How much tax do we pay?

The average wage earning or small business person pays quite a lot of tax.

Damien Grant at Stuff: The National Government a Labour PM would be proud to lead

In my small business, for every dollar that comes in almost half of it goes out in tax: GST, PAYE, FBT, ACC and in the event there is anything left over, income tax comes clobbers a third.

So, I was pleased to see John Key elected. National has a set of principles. These include limited government and personal responsibility. They have had nine years to implement their principles. How have they done?

When Bill English became minister of finance government spending was $60 billion. It is now $80b. Sovereign debt was a mere $10b when National took office. It is now $60b. In nine years of relatively unfettered power, National has failed to roll back a single penny of the welfare state, failed to confront the disaster of the Resource Management Act, unwind restrictive building regulations or do anything consistent with their stated principles.

This is a centre-left government Norman Kirk would have been proud to lead.

So how much tax do we actually pay? PAYE has different rates of tax at different thresholds, plus there is ACC Earner Levy. And we get taxed on interest earned or gains in investments – including on our Kiwisaver. And on top of that we get taxed on all the goods and services we pay for.

PAYE has different rates of tax.

  • Income up to $14000, taxed at 10.5%
  • Income over $14000 and up to $48000, taxed at 17.5%
  • Income over $48000 and up to $70000, taxed at 30%
  • Remaining income over $70000, taxed at 33%

Plus the current ACC Earner levy is 1.39% on top of that, up to earnings of $126,286.

Payroll tax:


Payroll tax plus GST on quarter of income:


Payroll tax plus GST on half income:


Payroll tax plus GST on all income:



Kiwibank ownership changed

NZ Post has sold nearly half of it’s shares in Kiwibank to two other Crown entities, the Super Fund and ACC.

The NZ Super Fund and the Accident Compensation Corporation’s purchase of minority stakes in Kiwibank has been welcomed by Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay.

“The deal keeps Kiwibank in public ownership and gives the bank access to additional sources of capital,” Mr English says.

“It also returns a dividend of about $200 million to the Government which can be used for other high priorities.”

Under the terms of the deal, NZ Post has sold a 25% shareholding in Kiwibank to the Super Fund and a 22% shareholding to ACC. The remaining Kiwibank shares are retained by NZ Post.  NZ Post, the NZ Super Fund and ACC are all owned by the Crown.

Mr McClay says the deal recognises that the business operations of NZ Post and Kiwibank are at very different stages of development.

“The transaction will result in a greater separation of NZ Post’s and Kiwibank’s operations and will allow the boards and management of both businesses to focus on their respective markets.”

Green co-leader James Shaw responded:

The privatisation of Kiwibank starts today with a 47% sale to ACC and Super Fund.

would have invested $100 million directly in Kiwibank meaning we’d still own it in 5, 10, 20 years’ time…

Confusion over workplace death statistics

This is a follow-up on the post Raymond Huo and one hundred deaths. 

Raymond Huo claimed “we’ve had an average of 100 deaths a year” on Red Alert. I searched to find where that number came from. I inititally found this at OSH:

Workplace fatalities 2007 – 2012

Industry 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011† 2012*
Accommodation and Food Services 1 0 1 0 0 1
Administrative and Support Services 1 0 0 0 0 0
Agriculture 15 19 10 19 15 8
Arts and Recreation Services 1 12 12 7 1 2
Construction 10 8 18 6 4 3
Education and Training 1 0 3 2 1 0
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 2 0 1 3 3 0
Forestry 3 4 4 4 3 5
Health Care and Social Assistance 0 1 2 1 2 0
Manufacturing 4 3 10 1 3 1
Mining and extractives 1 0 0 29 1 0
Other Services 0 1 1 0 1 0
Public Administration and Safety 0 4 2 2 1 0
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 0 0 0 0 1 0
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 6 2 3 3 5 0
Wholesale Trade 0 0 1 0 0 0
Total 45 54 68 77 41 20

† 2011 figures are provisional and subject to change.

* 2012 figures are as at 8 August 2012. These figures are provisional and subject to change.

The statistics show the number of fatalities, notified to the Department of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment (HSE) Act 1992. The statistics do not include: fatalities in the maritime or aviation sectors or due to work-related crashes on the road as these are investigated by Maritime New Zealand, the Civil Aviation Authority and the NZ Police respectively. Nor do they include fatalities from long latency diseases caused by exposure to hazardous substances.

As this is significantly different to Huo’s claim I asked him where he got his number from. He referred me to an NZ Herald article:

I asked NZH where they got their figure from but they haven’t responded.

I’ve searched some more and found a reference in an ODT editorial – Unacceptable and unsustainable – which said:

Last week, a public meeting was hosted in Dunedin by members of the Government-appointed Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety which is examining the issue, seeking public feedback nationwide, and developing recommendations for the Government to consider next year to achieve its goal of a 25% reduction in workplace deaths and serious injuries by 2020.

Official figures show each year in New Zealand an average of 100 people die from work-related accidents and an average of 380 receive serious non-fatal work-related injuries.

