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“A Nation of Opportunity” – Cunliffe’s speech

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, January 27th, 2014 - 527 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour - Tags:

Three weeks ago I stood on top of a 1200-metre peak on the edge of Kahurangi National Park with my 12-year-old son.

It was a six-hour slog to the summit, and worth every minute: the sense of achievement, the amazing outlook over Golden Bay.

I felt then what I feel now:  I am proud to be a New Zealander.

This is a great country built on great values:

Compassion, resourcefulness, creativity, respect for our environment,

And opportunity and fairness for all, regardless of background.

These are my values.

They are New Zealand’s values.

They are Labour values.

Sadly, these values don’t match the reality of life for too many New Zealanders today.

Today, too many Kiwi families are working ever harder but just can’t get ahead.

There aren’t enough good jobs.

And there is an increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Ours is an economy where a wealthiest few are doing well, people in the middle are struggling to stay there, and those at the bottom are going backwards.

That is the state of our nation today.

This is now a country where one in four children is growing up in poverty.

That’s not acceptable.

Today we begin the conversation with New Zealanders about what kind of country we want our children to grow up in.

We’ll be talking about how we create better jobs with higher wages.

We’ll be talking about creating better opportunities for everyone, including our kids and our young families

And we will do this by building an economy that works for all New Zealanders.

An economy that delivers for every Kiwi family.

In the coming months you will no doubt hear praise for the New Zealand economy from a few vested interests with rock star lifestyles.

But New Zealanders know that there is a vast gap between the rhetoric and the reality.

They are told things are getter better, but in their own lives they see prices going up while their wages stay still.

Too many people feel nervous about the monthly rates, power and insurance bills. The envelopes sit unopened on the kitchen table because people are too anxious to open them.

Too many families are struggling even to cover the basics.

When this school did a drama production, right here in this hall, and charged a $10 entry fee for a seat – the seats you’re sitting in – I know parents who couldn’t afford to watch their own kids perform.

That’s the price of living in a low wage economy.

The rich are getting much richer, the middle is struggling and the poor are going backwards.

It’s the human face of “trickle-down economics”, the idea that if we give more to those at the top, eventually things will get better for the rest of us.

This is the idea that drove the world economy to the brink of collapse in 2008.

And now, National is asking us to roll the dice again on the same bankrupt ideas that got us into this mess in the first place.

But New Zealanders aren’t fooled. Because they can see that even now, when there is a slight uptick in growth, they aren’t feeling any better off.

And they’re right. The numbers speak for themselves.

  • Housing costs in Auckland up 15%.
  • Milk, cheese and eggs up 7%;
  • Meat and chicken up 8%.

And now the same economists who talk gleefully about a booming economy predict interest rates rising as high as 8%.

What does that mean for you? It means that if your mortgage is at 5.75% and it costs you $500 a week now, at 8% it’s going to cost an extra $136 a week.

$136 a week.

So while you’re paying more, the National Government has been busy:

  • Giving tax cuts to the wealthy.
  • Hocking off our assets.
  • Bending over backwards for foreign corporates: casinos, movie moguls and smelters.

My opponent doesn’t think there’s a problem here.

But it’s now a fact that the top 10% own 50% of our wealth.

The bottom 50% owns just 5% of it.

In fact, between 1984 and 2011 the income of the top 1% rose nearly 10 times as fast as the bottom 10%.

No wonder my opponent’s relaxed.

But enough numbers. Kiwis see the reality in their own lives every day. They feel it in how hard it is to stay ahead of the next bill and they see it in our shameful rates of child poverty.

Like a lot of Kiwis, my family has sponsored a couple of kids overseas, one in India and one in Cambodia.

But I was appalled to discover recently that right here in New Zealand – get this – there are now charities asking us to sponsor Kiwi children for $15 a month.

So they can buy things like shoes, and a coat to keep out the rain.

What has happened to our country?

From the highest living standards in the world, to “sponsor a Kiwi kid for less than a dollar a day.”

It shouldn’t be like this.

There is an alternative.

We used to pride ourselves on being one of the most egalitarian nations in the world.

That’s why so many of our forebears came here in the first place.

When I grew up, my family didn’t have much, but there was opportunity.

There was a good state school for me to go to, and good health care when my dad desperately needed it.

From the shearing sheds of South Canterbury to the pubs of South Dunedin, there were jobs that gave me the chance to save, study, and get ahead.

Some of our opponents also benefited from these opportunities.

Whether it was training incentive allowances or state houses, they’ve climbed the ladder of opportunity. Now they’re pulling it up behind them.

I entered politics because I want every Kiwi kid to have the same opportunities I did.

That’s why under Labour:

  • A full day’s work will cover the basics;
  • There will be more jobs available, and wages will catch-up with prices.
  • New Zealanders will pay what is fair – whether in their power bill, their tax bill, or their grocery bill.
  • And every child in this country will have the best start in life.

But we can’t have good jobs and better living standards without a strong, modern economy.

Everyone knows the world is changing, and we need to change with it.

That’s why we will support our world-beating innovators and entrepreneurs, by rewarding research and development with tax credits.

That’s why we will encourage investment away from property speculation and into our productive businesses by introducing a capital gains tax.

That’s why we will assist exporters hit hard in the pocket by a high dollar through reforming the Reserve Bank Act.

And that’s why we will to assist our primary industries to keep jobs and profits in this country.

Because when raw logs, or bulk fish, or whole carcasses – rather than finished products – sail off our shores, so does most of the added value.

And off with it go the good jobs and the decent wages Kiwi families deserve, and need to get ahead.

Building this new economy will require a new type of Government, and a dfferent way of doing things.

I know that the best change happens when you work with people, rather than trying to do it to them or even for them.

Together. That’s how we will build a nation of opportunity.

And it all begins with our kids.

I’m a proud dad. I have two great boys, and like every Kiwi parent I want to give my children the best start possible.

It’s that basic drive, to give our children better than we ourselves had, that should guide us as a nation.

But it’s not just about doing what’s right, it’s also about doing what makes sense.

When New Zealand families struggle with the basics, we are all worse off.

We all know the costs of child poverty are huge, but experts tell us they are around $6 billion a year.

What a huge waste of our human and economic potential.

So if you’re going to do something about that, where do you start?

Well obviously you start early. That’s where the investment does the most good.

We all know that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important. It affects how they learn, how they get on with other people, and the opportunties they have.

When one in four of our kids is growing up below the poverty line, and one in five don’t even have two pairs of shoes to wear to school, is it any surprise we’re tumbling down the educational rankings?

Kids do not leave their lives at the school gate.

Restoring opportunity for every Kiwi kid is just common sense.

The experts back it up and it’s no surprise there is a growing consensus on this point.

However, it is also a deep and complex challenge.

If a kid starts out without the basics in place, just paying bonuses to a few of their teachers isn’t going to turn it around.

Raising kids is ultimately a job for their parents. But many families are working hard and still doing it tough, especially when their children are in their youngest years.

Child care is expensive, so one parent may decide to stay at home, for as long as they can. If they can. Many parents don’t even have that choice.

That’s why today we want to send a message that we value the early years. That we know the start a child has in life affects all of us in the long run, and the more support we can give parents during those critical years, the better off we will all be.

Today I am proud to launch Best Start – Labour’s plan to give every Kiwi kid the best start in life, from before born, through early childhood and into education.

There is no year more critical than the first. That’s why today, I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start payment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life.

This investment will go to all families with a combined income of $150,000 or less, and will give them more choices around how they juggle the pressure of work and the care of their baby.

But we need to keep easing that pressure for modest and middle income families beyond that first year. That’s why for these families, a payment of up to $60 a week will continue to their child’s third birthday.

Today I am also announcing we will increase Free Early Childhood Education to 25 hours, up from 20.

Labour’s Free early childhood education programme is already making a difference. The evidence shows every dollar we invest saves $11 down the track.

But as many of you here will have found, 20 hours is not enough and doesn’t always fit with centre schedules.

By lifting it to 25 we’re giving parents more choices and we’re continuing to build investment in our kids.

Alongside this, we need to expand access to early childhood centres, because free hours aren’t enough if you don’t have a centre in your neighbourhood, or if all the rolls are full.

In partnership with communities, Labour will fund the development of early childhood centres in lower income communities to ensure there are places for every kid.

But quantity is no good without quality. This Government has cut funding for qualified teachers in our early childhood centres.

We think our kids deserve better. That’s why we are restoring those funding cuts, starting with a downpayment in our first year.

Labour’s package commits us to 26 weeks paid parental leave to ensure infants get a safe and solid start.

I call on our opponents to remove their financial veto so that Sue Moroney’s Paid Parental Leave bill can proceed as planned on 1 July this year.

Of course, success in the early years involves health as well as education and income issues.

That’s why we are committing to a set of antenatal initiatives that ensure kids have the best chance from the day they’re born.

This will include:

  • making sure at least 80% of pregnant mums are booked in for antenatal checks by 10 weeks,
  • providing free antenatal classes for every expectant mum who wants them
  • extending WellChild visits like those from Plunket for families who need extra support.
  • And providing early access to free ECE for children under 3 who are especially vulnerable.

The Best Start package will ensure parents have more choices and better support so they can give their kids the opportunities they deserve.

This will, of course, all require investment.

That’s why we’ve freed up $1.5 billion per annum by dropping policies that were not as targeted as these.

And we will be unashamedly asking the wealthiest few to contribute to giving all Kiwi kids the best start.

We need to put our country’s resources where they will do the most good.  And I believe, as do most New Zealanders, that the best investment we can ever make is in our children.

So, the choice we all face in 2014 is a crucial one for our country and for our kids.

It is a stark choice between growing inequality on the one hand, and restoring opportunity for all New Zealanders on the other.

It’s between a Government that has stopped listening, that is arrogant and out of touch.

And a new direction from a new Labour-led government that will create opportunity for all, starting with our kids.

Of course we know these are tough problems.

Of course we know it will take time to shift them.

But we have the courage to take a stand.

It is not good enough for a quarter of our children to be growing up in poverty.

Or for many to miss out on support and education in their early years.

We will fix this.

But we won’t stop there.

We will be campaigning for better education, affordable housing, and for quality public health care.

We will deliver better jobs and higher wages based on a high-value economy.

There will be opportunities in all our regions and decent work based on fair employment laws.

As your prime minister I will put Kiwis first, and work in partnership with communities for a fairer society.

We will have a New Zealand that once more lives up to New Zealand’s values.

Later this year, you will have the power to choose a better, fairer, and more prosperous New Zealand.

I know that none of us believe we should settle for anything less.

I know none of us believes New Zealand should be country where we ‘sponsor a kid for a dollar a day’.

Well this year that changes.

Together, we will begin rebuliding a country that is proud, strong, and gives every single child the very best start.

Thank you.

527 comments on ““A Nation of Opportunity” – Cunliffe’s speech”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Thank god they didn’t call it “Kiwi Start” or some other asinine name.

  2. Zorr 2

    In those early childhood initiatives there are some very good propositions – especially the increase to 26 weeks paid parental leave. Would still love them to make the IWTC part and parcel of the Family Tax Credit for everyone

    • alwyn 2.1

      It really doesn’t make any sense to make the IWTC a universal payment to everyone though. The sensible purpose of that benefit is to help provide for the inescapable costs of actually going out to work, costs that are in general not incurred by people who do not work.

      If we plan to make targetted, for good reason, benefits available to everyone I suppose we could do such things as making the unemployment benefit payable to everyone. Even David C should get it paid to him. Why not?
      National Super could be paid to all. Why have some silly little requirement that you be over 65?
      Everyone should get this $60/week payment. Why should you have to have a child to get it?

      I know that these are silly, and of course they won’t introduce them. Don’t bother telling me that.
      However they aren’t any sillier than paying the IWTC to everybody, even if they don’t go out to work.

      • Zorr 2.1.1

        Why not scrap the IWTC? Just make it a larger FTC payment?

        Also, it only applies to those working X amount of hours per week so you can still be employed but not receive it. Why shouldn’t we just give all children the most assistance we can without penalizing them for their parent’s inability to find sufficient employment?

      • Francis 2.1.2

        “If we plan to make targetted, for good reason, benefits available to everyone I suppose we could do such things as making the unemployment benefit payable to everyone. Even David C should get it paid to him. Why not?
        National Super could be paid to all. Why have some silly little requirement that you be over 65?”

        That’s called a UBI, and it actually makes a lot of sense when you look into it…

      • bad12 2.1.3

        alwyn, more stupidity, there are costs of having a new born child that everyone incurs including beneficiaries who incidently are the only group of New Zealanders who in the past 3 decades that have had their income directly cut,

        Great policy from Labour leader David Cunliffe and hopefully, economic conditions allowing, the age for inclusion in this ‘family benefit’ is gradually raised for those with the least income from a maximum age of 3 to 14,

        Your comment reads like a whine, would you care for more cheese with that…

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4

        It really doesn’t make any sense to make the IWTC a universal payment to everyone though.

        Yes it does for all the same reasons that having a UBI makes sense. Oh, wait, with the UBI you wouldn’t need a IWTC and all of the expensive administration that goes with it.

        If we plan to make targetted, for good reason, benefits available to everyone I suppose we could do such things as making the unemployment benefit payable to everyone.

        You sound as if you haven’t read all the articles on this site that support a UBI – you know, the stuff that you said you supported.

        National Super could be paid to all. Why have some silly little requirement that you be over 65?

        The UBI would replace National Super.

        I know that these are silly, and of course they won’t introduce them.

        Actually, all of that RWNJ kneejerk reaction was just you being silly.

        • alwyn 2.1.4.1

          That is fine. I think a UBI would work, but lets us do that not just have all these funny other benefits that we accumulate together and then means test each of them in a different way.
          If we are going to do it then we have to do it properly.

          It might be a little bit difficult actually if we did it at the rate for New Zealand Super, when you do the numbers. If every person got a UBI at, say, the rate for a “single person sharing accomodation” rate for Super that would come to about $88 billion/year which is around 60% of New Zealand’s GDP.
          I know it is only a transfer payment of course but I would want to think further about the implications of something on that scale. After all, David C says we can’t afford the existing system so he would have pups at that idea.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4.1.1

            That is fine. I think a UBI would work, but lets us do that not just have all these funny other benefits that we accumulate together and then means test each of them in a different way.
            If we are going to do it then we have to do it properly.

            I agree. The problem I had with your comment was that you were saying that we shouldn’t do that despite having said that we should.

            If every person got a UBI at, say, the rate for a “single person sharing accomodation” rate for Super that would come to about $88 billion/year which is around 60% of New Zealand’s GDP.

            And that means that there’s still 40% to be shared around to the people working most of whom will be paying tax.

            Anyway, what this argument of yours comes down to is the question of just what the economy is for and, as I said here, I think that the economy is for ensuring that all NZers have a reasonable living standard while the economy fits within the sustainable use of our physical resources. Under this purpose we can’t afford the rich.

            After all, David C says we can’t afford the existing system so he would have pups at that idea.

            Saying that we can’t afford such as a UBI is, essentially, saying that we can’t afford to support the population that we have.

          • KJT 2.1.4.1.2

            Actually, a UBI for every man. woman and child, at $14000 a year, (the current married rate of super after tax) times 4.5 million (Stats NZ estimate of present population) equals $63 billion. We have, of course, suggested that the under 16 rate be less. Which makes it less than 45 billion. Less than a third of GDP.

            On higher incomes it will all be clawed back in tax, of course.

            Government income 2012/13 was 64 billion, which is considerably less, as a proportion of GDP, than pre 1984, by the way. The difference, to date, has, mostly, been gifted to the already wealthy.

            The UBI for the elderly has had obvious beneficial effects on economic activity, (GDP) Just go look at Cambridge or (Mount) Maunganui.

            • alwyn 2.1.4.1.2.1

              I used the single rate, sharing accomodation as my number because in most households there is at most a single marriage. Children, of whatever age, living at home are of course normally single.

              You also have to use a pre-tax rate though. After tax doesn’t work unless you assume that the UBI is not going to be taxed in people’s hands. Otherwise you will get the benefit dropping.
              That is why I used $19,600/annum or whatever it worked out at. You say yourself that it will be taxed and using an after tax figure implies that you are going to bring in, effectively, double taxation.

              You say “Government income … considerably less … than pre 1984″
              Can you tell me where you can get those figures? I’ve tried various Google queries but don’t find anything relevant. One of the problems with this of course is that things like telephone charges would seem to be classed as Government income pre 1984 but not today.

