MOTORISTS can be seen entering and leaving St Hill St via six different streets and 12 different directions. However, were any motorist to rely on a street sign to assist them, they have a problem. There is only one street sign to be found anywhere in St Hill St and that is at the Dublin St end.
The other 16 road signs, previously found at the six intersections, have been removed and not replaced.
What is the reason for this? None of the street names have changed and "awaiting new signs" is not an excuse. Nor is "completion of the improvements for cyclists" as these appear to have been completed, so why have the signs not been replaced?
Their absence, coupled with the existing inadequate turning lane markings on St Hill St — which are obscured to other motorists as soon as one vehicle has to stop at the intersection — are a damning sign of council mismanagement and incompetence.
We road users deserve better and demand to know when the traffic management team employed by the Wanganui District Council will start to undertake its duties in a responsible and accountable manner.
Quality of life
How money works, G.R. Scown, depends on what goal is to be achieved.
While many examples exist of governments around the world wasting money there are also many examples of corporations wasting money at the cost of wealth generation.
Governments have taxpayers to help overcome cash shortages, while companies have shareholders and in some cases the taxpayers. Remember the bail-outs of banks a few years ago, which was not the first time companies have been bailed out by taxpayers.
Wealth creation is one way to use money, however the continuing existence of the inequality gap would appear to indicate this use of money is favouring a few, not the majority.
All governments have several objectives they are wanting to achieve when they set tax rates. In Denmark, where the lowest individual tax rate for 2019 is 55.8 per cent, nine out of 10 people, when surveyed, said they happily paid their taxes. For them it is not about wealth creation but investing in their society or "purchasing a quality of life".
In 2016 and 2017 Denmark was found to be the happiest nation in the world and although Finland replaced them at the top in 2018 and 2019, Denmark only slipped one place to second happiest. The US, where wealth creation is top priority, has dropped from 14th place in 2017 to 19th in 2019.
What the Danish government is attempting to do is ensure as best they can that the physiological needs of their society are attended to. To achieve that, the citizens are willing to pay high tax rates, high when compared to most other countries of the world.
Its projected 10th placing in the GDP per capita ranking for 2019 by the IMF indicates they are not sacrificing the creation of wealth.
While Aotearoa is placed as the eighth happiest nation, work obviously needs to be done. By providing for future generations' physiological needs when looking to pass laws, we could ensure we are purchasing a quality of life, just as Denmark is doing for its citizens.
Capital gains tax
The game is over with the capital gains tax. The property speculators and their media mavens won.
The talk on capital gains tax had been fraught by media right-wing bluster with dishonest headlines like "Capital gains tax could blow up Kiwi tax system" and "Capital gains tax punishes hard work". The AM Show's well-heeled pundits guffawed, "Great work, Labour, you bunch of socialist twits".
The far-right wing Taxpayers' Union has been funding a vast social media and email campaign to unfairly discredit the CGT. After the initial tax briefing a month ago,
Newshub's Tova O'Brien chased Winston Peters down the hall of parliament yelling at him repeatedly that "Capital gains tax doesn't work anywhere!".
If this tax doesn't work, why do all responsibly prosperous nations continue to use it? Surely, with daily reports of cracks in the health, education system, poverty and housing, we could use some extra income. After all, any cursory look at the OECD website demonstrates that we have one of the lowest tax burdens, while we spend comparatively little. And it shows.
Scare tactics like rent increases should be looked at closely. There is no intrinsic reason to raise rents. Capital gains are not taken until the property is sold. Regulations as those that exist in most developed nations on rent controls would easily stop rent gouging.
Landlords are now making off like bandits ... still tax-free when the bright line is honoured. Trader status is rarely enforced.
Few Kiwis other than speculators would have actually been affected. Additionally, the Labour-led coalition admitted that the CGT proposal could have been modified to include tweaks to account for renovations, improvements and inflation.
Still, the latest poll at the end of March by new Horizon Research showed that almost 10 per cent more approved of the tax than opposed. But some powerful people who have profited greatly at our expense under neo-liberalism had a lot to lose.
They appear to have gotten to a spineless New Zealand First, who torpedoed the tax. We all lose.
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