Wednesday, September 24, 2008


No right turn has a post on the upcoming elections

Seven weeks out, and the New Zealand election campaign has yet to really get under way. While the date has been announced, Parliament is still sitting, and the campaign proper won't begin until it rises (which is likely to happen late tomorrow night, or maybe Friday afternoon.

the blog highlights what National would do in government

First, National would offer tax cuts. Great stonking ones, if you believe their finance spokesperson. Whether they'll actually be able to deliver in an economic environment which has their own leader warning against "lolly scrambles" is an interesting question, but they've previously expressed some willingness to run deficits if necessary - "balancing the books" apparently now being some sort of socialist plot.

Now I am usually against tax cuts - Im a fiscal conservative and have been for the last 6 odd years I have been blogging. But there is a time that tax cuts are a good idea - and that is when the economic environment is BAD.

But he politicians always talk about being able to afford tax cuts and we cant afford them now!
well that is because they think you are economically illiterate. In the long run the state needs to gather enough tax to pay for it's services - but that is averaged out over a very long time frame. In the short term the Government has an opportunity to pump money into an economy when it is short of money and take some out when it overheats.

Soooo... that means IF this is a significant economic problem for NZ we better get to cutting taxes and running deficits not chastising parties for suggesting we do the right thing.

The exact shape of their tax cut programme will be announced some time after Treasury
opens the books on October 6, but traditionally National has favoured the rich (sorry; "average" New Zealanders, which it defines as the 15% of the population who earn over $60,000 / year) over actual ordinary New Zealanders.

tax cuts to the richer groups probably feed into the economy faster, so might do the job I mentioned before better - however I'm asupporter of having higher tax rates for higher incomes and would not want to make regressive steps that can't be undone. Actually I expect National's tax cuts to not be excessively regressive because of the style of policy htey have been going for.

Secondly, National would shift employment law back towards favouring the interests of employers. They have ruled out a return to the hated Employment Contracts Act, instead saying that they would "reform" the existing Employment Relations Act, but their announced policies indicate a clear desire to roll back Labour's reforms around union access to workplaces, collective bargaining, public holidays and annual leave, while introducing a 90-day "probationary" period in which workers could be fired at will. They are also likely to reduce employee and possibly government contributions to the KiwiSaver workplace savings scheme, and are highly unlikely to continue Labour's policy of regular increases to the minimum wage.

In bad economic times increasing hte minimum wage jsut makes some peopel poorer via unemployment so the last point is an issue, and some regulations are a little paperwork intensive - however otherwise I'm with labour on these issues.

Thirdly, reforming the Resource Management Act - our core planning and environmental legislation - is a high priority for National, featuring in most of their policy announcements.

the RMA is a disaster - it gives power to 'activists' regardless of the validity of their positions. Weakening it COULD improve environmental protections.

Fourthly, National have promised both to abolish the Maori seats, and to hold a referendum on MMP.

I find it hard to argue against referendums. that seems anti democratic in itself.

They have other policies - privatising ACC (our no-fault universal accident insurance scheme which keeps lawyers out of business), capping the number of public servants, using public-private partnerships for roads (which worked so well in Australia), and tweaking the Emissions Trading Scheme to favour polluters - but the above are the main ones.

that is all stupid policy from national.

ACC is more efficient than normal insurance, capping public servants might be god but it is far to arbitrary, public private partnerships for roads are generaly inefficient because the state is the party most able to carry that risk and tweaking hte ETS seems to be saying we will save money on theETS and pay it back with interest via Kyoo protocol - not smart.


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