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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

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  • DexterX,

    Labour are going to great lengths to prove why they were not fit to govern - an outstanding effort all round.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sue,

    We now have a code of conduct letter that all Party members must adhere to

    Is that the one which was going to take until after nominations closed? Points for realising way too slow, if so.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    More unwanted headlines, of what benefit to the Party Mr Quin?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    Health has amazingly stayed out of the headlines for the last 6 years

    Despite wholesale systemic changes, in contradiction of public reassurances to the contrary by the Minister. A classic example of the failure of media and opposition to hold government to account.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Henry Barnard, in reply to bmk,

    I think it was clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the public don’t want Cunliffe to lead them. Therefore he should resign. To ignore the will of the public and then say it’s democracy when the membership of the party is much smaller than the general public seems bizarre to me.

    1996: Labour, under Helen Clark (who had had nearly 3 full years as leader), went from 36.8% to 28.19% losing 6 seats in the process. NZF went from 8.85% to 13.35% gaining 15 seats in the process (first MMP election).
    2014. Labour: under David Cunliffe (who has had precisely 1 year as Leader), went from 27.48% to 24.69%, losing 2 seats in the process. NZF went from 6.65% to 8.85% gaining 4 seats in the process.

    So, we want Cunliffe to realise something that Helen didn't: "That the public don't want him". Why?

    The essential issue for me is the one raised by James's letter: it is not whether the public want him but whether the Labour Party, in all its wonderful variety, want him. Clearly a year ago, significant portions of it did but not a majority of the caucus. Now, clearly and obviously, the latter remains the case but the rest of the party is not where it was a year ago. Where it is is a matter for speculation. What is troubling, for me, is that an openly disunited caucus is not a good basis for being a runner for the next election let alone an effective opposition. Can the caucus, having aired what it has over the past few days, even function with Cunliffe as the leader? And is the purpose of this `airing' to ram home to the rest of the party that they cannot function with him as leader? We may not like the message (and I don't) but there is no doubt about what we are being told.

    One could argue that caucus needs to just suck it in and live with what the rest of the party wants. In an ideal world, this would happen: but, realistically, its gone beyond that. There is so little `respect' left.

    Palmerston North • Since Aug 2013 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Now, could you please answer the question: Has Cunliffe behaved in a manner that’s contrary to the Labour Party’s own rules? Not “has he behaved in the manner you think he should” or “is this leadership contest happening at a time of your liking”.

    That's setting a pretty low standard for leadership of a party, and a person who wants to be prime minister Craig.

    I mean there are many things in "Dirty Politics" which if true, would not be against the law nor against various political party or cabinet rules. They'd still be terribly unbecoming of a minister of the government, leader of a political party, or prime minister. That seems like a pretty good tax gain for the government which will largely fall on rich people.

    That’s right Kyle, I just didn’t think, and what I didn’t think was that an added 15% on John Keys’ current 2.8% still only equals 17.8% tax i.e. about half of the top tax rate.

    So you're unhappy with the Labour party policy because it would increase the tax take from John Key from under two hundred thousand, to almost a million dollars per year.

    I didn’t think that you and others who aren’t the brains behind it and can’t verify myriad as yet unspecified details to be refined by the Expert Panel

    You want people to verify rules that haven't been written yet? Tricky.

    Despite peoples’ best efforts my mind hasn’t been changed on this, I’m still over it. and so in the interests of keeping this thread on track and not dirtying up the site anymore. It may be best to just let your desire to be the brains behind the CGT go.

    You started a few days not understanding that it was a tax on capital GAINS. You basically understood nothing about what it was and were slagging it off. Now that people have answered pretty much everything that you've raised, you're still slagging it off.

    Anyway...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Henry Barnard,

    And is the purpose of this `airing' to ram home to the rest of the party that they cannot function with him as leader?

    I think the last four words are superfluous.

    I have to say that as of this moment, I have more respect for Cunliffe than I do for most of the Labour party caucus.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • Sue, in reply to Sacha,

    Why yes it is this one came from Moira Coatsworth

    It's just as indication of what a clusterfuck this all is.
    I assume it's not retrospective, as nobody could stand for leader EVER

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    here's the full email because someone asked nicely and apparently what's out there is not all of it.

    _"The agreed principles of our leadership election process are:

    democratic integrity and certainty;
    transparency and fairness;
    membership participation; and
    Party growth.
    If the process is to deliver this, it must be conducted in a spirit of respect and with the realisation that many from outside the Party are watching the process. This applies across mainstream and social media, our husting meetings, other Party meetings and the informal networks which we all have. The greater our discipline the stronger our foundation will be to unite behind the leader who is selected.

    New Zealand Council last night agreed the following expectations for Party members.

    Robust exchanges about the merits of any candidate for leadership need to be based on performance and attributes which are relevant to their ability to be the Labour Leader.

    Members (including candidates for leadership) should not directly or indirectly refer to a candidate for leadership in a way which is denigrating or disrespectful.

