A personal reflection from Anne Edgar, Director of Shellock Consulting Ltd.(i)
A number of years ago our family started what has now become an annual competitive event. Let me explain the rules for our annual Predictions. On New Year’s Eve or within a week either side, each person writes a list of predictions. That’s the only rule. At your option you can add complex multi subsets of your predictions, be time specific or not, you can repeat them year after year or carry over the “it still might happen” view for many years. These predictions can be in categories, such as World, New Zealand, Climate/Planet, Nice things and Deaths. Whether they come true is a matter of (re)interpretation and changing contexts by the author. You can tick them off during the year, and/or get a big surprise on New Year’s Eve the following year with the great reveal. Those more experienced keep each prediction very wide, ambiguous and have very few. Others of us get carried away …
Forgot, there is another rule – if they are not written down, they cannot be claimed.
So far, none of us have achieved notable success but “the year is not over”. When 1/3rd of one prediction for 2020 came true in January 2020 I was gloating. The 2nd occurred but not known publicly for some months (but in an unexpected way) and now just waiting on the 3rd. One specific prediction I made for 2021 is (and I quote from the Edgar Predictions Book, yes it is a real thing):
“World economy will slump – NZ tourism will halve, but otherwise NZ will not suffer too much”
So, with that being a bit too close for comfort, here is my business predictions for 2021 and beyond. Your task is to consider whether they will come True, whether I’m Being Serious, if that is Just Wishful Thinking, whether I have Lost The Plot, or whether I just want you to create a similar Fun Family Tradition that will keep you amused, or dismayed, throughout 2021 and beyond.
- The Government(ii) will stop following the Christmas tradition of releasing a large tax bill in December (thus ruining many a holiday break) and change their traditions to releasing that bill exactly 6 months after the May Budget (subset, the May Budget will never again fall on my birthday).
- Everyone will think of New Zealand as “Team NZ Inc” and work towards a better future for everyone here, and those that come after us (in whatever form that takes).
- There will be an outpouring of public generosity towards charities, who will be able to better support those in need throughout 2021, Part 1. Part 2, the Government will do a rethink on potentially taxing charities(iii), and instead will create better incentives for the Public to donate time and money to charities, and (Part 3) the Government’s funding to charities will double.
- Education and Health will become so important that Government and Local Authority financial contributions to Major Sport, Private Sport, Major Monuments, Ugly Art Installations, Ego Building Events and Legacy Projects will cease altogether. Instead, Rich People who Love Major Sport, Private Sport etc, will step up and cover the Nice to Haves, while the Must Haves are provided for out of taxpayer’s money(iv). The economy will unexpectedly grow rapidly and sustainably under this counter-intuitive initiative.
- Elected Public Figures will stop treating the general public as Fools. We know how to run a household budget and a business budget. Don’t think we are fooled for one minute that “It won’t cost the ratepayer/taxpayer any more money … because it is already budgeted for/cost neutral”. Oh pleaseeee – moving money around, giving projects different names, borrowing, quantitative easing and on-lending “at cost”? We never get tired of hearing that last one! The ratepayer/taxpayer will have to pay for it somehow and someday. Standing in the queue with our hats off will not work.(v)
- The Government will regret ruling out a simple and effective capital gains tax, that could have evened out the current unbalanced complex rules that are Capital Gains in Disguise but only affect some people some of the time, some people all of the time, and many people none of the time.
- The Government will bring in a simplified capital gains tax, it will be easy to understand, and be fair and reasonable.
- Interest rates will not stay very low for very long. People will get hurt.(vi)
- “The UK will finally Brexit (later than planned) and suffer no major financial consequences (as a direct result).”(vii)
- There will be an outbreak of genuine kindness in New Zealand, where people will not be judged based on their ethnicity nor age, upbringing, education, religion, physical or intellectual abilities or disabilities, wealth or poverty, their public or social standing (or lack thereof), their success or failure, their appearance or their sexuality, their ancestors, their past or their future. Rather, the content of their character.(viii)
All the best for 2021 and have fun with the ones you love.
(i.) The views presented by this author are theirs alone, and Shellock Consulting Ltd will not be held responsible for anyone offended, and/or cannot understand irony or humour. This article does not represent any individual living or dead and any similarities to said living or dead person is merely coincidental. If you are offended, the author apologises in advance for any hurt you may experience. No animals were hurt in the making of this article.
(ii.) Reference to “Government” includes reference to Future Governments.
(iii.) Technically, a prediction that I made in public in 2016 and, independently, was referenced in the Tax Review Workgroup report of 2019, although I might have seen that coming.
(iv.) Yes, that is a culture reference to a famous episode of Boston Public back in the day (not Boston Legal, which was equally quirky, but the High School series).
(v.) No surprise if a Fred Dagg song is popping into your head right now.
(vi.) In 1986 my home mortgage interest rate was 16%, by 1988 it was 23.5%! “Ya tell young people today and they don’t believe ya”.
(vii.) Recycled from 2020 predictions.
(viii.) Inspired by Rev Dr Martin Luther King (Jnr)
Caption: Thanks to Robyn, our hand model