The Labour Party is once again being shifty on tax, and needs to come clean with voters on its policy on capital gains tax and land tax before the election, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.
“This morning Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern refused to rule out introducing a Capital Gains Tax during the next three years if elected,” Mr Joyce says.
“She said she wouldn’t campaign on it but would use a tax working group to implement it.
“Her exact words were the Labour Party ‘won’t be held back on being able to act on what that group finds’.
“This is the same approach MP Phil Twyford took at a public meeting in Wellington last week.
“People attending the meeting reported Mr Twyford saying ‘it’s a tough ask to sell the capital gains tax when you’re in opposition, it’s easier when you have an army of public servants’.
“At the same meeting he said that a comprehensive capital gains tax, a land value tax and an asset and wealth tax were all on the table after the election.
“When it comes to new taxes, Labour can’t help themselves.
“They have form – they’ve already tried to fudge their new water tax,” Mr Joyce says.
“New Zealand is currently doing well because people have confidence in economic policy and the Government is not constantly adding new taxes.
“Labour is obviously worried about telling voters what its actual tax plans are.
“They need to stop fudging and be upfront.”
The Labour Party’s proposed water tax would hit regional economies hard by picking on farmers, horticulturalists and wine growers, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.
“Regions like Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago would be big losers from a policy that taxes water used by food producers that create a lot of the jobs in those regions”, Mr Joyce says.
“On top of that there is no detail in the policy. Labour needs to explain to New Zealanders clearly who would get to charge, how much would they charge, and who gets all the money,” Mr Joyce says. “They are asking for a blank cheque from farmers.
“Given this proposal is another re-heat of one put up three years ago, you’d think they would have had time to work out some of the details by now.
“Or are they just too scared to tell regional New Zealand what it would actually mean.
“The true cost of this tax would be borne by hard-working New Zealand families who would pay more for their weekly shop including things like milk, fruit and veges.”
Mr Joyce says that today’s announcement proves once again why Labour have dropped their “fresh approach” slogan.
“This comes hard on the heels of Labour confirming it would impose a regional fuel tax in Auckland. Two extra taxes in one week shows there is nothing new about this Labour Party. More taxes will increase living costs, slow down the economy and stop job growth,” Mr Joyce says.
“New leader but the same old Labour Party.”
Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and Finance Minister Steven Joyce have welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s issues paper for the inquiry into how New Zealand can maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs and risks of transitioning to a lower carbon economy.
“New Zealand has set ambitious targets to reduce our emissions through the 2030 Paris Agreement Target,” Mrs Bennett says. “Although we’re a small player, we’re globally connected and trade-dependent. This inquiry will help us to meet our targets to 2030 and then look beyond that to address long-term climate change effects.”
“This is an important piece of work that will guide us all on how to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs of a lower emissions economy,” Mr Joyce says. “It’s crucial for New Zealand’s future that we make policy decisions informed by economic analysis so we achieve our climate goals while maintaining and lifting the prosperity of kiwi families at the same time.”
“A big focus of our response will be harnessing the benefits of some rapid technological advances our scientists are making. The Productivity Commission will look at how New Zealand’s regulatory, technological, financial and institutional systems, processes and practices can help to encourage adoption of these new technologies,” says Mr Joyce.
The low-emissions economy issues paper is available HERE.
The closing date for submissions is 2 October 2017.
The Labour Party might have changed its leaders but where it wants to take New Zealand hasn’t changed, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.
“By resurrecting a decade-old idea of charging Aucklanders another tax it’s now clear why they had to abandon the “fresh approach” line,” Mr Joyce says.
“Regional Fuel Tax was Labour Party policy back in 2007 and it has been rejected by voters many times since then. It’s about as tired as R&D tax credits.
“Labour would make Aucklanders pay at least another 10 cents a litre every time they fill up their tank and that’s just for starters. That would have a real impact on the cost of living for hard-working Aucklanders.
“And it would probably spread around the country. Last time around, Wellington and Canterbury were lining up for regional taxes too. There is also no national price so fuel companies could easily transfer the cost to motorists around the country.”
“Labour needs to be clear what the maximum additional tax per litre would be,” Mr Joyce says.
