Archive for May, 2004

TVNZ Post Budget Poll

May 31st, 2004 at 7:32 pm by David Farrar

TVNZ have the results of a post budget poll. As expected Labour have had a boost from the budget, but they still are 3% behind National.

They asked a number of questions with interesting results. 57% believe the budget is an attempt to regain votes after the poll drop. Also there is net economic pessimism by 7%.

A huge majority (66%) said they would prefer tax cuts to increased government spending (24%).

No tag for this post.

GDP

May 31st, 2004 at 1:13 pm by David Farrar

Idiot has got very excited on his blog, as he has discovered that there has been GDP growth, and hence this makes it all okay for the state to be taking in $30 billion of extra revenue.

I’ll ignore his fairly personal comments about truthfulness and my former occupation (which he has wrong, but hey facts …) and concentrate on the economic issues.

First of all it is totally appropriate to look at the actual amount of crown revenue and expenditure, not just as a percentage of GDP. Just because my business grows by 10%, doesn’t mean we should spend 10% more on hip hop tours, simply because the money is there from taxation.

The tax and spend article refers to the 1990 to 1999 period where it mentions crown revenue also increased by $8 billion. This was against GDP growth of 42% over that period. Labour has $30 billion increase against 62% growth.

Idiot also refers to the accounting changes in 2002. The $30 billion increase takes that into account, as I have backdated revenue from 1999 on the basis of the new policy. The increase would be greater than $35 billion if I had not. Again those pesky facts.

I stated in the article that only $20 billion of the increase was from tax. People may be interested in a further breakdown on this. The amount of income tax paid by individuals is forecast to increase by 70% (more than $10 billion) from 1999 to 2008. Company tax increases by $4 billion which is around 108%.

Every year more and more New Zealanders pay more and more tax. This is a combination of bracket creep and tax and levy increases. And the more money the Government has to spend, the lower the quality of the spending. Just look at the $115 million on community education.

No tag for this post.

Tax and Spend

May 29th, 2004 at 4:51 pm by David Farrar

A new blog on the block is No Free Lunch. It is a joint effort with articles from Roger Kerr, Bryce Wilkinson and even myself.

The site is “dedicated to improving the quality of economic and public policy commentary in New Zealand”.

I’ve just posted an article on how, if Labour is re-elected, crown revenue will have increased by $30 billion over nine year. That is not a cumulative total, but a comparison of annual income going from around $40 billion in 1999 to over $70 billion in 2008.

No tag for this post.

Stupid is as stupid does

May 29th, 2004 at 2:21 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports today that Phil Goff decided not to consult on and publicise the proposed change to under age sex laws.

I actually think the proposed law change is pretty reasonable, but noted that the Government had mishandled the issue by not having a sensible communications strategy, and then they backed down without even attempting to defend it.

No tag for this post.

Thank you very much for your kind donation …

May 29th, 2004 at 2:05 pm by David Farrar

It is bad enough that I am funding several billion dollars of Labour’s electoral bribes, but I almost choked this morning when I read I also have to fund a $21 million propaganda campaign on their behalf.

This is quite simply outrageous. To put the amount in context it is 12 times more than the total broadcast time allocated to political parties for the election. It represents over $70 per household affected.

Sure there is a case that one should let people know how much of my tax money they are now entitled to. But a personalised letter and a smart website should cost no more than $3 per household. A cost of $70 per household is quite simply propaganda. It will be used on general TV, radio and newspaper advertising despite the fact only 20% of households are affected.

No tag for this post.

Whoops

May 28th, 2004 at 2:21 pm by David Farrar

Was driving to Waikanae yesterday and there was a policr car just south of QEII Park. They were within 200 metres of a speed change sign which is actually against their own regulations.

Being a friendly sort I did the customary warning to oncoming traffic by flashing my headlights. Many waves and smiles back. Then noticed one car was flashing their lights back also. How friendly I thought. Until I noticed it was a police car and they looked fairly unhappy at my good samaritan activities.

No tag for this post.

Card declined!

May 28th, 2004 at 2:11 pm by David Farrar

Yesterday I had my Mastercard declined at the petrol station. This was somewhat surprising as I was massively under my limit and pat on time by direct debit monthly.

I phjoned up BNZ and they said a freeze had been placed on the card due to a suspicious transaction(s). However the only two they had was $12 to Pod for coffee and $15 to the Companies Office for my company annual return.

I thought their fraud detection programme was somewhat oversensitive.

However had a call this morning that there had been $6,000 of transactions from Japan and Malaysia – neither places I have been to in recent years.

BNZ of course are not charging me, and have cancelled the card. Rather a pain as I pay absolutely everything on it (airpoints are nice) so will have a lot of direct debits to change.

