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Larry's Memo: March 15

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| Thursday, March 15, 2012

Larry's Memo: March 15

Super Thursday – The Battle of the Speeches

First off today was David Shearer. It was a fluffy kind of speech. Not much substance. Some of it has emerged before.

It looks like Labour will keep a capital gains tax policy and dump the $5,000 tax-free threshold.

That makes sense. The tax-free cost billions but delivered little benefits. One of Labour's key demographics, the low income vote, don't pay much, if any, tax.

No word on the other crazy policies like GST-free fruit and vegetables and extending Working for Families to beneficiaries.

Mr Shearer's buzz phrases were 'pro growth', 'transforming the economy' and  'bold decisions'.

The kinds of things all politicians trumpet but rarely deliver.

On the other side of the fence the PM announced a revamp of government departments. A 'Super Ministry' help supercharge the economy according to the PM.

They are merging some departments and capping the public service numbers.

This is all fine but the interesting things about the PM's speech today are the 10 targets that both the Ministers and CEO's will have to achieve.

They will be benchmarked I guess against these targets. From welfare to crime to education to early childhood education. The PM expects major progress to be made.

The downside is that now the targets are out there, the voter and the opposition will expect them to be achieved.

It’s a risky strategy.


Otago Rugby

Dunedin City Council agrees to bailout the rugby union. They will forgive $480k.

In return there will be security around the stadium. All Black tests are guaranteed. There's a North/South game. The Highlanders and NPC team will play there even though they were always going to. The BNZ will sort the other nearly $2m loan with the NZRU.

Mayor Dave Cull gave the ORFU a serve accusing them of dishonesty and incompetence. I think there will more to come on the governance.

Bottom line is that the council I think didn't have much of a choice around this. They weren't going to get the $480k.

This option provides them around $200k for the North/South game plus revenue to service the debt on the stadium.

It looks like a no brainer.

Makes you wonder whether the five councillors who voted against it could count.


Chris Cairns

We are in the summing up of this libel case.

Overnight we heard how Cairns’ contract of $1m was cancelled, of which Cairns gave up $700k. I'm not sure why Cairns didn't claim breach of contract at that point if he was dismissed without cause.

There's a lot of stuff in this case that is hard to figure.

Like why Cairns didn't bring the diamond traders in as witnesses that the large sums of money inserted into his bank account was legitimate.

Like why Modi didn't bring Mongia and Tony Grieg to the stand. Second hand evidence was given that they accused Cairns of match fixing.

There's a lot of he said she said in this case, and not a lot of hard concrete evidence.

I continue to feel that Cairns loses this even if he wins.

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