“National has shown that by careful financial management governments can live within their means and also invest in large projects in Auckland like Waterview, the Western Ring Route, the CRL, the Southern Motorway widening. And a whole lot of other big projects around the country.”
“The newly-opened Waterview tunnel and the Western Ring Route are making positive differences to journey times to and from the airport and across the network. There will be more benefits for motorists as the other projects come on stream.”
“Labour’s airport to city rail link policy is also re-heated as they committed to that timetable in the Mount Roskill by-election and then committed to it again with the Greens in March of this year,” Mr Joyce says.
“It’s telling that the first move of the new Labour leadership team is to propose another new tax.
“Labour is determined to put their hands deeper into the pockets of hardworking taxpayers. A new leader but the same old tax and spend Labour Party.”
Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Revenue Minister Judith Collins have today announced the Government’s final decisions on proposals to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).
“The new measures will significantly strengthen our tax rules and our ability to ensure that multinationals are taxed fairly and on the basis of their actual level of economic activity in New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.
In combination the new measures will:
- Stop foreign parents charging their New Zealand subsidiaries high interest rates to reduce their taxable profits in New Zealand.
- Stop multinationals using artificial arrangements to avoid having a taxable presence in New Zealand.
- Ensure multinationals are taxed in accordance with the economic substance of their activities in New Zealand.
- Counter strategies that multinationals have used to exploit gaps and mismatches in different countries’ domestic tax rules to avoid paying tax anywhere in the world.
- Make it easier for Inland Revenue to investigate uncooperative multinational companies.
“These changes will result in an estimated $200 million a year in additional tax being paid by multi-national companies,” Mr Joyce says. “The Government budgeted for $100 million annually in out-years for additional multi-national tax, and these decisions mean that will be increased by a further $100 million annually from Budget 2018 onwards.”
“These decisions have been arrived at after weighing up public feedback on three government discussion documents relating to: hybrid mismatch arrangements; interest limitation rules; and transfer pricing and permanent establishment avoidance,” Ms Collins says.
“For the most part, the proposals will proceed as originally devised but in some instances, public feedback made a good case for refining the scope of proposals or for fleshing out technical detail. We’ll carry out further targeted consultation on such matters of technical detail (including draft legislation), without reducing the effectiveness of the proposals.”
“It is very important that every company operating in New Zealand pays their fair share of tax,” Mr Joyce says. While most multi-national companies follow the rules there are some that attempt to minimise or eliminate their New Zealand tax obligations. The proposals target these multinationals.
“I’m confident that the policy decisions we’ve made will tackle these BEPS activities without reducing the general attractiveness of New Zealand as an investment destination.”
“As we’ve done in the past for BEPS matters, we’re releasing reports and Cabinet papers detailing our key decisions. We are also releasing the public submissions we received,” Ms Collins says.
It is expected that the BEPS measures will be included in a tax bill to be introduced by the end of the year, for enactment by July 2018.
The documents released today can be found at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz
Finance Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s issues paper for its new inquiry into measuring and improving the productivity and efficiency of core public services in the State sector.
“It is important that those delivering core public services maintain a constant focus on lifting the productivity of their sectors,” Mr Joyce says. “I expect that government agencies will be willing partners and work closely with the Productivity Commission to support this inquiry.”
“As a result of Budget 2017 an additional $7 billion will be spent in public services for New Zealanders over the next four years. These are big numbers. It’s crucial that we chase and achieve productivity gains from all of our expenditure just as the private sector does.”
“One of the core aims of this inquiry is the development of state sector productivity measures that are both useful and used. Measurement is crucial for decision-makers at all levels to be able to understand and demonstrate the value that is being delivered, as well as to identify where we can do better.
“It is my expectation that public services continue to focus on lifting productivity so we can do more to help New Zealanders with each dollar of taxpayers’ money.
“I look forward to seeing the valuable contribution that government agencies and other stakeholders make to this inquiry.”
The paper Measuring and Improving State Sector Productivity is available HERE.
The closing date for submissions is 8 September 2017.
The Government has today released the Business Growth Agenda 2017 Refresh Report with a focus on continuing to deliver strong economic growth for the benefit of all New Zealanders, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges say.
