A bit rich of Cullen to call John Key a ‘rich prick’

Photoshopped image credit: SadButTrue

Would you like to earn $1,000 per day? I mean you personally, not your business, less its staff costs and overheads. How would you like to be paid $1,000 a day to talk about a report that you have just produced, along with others, and for which you have been paid a similarly handsome sum. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, that is the situation our champion of the poor, Michael Cullen, finds himself in. He who introduced a higher top rate of tax at a salary of $60,000 in 1999. He who now recommends that the KiwiSaver accounts of everyone who earns over $48,000 be negatively affected by CGT. Yes. That’s him. I’m not impressed, and Barry Soper isn’t impressed either. quote.

It’s a bit rich (with rich being the operative word) for Sir Michael Cullen to have once called John Key a rich prick, when he seems to be doing the best to become one himself.

Is there any wonder why at the end of interviews over his Tax Working Group’s report he politely says it was his pleasure.

That’s because the cash register begins ticking over the moment he’s approached to clarify aspects of his group’s comprehensive report – and it will continue long after the Government’s finally given its view of the report at the end of April. end quote.

If anything proves that this government is completely out of its depth, this is it. Not only do they have to farm out everything to working groups, because they are incapable of doing the work themselves, but now that the report is complete, they are unable to promote or discuss it without help, and so they still have to engage consultants to do it. Can these incompetent fools do nothing but talk? quote.

As some sort of justification for keeping him on the job he cited the last Tax Working Group, back in 2010, and its chairman Professor Bob Buckle and all the work he was required to do after their report was delivered to the Key Government.

Certainly Buckle remembers it was full on, with him giving speeches up and down the country about our tax system.

But there’s one significant difference between his working group and the current one, they weren’t paid anything for producing the report or explaining it afterwards.

The secretariat for that group was run through Victoria University and not through Treasury, like this one has been. end quote.

Hey, Bazz… no worries. It is just taxpayers’ money. Nothing to see here. quote.

Truth of the matter is that it’s not Cullen’s job to clarify aspects of his report – and it’s certainly not his job to indulge in the politics of the issue.
That’s the Government’s job.

His work ended with the delivery of the report and its recommendations for the Government to ponder from now until the end of April.
Ponder is probably the wrong word, “persuade” is a more appropriate one because that’s what it’ll be doing to get Winston Peters across the line.

A Newspaper. end quote.


‘Persuade’ is the operative word. Labour already knows it wants CGT. The Greens want CGT too. Now they have to persuade both the public, the media and, of course, Winston Peters that it is a good idea really and that it is ‘fair’ even though we are the only OECD country without the tax… except Belgium and Switzerland, that is.

But then, there is this…. quote.

As I understand it, taxpayers’ money can only be used to explain government policies. It cannot be used to promote ideas which are not yet policy. So the payments to Cullen are probably illegal. Care to comment State Services New Zealand?

Matthew Hooton end quote.

Interesting point by Matthew Hooton. Whether he is right or not (and I suspect he might be), this whole business is a disgrace. Cullen is the chairman of a working group that has delivered its report. He should now disappear into the sunset and the government should be front-footing its own policies.

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