Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The GST Punt

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  • Bart Janssen,

    ugh Sofie not Sophie, my apologies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    ugh. accepted. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Is it Ok to turn this into a food thread now?

    Meredith's is indeed very expensive but a memorable experience. The smaller places seem to often do one dish very well and the rest of the menu ... um ... less well. I like Zap2's green curry but the rest is not as exciting. I love Banzai at the Balmoral shops for sushi and Japanese food. I still haven't found a chinese place that I want to go back to every time, despite the plethora on Dominion Rd.

    There is a great middle eastern place near Hell's Pizza on Dominion road that has cheap supplies and nice hummus if you don't feel like making it yourself.

    Our local Fruit World is pretty good and is opposite Mt Roskill Grammer along with an Aussie Butcher store whose butcher now recognises me enough that he will cut me specific cuts and then ask me how I'm going to cook them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I still haven't found a Chinese place that I want to go back to every time

    Guess you gotta try them all. I have never been big on the Chinese food but I prefer Thai although there is the food hall in Tai Ping (behind the Caltex ) at 911 Dom Rd. Actually Tai Ping has everything in basics for groceries too.Fruit Veg, fish, butcher, dried goods, food hall. Foreign Asian booze. tofu and toilet paper.
    Never the dog food though.
    Next to Hell is Chef Co. Very reasonable, beautiful food, olives yum,lebanese bread, baklava yum. everything is yum ('cept I don't eat meat but so much else to choose)
    Yep we are spoilt for fruit and veg in our area Bart.(notice the segue back to the gst, so as not to venture too far :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    There is a great middle eastern place near Hell's Pizza on Dominion road that has cheap supplies and nice hummus if you don't feel like making it yourself.

    We're surely getting close once again to a priori conceptions of falafel...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    $250m could help set up an awful lot of community vege gardens and fruit orchards - something that is happening anyway and restricted mainly by funding for the skilled coordination and negotiation involved as well as some materials.

    My brother was employed by Housing NZ to just that in a trial a few years ago. I don't think anything much larger came of it, sadly. But the units who did get their gardens set up were very happy with them.

    I tend to prefer direct interventions (such as aforementioned) rather than indirect ones (taxes etc), because they usually have a much greater chance of having the effect you want. The law of unintended consequences needs to be policed, however, and trials are thus usually the best way to test these things.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    George, that's a very cool idea. Also good for children in the houses, to learn about gardening etc, and promote an interest in the well-being of the property. Wins all round, and it's much harder to fuck up the analysis of compliance costs, etc, with a vege garden.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That's how it works, yes - hence linking with local schools who are always there over the years to tend the gardens and trees and to 'bed in' good habits in waves of children.

    Deborah Hill Conehead self-satirises and offers an alternative 'solution'. What would really help is the power of positive thinking - as bellowed by a gym instructor.

    Instead of taking the GST off fruit and veges, the Labour Opposition would be better off giving every slugabed beneficiary a membership to Les Mills.


    ...

    But if only we could somehow give all the downtrodden, morbidly obese solo mothers living in squalor their own Les Mills personal trainer we could transform their lives. And while we're at it, let's replace Winz staff with life coaches. Drat, I am starting to sound like Christine Rankin.

    But we spend so long jawboning about social problems - booze and pokies and boy racers and saturated fat. We never seem to talk about the real reason most people live disordered, dysfunctional lives. They feel like shit. Most of the people who schlep along to Winz to ask for extra money after their fridge has broken down or needing their state houses fixed have spent their total existence being told how useless they are.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    She's clearly been guzzling back the doubles at the self-help cabinet again.

    Debs, put down 'The Secret' and step away from the shelf. We've talked about this before. You know it's for your own good. We're only trying to help you.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the plot sickens...

    George, that's a very cool idea. Also good for children in the houses, to learn about gardening etc, and promote an interest in the well-being of the property.

    One of the saddest things I've had to do, a while back, was turn my late dad's excellent garden bed back into lawn so my mum could rent the house out - renting agents said tenants would never keep the garden up...
    Still some friends out Brighton way benefitted from getting some great topsoil for their fledgling gardens.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    But the units who did get their gardens set up were very happy with them.

    Reminds me of this good old drug taking hippie.....

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Seven tons of almonds eh.

    I have a friend who's lived for years in a small street in Bondi Junction, where the street trees are well-established macadamias. They crop heavily, but outsiders keep an eye on them, and at the crucial time they do a dawn sweep with all the family on a big truck, and strip the whole street clean.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    The pine-nuts in Hagley Park used to suffer a similar fate. Very tasty, though devils to crack and shell. Watched a family gather bags of cones one year.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    She's clearly been guzzling back the doubles at the self-help cabinet again. Debs, put down 'The Secret' and step away from the shelf.