“The Refresh reflects the Government’s ongoing commitment to responsible financial and economic management, together with a sustained programme of micro-economic reform and large infrastructure investments,” Mr Joyce says.
“Turning opportunities into economic benefits requires Government to be persistent and take a system-wide, long-term view of our work, and for that work to make sense to people and business,” Mr Bridges says. “In particular, we are investing for a growing and resilient economy to provide sustainable growth so the benefits are shared by all of New Zealand’s people and regions.”
The Ministers highlighted key actions in the Business Growth Agenda 2017 Refresh across the main work programmes:
Building Export Markets: Delivering Trade Agenda 2030 to make New Zealand more internationally connected through trade and investment and people flows and take advantage of growth across the Asia-Pacific region to create greater prosperity.
Building Investment: Attracting higher levels of international investment throughout New Zealand that brings job growth, improves skills, and increases innovation and R&D.
Building Innovation: Maintain and extend the growth of New Zealand’s hi-tech sector, and use Callaghan Innovation programmes, the Primary Growth Partnership and the Endeavour Fund to maintain the growth in Business R & D to at least one per cent of GDP.
Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces: Maximising the availability of skilled people from our domestic workforce and attracting skilled workers internationally to meet the ongoing job growth in the New Zealand economy, which is currently running at 10,000 net new jobs a month.
Building Natural Resources: Achieving the right regulatory balance in the resources sectors to allow regional economies to grow while protecting and improving environmental outcomes.
Building Infrastructure: Successfully delivering the Government’s budgeted $32.5 Billion capital infrastructure investment over the next four years, and planning for the four years after that.
The BGA was first set up in 2012 and is the Government’s organising framework for economic growth and micro-economic reform. It aims to create an environment that businesses can grow and thrive in by through six different streams of work and three cross-cutting themes.
The BGA includes the cross-cutting themes that target strengthening Maori Economic Development, boosting regional economic development and achieving a straightforward, responsive and flexible regulatory environment.
“It is businesses that create growth and jobs. Government has a vital role to play in creating an environment that sets the conditions that help businesses achieve that growth, through policies surrounding skills, infrastructure, innovation and investment,” Mr Bridges says.
“New Zealand is now consistently achieving stronger economic growth than many other developed countries,” Mr Joyce says. “It is only by maintaining a strong and consistent economic plan that we can keep strengthening our economy further and deliver greater prosperity for all New Zealanders. The BGA is a key part of that plan.”
The Business Growth Agenda 2017 Refresh is available at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/business/business-growth-agenda/2017
Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Paul Goldsmith have today released the Government’s response to the most extensive review of tertiary education in more than a decade, and outlined its plan for delivering a responsive, innovative, and effective tertiary education system.
“The Productivity Commission released New Models of Tertiary Education in March, providing the Government with an opportunity to set out a clear vision and the future direction for tertiary education at a time of rapid job creation, where the demand for skills has seldom been higher,” Mr Joyce says.
The Government’s response signals areas for immediate action, as well as the proposed direction for future work.
“While New Zealand has a high performing tertiary education system, the Commission has identified some areas that can prevent the system innovating and responding to the evolving needs of New Zealand and New Zealanders,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“Over the next year, we will work with the sector as we begin to identify how to deliver some of the recommendations. We will also begin consulting with stakeholders later this year as we work to develop a new Tertiary Education Strategy in 2018.”
The work programme will focus on four key areas.Creating a more student-centred system: Providing students with the right information to make good decisions about their education, and move easily through education and between education and employment. Meeting the needs of industry through relevant, responsive, and supportive teaching: Supporting education organisations to offer relevant, high-quality education so graduates have the skills they need to find and maintain sustainable employment. Improving performance across the system: Ensuring that government policy supports providers and government agencies to adapt and respond quickly and effectively to the needs and demands of students, employers, industry and wider society. Enabling and encouraging innovative new models and providers: We want to ensure that the system is open to new and innovative ideas, and able to experiment, so that it delivers the best possible outcomes for New Zealand.
