Too much news? Welcome to the only round-up you need.
Mōrena and welcome to another week. Another week of what, you ask? It doesn’t matter, another week is enough at this point.
Labour’s Tax Policy – NO
Labour and tax. Like two magnetic south poles, they will never connect. For days, finance minister Grant Robertson and Labour teased their big tax policy, confidently alluding to higher tax for top earners. Then they delivered their big tax policy and it was, well, underwhelming is the word that comes to mind. The big reveal was a new top bracket of 39% for earnings over $180,000. Know how many people earn over $180,000 a year? Not many! About 2% of New Zealanders, in fact. With the next tax bracket down being 33% for earnings over $70,000, there’s a whole lot of six-figure earners sitting pretty tax-wise. Not exactly the demographic you’d think Labour would be wanting to assist.
The below meme is not mine, it was posted by someone who wishes to remain anonymous but it captured my mood so perfectly I had to use it. Thank you, Anonymous.
Maths – YES
It’s always a good time to remind everyone how progressive tax works. Each bracket is for earnings over the stated amount. If you earn less than $14,000 in a financial year, you will pay 10.5% tax on whatever you earn. If you earn $20,000 in a year you will pay 10.5% on $14,000 and 17.5% (the next tax bracket) on the remaining $6,000. You will not pay the higher tax bracket on everything, only earnings that are within that bracket. In other words, an increase in a particular tax bracket will not affect the tax on your total earnings. Here’s an example: under Labour’s big mighty tax plan, someone earning $185,000 (aka a lot) will pay an extra $300 in tax (aka not a lot). Tax is scary but it’s also the most weaponised tool in political campaigning. If someone you know has forgotten how progressive tax works, remind them!
The All Blacks – NO
New Zealand has lost its bid to host the Rugby Championships in November. Did that sentence evoke a deep sadness within you? No? You may be living in a New Zealand where rugby no longer holds the cultural power it once did (”once” being six months ago). The New Zealand Rugby Union and Sanzar seem to be at odds with Ardern and the government over why exactly New Zealand lost the bid to Australia, but it’s clear that the quarantine requirements in Australia were favoured over New Zealand. Given that around 70% of New Zealanders still support the government’s response to Covid-19, not hosting this tournament is probably not a huge deal for most people. Nothing like a global pandemic to give a wee country a bit of perspective.
I genuinely think this could be a turning point in how New Zealand views itself as a country and I am 100% here for it.
Campaign ads – NO
Labour and National released their first official campaign video ads. They both featured the party leaders wearing a white blouse with a coloured blazer (red for Ardern, blue for Collins) and saying words like “infrastructure” and “business”. Ardern delivered hers in a single take while Collins seemingly required some subtle editing (this is an OIA for how many takes it took Ardern to deliver the full monologue in one go). Otherwise they were interchangeable ads filled with buzzwords and not much else. Yay for centrists.
New Zealand (excluding Auckland) – YES
Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that next Monday (September 21) New Zealand would move to level one. All of New Zealand except for Auckland, where level 2.5 will remain in place until further notice. Auckland really is that smartarse kid who has all the fun during class and then has to stay behind at the end of the day, so who’s the real loser?
Jake Bezzant – NO
Don’t know who Jake Bezzant is? You may never need to. Bezzant is the National candidate in Upper Harbour, taking over from outgoing Paula Bennett in an extremely winnable seat. On Monday, BusinessDesk published an article about Bezzant headlined “National candidate’s questionable exit from tech firm“. There’s a lot of he said, he said about whether or not Bezzant has been entirely accurate about his career to date but it may be simply another new National guy causing unnecessary trouble for the party.
Bezzant joins first-and-probably-last-term MP Hamish Walker (private Covid-19 data leak), first-and-definitely-last-term MP Andrew Falloon (sexually explicit photos sent to young women) and fellow first-time candidate William Wood (photo of him impersonating Hitler was found online). If I can find your loser ex online within six minutes of you mentioning him by first name only, then National can surely background check their new candidates better.
Madeleine Chapman, Auckland Central candidate – HUH?
My workmate sent me this today. I don’t know how to interpret it so will just present it without comment. Kia pai tō rā.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.