David Seymour and Judith Collins meet Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan is a British politician whose joy in clear thinking probably exceeds his ambition for high office (although he played an influential and honourable hand in the Brexit ruckus).  

And his thinking on the future of Britain’s Conservative party has resonance for right-of-centre politicians around the world.

Continue reading “David Seymour and Judith Collins meet Daniel Hannan”

ACT’s resource development plans would encourage mining – but not at the expense of the environment

Finance  Minister  Grant  Robertson  couldn’t  resist  playing  a  fresh  variation on his good   news signature tune   ahead   of   the predicted dismal  figures  on  April-June  GDP  figures  due  out this  week.

He   says economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under alert level 1 following Auckland’s move out of alert level 3.

He cites  analysis in the Treasury’s latest weekly economic update  which shows:

  • Auckland card spending under level 2.5 bounced back to levels similar to spending under alert level 1
  • Auckland heavy traffic volumes rebounded to be higher than the same time a year ago
  • Rest-of-NZ card spending recovered to levels seen during alert level 1
  • Rest-of-NZ heavy and light traffic volumes both rose above 2019 levels.

So   he believes   the  rest  of the country    should sing-along  because  the data shows the economic benefits of sticking to the government’s “clear elimination plan and investments in extra contact tracing and health resources. It follows from the strong bounce we saw after the initial moves after levels 4 and 3,”.

In essence  he is  saying  we  should shrug   off  the large drop in activity in the June quarter, due to the impact of level 4 to eliminate Covid-19.

“What our consistent health response means is we get a head-start on the economic recovery – economists are forecasting a record quarterly increase in GDP in the September quarter (reported in December) as the economy bounces back.The Treasury’s original estimate for June quarter GDP in Budget 2020 was for a 23.5% drop. Since then, economists have said NZ’s economy is stronger than expected in the near term as we opened up quicker than other countries.Continue reading “ACT’s resource development plans would encourage mining – but not at the expense of the environment”

A flat tax? Alas, RNZ burnt up its interview time while grilling Seymour about free speech and the racism bogey

RNZ’s Morning Report yesterday led us to hope we would hear something about the attractions of a flat tax, an idea once promoted by Roger Douglas when he was Minister of Finance in the Lange government.

A flat tax – adopted in some American states and European countries – is among the tax reforms favoured by the Act party as it tries to refresh its image.

We were led to believe the Morning Report team would kick this around with Act leader David Seymour just before 8am yesterday because they mentioned it in their introduction to an interview with him.  

Presenter Corin Dann said Act is targeting free speech “and radical tax reform” as it works to lift voter support heading into next year’s election.

The party had re-launched with the slogan ‘Act for freedom’. Continue reading “A flat tax? Alas, RNZ burnt up its interview time while grilling Seymour about free speech and the racism bogey”

How the parties are keeping us up to date – sort of – through their blogs

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Last of the National bloggers?

The most recent National Party press statement to land in our email intray arrived last Friday, giving Opposition leader Simon Bridges a platform to say plummeting business confidence “should be sending shivers down the spines of Government ministers”.

Almost half of Auckland businesses surveyed by the Auckland Business Chamber believed the economy would deteriorate over the next six months, Bridges observed.

He blamed government policy (what else?):

“This ‘free fall’ in business confidence is a direct result of the poor decisions and uncertainty created by the Ardern-Peters Government which has done nothing to give businesses a boost.”

Continue reading “How the parties are keeping us up to date – sort of – through their blogs”