“The Government also made it clear early on that it would not be accepting the Commission’s recommendation to reinstate interest on student loans. That position has not changed now that we have identified our approach to all 49 of the recommendations,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“This is an opportunity for everyone involved with tertiary education to help shape and safeguard its future. I look forward to engaging with business, stakeholders, students, and the public to achieve a positive outcome for New Zealand.”
The Government’s formal response to the Productivity Commission’s report New Models of Tertiary Education can be found HERE.
The Government will co-invest up to $600 million alongside local councils and private investors in network infrastructure for big new housing developments through a re-purposed ultra-fast broadband company, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Local Government Minister Anne Tolley say.
“Crown Fibre Holdings will be re-named Crown Infrastructure Partners, and bring the investment skills and experience gained through the Government’s world-leading ultra-fast broadband rollout to the job of attracting private investment in roading and water infrastructure that open up big new tracts of land for more housing development,” Mr Joyce says.
"Crown Infrastructure Partners will set up special purpose companies to build and own new trunk infrastructure for housing developments in return for dedicated long term revenue streams from councils through targeted rates and volumetric charging for use of the infrastructure by new residents.”
“This innovative new funding method will be made available to cash-strapped councils who are struggling to fund new long-term infrastructure from their own balance sheets,” Mrs Tolley says.
“Councils will have the option of buying back the infrastructure at some point in the future, but won’t have to commit to doing so. This is all about introducing outside capital to build this infrastructure, so current ratepayers don’t get burdened with all the costs of growth.”
Two of the earliest projects to be assessed by Crown Infrastructure Partners for investment will be the Auckland North and Auckland South projects previously submitted by Auckland Council as requiring investment outside the Council’s own balance sheet.
“These two large projects can provide an additional 5,500 homes in Wainui to the north of Auckland, and 17,800 homes across Pukekohe, Paerata and Drury to the south of the city,” Mrs Tolley says.
Mr Joyce says the Government is prepared to be an investor alongside the private sector and take up some of the early uptake risk.
“We learnt from the ultra-fast broadband programme that if we de-risk some of the early stages of the investment, we can bring in private sector investors to take on much of the heavy lifting as the investments mature,” Mr Joyce says. “We would expect the Crown’s investment in each project to be matched with at least one to one with private sector investment over time.”
“This new model is another way in which we are helping Councils in our fastest growing cities to open up more land supply so more Kiwis can achieve the goal of home ownership,”
Mr Joyce says it forms part of our comprehensive programme for lifting housing supply to meet the needs of a confident growing country.
“Crown Infrastructure Partners is the logical next step in infrastructure funding following the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund which will deliver 60,000 houses across our fastest growing population centres over the next ten years.
Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) Questions and Answers
What is Crown Infrastructure Partners?
CIP is a Crown company (formerly Crown Fibre Holdings) that is being tasked with designing and implementing new commercial models to attract co-investment from the private or other sectors and achieve the Government’s objectives for the efficient deployment of water and roading infrastructure to support the timely increase of housing supply.
The aim is to increase the total investment in local arterial roading and network water projects needed to make more housing development possible by tapping private sources of capital.
Why repurpose CFH as CIP?
A number of corporate structures were identified during the review phase. Establishing a Special Purposes Vehicle (SPV) that investors, councils and government have confidence in requires a high level of commercial and financial expertise. This expertise currently exists which CFH and since the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme is nearing completion (Phase 1 is 75 per cent complete), that work will start to wind down which means there is capacity to start this new project. In addition, repurposing an entity like CFH is significantly cheaper and more efficient than establishing a new entity.
What is the aim of CIP?
CIP will work to speed up housing developments. The aim is that by introducing different sources of capital, it will allow the infrastructure required for this growth to be brought forward earlier than would be possible if it was funded entirely from Council balance sheets.
Some high growth Councils in New Zealand are constrained in their ability to take on further debt to invest in infrastructure. Many of these high-growth Councils are near their borrowing limits, and so cannot finance the infrastructure investments needed to keep up with demand. This limits their ability to open up the supply of land for housing construction, which in turn feeds into higher house prices.
How will CIP speed up housing developments?
