David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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Minor Parties Overview

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The election is quickly approaching, and campaigns are now in full swing. We have previously covered much of the announcements by the two major parties, so instead this will focus only on the minor parties, and what policies they are promoting to improve conditions for manufacturers and exporters. This will not cover all the parties policies and election promises, but aim to highlight those most important for manufacturers and exporters that have been released so far in the campaigns. A link to the full policies of each party has been placed in each title.

Act’s economic policies focus on the idea of a smaller government and low broad taxes, with the need for government to review its expenditure, tax structure, asset ownership and regulatory environment. Some specific policies around this are the goals of reducing the level of government expenditure to below 28 percent of GDP, and reducing the top tax rate to 24 cents. Act also opposes the current form of compulsory ACC, instead favouring a competitive market for such insurance.

The Conservative Party generally supports lower taxes, specifically proposing a policy to make the first $20,000 of income tax free. Their other main policies are focused on law and order, including tougher penalties for criminals.

While most of the Conservatives policies are not aimed directly at supporting the manufacturing or exporting sectors, they are proposing that Referendums would be binding, and this could have a significant affect on the way Government decisions and policy changes are made in the future.

The Green party has proposed a range of policies around innovation, which have also been informed by their participation in the Manufacturing Inquiry, specifically adding $1 billion of new government funding over three years towards research and development. This includes adding R&D tax credits in addition to the current grant system, requiring firms that are sold offshore to repay grants, and adding a voluntary option where firms can agree to government taking a stake in their businesses for large grants. They also plan to fund an extra 1000 places in tertiary education for engineering, maths, computer sciences and physical science students.

The Greens also propose the phase out of our current Emissions Trading Scheme, in favour for a price on carbon, the revenue of which would go towards a $2,000 income tax-free band, and a 1 percent cut in the company tax rate. As part of their plan to move New Zealand towards a more environmentally friendly economy, they would introduce a Green Investment Bank, which would be government owned, but for profit to fund new renewable and clean technologies in partnership with the private sector. The public money needed for this would be funded through increased royalties on oil.

The Greens propose the introduction of a new top tax rate of 40 percent for those earning above $140,000, and would match the Trust rate with this. The revenue from this would be used to fund a range of social programmes aimed at reducing child poverty. They also advocate the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax.

Internet MANA
Firstly, Internet MANA proposes a range of taxation changes, including the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax, a Financial Transaction Tax and a Wealth Tax. In addition, they support the living wage, and would raise the minimum wage to the living wage, currently $18.80, and pegging minimum wage at two-thirds of the average wage in the future.

In terms of new spending, they propose free tertiary education and removing parental means testing on student allowances. Their economic policies so far relate to the promotion of our digital economy and innovation through direct investment, and seed funding for innovative projects.

Internet MANA also opposes the TPP agreement and the MANA party were involved in parts of the Manufacturing Inquiry.

Maori Party
The Maori Party have a large focus on employment, in particular, how to best ensure Maori and Pasifika people are able to receive education and training and find jobs. One specific policy is doubling the number of Maori and Pasifika Trade Training placements per annum from 3000 to 6000, and to increase the availability of skilled trade workers.

In line with this, they are an advocate for the introduction of a living wage, set at $18.80 per hour.

NZ First
As one of the parties involved in the Manufacturing Inquiry in 2013, many of their economic polices reflect the inquiries findings and recommendations. For some time, NZ First has supported reform of the Reserve Bank Act, to reflect that New Zealand has an export dependent economy and create a sensible exchange rate regime that serves New Zealand’s economic interests. Their policies also have a general focus on improving our export sector and adding value.

In terms of direct support for industry, they support the use of tax incentives for R&D through tax credits. They also propose the introduction of a lower (20 per cent) tax rate for exporters, preference to New Zealand firms in government procurement, and providing accelerated depreciation for plant and equipment.

NZ First would also raise the minimum wage to $16.00 per hour, focus on training New Zealanders in areas of skill shortages, impose stricter controls over foreign ownership of New Zealand assets and are supportive of a comprehensive compulsory savings plan.

United Future
Much of United Future’s economic policy revolves around supporting a broad-based low rate tax system. They aim to further simplify our tax system to make compliance easier for SME’s. They also support retention of the current Reserve Bank Act, and are opposed to the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax.

In addition, United Future aims to improve savings rates and increase available capital for investment by making Kiwi Saver compulsory. They also have an option on superannuation with their FlexiSuper plan, offering a potential middle ground on reform where it could be claimed earlier at a lower rate, or later at a higher rate.  

tags: act, conservatives, greens, internet mana, maori party, new zealand first, united future, manufacturing


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