    Gold

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Watched a family gather bags of cones one year.

    ditto the Ginkgo trees, there'll be some sad harvesters this year when they find out the one in The Arts Centre has gone - a victim of the Earthquake apparently (well removed so cranes could get in I heard)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    Not the one in the quad between the library archway and the English Dept? Or whatever they are in their current iteration? No, I think that was a copper beech. Anyway, sad!

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    But if only we could somehow give all the downtrodden, morbidly obese solo mothers living in squalor their own Les Mills personal trainer we could transform their lives.

    Now, I know that's a quote from an illogical unreasonable person, but I'm sure there are people reading it going "yeah actually, we should". So to those people, before you think that thought again, here's a challenge for you: find a decent plus-size sports bra. And find some plus-size togs that are made for actually swimming in, so perhaps a racer-back one piece. Go on. I'll wait right here for you. Then think about how maybe there actually more barriers to exercise than you might realise.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O Joanna!
    Quite apart from the fact that walking (and fishing- pre severe arthritis) were the only 'activities' I partook thereof-
    I havent worn a bra for 45 years. Hint: My breasts are big. My shoulders are also extremely broad. I never found a bra that fitted.
    And I havent swum in swimsuits because
    *they sure as shit arnt designed for female people of my conformation
    (and I found out that nude-swimming is a helluvalot better.)

    I'm part-Polynesian (as in Kai Tahu.) There are actually quite a few female people of my build and proportions.

    Okay, inventors - get out there and do-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Joanna, you're being way too practical. I hear laughter is good exercise - Debs delivers.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It is of course true that this only matters at the margins, and that's the fucking point. The margin is what matters.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Okay, inventors - get out there and do-

    This is where a sari comes in handy. For the fuller figure out there there is a number of ways a sari can be tied and my man once proved to me such ways without a bra that work.(bloody ol' hippy)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    More from John Armstrong on the politics of Labour's position (on GST, that is - not bras).

    Goff has faced charges that this is a difference-for-difference's sake gimmick which would not only be an administrative hassle, but, worse, sets an unwelcome precedent which will fray the whole fabric of GST.

    It will be mighty tempting for a minor party to promise to exempt some good or service and then make that a bottom-line condition for it backing a minority Government.

    The Maori Party, which had a take-GST-off-healthy-food private member's bill voted down, might well be licking its lips in anticipation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Iain milligan,

    A lot of this debate about the GST rise and Labours Fruit and Vege policy seems to miss the fundamentals of the issues at stake. GST, or VAT in its original form, is a consumption tax aimed at shifting a portion of the tax base from income to discretionary spending. To encourage saving and promote a reduction in consumption shouldn’t it be the luxury, non essential items that attract the GST?

    It’s been a couple of years since I lived in the UK but when I was there VAT was set at 17.5%. The system was a simple multiple rate system, but not as simple as just having no VAT on fruit and Veges. There was no VAT on most basic food items. Looking at my receipt at the supermarket checkout there was hardly any VAT ever included. I was never too sure what the criteria was but it seemed that only highly processed food items attracted VAT; ready meals, frozen dinners and the like, so ostensibly no VAT on food if you bought basic foodstuffs - milk bread, canned/frozen veges, even sauces, biscuits etc. In addition to this there was only 5% VAT on electricity, heating oil and firewood.

    If the GST system was more like the UK’s VAT system and you were in the bottom income bracket, had to support a family and you currently spent a 1/3 of your income on rent, which does not currently attract GST, 1/3 of your income on food, at 0% GST and most of the other 1/3 on electricity and gas then it is fairly clear that you will be only paying and additional 5% GST on about 1/3 of income. It doesn’t matter where you shop or what the seasonal prices are, as these things are outside the government’s control and all relative anyway, you are going to able to afford 15% more food for your family, or god forbid save some money for a treat that you will be wacked for GST on. Effectively if you are on the breadline you pay very little GST, pretty fair I would have thought.

    Those not on the breadline would also enjoy the same benefits but, as Russell points out, they wouldn’t really notice it because they would still be paying GST on their fast cars and Prego Pizzas. Removing GST from certain food items does not diminish your ability to save even more money by shopping smart but if you are spend all your income on the basics of living it would make a huge difference. Of course if you only aren’t on minimum wage and you shop at either Grey Lynn Fruit World (one of the most expensive Vege shops in town even if it is 100 times cheaper than Countdown) or the Countdown across the road, as I am sometimes prone to do for lack of closer better option, then you are right, an extra 15% here and there on a tiny fraction of total disposable income isn’t really to going to make much difference either way…carry on.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Very, very belatedly: I fucking hate gardening, and I would be rather peeved if I was in a rental property and forced to tend silverbeet so I could learn about the wonders of fresh produce. Still, if it was a *community* garden it might be bearable - all the people who like mud and worms could be elbow-deep while I lurked in one corner making cups of tea and saying 'eww' at regular intervals.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    You'd have to hope there was room for support activites like that

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

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