              Yes, New Zealand Super has had an amazing effect on the standard of living of the elderly. I lean toward the view that a couple, owning their own home and living on only New Zealand Super, are as well of as a couple with two kids and one income of say the median New Zealand amount who have a mortgage and are trying to pay for a house. I don’t have the time to prove it at the moment though so I’ll leave it at “lean toward the view”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                After tax doesn’t work unless you assume that the UBI is not going to be taxed in people’s hands.

                The UBI isn’t taxed and it is that fact that turns a flat tax into a mildly progressive tax.

                • alwyn

                  When I wrote this I was replying to the comment from KJT immediately preceding it.

                  He/she proposed that the amount of the UBI would be the after tax rate of New Zealand Super. KJT then said that “On higher incomes it will all be clawed back in tax of course”.

                  If it wasn’t going to be taxed, as you propose, then there wouldn’t be any clawback would there? Whatever you got in UBI you would keep. The comment that there would be a clawback via tax was the reason I interpreted what KJT was saying to mean that the UBI would be taxed and that you should therefore use the pre-tax amount in order not to reduce the existing benefit.

                  • KJT

                    I was saying that we would raise the top tax rate, or flat tax rate, so that those on higher incomes will still be paying more tax than they gain in the UBI.

                    The UBI itself is a negative tax.

  3. as for a seachange on poverty/inequality..?

    ..more a ripple..

    ..t went there..

    ..he will still be speaking..

    ..i read the transcript..

    ..then a friend phoned offering a free laneway ticket..

    .cunnliffe started banging on about visions from high on a mountain-top..

    ..and i was outa there..

    ..phillip ure..

    • Bearded Git 3.1

      Bit negative Mr. Ure.

      He wasn’t releasing 80% of policy here-that will come later, but he effectively said he was going to tax the rich more (“you know what I mean”) to help the 25% of kids being brought up in poverty. That’s worth voting for IMO.

    • Jan 3.2

      Whatever turns you on!

    • greywarbler 3.3

      It’s positive stuff phillip ure
      Go through it and compress all the factual stuff, then all the aspirational stuff, etc and then let’s have a look. And don’t turn out the light as you go, if you go, because there will be others wanting to see what Labour’s on about. So stick with it eh! and we can discuss after we’ve chewed the cud and see what milk we get, it might be just skim, but there’s lots of good in that stuff.

      • phillip ure 3.3.1

        yes..in itself it is all good..

        ..but i..and i think others..were expecting more of a grand plan to end poverty..or the like..

        ..not just a piecemeal policy-release in one area only..

        ..and if this is the plan for the year..

        ..i can guarantee him diminishing audiences..

        ..he had the chance here to present a game-changer..

        ..he didn’t..

        ..and that was why i walked out/off..

        ..i intended staying for the q&a..as i had a few ‘q’s..

        ..but i was so underwhelmed after reading the transcript..

        ..i just left..

        ..phillip ure..

    • Will@Welly 3.4

      …………….so you don’t like the idea of a sermon from up high on the mount …………I don’t think that was the point his was making……………rather, here was a man, happy in his own skin, to take a holiday, in his own country, sharing time with his family………………pure and simple……………..
      contrast that with a man who can’t wait to get out of the country at the first opportunity he can, snuggling up to anyone rich and famous who will have him.
      That is the difference. Oh, yes, and Mr Cunliffe wasn’t afraid to throw in details to his announcements, rather than leave it to “others” to flesh out the details. Sounds pretty sensible to me.

    • fisiani 3.5

      When he said that 1 in 5 children do not have two pairs of shoes I switched off. What an outright lie. Not one piece of evidence to back up that figure. Does any poster here actually believe such nonsense. I challenge him to come up with a citation for that statistic. Waiting waiting…I’ll never get an answer.

      • mickysavage 3.5.1

        So obviously Fisi you do not have evidence to disprove otherwise you would have posted it.

        • fisiani 3.5.1.1

          You cannot disprove a made up story.
          I cannot disprove Santa Claus.
          I cannot disprove that the moon is made of green cheese
          I cannot disprove that 20% of NZ children do not have two pairs of shoes.

          I do not believe any of the above three and nor do you.

          Seriously Mickey you have to do much better than that. Who keeps data on shoe ownership?
          The Cunliffe is just making it up and he needs to prove his words. He made the outrageous claim . Now he needs to justify it.

          • Francis 3.5.1.1.1

            “The Cunliffe is just making it up and he needs to prove his words. He made the outrageous claim . Now he needs to justify it.”

            And National need to prove the majority of their statistics too. I hope you’re applying the same pressure to them. We all know a lot of their statistics are made up on the spot (or backed by questionable “research”)

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.5.1.1.2

            That should be no problem for him Fisiani – he is in a much better position to know the facts than you appear to be on the matter.

            It is highly unlikely that he would ‘just make it up’ like that.

            Mind you, I guess our PM did ‘just make it up’ when he said everyone was benefitting from improvements in the economy – so I can easily understand why you are so doubtful and untrusting – it is not good to be continually lied by one holding a high position in the country is it?

          • mickysavage 3.5.1.1.3

            I was testing Fisi. You were the one who said it was not true so I thought you must have some data to back up your claim. Obviously you do not …

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.5.1.1.4

            No, fatuous Fisi, Kidscan made the claim

            Before the programme was introduced many of the schools we now support reported that they had to sellotape or staple kids’ shoes together as they were often falling apart…For many children it is the first pair they have ever owned and they can’t quite believe they are allowed to keep them.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.1.5

            I do not believe any of the above three and nor do you.

            Oh, wait, so you’re saying that you can disprove that 20% of NZ children don’t have two pairs of shoes?

            Great. Linky?

            • Lisa 3.5.1.1.5.1

              I’m a teacher at a decile 6 High School and can honestly say that most days I’m asked for sellotape, staples and/or blue tack to hold clothing, shoes and bags together…

              • Lisa

                And…. Decile 6 is considered kind of well off.

                • mickysavage

                  On ya Lisa. The trouble with the decile system is that even in medium ranked schools there are poor kids. It is just that there are more of them in the lower ranked schools.

      • NZ Femme 3.5.2

        I don’t know where the 1 in 5 stat comes from but kids without shoes or socks is clearly enough of an issue in this country for 40,000 pairs of shoes to be issued via KidsCan’s initiative, Shoes for Kids.

        http://www.kidscan.org.nz/our-work/shoes-for-kids

        • bad12 3.5.2.1

          NZFemme, well said and nice link, Fisiani is simply crying as first the Green Party announce a game changer for New Zealand kids and then David Cunliffe follows that with the real ‘change’ in the fortunes for ‘all’ kids…

          • NZ Femme 3.5.2.1.1

            You know Bad, what makes me want to cry, is that people like Fisiani think the way they do.

            That I live in country where a significant proportion of people must also think the same way. At least enough of them to embrace key for a second term.

            I know it shouldn’t, but it still has the power to shock me that I breathe the same air as people who have become so desensitised to the lives of more marginalised people around them that they’ll bitch and rant with dehumanising terms like “breeders”, and “bludgers”, and who begrudge a few weetbix and milk for hungry kids at school.

            I seriously can’t get my head around it.

            • bad12 3.5.2.1.1.1

              Lolz, NZFemme, do not be sad, i too am unhappy to share the same air as these people, never be sad, get mad, spit and laugh at them i find that the best medicine…

            • phillip ure 3.5.2.1.1.2

              @ nzfemme..

              i wouldn’t sweat it..eh..?

              ..fisi is a bottom-dweller from kiwiblog..

              ..that’s all you really need to know..

              ..and the last thing to do..

              ..is to take him at all seriously..

              ..phillip ure..

            • Ash 3.5.2.1.1.3

              I work at the coal face of child poverty in low decile schools . The last time a child had no shoes at the school I was at….the child’s mother was proudly showing me her new iphone 5s while I was busy organising shoes for her child from Kids Can ! Totally despairing the choices made.

              • mickysavage

                So does this occur with every child who has no shoes or just this particular one?

              • Te Reo Putake

                Yeah, this happened. Thanks, Ash.

              • KJT

                Yeah, well, I was working in a low decile school for a while. Parents were taking payday loans at exorbitant interest rates and doing without food themselves to feed their kids.

                As for Iphones, I was collecting old phones from friends, so parents could make the obligatory phone calls to WINZ.

                Just saying.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey Ash did you notice the fabulous pair of Birkenstocks the mother had on, even while she made little Johnny run in bare feet over broken glass just to get to school!

              • weka

                I work at the coal face of child poverty in low decile schools . The last time a child had no shoes at the school I was at….the child’s mother was proudly showing me her new iphone 5s while I was busy organising shoes for her child from Kids Can ! Totally despairing the choices made.

                Maybe there is more to the story that you haven’t said, but I despair at the damning judgements made about people based on superficial observations. Yes, maybe she is just a selfish person or a bad mother. But I can think of many circumstances that explain her behaviour while her child has no shoes that don’t involve her being a bad parent. For some people getting a cell phone might be the thing that changes their life from unmanageable to manageable.

                I’d also like to point out that a couple of months ago vodafone introduced a new range of cell phone plans that are replacements for a landline, and they gave away iphones for free for people signing up.

              • Murray Olsen

                Aw Ash, you forgot the Audi with Sky TV dish that she drove up in, the bottle of Veuve Cliquot she was drinking, and the fag hanging out of her mouth, plus the six other kids from seven different fathers that she had in the boot. Please include all your “facts”.

            • View Balanced 3.5.2.1.1.4

              I think that most of the people you are referring to (including myself) are concerned that these sorts of policies encourage greater dependency.
              Its not that I want children to be hungry, its that I want solutions that involve parents providing a childs basic needs .

              • McFlock

                You might not want children to be hungry (or die), it’s just that any “solutions” you come up with will have that outcome – but they’ll enable you to blame the parents while. you. do. nothing. about. it.

        • North 3.5.2.2

          Well done with the kidscan link NZ Femme. Guess Fisiani should be apologising for his/her savagery. Won’t be holding my breath though. Fisiani is an amoral zealot.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.5.3

        Perhaps you should ask Kidscan why they think shoes are such a priority.

        Support a New Zealand child for $15 a month to provide :

        Food at school for a year
        A waterproof raincoat
        A pair of shoes
        Two pairs of socks
        Basic hygiene items
        Your support provides a child with the essentials they need to learn.

        On second thoughts, why encourage you to waste their time with your whining?

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.5.4

        Gees Fisiani – you must find it unbearable listening to our current [soon-to-be ex] PM if outright lies switches you off.

        ….and if that is your only criticism – as unsubstantiated as it is (was it really a lie – or do you simply not know what is going on in this country?) – then perhaps there was actually a whole lot hitting all the correct buttons about that speech just delivered by Mr Cunliffe.

      • greywarbler 3.5.5

        fisiani
        You can always be counted on to be fizzing about something. Probably inconsequential but hey it’s nice to feel the blood circulating isn’t it. Knowing that there is is still life passing through the tubes congested though they might be. Congrats.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.5.6

        When he said that 1 in 5 children do not have two pairs of shoes I switched off.

        That’s an outright LIE – you’ve never been switched on fisiani :twisted:

        • Will@Welly 3.5.6.1

          But really nice of fissi to admit that all of National’s announcements are one big lie. Thanks.

      • Adele 3.5.7

        fisiani

        That some families cannot afford shoes, even from the Warehouse, is a reality for many living on benefits, single incomes, or low wages. Take a trip into any poor community and the evidence is there.

        Better yet, try living on an unemployment wage for a year and lets see how well heeled you remain.

        • fisiani 3.5.7.1

          The latest NZ Living Standards Report does ask if everyone in a household has two pairs of good or sturdy shoes. And 92% said they did, and only 5% said they did not because they couldn’t afford it.
          So I ask again why does The Cunliffe turn 5% into 20% or is he so illiterate that he really thinks 5% is 1 in 5. The argument above about Kidscan makes my point. Their output is not even is double digits percentage wise. The Cunliffe is yet again just making it up. Don’t get me started on the nonsense that 1 in 4 children in NZ are in poverty. Thyat’s like saying that every child in the South Island (approx 1 in 4) lives in poverty. I still cannot believe that the media do not pull him up on such lies.

          http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/living-standards/living-standards-2008.html

          so again anyone care to come up with how The Cunliffe makes his 20% claim.

          • McFlock 3.5.7.1.1

            the report from 2008 doesn’t break households down by kids, afaik.
            Dunno where cunliffe got his stat from, but you’re comparing chalk and cheese, fis. Maybe you should ask cunliffe, rather than making shit up?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.7.1.2

            Things have changed a bit since 2008. Most notably, we’ve had a National government in place that rewards the rich and punishes the poor.

          • NZ Femme 3.5.7.1.3

            “…The argument above about Kidscan makes my point. Their output is not even is double digits percentage wise…”

            It does nothing of the sort. You seem to be overlooking the obvious; KidsCan is a charity and limited in what it can supply by virtue of that fact.

        • KJT 3.5.7.2

          Don’t think Fizzer is “well heeled”. So many NACT apologists, when you meet them, turn out to be over-mortgaged wannabes.

          Or in one of the easy, old boy network parasite jobs.

          Too thick for anyone to give them any real responsibility.

        • tricledrown 3.5.7.3

          Fishy anal its so good of you to point out 2008 figures after 9 years of labour govt unemployment at 3.5% .
          Now 5 years later with much higher unemployment lower wages child poverty at much higher rates.
          You have shot your self in the foot
          Shoes on I hope.
          But I have worked with street kids and just about all their families are lucky if they have got 1 pair of shoes usually raided from a clothing recycling bin

    • Lloyd 3.6

      Its a breath of fresh air for politicians to have a vision and present it to the public.
      All we get from Nats is how bad the world economy is and how we had better sell the family silver and bash some poor section of our community to keep the books balanced. No mention of a brighter future!

      • the pigman 3.6.1

        Catch up Lloyd – forget blue sky thinking and brighter futures, the newest NACTarrative is that it’s all milk and honey now. Thank G-D we sold the family silver for such handsome returns to Mum-and-Dad’s-Cayman-Islands-Investment-Vehicle we can all share in the pot of gold and jobs abound!

  4. Pete 4

    That dovetails nicely with the Greens’ announcement this weekend. ECE also gives parents greater availability for work.

    • Anne 4.1

      +1 Pete

      So much so, that I believe they are coordinating behind the scenes. Just what we want to see happening.

  5. Jan 5

    Yeah!!!!!! He gets it – he understands about the vital importance of early years education – brilliant!

  6. greywarbler 6

    Just looking in google and came across details of Ireland’s budget from October 2013 to apply in 2014.
    Worth having a look at what they are doing. It looks reasonable for a country in difficulties.
    http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/money_and_tax/budget_2014.html

  7. McFlock 7

    Nice maternity/preschool package.

    I’d have possibly liked a sideswipe at the recently-announced national standards goon squads, but a good flag-waving number all the same.

    edit: sideswipe a bit like how Stuffed managed to cover cunliffe’s speech and include the paragraph “Labour’s plan follows Prime Minister John Key’s State of the Nation speech last week focusing on education and promising a big boost to teacher pay packets to keep the best teachers in the classroom.” Gotta love the critical policy analysis, there…

  8. Mr Tank 8

    Nice work Davo! If you know what I mean….

  9. philj 9

    Got to be something concrete in it for the poor to get them to vote. And I don’t mean water, cement and gravel!

  10. geoff 10

    I see the right wing nut jobs are all working overtime at Stuff. Seems really coordinated. Amazing what money can buy…astroturfing arseholes

    • Rosie 10.1

      I have had a boycott in place for the stuffed site for two months now so have been blissfully unaware of the wing nut bleating, however, I am sure there will be a braying stampede going on in the comments section!

      And they always did seem suspiciously well coordinated during political “events”…………..

      Desperate and sad really.

      • geoff 10.1.1

        It is completely coordinated.

        The positive side is that they must be worried to feel the need to have such a reaction.

        • idlegus 10.1.1.1

          absolutely coordinated, the stuff poll jumped to over 200 ‘bad idea’ as soon as it appeared, ha, that was pretty amusing to see. but i take it as a good sign, if stuff pollsters are scared then cunliffe is hitting his mark, getting through.

