Business

The problem with ‘ethical investing’

Yet again the Green party is lecturing us on ‘ethical investing’.

Can anyone see a problem with that?

The Green Party has called for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to quit its investments in companies producing fossil fuel.

The fund’s chief executive, Adrian Orr, said it took the issue of climate change seriously and expected its exposure to fossil fuels to fall over time, and investment in renewables to rise.

“But a simple divestment call? The world is just not that straightforward,” he said.

The fund, set up by the previous Labour Government to partially pre-fund future New Zealand Superannuation payments, had $676 million invested in companies directly involved in fossil fuel production as of last June. That represented about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman, in a paper released yesterday, makes an ethical case for not investing in companies whose activities are literally fuelling potentially catastrophic climate change.

He also points to a financial risk of stranded assets, citing analysis by the International Energy Agency and other bodies that the world’s coal, oil and gas companies already have in their proven reserves at least three times as much carbon as can be burned without exceeding the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. ¬† Read more »

Does Grant Robertson get it?

Grant Robertson, fresh from his second loss in a Labour leadership election has started a ‚ÄúFuture of Work‚ÄĚ Commission.

As you would expect from a guy who has never worked in the real world, the Commission is talking about stuff that is not really relevant to the massive numbers of self employed and small business owners that make up the bulk of the New Zealand workforce.

Speaking today at the Future of Work Conference at the Auckland University of Technology, Chair of the Commission and Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson outlined the themes and structure of the Commission that will run over the next two years.

“The five work streams are: technology, security of work and income, education and training, Maori and Pasifika, and economic development and sustainability.

Read more »

The minority missing in Labour

Labour and Andrew Little have decided to make small business a priority in New Zealand.

Despite signalling in his speech his willingness to assist small businesses, Andrew Little also indicated that he wants to take away workplace flexibility, the single biggest thing that small businesses has been telling Labour in their focus groups.

Small businesses want the 90 day bill to remain, they want flexible tea and meal breaks and they definitely do not want interfering union bosses breathing down their necks.

Perhaps Labour could show they are serious by appealing more another minority group to be added to their caucus representation.

The Labour Party is all about fair representation and all sorts of other bullshit like that.

With the focus now coming on small businesses I want to know when will Labour get small business owners into its caucus. ¬† Read more »

Almost as good as his cat killing policy

Here I was thinking the other day that I don’t agree with Gareth Morgan on anything much at all, except for his cat killing policy.

But I have found another thing to agree with him on.

Flat Tax.

Now that is almost as good as his cat killing policy…it could be improved by providing additional tax rebates for cat killing professionals.

Tagged:

Free trade deal done with South Korea

While the left wing were marching in the streets opposing the TPPA another free trade deal has snuck under their radar.

New Zealand has completed a free trade deal with South Korea.

New Zealand and South Korea have concluded a free-trade agreement that’s expected to cut $230 million of export tariffs in New Zealand’s sixth-largest export market, including $65 million in the first year.

The deal, which was announced on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, will initially eliminate tariffs on 48 percent of current New Zealand exports, with duties largely eliminated within 15 years. Two-way trade between the countries is worth about $4 billion.

South Korea has said it also aims to conclude FTAs with China and Vietnam before the end of the year, after agreeing recent deals with Australia and Canada. New Zealand is actively seeking such agreements after trade with China soared since an FTA was inked in 2008. The Korean FTA marks Prime Minister John Key’s first bilateral deal since being elected leader.

The Korean talks, begun in 2009, have previously stalled amid Korean concern about the impact of New Zealand agricultural exports on domestic producers.

“It has been a long, hard agreement to reach,” Key told reporters in Brisbane. “It’s a high quality deal. It was always going to be a tough negotiation but we have got ourselves now back into a level playing field with those countries that compete heavily in the Korean market and I think a lot of New Zealand industry will be happy about the outcome.”

Tariffs slated for elimination include a 45 percent rate on kiwifruit, 22.5 percent charged on sheep meat, a 40 percent levy on beef and an 89 percent tariff on butter.

Read more »

Government clamping down on wrong sort of bludgers

The other day the DomPost ran a piece on corporate welfare.

I’ve only just now had time to blog about it.

Spongers and parasites the lot of them. While decent Kiwi battlers get stuck in and work hard to earn their keep, this bunch are always on the take for someone else’s tax dollars.

