CTU Economic Bulletin

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  • January 2011

    This is a new-look Bulletin with changes made as a result of the review we polled you on last year, and a lot of thinking on our part. You’ll see the difference in the information section following the commentary. It’s designed to be easy to skim read, but with links you can click for further information if you want to dig a bit deeper. As always, we’re interested in comments. We will develop the concepts further as we go on. I’d like to thank Andrew Chick who has done most of the work on this, and will be continuing to update it.

    I hope you had a restful and refreshing break. There’s a big year ahead with many uncertainties. In New Zealand the election is already in politicians’ minds with battle lines being drawn around asset sales, taxes, savings and economic development. The economy is important in most elections, but it will dominate it this year. More than that, the economy could eclipse the election if it turns bad.

  • November 2010

    This is the last Economic Bulletin for the year. The next Bulletin will be at the end of January. We hope to have that in a new format. Thanks to those who have commented on and contributed to the Bulletin during the year, and best wishes to all for the new year.

  • October 2010

    The Hobbit controversy teaches us some stark lessons about globalisation and how best to respond to it. As an example of foreign investment in New Zealand it is probably one of the better ones, apart from its very short life. The principle of some government assistance is not necessarily a bad one - the real question is how far we should go with such handouts and our ambition as to what we can achieve with them.

  • Tax changes unfair, unhelpful

    September 2010

    The tax changes that take effect on 1 October are unfair. Their justification lies in economic arguments about encouraging growth, savings and investment. The evidence for them helping the economy is weak, with one or two exceptions. Minister of Finance Bill English has described them as "the most significant tax reform package in New Zealand for nearly 25 years". That takes us back to the 1984-1990 Labour government which flattened the income tax structure, introduced GST, and reduced company tax (sound familiar?), with remarkably little to show for it in terms of economic success and too much to show in terms of increased and damaging inequalities. That is hardly a good advertisement for these changes.