The Dim-Post

September 27, 2010

Quote of the day, slippery slope of DOOM edition

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 2:17 pm

It’s never going to end is it. It’s fruit and vegetables today, frozen peas tomorrow… vegetables in hamburgers sold in McDonald’s – that’s healthy.

Finance Minister Bill English, criticising Labour for policy developments that don’t actually exist outside his own imagination.

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72 Comments »

  1. It that case it really blows that they aren’t doing frozen stuff.

    Comment by Stephen — September 27, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  2. The fresh peas vs frozen peas is a pretty good example of some of the concerns with this. To put it quite crudely … why is Labour proposing making rich people foods cheaper, while leaving poor people foods the same price?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — September 27, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  3. Did anyone catch the news that frozen is usually more nutritious than fresh? Apparently they are harvested at the optimum time, then frozen. Whereas fresh are often harvested early, with the hope that they ripen as they hit the shelves. Then if they sit too long, they over-ripen and we don’t buy. As rich noted in the previous thread: wastage of fresh fruit and vege is factored into the price you pay.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 27, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  4. “First they came for the broccoli, and I did not speak out, because I don’t like broccoli …”

    Comment by sammy — September 27, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  5. To put it quite crudely … why is Labour proposing making rich people foods cheaper, while leaving poor people foods the same price?

    So the poor can afford to eat more like the rich? It’s a slippery slope from eating like the rich to actually eating the rich.

    Comment by joe W — September 27, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  6. Would this mean the soggy wilted celery I bought yesterday would actually be more expensive because I don’t think anyone would classify that as ‘fresh’…

    Comment by Justin — September 27, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  7. Just make the GST on these foods voluntary. If you’re a small dairy owner and can’t be bothered figuring it all out, collect GST on everything. If you’re Progressive Enterprises and have armies of people to argue about the definition of “vegetable” then go for it. It’s not like people shop at dairies for the bargain prices.

    Comment by Bernard Darnton — September 27, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  8. God forbid that Labour get in and implement this policy, then they will have to get serious about tackling obesity and teach all of us, the great un-washed masses, actually how to cook all this cheap fruit and vege. A nightly cooking show just before the 6pm news will be the answer.

    So they shouldn’t be too hasty in getting rid of Carter – he would be perfect for it. Cooking With Chris.

    Comment by Pat — September 27, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

  9. Chris Carter is a talented man who will be good for a number of roles.

    He will be busy next year and afterwards however with being the Prime Minister of a re-elected Labour Government.

    Comment by citizensforchriscarter — September 27, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  10. See, now you’ve ruined it. I was enjoying the possibility that you were a truely Chris Carter’s biggest and nuttiest fan, but now you’ve proved that you were only taking the piss the whole time.

    Comment by Pat — September 27, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

  11. So most other countries that have a blunt consumption tax like New Zealand can manage a system of exemptions, but we can’t??? Are we really that retarded in this country that we couldn’t work out a system like the UK or Australia? Another example where those on the right say that they want to be more like our lucky cousins across the ditch when it suits them (lowering income taxes, company taxes etc), but disagreeing when it doesn’t (education policy, health policy, baby bonuses, land tax, general welfare policies, GST exempt fresh food and beverages)…

    Comment by Tim — September 27, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  12. Are we really that retarded in this country that we couldn’t work out a system like the UK or Australia?

    The point is more that we would be pretty retarded if we repeated their expensive mistakes.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — September 27, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  13. Which is kind of bewildering, because the actual policy is incoherent and meaningless enough without having to make up any incoherent nonsense.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — September 27, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  14. The real danger is that they get in, implement their flagship policy and then a week later the price of petrol goes up and instantly wipes out the savings.

    Comment by danylmc — September 27, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  15. All this policy will do is create another 500 jobs at the IRD. Just what the country needs.
    Anybody know when Labour are actually going to start being an opposition party?
    I realise they have been busy dealing with the runaway gay for a few months but surely two years is long enough to lick your wounds and actually begin to knuckle down.
    Opening a massive chasm for indian dairy owners to fiddle their gst through is not the way back to power.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — September 27, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  16. The real danger is that they get in, implement their flagship policy and then a week later the price of petrol goes up and instantly wipes out the savings.

    But imagine where we’d be without the savings!

