The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum starts in Davos this week. It is to be officially attended by world political and business leaders – and unofficially, hopefully, by lots of not-for-profit and protest groups whose goals for people and the planet do not include how to make the most money for themselves. Continue reading
Debt is bad. Saving is good. Or so we are told. The government has been squirrelling taxpayers money away to invest via the Superannuation Fund. It has also been squirrelling away money from ACC levies to invest for the future.
To encourage us to save, most New Zealanders have had at least 3% of their weekly wages spirited away into a Kiwisaver fund. Employers have contributed another 3% per week.
It is doubtful whether anyone really knows what happens to all this money when it leaves our pockets / pay packets. The main goal is to accrue interest, use the money to make more money. This used to be called usury and was considered immoral in many religions, including Christianity. Continue reading
Most of our elected officials want to do the right thing. They want everyone to have a reasonable standard of living. But they are being led astray. Corporate heads tell our politicians that they can help with this, and our politicians believe them.
These corporate heads have got national and local politicians of every stripe falling over themselves to assist their corporations to make money in New Zealand, in the mistaken belief that their corporations are going to make money for New Zealanders. Continue reading
It’s official. Many big transnational corporations are not paying their taxes. And the government doesn’t intend to do anything about it.
These corporations inflate the value of the goods and services supplied by their parent company, conveniently located in an offshore low-tax/no-tax haven, to equate to the value of most of their revenue from sales in New Zealand. This is ‘cost of sales’ and can be deducted from the money they make from sales as a business expense. Hey presto, very little ‘profit’. Very little tax to pay. Continue reading
Does New Zealand really need more multinational corporations and mega-wealthy people setting up shop here?
The government’s recently announced plans to develop ‘the New Zealand Investment Attraction Strategy’ with the aim of attracting multinational corporations and wealthy entrepreneurs to New Zealand is hardly innovative thinking. The idea that our future prosperity depends on convincing the very wealthy to live here and multinationals to relocate their research and development facilities here is a slap in the face to local innovators and businesses. And to universities and government research centres that struggle for funding. Also ironic, given the billions of dollars in our superannuation fund, ACC funds, and Kiwisaver scheme which are largely invested overseas. Continue reading
Ever increasing economic growth is the holy grail. Whatever the problem, economic growth is the answer.
To question the wisdom of economic growth seems to be regarded as more flaky than questioning the moon landing. To be ‘anti growth’ is to be unfit to govern according to some politicians. Continue reading
What’s good for business is good for everyone, right? Wrong, actually.
Businesses that pay all workers a liveable wage, that provide a healthy and safe working environment, that tread lightly on environment, that turn out quality products or services that we actually need, and that pay a decent tax on their profits can benefit us all.
Businesses that pay low wages except to an elite few (usually offshore) directors and shareholders, that are unsafe for workers, that wreck the environment, that churn out junk, and that use every trick in the book to avoid paying their fair share of taxes cost the country and the planet. Continue reading
Sadly SkyCity casino looks set to get its way. The promise of a new convention centre will be enough to secure it a 27-year extension to its licence and the right to have an extra 230 pokies and up to 52 more gaming tables.
Throughout the debate over the wisdom of this deal the Alliance Party has waited in vain for somebody to ask the question “Why do we need a convention centre anyway?” Continue reading
The Alliance Party is amused and, quite frankly, confused, to hear John Key repeatedly refer to a possible Labour/Greens coalition as a “far left” government in the media these days.
Key bases his assessment on their new power policy which would see a government provider buying all the power from generators. However Key should ponder the fact that the state owned all aspects of power generation and the distribution of electricity right up until 1999. And no one ever described the Holyoake and Muldoon led National governments of this era as “far left” because electricity was state owned.
Not that being a “left wing” party is a bad thing. For the majority of New Zealanders, having a genuine “left wing” coalition government would be very good indeed. Continue reading
It is time to accept that rail is an essential public service, necessary to build communities and facilitate industries. Rail is there to serve the public good. It will never be a cash cow, according to Alliance co-leader Kay Murray. Ms Murray says “What KiwiRail needs to be is a high quality accessible rail network that moves both people and freight safely and efficiently.” Continue reading