Category Archives: Money

‘The Tax Man Cometh’ – the Googlebots & a 5-nation tax cartel ensuring you don’t make any money

Doesn’t surprize me this considering a struggling parent holding down two and sometimes three jobs to feed their families gets hit with 33% tax on the other jobs. Not the likes of the upper echelon however. It’s called trickle down economics. Bit like the sustainable development lie really.

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The definition of a cartel is an arrangement between people who will benefit from the arrangement, often in an illegal way. An example of a cartel is a group of manufacturers who have gotten together to regulate production and fix prices.

Thanks to Pete for this link.

Tax Takers Send in the Spiders

Websites around the world are getting a new computerized visitor among the Googlebots and Yahoo web spiders: The taxman. A five-nation tax enforcement cartel has been quietly cracking down on suspected internet tax cheats, using a sophisticated web crawling program to monitor transactions on auction sites, and track operators of online shops, poker and porn sites. The “Xenon” program – a reference to the super-bright auto headlights that light up dark places – was started in The Netherlands in 2004 by the Dutch equivalent of the IRS, Belastingdienst.

It has since been expanded and enhanced by international group of tax authorities in Austria, Denmark, Britain and Canada, with the assistance of Amsterdam-based data mining firm Sentient Machine Research. Xenon is primarily a spider: a program that downloads a web page, then traverses its links and downloads those as well, ad infinitum. In this manner spiders can create huge datasets of web material, while preserving the relationships between pages at the moment they were spidered – something that can reveal a lot about the people that made the pages. It’s unclear how effective Xenon has been in generating investigative leads. Contacted by Wired News, the tax departments of Canada and the United Kingdom confirmed participation in the program, but declined further comment. Dag Hardyson, the national project leader for e-commerce for Skatteverket, the Swedish tax authority, was more forthcoming. Skatteverket is scheduled to join the Xenon project this year, and Hardyson said web crawling is well suited to tax enforcement. “The internet is wide open for tools,” said Hardyson. “It’s much easier to handle than the real world.” Xenon, explained Marten den Uyl of Sentient, is in some ways the opposite of something like Google’s web crawler, which traverses a tree of links and grabs a copy of everything it sees. Xenon is smart about link selection and context, and uses a “slow search paradigm,” he said. Whereas a spider like the Googlebot might hit thousands of websites in a second, “With Xenon it may take minutes, hours or even days to do a slow search.” The slow search prevents the crawler from creating excessive traffic on a website, or drawing attention in the sites’ server logs. Den Uyl declined to say what user-agent the Xenon software reports itself as, but it’s likely to be variable or configurable on the tax investigator’s part. The spider can also be configured and trained to look at particular economic niches – a useful feature for compiling lists of business in industries that traditionally have high rates of nonfiling. “For instance, weight control (yields) 85,000 hits, some for products … also services,” says Sweden’s Hardyson. Once the web pages are screen-scraped, Xenon’s Identity Information Extraction Module interfaces with national databases containing information like street and city names. It uses that data to automatically identify mailing addresses and other identity information present on the websites it has crawled, which it puts into a database that can be matched in bulk with national tax records. As illuminating as Xenon is for the tax man, the data-mining effort poses dangers to citizen privacy, said Par Strom, a noted privacy advocate in the world of Swedish IT. “Of course it’s not illegal,” said Strom. “I don’t feel quite comfortable having a tax office sending out those kind of spiders.” One issue has to do with how the information Xenon captures is protected. Sentient has created access controls for its law-enforcement data-mining tool, called Data Detective, but its Xenon software lacks many of those protections, said dan Uyl, commenting on the theory that investigators will quickly delete the compiled data. “Data Detective (handles) long-term data warehousing,” he said, “(Xenon is) short-term project data warehousing. Different type of data, different type of analysis.” But Hardyson said the Swedish government – which already has its own internally developed tax crawlers – is currently keeping a copy of everything it spiders. That means that someone’s long-expired actions have the potential to come back and haunt them. “We can scan and store all actions for every e-marketplace in Sweden, it’s about 55,000 per day,” said Hardyson. He said his agency hasn’t decided if it will change its policies with the new, more sophisticated Xenon software. “Is this what we should do? Our lawyers must look at it.” Canada’s tax authorities declined to state what its Xenon data retention policies are, as did Simon Bird, head of the “Web Robot Team” at the British HM Revenue and Customs office. In the United States, the IRS is not a part of the Xenon project, but would neither confirm nor deny that it uses spidering software in its investigations. Strom said now that the cat is out of the bag, there’s no way to get governments or corporations to forgo technologies like spiders and data mining. “The information is public of course, because it’s posted on the internet,” Strom says. “It wasn’t meant to be used this way … (this is) using the naivete of people. It’s on the limit of what is ethical.”

