Business

A political leader Australia could only hope for?

JOHN Key won the recent New Zealand election in a landslide.

Unlike our dissembling pollies here, without cowardice he came, he saw and he conquered what was a basket-case economy in his first two terms.

Unfazed by short-term polls and the 24-hour media cycle! It's probably something we haven't witnessed in Australia since the Hawke-Keating years notwithstanding the fact that the Howard government arguably took some tough medicine early.

In 2008 the New Zealand Key had inherited from a Labour coalition with a plethora of single-focus minor parties collapsed into recession like many of the OECD countries. It can now boast just about the best economy in the OECD.

Nominal GDP growth is 7%, inflation 1.5%, retail sales are growing by 4% per annum and consumer confidence is exceptionally high and has been for six or so quarters.

Business investment is at 10%, growth is 4% and the unemployment rate has been dropping significantly for two years. Makes laggard Australia across the ditch look pathetic, doesn't it?

So what was Key's key? He simply took much of the regulation out of the economy, boosted business opportunity and entrepreneurism by increasing the GST and slicing company and personal tax and eschewing a capital gains tax and took the fat out of public administration.

His NZ is now in his words: "the finest little nation on earth".

His biggest move was to increase the GST from 12.5% to 15% and continued to have it apply to almost every facet of expenditure, unlike the Australian hotchpotch.

Horror of all horrors, but the reality is that at 15% the rate is lower than in most of the OECD. To compensate for this, Key reduced company tax and sliced the top PAYE tax rate from 39 cents in the dollar to just 33 cents.

That's 16 cents less than we'll pay here once Hockey's tinkering with the tax system gets the nod from our Senate.

But that was not all. He de-regulated the labour market, easing the stranglehold organised labour had on business and by extension, the economy.

He extended no-reason dismissal laws to the first 90 days of employment, he squeezed mandatory superannuation and he ticked nine-day fortnights for struggling businesses.

He also cut a burgeoning public service feeding off a plethora of welfare alternatives by reducing to just three simple categories the available support options for Kiwis and making dependence on the public purse harder to get.

However, Key was not above stoking the fire of nationalism.

In something of a contradiction, he brought back knighthoods yet promised a referendum this year to rid the Kiwi flag of the Union Jack.

A conservative, he legalised marriage equality, something which would give our Bible-bashing conservative politicians the vapours.

In comparing NZ with Australia, he recently said: "Our tax system is broad based, low-rate, our labour laws are more flexible and our investment in infrastructure is improving dramatically."

Chalk and cheese!

Topics:  bob lamont economy gladstone business john key opinion



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Family scoop bargain $160K 'holiday home' in Gladstone

BARGAIN: A Biloela family has purchased 21 Ann St for $160,000. They try to get to Gladstone at least once a month.

ADVERTISED as "renovate or demolish", but snapped up for getaway.

Nightclub hell: Gladstone teen's horror night out

Molly Dawes had drink spiked while out in Gladstone.

"The second time it happened I don't remember anything past 11.30pm.

He burnt teen lover's face, wiped faeces on police cell

**** WARNING: DO NOT LIGHTEN ***TOUGH JOB: Edon Place staff witness the sad cycle of domestic violence in the Bundaberg region each day.Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail

DISGUSTING, abusive teen smears his faeces all over a police cell.

Local Partners

Gigi Hadid: I'm 'taking the pressure off' myself

Gigi Hadid is trying to "take the pressure off" herself this year.

Ricky Gervais announces first dates of world tour

Ricky Gervais has announced his first world tour in seven years.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 'final stages' of divorce

Depp's outstanding divorce money to be paid over 15 months

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcome their second child

Mila Kunis won't be naming her second child 'Hawkeye'

First look at Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise in The Mummy

Russell Crowe in a scene from the first teaser trailer for the movie The Mummy.

HOLLYWOOD heavyweights helm serious reboot of action franchise.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Fame is 'unhealthy'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt feels bad perpetuating celebrity culture

Family scoop bargain $160K 'holiday home' in Gladstone

BARGAIN: A Biloela family has purchased 21 Ann St for $160,000. They try to get to Gladstone at least once a month.

ADVERTISED as "renovate or demolish", but snapped up for getaway.

REVEALED: Gladstone property prices hit lowest in downturn

Aerial View overlooking Kin Kora residential area, Gladstone.



Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

GLADSTONE PROPERTY prices have hit their lowest since the bust.

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Bargain price drop on Tannum 'beach shack'

14 The Oaks Road is on the market for $759,000.

Buy an absolute beach front home for $759,000.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!