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — September 27, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  17. flagship

    Maxwell Smart: You see the moment I suspected there was something wrong with this old scow, I immediately telephoned headquarters and I happen to know that at this very minute seven coastguard cutters are converging on this boat. Would you believe it? Seven.
    Mr. Big: I find that pretty hard to believe.
    Maxwell Smart: Would you believe six?
    Mr. Big: I don’t think so.
    Maxwell Smart: How about two cops in a rowboat?

    Comment by Phil — September 27, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  18. Fresh: (of food) recently made or obtained; not tinned, frozen , or otherwise preserved (Oxford Dictionary).

    Shit that was hard to define. Thank God for the interweb otherwise I would have had to get up, go to the bookshelf and open a dictionary. Geez Bill English is right…there is no way to accurately define what fresh is.

    Comment by Tim — September 27, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  19. Ok Tim, how about apples imported from the US that are frozen for 3 weeks on their journey over to NZ, then thawed out and sold in supermarkets in NZ? Are they fresh? They have been frozen or otherwise preserved… Does this mean that only produce grown in NZ fits the definition of fresh? Or, what about the ready-made salads you can buy? They are composed of only fresh vegetables, but do you think they should be exempt? Not as simple as you may initially think.

    Comment by Alex — September 27, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  20. Quite right Tim, that lettuce and tomato in a whopper sure is fresh.
    Likewise the friday night kebab.
    Meanwhile the cardigan wearing recruiters at IRD are tumescent at the thought of filling another building with drones and Bob Jones can now afford to get married again.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — September 27, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  21. Tim,

    Apples that have been sitting in a cold store for 2 weeks. Fresh or not? As compared with oranges that have been crushed into juice? As compared with bananas that have been chopped up and mixed with other fruit in a salad sold in a plastic container from the supermarket deli? As compared with pre-cut potatoes and carrots in a “ready to roast” bag?

    Easy to DEFINE fresh. The problem is applying that definition to concrete examples … without making every lawyer orgasm with excitement. And that is not, believe me, an attractive proposition.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 27, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  22. I realise they have been busy dealing with the runaway gay for a few months but surely two years is long enough to lick your wounds and actually begin to knuckle down.
    Opening a massive chasm for indian dairy owners to fiddle their gst through is not the way back to power

    Is there really any point in publishing idiocy like this?

    Comment by The Fox — September 27, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  23. The proposal is stupid, stupid, stupid. An unworkable lawyers wet dream. Steam in the bag microwave veges, fresh? Tempura veges, frozen, fresh? Oven chips, fresh? Labour must be trying touch up lawyers or they are just f@cking retarded.

    Comment by leon — September 27, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  24. Wait everybody, Barnsley Bill is confused over the status of a Whopper(tm) or a kebab. “Fresh fruit or vegetable” could mean anything: like a burger, bag of cat food, tennis ball or a haircut.

    Hey look, I’m as smart as the Finance Minister!

    Comment by taranaki — September 27, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  25. Apples in cold store – yes. Oranges turned into juice – no. Salad in container – no. Ready to roast bag – no. I think if you apply the ‘not processed’ label it is actually not that hard to work out…now I am no big city lawyer though. Whopper – no. Oven chips – no. Gosh…not that hard really.

    The companies producing prepackaged salads would already have saved the 15% from the produce that they are using in their own produce.

    I am really not seeing the complication…I know we would be world leaders…oh no, wait, we wouldn’t be would we. No, we would be like most countries that have a consumption tax.

    Comment by Tim — September 27, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  26. Taranaki, does a whopper have fresh vegetables in it? I would say it does, no doubt Burger Kings lawyers will to.
    You clowns will sing the party line no matter how ridiculous (or unworkable) the premise.
    This whole policy shows a complete lack of common sense and smacks of an opposition desperate to get headlines for something other than a runaway gay and a fat old man pulling his guts out to taxpayer funded hotel porn.
    Implementing a tax free threshold would be an easier giveaway to administer and would be no more selective than allowing me to save a couple of bucks a week at Nosh in Glen Innes buying eggplant and gourmet spuds. Of course something simple like a tax free threshold would not get Bob Jones hard and another building filled with numptycrats would it?

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — September 27, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  27. Tim, are you really that naive? One of the points raised before was that the argument for removing GST from fruit and vege was that it was “healthy”. BUT so are forzen peas. And do you really want to argue that produce imported from overseas should be free of GST but frozen peas grown in Hawkes Bay are not? Don’t you get that this is just a beginning to of GST complications? What about medicines? What about milk? Bread?