          • geoff 10.1.1.1.1

            Over 800 comments on stuff now. Clearly National perceive that website as an important battle ground. I think that’s the same logic as pushing Key on radio stations like the edge. They can reach the apolitical swing voters.
            They’re going to fight so dirty in this election it is going to be jaw dropping.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              might see if I can find my old stuff password :)

            • Sosoo 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I looked, and it does seem odd. If it’s not a co-ordinated hit job, it would demonstrate that a majority of New Zealanders are completely mental and willing to punish children for being born to the “wrong” people..

              National and their supporters need to go the way of Golden Dawn.

              • Colonial Viper

                Be careful what you wish for, there is a distinct racist-fascist element in NZ culture, only 4% to 5% of adults I would say but they are there.

              • geoff

                It’s the same deal as when that Bryan Bruce doco played on the tele. Nary a word about it on the rightwing blogs as I recall. Didn’t give it a breath of oxygen. Good tactics but it showed how coordinated they are. Straight from the hollow men playbook.

  11. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11

    A big thank you to whoever posted this speech within quarter of an hour of the speech starting. There must have been some cooperation from the Labour Party to get it online so quickly. This is excellent work whoever organized it – thanks for including those who don’t have access to broadband – very thoughtful.

    I was ‘watching’ despite on dial – decided to keep it on to keep the numbers up – There were 499 people watching according to my version of the live broadcast.

    I was reading the live comments (of course the picture was frozen!) “Harold’s comment was heartening: “This guy is gonna smoke JK”

    My initial responses are:

    Am extremely pleased that There is an alternative was mentioned – as was the ladder analogy – these are very simple concepts to grasp and say it all. Hopefully picked up on by the MSM – I will be very surprised if they are not – they love a good ‘soundbyety’ slogan – feed the journos the quick messages – like feeding wee birds!

    Felt pretty touched about actually giving parents the money – I prefer this to the Greens latest announcement – this is surprising – I have been favouring the Greens announcements overall more. (I am a left voter – yet undecided which left-wing party I will vote for)

    Love that high value economy was mentioned – this concept needs to be explained in plain English though for ordinary non-politicized New Zealanders.

    Some sense of lack of substance involved with this speech – however a very good start and like the way Labour has started the initial announcement with the beginning – the start of life – gives me the sense that they will be following up with more for other stages of life.

    I like positive framing of this speech –

    In all an intelligent well-thought out speech that shows a lot of engagement with our left wing community – this ability to listen and engage is excellent.

    Good one Cunliffe – I do believe you will be making us a very fine Prime Minister

    …And as Harold said You are going smoke JK :)

    • bad12 11.2

      Blue Leopard, i have often commented that it would be denigrating of beneficiary parents to find ways not to simply put needed finances into their hands,

      In relation to the Green Party policy announced on Sunday i do believe tho that the out-lined program is in fact ‘needed’ and while there is the valid argument for simply empowering the parents to provide by financing them as individuals the scope and breadth of the announced Green Party policy, especially the after school and holiday aspects of it would best be delivered from the proposed Hubs in schools,

      David Cunliffe’s announcement today effectively begins the empowerment of parents as individuals to better care for their kids albeit it only up to the point of 3 years old, hopefully as finances allow this will be extended on the basis of ‘need’ to see such payments extend further as the kids age,

      That’s just the first major policy speech from our next Prime Minister, a great one at that, in conjunction with the Green Party announcement and to greatly simplify the ramifications of both policies Labour are saying that up to 3 years old we have your back, the Green’s are saying after that age we also have your back,

      The two parties policy while markedly different begin to address the basics of poverty in both a monetary and practical sense and i would have to suspect that there has been some measure of co-operation between the two parties, Labour and Green,as the two sets of policy have been put together…

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11.2.1

        Yes, it is a good point re seeing the two Parties policies put together and ‘having our backs’.

        I suspect that you are responding to my initial reservations about The Greens policy announcement on the other thread and like I said, I hope that the Greens are engaging with those communities that need help and finding out what they need from them.

        I am generally very supportive of what the Greens do and am very happy to see Labour and the Greens are showing a cooperative working relationship so that people can see what the next government will be like -i.e. a good and effective one.

    • gem 11.3

      ”like feeding wee birds!” – lol, reminds me of joh bjelke-petersen, the crooked premier of Queensland who grew up in NZ; he used to describe press conferences as ”feeding the chooks”.

  12. geoff 12

    Great speech Dave!

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    It’s the human face of “trickle-down economics”, the idea that if we give more to those at the top, eventually things will get better for the rest of us.

    This is the idea that drove the world economy to the brink of collapse in 2008.

    And now, National is asking us to roll the dice again on the same bankrupt ideas that got us into this mess in the first place.

    It’s the same set of ideas that caused the Great Depression. Rewarding the rich for being rich (tax cuts, new laws, government subsidies) while punishing the poor for being poor (social welfare reforms that remove that welfare, GST increases) inevitably crashes the economy.

    That’s why we will support our world-beating innovators and entrepreneurs, by rewarding research and development with tax credits.

    Please, go read The Entrepreneurial State. The US didn’t become a world leader in technology by giving tax credits – they became that leader by directly funding the R&D through universities and small private companies. They continue to do this: $9 billion per year in subsidies to the pharmaceutical companies that produces ~75% of the new drugs coming out of the US. The (in)famous Siri of the iPhone/Pad was developed by a small company directly funded by the US government (once it was developed the company was bought up by Apple with the US government getting nothing).

    Because when raw logs, or bulk fish, or whole carcasses – rather than finished products – sail off our shores, so does most of the added value.

    Will you be looking at banning the export of raw product?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Not to mention further additional subsidies in the form of multi-billion dollar weapons and surveillance development programmes.

  14. Xtasy 14

    It was a good speech by David Cunliffe, but I had expected a bit more of specifics re other policies besides of “Best Start”. Yes, 26 weeks paid maternity leave, 25 hours free childcare, better health services for newborns and a payment to parents with children make sense. What is of concern is what this will mean in detail, and with that I mean especially the $ 60 a week that Labour wants paid for each newborn child for a year, and in some cases for low income parents for up to 3 years.

    This is the part of “Best Start” the MSM are now focused on, and they are tearing it apart. And even some Labour supporters expressed criticism. It is already being labeled an election “bribe”, and criticised for giving wrong incentives to some, to simply have more babies, for the extra money. On Wallace Chapman’s afternoon talk on Radio Live even some persons who would benefit, were saying, it would also go to “bad” parents, who would use the extra money for the wrong purposes. But that also shows, how “conditioned” so many out there already are by the biased MSM and right wing propaganda.

    What I do not like is the high threshold for income earners, being close to 150 k per annum. It would have been better targeted for household income earners up to 80 k or a maximum of a 100 k per annum.

    Some criticise this as a “handout” to high earners and label it as “middle class welfare”, but on the other hand, it is clear that under Labour high earners will also pay more taxes. I want to know how this will fit in with WWF payments, and also, whether beneficiaries with kids will get this on top of their benefits. I suspect that will not be the case, and that they will end up with a lower benefit (e.g. temporary additional support and so being affected), while getting the $ 60 a child.

    This is what Cunliffe and Labour need to clarify now.

    I support the ideas of R+D tax credits, of incentivising more value added production, bringing in a capital gains tax and the likes.

    But otherwise, I see nothing much that will offer better conditions for people on benefits, and as I feared, there was no mention of welfare policy, except of course “Best Start” (for families with kids). And only if the extra payments for raising little kids will be excempted from the benefit abatement practices in place, will parents on benefits gain anything out of what was announced.

    • karol 14.1

      Cunliffe signaled at he end of last week that he would focus on the big picture. He said Key’s speech was too narrow for a State of a Nation speech. Cunliffe said a SON speech should lay out the broad agenda for the coming election campaign.

      Cunliffe has done that. I am concerned that Cunliffe’s Labour will also sideline social security. There is nothing much in today’s speech to say if he will or if he won’t. It may be that he feels it’s necessary to tread carefully because there is too much negativity whipped up by the right, and the MSM, re social security.

      Cunliffe has laid out a broad agenda that COULD include social security details at a later date.

      He has focused strongly on the income gap and poverty, and said we are all in this together. It is probably smart to lead on a policy that includes most Kiwis – putting some detail into how we are all in it together.

      Best Start will also take a lot of pressure off single mothers. Cunliffe did seem to indicate his Labour will turn away from bashing single beneficiary parents, and not be forcing them out to work as soon as. He said this:

      Child care is expensive, so one parent may decide to stay at home, for as long as they can. If they can. Many parents don’t even have that choice.

      • weka 14.1.1

        I agree with Xtasy, the point about whether the $60/wk is ‘income’, or exempt from income testing for beneficiaries, needs to be clarified immediately.

        Does anyone know if there is more detail on the policy online yet?

        • Bill 14.1.1.1

          refer to http://thestandard.org.nz/cunliffe-state-of-the-nation-speech/#comment-763733 far a link to the fact sheet.

          Benefits are not affected.

          • Xtasy 14.1.1.1.1

            “The Best Start Payment will be in addition to any Family Tax Credit and In Work Tax Credit the household is already entitled to. It will not affect these entitlements.

            Nor will it affect or be affected by eligibility for benefits, pensions, or supplementary assistance such as accommodation supplement or childcare subsidy.”

            Wow, that is interesting, thanks for that, Bill.

            I can already hear the government and the MSM lackeys rubbish this, as topping up “benefits” of parents on welfare support, and encouraging solo mums to “breed” for more money. Labour MPs and activists better prepare for this and hammer back.

            So after all, some real good news for parents, also on benefits. I hope Labour will also offer some good policies for sick and disabled on benefits, as what we get under Bennett’s “boot camp style approach”, and her disgusting Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt, that is totally unacceptable.

            I trust we will hear more from Labour over the coming months.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Another segment of the population that this alienates is single people.

      Saw a comment on stuff with someone who was saying that single people get nothing under Labour. Under National they get tax cuts (and the ‘independent earner’ tax credit ME-too bribe).

      • Bill 14.2.1

        Well, fuck it Lanth. If I have to wait a month or two to see if (for example) abatement rates on state entitlements or secondary tax or some other thing that affects me is changed, then so what? Happy to wait.

        And if there is nothing for the likes of me, then at least I’m consoled if money is actually going somewhere that it’s needed rather than all to already too rich types.

        • Lanthanide 14.2.1.1

          ?

          • Bill 14.2.1.1.1

            You said that as a single or childless person I was alienated by this child poverty and education policy? How the fuck could I possibly be included without retrospective legislation going back quite some wee way? And how does it make me alienated anyway? Surely, the specifics of this policy aside, it’s the setting of the general framework that’s important and possible future announcements from within that framework that are important, no?

            • Lanthanide 14.2.1.1.1.1

              I said segment of the population. That doesn’t mean you specifically are alienated, if you feel that you aren’t.

              • freedom

                “Another segment of the population that this alienates is single people.”
                Pretty straightforward comment Lanthanide.

                stop weasling and front up, say you misspoke, say you meant to say something else, Admit you made a mistake, it won’t kill you.

                • Lanthanide

                  Lets never talk about any groups in society, lest a single member disagree with the statement.

                  • McFlock

                    so, anything more than a single stuff comment to back up your segment alienation argument, then?

                    fyi, I’m also a single non-breeder who is a little bit nonplussed at the assumption that I’m alienated when labour gives a damn about babies living in poverty.

                    • Lanthanide

                      National deliberately and cynically singled out single people for a bribe at the 2008 election. I think they would have done that on the back of focus groups.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t see the relevance, unless as a segment we’re supposed to be alienated because labour hasn’t tried to bribe us yet. Sorry to disappoint.

                    • Lanthanide

                      National saw a way to win votes – by specifically appealing to single people.

                      This implies that National thought single people weren’t too happy with Labour’s policies.

                    • lprent

                      I’m an non-breeder* partnered with a non-breeder. Means bugger all because you still get roped in anyway. Lyn is off up the road being an aunty right now to her two neices. I just got back from hanging around my neices boy and a godson. This was the neice that my sister regularly roped me in to live with when she was on the DPB after her marraige disintergrated.

                      I’m all in favour of paying taxes to help bring up children. Not only does it have a very very high favourable return in the terms of outcomes for the young children (in fact almost *anything* at that age does). But it also may help reduce the involuntary uncle/aunt tax paid by every sibling who isn’t a heartless arsehole (like so many of the paid astroturfers on stuff today).

                      * Mostly because I wasn’t around someone interested in breeding at the same time I was. And most of those who I was involved with were helpless workaholics like myself.

                    • McFlock

                      there’s a far cry from exploiting a hole in labour’s policies (although frankly the nonbreeding singletons benefit most from decent employment policies, imo – kids are fucking moneypits) and assuming that any policy that doesn’t expressly benefit group A will alienate group A.

                  • freedom

                    so rather than be an adult Lanthanide and say you misspoke, you have run around in ever decreasing circles and this is your big finish?

                    • Lanthanide

                      I didn’t misspeak at all, I said exactly what I meant to say. You’re free to disagree with it.

                    • the pigman

                      This policy is aimed at assisting children, Lanth. If homosexual couples, or others who cannot naturally conceive, decide to adopt a child, I am sure Labour’s Best Start policy won’t discriminate against them as adopted children are their children at law. (And let’s not forget MSD already provide a broad spectrum of support, including financial support, to adoptive parents.)

                      By casting the net as wide as a 150k income threshold, it seems to me that the LP cast the policy to be as inclusive as they possibly could.

                      Would I be wrong in observing you are essentially asking “What’s in it for me?”

                      Let me repeat then: the policy is aimed at benefiting children.

                    • geoff

                      Would I be wrong in observing you are essentially asking “What’s in it for me?”

                      Let me repeat then: the policy is aimed at benefiting children.

                      This!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Lanth is right from the standpoint that there are a lot of people out there both younger and older who are struggling bad and looking for help, and the policies announced so far will do nothing for them.

                    • the pigman

                      @CV I am sure you are being a little bit deliberately narrow with this, but it follows that if children benefit, society benefits, because they are less likely to grow up impoverished and alienated from society. That has reasonably foreseeable upshots in terms of fewer criminals in the future and better health outcomes for those children in the future = lower cost to the taxpayer down the line.

                      Even Mum and Dad “what’s in it for me” (especially if they have children) elector will be capable of thinking at this level of abstraction.

      • karol 14.2.2

        I’m a single person. If there is stuff given to children, then I do get something. A society that cares for all its chidlren benefits all of us.

        What’s in it for me, personally and immediately?….. is a neoliberal, right wing focus.

        • Lanthanide 14.2.2.1

          What’s in it for me, personally and immediately?….. is a neoliberal, right wing focus.

          Yes, so in other words, this policy does nothing to try and bring those people along.

          • karol 14.2.2.1.1

            It does – it says we are all in this together, and includes most families with children under 3 years old.

            • Lanthanide 14.2.2.1.1.1

              I don’t buy that logic, because there doesn’t seem to be any basis for you saying that we’re all in this together.

              If we gave tax cuts to people earning $150,000+, it seems your “all in this together” line could equally be used.

              Now, if Cunliffe had announced plans for new jobs, or new training initiatives, that a single person might think they could benefit from, then this wouldn’t be so bad. But he didn’t. As close as we got was an increase in the hours of ECE, which will require more staff, but that’s very oblique.

              • karol

                The whole speech was about we’re all in this together, with jobs and wages also indicated. The first policy to be rolled out, is just a start.

                • Lanthanide

                  1. I haven’t listened to or read the full speech. Most people won’t.
                  2. It’s best to start out on the front foot, not the back foot.

              • Bill

                ffs Lanth! So, okay – there was no 9 hour long speech setting out every single fucking policy. Four broad areas were sign posted and one was fleshed out a bit. I’m pasting a wee but relevant excerpt seeing as how you are either a) incapable of reading or b) incapable of critical reasoning.

                That’s why under Labour:

                A full day’s work will cover the basics;
                There will be more jobs available, and wages will catch-up with prices.
                New Zealanders will pay what is fair – whether in their power bill, their tax bill, or their grocery bill.
                And every child in this country will have the best start in life.

                See how he signaled a rise in wages? More jobs? Lower living expenses? Higher top band taxes? And if you actually read the fucking speech, you will also notice references to ‘little’ things like overhauling the ERA, R&D tax credits, killing property speculation…etc.

