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  Reply # 786826 25-Mar-2013 18:08
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wasabi2k:
I'm not really bothered about getting tax from people too bright to pay it. Indeed, I consider it a duty to pay as little as legally possible since governments mostly waste it anyway.

I'm more bothered about getting it from those too lazy, feckless, indolent or otherwise who manage to get through life living off everyone else.

GST is very good for that, as everyone has to pay it.

If you think the private sector has no transparency and does not obey the law, I can assure you it is perfectly possible for that not to be the case.

In Britain, private companies (all created from state owned operations) supply water, sewage, electricity, gas, rail, telecoms and so on. Whilst rail can be a bit patchy, all the others are actually pretty efficient and innovative. Anglian Water, a UK water company (privatised in the early 90's from a government owned operation), designed and built the sewage treatment plant at Moa Point in Wellington, for example.

The key is adequate regulation with teeth. Every 5 years, all the former SEO's must submit their plans to the Official Regulator for their industry. These plans include what they will charge, how much better their customer service will get, how much better their network maintenance will get, what they will do to secure supply and so on. The Regulator then doubles what they have to achieve and halves what they can charge (not literally but you get the idea) and they cannot charge a bean more for the next 5 years. If they fail to meet the agreed targets, huge fines will be levied on them.

There is complete transparency and under such scrutiny those companies work far better than they ever did when full of dull plodding government employees who required 10 signatures to get a new pencil!


So you consider it a duty to pay as little tax as possible because governments waste it?

At the same time your solution to increase transparency and adherence to the law is regulation?

Who exactly in this solution would be running the regulator? The same wasteful government? An independent organisation? Who funds the organisation? Who are they beholden to? What laws do they abide by or enforce? Who will pass these laws? Where are the incentives? 

There are a number of positives that CAN be gained from privatization, but there is also the potential for a lot of harm. The belief that privatization makes everything more efficient and is all rainbows is deeply and severely flawed. At the same time a publicly traded company cannot operate with what you describe. Public companies must provide benefits to shareholders, or else they go elsewhere. Who on earth would invest in a company in the environment you describe? Noone. Share price tanks, as will the company, government is forces to buy them out or face national infrastructure failures. We are not the first country to go through SOE privatization and there are plenty of disaster stories out there, see water supply in south america for one.

There are a number of services that make little to no commercial sense but deliver an important social benefit. I pay my tax. I could probably get out of more of it if I tried. I am pissed off at the high level of social welfare dependence and sense of entitlement. At the same time I am incredibly grateful for the amazing healthcare my family has received at no cost to me. I am also grateful for the police force, motorways and everything else provided to me.

In short - regulation is not a panacea. Companies aim to maximise profits, it is what they do. While we'd all like to live in an ethical, socially responsible world the truth is if there is someone willing to do the "bad" thing and in doing so make more money - people will do it.


I'm merely saying that in the UK they have already been down this path and they have a methodology which works very well. The former SEO things there are 100% privatised - no 51% government interference.

The Regulators are akin to something like the SSC here - they are quangos but have real power. See this from 2008 as an example (OFWAT is the water industry regulator)

"Water company Severn Trent faces a £35.8m fine by Ofwat, the biggest penalty ever imposed by the water industry regulator, and pleaded guilty to two fraud charges this morning. That could mean the company could be hit by a further sizeable fine next month.

Severn Trent's chief executive, Tony Wray, admitted mistakes but blamed a "previous regime" at the firm. He apologised to the company's 8 million customers and said the firm would cut bills by £10.6m, equivalent to £2.40 per household.

Britain's second-largest water company is to be fined by Ofwat for supplying false data to the regulator and providing poor customer service. The shares dropped 7p to £14.37 on the news before recovering to £14.45 by 11.20am."





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  Reply # 787143 26-Mar-2013 12:05
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Geektastic:
Yeah - watch this when buying clothes and shoes. For some inane reason there is a 10% tax on those items over and above GST.