    And when people like you and Rob Salmond (over at KiwiBlog) argue that it won’t happen, and that it is easily administered in Oz (for example), you really have not looked into the true costs and complications over there. This really is an empty policy that will drive the thin edge of the wedge into GST and make it SO much more complicated and costly.

    Comment by David in Chch — September 27, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  28. I think if you apply the ‘not processed’ label it is actually not that hard to work out…now I am no big city lawyer though.

    So, if Labour were to make you absolute dictator over this law, Brownlee-style, it would indeed be simple. That, however is unlikely. More likely is that actual big-city lawyers hired by food companies would play games with this that us non-big-city-lawyers don’t really have a hope of imagining.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — September 27, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  29. More likely is that actual big-city lawyers hired by food companies would play games with this that us non-big-city-lawyers don’t really have a hope of imagining.

    Maybe I’m being naive but I can’t see many companies wasting money on legal battles to try and convince a judge a hamburger is a vegetable.

    There might be a few interesting debates around the margins – should raw peanuts be exempt? – but the UK and Aussies have had plenty of experience with these kinds of problems so their example should be able to inform the design of the policy.

    Comment by danylmc — September 27, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

  30. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up-tick_rule#cite_note-0

    The uptick rule refers to a trading restriction that disallows short selling of securities except on an uptick. For the rule to be satisfied, the short must be either at a price above the last traded price of the security, or at the last traded price if that price was higher than the price in the previous trade. The rule was defined by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which summarized it: “Rule 10a-1(a)(1) provided that, subject to certain exceptions, a listed security may be sold short (A) at a price above the price at which the immediately preceding sale was effected (plus tick), or (B) at the last sale price if it is higher than the last different price (zero-plus tick). Short sales were not permitted on minus ticks or zero-minus ticks, subject to narrow exceptions.”[1]
    The rule went into effect in 1938 and was removed when Rule 201 Regulation SHO became effective in 2007. In 2009, the reintroduction of the uptick rule was widely debated, and proposals for a form of its reintroduction by the SEC went into a public comment period on 2009-04-08.[2][3]

    Comment by blackspy — September 27, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  31. Without wishing to encourage Labour to put all their organic pluots in this particular basket, I note that even in places with stupidly complex sales tax exemptions for food (e.g. California), Burger King will still charge you sales tax on a Whopper, and I hope I’m not too naive in thinking that my 35 cents* actually goes to some government or another.

    *well I never went to Burger King in California since they have In-N-Out there but you know what I mean

    Comment by bradluen — September 27, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  32. the way I see it National is going to give me a tax cut and Labour will make the organic radicchio at Nosh cheaper. sweet.

    Comment by NeilM — September 27, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  33. It’s a theoretically sensible policy, that in practice is just stupid.

    – I’ve got no problem with complicating the tax system, if that complication brings benefits that outweigh the problems. But this doesn’t. I’m sure Danyl’s right, that we can learn from other jurisdictions and produce a workable application of fresh goods. But I just don’t think it’s worth it.

    – As someone has pointed out, the existing price variation for veg is much greater than the magnitude of GST. If people were that price sensitive, then they wouldn’t buy fresh stuff from supermarkets anyway – they’d go to markets, which are fairly easily accessible in most NZ cities. If price elasticity is too low, then this kind of policy is basically meaningless. So, it’s basically meaningless.

    – If the policy doesn’t change behaviour much (and I think it won’t), then I suspect that the main beneficiaries will actually be the middle class axis of pesto/balsamic/fennel evil (mmmmm, fennel…). I confess I don’t have numbers, and my local market is possibly not representative, but at the anecdotal level this is definitely the demographic I see at the market buying fresh veg on a Sunday morning.

    – Danyl is absolutely right about the bizarre cross subsidies that occur in the supermarket business, which effectively make the impact of GST on any one good an entirely arbitrary decision of the supermarket. And therefore make government tax policy an irrelevance.

    Comment by Dr Foster — September 27, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  34. and being paid for via taxing tobacco more it all sounds like middle class capture

    Comment by NeilM — September 27, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  35. “An unworkable lawyers wet dream”

    You, err, come across many unworkable lawyers?

    ***

    I, too, am no big-city lawyer. I’m just a humble big-city accountant. We have spent about 12 hours planning the changes to our systems and processes for the GST increase. A further 6 hours programming changes and testing. We are less than 25 employees, so consider ourselves SME.

