Thursday, April 27, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: Focus on what needs done, not ideological tax nonsense

With all this tax the rich talk and naysayers wanting punitive measures dished out to anyone showing signs of success or ambition, I just wonder if we're shooting ourselves in the foot here.

Are we not at peak tall poppy syndrome now?

Because where does all this "it's not fair, woe is me" whining actually get us? So far all I can see is that it sends our best and brightest off elsewhere. We have the 5000 nurses who've registered to work in Australia, the net migration loss of more than 8000 Kiwis to Australia just last year, we have those who've discovered cost of living is actually cheaper overseas.

I mean, gosh, even our former Prime Minister is off to the States for a semester there. She had said she was looking forward to more time at home and getting her daughter off to school. But when push comes to shove, being away from New Zealand was too tempting, even for one of our greatest cheerleaders.

We all know dozens of families whose kids have chosen a life outside of New Zealand. They've left for opportunity, better pay, and a more positive way of life.

I think we have to adjust this complacent mentality we have that we're the best little country in the world and we're invincible. As Richard Prebble said yesterday in his Herald column, we're actually not, if you look at the facts. He says that "New Zealand is becoming a third world country."

He points out that in just five years, net core Crown debt to GDP has doubled to 40 percent, food prices have increased at the fastest pace in 30 years, the trade deficit is at 9 percent of GDP, benefit numbers are up by 50,000, and our health and education systems are in dire trouble.

When we count our unfunded liabilities in superannuation and health, the country is bankrupt.

Now I'm sure many will say "he's just a right wing whinger being negative." But look at the facts.

A head in the sand approach to what is going on around us is not going to help. We need to recognise what's on in order to be able to act.

I know locally, for example, the head of the Newmarket Business Association in Auckland. He's been campaigning and complaining to Police and government ministers for months, if not years, about the state of youth crime and how bad it's getting and how much more we should be doing about it.

He's been forecasting things would get worse, and he was right. Just the other day, allegedly about 8 or 9 bored youths set fire to rubbish in an apartment building carpark causing millions worth of damage. People were evacuated from their homes, 145 apartments left without running water or power, and several shops shut due to major damage.

How bad are we going to let things get? And how much do we want to give our country up to the lowest common denominator? We have to admit that we need to flip it - we need to shift the focus to productive aspects of the economy.

We need less David Parker driven ideological tax attacks on those who are productive, employ people, and get this economy going. Because guess what? They'll just leave top.

You can't keep propping up the bottom end, reducing penalties for crime, and ignoring all the stats going against us.

Because by ignoring it, we run the risk of waking up when it's all too late.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Ivor Galvin said...

Thanks Kate,

Excellent article.

An accurate critique of what’s going on. I haven’t heard of Tall Poppies spoken about for a while, but Yes! —This is one of the factors at play.
There is of course a long history to all this. Sir Thomas More, King Henry the VIII’s right hand man, wrote the wonderful book ‘Utopia’(1516). That was of course before Henry had him decapitated!
A group of people in Oliver Cromwell’s England called the ‘Levellers’ had similar ideas about how things should be distributed.

Tax & soak the rich Socialism is an unimaginative solution, for myopic Politicians, who have never heard that “Socialism is great ‘till you run out of other people’s money!” Thatcher was so spot-on, on this matter.

It is deplorable that lax Law & Order is the new normal. Allowing crime to flourish has consequences.
We’ve all heard of the ‘Gateway Drug’ theory & how lesser drugs, often lead onto other more severe and serious addictions and problems later on down the line.
A similar follow-on occurs with hoodlumism and it’s tolerance.
I believe in what I call a ‘Gateway Crime’ phenomenon, and how an escalatory crime boom moves in, behind tolerance for lower levels of criminality. A small number of wannabe criminals, will, if given an inch, exploit our good intentions to our detriment.
There has to be consequences — I would call them FRIGHTENERS — allowing civilised society to penalise
those, who carry out and inflict such harm and damage as you mention in Newmarket.
With an election approaching, this is major issue that must be addressed.

Ivor Galvin.

Anonymous said...

The upcoming election will be the most important in New Zealand's history. God save New Zealand.