                • Lanthanide

                  Sounds like hot air and politicians lies without actual details or policies to back it up. Remember how Key kept promising 170,000 jobs? Are you going to believe Cunliffe and disbelieve Key, or is it fair to demand evidence and specifics from both? I only aim to be fair – it’s wasn’t good enough from Key and it isn’t good enough from Cunliffe.

                  Also my reply to karol above applies: most people will not read or hear the entire speech.

                  I’ve got TV 1 turned on now, want to see how they frame it on the 6 o clock.

                  • Lanthanide

                    No mention of jobs at all on the TV 1 piece. Coran Dan specifically raised the high $150k threshold and discussed it, although not too negatively.

                    • Bill

                      Again. You know how it wasn’t a 9 hour speech laying out every single policy? But rather setting the framework and laying out one policy within that framework while signposting others? Others that will be laid out over the coming months?

                      Everyone knows the world is changing, and we need to change with it.
                      That’s why we will support our world-beating innovators and entrepreneurs, by rewarding research and development with tax credits.
                      That’s why we will encourage investment away from property speculation and into our productive businesses by introducing a capital gains tax.
                      That’s why we will assist exporters hit hard in the pocket by a high dollar through reforming the Reserve Bank Act.
                      And that’s why we will to assist our primary industries to keep jobs and profits in this country.
                      Because when raw logs, or bulk fish, or whole carcasses – rather than finished products – sail off our shores, so does most of the added value.
                      And off with it go the good jobs and the decent wages Kiwi families deserve, and need to get ahead.
                      \Building this new economy will require a new type of Government, and a dfferent way of doing things.
                      I know that the best change happens when you work with people, rather than trying to do it to them or even for them.
                      Together. That’s how we will build a nation of opportunity.

                      And it all begins with…

                      See if you can guess the missing words, (hint) they clearly stated the focus of this speech policy detail wise..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour didn’t go anywhere near environmental or conservation issues.

                      That’s open territory for the Greens for a little while longer.

                      Very clever.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ CV – good observation. Clever.

                    • Anne

                      @ CV (not sure where this will end up – no reply button)

                      I am in little doubt the Greens and Labour collaborated over their SON speeches. They are conceding to one another… agreeing to differ over some things… and generally working well together. That’s how it looks to me and I hope it lasts right through to the election – and beyond of course.

                      Its smart politics for both parties.

                      Watch the desperate attempts by the NActs – aided and abetted by the MSM – try and drive wedges between them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Anne +1

                    • weka

                      +2

                      Heartening, esp if that continues.

                      Getting concrete policy out into the public sphere soon seems essential. I know Cunliffe hasn’t been in the job for long, but Lanth’s point of compaison with Key is valid. I do actually trust the DC Labour far more than NACT, but many won’t see much difference. Time to put some backing into the rhetoric.

        • Will@Welly 14.2.2.2

          Like you, for a variety of reasons, I’ve never had children. But I’d be a pretty shallow person if I determined every vote by that alone. I have friends and relatives in both camps – with and without children. Most tend to look at the big picture – it’s what’s good for New Zealand that counts.

      • freedom 14.2.3

        Speaking as a single person Lanthanide, which if memory serves you are not, I would ask you don’t assume things on our behalf. Many single people are more than happy with the idea of a NZ government actually helping secure the health and vitality of our nation’s children. I for one welcome this policy, even though my vote is probably going elsewhere. Sure we single folk feel a bit left out sometimes when it comes to tax issues, but alienated? sheesh man, pull your head in.

        • Lanthanide 14.2.3.1

          For the purposes of this discussion, I qualify as a single person, as I’ll never be having children myself.

          Anyway I’m talking about single people as a group in society, not every single individual single person. The fact that you personally do not feel alienated doesn’t prevent me from discussing the point that many single people will feel alienated by this.

          National actually had a policy that directly and shamelessly targeted single people, after Labour’s strong focus on WFF and related policies.

          • freedom 14.2.3.1.1

            “I qualify as a single person, as I’ll never be having children myself.”
            NO you do not qualify as a single person you are in a relationship! One which probably qualifies as a civil union by this time. So say you made a mistake and we all can move on.

            Besides, you can always adopt and I am sure adoption will be covered in the policy as many babies are adopted in NZ every year.

            • Lanthanide 14.2.3.1.1.1

              In a relationship that will not benefit from WFF or this new policy, which is the same situation as single people (generally).

              Besides, you can always adopt

              Well I’d have to get married first, under the current law. And I have no interest in having children, so it doesn’t apply to me.

              • vto

                I can imagine how some feel left out. Their turn will come. Pretty amazing policy – 3k in the tin …

              • Molly

                “In a relationship that will not benefit from WFF or this new policy, which is the same situation as single people (generally).”

                By that reasoning, you can probably call yourself a pensioner…

              • karol

                Does childless people have specific needs – especially does they have needs resulting from providing something necessary to society (equivalent to birthing and bringing up children?)? Are they struggling financially as a result of being childlesss?

                Being one part of a couple is not the same as being single. A couple tends to benefit from shared resources. A single person, living alone tends to have to pay more for accommodation, power etc.

                A single guy in a professional job is probable doing pretty well, and far from struggle street – benefiting from the fact that men on average earn higher wages than females. Part of the reason women on average earn less, is because of the time many take off from paid work to have children and care for them.

                You are not doing us lifelong childless people any service, Lanth. You are just making us look like self-centred meanies who don’t understand how the collective of society works.

              • KJT

                So. I take it you will not need any services, or food, housing or health care supplied by these children, as you age.

                Our society will need the work and efforts of these children in future. Giving them a good start is one of the best investments, including retirement investments, we can make.

      • Lloyd 14.2.4

        Non-child producing members of our society will need to be supported in their old age by the children of today. The benefit of caring for children today may be an investment that takes a long time for pay-back, but it is a sound investment for everyone in society. Ignoring child poverty today is an incredibly bad investment. Any single person who doesn’t realise this has a poor understanding of how our society works and would better better off leaving for Australia tomorrow.

        • freedom 14.2.4.1

          ” The benefit of caring for children today may be an investment that takes a long time for pay-back, but it is a sound investment for everyone in society”

          !! exactly !!

      • Tracey 14.2.5

        surely only single people earning over $80k have had tax cuts under national?

  15. politikiwi 15

    The extra $60 per week seems to have been received by the masses as “let’s give the bludgers more money so they can buy more tinnies.”

    Such is the attitude of people exposed only to messages controlled controlled by the: Poor people are incapable of making good decisions about money (otherwise they wouldn’t be poor), don’t care about their kids, and are holding their hands out for everything they can get. Unlike wealthy people, who are never out to rip anyone off and never put a foot wrong. Even when banksters get caught red-handed with their hands in the till, their criminal convictions get waived for such weak reasons as “a conviction might affect their ability to travel internationally.”

    The double-standards are absolutely staggering.

    • Xtasy 15.1

      It is the result of years, yes decades, of brainwashing and dumbing down the wider public, with aggressive, commercially focused, consumerism preaching and very biased mainstream media, dominated by private ownership and their interests. TVNZ sadly saw a “need” to follow the herd heading in the wrong direction, and are like the other remnants of public broadcasting media now doing the same.

      Only a minority of the population are politically informed and aware, but they are frowned upon, because the divided society of individuals is too busy fighting and competing with each other.

      “I do not want MY taxes spent on such policies” is the cry there, and it shows how great and serious the challenge is, to get the messages for a better society across. Cynicism abounds, and reason is hard to be found. So social media must be used, and many public meetings, speeches and discussions to inform voters must follow. It is absolutely dangerous, to simply rely on the MSM to report “fairly” on anything coming from the opposition, as the MSM is full of rather well to do middle class and upper middle class folks, who rather cheer on slimy, sleazy Key and his gang.

      • politikiwi 15.1.1

        I agree entirely.

        Perhaps oddly, I am one of those “upper middle class folks” but I’m certainly not a cheerleader for the policy positions of John Key, Inc. I’m also remarkably cynical, and agree that people who cannot afford children should not have them, but that doesn’t solve the reality: That people will have children they can’t afford (why is anyone expected to apply rational thinking to what is fundamentally an irrational drive to procreate?), and something needs to be done to ensure those kids have the best possible future available to them – for all our sakes.

        In the long run it’ll cost us all a lot less….but sadly politics isn’t about the long run. And that, I think, is what really needs to change.

        Civics classes for all!

        • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1

          You sound pretty much like me.

        • Will@Welly 15.1.1.2

          Do a bit of research. Talk to nurses, particularly old school ones. Most people couldn’t afford to have them in the “old” days, but they did. Before the twentieth century, most marriages came about because a child was due. Shock, horror !!
          And even if your idea where only those who could afford to bred were allowed to, how would you enforce it? What if a couples income situation improved, or if they had children, their income suddenly collapsed – would they lose their children? A lot of different scenario’s to consider.

          • politikiwi 15.1.1.2.1

            I never said the idea was enforceable. I simply said that my view is if you can’t afford them, don’t have them.

            I also know things aren’t as simple as that, and therefore believe that we should support people raising a family.

            Any more problems?

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2.1.1

              I never said the idea was enforceable. I simply said that my view is if you can’t afford them, don’t have them.

              So you have adopted a political view which you admit can’t be made to work in the real world. OK.

              If you want people to have less children, ensure that their incomes are higher and they have access to higher education. This stuff is well known.

              • politikiwi

                “So you have adopted a political view which you admit can’t be made to work in the real world. OK.”

                No. I have an opinion which – in my view – is common sense. There’s nothing political about it.

                “If you want people to have less children, ensure that their incomes are higher and they have access to higher education.”

                Again: No. I said that I don’t think people should have children they cannot afford, not that I think people should have less children. I’m sure you can figure out the difference, CV.

                I agree that income availability and education are factors which predict birth rate.

                • Tracey

                  what percentage of parents do you think have children when they can’t afford them? I am genuinely interested in your answer.

                  • politikiwi

                    Not many, I expect.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’d go further to suggest that most families with children who end up not being able to properly afford them (ie, meet the basics) have arrived at that situation both after the child was born, and through circumstances they only had limited to no control over, such as accidents, unemployment, relationship breakups etc.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Agreed, I didn’t address the points you had made. The basic facts are that we now have a low wage economy with insufficient jobs, where even if one partner was earning 20% more than the minimum wage, it still wouldn’t be enough to provide for a family.

                      Or to reframe it, we’ve designed an economy which is a poverty trap where we expect poor people to make good decisions every day with minimal resources, while rich people screw up too but get many excuses and many chances.

        • geoff 15.1.1.3

          I can’t stand this ‘people who can’t afford children shouldn’t have them’ line that gets trotted out all the time.

          Have you fucking met people? We all make big fucking mistakes in life, a lot worse than having unplanned children. We’re a messed up, confused species of animal that struggles on a daily basis with a myriad of challenges that we’re ill equipped to handle.

          And then people spout these absurd opinions such as you’ve just done, critiquing great swathes of the population as though you stand apart and above from humanity. Which in my experience is a sure sign you’re someone who is yet to face your own faults. Where’s the humility?

          • politikiwi 15.1.1.3.1

            I have “fucking” met people. Have you “fucking” read what you’ve written?

            Yes, we all make mistakes in life: Some people are on a hair-trigger for certain topics and make very angry, expletive filled comments in response to someone else’s perfectly benign opinion, for example. No one’s perfect, but you do have to wonder what’s really behind such outbursts…

            I just happen to think that financial considerations are important. I’m happy to be wrong about that, in your view. I wouldn’t recommend, for example, that someone who couldn’t put food on the table tick-up a new 50″ LCD TV, or buy something with high ongoing running costs like a gas-guzzling V8. Having more kids isn’t really all that different – I know my views on that are considered strange by many people, in that children are somehow special, but that doesn’t make them free.

            It is a reality that children are expensive, and I think people should take that into account. I know that doesn’t always happen, and when it doesn’t, I think the state has a role to play in ensuring those children do get a fair start in life.

            Your view seems to be that people can and should breed with absolute impunity, having no regard for the costs of providing the necessities of life, which have to be born by someone or else tragedies would happen. I can’t fathom how that makes sense.

            I believe we should be encouraging people to live within their means on all fronts, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. We should also strive to allow people to increase their means, through more opportunities and better pay, but that’s another topic.

            Your “fucking” opinion may vary, of course. You’re welcome to keep it to yourself.

            • Lanthanide 15.1.1.3.1.1

              +++

            • NZ Femme 15.1.1.3.1.2

              Plenty of people take the financial considerations of bringing children into the world seriously.

              But nobody can predict if their financial situation will nose dive drastically through redundancy, divorce, illness, death of a partner, or a myriad of other bolts from the blue that can occur in our lives.

              And if everybody waited until they were financially stable enough according to some financial criteria imposed from the changing goal-posts and dictates of the righteous, most women would likely be post menopausal.

              • Tracey

                +++

                The main problem I have with politikiwi and lanthanide on this one is that I haven’t seen figures to support their notion, that is, that an importantly high enough number of people have children when they can’t afford them and thereby wrongly encumber society with the outcome.

                Unless the factual basis for that notion is established it’s an argument about shadows.

                We know from the study of London homeless when given 3000 quid they did not spend it on drugs, drink, or gambling, despite one being an addict… in part that appears to dispel the notion of buying the tv and car when unable to afford it.

                On the other hand to change what they fear is happening, Lanth and p-kiwi have to dismantle the billions spent on advertising (covert and overt) which is designed to specifically drive folks toward spending more than they earn.

                • politikiwi

                  “…that an importantly high enough number of people have children when they can’t afford them and thereby wrongly encumber society with the outcome.”

                  Let’s not confuse what I actually said with what you heard.

                  To save you the scrolling, I said:
                  “[I] agree that people who cannot afford children should not have them”

                  And that was the end of it. Nothing about an importantly high number of people, or anything of the kind.

                  I’m not defending an opinion I have not espoused.

                  You make a good point regarding the spending habits of poor people when they are given money, but it’s off-topic as far as the subject at hand is concerned: There’s a difference between “trusting people to spend money wisely when they have it” and not having it to spend in the first place, wisely or not.

                  Couldn’t agree more about advertising being a main driver for pointless consumption, but I don’t have to dismantle anything.

                  • Tracey

                    so how many people makes it a problem in your mind? That is surely an issue and part of what you wrote? You made that comment in a thread about $60 going to families for children and appeared to be suggesting that having children you can’t afford could be a reason not to extend help to you? If that is not what you meant, please clarify.

                    You also wrote

                    ” having no regard for the costs of providing the necessities of life, which have to be born by someone or else tragedies would happen. I can’t fathom how that makes sense.”

                    Surely it is only of import tot his discussion if a high enough number of people are behaving this way? For example, if out of our total population only 1000 families have had a child while in a state of abject poverty thus reaching your doesn’t “make sense” threshold, is it a worthy consideration in a national policy? If 50,000 parents are doing this does that make it worthy of note during formation of policy.

                    Why is how poor people spend money given to them to alleviate their shortfall off topic?

                    “Couldn’t agree more about advertising being a main driver for pointless consumption, but I don’t have to dismantle anything.”

                    Sorry, advocate for it as part of your solution.

                    Please don’t confuse asking questions of your opinion with hating you.

                    • politikiwi

                      “so how many people makes it a problem in your mind?”
                      More than zero? Obviously the higher the number of kids involved, the bigger the problem and the more urgent it is to solve it.

                      “You made that comment in a thread about $60 going to families for children and appeared to be suggesting that having children you can’t afford could be a reason not to extend help to you?”
                      Oh no no, not at all what I meant. The help should be universally available. I think people should be encouraged not to get into a situation where they need it.

                      “Surely it is only of import tot his discussion if a high enough number of people are behaving this way?”
                      You realise all of this started from one sentence in in one of my posts, right? Not even in the first post I made in this thread. I said I agree people who can’t afford children shouldn’t have them as a partial nod to an opinion which is “out there”. It was not my intention to come in here and have a big debate about that opinion and whether it’s valid or not, but some of the commentators here took rather stern exception to that one (almost throw-away) comment on my part.

                      But in answering your question, the number of people having kids they can’t afford doesn’t change the fact I think it’s a bad idea.

                      “Sorry, advocate for it as part of your solution.”
                      I just did, in reply to your comment on the matter. Apologies for not providing a full and frank discussion document covering all aspects of the topic at hand: Again, this all spiralled from one sentence in one comment I made, so don’t expect too much.

