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MAINLAND PRESS

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23 2011

Last chance to enrol ANYONE not yet enrolled to vote has just a few days left to get on the roll to ensure their vote counts on Election Day, this Saturday. “Time hasn’t run out to enrol just yet – but it will shortly!” the Electoral Enrolment Centre’s Murray Wicks said. “The last chance to enrol is Friday November 25. You cannot enrol on election day.” Enrolment levels across the country have improved, with 92.6 percent of eligible voters now on the roll. But there are still 240,000 eligible voters who are not enrolled or ready to vote on election day. “The countdown to election day is almost complete. Anyone who hasn’t taken action and enrolled can’t leave it any longer. They must get an enrolment form, fill it in and get it back to us by Friday November 25. “To make sure your enrolment form reaches us in time the easiest thing to do

is pick one up at a PostShop and fill it in and hand it to the staff there and then. It only takes a minute,” Mr Wicks said. You can also get an enrolment form by Freetexting your name and address to 3676 or by calling 0800 36 76 56 or from www.elections.org.nz.

Our Poll We asked whether the ongoing Tea Tape controversy would influence how the public votes on Election Day. Of the 33 votes received on the Rise Up Christchurch Facebook page…

33% 45% 22%

Yes No Maybe

Tell us what you think www.facebook/riseupchristchurch

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Opinion

Weighing up the major parties’ economic policies Mainland Press asked Dr Eric Crampton, a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Canterbury to comment on the major parties’ economic policies going into this month’s general election. He blogs at Offsetting Behaviour. POLITICIANS target economic policy to the case that’s been made. The policy is unlikely to do much good on net, median voter rather than the median economist; economists usually find those platforms thin but neither is it likely to do substantial harm. To gruel at best. Here are some of the highlights and the extent it does harm, it would be through the odd incentives created under mixed ownership; if lowlights. National promises, broadly speaking, to stay consequent debt reduction lifted the Government’s the course. They tinker with welfare, with slight credit rating, we could see benefits. It’s harder to assess Labour’s economic platform increases to work expectations of those on the as theirs would be a coalition government Domestic Purposes Benefit. American experience with welfare reform suggests including, at minimum, the Greens, and potentially that single mothers can successfully transition also Mana, Maori, and New Zealand First. What into the workforce with sufficient support. Work economic policy would emerge from those coalition negotiations is not easy to incentives here proposed forecast. are far milder than those It would likely include enacted in the U.S. by removing GST from fresh President Clinton in 1996; foods – an utter economic effects here, for better or nonsense as compared worse, are not likely to be to simply giving more large. money to poor people. National promises The coalition would likely similar tinkering with the endorse a capital gains tax: youth minimum wage. a popular policy enjoying The Department of Labour some approval, in general, found youth employment from some economic dropped substantially commentators, though subsequent to Labour’s this particular incarnation abolition of the lower might not. youth minimum wage in Capital gains taxes have 2008. The most substantial surprisingly little support change is a technical fix to in the economic literature. the regulations surrounding Worse, the coalition would the New Entrant’s Wage that likely maintain Labour’s should increase employer current promise to muddy uptake and consequently the Reserve Bank’s policy slightly reduce youth targets. unemployment. Labour soundly promises Finally, National proposes to start implementing the partial asset sales to create Dr Eric Crampton Welfare Working Group’s a “Future Investment recommendation to increase Fund” for spending on a the age of eligibility for largely unspecified bundle superannuation with ample foreshadowing allowing of nice things. I particularly dislike this bundling of asset people to plan ahead. But there is little chance this policy would earn divestment policy and spending; sounder policy would keep the decisions quite separate. You support from Labour’s likely coalition partners. And, can make a good case for complete privatization while Labour would provide the kind of investment of particular assets – some things are better run in early childhood education for kids from poor households that would help to make National’s privately. You can make a good case for keeping other assets proposed work requirements a success, they also in public hands. But it’s hard to make an economic substantially weaken work incentives by extending case for partial asset sell-offs. The best case for the in-work tax credit to those not in work. If you decide to vote, you have a duty to vote well. it would be if the gains from reduced borrowing exceed the lost dividend flows, but that’s not the Do your best on November 26. I’m staying home.

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Mainland Press Issue 42  

Minalnd press issue 42 Election 2011

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