Andrew Williams interview

January 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald interviews NZ First List MP Andrew Williams:

Is it better fun being in Parliament than being a mayor [for the former North Shore City]?

It’s totally different, really. A mayor is 24/7 and you can never get away from it when you are a mayor because literally people expect you every day of the week to be at their beck and call. I think MPs have a little bit more ability to get out there without being under daily scrutiny.

Heh, and further away from Whale Oil :-)

What is the most frustrating thing about working at Parliament?

Well, it’s a little bit being on the Titanic heading towards an iceberg in that it is a long, slow process and it is frustrating. When you are a mayor you can certainly move things along a lot faster than in Parliament. It does surprise me how some bills that are coming before the House right now were introduced originally under the Labour Government or are three or four years old. The process seems to be a very arduous one.

Even a quick law will take around nine months. With limited house time, yeah some laws take up to a decade to pass.

Which MP outside your party impresses you and why?

There’s a lot of them. I’ve always had a lot of time for Phil Goff. He’s a very, very [hard-working], long-serving MP. Over in the National benches I have been very impressed with Nathan Guy because I am veterans’ affairs spokesman and I’ve had some very good discussions with Nathan, and he has been very accommodating and very helpful on particular issues I have raised with him. And I’ve been impressed with Russel Norman.

An ecclectic mix.

Do you have a bill in the private members bill ballot?

I’m preparing one allowing superannuitants to get tax relief for maintaining their health insurance and for fringe benefit tax to be removed from health insurance for companies, to encourage companies to maintain a health insurance programme for their staff … They don’t have to actually pay for it.

Tax relief just for oldies? A pretty naked bribe. Removing FBT for health insurance for staff is well motivated, but inevitably will lead to massive rorts as all those with existing health insurance will just get it made part of their remuneration package to avoid it being taxed.

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6 Responses to “Andrew Williams interview”

  1. peterwn (3,298 comments) says:

    If health insurance is to be tax deductable for 65+ and not subject to FBT for employees (presumably including spouses and kids), then in fairness to employees whose employers do not offer health insurance, health insurance should be tax deductable for all. Andrew probably thinks (with some justification) that the proposal would be more palatable if limited to these groups.

    Another problem – some 65+ may have done a cost-benefit study and ditched health insurance. They might not be able to get health insurance back for love or money (too many ‘existing’ health issues) – but who cares – they were either ‘rich pricks’ who can afford elective surgery, or too poor to keep up health insurance.

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  2. Viking2 (11,544 comments) says:

    Well what a snide prick. Its possible to be a rich prick, healthy and still not be able to afford health insurance past 65.
    The cost to the insuree skyrockets, even with being a long term payer of health insurance and having a low claims record. Many opt only for major claims to keep their premiums down but still get it socked to them after 65 as we did.
    Might as well use your taxes to get the job done. Plenty of efficient health services available today thanks to Tony Ryall.
    Paid for of course by you clever dicks via you under taxation.
    Carry on.

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  3. scrubone (3,103 comments) says:

    Certain law changes could do with being delayed a lot longer than a few years.

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  4. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Hold on… he admits to doing even less as an MP than he did as a Mayor? Aside from being placed in suspended animation, I’m not sure how that’s possible.

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  5. Steve (North Shore) (4,581 comments) says:

    Rex @ 3.14pm
    You got it. How can you do less than nothing?
    Williams was the Mayor of North Shore, he made noise, drank Porters Sarah and pissed on Pohutakawa trees.
    The man is not worth a tin of shit

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  6. PaulL (6,035 comments) says:

    USA is trying to get rid of tax break for employer provided super. Distorts the job market too much. Why would we want to create that?

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