Government programmes are supposed to be there to help the less fortunate – a safety net for the needy. But there are always a few who think they can play the system and take the rest of us for mugs. Millions of dollars goes to waste on these buggers while kids go hungry. It’s a bloody disgrace.

Chalkie reckons it’s time we stopped pussyfooting around with these companies and gave them a short, sharp shock.

You want examples? Chalkie will give you examples.

Chalkie does give examples, loads of them and lots of detail in the piece but below is the conclusion. ¬†¬† Read more »

Corporate bludgers costing Kiwi households up to $800 per annum

welfare

Bludging is rampant in NZ society.

But it is corporate bludging that is most outrageous.

And it is costing us a pretty penny. The Taxpayers’ Union has released a new report into corporate welfare and bludging.

The Taxpayers’ Union has launched new a report, Monopoly Money, which examines the cost and case for New Zealand’s extensive corporate welfare programmes. The report follows recent comments by TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, who questioned the Government’s corporate welfare programme, despite having been involved in companies that have received grants in the past.

The report, which examines the cost of corporate welfare examines government spending since the 2007/2008 budget, shows:

  • Since National took office, corporate welfare has cost¬†taxpayers¬†$1-1.4 billion ($600 – $800 per household)¬†per year
  • If corporate welfare was abolished, enough money would be saved to reduce the corporate tax rate from 28% to 22.5%
  • If applied to personal income tax rates, the saving would allow the 30% and 33% income tax rates to be lowered to 29%
  • Alternatively, the 10.5% rate (applicable to the first $14,000 of income) could be reduced to 7%. ¬†¬† Read more »

Labour finds some bludgers it doesn’t want to give more money to

Labour usually think they can win power by giving away more of other peoples money.

They try to out bid National to win votes. Usually chucking mountains of cash and any bludgers who simply puts their hand out.

This election they have come up with a slightly different approach.

They are making irrigators pay for their own schemes rather than making the rest of us pay for them like the socialists in the National Party want us to do.

“There are also changes proposed to the funding of new irrigation schemes. Labour proposes withdrawing taxpayer support for new schemes and will instead recycle the funds raised by the charge on freshwater into that support.

Read more »

The ultimate example of the perils of dealing with second tier financiers

No matter how well heeled one is, there can often be a time when a second tier financier is required to bridge the funding gaps the normal trading banks won’t.

Our main banks are conservative with a capital C but in a twisted manner. They take enormous risks funding home owners into mortgages that at times are greater than 95%. But when it comes to property development they will generally only fund upto 70% of the total costs and they expect to be the last cab off the rank but first ranking – reducing their risk exposure to almost nothing.

Developers often undertake huge projects. Hardly any developer will sit on millions just to plug into a development when logic persuades them to invest their equity.

That ultimately leaves the necessity of dealing with second ranking funders. The types of which existed in spades before the GFC when most in our country were wiped out.

Most second ranking finance companies are scoundrels and owned by private individuals. Half the time the Modus Operandi is to screw the developer and the financiers look for any opportunity to pull the rug on unsuspecting developers.

Hardly a surprise to see this developer have the embarrassment of  having a trick played by a financier in the public domain. What is most interesting in this instance is that the developer has settled the matter which clearly signals he had no issues with finance and more clearly signals that the financier was the issue.

Tony Gapes is set to take back control of New Zealand’s most intensive affordable housing project after receivers last night confirmed the property developer has settled a company debt.

Some 420 apartments and townhouses are planned for the Springpark estate on a 10.5ha site in Auckland’s Mt Wellington. The first stage is expected to be completed next year.

Springpark is seen as an affordable homes project, with townhouses in stage one priced from $399,000 to $554,000. Most have already sold. ¬† Read more »

Sin taxes and stealth taxes affect the poor more

All sorts of people are proposing taxes on sugar, fat and other supposedly bad things.

They are modelling their taxes on tobacco taxes without thinking through that in the case of tobacco it is the smoker who pays With sugar taxes it will be everyone who pays and the burden for these stealth taxes falls disproportionately on the poor.

Chris Snowden explains this very well in this video:

[T]he IEA‚Äôs Director of Lifestyle Economics Chris Snowdon examines the extent of the burden of indirect taxes and government sin taxes on the poorest groups in society and how these have changed over time. This film is an excerpt from a recent IEA panel debate event on the ‚ÄėCost of Living‚Äô crisis, in which Chris was outlining the findings of his recent paper¬†‚ÄėAggressively Regressive‚Äô.

Read more »