Tagged: Unfinished Business

Douglas’s Orewa speech

Having been selected by Don Brash as the “greatest living New Zealander”, Sir Roger Douglas has made his way to the former’s favoured speaker’s corner: the Orewa Rotary Club. He brought with him a “new” tax plan – essentially yet another reworking of the ideas which have circulated since the publication of Unfinished Business in 1993. Reading the report in today’s New Zealand Herald, under the new plan, the first $30,000 of income would be “tax free” in return for paying for one’s own health insurance, retirement and welfare costs. Above the $30,000, a flat tax rate of 15% would...

Conference 2008: ‘Unfinished Business’ 2.0

It seems fitting (was it deliberate?) that Douglas used the theme of the 1984 cult film Ghostbusters for his soundbite moment in his PowerPoint presentation to delegates yesterday afternoon. 1984, of course, was the year the Fourth Labour Government began its programme of neo-liberal economic reform. Yesterday, “Growthbusters” was what Douglas termed the current government led by the Labour Party since 1999. But not actual economic growth – this would be difficult to justify, given that New Zealand has enjoyed uninterrupted growth since the brief 1998 recession. Instead, he used the decline in productivity by half since 2000 as evidence...

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