Sunday, 13 August 2017

On tattoos, taxes and teachers

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My geography teacher at school told us that New Zealand was a blessed place because of its equi-distance between the equator and the Antarctic. This meant a temperate climate that was the envy of the world because we could grow lush pastures to feed our livestock, but our temperatures didn’t get too cold for them to need housing in the winter.

As a result we managed to produce cheap meat and even though our markets were at the uttermost ends of the Earth we could still land our product in these distant lands at a competitive price.

Competitive perhaps, until loony Labour gets its grubby hands on our free-flowing water and taxes it to death.

The politics of envy are at play here. Socialists couldn’t stand the sight of someone bottling our water and sending it off-shore. The water had fallen out of the sky, but how dare these entrepreneurs get their hands on it for nothing before it flowed on out to sea. No one had noticed that for years we have been exporting wine, beer and even soft drinks (the hugely successful Karma Kola being a classic example) all chock full of New Zealand water, but out of sight and therefore out of mind.

And so Labour wants to tax our water and give much of the proceeds to Iwi. So basically they are saying New Zealanders will have to pay Iwi for products that use water. This is a major policy shift and even worse, Labour won’t say how much the tax will be. The tax will also be discriminatory. Commercial water used in the city will not have to pay, but those in the rural areas will be charged. Most major breweries will end up not having to pay the tax, while most craft breweries will. It will put up food prices for many items as well as making our exporters less competitive.

Labour are playing to the latte-sipping liberals in Ponsonby and Wellington; they simply don’t care about rural New Zealand. Ms Ardern proposes to tax farmers who have made huge financial investments in water availability to insure production against drought or to increase production or establish a new use for water.

Any water that is not treated and supplied by a local council or a government body through a public reticulation system and is used by its citizens should be free as its use benefits everyone in the country.

Ms Arden’s only real claim to fame before coming to parliament on Labour's list was to be elected President on The International Union of Socialist Youth in Britain. She has never had to face the rigours of commerce, or needed to find enough money each week to pay staff or GST or ACC levies or be mired under the overwhelming scrutiny of the new health and safety regulations.

In the cocooned environs of her charmed life she has had little experience of the everyday economic maelstroms facing most hard-working businessmen and farmers. In fact in the last news item I read regarding the new labour leader is that she is entertaining the idea of getting a tattoo. Not a white dove of peace or the white camellia of women’s suffrage, but an image of explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Just what you need to run the country.

I wish my late great geography teacher could have lived to see that in the grand scheme of things we’re not really blessed at all.

“Read my lips: no new taxes.” - George H. W. Bush


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