    Members should be cautious to ensure that any statements they make are factually accurate and fair. They should ensure that any public comment on the candidates, the Party and the leadership election system uphold the status of the Party and its chances of election to Government, and do not bring it into disrepute.
    I ask all members to comply with these expectations throughout the process."_

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I ask all members to comply with these expectations

    Alas, certain of those in caucus have already been conducting themselves as … bigger members than that.
    Effectively, a big swinging bunch of John Keys. And the media so enjoys the resulting rattling noise.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,

    central locking

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    So you’re unhappy with the Labour party policy because it would increase the tax take from John Key from under two hundred thousand, to almost a million dollars per year.

    No Kyle. I’m not unhappy about that. I’m unsatisfied that there is no notable exemption threshold for those eligible for limited gains and on limited incomes. I believe that a dispensation like that could in its own small way help to reduce wealth disparities, and I consider addressing such an issue by whatever means as being of value to our socialist democracy. However I’m much more unhappy that Cunliffe was unable to adequately explain the policy, and in fact did a vast amount of damage to perceptions of the policy with his “one month” comment after the Christchurch debate.

    You started a few days not understanding that it was a tax on capital GAINS. You basically understood nothing about what it was and were slagging it off. Now that people have answered pretty much everything that you’ve raised, you’re still slagging it off.

    And that is my point. I passed bursary calculus and English, I watched all the leaders debates and I was unable to fully grasp it until after the election. You are correct I missed some vital details until Alfie corrected me on September 21st:

    Buy a holiday home for $300k, sell it later for (say) $400k… you only pay 15% of the CAPITAL GAIN, not the sale price. In other words you’d pay $15k.

    Regardless of my misapprehension of the quantity, I was still discussing it later that same day with Ben and Michael Homer, my understanding was arguably getting better by that point.

    On that thread you said:

    I can’t accept there being a ‘comms problem’ when the answer to this question is contained in the name of the tax itself.

    And if you’re insinuating that I’m slow, I’ll freely admit it, I’ll take that one on the chin, rather than comms it was my own issues that hindered me grasping the policy before the election Kyle, though I like to kid myself that I wasn’t the only New Zealander who may have missed something, I was confused by some of what I heard.

    As is evident to some, I didn’t come on this thread to discuss the CGT. Deborah, seeing me mention the CGT was kind enough to volunteer to answer any questions I might have, and so I asked about Labour’s philosophy/reasoning in not exempting those at the bottom of society who may come into capital gains, and I was carefully nonspecific, as it can apply to all manner of things; a house, small business assets, inherited assets – some of which may be of very low value, the tax still levied uniformly at people of high, low or no income.

    I let Deborah know that there’s no rush to answer it, and given that she’s a standing member of the Labour party I think it’s awesome that she extended such an offer as they’re obviously quite busy right now. But it is because she is a standing member of the Labour party that I asked her this question, in fact this is what qualifies her to answer a question about the reasoning/philosophy of the Labour party.

    Kyle I do appreciate the effort you and others have gone to in order to answer my question on behalf of Deborah. I also feel your frustration at someone who’s not grasping something that you may find quite rudimentary. However I remain hopeful that Deobrah, perhaps after consultation, will answer in due course.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    I wish more people would get really clear about what they are prepared to support and what they aren’t and then act accordingly.

    If the fucking party cant get their shit together what's the fucking point. We are seeing selfish posturing and it aint about the Party.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to mark taslov,

    More unwanted headlines, of what benefit to the Party Mr Quin?

    Maybe it's of considerable benefit to the public to get some insight into how The Party that would really like to be The Government one day operates.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to mark taslov,

    Actually, I've gone quiet on it because I don't want to threadjack this discussion, and by the time I got back to the thread in the morning, other people had answered the questions you raised, so there was no point in me making the same answers.

    Notable exemptions - family home, first $250,000 gain on sale of a small business (including farms) where the business has been held and worked by the same person for at least 15 years. This exemption is intended to allow for people who "save" for retirement by building up a small business. All these details are in the policy document which has been sitting on the Labour website for months..

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps Craig, but you know, looking at the rules Sacha linked to, I’m impressed by the degree of organisation. These expectations for Party members as stated in the Herald aren’t dissimilar to expectations one might adhere to in most professional meeting environments, and the Herald’s website/Quin combo:

    "posted by Phil Quin on his blog at medium.com"

    doesn’t provide me with a clean Google search so I can’t even check for myself. Quin helped provide a theatrical Headline, what’s the average reader to make of this?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That’s setting a pretty low standard for leadership of a party, and a person who wants to be prime minister Craig.

    No, it really isn't. I've been a member of the National Party for twenty years, including several years as an elected officer at electorate and regional Young Nats levels. I've also been a voting delegate at candidate selections, conferences where election of officers was contested the party presidency was contested. I was also peripherally involved in a full scale review of the party constitution. None of which always came out to my liking, but that's grown-up politics.