Best to buy that stuff on hols and just say you took it with you if they ask. Which is unlikely.


There is no GST or duty on clothes and shoes you buy overseas on holidays and bring back with you for your own personal use. It falls under the Personal Effects Concession.

So they won't ask unless you have commercial quantities of it or obviously not for oneself.

EDIT: Same for jewellery and watches, by the way.

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  Reply # 787424 26-Mar-2013 19:33
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The good old personal effects concession.

I can remember the bad old days of madly stratospheric tariffs and import quotas on clothing and footwear - when pretty much public servant wore ludicrously expensive shoddily-made polyester Envoy shirts from Woolies (not the supermarket, the chain that became Dekka) because that was pretty much all their was, and the state of quality/pricing on footwear was even worse.

We had friends of the family who used to go on a fortnights holiday to Thailand every two years or so. Leave with pretty much empty suitcases and come back with them full of clothes (shirts, business suits etc) and shoes - nice fabric, tailor made, and *much* better quality than anything available here. Plus, the price differential Vs the cheap tat here meant that the whole overseas holiday was pretty close to free.

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  Reply # 787648 27-Mar-2013 02:21
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Here is a prime example of why I don't buy retail; I had $4K burning a whole in my pants and I wanted to buy an iMac - EFTPOS cards cannot work at that amount but I have a AMEX charge card hence I wanted to pay with that (and transfer the money over to my AMEX after) - btw, this is in Wellington:

1) Yoobee had the iMac but didn't accept AMEX - so, saving a few cents by not providing AMEX payment has really worked out by missing out on customer purchasing a 4K device?

2) JB-Hifi - went into the store where the accepted AMEX but had none in stock - why even operate a store if you can't be bothered stocking the item?

3) Dick Smith again accepted AMEX and had none in stock - again, why even operate a store when you can't be bothered stocking an item?

In the end I gave up, went online and bought it directly from the Apple Store - I wanted to go local but when local vendors refuse to either provide payment facility or even stock the product then what choice do I have?




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  Reply # 787649 27-Mar-2013 06:27
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kawaii: Here is a prime example of why I don't buy retail; I had $4K burning a whole in my pants and I wanted to buy an iMac - EFTPOS cards cannot work at that amount but I have a AMEX charge card hence I wanted to pay with that (and transfer the money over to my AMEX after) - btw, this is in Wellington:



Out of curiosity who is your bank? I wasn't aware of anybody having limits that low still. ANZ for example is $5k per day and Westpac is $10k per day.

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  Reply # 787653 27-Mar-2013 07:15
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sbiddle:
kawaii: Here is a prime example of why I don't buy retail; I had $4K burning a whole in my pants and I wanted to buy an iMac - EFTPOS cards cannot work at that amount but I have a AMEX charge card hence I wanted to pay with that (and transfer the money over to my AMEX after) - btw, this is in Wellington:



Out of curiosity who is your bank? I wasn't aware of anybody having limits that low still. ANZ for example is $5k per day and Westpac is $10k per day.


The low limit relates to an EFTPOS card where as if I had a Visa debit I wouldn't have had any issue.




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  Reply # 787657 27-Mar-2013 08:00
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sbiddle:Out of curiosity who is your bank? I wasn't aware of anybody having limits that low still. ANZ for example is $5k per day and Westpac is $10k per day.


The BNZ daily limit is $3k about to be lifted to $10k early April.

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  Reply # 787670 27-Mar-2013 09:00
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One reason I shop overseas:

As a photographer, I need memory cards - big ones. Fast and reliable, so Chen Shin Memory Company Number 5 does not make the grade.

San Disk Extreme Pro 32Gb Compact Flash US price US$130

Same card, in NZ, converted to US$ is US$350

Wonder where I'll buy that from then...!





