John Key

Hands up who wants to trust an “expert panel”?

David Cunliffe says that Labour will make sure there is an “expert panel” who will determine whether or not the house you are selling is your residence, before applying the capital gains tax.

Key said National would release its fiscal plan next week but reiterated any tax cuts would be modest and aimed at low and middle income earners.

He hammered the point that Labour would add five new taxes and tried to reprise the “show me the money” moment from his 2011 debate against Phil Goff asking Cunliffe if his capital gains tax would apply to houses in trusts.

But Cunliffe avoided answering, turning the topic instead to Labour’s broader tax plan. His advisers told media in the break that the tax would not apply to the family home if it was in a trust.

Speaking to media after the debate, Key clarified his attack on Cunliffe regarding Capital Gains Tax applying to family homes that were owned by a trust.

“My read of the [Labour policy] is that if you own a family home and it’s in a trust, under Labour you will be subject to a capital gains tax because that policy says that you don’t pay a capital gains tax on a family home… if you are the owner/occupier. 

“But, of course under a family trust the trust is the owner.

Key said he’d received a “ball park” figure from an unnamed tax specialist that 300,000 Kiwi homes were in trusts.   Read more »

Labour’s CGT tax grab is coming for 300,000 Kiwis

John Key destroyed David Cunliffe’s capital gains tax plans last night in The Press leaders debate.

He forced David Cunliffe to admit that 300,000 Kiwis were going to get slammed with the capital gains tax on what is ostensibly their family home, despite the promises of the Labour otherwise.

John Key landed a blow on David Cunliffe over Labour’s planned capital gains tax in a fiery leaders debate in Christchurch.

ONE News political reporters say The Press leaders debate seemed pretty even until the National leader turned to his Labour counterpart and asked: “Will I pay a capital gains tax if my family home is in a trust?”

After being challenged again with the question, Mr Cunliffe responded that Labour will run surpluses every year “as long as there is no international downgrade”.

He said Labour will “pay down the record debt this government has built up – more than New Zealand borrowed during World War Two”.   Read more »

Journalists whine about delays with OIAs and now they are whining about quick turnaround

Journalists always whine about the turn around time for Official Information Act requests.

They complain that the ministers treat the 20days as stipulated by law as a goal and a delaying tactics.

And yet when a minister who has information to hand and no reason to delay it they now whine it was a quick turn around.

Spare me, these pricks are so slippery when it comes to news.

Judith Collins’ office processed an Official Information Act request in just two days to release an email embarrassing then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley in 2011.

The revelation comes as ripples from the Dirty Politics saga widened during the weekend after a series of bombshells including:

â–  Collins stepped down as Justice Minister after an email handed to the prime minister’s office raised questions about her involvement in what leaked emails appear to suggest was a campaign by Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and others to undermine Feeley while he was SFO boss.

â–  Prime Minister John Key confirmed there would be an inquiry into Collins’s actions in relation to Feeley, with details of the inquiry to be announced today.

Read more »

Taxpayer funded Ben Uffindel in the Herald on Sunday

Ben Uffindel writes a piece for the Herald on Sunday.

I do wonder though where the promotor statement is, he is after all running a political party this election and is being funded by taxpayer to do so.

Nevertheless he is quite funny when he tries.

As I watched Thursday night’s debate between a relaxed blue tie and a concerned red tie, I couldn’t help but feel our country needed a similar rebranding.

How you perceive this election really depends on your political allegiance.

If you’re a big National supporter, you’ve got nothing to worry about, and subsequently nothing to invest in.

If you hate National, there’s a high chance you think this is the most important election of our generation, that this is the most right-wing government in New Zealand history, and there’s a vague chance your house is bugged.

I envy you in your fantasy world, Martyn Bradbury, because if you’re absolutely anyone else, it’s boring.

Read more »

Media: Key bad, Cunliffe good

For years the media have been waiting to sink their EPMU motivated teeth into John Key but haven’t really had much of a chance.  Hence, Teflon John.   They still don’t have much on John Key, to be honest, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

At the same time, the man that is all but abandoned by his own party – yes, David Cunliffe – is being talked up as if he’s the second coming of Christ.

Compare and contrast… here’s a story about David Cunliffe on the campaign trail yesterday

12e1A warm welcome!

Look at the photo, taken from a very low angle.  (Can you guess why?)

