Attracting the right people
We already rely on migrants to a large degree – we have more than twice the OECD average of foreign born residents (19.5%) (OECD). However, we need to do a better job of attracting skilled migrants; when compared to countries with similar immigration policy such as Canada and Australia the overall skill base of New Zealand migrants is much lower (Melbourne University, 2014).
New Zealand is in a unique position of being able to cherry pick those that wish to immigrate to our shores. However, current trends see the government walking a tightrope, in terms of public opinion, on the record number of immigrants coming into New Zealand. In 2015/16 we had 69,100 official migrants (MBIE), the highest net gain in our history, and this number is only predicted to grow under the current scheme.Read more
Apparently the Government is set to move unilaterally in the New Year on tax dodging by foreign corporates operating in New Zealand. This would follow unilateral action by both the UK and Australia and would pre-empt the glacially moving efforts of the OECD to achieve a multilateral approach. With Donald Trump in the White House anything could happen to that exercise in global cooperation.Read more
While household incomes have gradually risen since 1982, wealthier families have seen a much greater rise compared to those that earn an average or low income. Recent trends show this is only getting worse, and those on the lowest incomes are falling further behind. In fact, those in the lowest 10% of earners (P10) are barely better off than they were 30 years ago, while the upper echelon (P90) has enjoyed a 50% rise in real incomes.
I'm standing outside Prime Minister John Key's mansion because in launching TOP's flagship policy, I want to make a point about inequality in New Zealand.
John Key and I are both wealthy people, but we don't pay our fair share of tax, only because we don't have to. TOP's flagship policy aims to fix that. A premise of The Opportunities Party is you cannot build sustainable prosperity on a base that is inherently unfair. Fairness and prosperity are soulmates.
We’ve had a lot of people get in touch about how TOP plans to measure prosperity. This issue is important but complex, and there are no easy answers. Instead the focus needs to be on the even more important issue of making sure that the way our economy is run actually makes us all more prosperous.Read more
In August a gastro bug hit over 5000 people in the town of Havelock North. The town ground to a halt, with untold cost in pain and lost productivity. The Hastings District Council had to hand out $700,000 in rates remission and business support. Despite the protestations of the Government and farming lobby groups, it is now clear that this outbreak was due to livestock – most probably from the intensive feedlots upstream. After a long dry spell a large downpour gave the feedlots a clean, and washed the effluent into Havelock North’s shallow bore.Read more
The amount people are borrowing for their first home has increased 43% in just the last two years. Even the most casual observer must see that as freaky. Labour has rightly warned of the growing risk being taken on by first home buyers, especially if the economy turns or interest rates rise. However on Morning Report yesterday Kim Hill drove a bus through the holes in Andrew Little’s response to the housing crisis.Read more
Two weeks ago the Kaikoura earthquake caused billions of dollars of damage to buildings and infrastructure. Last week the Treasury’s long term fiscal forecast predicted that health and super spending will continue to rise, taking debt to 200% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 2060.Read more
We’ve been receiving a lot of policy ideas from our membership already; thanks for sending them through. We are developing a method for members to have an ongoing input into policy making, which we will announce in the New Year.Read more
They say that it is rude at a dinner party to bring up money, religion or politics. Well, we want you to break that rule. As history has shown it is really hard setting up a political party. Reaching the 5% threshold is a huge challenge for newcomers. Even more difficult is the fact that we are trying to reach that goal on the back of evidence-based policy, rather than personality, polling and populist ideas.Read more