                      “Please don’t confuse asking questions of your opinion with hating you.”
                      Not at all, Tracey. I think OAK has the hatred of my “racist bigot” self well-and-truly under control :)

                      EDIT: I thought Lanthanide mentioned it earlier in this thread. She didn’t. Apologies, Lanth. Post changed to reflect that.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’m male, FYI.

                    • politikiwi

                      Ah sorry my bad!

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Theres legitimate anger and grievances out in some communities over what has been done to the working class and the under class in NZ over the last 35 years.

                    therefore, if some people respond with fury to the calm intellectual arguments made by someone who lives a life of relative privilege and comfort, its quite possibly not a case of them ‘not getting it’, but a case of you not getting it.

                    • politikiwi

                      I appreciate your assumption that you know everything about my life, CV, but you do not.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And the legitimate anger and grievances around what the working and under classes have been made to suffer in NZ over the last 35 years?

                      Other than talking about yourself, do you have a response to that?

                    • politikiwi

                      They’re legitimate – not that I ever said anything to the contrary, of course.

                      In your view, that gives people the right to respond with fury to anyone they like over any topic they like. Seems a bit of a stretch to me.

                      My parents are those people and I grew up in that household, but they don’t respond with “fury” to intellectual arguments and then claim they have the right to on account of their history. They would consider that immature.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.1.3.1.3

              While you’re spending so much time believing things, Politikiwi, I wonder if you have any time for a reality check.

              Fact: poorer people have more children, whether you think it’s wise, whether you like it or not, whether it embodies your vision of an orderly utopian comfort blankie or not.

              Is it too much to ask that you deal with facts?

              Tell me, when your nice middle class friends have kids, do you call them “breeders” to their faces, or just pseudonymously, behind their backs?

              • Lanthanide

                Fact: poorer people have more children, whether you think it’s wise, whether you like it or not, whether it matches your version of an orderly utopian comfort blankie or not.

                Is it too much to ask that you deal with facts?

                Um, p-kiwi is dealing with the facts. They’re saying that’s undesirable, but being pragmatic about it they realise it’s the state’s role to step-in and help people out in this situation.

                I’m really not sure what’s so disagreeable with that stance.

                • politikiwi

                  Thank you!!

                  Jeeze louise anyone would think I was advocating eating kittens or something…

                  • Lanthanide

                    It’s easy for people’s points to be misconstrued when they don’t have a built-up reputation, as I believe you’ve only just started commenting here recently?

                    It’s like when I was in school, I was always the model student and didn’t misbehave etc. Then one time we had a substitute teacher, who for whatever reason thought I was the class clown, and focussed really harshly on me for that class. Was very strange.

                    • politikiwi

                      Relatively new, yes, though it has been a chilly reception. I understand why some people take a dim view of the commentators here (though my treatment in this thread has been relatively soft in comparison to some I’ve seen).

                      It can be a rude shock to not be afforded respect when you’d normally expect it. (Whether it’s right to “expect respect” is another matter, and also quite hard to say out lout.)

                    • Will@Welly

                      Brown-nosing is often confused with “clowning”, particularly when only the soles of the shoes are the only things that can be seen dangling out.
                      Must have been hell, practicing to be the “teachers pet” and then mis-construed as the class clown. Reminiscent of another “clown” !!

                    • Lanthanide

                      Hardly teacher’s pet, although no doubt others saw it that way.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Good arguments earn respect. Your track record so far is rehearsing right-wing hate speech in more measured tones than the usual dross.

                    • Lanthanide

                      And yet I staunchly vote Labour and my entire family is leftwing.

                      Go figure.

                • miravox

                  Just wondering if anyone has done sums on the taxpayer burden of increased health costs of 20-30 year-olds waiting to have children until they are more financially secure 35-45 year-olds when pregnancy and birth stresses and medical procedures are, on average, greater than for 20-30 year-olds? and comparing that with, say, a $3,000/ year cost for supporting less financially secure parents having children earlier?

                  • politikiwi

                    Interesting question. I haven’t heard of any such research but would be interested in the results.

                  • geoff

                    Not that I have any figures at hand but I understand the number of caesarians in NZ (often a consequence of later motherhood) is much greater than in the past.
                    Those are surgeries that cost the country a helluva lot more than natural births

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I believe cases of autism increase with the age of the parents.

              • politikiwi

                I am capable of observing the obvious, though I appreciate your pointing that out OAK.

                My friends know exactly where I stand on children, not that that has anything to do with you.

                • Lanthanide

                  You stand on children? You monster!

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  So why the focus on “breeders” when the problem is inequality?

                  I think it starts with “overpopulation” – fear of too many poor brown people – but then cognitive dissonance cuts in “Me? Racist? Never!” so you have to tar every parent with the same brush to avoid feeling like a bigot.

                  Tamariki are a blessing. Any political philosophy that demands – or even suggests – childlessness as a solution to poverty is beyond incompetent – it’s evil.

                  • politikiwi

                    I don’t think people – any people – should have kids they can’t afford, so obviously I’m thinking of brown people because I’m a racist bigot?

                    What the actual fuck.

                    Perhaps you should take some time away from TS and deal with that chip on your shoulder which says “everyone’s against brown people”. Could turn into a nasty complex, if it hasn’t already.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      The “actual fuck” is that the problem is not people having children, it is economic policy. So why your focus on parents? They aren’t causing the problem, but here you are trying to shift blame onto them. So that’s a hateful thing to do for a start. Sorry if your aforementioned cognitive dissonance rejects that, but well, diddums.

                      However, as I already implied, you aren’t projecting this hatred onto your nice friends or relatives, are you? Just “poor” people, and then you wonder why I treat you with disdain.

                    • politikiwi

                      Hahahaha….your talent for extrapolating entire personality traits by reading internet forums is woeful. Even the fact that you try suggests you have a very two-dimensional view of the world.

                      I’ve got some pollyfilla which might help with that chip on your shoulder, too, if you’re interested.

                      I’d probably have more luck arguing with a spoon, but none the less:
                      — Yep, economic policy causing inequality is the core of the issue. No argument there.
                      — I’m not blaming parents. I’m suggesting people give some thought to the consequences of their actions (though, admittedly, not all consequences are foreseeable). You’ll see I **support** this payment. My initial post was aimed at people who say this money will be used to buy tinnies, because I don’t think that’s the case: I think the vast majority of people genuinely want to the best for their children.

                      “However, as I already implied, you aren’t projecting this hatred onto your nice friends or relatives, are you?”
                      I don’t do hatred. Clearly you do. (Again with that chip? Dude get that looked at. Might wanna try some beta-blockers while you’re at it.)
                      If friends of mine say “I’m thinking of having kids” and wanted to talk about it, the cost of it is one thing I would cover with them.

                      “Just “poor” people, and then you wonder why I treat you with disdain.”
                      Inaccurate: It is not only “poor” people who can’t afford to have more children. “Wealthy” people can get into that situation, too.

                      Also interesting is that you inferred elsewhere in this thread that this was all about my hatred of brown people. What happened to that theory, exactly? Actually….I don’t care.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Don’t you know how a dog-whistle works?

                      Inequality in this country is more-or-less organised along ethnic lines. Just think about that in the context of right-wingers saying “poor” people shouldn’t breed.

                      I didn’t say you’re a bigot, I said you shift the blame onto all parents because bigotry makes you uncomfortable.

                    • politikiwi

                      So my opinion, then, according to you, is that brown people shouldn’t breed. But I’m afraid to admit I think that, so instead I substitute “brown people” with “poor people”?

                      Either you’re taking the piss, or that chip’s bigger than I imagined.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      No. If you were a bigot, bigotry wouldn’t make you so uncomfortable.

                      Scapegoating poor people is a right wing dog whistle. You’re picked it up and you’re blowing it with all your might, blissfully unaware of the high notes, but bigots hear them and take comfort from your stance.

                      The problem is economic policy. No amount of sophisticated justifications can change that.

            • geoff 15.1.1.3.1.4

              Ok Politikiwi, sorry I went off a bit half-cocked. I hadn’t read your earlier comment and assumed you were a right wing troll. My bad.

              I still think the “if you can’t afford them, don’t have them.” is a strawman and is a line that National will use to criticise this policy.

              It’s a line that tries to misdirect away from the actual causes of people being unable to afford kids (low paying jobs, high unemployment, no worker-rights) and instead creates scapegoats of people who are in unfortunate circumstances.

              And then well-meaning people pick up the line and spew it out themselves.

              EDIT: I’m in moderation? wtf??

              • politikiwi

                No stress :)

                I should point out that (as far as I know at least) I’m not repeating a line taken from any Tory-authored song-sheet. To me, if you can’t afford something – anything – don’t buy it. Don’t take out a million dollar mortgage while on the minimum wage. Don’t buy a V8 if you can’t afford to run it. And don’t have children you know you can’t afford to support.

                (Knowing you can’t afford to feed them is probably a distinction which needs to be made, otherwise you get the “well people’s circumstances change” line – and that’s entirely valid, because they do change for a variety of reasons. No argument there.)

                • geoff

                  I would add that many people don’t have the education, upbringing or even intelligence to make the kind of long-term, rational, decision-making skills required to decide if having children is affordable.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And don’t have children you know you can’t afford to support.

                  And nobody should ever be in that situation because nobody should be that poor.

                  The problem we have is that we have a system that creates poverty so that a few people can be very, very rich.

                  • geoff

                    The thing is they’ve heard about movements like occupy and they’ve heard about childhood poverty in NZ etc but they don’t put the picture together.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                …well-meaning people pick up the line and spew it out themselves.

                ..and then get all whiny when they don’t get the “respect” they feel they’re entitled to. I wonder why they are too ignorant and lazy to do a little elementary fact checking.

        • Tracey 15.1.1.4

          “That people will have children they can’t afford”

          Isn’t the reality, rather than the rhetoric, that most parents have children when they have jobs? It’s when they lose the job they cannot afford all the things children might need? It also overlooks how well most parents on low incomes do for their children despite their low incomes, but when they lose their jobs they have NO savings to fall back upon.

          • politikiwi 15.1.1.4.1

            People end up in an “I can’t afford my lifestyle” situation in a number of ways, yes. When the unexpected happens I think the state should step in.

            Perhaps I’m not being attacked, but it sure feels like it. We’re on the same side here, folks. How about you let my opinion – which does not affect you in any way – be what it is? Are you all on some sort of strange mission to ensure everyone has the same point of view?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.1.4.1.1

              For as long as you continue to perpetuate the false right-wing narrative that “breeders” are the problem, rather than economics, we are not on the same side.

              Don’t you know a dog-whistle when you hear one?

              • Tracey

                agree. breeding when cant afford it is a major red herring. Like beneficiaries are lazy and not looking for work, cos McDonald’s advertised a job the other day and my son got it.

                P-kiwi may be young and not old codgers like us. It takes time to wade out of the BS that fills our minds… mine’s only about half full of BS now :)

              • politikiwi

                You used the term breeders. Not me. I’ll thank you for not putting words in my mouth (or accusing me of being a rascist bigot without even the faintest hint of evidence, but I suppose if everything in your world comes down to race, then you’d expect the same of other people).

                I do have a word for people who want children: “normal.”

                I know common sense when I hear it. I’m not hearing any from you.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I didn’t accuse you of being a bigot, I accused you of cognitive dissonance. Oh look, evidence:

                  Your view seems to be that people can and should breed with absolute impunity…

                  • politikiwi

                    If you squint, you’ll see that “breed” and “breeder” are two different words.

                    I know! Amazing, amirite?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Two different words which by an amazing coincidence share the first five letters of seven, and refer to the same racist sexist right wing hate speech.

                      Of course your use of it was entirely innocent, a mere faux pas, like your complete failure to fact check your “opinion”.

                    • politikiwi

                      Hahaha, so from one comment, you’ve decided I’m a rascist, sexist, right winger spreading hate speech far and wide?

                      I actually thought the idea that people have children they can’t afford was self-evident, given this sort of policy is deemed as necessary.

                      Perhaps we should say no one ever has a child they can’t afford and this policy should therefore be scrapped?

                      You’ll say it’s a “wider economic issue” and that the “system” needs to be changed, and I agree with you.

                      You also have a point in that I can’t table a study which proves people have children they can’t afford – fair enough. (You also couldn’t table a study which proves that “Tamariki are a blessing”, but that’s besides the point.)

                      I find it sad that instead of simply stating, you set out to paint me as some sort of right-wing nut job, based on one shred of opinion which you’re incapable of discussing, except to rip into people you have never met and know nothing about.

                      Do something about that chip. It does you no favours.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “Incapable of discussing”? I expressed my opinion of the origins of your scapegoating. You’re doing your best to misunderstand them, but if you read what I actually wrote and you have reasonable English comprehension skills, it isn’t that hard.

                      One example of your incomprehension is the notion that I think you’re a bigot, but your behaviour could equally be explained by ignorance, naivety, or insensitivity. I think one of the latter applies.

                      What you think is “self-evident” is a case in point. Utterly divorced from reality would be a better description.

                      So, you parrot right wing tropes (I said “tropes” because “hate speech” seems to upset you), you exhibit right-wing behaviour (evidence-free opinions), and you’re surprised that you get mistaken for a Tory. Shucks.

                    • politikiwi

                      Just so I’m clear on this then: I’m using poor people – which you take to mean brown people – as a scapegoat, and failing to address the real issue which is an economic system that’s fundamentally flawed, and that results in people being poor in the first place?

                      I didn’t actually expect that level of extrapolation in this discussion, to be honest.

                      My first mistake here was to use the word “afford” because that implies money, money implies economy, etc etc, allowing the diversion of the point. Fundamentally money has nothing to do with it – it’s a proxy for being able to provide the necessities of life. The problem of having children which couldn’t be supported existed long before money, and I would have advised pre-historic humans who were incapable of gathering enough food to feed their offspring not to have any offspring, either, if they had the choice. (If I existed during those times and had supplies, and someone around me had a child they could not feed, would I share? Of course I would.)

            • Tracey 15.1.1.4.1.2

              I’m on a strange mission to understand other people’s points of view. With that in mind you haven’t stated what your foundation for your belief that people are having children they can’t afford though, in significant enough numbers for it to bother you? That underpins everything that follows.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                There isn’t one. It’s just bigotry masquerading as concern.

              • politikiwi

                Is the fact this sort of payment is necessary not evidence in itself that people have children they cannot afford?

                Or are we of the view that no one has children they can’t afford initially, but they end up in the unfortunate position of not being able to afford them at some later point? Because that’s possible, but I (without looking at the figures) I think it’s unlikely.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Yes, that’s right, you’ve formed your worthless hateful “opinion” without even checking the facts.

                  And there was me thinking we had a better wingnut.

                  • politikiwi

                    So anyone that doesn’t agree with 100% of your positions is a wingnut? You must really struggle to make friends.

                    This discussion didn’t need to come to this sort of thing eh. I hope you got what you want out of it: a righteous “fuck yeah stick it to those Greenpeace member Green voting liberal wingnuts!” – just like me.

                    Whatever helps you fill that chip on your shoulder though dude. You go hard.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      No, people who parrot right wing hate speech without a skerrick of evidence are wingnuts, and my desire for better ones is entirely genuine.

                      How hard is it for “conservatives” to consider evidence in politics? Too hard, if the current crop are anything to go by.

                      Lift your game.

                    • politikiwi

                      You’ll have to ask a conservative about that.

                • geoff

                  As per my comment above, it’s not always about a change in circumstance.

                  “…. many people don’t have the education, upbringing or even intelligence to make the kind of long-term, rational, decision-making skills required to decide if having children is affordable.”

                  Do you acknowledge that?

                  • politikiwi

                    Yes, but so what?: People need education so they know how expensive children are, therefore how can they possibly be at fault when they can’t afford them?

                    Brilliant idea. Add it to the curriculum tomorrow, along with general financial literacy education, which I think is badly needed. In the mean time, give those parents who’ve found themselves in a bad situation – foreseeable or not – an extra hand so that their kids grow up healthy and happy.

                    • geoff

                      Isn’t that what Labour is doing? Keeping in mind that Best Start isn’t the only policy they are coming out with this year.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      How about restoring people’s rights to freedom of speech and association and other aspects of employment law? Higher wages are better than hand-outs any day.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.1.4.2

            That isn’t how the hate speech goes. They don’t have jobs, they’re feral, mostly brown bludgers who make bad choices. Not like us.

            It’s emotive, designed to appeal to the engorged amygdala of the Lesser-I.Q. Fearful Wingnut.

