Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wheres the Love? [Extended Political Animal Edition]
Government cost to business hasn't been ameliorated by today's quadrangle of
State interference that kicked off, appropriately, on April 1.

Just we wee addendum to the original article. In parliament today, listeners would have heard Michael Cullen et al waxing lyrically about how much the Labour Government had "given" to New Zealanders over the years and the latest raft on handouts, mentioned below were added to the long list.

Labour gave us free student loans, more holidays, 20 free hours childcare,higher wages,more holidays,corporate tax cuts, yadda, yadda.

The point is clear to me and underlined by a great speech by Act's Heather Roy who just happened to mention that Labour gave us none of those things. It was our money to begin with and how about giving some of it back so we can make our own decisions about what we want to do with our moola!

Originally published @ Share Investor Blog 1 April 2008

I cant help myself talking about it, politics is intrinsically linked to investing and business and in New Zealand our economy is hugely influenced by what the government of the day does to it more than most global economies.

The introduction and trumpeting today by our Labour government of 4 things that "they are proud of" that will "help business" has less to do with helping business but more to do with election year and keeping control over the economy and its participants.

The much ballyhooed 3% cut in corporate tax rates, taxpayer handouts to business for research and development, employer contributions to Kiwisaver and the lift of the minimum wage to 12 bucks all run against each other in their purpose and execution.

The over hyped tax cut and R & D subsidy for our corporates hides the fact that Kiwisaver, the associated paper work and the lift in wages easily dwarfs the meager 3% cut already.

Include all the other government imposed costs to business over the last 9 years, like higher ACC, energy and carbon taxes and nonsense like employer funded maternity leave(what is wrong with the family paying, a novel idea I know, but just an idea) and an extra weeks leave for workers and even the blind, deaf, dribbling and Labour voters(OK maybe that is a stretch) can see how far behind business is.

The tax cut would have to be at least down to a 25% rate to get business back to where it was in 1999, in terms of costs and return of capital.

That way, business could afford to fund R & D from cashflow instead of another army of extra State funded bureaucrat's handing out taxpayer money to those they see should get our money-I mean these people picking business winners? I doubt many of them can remember their PIN numbers let alone pick good businesses.

What is missing from today's election focused "take more it and give some back" approach to business is a bold statement to business, especially small business, the back bone of this country, that the country values your contribution and we are going to reward your entrepreneurship.

State attached funding via R & D subsidies and other quasi government welfare schemes, extra business expense and paperwork isn't a good way to show that we love business.

I fear the present administration doesn't like the independence and confidence that self employment or owning your own business brings and are doing everything they can to inextricably link business owners quest for economic freedom by weighting business and therefore the economy down with cost and bureaucracy.

A 3% company tax cut isn't going to cut it for those hard working individuals who own companies and in fact bypasses those who are sole traders entirely.

Its time to show business we love them.

Not the opposite.

Related Political Animal Reading

Labour's State Control Out of control

c Share Investor & Political Animal 2008

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