Goff on Tax

May 25th, 2010 at 3:46 pm by David Farrar

Some wonderful quotes from Hansard. First we have the General Debate of 24 Feb 1988:

From 1 April 1988 the rate of company will decrease from 48 percent to 28 percent, and that will create an environment in which enterprises can succeed—both New Zealand enterprises and those that are attracted from overseas. That, too, is the path to future sustainable growth.

So cutting the company tax rate to 28% in 1988 was the path to future sustainable growth, yet something he condemns today.

Then we have the Appropriation Bill (No 3) second reading on 10 November 1988:

Let us consider the Government’s track record. It has introduced a new taxation system that is closing off the loopholes that in the past made paying tax a voluntary exercise for many companies and some individuals. The top marginal tax rate was 66c in the dollar when the Government took office, but it is now half that level—33c in the dollar.

And reducing the top tax rate to 33% and closing off loopholes was also laudable according to Phil.

And finally the second reading of the Appropriation Bill (No 2) on 18 August 1988:

Taxation has gone from 48c and 30c in the dollar to 33c and 24c in the dollar. That reduction allows New Zealanders to keep more of their own money.

And an endorsement of dropping the top tax rate to 33% so NZers get to keep more of their own money.

Now to some degree all politicians will have made statements earlier in their careers, which they later change their mind on. However they tend to be fairly minor issues, not something as core as whether reducing the top tax rates is laudable or deplorable.  And these are not statements from when Phil was a Young Labour member, but as a Minister of the Crown.

Now in the debate the PM had a great time pointing out the massive in having the Opposition Leader condemn almost everything he had previously praised. And this is quite legitimate – it is not some sort of personal attack – it is highlighting changed policy positions. He then went on to talk about the itself.

Now Phil himself, and Annette, took Key’s speech in pretty good humour and were smiling at parts of it. They know that is what it is about. However the same can’t be said of some of the delicate wee flowers in his caucus who within seconds were whining on Twitter.

First complains:

Key starts his speech with a cheap shot. So Prime Ministerial!

That was in response to Key’s opening line that Shane Jones was really happy with Phil’s speech. Good God.

Then Clare complains further:

He’s a comedian. Does he take this country seriously! It’s embarrassing

So the PM is monstering you in the House pointing out (with considerable humour) that everything said is contradicted by what Phil previously said and your response is to complain he is being too funny.

But not just Clare. joined in:

thinks he’s on stage. What an embarrasment of a Prime Minister!

Personally I would be embarrassed to be tweeting such whines.

The trifecta was completed by complaining:

hard to tell if this is a budget speech the PM is giving or a pep rally/stand up routine. yet to mention the actual budget.

I’m sorry guys, but it is such a bad look to be whining that your opponent’s leader is doing too good a job of winding his own troops up. Especially when your own leader’s speech was somewhere between awful and really awful (Goff generally has been much better in the house this year but his budget speech was just all over the place).

Finally Clare Curran declares:

Worst budget speech ever

People can watch the video and decide for themselves.

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39 Responses to “Goff on Tax”

  1. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    Can someone less lazy than me link Goff’s speech. I shall watch that first and then Key’s response this evening when I have sound!

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  2. Inventory2 (10,262 comments) says:

    I believe that Clare Curran made that final comment with reference to Phil Goff’s speech :-)

    Perhaps she’s positioning herself for a tilt at the leadership herself …

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  3. Inventory2 (10,262 comments) says:

    Both are here GPT1

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2010/05/phil-versus-john.html

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  4. m@tt (630 comments) says:

    Key is getting a real reputation for being a struggling stand-up comic. I wonder if he plans to do something about that?

    I wonder if he’ll be cracking jokes when the next nat resignation takes place…

    Nat Resignation Coming

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  5. Rex Widerstrom (5,343 comments) says:

    Be fair, David. All these youngsters have ever seen is the austere, snarking, eviscerating style of Helen Clark.
    If they can think back any further than that it’s to the Dubya-like performances of Jim Bolger or the schoolmarmish Jenny Shipley.

    They obviously weren’t born (or weren’t paying attention) when David Lange was producing some of the funniest, but also most cutting, political rhetoric in politics.

    Even the people who loathed Paul Keating admitted to his rhetorical virtuosity, particularly in the House, and lament its replacement by the droning waffle of KRudd.

    So keep it up, Clare, Jacinda et al. When you get your shot, go back to that purse-lipped sneer of disapproval taught to you by your mentor. And watch ordinary NZers switch off in droves.