    • weka 15.2

      The extra $60 per week seems to have been received by the masses as “let’s give the bludgers more money so they can buy more tinnies.”

      I suspect you mean the MSM rather than the masses. Am intrigued by this idea that a combined household income of $150,000 is ‘poor’.

      • politikiwi 15.2.1

        I’m referring to public comments on MSM sites, which to me are written by “the masses.”

        And clearly the people referenced in the comments are not those in the $150k PA income bracket. I don’t think many people on that kind of money are going to be buying tinnies: Everyone knows it’s cheaper by the ounce.

        :-P

        • weka 15.2.1.1

          Ah, the sliding scale economies of bulk purchase of prohibited substances ;-)

          I’d hazzard a guess there is a fair amount of astroturffing going on in those comments today (someone commented on this in this thread). The problem with calling the comments the masses is it make it sound like most NZers. We have no idea what most NZers think of this.

          • politikiwi 15.2.1.1.1

            I hope you’re right, and that those comments are not a proxy for the views of “the masses.”

            That being said, when I look at poll numbers I cannot believe the consistently high rating of this government. It staggers me, and I’d believe the poll results were a stitch-up if National didn’t get such a high percentage of votes in the 2011 election.

            • Tracey 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Agree. There is a reason advertisers spend so much money… it works. I suspect national has used its money in a very similar way… No one likes to think they have been duped, so once they find out, they may continue to support… better than admitting one was made a fool.

      • cricklewood 15.2.2

        Agreed I feel pretty bloody good with a household income just under 100k certainly dont go without anything. Hell saved enough to head to europe for a month last year so my daughter could spend time with the other side of the family. Extending it to 150k is madness I struggle to see why a young couple starting out with a combined of say 80k would need to pay tax to subsidise a family bringing in almost twice as much…

        • politikiwi 15.2.2.1

          It does seem like a crazy-high threshold.

          In many ways, $100,000 a year is a *lot* of money. I’m in that salary bracket, too, but most people make less than half that amount. I think we do alright, my partner doesn’t work (at the moment) and we don’t have kids, but after the mortgage is paid we’re pretty comfortable. I don’t mind chipping in to support those on the lower end of the income spectrum, but you’re right: Supporting someone making who makes more money than you is middle-class welfare at its worst.

          That said….it might win a few votes in the “oh we REALLY must upgrade to the latest BMW SUV” crowd.

          • Tracey 15.2.2.1.1

            yup, I think it shows Labour are not ready to truly embrace the problems that need solving. They may actually have just alienated a number of the people they thought they would lure by throwing $60 at a household earning over $100k per annum. People might say “okaaaaay, that seem ridiculous… mad even… but vote for national. If Labour wins they get the extra $60 a week to gnaw on through gritted teeth because they wanted National. Won’t refuse to take it, of course,

          • geoff 15.2.2.1.2

            There is a good political reason for having a high threshold.

            If the threshold was say $60,000, then (a substantial number of) people on $65,000 and above would be justified in complaining that they have been unfairly left out.

            At a much higher threshold the numbers of potential sour mouthed voters is much less and they wouldn’t get any sympathy anyway as they’re already fairly well off.

            The high threshold makes perfect sense to me.

            • geoff 15.2.2.1.2.1

              I should say families not people as the limits apply to family income, not personal income.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.2.2.1.3

            Yeah, just keep on making ignorant comments with no regard to New Zealand history. Was Rowling’s child payment universal? Why, yes! But the sky didn’t fall on our heads! Curious.

    • Tracey 15.3

      you dont think there is an element of “surprise” that a household bringing in 140k per annum requires an extra $60 a week? Or is the $60 regressive?

      • politikiwi 15.3.1

        If a household making $140k+/year needs financial help raising their kids, that says a LOT about the cost of living in this country.

        • Tracey 15.3.1.1

          if it’s not regressive, it says a lot about who is strategising for Labour. Namely people still trying to woo the middle class with titbits.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.3.1.2

          Actually, it probably says more about the household living well beyond it’s means.

  16. Blue 16

    This is great stuff. A really comprehensive plan to better the lives of Kiwi kids in early childhood. It’s fantastic to see this from DC and it will really make a difference in the lives of those kids, and by extension, our entire society.

    The difference between DC and JK could not be plainer to see. JK has announced a typically National policy of putting money straight into the pockets of selected ‘elites’ – not spending it on teacher training, professional development, equipment or anything that would actually lift student performance, just throwing money at selected teachers and hoping that will make them – I don’t know what. Stay in the profession? Vote National? Meanwhile, in the classroom, absolutely nothing changes.

    DC has put up a really well thought-out policy which will do some concrete good for Kiwi kids.

    • Chooky 16.1

      +100…

      “The difference between DC and JK could not be plainer to see. JK has announced a typically National policy of putting money straight into the pockets of selected ‘elites’ ”

      …..this is what it is all about

  17. freedom 17

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9652164/Labour-promises-60-a-week-for-new-babies

    605 comments in a little over three hours. Seriously, outside of the CHCH quakes when has Stuff ever published that many comments, let alone in such a short timeframe.
    And on Grammy day no less ;)

    Combine the tsunami of never before seen handles, the repetitive Nat talking points being shared and the overarching similarity in much of the phrasing and the authenticity of many comments has to be questioned. More worrying though is if legit, the majority of those objecting to the announced policy express a total ignorance about the state of our debt and the economy in general.

  18. weka 18

    Good to see Labour using its website on the day of the speech to sign up support (a trick learnt from the GP no doubt), see the front page https://www.labour.org.nz/

    Policy is here https://www.labour.org.nz/beststart

    • weka 18.1

      COMMENCEMENT

      For families receiving Paid Parental Leave, entitlement to the Best Start Payment will commence at the end of the household’s time using Paid Parental Leave.

      This will be after 26 weeks in most cases, once the duration of Paid Parental Leave has also been extended as part of the Best Start package.

      In other cases, Best Start Payment will commence from the week of the child’s birth.

      ABOLITION OF PARENTAL TAX CREDIT

      As part of the move to a Best Start Payment, one existing payment – the Parent Tax Credit – will be abolished. This payment for the first eight weeks after the baby is born, for families not receiving Paid Parental Leave, will now be redundant.

      Its removal will simplify the system and save around $15 million a year, helping to offset a portion of the costs of Best Start Payment.

      • weka 18.1.1

        How will the Best Start Payment be paid?

        The Best Start Payment will become part of the Working for Families grouping of tax credits (which currently comprises the Family Tax Credit, In Work Tax Credit, Parent Tax Credit, Minimum Family Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit).

        As such, it will be paid out to working families by IRD and to beneficiary families by the Ministry of Social Development.

        Will the best start payment replace Labour’s policy to extend the in work tax credit to all families?
        Labour will not proceed with its previous policy to extend the in work tax credit. While the Best Start Payment is one way we can target families in need of extra assitance, it is not the only policy Labour will announce in this area.

        What about families with more than one child
        under three?

        Subject to the income test, this payment will be made in respect of any child under the age of three. So most households with twins will receive $120 a week, as will a majority of a households with a new born as well as a 1- or 2-year old.

    • lprent 18.2

      Labour using its website on the day of the speech to sign up support

      I saw that as well. Damn good idea.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    Something like 1.1M Kiwi kids under 18. 270,000 of them living in poverty.

    Baby $ bonus will directly help around 25K of them a year at a guess. What about the other 245K children living in poverty…

    • weka 19.1

      Any of the 245K whose mothers have a baby will be getting the extra income into their household. But yeah, it would be good to see some concrete stuff from Labour on lifting wages, job creation and social security.

    • karol 19.2

      Some will be siblings of the children whose family is getting the baby bonus payment.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Right I see, I didn’t calculate that in. A family with a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a newbie on the way.

    • McFlock 19.3

      I agree – Labour’s preschool policy does next to nothing for secondary students, just like their housing policy did next to nothing for babies. It’s an outrage.

      • Colonial Viper 19.3.1

        Just noting that only a small fraction of the 270K children in poverty is touched by this policy.

        • karol 19.3.1.1

          i do think it doesn’t go far enough for low income people, especially beneficiaries. Beneficiaries have had the thin end of the wedge for too long. They need to be given a higher priority.

          • Herodotus 19.3.1.1.1

            It still for me poses the question, why not set benefits at a suitable level, all these add ons IMO displays how fearful labour is towards negative coverage of being seen to “gift” money to beneficiaries.
            Also I hope that from this statement
            “That’s why under Labour:
            A full day’s work will cover the basics;
            There will be more jobs available, and wages will catch-up with prices.”
            That we are not again to see govt policy eg WWF creat a new subsidy towards companies who pay poor rates of pay.
            Also I hope there is something to come about working conditions that have deteriorated over the last decade or so.

            • karol 19.3.1.1.1.1

              Herodotus, it was signalled in the above Cunliffe speech today:

              There will be opportunities in all our regions and decent work based on fair employment laws.

              • Herodotus

                Missed that, after re reading the speech it IMO still panders to the fear that labour has towards how it is perceived, and how if benefits are not at a level that adequately allows for those to live and play an active part of society, then raise these benefits accordingly. But no we have these add ons, why are not benefits $60 a week greater for families that this is targeted, then once the child hits 3 does this beneficiary then have to provide for the family $60/ week worse off?

      • Lanthanide 19.3.2

        They need some sort of universal policy that applies to everyone. If only we could come up with one…

    • Puddleglum 19.4

      From the speech above:

      I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start payment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life.

      If correct, then 59,000 families equates to more than 25,000 children. I don’t know how the figure of 59,000 was arrived at, of course, but it may be from something like these statistics:

      There were 60,860 live births registered in New Zealand in the year ended March 2012, down 2,323 from the March 2011 year. This is the lowest number of births since 2007, when 60,471 births were registered.

      In part, annual fluctuations in births, reflect changes in the size and age of the population, the age at which women have children, and the number of children they have. In turn, the number of births influences the future size and age of the population.

      The highest number of births ever recorded in any March year was 65,803, in 1962. At that time, New Zealand’s population was just 2.5 million, compared with 4.4 million in 2012.

      Edit: Obviously, not all new births will be eligible for the payment, but most would.

      • Colonial Viper 19.4.1

        Most of those 59,000 families are on adequate or high incomes. Only a minority of them will be families experiencing poverty.

        Compare the resulting smaller number with the 270K children known to be living in poverty now.

        • McFlock 19.4.1.1

          ISTR there’s a slight bias in births towards deprivation using the general population measures, which probably goes with at least one parent having to ditch work for a time, so the proportion of more deprived children is a bit higher than the general population. Not massively (say ~40% are in 3 most deprived deciles), but still substantial.

          But at least it’s a near-Universal Birth Income :)

          It’s also a major intervention point that disproportionately reduces the costs of ongoing support.

        • Puddleglum 19.4.1.2

          Hi Colonial Viper,

          Yes, that’s true and I made a mistake. But my mistake made me think about it a bit more.

          Here’s some consequences that seem likely for that proportion of children in poverty whose parent(s) receive a main benefit.

          If you look at table DB:1 in this link to MSD statistics in 2011, you’ll see that, out of a total of 233,719 dependent children of ‘working age clients’, some 92, 683 were aged 0-5 years.

          Assuming enrolment on main benefits occurs at a constant rate relative to the age of the youngest child there would be roughly 18,000 children on benefits eligible to receive the credit within the first year it operates, 36,000 in the second and 54,000 by the end of the third (the $60 would last for three years on this kind of income). There’s also the length of receipt of benefits for parents with very young children to factor in to it.

          Given siblings would also be affected and given the three year term of the payment, this payment could have a significantly greater impact on child poverty within this group than might at first be thought.

          The case of the ‘working poor’ is different but, assuming birth rates are roughly similar, a similar effect should occur.

          Additional children will also mean additional payments.

          To be honest, I’ve only just begun to think about the overall impact it might have on child poverty.

          Your comment made me do that, so thank you!

          • Colonial Viper 19.4.1.2.1

            You are very welcome

            Given that there are typically 60K to 65K births a year in NZ those figures make logical sense.

            I am keen on Left policy which makes a concrete difference to large numbers of people in the bottom half of NZ society. Your analysis, especially once you include a similar number of the working poor who are not on benefits, shows that what Cunliffe announced today does exactly that.

            Nicely done Labour.

  20. chris73 20

    I’m liking what Cunliffes doing (not the policy of course) hes showing the win at all costs desire that Labour needs

    Does anyone really think a family on 150 grand needs help?

    • McFlock 20.1

      no
      hence the cut-off

      • Lanthanide 20.1.1

        Should have cut it at $120k.

        • chris73 20.1.1.1

          80 grand for me, if you cant afford kids you shouldn’t have kids etc etc

          • McFlock 20.1.1.1.1

            yeah, but you’re a heartless bastard who thinks child poverty is just a game.

            • chris73 20.1.1.1.1.1

              That maybe (it isn’t) but this smacks of being a huge bribe and a large amount of people will be saying why they should have to pay more to people on a very good whack

              I’d like to know how the figure of 150 grand came about…the new top tax rate maybe?

              • McFlock

                Don’t get me hopes up about a new top tax rate.

                I love the way that when national gives $10k a year to the teachers who are best at juking the national standards figures, it’s “rewarding excellence”, but when it alleviates a little bit of child poverty you toryboys call it a “bribe”.

                • Lanthanide

                  Again, new tax bracket for me would be at $120k. But I think Cunliffe is planning $150k.

                  My preferred tax regime: 35% from 80,000 and 40% from 120,000.

                • TightyRighty

                  Maybe those teachers are straight up good at teaching? or are you calling teachers who excel at motivating students and getting the best from them cheats because only poverty matters?

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Nah Tighty – McFlock’s opinion is based on what actually happens in the USA and UK etc., but perhaps you will understand it better this way:

                    Good teachers won’t inflate their own statistics – their children’s grades etc – but some teachers – especially those few bad apples who are grasping and only in it for the money and holidays, they’ll skew their own averages to get ahead.

                    Just human nature I guess.

                    That’s why National’s Standards must be gone by lunchtime, lest schools start to look like the National Party.

                    • TightyRighty

                      wow so half of all teachers will cheat and are therefore bad and the rest won’t and are good so will get left behind. that’s some tinfoil hat stuff the OAK. keep it up.

                      In the real world, where it’s almost impossible to get away with juking the stats for longer than a year or two, the cream rises very quickly to the top. is teaching somehow not like the real world?

                    • McFlock

                      so half of all teachers will cheat

                      Nah, just the tories.

                      In the real world, where it’s almost impossible to get away with juking the stats for longer than a year or two,

                      really? the nats have been doing for five years and counting. Crime reporting rate, pol400, unemployment rate, rebuild…

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      On Planet Tighty, few = half.

                      Kind of suggests what the problem with Natonomics is, no?

                    • McFlock

                      forgot to add hospital waiting lists to the list of juked stats these days

                    • KJT

                      “The cream rises to the top”.

                      You obviously haven’t worked with a great many corporate managers, TR. LOL.

                    • KJT

                      “The cream rises to the top”.

                      You obviously haven’t worked with a great many corporate managers, TR.

                      Turds float, would be more like it.

                  • McFlock

                    Let’s go through this very fucking slowly for you:

                    Q: how do tories think they can judge the quality of education? A: National Standards
                    Q: Are they correct? A: Nope
                    Q: What do good teachers do with National Standards? A: Round filing bin
                    Q: what does this mean? A: Mostly shit teachers will be best with the bumf. The others teach.
                    Q: what will tories think? A: those teachers who get their NS paperwork in on time and are best at fudging it are the best teachers
                    Q: Result? A: nactoids bribe bad teachers to be experts at fudging NS scores. Good teachers go somewhere they are appreciated.

              • lprent

                Because the people on household incomes above $150k are a small fraction of the population?

                Basically I’d have just given the kid support to everyone. The difference would probably have been an increase from 59,000 families to about 59,500. The amount is hardly worth the admin costs.

                After all then it’d be exactly the old family benefit. That was a simple and effective at helping families.

                We actually need to raise new taxpayers otherwise they won’t be able to afford my suprannuation that I have been paying for over the last 40 years.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Basically I’d have just given the kid support to everyone. The difference would probably have been an increase from 59,000 families to about 59,500. The amount is hardly worth the admin costs.

                  Yep, that’s pretty much what I’m thinking.