Always knew there was a reason I kept my Visa card open – makes a nice backup.

No tag for this post.

A split in the ranks

May 25th, 2004 at 3:58 pm by David Farrar

Normally the NZ section of the vast right wing conspiracy stands united on important issues like Winona Ryder’s innocence, but a big split in the ranks has appeared on flag burning.

Stepehn Franks started it by stating that flag burning is not speech and should be banned (as the current law does).

The Whig disagreed and thought one should defend what the flag represents, not the piece of cloth itself.

PNN backed Franks. He argues the flag does not represent a government, it repreents the land, its people etc.

Thr normally demi-libertarian Kiwi Pundit also backed Franks. Nigel thinks it goes from being speech to action.

And NZ Pundit also backs Franks, while acknowledging reasonable people can disagree on this.

So poor old Whig is not only whigetteless, but his only support is from No Right Turn which is like being helped out by the French Government!

Never fear, help is here. I’m with Blair (the Whig) on this one, and if you want to read on, I’ll explain why they are all wrong and we are right :-)
(more…)

No tag for this post.

Gone already

May 25th, 2004 at 2:02 pm by David Farrar

Now that was quick. In just 48 hours the Government’s position on the changes to the age of consent laws has gone from a we support the policy in the bill, to we are happy with the select committee choosing between two options in the bill (a minor porkie, there were no options, just the ability to accept the changes or not) to we are totally ditching the proposed changes.

The Government has panicked on the basis of merely two days of headlines, and is in the idiotic position where it says it thinks the law would be better changed, but it will not even try to debate the issue. Isn’t this sort of poll driven panic what got them into trouble on the foreshore?

What they should have done is recognise that such a move could be very inflammatory, and rather than just bring a bill into Parliament, they should have openly canvassed in a discussion paper the pros and cons of criminalising 15 year olds for having sex with each other, debated whether one can seperate out what we want society to do, and what we want people to go to jail for.

It’s not as if people don’t listen to reason. 90% of the people I have discussed this with reacted with disgust as first. When one askes them though do they think kids should be prosecuted for having sex with each other, they almost all say no. There was a debate out there which could be won, if the Government wasn’t too scared of its own shadow.

A few people have been critical of Opposition MPs for beating this up, but look that was inevitable. Mouthing off at conservative MPs for beating this up, is like yelling at your dog for urinating on a lamp post – it is natural behaviour :-)

A good communications strategy would have been aware of the potential of this blowing up, and worked out how to minimise the chances of this happening.

I was going to post yesterday that Russell Brown had posted a good commentary on the issue. It even got NZ Pundit agreeing the changes were not as bad as thought, and this comes from a man who has a daughter starting puberty!

Russell has followed up with another post on the issue, and he even calls my last post on this “useful and well-informed” which will probably land me in trouble with the vast right wing conspiracy hierarchy :-)

No tag for this post.

One Network News Poll

May 23rd, 2004 at 6:24 pm by David Farrar

Another bad poll for Labour. In fact what has been interesting is how consistent the around 10% gap has been for what is four months now with the Colmar Brunton One News poll.

National 47% (-1)
Labour 37% (+0)
NZ First 5% (+0)
Green 4% (-1)
ACT 3% (+1)
United Future 1% (-1)
Progressives – ha ha ha ha ha

If this reflected an actual election the seat allocation would be:

National 63
Labour 49
NZ First 7
United Future 1
Progressive 1

So a National Government with 63 out of 121 seats

If the Greens and ACT both won an electorate seat and stayed in Parliament, then the results would be:

National 58
Labour 46
NZ First 6
Green 5
ACT 4
United Future 1
Progressive 1

National/ACT could form a Government with 62 out of 121 seats.

In further bad news for Labour, a Marae/Digipoll poll shows Labour having dropped 13% amongst Maori and Clark down 14%.

No tag for this post.

The age of consent

May 23rd, 2004 at 2:54 pm by David Farrar

A lot has suddenly been written about the Government bill to change the age of consent laws. It is somewhat amusing, considering the bill was introduced six months ago on 9 December 2003. People have just read it I assume!

Also the changes in the bill are not actually a lot different to the current law. I

No tag for this post.

Was this the same meeting?

May 23rd, 2004 at 2:16 pm by David Farrar

On Friday the ACT leadership candidates have a meeting in Wellington. As I was in Queenstown I missed attending, but the news reports are rather contradictory.

NZPA reported

No tag for this post.

Thank you St Johns and the Copthorne

May 23rd, 2004 at 2:06 pm by David Farrar

After setting up for Saturday

No tag for this post.