Photo / Jason Oxenham

Photo / Jason Oxenham

Then comes the good bit:   Read more »

Good to see some journalists know their job

Heather du Plessis-Allan has been fact checking the politicians…on both sides.

After the election debate she looked at the claims of both leaders.

John Key got the unemployment one wrong but then it also depends how you interpret the statistics.

What is interesting is the first one where David Cunliffe claims over a million hectares of our land has been approved for foreign sale under the National Government.

I like the diagram Heather drew showing how much land has actually been approved for foreign sale. It was one quarter of what he claimed.

image001 Read more »

SSC boss backs Collins view, Key starting to look silly now

When John Key used my email in breach of the Privacy Act to slay Judith Collins, he should have done a bit more research.

It seems the State Services Commission boss supports the viewpoint of Judith Collins.

NBR reports:

“I told the Prime Minister’s Office that Judith Collins had a positive view of Mr Feeley’s  performance through her time as Minister responsible for the Serious Fraud Office.”

“The Commission has reviewed its documentation and sought the recollections of staff responsible for the SFO portfolio at the time in coming to this view.  This includes the period following the date of the email in October 2011 released today by the Prime Minister.  Earlier in 2011, Judith Collins had raised with me the appropriateness of Mr Feeley’s consumption of a bottle of champagne following a media inquiry.   Read more »

To whom it may concern

Our readers are seeing the main stream media for what they are

Re: Subscription to Sunday Star Times.

Today we cancelled our subscription to Sunday Star Times – a paper that we have subscribed to since 1990. We are no longer prepared to support a newspaper that has lost all sense of perspective and integrity.

We understand that in any society there are a broad range of views as to our societies and economies should function and the role of politics in that context. Historically the mainstream media has played a pivotal role in articulating and challenging those different perspectives to enable citizens to participate in the democratic process on an informed basis.

Sadly, that is no longer the case. It is unforgivable that your organisation has failed to fully and consistently investigate and challenge the corruption of New Zealand’s political process occasioned by a convicted criminal’s preparedness to fund a political party from funds that have been obtained questionably purely in order to remove an extraordinarily successful government of this country that is simply seeking to uphold the law and honour those international obligations that are so critical to a proper functioning, free thinking, law abiding first world economy

The illegal hacking of a private citizen’s email in order to deliberately disrupt New Zealand’s political process in the most dishonest and unbalanced manner imaginable Read more »

Duncan Garner anoints the next PM: Paula Bennett

I’m not sure why we are picking the next leader of the National Party at this point, we still have an election to get past.  This, to some degree is why the media is broken.  Take a look:

 I reckon this dirty politics saga has hurt him. Throw enough mud and some of it sticks. While Key wasn’t poor in the first TV leaders’ debate on Thursday, I thought he came second.

He lacked cut-through and confidence. You can guarantee he’ll be better next time.

But for now it’s hard not to think that the teflon is wearing off.

Yes, he may well win this election – but the Dirty Politics book will hurt him long-term. It’s the beginning of the end. It happens to all long-serving leaders.

Helen Clark’s former top press secretary used to say the tread goes from the tyres over time – and Key has lost a lot of tread this election campaign.

So who might replace him one day as National’s leader? Let’s rule out some non-starters. Judith Collins had designs on the job but her poor judgment, lack of composure and temperament and underhand tactics rule her out.

Steven Joyce is an option, but he’s likely to be seen as not warm or politically attractive enough.

So what about Social Development Minister Paula Bennett? Read more »

Cullen coached Cunliffe

I called the Leaders debate a marginal win for David Cunliffe.  Certainly, the TVNZ results weren’t representative of how the debate unfolded.   Key was over prepared.  He was driving hard to get get the messages out, and instead of being relaxed and showing us John Key, he appeared forced.

I bet the hand in his pocket was a fist most of the time.

But it turns out that John Key wasn’t just debating David Cunliffe

He spent much of his career taunting National’s front bench, famously dismissing John Key as a “rich prick” and developing a reputation as the sharpest politician of his generation.

So Sir Michael Cullen can scarcely have imagined he would later play the role of Key, charged with winding up and unsettling Labour’s leader in a hostile debate.

While critics are split on the outcome of Thursday night’s TVNZ leaders’ debate, most seemed surprised at how polished David Cunliffe was.

This was no accident. Labour viewed the importance of the first televised debate as second only to election day. It had half a million viewers, most seeing Cunliffe on an equal footing with the prime minister for the first time. Read more »