Not enough turkeys for Christmas?
Not in this country (so far as we know), but in Britain, where the British Poultry Council is pressing the UK Government to deal with the culinary consequences of shortages of workers resulting from the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The British food industry faces huge disruptions that have forced leading restaurants – including Nando’s and KFC – to reduce their service or to close.
Poultry producers have warned that serious staff shortages caused by Brexit could mean there are not enough turkeys to go round this Christmas.
Supermarkets have also been struggling to fill shelves amid a serious shortage of HGV drivers that is affecting areas such as milk deliveries.
But a Canadian farming newspaper has drawn attention to a much more critical issue: famine is looming as developing countries struggle to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus with unpredictable and limited vaccines.
About 41 million people are at risk of starving to death in 2021. Continue reading “While the Brits brace for Christmas without turkeys, NZ leads APEC initiative on food security”
As all the lobby group shouting fades in the wake of the budget, how is the real verdict shaping up ?
If from the Labour camp, you’d say it was a financial triumph, balanced but with a bold vision. And, as Sir Michael Cullen asserted, there is “a real degree of bravery” in the benefit increases.
According to Sir Michael, Finance Minister Grant Robertson
” .. has done a superb job in writing a budget which balances present and future needs, begins to address our social inequities and provides a solid foundation for future sustainable growth”.
For Sir Michael, this is just the beginning: he sees this as the first part of a trilogy of budgets. Roll on the other two!
On the other side of the fence, the drumbeat was a bit more discordant. The praise certainly was not quite so fulsome. Continue reading “How our present and future needs have been balanced – by lumbering each household with $95,000 in govt debt”
So how is the debate on a comprehensive capital gains tax going?
Not well, some would say, particularly if you have to pay more than a $1000 a day for a PR snow job.
Questioned in Parliament why the government is paying Sir Michael Cullen more than $1000 a day of taxpayer funds to engage in political debate for four months after the Tax Working Group has been disbanded, including two months after the government will have announced its own position, Finance Minister Grant Robertson explained the contract had been extended “because it’s necessary to respond to all of the misrepresentation and lies about the report”. Continue reading “Sir Michael is being paid well while he takes his tax report for a spin”
The highly anticipated Tax Working Group’s final report, to be unveiled on Thursday, is expected to propose a broad-based capital gains tax, possibly along with an inheritance tax. Policy wonks and commentators typically say the devil will be in the detail (particularly the exemptions, if any).
Both the Labour Party and the Green Party have supported a capital gains tax and few doubted – when the Ardern government named Sir Michael Cullen as head of the Tax Working Group – he would lead the charge in favour of extending whatever forms of taxing capital gains (the brightline test) apply at present into a much more broadly based framework.
Cullen has been a staunch believer that the “rich pricks” don’t pay their fair share of tax and he’s an enthusiast for rebalancing the tax structure. Continue reading “Gunning for the “rich pricks” through tax changes brings the risk of an electoral recoil”
The Labour-led Government wants a capital gains tax — why else would it have a Tax Working Group spending months studying how to frame it?
The problem for Finance Minister Grant Robertson is that it could be politically toxic, as David Cunliffe found when he campaigned on it. So he’s now seeking a final recommendation from the TWG which makes taxing capital gains politically acceptable — at least to a majority of voters.
It will take all the political cunning of the old master, Sir Michael Cullen, to come up with the answer Robertson needs. Continue reading “The taxing task of making a capital idea less toxic to voters”
So will Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Working Group in its interim report due out soon propose the government implements a capital gains tax?
When the TWG was set up most people believed its main purpose was to design a broad-based capital gains tax, not just to capture a new source of revenue but to make the tax system fairer and reduce inequalities.
But a report in Stuff this week speculated the TWG has stopped short of recommending a broad-based capital gains tax. Continue reading “Capital gains: the taxing task of balancing economic and political considerations”