CIP will look at how Crown investment through an SPV might be designed to bring forward the provision of infrastructure, particularly in these high-growth areas, to enable housing supply to be brought forward.
The long-term goal is to change the market for infrastructure provision in New Zealand. CIP will fix this problem by establishing SPVs. The role of the SPVs will be to invest in roading and water infrastructure assets in the place of Councils. In return the SPV will receive a stream of revenues from developers or the households that use the infrastructure. In the case of developers, that revenue may be in the form of a one-off payment. In the case of households, the cost of the infrastructure will be recouped over the life of the asset through a targeted rate or volumetric charging.
The advantage of the SPV model is that it allows land owners and developers to bring forward the infrastructure projects that would otherwise not have started for a number of years due to councils’ financial constraints. This is because a key feature of a SPV is that the debt it takes on is reflected on the SPV’s balance sheet, not the council’s. As such it does not affect councils’ debt limits, and frees up the local infrastructure funding bottleneck.
Why look for private capital instead of traditional rates funding?
Rates are tax levied against property owners to pay for the goods and services they receive from their local council. As such there are affordability and equity considerations that councils have to take into account when setting rates. For instance, it is not equitable to ask ratepayers to fully pay for long-term infrastructure today when it will be used by multiple generations. Most councils overcome this by accessing long-term debt, spreading the costs over the life of the asset. However, some Councils’ ability to do this is constrained by their debt limits and limited borrowing capacity.
By accessing private capital, councils sidestep this financial constraint and provide the necessary infrastructure their growing communities need.
Is this just a tool for Auckland to use?
No. This model will be scalable and used in other fast-growing centres across New Zealand.
However, as most population growth pressures are concentrated in Auckland, the first SPV being explored will be within in New Zealand’s biggest city. Other Councils will be eligible to apply to set up SPVs provided their projects meet certain criteria.
What are the SPV criteria?
CIP will develop these criteria over the next few months, but at a high level projects must show an ability to generate sufficient revenue to cover their own costs over time, including the cost of capital in most cases. They must also include an exit pathway to allow the Crown to recoup its capital within a reasonable time period. Projects should include a mechanism through which external providers of capital can invest in infrastructure.
What investment opportunities are there in Auckland for CIP?
As part of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), two proposals were put forward by Auckland Council for an additional investment in roading and water infrastructure so as to accelerate the pace of house building in Auckland. The North project encompasses the Wainui area, and the South project encompasses the areas of Paerata, Pukekohe, Drury West and Drury South.
These projects did not receive HIF funding as they did not meet the specific criteria set by the Government, such as falling within the current 10-year planning period, and they couldn’t be funded from within the Council’s balance sheet using HIF funding. The characteristics of these projects make them highly suitable to fund roading and water infrastructure through and Special Purposes Vehicle (SPV).
Should projects proceed to completion, it is expected that combined they will open up sufficient land for the construction of 23,300 additional houses, taking total housing capacity in these areas to 28,300. The total infrastructure investment being sought is $588 million.
Additional housing enabled
How big is the opportunity to the North of Auckland?
New urban areas in the North, including Silverdale, Wainui and Dairy Flat have been identified by Auckland Council as areas where greenfield housing development can be significantly expanded over the next 30 years, provided the necessary infrastructure is in place to support the expansion.
What infrastructure investments are needed in the North?
The North project focuses on Wainui, where the existing infrastructure can only support the construction of 2,000 new houses in the area zoned for residential use in the Auckland Unitary Plan. It is estimated that an infrastructure investment of $201 million ($149 million for transport; $52 million for water) could sufficiently increase infrastructure capacity to service up to another 5,500 houses in Wainui.
What water infrastructure developments would this cover in the North?
The estimated $52 million infrastructure investment in the North would pay for a number of water developments including the:
- New Wainui service reservoir ($15 million)
- New water supply booster pump station ($10 million)
- New Wainui sewer and pump station ($25 million)
- Wainui Storm water ($2 million)
What transport infrastructure developments would this cover in the North?
The estimated $149 million infrastructure investment in the North would pay for a number of arterial transport developments, including the:
- Wainui Arterial Road ($60 million)
- Curley Ave Bridge ($89 million
What is the opportunity in the South?
