Shaw sort of talks tough on tax and other coalition demands

Following a ‘pledge’ by Grant Robertson that tax-wise Labour “we will only implement the changes that Labour is campaigning on” next term – see Labour’s underwhelming tax policy – Green leader James Shaw sort of talked tough, saying Greens would consider not forming a coalition if they didn’t get what they wanted.

Shaw said that a wealth tax would be ‘a top priority’ when asked if it would be a bottom line.

Stuff: Labour rules out Green Party’s wealth tax in any Government it forms

The Labour Party has ruled out implementing the Green Party’s wealth tax.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said no new taxes or other changes to income tax would be introduced in the term.

He was asked if that included proposals from possible coalition partners, such as the Green Party who are campaigning on a substantial wealth tax on millionaires.

“This is Labour’s tax policy. We are committing to not implementing anything other than this if we are in Government,” Robertson said.

He was asked again if this meant he was ruling out giving some ground to the Green Party in possible coalition talks.

“What I’m saying is that this is the policy that Labour is campaigning on, and we will only implement the changes that Labour is campaigning on,” Robertson said.

Polling consistently over 50% Labour can probably afford to talk as if they will be in a position to do what they like next term, which is nowhere near enough on tax, certainly not transformational or reforming.

But Greens are desperate for votes to get them over the threshold to keep them in Parliament, and need to move support from Labour to do that, so are trying something they have done little of before, talking tough.

ODT/NZH: Greens prepared to play hard ball on forming next Government

The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and supply arrangement and sit on the crossbenches if post-election talks do not go their way.

Co-leader James Shaw made the comments on Thursday, saying the only post-election deal that was off the table completely was one which would give National power.

However, he said if the Greens held the balance of power it was “always a possibility” that it would walk away from negotiations with Labour if they could not get the gains they wanted.

If there was no coalition or confidence and supply agreement, that would force a minority Labour government to seek the Greens’ support for legislation on a case-by-case basis.

He wouldn’t say what the Greens’ bottom lines in those talks were, but said a wealth tax was a “top priority”.

First the Greens have to get enough votes to get back into Parliament. They also need to hope that Labour don’t get enough votes to have a one party majority (which would enable them to do as they please).

And they also have to learn to do tough negotiations, something they seem unfamiliar with. Within the Green Party they make decisions by consensus, which is quite a different skill to doing inter-party coalition negotiations.

Time will tell whether they get enough votes, and if the do whether they can walk the tough talk.

Shaw also made other indications of demands.

He would also be pushing for co-leader Marama Davidson to be a minister and suggested a Green MP hold the agriculture portfolio.

If Greens are in coalition then Davidson should be one of their ministers, bu this is a different approach to this term when they chose for Davidson to lead from outside Government.

I’d be very surprised if Labour gave Greens the agriculture portfolio.

Shaw said a new Labour-led government would need to be in partnership with the Greens for it to be truly transformational.

“I think, in the next Parliament if Labour and the Greens are able to form a government together, then you will see a truly progressive government for New Zealand.”

The Greens need to push this line to take votes from Labour, but it provides ammunition to opponents, who will say that their are risks with a Labour+Green government getting radical, but there’s been no sign of Labour going anywhere near radical. Instead they look very centrist conservative.

If the Greens were in a position to negotiate a post-election deal, Shaw said it would be up to the party’s members to give any deal the nod.

It makes tough negotiations difficult if the negotiators have to refer to party members to confirm and deals.

Shaw:

“If you look at the policies we have released so far … those give you an indication of where we want to be able to play a role in government.”

He went on to specifically name-check its wealth tax policy as well as its minimum income scheme, clean energy and its upcoming agriculture policy.

Asked if the Greens wealth tax plan was a “bottom line,” Shaw said that it was a “top priority”.

Labour have made it clear it is not an option at all for them.

Greens have some tough times ahead. First they have to make it back into Parliament. Then if they do they have to hope Labour don’t have a majority. They will also hope NZ First are out of the reckoning in coalition negotiations.

If they are in a position to negotiate they then have to see if tough talk can become tough negotiations.

One risk for the Greens with Shaw’s stance – if Labour get enough votes to give them a majority on their own they can do what they like with tax policy, and can hardly roll over on it for the Greens.

If this happens the Greens have virtually ruled themselves out of being included in Government if Labour offers that option.

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29 Comments

  1. David

     /  11th September 2020

    I had higher hopes for Shaw but the man is a fool. A wealth tax is ridiculous and no other country has one and for good reason, they are ridiculously hard and costly to calculate. Its just one of those utopian Green bondooggles that wont work in the real world.
    Also why do we need higher taxes ? Our debt will be 50% of GDP and we will return promptly to surplus if the government manage the books properly. Since when has chucking more money at a problem ever solved it, you want to help with poverty well the only way of doing that is through work and to get a good job you need two parents and a good education.
    We have been chucking money at social problems for decades and decades and the problems never change. I have a single Mum with 4 kids as a tenant and her application showed her benefit is $1200 per week in the hand, I employ guys who work incredibly hard in not pleasant conditions who would need to do 50 plus hours to net that on 30 an hour. What should we be transforming exactly, nothing, its just a lazy slogan like the lazy wealth tax call.

    Reply
    • Whistling in the wind.
      There is a very good chance the Green MPs are going to find out first hand what it is like to take a brig drop In income and no job except maybe with Greenpeace, you know the outfit that fought to not pay tax!