    “Ha, surely your system should have anticipated a GST increase” Good point: when most of it was written 17 years ago, someone boo-boo-ed. And even if they HAD anticipated a change, they probably would not have anticipated how the IRD decided we will file GST returns going forward…

    We don’t sell food, luckily, but if we did and the gummint decided that some will be zero-rated or exempt from GST, we would need an entire new accounting system. Sure, us spending the money to do that will boost GDP – much as an earthquake does, i.e. in a way useful only to a narrow section of the economy.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 27, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  36. Mind you, I’m glad i’m not in the UK anymore: a TEMPORARY reduction in VAT by my namesake, in an attempt to stimulate the economy. It sure stimulated the acounting and IT professions.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 27, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  37. …in a way useful only to a narrow section of the economy.

    it all sounds like a good idea and I don’t object, although I think the beneficial effects will be marginal, but the problem is this is just a headline-grabbing point of difference from Labour rather than a substantive attempt at policy to address our economic woes – the real reason fruit and veggies cost so much.

    I think the problem for Labour will be in defending what is a very marginal call with “it will cure obesity and poverty”.

    Comment by NeilM — September 27, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

  38. Maybe I’m being naive but I can’t see many companies wasting money on legal battles to try and convince a judge a hamburger is a vegetable.

    Sure, but I can imagine plenty of companies finding it worth their while disputing the meaning of the word “unprocessed.”

    The UK and Aus do have plenty of experience with this, so the first thing Labour should be doing is quizzing them for cost-benefit analyses. Any bets on them having bothered to do that?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — September 27, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

  39. Read this thread and behold a generation brainwashed.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 27, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  40. @ David,This really is an empty policy that will drive the thin edge of the wedge into GST and make it SO much more complicated and costly.

    Relax David, just carry -on- and vote once -again- for that nice -Mr- Key.

    Comment by Galeandra — September 27, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  41. and being paid for via taxing tobacco more it all sounds like middle class capture

    If they take the GST off ukeleles* then you’re definitely right.

    *What could be more quintessentially middle-class than the civil servant’s favourite musical instrument?

    Comment by joe W — September 27, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  42. Ah, sanctuary – behold a generation of Labour supporters refusing to (1) accept defeat and (2) actually rebuild and (3) come up with realistic policies that can address the problems out there.

    And Galeandra – it will be a LONG time before I vote for a tired Labour party that seems bereft of ideas that are viable and realistic.

    I suppose you both think that that nice Mr Peters was framed and is innocent.
    And that that nice Mr “Taito” Fields was only guilty of wanting to help people.
    And …

    Oh why should I bother. You are both so blinkered. It’s why I tried to gave up on Labour last election. The attitude of “just vote for us, we know best” annoyed me greatly. I attempted to let my concerns be known and got the electronic equivalent of a pat on the head and a “There, there, we know better than you do”.

    Comment by David in Chch — September 27, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  43. Oops. Mixed two thoughts there.

    Meant to say “why I gave up on Labour last time”.

    Comment by David in Chch — September 27, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  44. I have to agree with David in Chch. I’d bascially love to be able to support Labour, but WTF? Is this the best they can do?

    Comment by Dr Foster — September 27, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  45. I too think it’s pointless to give up $250m in revenue (and therefore spending) for something that will achieve little.

    But I do love how the rightwing partisans are deriding this as tweaking that will have zero impact whereas any percentage change to the top income tax rate is a pure incentive that directly and completely changes behavior. The irony will continue to be lost on them I suspect…

    Comment by garethw — September 27, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  46. Whether you support the policy or not, it’s a bit silly to say it’s unworkable.

    Especially when the Prime Minister will decide that it’s actually very workable indeed, about three hours after the polls close on election day, and just before the Maori Party MPs ring Phil Goff.

    Comment by sammy — September 27, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  47. Bill English has trouble deciding where he lives, and clearly does not understand that a pea (frozen or not) is a vegetable.

    But (sigh)he is bang on the button with this. Labour have totally screwed up with this so called policy.

    It is utter stupidity. It is not a vote catcher.

    I suspect that Labour has engaged Crosby Textor. National pays Crosby Textor more.

    What else explains these asinine moves?

    Actually I retract the last comment, I have met several intelligent donkeys.

    Finding an intelligent Labour supporter is problematic.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — September 27, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

  48. GST is supposed to be a value added tax – that is, it’s supposed to be a tax paid on non-essentials. Yet thanks to Douglas, we pay it on everything. That’s “simpler”, but it screws a wider range of people and it disadvantages the poor who spend a larger proportion of their income on the essentials of life. No-one has yet to fix that fundamental imbalance – so props to Labour for an idea that’s about 20 years past its time.

