Wealth tax burden
The Greens' proposed wealth tax (NZ Herald, November 24) would mean those who are widowed and retired could be liable to pay around $10,000 a year to live in their
Our old family home's council valuation is just under $2 million; the house itself is a modest 130sq m 1970s Keith Hay Home - the value is in the land. It is not one of the "really quite lavish houses in Auckland, whose owners have paid off their mortgage".
On top of this "wealth tax" to central government is around $4500 in council rates every year.
With this proposed "wealth" tax, it would mean $14,500 in payments to central and local government, which I believe is punitive. With the price of Auckland homes skyrocketing, many widowed or single pensioners who have worked hard to be debt-free in their retirement will be faced with a similar scenario and without the means to pay this tax.
Congratulations to the Greens, they've managed to come up with a proposal that makes Labour's capital gains tax look good.
Claire Teirney, Whangaparāoa.
Poor Adrian Orr. Not only has he been charged with controlling inflation, ensuring sustainable employment and financial stability, but now is directed to control house prices (NZ Herald, November 25) as well.
Do we need a Government as well, as it seems the Reserve Bank will have it all covered?
Finance Minister Robertson floats extending the "bright line test" to longer than five years for the housing market, but what of commercial property, land, shares and other assets which benefit from increased prices on sale? And how on earth will that help first home buyers who may have to wait even longer to acquire an investor's rental property, by which time it will have increased in value even further.
June Kearney, West Harbour.
No community transmission in Queensland, Victoria, NSW for four weeks. All the Australian state borders are opening. The Aussies are welcoming New Zealanders to their country and indeed paying us to come over and work.
No community cases in New Zealand for ages, just a few imported and in isolation hotels.
Can someone please explain why my (healthy) teenage daughters who are studying in Sydney can't come home to spend Christmas with their family in Auckland without two weeks in MIQ?
By the way, they self-isolated coming into NZ in March and did two weeks in quarantine in Sydney in August.
Warren Couillault, Remuera.
I'm more than happy to follow the Covid-19 guidelines to keep me and everyone safe but, on a shopping trip last week, I was surprised how many stores appear to be not playing their part.
I had problems finding the QR Code to scan in some places – either it was in an obscure place, or it was so high up I could barely reach it. A few minutes' observation proved I was not the only one experiencing problems. Some places only had one sign on display by the entrance, so if a queue was about to form then most often people just walked past. When I told the attendant at the gas station the code on the glass door would not scan she said it had "faded in the sunlight".
We're about to hit the busy shopping season. I suggest now is a good time to review those QR Code posters, look at how (and if) they are being used, re-print them and make sure they are easily accessed.
Chris Thompson, Rothesay Bay.
Right hand man
A photo is worth a thousand words sure rings true in the one Shane Te Pou uses in his excellent opinion piece (NZ Herald November 24). The look says it all. He is shaking hands with his hero.
I think describing Chris Liddell as an enabler sums up perfectly why he is not suitable for our support in his quest to be appointed to the OECD.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.
The opinion piece by Shane Te Pou (NZ Herald, November 24) is a textbook lesson in clear journalism.
In a few words, he distinguishes accurately between the American system of political control and our, to me at least, far preferable Westminster system.
He then makes a very clear case for great caution in any support by us for Chris Liddell's advancement beyond the Trump cabinet.
Finally, inferring between his lines, he convinces people like me yet again how privileged we are, disregarding any wayward current personalities, to be governed under a constitutional monarchy and not an elected president. My real thanks for an article worth preserving for my grandchildren
Richard Leary, Browns Bay.
For the past 20 or so years I have religiously made a minimum of 15 donations a year to various approved service providers, with St Johns being my main choice.
Because I set aside a fund earning interest to make these donations I was happy to do so. Now with those interest rates cascading down to almost nothing I am not in a position to continue donations.
This must be having a dramatic effect on those organisations struggling to survive.
Russell McCullough, Ōrewa.
Last night I was disappointed a TV show highlighted a young woman speed-eating chicken nuggets.
This practice would eventually harm anyone's health and wellbeing. It looked like active promotion of the young woman's chosen interest.
Given serious global food shortages I am surprised this would be presented with such gusto.
What would those suffering from hunger, or from a depleted refugee background think and feel watching this presentation?
The source of the food is in all likelihood from caged miserable chickens fed antibiotics and hormones.
Helen Falla, Thames.
It's not a sensible idea to rebuke our biggest export market over Hong Kong.
We may find China's human rights imperfect but how about the US still having a prison at Guantanamo for prisoners never convicted and often tortured?
Then there is Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel. We would have no export markets if we start insulting them all.
Also what on earth is the advantage of being in the Five Eyes alliance? I presume it is so the US can make use of the spy facility at Waihopai.
Vince West, Milford.
Steve Adams is obviously a very good basketball player, and also a very nice man but, to be paid $50 million for playing basketball for two years is frankly, obscene.
When there are millions of people in the world who struggle to feed their families or can't get a job, it indicates that the sporting world has gone mad.
Apparently, most All Blacks are paid at least four times the average wage, just for playing one game of rugby a week for about 40 weeks, plus daily practice, then complain because they are tired. Get a real job guys.
R Jones, Ōmokoroa.
Like Mike Howell (NZ Herald, November 24), when driving I get distracted by the thumping noise of extremely loud "music" coming from inside a nearby vehicle. One can imagine the vehicle expanding and contracting with each thump.
I cannot understand how the driver inside can think sensibly, or concentrate on negotiating hazards on the road. Everyone inside must be set up for early-onset deafness.
Why does OSH insist that ears are protected on building sites, etc, when people inside vehicles are willing to expose themselves to such damaging noise. Pity any children who might also be in the vicinity of these ridiculously powerful speakers.
Below is a quote from the NZ AA: "By way of comparison, a jackhammer emits about 100 decibels; a jumbo jet on take-off 140 decibels. Hearing impairment can occur at noise levels above 75 decibels."
I wonder how many decibels are generated by these mobile noise machines.
Perhaps we, who are offended and physically affected by this show-off behaviour, should make a point of taking the registration number and reporting the offence to the police? If enough people complain, perhaps we might be taken seriously.
K. Mansell, Greenlane.
Short & sweet
When announcing and increasing the minimum wage, it basically costs the Government nothing as it already pays all its staff the living wage which is some $4 higher. The impact is only on private employers both large and small. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
All genuine, certified self-contained vehicles should have enough height to stand to cook and have an ablution cubicle, with waste holding tanks able to be emptied in the dump stations generously provided by councils throughout the country. Warren Cossey, Whangamatā.
I'm disgusted that we now have a second Green Party MP after Chloe Swarbrick (in Parliament of all places) insulting and denigrating the elderly. Ross Nielsen, Half Moon Bay.
The noise from fireworks continues, as does the noise from those wanting them banned. Here's a compromise – ban the noisy ones. There's plenty of amazing fireworks that do no more than flare, crackle or fizz. Steve Brinkman, Titirangi.
Why all the fuss over banks closing their doors? I have not been in a bank for years; that is what ATMs, online banking, and mortgage brokers are for. The focus should be switching to Kiwibank and making it stronger. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Any recommendation from Donald Trump is the equivalent of "the kiss of death". Ivan Priaulx, Remuera.
Here's an idea to save 100% at the Black Friday Sales. Don't go. Richard Carey, Manly.