SOURCE: www.wired.com

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What NZ CEOs are paid

It’s difficult to be positive about the obscene salaries these people receive. Especially in light of Rogernomics & the Neo-lib disaster that destroyed so many people. And continues to do so. Great idea for those at the top, not so for those at the bottom. Of course it was a scam & in my opinion never intended to benefit everybody. We can see who it is benefiting right in plain sight here.

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From the NZ Herald

Chief executives at New Zealand’s biggest companies got a 2.2 per cent pay rise last year, taking their average earnings to $1,755,352 in the 2017 financial year.

It was the second-smallest increase in the 13-year history of the Business Herald’s CEO pay survey.

The survey covers the top 50 companies listed on the sharemarket, with the exception of some property firms whose management structure makes it difficult to calculate CEO pay, and the addition of Fonterra because of its size, and Herald publisher NZME, included in the interests of transparency.

Fifteen executives experienced earnings declines last year, compared with nine recorded in the previous year’s survey. The 2.2 per cent average increase was the lowest on record, apart from 2011, when average CEO pay fell by 0.4 per cent.

While CEO earnings increases were modest compared to some previous years, 38 of the 50 chief executives in the survey still received more than $1 million in remuneration, and their average was 55 times the median annual income Kiwis received in that year, recorded at $31,928, according to Statistics NZ.

The average CEO increase was in line with the 2.3 per cent rise Kiwis received last year.

Former Fonterra boss Theo Spierings was the highest-paid executive last year. Spierings, who stepped down last month, received $8.3m for the 2017 financial year, up from $4.66m he received a year earlier.

READ MORE at the link (graphs & figures included)

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=12134854

 

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25 years ago 74% of all NZ households lived in their own home … so who owns NZ now? (Bryan Bruce)

To watch Bryan Bruce’s revealing documentary at Youtube, click on this link. 
This is a real eye opener, especially if you were born after the nineties. I remember how it was as do all the other folk of my generation. Pre Rogernomics ripoff. And I heard/read recently a comment by Roger Douglas who conceded Rogernomics may not have been a good thing or words to that effect. (A woops in other words). I don’t buy that. He & others like him were well looked after following the ruination of our country. Travelling the world, educating others on their supposed ‘success’, teaching their policies of structural adjustment. Successfully ruined a lot of people & feathered their own nests would be more to the point. These people have no heart for those who suffer at their hands. Zilch.

Published on Oct 15, 2017

Analysis of the New Zealand housing crisis and solutions to it by award winning documentary maker Bryan Bruce

The people who “make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food” are being exploited to enrich corporations & the super wealthy (Oxfam)

More than $8 of every $10 of wealth created last year went to the richest 1%.

That’s according to a new report from Oxfam International, which estimates that the bottom 50% of the world’s population saw no increase in wealth.

Oxfam says the trend shows that the global economy is skewed in favor of the rich, rewarding wealth instead of work.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/21/news/economy/davos-oxfam-inequality-wealth/index.html

Over the last hundred and two years, Labour has demonstrated a loyalty to capitalism that can’t really be faulted

From rdln.wordpress.com

Jacinda & the Elephant

Delivering her pre-Budget speech to a Business New Zealand audience, Labour prime minister Ardern said business confidence was “the elephant in the room”.

Business confidence has apparently been low since the new government took office. A business confidence survey conducted by NZIER found businesses had become pessimistic about economic outlook for the first time in two years after Labour assumed office.

There is no need to worry.

Over the last hundred and two years, Labour has demonstrated a loyalty to capitalism that can’t really be faulted. During the 1951 waterfront workers lockout, possibly the most tense class standoff after the land wars in New Zealand history, Labour delivered for the class they have always answered to. “Labour is neither for nor against the watersiders,” party leader Walter (later Sir Walter) Nash declared.

The pattern of behaviour continued in later years, all down the line.

Following the stock market crash of October, 1987 capitalism was in trouble. State-owned enterprises started shedding thousands of workers. Factories closed – over one hundred and forty in Auckland in less than two years – along with hundreds of shops and offices.

