Open Forum – Tuesday

7 November 2017

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25 Comments

  1. “The ingenious Phil Twyford

    The new minister for housing and transport has found a way to pay the unaffordable bill for Auckland’s new public transport infrastructure, and that’s to help make Auckland housing even more unaffordable.

    What could be more ingenious!

    He’d already signalled that Labour’s faithful promise to voters neither to raise taxes nor to introduce a capital gains tax was going to constrain him — he’d already announced plans to get around that simply by raising the ‘bright line’ period for paying National’s own tax lie (the ‘capital-tax-in-drag’ introduced just because lying governments can) from two years out to five. Because there’s no politician like a money-hungry politician, is there.

    And with Auckland’s council having already borrowed way beyond what it can reasonably repay (in political-speak this is known as the Council being “up against its debt limits,” as the new minister is quick to acknowledge) and the new Government having no spare cash to throw around after funding all of their promises plus those of Winston and James, Twyford now has the job of filling the $6 billion black hole in Auckland’s transport bill that Len Brown and Phil Goff have helped dig.

    But he has “big plans” to do that, he tells faithful recorder Bernard Hickey. “Big plans” to fill the black hole. “Big plans to change the way Auckland’s multi-billion dollar light rail projects will be paid for,” he says. Which means: big plans about who he is going to soak to pay for all the monuments, of which “light rail” is only the most ill-defined. And the answer in four words, dear reader, is: “motorists and property developers.”

    Now that smokers have slunk away quietly, motorists are the new lepers. Hitting them with new fuel taxes is only the starting point. He has an endless stream of new ideas about how to soak anyone who drives a car. Lock up your wallet now, while you can.

    He also plans to sock property developers, hinting he will hit them with a new super-rates bill on developments. This appears to be in addition to “targeted rates” to repay infrastructure bonds (and in addition to the almost already crippling rates rises that Mayors Len and Phil have been exacting to pay for their grandomania and Rodney Hide’s super-sized stuff-up.).

    At this stage these are only just hints about his big plans. But any added tax burden on the developers who build Auckland’s houses will only make it even more difficult for developers to make a margin on building those houses, making it more likely rather than less that lots more affordable housing for would-be first-home buyers will ever easily be built. (Every single change from every single housing minister has made this hope less likely rather than more, so he does at least follow in a grand tradition.)

    But motorists, vendors, and property developers and their erstwhile first home-customers will not be left to suffer alone. Mum and dad and several kids already happily home-owning anywhere near any part of Auckland’s expensive upcoming light rail- and rapid transit-building orgy will also be hit with something special too, in the shape of extra special “targeted rates” — Mr Twyford’s favourite new phrase, it seems — all the better for him “to capture the value uplift in property prices” mum and dad might otherwise enjoy.

    What he may miss out on with his 5-year capital gains levy on mum and dad if they don’t sell their house within that time frame, he’ll claw back from them anyway with his “targeted rates” if they stay put.

    And if they don’t enjoy any value uplift at all? Fear not. They and everyone else will still receive their share of the disingenuous Mr Twyford’s $6 billion bill anyway.”

    It encapsulates my feelings very nicely.
    http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2017/11/the-ingenious-phil-twyford.html

    • Gezza

       /  November 7, 2017

      Has Gerry Brownlee got talent or what, trav?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 7, 2017

        Appears some people don’t understand the difference between capital investment and current expenditure?

        • Gezza

           /  November 7, 2017

          And yet they made him Minister of Transport Al?

          • High Flying Duck

             /  November 7, 2017

            Thankfully he was bloody good at it Gezza.
            Last I looked there had been no fatalities on the RONS since construction and travel times between centres has vastly improved.
            Getting around NZ is a worthwhile investment and the Nats were better than OK at budgeting costs.

            • Gezza

               /  November 7, 2017

              The way *some people* go on you’d think all they did for roading in Northland was build goat tracks and truck in millions of road cones for no good purpose, H?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 7, 2017

              Well next time you’re up that way, I’m sure you will notice how happy the goats are with their transportation routes.
              When the Puhoi to Warkworth extention gets finished and the next stage past Wellsford gets done, Whangarei and the North will be transformed.
              Hopefully the next stage won’t be scuttled to pay for some trams through Warkworth.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  November 7, 2017

            No question which of those two was the better choice, G, and it wasn’t the lady. At least the Nats spent money in Northland even if it is horrendously mismanaged by the bureaucracy. Clark/Cullen just totally neglected it.

            I’ll take you for some drives in my ute. You will be able to count the bumps and potholes. Not sure if you will be able to walk afterwards.

            • Gezza

               /  November 7, 2017

              Sounds good. I got airborne once going over a stream bridge on the main drag into Stratford. I’ll bring a pillow from the cabin to sit on.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 7, 2017

              There’s a lifetime job going on at Akerama on SH1 in which the entire landscape is being rearranged in order to take out a couple of bends and put in a passing lane. I think it’s into its third year now. Anyway, the brand new carriage way section that’s been open all of a couple of months is now pot-holed and in need of re-surfacing. Words fail me.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 7, 2017

              NZ land in most places is horrible to build on – it sinks and moves. Couple that with the NZ way of getting the job done ‘cheaply’ and ‘slowly’ rather then ‘well’ and you have a great incentive to buy shares in roading contractor companies!

      • Looks like it’s not just Brownlee who has the better of this inept looking government Gezza 😫😫😂😂

        • Gezza

           /  November 7, 2017

          What are you on about trav? Do I need to watch 1ewes on the plus one channel?

          • Gezza

             /  November 7, 2017

            Never mind trav. I watched 1ewes. Day 1 of Parliament was item 1, of course. Very good coverage I thought, btw, even including Giggles. Very balanced. Bill got a good soundbyte.

  2. Gezza

     /  November 7, 2017

    Today’s Word To The Wise

    If you are now used to working almost entirely on your smartphone, iPad or Tablet, when you switch to your Windows laptop, don’t bother tapping harder and harder on any photo icons on the screen. This will produce no useful result.

    Use the mouse.

  3. Trevors_elbow

     /  November 7, 2017

    Hmmm long bow. Be interesting to see where this leads. My money is still on Labour or a supporter for this or maybe the Greens….

    Who benefits by deepening Winstons dislike of English and co… not National…

    The ongoing I hate National unless Judiths in control tirade continues…

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2017/11/breaking-news-winston-starts-dropping-lawsuits-media-nats/#more-343758

    • High Flying Duck

       /  November 7, 2017

      It depends on whether the leaker thought the Winston revelation would have the same effect as the Materia one.
      If they thought the leak would knock NZF out, then National would have been by far the biggest beneficiary.
      It appears anecdotal evidence strongly points to National being the source.

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  November 7, 2017

        It appears people dont see that it was too obvious to be the Nats. And government depattment staff lean very heavily Left….

        • High Flying Duck

           /  November 7, 2017

          I couldn’t care less myself, but several Nat MP’s were (so I hear) remarkably prescient about the Winston scoop prior to it coming out.
          I’m sure Winnie will get to the bottom of it. Or at least have a whale of a time grandstanding about it ad nauseum for the foreseeable future.

        • Blazer

           /  November 7, 2017

          Could be Eaglesons parting…shot…be a Nat for sure.

  4. Corky

     /  November 7, 2017

    Damn. Labour have been ”dealt to” in the house today. I think National will enjoy the break…and the fun.

  5. lurcher1948

     /  November 7, 2017

    A beautiful voice comes in various shapes