Company Tax Rates, Alliance Style

ACT has thrown company tax rates into the election circus. The reaction from other parties has been muted to say the least. No one seems to know how to respond.

The Alliance Party has never been afraid of controversy. Let’s look at company tax rates, and trust tax rates too for that matter. But let’s look at them from the viewpoint of reducing inequality and increasing the common good, as opposed to enabling companies to increase their profits per se. Continue reading

Are We Having an Election or a Game of Trivial Pursuit?

Are we having an election or a game of Trivial Pursuit? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

We had the fixation with scarves and men who say they’re sorry. Apparently it’s not manly. Though most women would argue that men don’t say ‘sorry’ half often enough. And red scarves are an unforgivable fashion faux pas – who knew? Continue reading

Flushing Out the Non Voters

Voter turnout is predicted to be even lower this election than the previous two general elections. Understandable. When the election is portrayed as a Mr New Zealand contest, who cares who wins?

But a general election is not a popularity contest. Political parties should have to do more than thrust their leaders in front of a camera. There are important issues at stake. Continue reading

Here’s to a New Zealand Where Everyone is Able to Afford Shoes and a Raincoat for Their Kids

No disrespect to KidsCan, but the handing over of the 100,000th raincoat to a school child as they did on July 4th is not a cause for celebration. It is a tragedy. It should have been a national day of mourning.

It means that 100,000 children live in households where there is not enough money to buy such basic items as shoes and raincoats. Continue reading

Three Cheers for Tax and Spend!

Our Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce cries “tax and spend” like it’s a bad thing. But that makes no sense. What other option does a government have?

Tax is virtually the only source of income for our government and is used to pay for the things we all benefit from; the justice system, transport, education, health, social security, science and innovation, trade development, even Mr Joyce’s own salary and that of the departments he is responsible for. Personal taxes provide the largest portion of this income. Continue reading

Secrets, Lies, and Trade in Services Agreements

We thought the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement was bad. And then there was TISA. TISA is a world wide Trade in Service Agreement being negotiated in secret.

Even though New Zealand is one of the countries that has been part of negotiations, the first most people will have heard of TISA was via the Wikileaks release last week.

TISA once finalized will cover 68 per cent of world services. It seeks to expand access to foreign markets for private multi national service industries and ensure they receive national and most-favoured nation treatment. The aim is to open up services world wide by doing away with barriers such as: Continue reading

The App Economy; Can We Make it Work for Everyone?

The fastest growing companies are the ones in the tech/ecommerce industry. It has been described as the ‘app economy’. The app economy gives us great innovations – but it fuels economic inequality.

Ecommerce industries employ fewer people and they often eliminate existing jobs e.g self service checkouts at the supermarkets. But those at the forefront of these industries are rewarded with million or even billion dollar incomes. Thus concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Continue reading