Category Archives: Regulation & Taxation

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Paper to the Fabian Society, 12 October, 2016   While we continue to chew over the carcass of the Fourth Labour Government – the Lange-Douglas one – we pay little attention to the subsequent Fifth Labour Government. Yet the Clark-Cullen one is greatly shaping the current Labour Opposition and the current National Government. It will,…
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BLOWING BUBBLES

If New Zealand is heading for a housing market implosion, watch what you borrow.   Listener: 24 June, 2014.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation;   When commentator Jesse Colombo in business journal Forbes said New Zealand had a housing and credit bubble, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce shot the…
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Market Daze

Can the property companies that run rest homes provide effective care?   Listener: 14 November, 2013   Keywords: Regulation & Taxation; Retirement Policy; Social Policy;   I have had to visit a number of rest homes for the elderly. Such visits can be pretty draining. The one positive is the caring and concerned staff –…
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On Capital Gains Tax

It’s time to stop subsidising speculation on housing.   Listener: 19 September, 2013.   Keywords: Regulation & Taxation; Social Policy;   Scared by finance company failure, you decide to invest some of your savings in a rental property. You borrow just enough so the tenant’s payments cover the interest, rates and other outgoings. The return…
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Future Pressures and Caring for the Elderly

How to live with the Treasury’s Long Term Financial Projections.   Listener: 11 August, 2013.   Keywords: Regulation & Taxation; Retirement Policy; Social Policy;   I was on the external panel advising the team from the Treasury that put together its Long Term Fiscal Projections, required every four years and looking half a century forward. A…
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Competitive Advantage

Carefully designed changes to the electricity-generation industry could make it work better.   Listener: 25 May, 2013   Keywords: Business & Finance; Regulation & Taxation;   Discussions on what to do about electricity have been so political and self-interested that almost all the public economic analysis has been puerile. So let’s begin with some basics….
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Son of Think Big

New technologies and light-handed regulation are a recipe for disaster.   Listener: 16 March , 2013.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Regulation & Taxation;   The leaky-building debacle involved homes and commercial and public buildings being built with new technologies that the builders were not competent to use, coupled with weak supervision and regulation. The…
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Writings on Earthquakes (Index)

This index, first compiled in January 2013 and subsequently updated, is a list of article on the website which have a substantial content about earthquakes and other natural calamities. They were not a focus until the Canterbury Earthquakes, which I began writing about as “Listener” columns to illustrate general issues. However, they are acquiring a…
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In Praise Of Social Markets:

What is to be Done about Light Handed Regulation? Paper to the Fabian Society, December 14, 2012. For Regulation and Leaky Buildings see http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1686. This lecture was originally advertised as illustrating the deficiencies of light-handed regulation by failures in the building industry, particularly leaky buildings and those not robust to earthquakes. The intention was the…
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The ‘Critical Threshold’ for Fiscal Projections and Policy

A Note prepared in October 2012.   Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation;   Introduction   I have argued there is a critical threshold where if the fiscal deficit exceeds it public debt grows unsustainability faster than the ability of the economy to service it (usually measured by GDP). This note quantifies the threshold…
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Projecting Government Spending

Presentation to a Treasury Workshop on the Long-Term Fiscal Projections; 26 September, 2012. I am writing a history of New Zealand from an economic perspective. The manuscript – 250,000 words and I am only up to the 1970s – includes a number of appendices looking at the data. One is on government spending. The Treasury…
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The Context of Light-handed Regulation

Introduction to a Fabian Society series on Light-handed Regulation, Wellington.10 September 2012 This is the first of five presentations on light-handed regulation. Its critics sometimes call it “light-headed” regulation, referring to the simple mindedness of the idea, or “light-fingered” regulation, referring to the way a goodly number used it to line their own pockets at…
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Fairness and Community

Presentation to ‘Spirited Conversations’, Nelson, July 25, 2012. At a public meeting of the Tax Working Group, whose recommendations were the basis of the 2010 tax changes when GST was raised to the benefit of those on higher incomes, a member of the public raised the question of the role of fairness in their thinking….
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Convention Centres and Public Subsidy

Listener: 26 May, 2010. Keywords: Business & Finance; Governance; Regulation & Taxation; The row that has erupted over the proposed SkyCity convention centre in Auckland involves gambling, but there are deeper fiscal issues. But this is not a column about gambling, even though a study I was involved with found that pokies were the most…
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Problems with Experts

PROBLEMS WITH EXPERTS New Zealand Books, Winter 2012, p.9. Keywords: Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation; The New Zealand Economy: An Introduction by Ralph Lattimore & Shamubeel Eaqub (AUP) 170pp. $34.99. ISBN: 978-1-869404-89-5 The New Zealand Tax System: New Zealand Taxes in Comparative Perspective by Rob Salmond (Institute of Policy Studies) 129pp. $30.00. ISBN: 978-1-877347-45-0…
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Don’t Privatise Without Regulation

Listener: 14 April, 2012. Keywords: Business & Finance; Regulation & Taxation; Last year, this column argued for the mixed-ownership model of some state-owned enterprises as a means of deepening the capital market for private savers. Even then, it argued that not all partial privatisations were sensible. It depends on the market structure and the way…
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