|Felix Na'vi Dad; James Cameron's pet blue Santa. Nicked from here.|
The Smiling Assassin has done it again, dividing and conquering his political foes with glamour and a fistful of taxpayer dollars.
Some of Key's most vocal critics this year agree with the Avatar deal announced this week.
Gordon Campbell yums it up, rallying against Treasury as he ponders some mystic economic multiplier effect that they haven't discovered yet. At least he recognises the singular nature of the scheme:
You could call the 25% top rate the Avatar clause, because the conditions seem to have been devised simply to attract and retain the next three Avatar films in this country.
They said that about the LOTR deal back in the day too. See how the sheltered bubble grows? Rod Oram, who has been hard nosed on everything from the Chorus copper to the Tiwai Smelter pay-off this year, gives the scheme a big tick also.
Fortunately, saner voices still exist. Here's Matt Nolan at TVHE looking at the high cost of sexy:
Ok, so who are the people who get all this “pride” from the movies? Generally, middle class New Zealanders. Who is paying, generally wealthier New Zealanders (as they pay most of the tax). What spending is likely to be sacrificed in order to pay for subsides, poor New Zealanders.Eric Crampton chips in. Patrick Smellie suffers slings and arrows from the Na'vi lovers. Bernard Hickey sums up the bad math:
The Government spent nearly half a billion dollars in seven years and got back NZ$13.6 million in net economic benefits. Not only that, but the extra spending actually reduced the Government's fiscal position by NZ$168 million.
The Labour Party sold out to the luvvies and drama queens ages ago. The best Labour can come up with by way of opposition to the scheme is that it should have been sooner. There's no room for principles in either of the main parties these days.
Here's the conclusion of my father's Maiden Speech to Parliament in 1981. For the purposes of this discussion, replace the farmers with film producers, Timaru with Cameronton/Jacksonville, and wool bales with box office takings:
I do not think people know what happens with supplementary prices. In Timaru, at a sale before Christmas, a station received 620c a kilo for merino wool - a New Zealand record: $5600 for seven bales. Yet tax gathered from the widows, the widowers, and the poor was used to pay that station another $1400 in supplentary minimum prices despite that record price. The reason was that the coarse wool average reduced it below 320c, down to 255c. So to the rich again shall it be given, and from the poor shall it be taken away. There is immorality and injustice in that.
I say to all members on the government benches, and to the farming people who are listening, if they are not aware of it, that privelege and class distinction - long since gone from New Zealand- are raising their heads again under the National government. The poor are refused bread, that the rich may eat cake. Many of our ancestors left England and other countries because of hereditary land rights, and because they could not get a chance. That is happening again to New Zealand.
Peace on earth, except the Na'vi Dad. I hope a pineapple falls on his head while he's holidaying in Hawaii.