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  6. Nookin (3,260 comments) says:

    What Rex says.

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  7. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Perfectly well said Rex.

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  8. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Not that I will ever vote Labour, but you have to feel sorry for the poor socialists by having Goff as their leader.
    The poor Phil wouldn’t be able to organise an orgy in a brothel, let alone present decent opposition to Key’s National.

    The comrades need to ditch this “leader” as soon and early as possible.

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  9. trout (932 comments) says:

    Clare Curran and her ilk seem to have lost their sense of humour. Is this a return to the overly serious, dour, meanspirited Labour party of the past, or is a sign of desperate young people seeing another 4 years in opposition?
    Parliament is theatre; it is a war of words, parry and thrust; an outlet for opposing views, a substitute for shooting in the streets. It is also a club where politicians mix and match wits; humour is extremely important because it has a leavening effect on conflict. Young labour seem intent on making personal attacks on John Key; projecting their own inadequacies will not go down well with voters. NZ is famous for ironic humour and John Key’s performance in his budget speech was way up there. Phil’s problem is that his conservatism would make a good fit in the National Government cabinet; his attempt to adapt to current Labour Party dogma is looking hollow indeed.

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  10. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,066 comments) says:

    Much as I despair of Goff, digging up quotes from 1988 is about the lamest form of criticism imaginable. The PM and Finance Minister promised not to raise GST BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION. Isn’t that slightly more saliant than whatever Goff had to say 22 years ago?

    [DPF:Not lame if said leader has just huffed and puffed about how dropping tax rates is absolutely the wrong thing to do, when he has previously said the exact opposite. It's like Madonna now preaching safe sex.

    As for the GST promise, Goff mentioned that in his speech a lot. But it didn't gain much resonance. Why? Because people got compensation for it]

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  11. davidp (3,572 comments) says:

    Full marks to Phil Goff here. He had a smile on his face most of the time showing he has good humour and an ability to laugh at himself. That’s something that Clark didn’t have. Neither do Curran, Lees-Galloway (whoever he is), or Ardern. They’d be better people if they tried to be more like Goff.

    But I’m disappointed that the camera didn’t zoom in on Curran pulling a sour face like they did when Gerry Brownlee was analysing her branding initiative. No parliamentary debate is complete without at least one shot of a Labour Party MP looking as if someone has slapped their face with a large trout.

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  12. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    yes Danyl it is. If only there was a party we could vote for that we could trust. Oops, I just laughed coffee all over my keyboard

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  13. big bruv (13,675 comments) says:

    Well said Rex, I wish you tube had been around in the days of Lange, it would be great to be able to go and look at him at his booming best.

    I did not agree with the way Lange lost the plot in the second term but the man was a great entertainer, I can just imagine how he would destroy the Greens.

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  14. davidp (3,572 comments) says:

    Danyl McL>Isn’t that slightly more saliant than whatever Goff had to say 22 years ago?

    Part of Goff’s problem is that 22 years ago, he’d already spent 7 years in parliament. Ardern was still shitting in her nappies when Goff was first elected an MP. Labour have to try and sell Goff as being a future PM when he is carrying around 30 years worth of parliamentary and party baggage. You can’t expect National not to remind us of that baggage.

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  15. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Be fair, David. All these youngsters have ever seen is the austere, snarking, eviscerating style of Helen Clark.
    If they can think back any further than that it’s to the Dubya-like performances of Jim Bolger or the schoolmarmish Jenny Shipley.

    Actually Rex, I’m not going to be fair. For all my disliking of Micheal Cullen, even I can admit I found him to be begrudgingly witty at times in the house. These three would be beeming in glee if the shoe was on the other foot.

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  16. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Labours new wave of Gov 2.0 MP’s are a bit sad because they & their party are consistently having their arses handed to them on a plate.

    Very, very funny.

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  17. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    BB

    Lange was quick witted and could be as at the Oxford Union very funny ,, but the majority of the time he was a verbal bully, all be it one with a stunning vocabulary.

    He was that insecure most of the time he just got in first with the put down stemmed right back to his father being accused of indecency, attack attack attack, he was able to cover it with a veneer of humour is all

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  18. ZenTiger (426 comments) says:

    Much as I despair of Goff, digging up quotes from 1988 is about the lamest form of criticism imaginable. The PM and Finance Minister promised not to raise GST BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION. Isn’t that slightly more saliant than whatever Goff had to say 22 years ago?