The greatest opportunity to create new urban areas in Auckland is to the South of the city, where around 5,300 hectares of land has been identified for urban development. The areas of Paerata, Pukekohe, Drury West and Drury South offer the greatest opportunity to fast track the supply of housing as they are the most ready to develop.
What infrastructure investments are needed in the South?
Although areas in the South have significant potential to expand greenfield housing capacity in Auckland, only 3,000 additional houses can be supported by the existing water and roading infrastructure.
It is estimated that an infrastructure investment of $387 million ($215 million for transport; $172 million for water) could increase the supply of new houses by 17,800 across Paerata, Pukekohe, Drury West and Drury South.
What water infrastructure developments would this cover in the South?
The estimated $172 million needed for water infrastructure in the South would pay for a number of developments including (but limited to) the:
- New Paerata water main ($30 million)
- New Paerata sewer ($40 million)
- Drury West wastewater reticulation ($20 million)
- Drury South pump station ($25 million)
- Bremner Road sewers ($2 million)
- Bremner Road pump station ($20 million)
- Paerata storm water ($1 million)
- Pukekohe storm water ($26 million)
What transport infrastructure developments would this cover in the South?
The estimated $215 million infrastructure investment in the South would pay for a number of transport developments, including the:
- Rail stations at Paerata and Drury West ($60 million)
- Paerata rail crossing ($20 million)
- Bremner upgrade ($38 million)
- Mill Road, Great South Road/Spine Road ($97 million)
Why is Drury South being considered for the first SPV?
Drury South is one of the four areas (including Drury West, Paerata and Pukekohe) situated to the South of Auckland that has been identified as having the greatest opportunity to create new urban areas. Out of the four areas it is the most developed and is in near ready-to-go status, having already obtained planning permission, with the design and consenting expected to be complete in 2017. Should major civil works commence in October 2017 it is expected the project will be ready for the first occupants in 2019.
What will be built in Drury South?
The Drury South project being developed by Stevensons Group is an integrated development that will provide for more than 700 houses as well as an 180Ha business and industrial development adjacent to the Stevenson Drury Quarry. The business park will facilitate 15,400 jobs across the Auckland region, 5,000 of which will occur within the business park, which is expected to contribute $2.3 billion to the regional economy every year.
What transport infrastructure is needed in Drury?
To facilitate and accelerate development within the southern sector of the city, Auckland Council and NZTA are investigating the southern section of the Mill Road Corridor, a Primary Arterial Road/Expressway that will link Mill Road in Manukau with Pukekohe.
The Drury South project proposes that a Mill Road Arterial be constructed that will intersect and connect to SH1 within the bounds of the Drury South Development Area and Great South Road in the West. This interconnection via the spine road will provide important network resilience to both the Mill Road Arterial and SH1.
What water infrastructure investment is needed in Drury South?
The project requires new wastewater and freshwater connections. This includes a 4.5km trunk sewer between the project and Hingaia pump station north of Drury, and a new connection to the Waikato water pipeline in Drury. This infrastructure will be designed to integrate with other developments in the area and could service in excess of 10,000 households.
How much will it cost?
Civil works to deliver the land ready for development will total $300 million, of which an estimated $68 million in road and waste infrastructure will be assessed for CIP funding.
The Labour Party’s “fresh approach” in the 2017 election campaign is fast becoming a stale repeat of its 2014 and even its 2011 campaign, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.
“Already this week they have broken out such hardy triennials as R&D tax credits, their insulation scheme, and their early re-start to contributions to the Super Fund.
“And then today they have released an education policy that is almost in every sense identical to their 2014 one.
“Across their nine headline initiatives, only one is different to 2014, and that was announced eighteen months ago. And even that wouldn’t fully take effect until 2025,” Mr Joyce says.
“It appears that Labour’s “fresh approach” is largely re-running their 2014 campaign with David Cunliffe’s name twinked out and replaced with Andrew Little.It all amounts to the familiar Labour trifecta of more spending, more debt and higher taxes for hard working Kiwis.
“Given they have had three more years in opposition in the meantime, you’d think they might have time to do some new policy thinking.”