    And we're really going to bring Dirty Politics into it? If you want to go there, Kyle, I'll ask whether that label is better applied to people who only respect the rules when they find it politically convenient to do so. I totally get why a lot of people around here would have been a lot happier if Cunliffe had resigned on Election Night and taken a vow of silence on the backbenches. You can question what levels of good judgement, if any, he'd shown since. I just find it disingenuously naive that anyone would believe any political leader would find being white-anted an acceptable position to be in if they had any other alternatives. Cunliffe does, whether you like it or not.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I'm going to try to wade in to answer your question, Mark, though my Labour Party membership has expired and I had no part in devising the CGT policy.

    The reason your person on a low income would pay CGT on a $10K gain in value from selling a house is because it is income. If that same person were able to work and earned $10K, they'd pay $1895 in tax, not $1500. It's not their fault they can't work, since they're an invalid, but that doesn't mean additional income should be taxation exempt.

    The tricky part with inherited properties is that there's no inheritance tax, so if the parent had sold the house just before they died, they wouldn't have paid CGT on it, since it was the family home, and the heir would get the full amount. But the question of how long a selling period there should be has nothing to do with the wealth of the person inheriting, it's about how long you can reasonably give people so they have adequate time to sell, but no incentive to hold on to the property longer in hope of making and keeping more capital gain.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And we’re really going to bring Dirty Politics into it? If you want to go there, Kyle, I’ll ask whether that label is better applied to people who only respect the rules when they find it politically convenient to do so.

    Craig it applies to John fucking Key, his obfuscation of due process over the last 6 years ,his ability to fudge the truth ,denigrate the whistleblowers and his general school bully attitude to anyone who would question his ability to tell the truth for once. Craig ,please don't brush away the fact that Key hasn't answered one question that doesn't suit him. Thing is we the public would like some answers and there is NONE!

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

  • mark taslov, in reply to Deborah,

    Thanks Deborah, I understand you probably feel a bit of regret for offering now, And I have recently gone through the policy on the website in some detail, and now have a degree of familiarity with what is exempt. Perhaps I’m asking the impossible actually. I’m not sure who originally came up with the policy, and I guess, if I were completely honest, I’m probably expecting you to give whoever that was a call and find out why, for example, families on minimum wage or less (at the very least) can’t be exempt from the CGT, unless they earn capital gains over say $20,000($3000 CGT) in any given year. And only gains above that threshold are taxed. But there’s no need to make that call. I’ve troubled you enough.

    As you know I’m not thinking of rich people and big things as much as small things e.g. inheriting Dad’s old All Black Jersey, or vintage car (or something that will increase in value) and selling it long after. And again being honest about my motivations, I feel that if there was some kind of line drawn in terms of an exemption like this, that it would help to bolster the tax’s appeal from the bottom up and make very little difference to the actual revenue intake.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    No, it really isn't

    OK, truth or dare. Are you happy with a party leader and prime minister who lies as freely and as frequently as your current party leader and prime minister?

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to mark taslov,

    Collectables are exempt. Exactly what collectables are is yet to be defined, but there's plenty of precedent to follow from other tax jurisdictions. So that particular exemption is in place already.

    Yes, it could be possible to put in some some of low level exemption. For example, one way of doing it is to say that everyone is entitled to say, $100,000 of capital gains tax free within their lifetime, and once you've used up your exemption, that's it. But there can be considerable technical difficulties with that sort of approach, such as how to take inflation into account (an exemption worth $100,000 in 2018 is probably much more valuable than an exemption worth $100,000 in 2048).

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Thanks Lucy, I hope my post just above further illustrates my thinking, feel free to tear my suggestion apart, as what most interests me here, is how the CGT can be sold to the masses with a built in tax cut/ exemption for those at the bottom of this heap.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The theory that Cunliffe is solely responsible for Labour's defeat or even its main cause seems outlandish to me.

    I agree with a version of this argument, but am willing to listen to the feedback people like James and Stephen received during the campaign as well.

    We're not clairvoyant, so we're not going to be able to determine who'd actually make the best leader in advance. You can only put your best foot forward.

    As Sophie mentioned, I hope the process can be carried out in a way that reflects the party's goals and values.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Deborah,

    Exactly what collectables are is yet to be defined,

    Yes. It is a problem in terms of providing examples that may not be collectables, it was a difficult call whether or not to include “pedigree dog” in mine.

    Yes, it could be possible to put in some some of low level exemption. For example, one way of doing it is to say that everyone is entitled to say, $100,000 of capital gains tax free within their lifetime, and once you’ve used up your exemption, that’s it.

    Thank you, now you are speaking my language. That sounds great, and in terms of selling the tax to the voter, that’s the one to front foot with. Ben mentioned that in Australia the CGT itself was previously indexed to inflation, so it sounds like there may be a enough data to at least tentatively addressing indexing issues. I really appreciate your patience Deborah, and everyone’s here. Kia Ora.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

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