                  • Saarbo

                    I wonder if that is what Labour first thought, the intention to make it like the old family benefit…then threw in the $150k limit last minute.

                  • lprent

                    Someone else (Puddlegum?) pointed that the number of births in a recent stats was 60800 odd. Assume it is 1800*52*60 = 5,616,000pa in direct costs.

                    Just getting the approvals for the constraint through the system is going to cost a bundle. At least a few hundred per family and probably closer to thousand once you figure out the costs of putting a procedure throughout all employers and whoever administers it (WINZ?) for 1800-3600 people.

                    And this stuff is going to be run on the new iron at the IRD as a tax credit like WFF. That iron and its software is costing at least 1 billion dollars and probably more like 2 billion dollars to put in place. I suspect that simply removing the constraint in the code will save a amortised couple of million per year.

                    Basically it’d be easier to make it universal because I think that putting the extra constraint(s) in will cost close to what it will save.. It is purely a political constraint rather than useful constraint.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    According to a govt source, there were (at least 2 years ago) 160,000 households in NZ with incomes greater than $150k.

              • Tracey

                Good points. Could be the new top tax rate?

          • Lanthanide 20.1.1.1.2

            $80k is less than the median household which is $82k from the census IIRC.

            $80k is probably a lot in many parts of the country, but not Auckland, and not particularly for CHCH or Wellington either.

          • vto 20.1.1.1.3

            chris73 ” if you cant afford kids you shouldn’t have kids etc etc”

            You are serious aren’t you .. you absolute arsecretinbitchbastardwankerfuckoff

          • tricledrown 20.1.1.1.4

            What about john key and paula bennett they shouldn’t have been born my taxes and my parents taxes paid for them to have real oppotunities that you want to deny to any one else.my whole family have paid high taxes most of our lives I don’t miss what I don’t have.
            But I am pissed off that my children can’t access education breaks that Ladder pullers like Key Bennett And Tighty Almighty couldbecause we have always been above the cut off income levels universal benefits stop poverty traps.
            Smart move by cunliffe.

        • McFlock 20.1.1.2

          possibly. But I’m not too worried.

          • Lanthanide 20.1.1.2.1

            Well it’s not playing particularly well in MSM-land. I’m sure the talkback teleban will have a field day over it too.

            • McFlock 20.1.1.2.1.1

              if I were feeling particularly benevolent, I’d suggest that that’s why it was announced now rather than a week before the election, but it probably just worked out that way.

              The day labour policies play really well in msm-land and talkback is the day roger douglas is back in the labour caucus.

            • geoff 20.1.1.2.1.2

              talkback is a bit of an echo chamber. How it plays out on stations like the edge is more of a litmus test.
              But think the back-pocket nature of the policy will cut through most spin from the right. The simple fact is that a majority of people will find themselves better off financially with this policy and that will guide their voting.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Does anyone really think a family on 150 grand needs help?

      Bill English clearly did.

      • chris73 20.2.1

        Fairs fair now a whole bunch of back bench MPs can get help

        • Bill 20.2.1.1

          Household fucking income Chris. So a backbench mp with a partner doing almost any type of fucking paid employment gets zip. Also – anyone on Paid Parental Leave gets zip while in receipt of Paid Parental Leave. Minimal reading or thinking required to find that out – but regurgitating a penguins’ brain slop droppings is apparently all you’re capable of…

          • chris73 20.2.1.1.1

            Fuck off dipshit

            • Bill 20.2.1.1.1.1

              :-) That you confirming your preference for regurgitated penguins’ brain slop droppings over facts? Hmm….yup. I think it is.

              • chris73

                I said fuck off dipshit because its a bullshit argument, the point isn’t that if their partner makes more they won’t get the allowance the point is they could conceivably get the allowance yet hes saying:

                “It would make a real difference to struggling parents, for example covering the cost of a week’s supply of nappies and baby food”

                and I don’t think anyone here could say that an MP (even a list MP) is struggling

                • Bill

                  Wasn’t an argument Chris. Them’s the facts. Just stated. Unlike the mashed…oh, you like that pre-heated brain shit though. Forgot for a sec ;-)

                  • chris73

                    Bullshit facts then, I won’t argue the semantics

                    • McFlock

                      fucking bullshit reality and it’s fucking bullshit liberal bias. Fuck, Had a good fucking line about it benefiting backbench MPs and it’s fuckety fuck fucked up.

                    • Bill

                      So…backbenchers cannot be said to automatically get $60 per week because of paid parental leave and partner incomes.

                      And Cunliffe said that $60 per week “would make a real difference to struggling parents, for example covering the cost of a week’s supply of nappies and baby food.

                      Pretty clear he wasn’t referring to any household with an income just shy of $150 000 when he suggested that $60 could help cover the otherwise unaffordable cost of nappies and baby food.

                      The penguin got anything to say on that, that you might want to re-regurgitate for our amusement?

          • Lanthanide 20.2.1.1.2

            So a backbench mp with a partner doing almost any type of fucking paid employment gets zip.

            Or, presumably, modest investment income.

    • OneTrack 20.3

      “Does anyone really think a family on 150 grand needs help?

      Just the Labour party backbenchers. And, conveniently, the amount chosen just lets them in. High five.

  21. clifford wright 21

    Well I read David Cunliffe’s speech VERY carefully and was in the end disappointed again.
    The “Elephant in the room” is still there David.
    Nowhere was there a very reasonable limit on child care payments.
    If he had said that this payment was for the first 2 or 3 children in a family I might even changed my
    party and voted Labour.
    What he should have said was that these payments were for the first 2 or 3 kids, then families would be helped through birth control programmes to limit their family to a level that won’t impoverish them.

    THEN Winston might even lose my vote!!!

    Otherwise quite good and reasonable. I especially like the Capital Gains Tax and the Reserve Bank reforms.
    Once we led the World (we even helped to lead it, in the end, into the Insanity of Monetarism). Now it is past time that we led it out of this crazy phase and back to social and economic sanity.

    • McFlock 21.1

      goddamn it, labour’s lost the “sterilize the poor” vote! Will they never learn??? /sarc

    • karol 21.2

      The easiest way to lower the number of children born to people in poverty is……. Drum roll….

      …. to get rid of poverty

      plus provide opportunities, like good education, especially for mothers.

      Worked for my ancestral lines.

      • Chooky 21.2.1

        +100…just look at the countries with overpopulation and children in poverty….and education and career opportunities for women…..

      • NZ Femme 21.2.2

        It would be great if the whole nasty ass “breeding for business” meme could be put to rest, once and for all.

        * The total fertility rate for NZ since 1977 has been between 1.9 – 2.2 live births per woman.

        *When the fertility rate dips below 2.1 we’re at sub-replacement fertility, and without immigration the NZ population can’t replenish itself long term. (this is already the case in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Greece, Poland, and Russia)

        *2/3 of people receiving Sole Parent Support through WINZ were previously married or in a civil union.

        *50% of all those on Sole Parent Support are caring for only one child.

        *The percentage of single parent families in NZ is 17.8% as opposed to the thronging multitudes the RWNJ’s like to conjure up out of the ether.

        New Zealanders aren’t breeding like rabbits, and frankly the children who are born to NZers are going to be supporting us, a growing ageing population. They deserve better.

        http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/mythbusters/population-growing-migration.aspx

        http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-national-highlights/families-households.aspx

        http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Backgrounders/130402%20CPAG%20Myths%20and%20Facts.pdf

        • Will@Welly 21.2.2.1

          The problem is the media doesn’t believe in letting statics get in the way of a story. One beneficiary “breaking” the rules, for whatever reason, means that all beneficiaries fall under the spotlight.
          Over on “stuff” – 900 comments – most of them negative, you’d think Labour were likely to be dolling out wards of cash willy-nilly, and those receiving it would be rushing out blowing it on booze and ciggies. The rich obviously have a poor opinion of how the other half live.
          The thing is, a lot of our forebears arrived here with not much in their pockets.

        • Tracey 21.2.2.2

          Thanks for posting facts. Sadly facts don’t permeate the media and the minds of many…

    • bad12 21.3

      Clifford Wright,clap,clap,clap, yet another ‘they breed for money loony’ exposing their wing-nuts propensity to rely on bullshit to form their opinions,

      There is a link somewhere either in this Post or the other Post discussing David Cunliffe’s excellent speech today which points out that in the early years of the decade Australia gave $5000 to new mothers as a lump sum,

      Now if ‘breeding for money’ were in any way anything but a ‘wing-nuts’ fantasy you would have thought that over in Oz they would have started breeding like crazy,

      Fact is that the birth rate stayed remarkably the same which just makes you look stupid…

      • chris73 21.3.1

        Do you mean this:

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-15/government-defends-decision-to-axe-baby-bonus/4690666

        “She says the Government made a “values judgement” by deciding to scrap the $5,000 baby bonus and spend the $1.1 billion saved on schools instead.”

        • bad12 21.3.1.1

          Certainly got judged on that ‘choice’ i must say, so of what relevance is the Australian axing of their ‘birth bonus’ got to do with, well with anything,

          The fact is, you do know what a fact is don’t you, is that when the scheme was first introduced you would have to expect that if there was any ‘breeding for money’ anywhere in the world there would have been a baby boom over the ditch and the fact that there wasn’t makes the ‘wing-nuts’ ongoing whine about this simply absolute bullshit…

          • chris73 21.3.1.1.1

            Sure like this: http://economics.com.au/?p=1362

            “Last financial year, it cost the government $1.16 billion, a figure that will climb as it increases to $5000. With more women having their first babies in their 30s, and richer women having more children, the baby bonus is increasingly ending up in the hands of wealthier families.”

            • Tracey 21.3.1.1.1.1

              they also gave $1000 to every household in Australia in 2008 to combat the effects of the recession. We just gave it to the top earners….

          • Draco T Bastard 21.3.1.1.2

            I seem to recall reading something at the time that suggested that the whole $5k baby bonus was actually to produce an increase in people having children. A politician or three was concerned about the baby boomer bulge or maybe it was the fear that Australia’s population was going to start going backwards – or both.

            The fact that it didn’t produce an increase in births is probably why it got scrapped.

            • Lloyd 21.3.1.1.2.1

              So the $5000 for a child policy for encouraging population growth was either misguided or racist or both.
              Racist?
              Any Australian politician who wants to increase the population of Australia just needs to set up a $10 migration office in Afghanistan or Sri Lanka, and should be able to send half a million young migrants in the first year. Problem is those migrants wouldn’t be white and christian.
              I note that European counties with good child-care such a Sweden have higher child-birth rates than countries with poor childcare policies such as Italy.

    • tricledrown 21.4

      see right why don’t you move to japan where the economy is struggling because they don’t have enough young people.
      you will have to wipe your own bumb when you get to old too.

  22. geoff 22

    coverage on tv1 was quite favourable for labour. had a a couple of mums enthusiastically supporting it

    • Lanthanide 22.1

      But they did specifically bring up the $150k threshold, and didn’t mention anything about the broader topics Cunliffe covered in his speech, like jobs etc.

      As I expected, this entire thing is being framed as a cash payout for babies, which will be spun by the MSM, National and talkback teleban as breeding for a business.

      • geoff 22.1.1

        Yep no doubt. But the tories know this is going to be popular and they know that trying to attack it as unaffordable will be an up hill battle considering the lolly scramble tax cuts worked so well for them in 2008.

  23. BM 23

    Why is Labour trying to encourage more people to breed, I don’t get it? are they that devoid of ideas that’s all they can come up with.
    Really disappointing stuff.

    I don’t know how any intelligent person can think this is a good idea.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Well, by considering that we have a rapidly aging population that we need to balance out.

      • BM 23.1.1

        We’re living so much longer these days, give it another 20 years and the average age span will be 100+.

        The contradiction of labour wanting to raise the retirement age yet trying to encourage people to breed is not lost on me .

        Just stupid.

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          I’m expecting life expectancies to plateau, then to start falling like they appear to be in some areas of the USA and UK

          • BM 23.1.1.1.1

            Complete bull shit, advancements in medicine will push life expectancy out past 100, Christ, there’s a a group of scientists in OZ who have just discovered how to reverse the aging process.Think of the ramifications of that for a minute.

            Last thing we need is more kids especially kids pushed out by dumb fucking ferals.

            Another thing is, what about the environment you’re endlessly wanking on about how we’re all doomed via peak oil,resource depletion and AGW yet here you are thinking this baby factory policy is a great idea.

            One has to wonder if power is more important to Labour people such as your self than what is truely good for the country and the planet.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Fifty thousand more dumb fucking ferals under National. Who needs a breeding program when National can make ferals out of perfectly good working Kiwis?

            • geoff 23.1.1.1.1.2

              Fuck, so we might have to put up with you…forever!?!?

            • fender 23.1.1.1.1.3

              “……….kids pushed out by dumb fucking ferals.”

              Don’t come here to throw insults at your parents BM.

            • Pasupial 23.1.1.1.1.4

              BM

              I don’t imagine you know how any intelligent person thinks about anything.

            • tricledrown 23.1.1.1.1.5

              Dumb Ferals like paula bene basher and we johnny keys mum who benefited from such a policy so you could vote for your great ladder puller leader.

            • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1.1.6

              Complete bull shit, advancements in medicine will push life expectancy out past 100

              You’d have to be in the top 5% of income brackets to have even the remotest possibility of accessing that medical tech, and it would have to be via the private sector.

        • KJT 23.1.1.2

          Thought you were for a UBI, BM?

          This is a UBI for babies. A good start.

    • chris73 23.2

      Its ackshully quite a good idea: bribe the unemployed, the lower-class, the middle-class and the upper-middle class if they all have kids to vote for Labour

      I think thought that it won’t work because more of Kiwis won’t trust Cunliffe to be able to deliver what hes said but will trust Key to deliver on what he said

      • Colonial Viper 23.2.1

        Labour has listened to the electorate and realised that costs have gone up on young struggling families way faster than incomes have.

        So this is a brilliant responsive policy from Labour.

        And yes, Labour deserves to win the election based on this alone.

        • chris73 23.2.1.1

          Mass bribery with no parental responsibility?

          • McFlock 23.2.1.1.1

            your monocle’s fogged up again.

          • McFlock 23.2.1.1.2

            hey, did you make up the “parental responsibility” spin by yourself, or did the Penguin issue an evening memo to the sewer-feeders?

          • Colonial Viper 23.2.1.1.3

            Mass bribery with no parental responsibility?

            Are you calling the vast majority of NZ parents irresponsible, chris73? You’re really not going to win any election with that kind of attitude, mate.

          • Puddleglum 23.2.1.1.4

            chris73,

            Are you implying that the state can mandate (or even particularly influence) “parental responsibility”?

            If you do, I’d disagree. Levels of so-called ‘responsibility’ (parental, personal or what have you) do not arise from financial incentives for adults. They are a socio-cultural product, largely, and are set in place long before ‘benefits’, etc. kick in (or before young people even become aware of the existence of such a thing as the ‘welfare state’).

            Responsibility – and many other fundamental socio-moral tendencies – is a developmental product that is established very early on, hence it’s link to general social and material conditions.

            That’s one reason why focusing support on these first years is so important.

            • Draco T Bastard 23.2.1.1.4.1

              Responsibility – and many other fundamental socio-moral tendencies – is a developmental product that is established very early on, hence it’s link to general social and material conditions.

              And that would probably explain why RWNJs, although always calling for personal responsibility from others, never seem to take any themselves.

          • tricledrown 23.2.1.1.5

            universal benefit no poverty trap.
            research has shown for children who earn another 6 to 8 thousand per year in their early years have a 90% more chance of succeeding at school and in life.And much cheaper than the $6 billion Dollar drag on the economy having 270,000 children living in various states of poverty!

            • KJT 23.2.1.1.5.1

              Cost return ratio of a dollar spent on kids under 5 is, $11.

              A lot more than that for roads…………..

          • KJT 23.2.1.1.6

            Like National’s bribe to Teachers to ignore education, you mean.

            Just what we need to improve education, MORE executives, right?

        • TightyRighty 23.2.1.2

          oh good, i’m glad you believe that. No one really addressed the elephant in the room. old cunners making a massive promise with his “state of the nation” speech (generally reserved for leaders of government, not wannabees) that was going to provide a massive policy platform for this year. After mocking national for having one policy to start te year.

          so this is the massive, all encompassing, election winning silver bullet policy?