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  11th September 2020

        ‘Greenpeace, you know the outfit that fought to not pay tax!’

        What a cheek eh!

        Companies like Sanitarium and churches like Destiny avoid paying tax….because!!!!

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  11th September 2020

          They offer a product, unlike the Greens.

          Reply
        • David

           /  11th September 2020

          Because they do charitable works Blazer. Greenpeace is a large corporate based in a tax haven with a staff of highly paid executives.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  11th September 2020

            Not Greenpeace NZ… Russell Norman is its CEO and its under $0.5 mill expenditure for last year

            Reply
            • alloytoo

               /  11th September 2020

              It’s a bit of a Ponzi scheme.
              Greenpeace exists for the purposes of extorting money from people to pay for the people to extort the next round of money.

            • Duker

               /  11th September 2020

              Name $10 that they have ‘extorted’ ?

            • David

               /  11th September 2020

              Pretty much every corporate donation to Greenpeace is a hopeful bribe that they will pick on their competitor.
              Same thing is going on with BLM.
              Every cause turns into a movement then a business and then a racket.

    • Jack

       /  11th September 2020

      Hopefully those children you are helping out with a home and steady life will grow up to be like your hard working healthy intelligent employees David.
      It’s good to hear these details. Perspective

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  11th September 2020

      ‘ I have a single Mum with 4 kids as a tenant and her application showed her benefit is $1200 per week in the hand’

      Well,well….so you do benefit from the Govts 2.5 billion subsidy to landlords…after all!

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  11th September 2020

        https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/deskfile/main-benefits-cut-out-points/sole-parent-support-cut-out-points-current.html

        Doesnt seem right , a solo parent is $375 nett, plus accomodation benefit is around $125 pw to $300 for renting with 2 or more children
        cant find the ‘extra’ money for more than 1 child

        Reply
        • David

           /  11th September 2020

          Dont ask me I just saw the letter from WINZ, she studies so maybe there is an allowance there. Her partner lives there too and they operate a business out of the garage so quite industrious, entrepreneurial and a lovely family (if you overlook the fraud and if Winston can do it Sepeloni doesnt seem to care about it so why not).
          Blazer its a new property for me and she is the only one I have being propped up by the generosity of my fellow taxpayers.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  11th September 2020

            There could be a national MP whos sole parent situation was fairly fluid in younger years you could have mentioned….
            I would question the solo parent bit , sounds like ordinary working family maybe with some Working for Family benefit top up because of the 4 kids, from IRD. which is like your other tax rebates you so successfully claim…
            That makes sense while your solo mum thing is way out

            Reply
            • David

               /  11th September 2020

              Its a lady now in a same sex relationship that had left the father of her 4 children so you are way off.
              She doesnt work but she does study. Nice lady too.

    • How many hours would a dustman or road worker have to work to take home $1200 ?

      That’s roughly 3x the single super rate.

      Reply
      • David

         /  11th September 2020

        Just over 50 hours for someone on 30 bucks an hour

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  11th September 2020

          Its been explained to you, its a 2 person couple who get FTC
          type credits because they have 4 kids

          Click to access ir271-2021.pdf


          Family income $950 pw gets paid $350 pw tax credit for 4 kids

          Reply
          • David

             /  11th September 2020

            Argue till you are blue in the face you are wrong, the partner is not on the tenancy agreement its based solely on one income from the benevolent taxpayer.

            Reply
  2. Fight4nz

     /  11th September 2020

    To my mind the Greens have plenty of policies that resonate with a reasonable number of NZ voters. But they seem to have trouble picking the right ones. The wealth tax for instance seems to have little appeal but is put up as a bottom line by the looks.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  11th September 2020

      Thats because the hard left wing of the Greens have Shaw by the curlys after his snafu over the Green School – which I think will sputter out and not be built and get no more than a token amount of taxpayers money….but thats for the future to reveal

      Reply
  3. John J Harrison

     /  11th September 2020

    The Greens are history.
    They will never return to damage our businesses or the economy as they have continually threatened to.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  11th September 2020

      So NZF.the Greens and National are history….mmmm…who does that…leave!

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  11th September 2020

      Mike interviewed James this morning. When the going got tough, as Mike took him apart, James basically tried to deflect by asking Mike if he’d asked ACT the same questions.
      That’s a great insight into this man’s mindset. I to have found James a disppointment. He is no anchor for the Greens in the real world. In fact the man may be as incompentent as his co-leader.

      Reply
      • David

         /  11th September 2020

        At least with ACT and their charter schools it was for the poor and disadvantaged not for the ultra wealthy virtue signalling at vast expense.
        Seems upside down if you follow the media narrative.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  11th September 2020

          Not for poor and disadvantaged for the last set of schools approved….that was only a trojan horse to get through in the beginning. ( they were halted like all the others by labour, some converted to special character schools)
          There was the mythical 20% of state school students who left without ‘qualifications- and the same result for Charter schools even they recieved even more in their hand than the state school down the road ( but in general had poor to non existent facilities operating out of basements etc)

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  11th September 2020

        ‘ as Mike took him apart,’…Mikey couldn’t take apart a raspberry …bun!

        Reply
  4. Duker

     /  11th September 2020

    Shaws comments are absurd. He seems to forget that stopping the tail wagging the dog is why we have MMP, now its not even a whole tail , its a paw.
    Something like their extreme policies – which are the far left of the Greens only , not the moderate wing, should never be forced onto the 95% of the country.

    Reply

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