    Who gives a flying fuck whether or not McCain will try and argue in court that the pineapple on their frozen pizza will be GST exempt – these are futile arguments that have been futile in other jurisdictions, and it’ll still be futile when they make the same argument here. Especially when there’s a significant amount of international jurisprudence to influence the decisions of the courts.

    The key point is that you’ll make it significantly easier if those on the lower end of the scale get that 15% off things like children’s clothes, books, nappies, fruit and vegetables, foods low in fat content, and even, gasp, a lower rate on electricity and gas, etcetera, etcetera, et-fucking-cetera.

    So while the NZ argues in the blogosphere in the petulant, “common sense is what we need” manner it’s most fond of, or about how much fun lawyers will have deciding what defines a biscuit, or how fresh does something have to be, exactly, in the real world there’s significant savings to be had for not only those people who’d be most affected by the GST rises, but also to employ a good chunk of nudge theory to get people to eat better. Benefits go further, low salaries go further, people are weaned off shit processed food.

    If National can incentivise ‘hard work’ by scrapping the top rate of tax, then why is it so wrong to incentivise good health and a prolonged positive impact on the health system by getting rid of GST on the things everyone needs to live?

    In fact, fuck it, I’d pay 17.5% tomorrow on all the shit I don’t need rather than pay 15%, week in, week out on the things I do need. Let me say now – all these arguments you’re claiming would be the end of the world if GST had specific applications only really signify the end of the ability to comprehend significant realities that only one other country in the world has refused to accept.

    Comment by Dizzy — September 27, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

  49. but the UK and Aussies have had plenty of experience with these kinds of problems so their example should be able to inform the design of the policy.

    Ah, yes… good of you to mention Australia, as the lobbyists make sure the Government is perfectly well aware that their clients (and big ticket donors) are not pleased that GST is not on the table in the so-called “tax summit”.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/put-gst-on-table-says-reserve-bank-director-graham-kraehe/story-e6frg8zx-1225919927679

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — September 27, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

  50. And anyone who thinks Australia’s tax system is so fucking brilliant is welcome to make the case for bringing back stamp duty on all house purchases — that should easily off-set a couple of hundred million a year.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — September 27, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  51. This is really bad for Phil Goff……

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10676493

    Comment by The Fox — September 27, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

  52. And anyone who thinks the UK and Australian poor eat bountiful harvests of fresh vegetables because they are VAT/GST exempt have obviously lived in different parts o those countries to me.
    So if it doesn’t encourage healthy eating it’s good to give the poor a break right? Well I’d suggest putting $250m into increased welfare targetted specifically at the poor instead of everyone would do a better job of that actually.

    Comment by garethw — September 27, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

  53. not that I’m a conspiracy theorist but aren’t MEAA and Crosby Textor both Australian? If Key wanted some good publcity then having MEAA attack an NZ icon would be one way of doing it.

    Comment by NeilM — September 27, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

  54. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard? Come up with a good comprehensive list. If it’s on the list: no GST; if it’s not the list GST is added. Sure, there will be things that aren’t on the list that should be and so on but, who cares. You’ve still made an improvement. Whether it’s a meaningful improvement’s another question…

    Comment by terence — September 27, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

  55. I never knew how much power the vegan/ vegetarian lobby group had inside the Labour Party.
    That is my vote gone elsewhere.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — September 27, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

  56. Is it not the same Peter Dunne who campaigned for no GST on local body rates?

    Comment by DeepRed — September 27, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  57. You have missed the best bit of the day (Monday) on this topic: heard on RNZ Evening Report or whatever its called at 5pm: Goff said it would cost the average household about $300 a year and Mr English (…..) said that was about $1 a week (!) And at the following news summary, it was gone! Go for it! Ride him hard. Only you can!

    Comment by Stephanie Chilcott — September 28, 2010 @ 5:01 am

  58. @dizzy- if Labour has any real interest in doing the right thing about obesity and diet and fresh food costs and gst on staple items and services perhaps that decade while they were in power would have been the best time to have acted. Now they sound like a bunch of fools trying to create a USP one minor points of difference at a time and while they may amass enough points in time to do that the USP will be lost in the aura of jobsworth beauracracy they create in the process. Labour needs evolution not a mild set of star jumps.

    Comment by leon — September 28, 2010 @ 5:59 am

  59. There’s no problem defining “fresh” and “unprocessed” food in legislation. We already define these in legislation. “Fresh” and “unprocessed” foods are some of the classes of foods that do not require nutrition labeling.