Thank you Air New Zealand

May 23rd, 2004 at 1:58 pm by David Farrar

I worked until 2.00 a.m. Friday morning and woke up at 7.55 a.m. My flight to Christchurch and then Queenstown was departing at 8.30 a.m. so this was definitely going to be tight.

I managed a shower and packing in nine minutes. Phoned Air New Zealand from the taxi and told them I would be late for check in. They said they would let the airport know, but can

No tag for this post.

Spam Legislation

May 18th, 2004 at 2:08 pm by David Farrar

The Government has released a discussion document on legislation against spam.

InternetNZ has been working with the Government on this issue, and has organised a workshop in Wellington on 24 June 2004 to discuss legislative options.

In my opinion legislation is an important part of the fight against spam. It is not a magic bullet, but along with education, technical solutions, self-regulation and international co-operation for enforcement it will mitigate the problem.

From my observations there are an increasing number of New Zealanders involved in the international spam trade.

No tag for this post.

Fast and Safe

May 16th, 2004 at 10:46 pm by David Farrar

An excellent site called Fast and Safe has been put together which brings some greatly needed facts to the road safety debate, rather than mere LTSA slogans.

They show how following LTSA advice, you would need 2 kms of clear space to pass a truck travelling at 90 km/hr.

The site has a lot of excellent data from NZ and overseas. You may disagree with their point of view, but they can back what they say with a lot of research.

Personally I welcome a debate on whether the current focus on arbitrary limits and rules actually saves more lives than educating people to drive to the conditions.

I also support making people resit their licensing tests every five to ten years as a far more effective road safety measure.

No tag for this post.

Thank you Mrs Thatcher

May 16th, 2004 at 9:46 pm by David Farrar

I was very jealous to get a phone call from a friend now working in London, to tell me that he had just had dinner with Lady Thatcher.

She really was an incredible leader, who showed one person can make a huge difference.

The UK Conservative Way Forward Movement (Young Conseratives) produced a special video for Lady Thatcher for her recent 25th anniversary. It can be viewed online at this site.

No tag for this post.

My mobile office!

May 15th, 2004 at 6:03 pm by David Farrar

Now this is my idea of a good mobile office. I love the portability of laptops.

mobileoffice.jpg

No tag for this post.

Throw the book at them!

May 15th, 2004 at 5:54 pm by David Farrar

Just as I said that US soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners should be given long prison sentences, I also think that the (now former) Editor of the Daily Mirror, along with their source, should be prosecuted or sued, because their propagation of the faked photos about abuse from British troops has probably led to significant loss of life.

No tag for this post.

MFAT

May 15th, 2004 at 5:50 pm by David Farrar
No tag for this post.

MFAT

May 15th, 2004 at 5:50 pm by David Farrar
No tag for this post.

The good, the bad and the funny

May 15th, 2004 at 5:48 pm by David Farrar

The funny blog this week is John Tamihere with his depiction of future coalition negotiations between National and a Maori party.

No tag for this post.

NZPA story on Classical Libs

May 15th, 2004 at 5:43 pm by David Farrar

Stuff has a story from NZPA on the Classical Libs. There has been a good amount of interest. I also did interviews with NZ Herald and Radio Pacific on the group.

No tag for this post.

The Classical Libs

May 14th, 2004 at 12:13 pm by David Farrar

Yesterday National announced that a group of party members and supporters had formed a Classical Liberal Policy Advisory Group, known as the Classical Libs. I’m the co-chair of it, along with Katherine Rich MP. Quite a few others are involved, including some who comment here from time to time (waves to Megan).

I am really looking forward to this endeavour. Policy is my main interest in politics, and we are going to be putting on some hopefully first class policy seminars on interesting topics.

The National Party is a broad based party, but it is not just a conservative party. I like the state to stay away form both my business and my personal life.

Pleased to see a supportive press release from Richard Prebble welcoming the group. I did have to laugh at how he claims it is due to ACT influence, because I have had my views since long before ACT was even a twinkle in Roger Douglas’ eye.

I did like Richard’s suggestion though that by having a seminar called “Thinking outside the square on road safety”, we were advocating one can choose what side of the road to drive on :-)

No tag for this post.

Now that’s better

May 14th, 2004 at 9:41 am by David Farrar

The bags turned up late last night along with the very expensive laptops and projector which was a relief.

After a night of thunder-storms, today is beautiful. A great view from the hotel room as you can see.

waitangi.jpg

Best of all there is a large outdoor natural (as in carved out of rocks) spa pool. A great way to wake oneself up. I am now feeling so relaxed and happy I would even be polite to Jim Anderton.

No tag for this post.