I checked the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety website which linked to a consultation document :

New Zealand’s workplace health and safety outcomes are poor,
particularly by comparison to other countries

15. Statistics New Zealand reports annually on New Zealand’s work related injury and fatality rates through the fatal and non-fatal Serious Injury Outcome Indicators (SIOI).
16. The most recent SIOI figures available for work related injuries (2008—2010) show that New Zealand has:
•     102 fatalities per annum at a rate of 4.1 per 100,000 workers
•     369 non-fatal serious injuries at a rate of 16.0 per 100,000 workers

Searching on Serious Injury Outcome Indicators at Statistics New Zealand I found an Injuries – Injury Information Portal which had links to PDF and spreadsheet data.

1994 ..
1995 80.0
1996 80.7
1997 70.3
1998 62.0
1999 52.7
2000 52.3
2001 65.0
2002 81.0
2003 91.0
2004 85.7
2005 90.0
2006 88.3
2007 87.3
2008 93.0
2009 P 102.3
2010 ..

P provisional
.. figure not available
Source: ACC entitlement claims; Statistics New Zealand

This shows a peak in 2009 of 102.3 (I’m not sure how you can get fractions of deaths) and no other years are more than 100 so ‘102 deaths per annum’ is incorrect, and it certainly isn’t an average of 100 deaths per year (over 15 years it’s 78.8).

And there’s further confusion. I looked up ACC’s website and on Frequently requested facts and stats they say:

Work injuries

In 2007/08 119 people were killed…

Spreadsheet link: Fatal work-related claims by industry (XLS 14K)
(showing that it relates to the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008)

So that gives us three quite different totals for one year:

  • 54 (OSH)
  • 93 (Statistics New Zealand who cite ACC as a source)
  • 119 (ACC website “facts”)

I didn’t find any statistics that support “an average of 100 deaths per year”.

Workplace accidents and especially workplace deaths are a major concern. Contradictory statistics are also a concern, this makes it very difficult to know how bad things are and to measure trends.

ACC inquiry essential

There are too many obvious problems and unanswered questions regarding ACC. Minister Judith Collins has inherited a decade or more of unresolved issues. She must surely address this with an inquiry into the management, culture, privacy and direction of ACC.

Last night TV3 had a report on ACC which featured an interview with Bronwyn Pullar.

The Eye of the Storm

Secret tapes, threats and a minister’s resignation. At the centre of the ACC privacy fiasco is the whistleblower, Bronwyn Pullar.

That confirmed some of the concerns and raised more. Eyebrows, already raised, have been elevated across the political spectrum. Demands for action have already begun.

Kevin Hague says ACC chairman John Judge should be removed after a television interview with Bronwyn…

What ACC does and how it does it has a huge impact on the lives of many injury victims.

The lack of security of private information does not look incompetent, it looks bizarrely incompetent at best. One monumental blunder might be excusable – if it is seen to be dealt with properly. But instead it seems to be a continuing line of basic balls-ups. Unless it’s worse than that.

Judith Collins needs to act quickly and decisively to address the serious issues surrounding ACC. Otherwise it won’t just be ACC “clients” needing rehabilitation, it will be Collins’ career, and the National Government.

National sunk by Missile Boag?

National have big problems, both party internal and in Government. This is largely due to one person, long time power player Michelle Boag.

The latest leak, a letter with a list of 28 which is purported to be a `claims support’ or `advisory team’ for Bronwyn Pullar, is bizarre. It just doesn’t make sense in the real world. It looks more like an excessive and nonsensical case of name dropping. Sovereign Insurance have apparently said the letter and campaign led by Boag damaged Pullar’s case. That wouldn’t be surprising.

John Key has said list is wrong, he was never involved. Jenny Shipley said she ws not aware of any list.

Close Up said Ms Boag told them she did not remember any letter and did not remember writing to Sovereign herself. Yeah, right. Maybe she concocts lists of names all the time to try and push her interests.

Nick Smith is already a casualty of the Boag approach to power patronage.

Judith Collins has been attacked but it looks like she may have avoided being sucked in to the Michele manipulations.

It may be that the future of the current National Government is dependant on a non-MP, Boag.

If Boag has the nous to see what damage she has caused (and that the damage may get much worse), and if she has the humility to front up and accept responsibility for the mess she has made and deal with it, then National may survive this without any more major parliamentary casulaties.

That’s a big IF. Boag has never looked the type to gracefully fall on her own sword. Her arrogant power playing may end up being the Michele that sinks Key’s national.

Clamouring for the execution of Nick Smith

I haven’t looked at the Nick Smith ACC issue in any detail. It’s obvious he’s done something he shouldn’t have done. We’ll find out about now the latest move. Whatever the outcome, this all saddens me.

This is one of the things I like the least about our politics. It makes me think that it’s like a modern equivalent of the crowd clamouring around a scaffold, or malbonfire, or stoning. The pack of fumans turning on one of their own kind.

It’s a party of our ugly side. The thrill of the downfall seems to override any compassion.

Nick Smith, maybe you deserve something, but I don’t think you deserve to be used as today’s entertainment as you are chopped down.

Yeah, I just checked before posting, Nick Smith resigned. And I’m resigned to trying to avoid all the media and internet cheering.