27 Comments
Feb 14Liked by Bernard Hickey

Always feels weird ‘hearting’ a piece with that kind of heading. 🥲 if only there was another way then benefit bashing and pushing kids into poverty 🙄🥲

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Foreign Investment in rental stock hasn’t been pleasant in Ireland as I understand it.

I can imagine that this could still be used to back door into landownership, with little interest in actually renting.

This feels like the most cynical leadership we have had in my living memory. Key / English I could sense the good intentions, even if I often disagree with their methods.

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Feb 14Liked by Bernard Hickey

Loved the cicada dawn chorus this morning!

I smell a rat with this overseas buyers exemption for new builds. Won't this encourage more Greenfield's developments in the 'easy' out of town places like Drury and Pokeno in Auckland and Aotea near Wellington? But that cost a lot in infrastructure and lock in car dependence for unfortunate renters.

I do like the build to rent work that Simplicity Living has been doing. Their repeated announcements of new and bigger projects suggests they are not short of investors. Perhaps you could ask them if they need foreign buyer funds?

I thought Winston hated the idea of us becoming tenants in our own country?

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Feb 14Liked by Bernard Hickey

Great question to finish the podcast on. Is there a shortage of capital?

As with a lot of these things, it is often difficult to see what problem the powers of the day are trying to solve.

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Love the cartoons and cleansing pic and all the points you make Bernard.

Re welfare cuts and recently, the Coalition going hard on those who do not comply with requirements for the dole. Re the latter, of course those who are just not trying should be penalised. However some jobless are less capable. Add in this factor. What if you were one of this last decade's 40% who left school functionally illiterate? As per Crocodile Dundee, 'that's a stat'. How much fun going to job interviews. I hope this is taken into account.

How we could really help NZ climb out of this third world type stat is having highly accessible user-friendly reading and maths classes for adults, or is it all too late?

Another 3rd world fat stat impacting on learning and schools operating well is NZ being 2nd highest vapers globally. This reeks of corruption and exploitation. Nothing is being done here! or I would stop bringing it bavk to the table. Triumvirate, stop criminally pretending they are virtually harmless, for the 15% GST, licences and corporate tobacco/vape lobbyists, don't leave addicts hanging with no quitting programmes, and stop allowing their display like chocolates and with no health warnings. We now have many primary school addicts, some as young as 5.

Mobile phones ban in class was helpful but cheap, no tobacco company was harmed in the process.

Sorry - go back to the cleansing picture.

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Like you, Bernard, I was appalled that Social Development Minister Louise Upston, describing herself as ‘compassionate’, expects more beneficiaries to face sanctions under the current government’s plans (12/2/2024). Meanwhile, will Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, who owns seven properties (11/6/2023), receive a share of the $3 billion tax relief for landlords under proposals to restore mortgagee interest deductibility (29/11/2023)? If so, would Luxon’s windfall be regarded as a pecuniary conflict of interest derived from some decision or action of his government? See Cabinet Manual, #2.65. In my mind, this would be perilously close to corruption. Jocelyn.

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Feb 14Liked by Bernard Hickey

Uffph - a grim one today Bernard!

I was reading yesterday that apparently we currently subsidise landlords (accommodation supplement) for almost 1/2 (!) the rentals in NZ. Given that level of eligibility (~280k households across ~600k rentals), this is clearly now more a rort than a safety net... If National were so serious about "improving incentives" maybe they should be asking themselves why landlords are so unable to operate in a 'free market' as a path to filling some of their fiscal hole?

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Feb 14Liked by Bernard Hickey

It feels pointless to point out, but I assume Upston is aware that having stability in life (by not being pushed into homelessness, for example) is an effective platform to paid employment, and being punished is not. Just another move where the evidence of the outcomes of actions taken by this Government is completely at odds with the stated goal.

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Feb 14Liked by Bernard Hickey

The same sort of rhetoric we were served up to try to justify the evil 1991 benefit cuts.

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The Foreign Investment in land for new homes has some significant loopholes but firstly, until immigration policy is agreed (as you keep on about), we will never ever build enough to keep up with demand.

I thought of this scenario as I listened yesterday to the news. The paper indicates "any rental accommodation" If a foreign buyer who had family in New Zealand who owned and lived in a property that could be subdivided simply split the land, built another house and "rented" it to the existing family (who checks who ends up renting it after it's built) especially if the family already here was an extended/inter-generational one then we get nowhere apart from a foreigner owing that property that part of his/her family now live in.

Probably haven't been that clear but happy for anyone to debunk and I'll crawl back under my rock!

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I have a friend who works with not-in-work, not-in-training benefit recipients, giving them work experience in the heavy lifting side of an op shop.

In the past he was very successful, but he has noticed over the last few years it is almost impossible to turn some of these young people round. He picks them up from home in a van, but after a day or two they decide that getting up early so they can be collected at 8 am, and staying the course for a work day is just too much for them and they quit.

As a country we need to understand why this cohort of young men is entirely lacking in motivation, purpose and drive and how to turn them round. Benefit reduction or cancellation is a very blunt tool to deal with this.

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So Nationals problem definition of housing affordability is that New Zealanders can't afford housing because there isn't enough foreign investment towards new supply. Sensational mental gymnastics.

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'A bunch of idiots' is a correct and usable expression in written English. It is usually used to describe a group of people who are not particularly intelligent, or acting foolishly or in a way that is not sensible. I don't know what else to say that encapsulates the shenanigans going on in the 'Hallowed Halls'.

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Does anyone have the numbers for how many beneficiaries are "able" to go back to work vs those who are not (basically disabled & on superannuation, I think)?

don't need an incentive to go back to work as I'm disabled & the condition is degenerative but I get the message the government's sending me

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Clickbait headings? There is no such thing as "paying for" tax cuts. A tax cut means (all other things equal) more currency left in the non-government sector. So that is increasing private wealth measured in NZD somewhere. A tax increase does not increase the government capacity to spend, and a tax cut does not reduce the government capacity to spend. They increase/reduce psychological willingness to invest/spend (because leaders do not understand basic monetary operations, they still think in terms of money as gold, or equivalently (self-imposed) fixed exchange rate constraints). There is a cost for tax cuts/hikes in terms of political support, we can grant that, political cost though, not directly monetary.

All you need to know at a high macro level of understanding is to know if a government spends for goods already available at a price higher than present market value then it could (sometimes) result in one-off price adjustment upwards. They cannot produce inflation this way unless they pay higher prices continuously.

If government wishes to draw real resources (workers) out of the private sector without paying a higher wage they can tax that specific sector. They do not have the awareness nor guts to do so I presume. You can call that specific tax imposition abstractly a "pay for" then - it is a tax imposed on a single sector to avoid an upwards price adjustment in that sector. But when you understand fiat money operations you realize that upwards price adjustment is neither here nor there in operational terms, you don't want it purely for *psychological reasons* or maybe because it might result in unfair economic *distribution* of real output (hurts the poorest the most).

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FYI this one has now been opened up for all to read.

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