Poverty, inequality and tax by Susan Grimsdell

I’m always puzzled that politicians, the ones who either run the country already or want to run it, fail to see that introducing policies that make things a bit more equal will make things better for everyone. Who benefits from tax cuts? For example, the National Party is campaigning on a promise of tax cuts, but their plan will benefit people who are already doing quite well, and benefit the poor hardly at all.  Those on $90,000 a year will get an extra $58/week, those on $15,000 will get $1.35. Our Labour… Read More

New brooms, same old dust by Trevor Plumbly

Political bigamy Fine words are always spoken prior to elections. That’s certainly no different down here in NZ, nor is what follows. Stentorian rhetoric gets watered down by the appeasement that comes with the MMP system.* The leader needs to ‘consult’ with two other leaders before actually ‘leading’. It’s ironic that a system touting broader representation looks like poisoning itself with its own prescription. Courtship At the ballot box, we were swept up in a flurry of expectation; our new prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was all we’d been dreaming of: young, idealistic… Read More

Send in the clowns by Trevor Plumbly

I’m beginning to wonder if the popular concept of progress is entirely beneficial to the human race. Sometimes it seems that the more enlightened we become, the more patent stupidity creeps in. The least harmful, but possibly the most ludicrous, is the current fad for verbal gender neutrality. Today I heard a half hour radio discussion involving four adults, debating whether or not certain words are acceptable to those who wish to ram the more idiotic facets of gender identity down our throats. Somewhat naively, I’ve always held the theory that those… Read More

I Wanna Bang the Drum by Trevor Plumbly

Out of Pocket It’s within living memory when Germany’s currency was scarcely worth its paper content; million mark notes were worthless and workers were paid thrice daily to combat inflation. In more recent times, Zimbabwe went through a similar situation, yet it’s hard to imagine those responsible for that economic lunacy suffering any great hardship from the events. There’s the odd exception, but in the main, financial folk do indeed dwell in marble halls and rarely end up with the ‘have-nots’. For them, recession becomes opportunity and tax liabilities a solvable puzzle…. Read More