    I can’t see why there is a huge problem for businesses. Businesses already manage to charge different prices for different products.

    On the other hand, I doubt that there are significant votes in this for labour. But honestly I don’t care. It’s a good idea. Labour should do it because it makes sense. I’d like to see our politicians generally doing things because they are good ideas, rather than because they are vote capturing devices.

    Comment by Richard Love — September 28, 2010 @ 6:42 am

  60. Leon: if Labour has any real interest in doing the right thing about obesity and diet and fresh food costs and gst on staple items and services perhaps that decade while they were in power would have been the best time to have acted.

    Say, by banning unhealthy food in schools, where our children learn eating habits they will keep for life? Because I’m sure you probably complained about that one.

    Comment by Simon Poole — September 28, 2010 @ 7:08 am

  61. The policy is pointless populism.
    They should be encouraging people to grow their own vegetables instead. That would save far more than $1 per week…

    I have to laugh at Cunliffe saying that the cigarette tax increase will cover the GST shortfall.Go smokers go.
    Hmm, a lot of maori smoke. Given the loathing Labour have for the Maori Party, is this all part of a grand plan to reduce their constituency.

    Comment by David — September 28, 2010 @ 7:22 am

  62. All this ‘GST off fresh food’ bullshit is such a farce. As this comments thread demonstrates, the interpretation would be an expensive nightmare for business owners and the ‘savings’ would amount to about $1.87 off the grocery bill of the average state-funded loafer so what’s the point? It is simply another proposal for social engineering and nannying. Worse than that… there is and implied value here that preserved and processed food is somehow ‘bad’, which is absolute bullshit; modern society would not survive without a plentiful supply of food and you cannot achieve this by reverting to a village economy.

    Comment by Dave Mann — September 28, 2010 @ 7:36 am

  63. This is an awfully long debate, for a policy that has about zero chance* of actually being implemented.

    *Actual odds of Labour winning the next election.

    Comment by Brad — September 28, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  64. Is “I would love to vote for labour but drama X means I never can” the new catch cry of the right?

    It seems a bit peculiar

    Comment by greg — September 28, 2010 @ 8:45 am

  65. That’s because, Greg, many of us saying that have voted for Labour in the past. I voted for their candidate in my electorate up until the last election. I couldn’t do it last time. They had completely and utterly lost their way.

    I am centre-left, but am not tied to any ideology. If someone is promulgating a good idea, I will listen and consider. And for the last many years, Labour hasn’t really generated anything that made me go “Hey! Interesting idea.”

    Comment by David in Chch — September 28, 2010 @ 8:54 am

  66. @simon-I thought banning junk food in schools was a good idea as was energy saving lite bulbs and was given a hard time by dimwitted right leaners for saying so. Follow where Im going?

    Comment by leon — September 28, 2010 @ 9:03 am

  67. David – while that might be your reasoning (and perfectly reasonable), I don’t know that the same can be said for everyone who’s been bandying it about.

    And it often seems to be tied to the implication that the commenter in question would vote for Labour if only they were more like National.

    Comment by greg — September 28, 2010 @ 10:24 am

  68. Yes, Greg, that’s true. I would note that I wasn’t generalising, just pointing out that for many of us the statement is actually correct.

    One should always avoid generalisations. ;-)

    Comment by David in Chch — September 28, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  69. So tired of ‘I once voted for Labour’ comments – piss off we are over you attaching yourself like a barnacle to whomever you think is going to better meet your immediate needs and not the needs of the country. I get it…Labour was great when you earnt under 70K, but as soon as you moved outside of this bracket you were like “screw everyone else and their public services, I want myself I tax cut so I can go on more holidays.”

    Comment by Tim — September 28, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  70. …as opposed to: Labour in its last term have drafted crap legislation, have no vision, and are ethically challenged, but they hold my vote, despite retaining most of the previous administration, and not because I think they will be any different, but because my blinkers don’t allow anyone else to come into view…

    The giddy heights of your moral high-ground must be sweet indeed…

    Comment by Sam — September 28, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  71. The party and union hacks always come out in force when things are really bad.

    Comment by leon — September 28, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  72. ‘and being paid for via taxing tobacco more it all sounds like middle class capture’

    What if the tobacco is fresh?

    *crawls off to have an aneurysm*

    Comment by Gregor W — September 29, 2010 @ 3:47 pm


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