If there is one Government Department which has been widely accepted as performing relatively well, it is the Inland Revenue Department.
While New Zealand as a country becomes greener in its thinking, as evidenced in the last general election, it still lags well behind the world in the actual adoption of policies such as alternative fuels for vehicles.
Having moved New Zealand’s economy wholly into the global market some years ago, the productive sector has become a key factor in the health and well-being of our country through growing the economy and enhancing the welfare of New Zealanders.
Last Tuesday, our neighbouring Government announced its 2012 Budget. There were a number of interesting changes which are important to reflect upon in the lead up to New Zealand’s 2012 Budget.
New Zealand companies need to be more active in undertaking cross-border mergers and acquisitions if we are to fully capitalise on our intellectual property, our clean-green image and the other advantages we have as a country.
Just over two years ago, John Key announced his desire to set up New Zealand as a financial services hub. The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) was quick to pour cold water over the idea, saying the Magna Carta of documents would need to be delivered first. Since then, a Government working groupwas set up, the International Funds Services Development Group (IFSDG), to assess the export opportunities and hurdles of this initiative.
In the 2011 Budget, the New Zealand Government directed more than 31% of total expenditure, $22 billion, to social welfare. This was one of the most significant items of expenditure, alongside health and education. Two of the main components of social welfare expenditure were $8.8 billion to superannuitants and just under $5 billion in benefits.
It’s been a little over a year since the Savings Working Group released its report on Saving New Zealand: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Barriers to Growth and Prosperity. The Savings Working Group was formed out of concern at the apparent poor savings position of New Zealanders.
Over the past few years, Grant Thornton New Zealand’s Tim Downes has acted as Receiver for some of New Zealand’s largest property development collapses including the Soho site in Ponsonby, Auckland ($95 million owing to secured creditors); Gulf Harbour, Auckland ($156 million owing to secured creditors) and stages 2 and 3 of Kawarau Falls, Queenstown ($118 million owing to secured creditors). With these receivership assignments now either completed or in their final wash up phase, Downes can see signs of life in the property development scene.
Since 1975–77, life expectancy at birth has increased by 6.7 years for women and 9.0 years for men. While differences in mortality between men and women still remain, their longevity gap has narrowed. New-born girls in 2005–07 can expect to outlive new-born boys by 4.1 years, down from the peak of 6.4 years back in 1975–77.