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  Reply # 787672 27-Mar-2013 09:02
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sbiddle:
kawaii: Here is a prime example of why I don't buy retail; I had $4K burning a whole in my pants and I wanted to buy an iMac - EFTPOS cards cannot work at that amount but I have a AMEX charge card hence I wanted to pay with that (and transfer the money over to my AMEX after) - btw, this is in Wellington:



Out of curiosity who is your bank? I wasn't aware of anybody having limits that low still. ANZ for example is $5k per day and Westpac is $10k per day.


Why should there be a limit at all if you have the money?!





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  Reply # 787673 27-Mar-2013 09:03
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I got Extreme, not Extreme Pro. US$70 from amazon with shipping (NZ$83), $110 in NZ. That's not so bad. The extreme pro is a bit more expensive again here.




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  Reply # 787674 27-Mar-2013 09:04
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Geektastic:
sbiddle:
kawaii: Here is a prime example of why I don't buy retail; I had $4K burning a whole in my pants and I wanted to buy an iMac - EFTPOS cards cannot work at that amount but I have a AMEX charge card hence I wanted to pay with that (and transfer the money over to my AMEX after) - btw, this is in Wellington:



Out of curiosity who is your bank? I wasn't aware of anybody having limits that low still. ANZ for example is $5k per day and Westpac is $10k per day.


Why should there be a limit at all if you have the money?!


It's in case someone steals your card and manages to guess your PIN, I guess. It limits the banks liability.




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  Reply # 787675 27-Mar-2013 09:08
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kawaii:
sbiddle:
kawaii: Here is a prime example of why I don't buy retail; I had $4K burning a whole in my pants and I wanted to buy an iMac - EFTPOS cards cannot work at that amount but I have a AMEX charge card hence I wanted to pay with that (and transfer the money over to my AMEX after) - btw, this is in Wellington:



Out of curiosity who is your bank? I wasn't aware of anybody having limits that low still. ANZ for example is $5k per day and Westpac is $10k per day.


The low limit relates to an EFTPOS card where as if I had a Visa debit I wouldn't have had any issue.


Ah. We were somewhat perplexed when we first moved here as in the UK the plain 'eftpos' card does not exist - when they introduced debit cards (which is what eftpos cards are) 26 years ago in 1987, they went with Visa Debit and a UK-centric one called Switch from day one.

We laughed a lot when they began touting Visa Debit here a year or two ago as if it was some amazeballs new invention....





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  Reply # 787725 27-Mar-2013 11:04
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kawaii:
1) Yoobee had the iMac but didn't accept AMEX - so, saving a few cents by not providing AMEX payment has really worked out by missing out on customer purchasing a 4K device?


It's not a few cents.  The AMEX rate is entire percentage points higher than Visa and Mastercard, and their margins mean that they effectively sell at a loss if they allow you to use an AMEX to purchase it.

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  Reply # 787865 27-Mar-2013 12:40
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Kyanar:
kawaii:
1) Yoobee had the iMac but didn't accept AMEX - so, saving a few cents by not providing AMEX payment has really worked out by missing out on customer purchasing a 4K device?


It's not a few cents.  The AMEX rate is entire percentage points higher than Visa and Mastercard, and their margins mean that they effectively sell at a loss if they allow you to use an AMEX to purchase it.


Then they should allow it with a surcharge now that it is allowable.




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  Reply # 788021 27-Mar-2013 15:23
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richms:
Kyanar:
kawaii:
1) Yoobee had the iMac but didn't accept AMEX - so, saving a few cents by not providing AMEX payment has really worked out by missing out on customer purchasing a 4K device?


It's not a few cents.  The AMEX rate is entire percentage points higher than Visa and Mastercard, and their margins mean that they effectively sell at a loss if they allow you to use an AMEX to purchase it.


Then they should allow it with a surcharge now that it is allowable.


I would have been ok to pay an extra $10 to use the card - end of the day there are shops that charge extra if you use your snapper card so I'm surprised they don't do the same with a credit card. With that being said, swing and roundabouts it worked out for the best as it allowed me to purchase a maxed out iMac online where I upgraded the GPU and CPU.




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