    Danyl, Goff had the opportunity to be salient, sensible, sanguine and selective. He could have quoted key with sarcasm said as sardonically as he supposed. But he stuffed up.

    I do appreciate the irony though that Key managed to argue convincingly that National’s policies match Labour’s of 22 years ago. No wonder many consider the latest budget a triumph for National. Me, I’m not so sure.

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  19. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Danyl Mclauchlan 4:21 pm

    Much as I despair of Goff, digging up quotes from 1988 is about the lamest form of criticism imaginable. The PM and Finance Minister promised not to raise GST BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION.

    Not so sure about that, Danyl. While there have been lies and/or flip-flops from Key and English about GST, Goff was there wallowing with the most rogering of the Rogernomes back in the late 80s. At least Clark and Cullen, despite being part of that Cabinet, didn’t actively espouse Rogernomics.

    Goff was one of the Rogernomes, and it is something that he has never admitted he was wrong about.

    A good reason for those who believe in social justice and reducing inequality to vote Green, rather than Labour, I would suggest. I just don’t trust him, and won’t until he admits the 1984-90 Labour Government’s economic policies that he was a key player in implementing oppressed our most vulnerable citizens, and he was wrong in supporting them.

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  20. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @davidp 4:35 pm

    Ardern was still shitting in her nappies when Goff was first elected an MP.

    Now, she would make a good leader. Labour will be too timid to go there though, despite the failures of Goff to deliver.

    Mind you, they delivered the leadership to Lange not long after his first becoming an MP. Just can’t see this tired lot doing that with Ardern though, and Lange’s rise to the leadership was largely because Prebble and Douglas knew they could manipulate him.

    Ardern is a staunch socialist, and isn’t going to be manipulated by anyone.

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  21. big bruv (13,675 comments) says:

    What utter rubbish Toad

    If Goff has done one thing right in all the years he has spent sucking on the public tit it was his time as part of that revolutionary and dynamic first term Labour cabinet.

    Far from oppressing our most vulnerable citizens (here read lazy bastards who want the rest of us to pay for their lifestyle) the first Lange/Douglas government saved this nation from economic ruin and the rampant socialism and protectionism that near destroyed us ,might I add that this is the very same system that you want to see returned.

    Goff has many things to apologise for, his time in the Lange/Douglas government is not one of them.

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  22. big bruv (13,675 comments) says:

    “Ardern is a staunch socialist, and isn’t going to be manipulated by anyone.”

    Please, please, please let Labour elect this stupid little girl as their leader, that would just about finish them as a serious contenders for the government benches.

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  23. David in Chch (512 comments) says:

    But Toad, as a _former_ Labour and Green voter, I would point out that the Greens have always indicated, eventually, that they would only support a Labour-led government, and also supported Winston (the bald-faced liar) Peters, AND supported the EFA. The latter was going to introduce (and DID introduce for its short life) US style 3rd party special interest registered groups, quite counter to what they said was intended. And they STILL say they support the anti-democratic EFA.

    Until they return to their genuine environmental roots and embrace democracy again, I do NOT consider them a serious alternative.

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  24. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    Goff is usually excellent in the House but he took a while to get going in that one…

    As for hypocricy in what Goff said in the past, different times, different measures… Muldoon had completely f**cked the economy and if he had started the needed reforms in the late 70s we wouldn’t have needed to disband our old economy so dangerously, supporting such measures might have made economic sense then and not now…

    For example if the country had had 0 government debt and $100 billion in the bank in 1988 it would have made sense for Goff to be calling for very, very low company tax rates, that if he called for today he would be an economic vandal by exploding the deficit… Horses for courses…

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  25. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @Big Bruv: I believe Toad’s point was that Goff is critical of similar policies to those he has endorsed in the past but he has not admitted either that those policies were wrong or that the context in which the policies were endorsed makes a difference, and if context does make a difference, why the current context is inappropriate for similar policies.

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  26. wat dabney (3,755 comments) says:

    Goff, like nearly all politicians, literally talks like a baby.

    Can you imagine him talking to you, one on one, and being able to compose a thoughtful, balanced sentence that you found interesting, stimulating and even insightful? Can you imagine having an adult conversation with him about anything? If you knew him personally could you ever imagine yourself uttering the words ‘I’ll just see what Phil thinks about that.’ No, you couldn’t. You’d only ever talk to him on those rare occasions you needed the trite opinion of a tosser with a pathetic schoolyard point-scoring mentality.