Bankruptcies were up by fifty percent, eighty-six thousand jobs disappeared and unemployment in New Zealand was up to over 180,000 by early 1989.

READ MORE

https://rdln.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/jacinda-and-the-elephant/

Photo: Wikipedia (Members of the first Labour Govt 1935)

“CDC Head Forced to Resign After She’s Caught Buying Shares in Vaccine & Big Tobacco Companies” – so what’s new on the corruption front?

A reader recently reminded me on a similar headline news article that once in a while we have a fall guy (in this case girl) to keep the illusion going that the system is keeping check on things. The system as many of us know is rife with conflicts of interest over Monsanto fingers in various pies. So on this particular headline then I’m not holding my breath for anything significant to change in the halls of corruption.
EnvirowatchRangitikei


From thefreethoughtproject.com

A scathing report has just revealed that the now-former head of the Center for Disease Control, Brenda Fitzgerald was purchasing shares in drug companies as well as big tobacco—while heading up the organization ostensibly devoted to health. The hypocritical nature of her position at the CDC while simultaneously investing in companies contrary to her mission exposes the true control industries have over allegedly ‘objective’ government agencies.

For those that don’t know, the CDC is supposed to be the nation’s leader in smoking cessation efforts as smoking-related deaths kill more people in the United States every year than anything else. So, when the head of the nation’s largest anti-smoking department not only holds a massive amount of stock in Big Tobacco, but actually buys more of it while she is in office, it is time to pay attention.

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/cdc-head-forced-resign-shes-caught-buying-shares-vaccine-big-tobacco-companies/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Traffic+Driver&utm_campaign=Facebook+Stout

Who Controls the Money Controls the World – an insight into the banking scam

Important info to help you make sense of things.

Published on Nov 13, 2011

All facts in this movie have been independently confirmed. Sources are documented at http://thrivemovement.com History will repeat itself as long as these bankers and their corrupt politicians are in charge. Save yourself from the upcoming economic collapse of 2012. Please share this important knowledge with your family and take action.

Big business Australian Chamber of Commerce proposal to convert age pension payments into a loan – then deduct the sum from home when it is sold!

From thecontrail.com

An article from Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Assn (Australia)

If big business got its way, the age pension would be a loan rather than a safety net payment …

READ MORE

http://thecontrail.com/forum/topics/why-bill-english-resigns-and-big-business-australian-chamber-of-c

 

Tax rates for our esteemed ‘public servants’ at Parliament are a joke – time for a complete overhaul

Calculated at the time of Key’s ‘leadership’ (said with tongue in cheek). The same would doubtless still apply for the current PM. Time for change. Bryan Bruce in his last doco recalled a time when Parliamentarians earned the same wage as a teacher. The higher salary (that being a vast understatement) has not brought greater accountability or better service from these public servants. We should return to the previous regime. And put them on a fair tax rate. This article from 2014 is from the dailyblog.co.nz

 

How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker??

By   /   August 27, 2014

Yesterday I did some calculations to find out what tax John Key pays compared to a worker on the minimum wage.

MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister.

Minimum wage worker 28% tax

Prime Minister 2.8% tax

The minimum wage worker on 40 hours per week earns $29,640 and pays $4,207 in income tax and $4,149.60 in GST giving a total tax of $8,356.60 or 28% of income.

On the other hand the Prime Minister earns $428,000 from his PM’s salary along with this year’s $5,000,000 increase in his wealth (according to NBR’s rich list) which gives him a total income of $5,428,000. On this total income he pays just $132,160 in income tax and approximately $21,400 in GST giving a total tax of $153,560 or 2.8% of income.

This is a national embarrassment. Those least able to pay are under a heavy tax burden while the super-rich pay peanuts.

The National government and its attack bloggers refer to the working poor as scum, bludgers and ferals but it’s clear the real problem is with the top 1% of income earners who get all the benefits of taxpayer funded facilities and services but don’t pull their weight paying for them.

Cleaners, fast-food workers, hospitality workers and security guards are all heavily subsidising the lifestyles of the superrich.

These figures show we need an overhaul of our tax system so the Prime Minister and his rich-list colleagues pay their fair share.

READ MORE

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/08/27/how-much-tax-does-john-key-pay-compared-to-a-minimum-wage-worker/

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