it in so that everyday Kiwis don’t keep getting burnt by price rises that far outstrip wage increases.”

Wages haven’t kept up with inflation but they have pushed some people into higher tax brackets:

Grant Robertson must urgently respond to spiking inflation with an adjustment of tax brackets, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union in response to Stats NZ’s latest inflation figures.

Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “At the Reserve Bank’s last forecast, inflation was expected to hit 5.7% in March, but inflation has already hit 5.9% – that’s two months early.”

“Inflation doesn’t just hammer New Zealanders with higher prices – it also means we pay more in income tax. As salaries scramble upwards to keep up with rising costs, New Zealanders end up in higher income tax brackets, despite being or worse off in real terms. Workers are whacked once with inflation, and again with a tax hike.”

“The dirty secret of inflation is that Grant Robertson benefits from it. More tax revenue means he can make bigger spending promises – spending that itself serves to bid up the cost of goods and services, fueling inflation further.”

“There is one simple thing the Grant Robertson can do to avoid the perception he’s got a vested interest in driving up inflation – he needs to urgently adjust tax brackets and index them to shift automatically to counter the effects of rising costs.”

Inflation is theft.

It steals the real value of wages and without an adjustment to tax brackets the government will be making life harder for people by taking even more from them


Word of the day

27/01/2022

Consolidate  – make physically stronger or more solid; to make firm or secure; combine into a single more effective or coherent whole;  to bring together into a single or unified whole; unite; combine; to discard the unused or unwanted items of and organise the remaining; to strengthen or improve one’s control over.


Yes Sir Humphrey

27/01/2022


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