    As I say, it’s the case for most of them. They are not fit to be the town dog catcher yet they stand up in parliament and trot out the most childish platitudes imaginable, then suppose that the seal-like clapping from behind means they’ve said something clever and statesmanlike. These people are absolutely unemployable in any other context than their professional pursuit of power.

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  27. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @David in Chch 6:34 pm

    I despise Winston Peters, and have never supported him. He is a racist prick, and his electoral financing regime was extremely dubious. I rate Peters even lower as a politician than Rob Muldoon or Roger Douglas.

    As for the Greens’ position on Peters, check these out.

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  28. big bruv (13,675 comments) says:

    Them’s weasel words Toad.

    The Greens would have jumped into bed with Labour and Winston quicker than Delahunty can claim a housing allowance she is not entitled to if it meant keeping the Nat’s out of power.

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  29. big bruv (13,675 comments) says:

    Toad

    John Harawira is also a racist prick yet you do not seem to despise him, what is the difference between John Harawira and Winston?

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  30. Monty (974 comments) says:

    Goff is a fool leading a bunch of fools. Oh the poor sensitive little daffodils.

    Key was at his best (up their with his response to Cullen’s lolly handouts when Key first became leader).

    Goff must feel like a doormat.

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  31. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Goff, Hoff, Off.

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  32. David in Chch (512 comments) says:

    Toad:
    Those are ALL from the previous (2nd last) Labour term, all as far as I can tell from before 2005. What was the Greens’ position about Winston’s censure by the House? They said that the case was not proven. They did NOT support the censure. Where were their morals when it counted?

    No I am sorry, but they are now just as bad as any other party, playing the system. Witness the structure of their pension plan, buying houses, renting those houses to themselves, and getting the costs reimbursed by the Parliamentary system. I am not saying that they aren’t doing anything any other party is doing or has done, just that they have attempted to claim the moral high ground. They can NOT do so, at least not any longer.

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  33. NX (604 comments) says:

    Key speech was superb.

    Especially when your own leader’s speech was somewhere between awful and really awful

    Agreed. Regardless of your political persuasion, the speech was a lame duck. Because ‘vain popping’ is Goff’s default style, it’s nothing more than simulated rage.

    Now to some degree all politicians will have made statements earlier in their careers, which they later change their mind on

    Think Jim Anderson is a classic example – he has changed his mind more often than he’s changed his underpants.

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  34. NX (604 comments) says:

    Much as I despair of Goff, digging up quotes from 1988 is about the lamest form of criticism imaginable.

    So holier than thou Danyl. Your heros on the left, Clark’n Cullen dug-up quotes from Don Brash so often it wasn’t funny – literally. At least Key add good humour to the mix.

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  35. longbow (130 comments) says:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/MPs/0/4/1/49MP169711-Curran-Clare.htm
    Clare Curran
    Member for Dunedin South, Labour Party
    Spokesperson, Communications and Information Technology
    BA (Anthropology and History), University of Otago
    Honours, Anthropology, Victoria University of Wellington

    Seriously? Honours in ANTHROPOLOGY and BA in that and HISTORY? She gets to be the spokesperson on Comm n IT?

    Does Labour party has any professionals other than history teachers n union leaders?

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  36. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    longbow, you didn’t read any further than ‘Education’ I take it?

    Anthropology can be the study of culture – not totally unsuited to communications, dunno about technology though.

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  37. Paulus (2,594 comments) says:

    Try re-reading Clare’s paper “Language Matters” Otago/Southland Labour Party Regional Conference May 2006

    “Setting Agendas – Taking charge of the language” Then you can see from whence she is coming – good Mao’ist preaching –

    we should not lose sight of her philosophy (and know one’s enemy).

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  38. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    “Setting Agendas – Taking charge of the language” Then you can see from whence she is coming – good Mao’ist preaching –

    Sounds suspiciously like what these people in an industry called ‘public relations’s have been doing for a while, check it out.

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  39. CJD (334 comments) says:

    The reason Goof hates tax cuts is because:
    a. he is bound to disagree with anything National does
    b. he can’t use the prospect of tax cuts to buy votes now
    c. anything that enhances personal freedom and encourages people to manage their own lives is bound to upset Labour

    it is the same old ping pong game between National and Labour, time for a stong and sensible third force able to bring stability to the debate. ACT now!

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