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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Poor New Zealand

Cathy Odgers:
When I worked in NZ I had a moderated kind of spending lifestyle and was lucky to save 10% of my income. So low were my wages and so high were my taxes in the top tax bracket. I did a reconciliation of what I save now in Hong Kong. Even after rent, excessive entertainment spending and travel I have managed to bank since January 77% of my earnings.
New Zealand cannot attract and retain professional, qualified or entrepreneurial folk and so they leave, and with them leaves the chance of further prosperity that they create for the average moderately educated and skilled Joe Schmo PAYE earner in New Zealand.
Amen. Lefties like to say our tax rates aren't much different to Australia's. But that's irrelevant to our problem. We have low incomes relative to even some of our Asian allies like Singapore and Hong Kong, but we've retained the high tax rates of richer western countries like Australia. Our country doesn't have massive amounts of easily extractable natural resources, nor can we benefit from proximity to a major Asian trade route. So instead we must be cunning and efficient with what we do have. A good place to start would be serious reductions to taxes, especially those relating to investment.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 9/28/2005 10:57:00 am


Blogger Gooner said...

This agrees with you. I was going to blog it :)


9/28/2005 11:16:00 am  
Blogger tincanman said...

There are many island poor in natural resource who has created, through tax and business incentives, an ideal home base for many large corporations, technology industries and low impact, non manufacturing style resources. Things which could live perfectly well with our largely argricultural base. I mean, what banker/geek/designer wouldn't love to have NZ countryside at their fingertips while having low taxes, etc.?

But no. Instead we milk the golden cow, promote debt and state dependance and try our best to live in a benignly stupid utopia which does not exist.

9/28/2005 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Abundant natural resources mean our Government wouldn't have to be dynamic or even efficient. It could simply tax extracted resources, much of which would be exported anyway. That and the proximity of Australia to a major Asian trade route are why they are doing better than us.

We could offset that better policies as Tincanman said, but apparently the other half of the population doesn't even think we have a problem. Why think about potentially risky solutions to a problem you don't think exists?

Boy in 10-20 years they'll change their minds. By that stage the average Australian income could be twice as much as ours.

9/28/2005 11:34:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's if there are still any non-dependents here in 10-20 years time.

9/28/2005 12:36:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

Stories like that aren't good...

Hong Kong does look more attractive by the day. Anyone knows if the windsurfing there is any good? :-)

9/28/2005 07:53:00 pm  
Blogger Cathy Odgers said...

Blows a gale sometimes so I assume it is okay. There are beaches here - not like the Caribbean or anything but then Thailand is just 2 hours and a bit away.

Alot of expats live out by the water, of course if you fell in the water windsurfing I would recommend an immediate shower and a tetanus shot...

And remember I don't have to waste my money on a spouse or children. If you have those then HK can cripple you, especially if the spouse spends like money is water.

9/28/2005 08:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think for you native-born Kiwis living in Hong Kong as expats could be a good choice. Unfortunately for the local HK Chinese or those who are returning migrants to HK (who are effectively treated as the locals), such as my sister, the picture is very different.

Typically she earns HK$25,000 a month (which is NZ$2,137.00 per fortnight or about NZ$56,000 as yearly salary) as a 7 year experienced Business Analyst in the IT sector. She works between 9:30 and 8 pm Mondays to Saturdays. Much of her wage would be spent on rent, which is about HK$13,000. I know if you minus food and costs of transport (bus, MTR, etc), she doesn't get much left for savings.

And my cousin has just entered work after graduating from university with a professional degree. He earns HK$7,000 a month! (which is NZ$15,560 a year!)

I hear that it is almost impossible for my friends who have gone back to HK for work to buy new flats because of astronomical despoits and mortgages, and also because the salaries have been frozen for quite a few years and they are often just barely sufficient for living expenses.


9/28/2005 11:54:00 pm  

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