corporate welfare

Hooton on Labour’s version of crony capitalism

Corporate shill Matthew Hooton calls out David Cunliffe for his own version of crony capitalism.

The most disappointing aspect of John Key’s government is its tendency toward crony capitalism and corporate welfare.

Most passionately debated were the tax breaks and employment law changes for the movie industry after lobbying from Sir Peter Jackson andWarner Bros.

The SkyCity deal involved the government foregoing future revenues from casino relicensing to get a Convention Centre at no immediate cost.

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, with annual revenues of over $1 billion, was given a one-off handout of $30 million, an amount which cannot materially improve its viability.

The government tried to keep prices for broadband and landlines artificially high to subsidise Chorus.

These are the best-known examples but seldom does a week go by without Steven Joyce announcing a new handout to some chosen sector or firm.

I don’t subscribe to subsidies, but politicians love the pork.

In his first party conference speech as leader, Mr Cunliffe launched a fearsome assault on National for “tilt[ing] the playing field even further” towards its “mates.”

“[National]’s Hall of Shame,” Mr Cunliffe boomed, “involves those shabby deals with Warner Brothers, Sky City, Rio Tinto and Chorus.”

Quite accurately, Mr Cunliffe reported businesspeople telling him they wanted no part of it. “They want a level playing field that’s fair and transparent, not one set of rules for National’s mates and another for everyone else,” he said.

It was a superb issue for Labour because it unifies everyone from the anti-business far left to the New Zealand Initiative, the resurrected Business Roundtable.

Now Labour has gone and blown it.  Read more »

Bludging filmmaking ratbags

They are worse than bloody farmers. Look at all these calls for increased subsidies.

Hundreds of jobs are disappearing from the film industry as big foreign productions go elsewhere, with many saying a drawn-out government review of incentives is to blame.

“The reality is without (competitive) incentives people don’t come here and it’s a matter of time before businesses fold.”

After a two-year review, the Government last month opted not to increase the 15 per cent grant available for large-budget productions – an incentive used by several countries to entice foreign productions because of the economic benefits they generate.

Since setting its rebate in 2007, New Zealand has fallen behind rivals including Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa – and they are now getting films that would otherwise have come here.  Read more »

Useless bludging car-making ratbags

Holden must be in line for the title of Australia’s biggest bludgers after threatening to close down their plant unless they received more corporate welfare.

The Rudd government is set to announce a new rescue package for Australia’s ailing automotive industry, aimed at boosting demand for locally made cars.

Worth an estimated $200 million, the package is being negotiated with manufacturers Ford, Holden and Toyota.

The move follows Labor’s controversial plan to change the fringe benefits tax on company cars, expected to raise $1.8 billion over four years.

A spokeswoman for Innovation Minister Kim Carr said the rescue package was aimed at luring more buyers for Australian-manufactured vehicles.

Tech Sector On The Bludge

Peter Dunne has announced the IRD systems need a $1.5 billion upgrade.  We all know this means $3 billion+ needs to be spent because the IRD has become a centralised collection agent and the taxation system has become too complex for the old IT systems.  So we are told.  We also know that like Novopay, everyone sitting in front of a computer seems to be an expert on how to fix it.

Fresh to react to  a plunge in his stocks, Rod Drury was quick on the bludge and Clare Curran, quick to suck up to anyone with the slightest knowledge of IT parroted her support in opposing Dunne’s plans.

As usual, Cactus Kate brings some good old common sense to the debate and asks why we need to spend the money in the first place when the focus should be on simplifying taxation and with it all the credits and welfare the IRD now has to manage.  A good start would be eliminating Welfare for Families and creating a tax free threshold for single and married people and those with children.  Other countries do it and their tax returns take 10 minutes to complete, why can’t New Zealand?

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Michael Moore is a hypocritical bludging ratbag

Michael Moore is a corporate bludging hypocrite and windbag:

Filmmaker Michael Moore received $841,145 in tax incentives from the State of Michigan to make Capitalism: A Love Story, a documentary against corporate welfare, the New York Times reports.

They can stop bludging too

I hate subsidies and I fail to see why movie moguls, who make billions, need us to subsidise their movies. It is just corporate welfare and they need to stop bludging too. Bludgers are bludgers no matter what they look like:

The Government is under pressure to raise the 15 per cent subsidy it offers to lure foreign film and television companies, to compete with an Australian proposal raised by Hollywood heavyweights who dined with the Prime Minister this week.

John Key met the heads of Fox, Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Sony and MGM studios at a dinner hosted by Avatar director James Cameron and his associate John Landau on Thursday with actor Cliff Curtis and Weta supremo Sir Richard Taylor.

The meal followed a day of meetings in Hollywood for Mr Key, including a visit to the set of TV show Body of Proof, where he was introduced to the cast, including former Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany.

Up for discussion at Thursday’s dinner at the Landau home were alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the 15 per cent subsidy NZ pays film companies to secure their business.

Taxpayers have spent more than $500 million in the past decade subsidising Hollywood productions, including Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Subsidies for The Hobbit are expected to reach $60 million.

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Cactus v. Drury

Cactus Kate has decided she is sick of smacking up Mark Weldon and instead decided to turn her beady little eyes onto corporate welfare bludgers. Cactus kate hates bludgers, all of them, from the heaving, pathetic underclass through to the metrosexual, media darlings of the technocrati.

So here we have a man who has creamed $4 million in corporate welfare raise his best argument in receiving it -everyone else does and it is their “responsibility” to take it.

He then attacks me with an emoticon attached for wanting the paltry odd $150k that a backbench MP earns. I scored $150k NZD pa equivalent the day I left New Zealand in 2004 as a 28 year old. Earning $150k a year turns me on about as much as watching re-runs of Helen Clark’s maiden speech as I am force-fed Lindauer Rose.

Rod Drury like all CEO’s and shareholders listed for the most recent example of entitlitis, runs a business for shareholders. The New Zealand taxpayer is not a shareholder in his business. They are not the largest beneficiary of his business succeeding. Sure, jobs are created but $4 million to create jobs? Come on!

$50 million was recently lauded as New Tech Development Grants by one of National’s laziest Ministers, Wayne Mapp.

I ask how many grants were applied for simply because everyone was getting them?

These New Tech Development Grants are a bunch of touchy feely ballocks. Their benefits are intangible. These companies should stand or fall without the taxpayer needing to borrow even more money to fund their welfare.

$321 million is being tipped down this new-age hole. Because you know, everyone’s doing it…..$321 million to create jobs? Come on.

Thank God Rod Drury, worth an alleged $72 million is honest enough to just come out and say so

I think Rod Drury has just learned what NFWAB means.

On another note Rod Drury also says he doesn’t have women on his boards because he has never recieved a CV from one. How intellecutally and physically lazy to use that excuse. If he truly believed in having tunnels on the board then he would actively go out and get them instead of whining that he hasn’t been sent any CVs. Why hasn’t he started a directors “foocamp” to recruit and train young directors with his $4million in corporate welfare?

Here’s an idea for Rod Drury since he rates himself as wunderkind entrepreneur, how about taking on kids from the winning teams of the Young Enterprise Scheme as trainee directors in his taxpayer funded businesses. In a kind of real world Apprentice situation. He could train them how to fill out corporate welfare forms so they can get ahead.

Or will it just be mouthy platitudes and no action?

Cactus Kate is at least consistent in her opposition to welfare at all levels.