Letter of the week: V M Fergusson, Mt Eden
The predictable attacks on the Greens' progressive taxation policy need to be exposed. What are these people fighting for apart from self-interest?
Over the past 40 years, the decrease in progressive taxation and enabling of tax- free income from speculation and other questionable sources has led us to our current outrageous levels of poverty and inequality.
Unless we collectively decide to do something about this parlous situation, we are heading for an ugly violent society like the USA. Progressive taxation can be devised to enable us to improve the essentials for a good society, in the form of strong government (local and national), and well-funded public services.
As Polly Toynbee put it in the Guardian: "Nothing you buy in a shop is worth what we buy collectively: the health, education, beautiful public spaces, cleaner greener world, or the wellbeing of others. All these are what make life worth living – and taxes are the price."
Political will is all that is required, and an understanding from the public that a more equal society is in all our interests.
Unburdened by knowledge
Two of your Weekend Herald opinion writers suggest that we discuss the Green's tax proposal. The average income from hands-off investment is 4 per cent before tax. A 2 per cent wealth tax takes 50 per cent of that income. Add to that the proposed income tax, and you end up with a 92 per cent marginal tax rate on income.
Call it wealth tax, income tax, or daylight robbery, the stampede of capital flight will be a
spectacle to watch.
It shows that the Greens are rather unburdened by knowledge about the economy. Or it is the Green's last-ditch attempt to fish for the uninformed envy-vote, all the while knowing that it will never be accepted by a coalition party.
K. H. Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
Mind the child
Over 135,000 children, in Auckland alone, are overdue for dental checkups. What about the rest of the NZ children? We had an excellent dental service which was gradually undermined and disbanded.
Today we have pre school and junior class children having all their rotten teeth removed in hospital, and living with pain and ill health as a result of lack of dental care.
We seem to be going backwards instead of forwards in the care of our children, with lack of baby and preschool Plunket checks; limited disability services; child poverty; food deprivation; obesity; rotten teeth; child abuse and deaths; snatching of newborn babies from mothers in hospital hours after giving birth; fostering out of families; need for Oranga Tamariki intervention; dysfunctional families; foetal alcohol and drug syndromes; damp rental accommodation; TV and smartphone babysitters; the list goes on.
These children are our future and so many of them do not stand a chance of making it into healthy adulthood. Courts are seeing younger serious youth cases each year. Put the money, time and effort in at the bottom to grow a stronger society. We had healthy children, where have they gone?
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
The business article detailing the way banks are removing themselves from face-to-face contact with their customers (Weekend Herald, July 7) assumes that the increase in online transactions is the depositors' preference, but this is not so.
By closing branches, refusing to handle cheques (no more stop-payments), limiting their cash transactions, making their opening hours and days more restrictive, and resorting to answering only generalised inquiries by email or telephone, they are succeeding in
taking away our conveniences one by one.
Remember, they started by bribing depositors to go online with bonus interest offers, and tempting those always in a hurry to resort to automatic or statutory payments so they didn't have to bother keeping tabs on their outgoings and praising the comparative accessibility of the computer so you didn't have to leave home.
They said online was easier, which it isn't, unless you are an exceedingly exact person who can decipher their definitions and remember their passwords in the right place.
They said it was safer, which it isn't. The scammers are getting more and more prevalent and a whole new enterprise has been launched furnishing security against financial viruses.
They are taking away our control of our own money, and we are doing their work for them, so they can shed more of their employees.
Anne Wilks, Devonport.
Promoting her book Me and White Supremacy, author Layla Saad pays lip-service to the complexity of human experience noting the marginalisation of women, LGBTQ, the disabled and others (Canvas, July 4).
"Lip-service" because, after that, it's wall-to-wall white evil as though it's the only problem on the globe. Saad moves seamlessly from "white privilege" to "white supremacy" as though they're the same; and, of course, she forgets to mention the new supremacy, of the educated "woke" elite, which oppresses everyone.
Most important, she misdirects attention away from the behaviour of Black Lives Matter, Antifa and others dedicated to righteous violence.
Gavan O'Farrell, Lower Hutt.
Aotearoa has the worst domestic violence figures in the western world, and a researcher from Australia who has spent years studying the issue has stated that a lack of compassion is what drives much of the problem. This is obvious in the dreadful comments online about Siouxsie Wiles (Canvas, July 4), a smart and professional scientist who has helped the country avoid the worst of the current pandemic. These comments are totally unfounded, unfair and simply reflect the sick-minded attitude of the abusers. Please take a long hard look in the mirror.
Jeremy Dunningham, Napier.
I don't often agree with John Roughan, but his assessment (Weekend Herald, July 4) of Phil Twyford's light rail scheme to the airport was pretty well on the money.
My main disagreement with Roughan would be the fact that Covid did not end the scheme. It was finished off by NZ First who understood its folly. That means it could rear its head again after the election. That would be a pity.
It is now time to reconsider better projects. Long-time campaigners wanted a rapid heavy rail scheme from Penrose to Wiri via Onehunga, Māngere and the airport. This will be a lot better and much cheaper for this area. It will connect Māngere to the rest of Auckland and provide the best connectivity for Greater Auckland and its surrounding provinces with the airport.
Mass transit, which light rail suits, is better suited to urban streets to aid densification, discourage car use and as replacements and improvements of less popular bus services. It could, therefore, be developed on the Auckland isthmus arterial roads. It's time to return to the more sensible idea from Penrose to the airport and time to get on with it.
Niall Robertson, Balmoral.
A quick word
Clark, Gluckman, Fyfe: "Save the economy." Ardern: "Save lives." Take your pick. Peter Beyer, Sandringham.
I'm surprised at the numbers wanting to get out of the 14 days quarantine at the border.
The only people you want to see are your friends and family and are exactly the people you should be most interested in protecting. J Paling, Glendowie.
Perhaps the National Party slogan could be "Let's Keep Moaning". James Newlove, Warkworth.
Since this is an era when many people are concerned about "fairness" and "social justice", what is your "fair share" of what someone else has worked for? Ted Joyce, Pāpāmoa Beach.
To avoid Ghislaine Maxwell being permanently "silenced" in jail they should bring her, and the whole trial, to New Zealand; it would be good to get justice for these girls. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Sadly for Kylee Guy and her children, her chances of closure are remote. And the police will just say, again, we did our job. Eric Strickett, Henderson.
If you want to learn from history, all statues should stay. A Gifford, Tauranga.
Why are we paying huge salaries to Watercare executives to create this disaster? Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
It is difficult to take any comment by Watercare seriously when water is pouring down the drain under their watch. Mary Tallon, Mt Albert.
Would it be silly to suggest that the leaks from border quarantine facilities might be because the Government has contacted the job to Watercare? P Raine, Devonport.
It seems to me ironic that Pauline Hanson is critical of people not being able to speak English. I struggle most of the time to understand the point she is trying to make because of the way she speaks. David Patterson, Paraparaumu.
Anyone in a position of trust, like Michelle Boag and Hamish Walker, who release people's private information should be prosecuted. John Laing, Drury.
Doesn't National want to return to power? Pamela Russell, Orakei.
Let's give some tourist dollars to the Cook Islands, I am sure they would prefer this to any handouts or loans. This country has the NZ dollar as its national currency ... well, at least at the moment. Chris Parker, Campbells Bay.
The word Satan literally means "the accuser". So he must literally "lol" when online trolls call Siouxsie Wiles "a satanic witch". Stephen Bayldon, Mt Roskill.