          Seems completely light weight and ordinary politics to spell out the details of how to buy the electorates votes, without detailing how they are going to pay for it. fairly typical of labour then.

          I’m glad you believe labour only need one policy to win though.

          • Lanthanide 23.2.1.2.1

            “making a massive promise with his “state of the nation” speech … that was going to provide a massive policy platform for this year. ”

            Actually he said Key’s speech was too narrow, because it discounted all the social and economic problems we had, and then focussed solely on Education.

            Cunliffe’s speech on the other hand did speak about the social and economic problems this country has and promised policies in the future to deal with them, but today he was going to talk about supporting NZ children and families.

            If you thought Cunliffe was going to announce all of Labour’s policies in all areas, then you simply have poor comprehension of what Labour and Cunliffe said their SoN speech would be about.

            • TightyRighty 23.2.1.2.1.1

              actually, on Radio New Zealand openly mocked National / John Key for only having one policy. A fully costed and funded policy BTW. Then went on to promise a massive policy platform for the year.

              I understand that Labour and Cunliffe want to keep some powder dry for the acutal election campaign, but to mock National for something then turn around and do the same thing? which side of his mouth does cunliffe ever actually talk out of? the only thing consistent about him is his ability to not be consistent on anything.

              • Lanthanide

                He didn’t do the same thing. That’s the whole point.

                • TightyRighty

                  But he did, that’s the point. he openly mocked John Key about starting the year with only one policy, then came out with one himself. hardly a “state of the nation” solution.

                  • geoff

                    No he didn’t. He took the piss out of Key for suddenly taking an interest in education issues because it is an election year.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Once again, TR, because it seems you can’t follow normal prose.

                    1. John Key denied there was any problems in the economy.
                    2. John Key denied there were any inequality problems.
                    3. John Key came out with a very specific policy focussed solely on teacher salaries (nothing about class sizes, for example) that throws lots of money around.

                    Cunliffe:
                    1. Highlighted the problems in the economy and promised future policies to create jobs and increase wages, including the minimum wage
                    2. Highlighted the problems of inequality in this country
                    3. Came out with a policy that covered several angles of children in NZ: increasing ECE education to 25 hours, a $60/week payment for almost all children in their first year, increase in paid parental leave to 6 months

                    Key: narrow and deluded
                    Cunliffe: acknowledge issues, focussed comprehensively on just one issue to start with.

                    Not the same. Different.

                    • TightyRighty

                      there are no problems in the economy, there is much less inequality than stated by the left and key came out with a fully costed and funded policy designed to improve education for all new zealanders.

                      David cunliffe promised much but hasn’t shown how he can deliver.

                      Key: pragmatic par excellence, committed to raising new zealands ability to compete on the global stage and pushing through the policies to make that happen

                      Cunliffe: well, we’ll see what he comes out with next. what he’s done so far is pretty ordinary. Still don’t see why he scrapped the $5000 tax free income threshold. probably the most progressive policy ever.

                    • geoff

                      TightyRighty, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now…you are a traitor to this country. Go and live somewhere else, we’ve already got the verroa bee mite, we don’t need anymore parasites like you.

                    • McFlock

                      tr seems a bit down, at the moment – just blandly parroting bullet-point slogans that are obvious fiction.

                      He’s just going through the motions. There is nought so saddening as an obvious and abject loss of hope.

                      Except in tories :D

                    • TightyRighty

                      Geoff, i pay my taxes and pay my own way as much as is humanly possible. It’s people like you, haters of the productive people in this country who should leave.

                      How much tax, if any do you pay? do you pay your fair share? I certainly do.

                      Mcflock, It’s like you can’t see how bouyant the right is because of how shit cunliffe and the greens vision is. the only time righties speak is if you guys cheer on something so shit we can’t quite believe it. If you have a good idea, we are usually silent. we wouldn’t want to draw attention to the fact you may have lived up to the broken clock maxim. no attention means things generally disappear. keep dreaming though. i’m predicting a Majority National Government in 2013. which is more than labour could even dream of.

                    • McFlock

                      see, that’s much better – a point that is developed across a paragraph, lies that are at least vaguely plausible, interaction with the people you’re lying to. Much better than just fire&forget bullet points that are patent bullshit. I mean, it fell over when you predicted another national govt, but what the hoo.

                      Maybe you just needed your morning coffee, or a pep-talk at the tory-propagandist team meeting.

      • freedom 23.2.2

        “but will trust Key to deliver on what he said”

        That promise not to increase G.S.T ring a bell chris?

        Tax cuts north of $50 a week ring a bell chris?

        170,000 jobs ring a bell chris?

        • Debbie Brown 23.2.2.1

          +10

          Exactly

        • TightyRighty 23.2.2.2

          cunliffe gives us a $5k tax free threshold, then he takes it away. cunliffe promises a living wage, then backs right down. cunliffe wants to nationalise the power companies, but won’t promise it. that’s only cunliffe too!

          • Colonial Viper 23.2.2.2.1

            Uh, the $5K tax free income was a 2011 promise under Phil Goff

            Do try and get the details right, TR.

            • TightyRighty 23.2.2.2.1.1

              caucus endorsed of course. the labour party are far above presidential style politics

    • Puddleglum 23.3

      From this link that I used in a comment above:

      Compared with the high fertility seen in the early 1960s, women in all age groups now have fewer babies. In 1962, women aged 20–24 years had the highest fertility rate (265 per 1,000), followed by those aged 25–29 years (259 per 1,000), and 30–34 years (152 per 1,000).

      The graph just below this quotation shows that the argument about financial incentives encouraging ‘breeding for a business’ is flawed. In fact, overall fertility rates have been stable for decades (averaging 2.02 births per woman), despite increased state financial support (e.g., DPB, WFF):

      New Zealand’s total fertility rate has been relatively stable over the last three decades, averaging 2.02 births per woman. During this period, the total fertility rate varied from 1.90 births per woman (in 2003) to 2.18 (in 1991 and 2009). In contrast, fertility rates increased dramatically from the mid-1940s, peaking at 4.31 births per woman in 1961. New Zealand then experienced decreasing fertility over the following two decades.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.3.1

        +1

        The “breeding for a business” BS is part of the myths that RWNJs propagate to bash beneficiaries with.

      • lprent 23.3.2

        The graph just below this quotation shows that the argument about financial incentives encouraging ‘breeding for a business’ is flawed. In fact, overall fertility rates have been stable for decades…

        As your quotes point out, there had been a gradual decline in birthrates from the late 80’s until the early 00’s moving from just above replacement rates to well below replacement rates. Part of the problem was simply that it was getting harder and harder to afford to have kids, especially when we were having repeated recessions and bouts of uncertainty in employment.

        A large chunk of the efforts directed by the Labour governments (National really couldn’t give a shit – they cut such efforts) is to ensure that people can have children if they want to. That has a flow on effect for the rest of the economy because it means that we keep the demographics in society from shifting too much or too fast with the horrible downstream effects that has on the production and taxation systems.

        But the nett effect ofd the effort has been to stop the fall in birt rates rather than to cause the mythic baby farming culture so beloved of the sex-obsessed fuckwits that frequent talkback radio and Stuff’s astroturfing community.

    • geoff 23.4

      Why do you hate kids, BM?

      • chris73 23.4.1

        Why do you hate parental responsibility, geoff?

        • geoff 23.4.1.1

          Now chris, I know you’re getting a hard time today, but that’s to be expected given the context.
          Here, have a hug mate, everything’s going to be just fine *hug*

      • BM 23.4.2

        Why are you a fuckwit Geoffrey?

        • McFlock 23.4.2.1

          something about closet eugenic;sts pisses him off, I guess

        • geoff 23.4.2.2

          Now now, BM, that’s a bit mean. I thought we were just playing ‘Who Can Come Up With The Most Stupid Rhetorical Question’.
          I don’t know why you’re so upset, you’re still winning!

    • Tracey 23.5

      Labour and National aren’t appealing to the intelligent crowd BM.

  24. RedLogix 24

    Anyone else notice the nice framing in the very first para of the speech?

    Three weeks ago I stood on top of a 1200-metre peak on the edge of Kahurangi National Park with my 12-year-old son.

    And who does NOT take his holidays in this country?

    • McFlock 24.1

      lol

    • Will@Welly 24.2

      Precise. Emphasis on family, New Zealand. Hallmarks of a traditional leader. Someone needs to show him how to lay bricks – vintage Norman Kirk..

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 24.2.1

        Well, it’s better than “Having a child in New Zealand can be very tough. Why, I was forced to buy a 2 million dollar house in Herne Bay so my wife’s commute to work was easier”.

    • Richard McGrath 24.3

      So… Cunliffe has never taken an overseas holiday?

  25. Sookie 25

    I need a Mrs Reverend Lovejoy GIF going ‘won’t somebody think of the children!!!!’ Children is all I’ve heard about from all 3 parties in the last week, and as a deliberately childless person who pays mucho tax and thinks there’s too many bloody people on this planet, it’s uninspiring. I certainly don’t think we should be paying people for having kids. The 60 bucks a week allowance spoiled the big speech and stirred up the many many rednecks. Not even the Greens gives a toss about the environment anymore. I’ll vote for the party that triples the DOC budget and tells farmers to clean up their mountains of cow shit, and I don’t know which one will do that. Sigh.

    • Tania 25.1

      Those children will be paying for your pension so dont complain

    • Tracey 25.2

      Cos it’s all about you.

      IF you think the Greens dont give a toss about the environment I wonder if you are really what you say you are or just a trolling, out for a trolling on a summer trolling kind of day?

  26. Debbie Brown 26

    Yes, yes, yes

    Cunliffe totally gets it, the issues confronting everyday New Zealanders. It is so wrong that a few at the top of the food chain get wealthier and wealthier, while so many kids go without, through no fault of their own but to be born to nonwealthy parents. It is so good that Labour are prepared to do something about this.

    It is so good that they will extend maternity leave. Babies need their mums, and how wonderful to enable mums to spend the time bonding with their babies – and breastfeeding – without being forced back to work so early for financial reasons. Well done.

    Also, good on Labour for having the courage to introduce CGT. For too long, properly speculators have had free rein to make huge gains, tax free, at everyone else’s expense – and thousands of my generation have watched as property prices sky rocketed out of reach, knowing that the only way we will ever be in a position to own our own home is to inherit. And for anyone with a soul, that isn’t a thought worth dwelling on.

    Thank you Labour. Even though I don’t expect any direct benefits myself from this, it is comforting to hope for a more compassionate society, one that offers hope and opportunity for all.

    • Chooky 26.1

      +100

    • Anne 26.2

      Cunliffe is a real smart cookie.

      Three weeks ago I stood on top of a 1200-metre peak on the edge of Kahurangi National Park with my 12-year-old son.

      He made several similar subtle references to John Key without any overt reference to him. The large audience picked up on them too which was good to see.

      He also made a subtle reference or two re-a certain large lady cabinet minister who is – but soon to be was – a Westie. In fact when you think about it the entire Best Start policy plank is a short, sharp painful slap around the face for the cabinet minister in question. :)

      • Debbie Brown 26.2.1

        Oh, yes, this bit by any chance?

        “Whether it was training incentive allowances or state houses, they’ve climbed the ladder of opportunity. Now they’re pulling it up behind them.”

        Not at all subtle, to be honest :) but, sometimes people need a reminder of the hypocrisy that is the leopard skinned one :)

  27. CFord 27

    I have seen the ill informed comments on Stuff and they are depressing, very depressing and absolutely vile! One of the well known side effects of inequality is a hardening of class attitudes. Sections of the working poor and the middle class will side with the elites in disparaging the poorest of the poor and even those among who claim entitlements. The elites have (since Rogernomics first began 30 years ago this year) poisoned the well of public discourse and have propagated a sea change in popular thinking which has seen the New Right become more ascendant over time.
    While disparaging views of the poor and disadvantaged have always been with us, especially due to the nature of the capitalist society we live in, these views have become more entrenched with time and repetition.
    I see that Sue Bradford has still criticised Labour for not going far enough either – and I support her sentiments too around the need for greater universality.
    As a Green, I say that the policies my party brought out yesterday’s and Labour’s will still go some way towards addressing inequality.
    Changing public attitudes is the hardest thing, though. In 1984, I remember that much of the population had a more or less social democratic or ‘red Tory’ outlook on economic and social issues. It was hard for the New Right at the beginning to get traction on the policies they were pushing but today they don’t appear to have much of a problem.
    That’s why I see the Green and Labour policies on these issues as important in moving along the debate on inequality. The centre left now is like the centre right was in 1984 – behind in the intellectual and political stakes. Nevertheless, as the New Right did back in the 1980s and 1990s, all those on the political and intellectual left must keep pushing for traditional left-wing ideals like equality, solidarity, community, collective action as well as ecological balance, even if it is seemingly against the tide.
    The left must promote ideas such as these if it is to turn the tide, slowly but surely. The New Right showed intestinal fortitutde in pushing its lines 30 years ago and even into the current day. So must we on the left – it’s something we haven’t done for a long time!

    • RedLogix 27.1

      After reading part way through the same comment thread (couldn’t stomach the rest) – I’m wondering when Labour is in power we couldn’t just get the GSCB to identify all these damaged people and just ship them out to some off-shore islands, or back under the rocks they seem to have all crawled from.

      Most interesting is how many are using the term ‘breeder’ in contempt. Very, very disturbing.

    • Will@Welly 27.2

      The biggest problem between 1984 – 1990, was the left was rather muted because we couldn’t believe what we saw happening in this country of ours. Here we had a “left-wing” Government attacking the very foundations of the society they were supposed to support.
      The biggest “failure” of the 1999 – 2008 years, was there was no discernable reversal of the previous policies. That is what has made it so easy for the present administration to build on the past policies of the previous ones, and also the now instilled belief in many, that the neo-liberal policy is the only one to follow.
      Changing public attitudes is now almost a generational project – the “right” have ruled for 30 years.
      Some on the left have been railing against the right, but for the change to happen, it needs a concerted effort. As can be seen on ‘stuff’ the whingers are having a field day, but if they were given a $60-00 hand-out, I guarantee there’d be total silence.

      • Colonial Viper 27.2.1

        Well, $60 is “north of $50″ so sure, the Righties would love it.

        And yes, it is now a generational project of change which is required. Problem is – if we don’t change, the generation who are in primary school today, are going to be the last generation to have any kind of security in life. And even then it will be marginal by the time they are 50 to 60 and the full impact of climate havoc is experienced.

  28. Yossarian 28

    Well from what I heard, I was quite impressed as to how Cunliffe came across & how he interacted with us.

    His speech covered most populist bases without going into too much detail yet enough meat of policy to not make a non event in the form of “Best Start”. Hopefully in the months to come he will flesh out other policy issues. I wish he could give us all the detail yet recognize he has to drip feed it so as not to give The Nationalist Animals too much time to attack him and smear him. Hopefully he can build the momentum up to the election by adding more detail.

    I was concerned with a phrase he lifted from the UK Conservatives “We Are All In It Together”.
    In 2010 swing voters fell for that line. The Torys got in and used the mantra to push through draconian policies and it turned out the be nothing but a facade…In the UK it now turns out “We Are All In It Together,Yet Some Are More In It Than Others”. So That Buzz Phrase, comes with a health warning.

    One thing I was impressed with and this is shallow yet has to be considered in order to win back people whom voted for The Dark Side….He is defo gonna win the Best Hair, Teeth, Smile debate and even though I dislike that in principle, we have to face facts, certain people vote on that.

    From what I saw, a decent start, Go for it David….Lets hope for A Majority Labour Govt so that we don’t have to overly depend on Green or Independent votes!

    • mickysavage 28.1

      His speech covered most populist bases without going into too much detail

      Giving beneficiaries with kids an increase is a big, big deal …

      • BM 28.1.1

        And will guarantee an out right National win.

        After the bull shit offered up today by the labour party the only logical course of action is that, the labour party is taken out the back and shot.

        From the ashes of the once proud and strong Labour party, hopefully a new party may emerge, one worthy of being a major political party and one worth voting for.

        Because this current one is worth less than a pound of dog shit.

        • Te Reo Putake 28.1.1.1

          As election concession speeches go, that’s pretty average, BM. And so sweary! What’s upsetting you?

          • BM 28.1.1.1.1

            Mate, you guys have completely misread the mood of the voter.

            People are so fucked off with ferals who annually spit out more DNA while having their hand out whining that they can’t make ends meet and the government should give them more money.

            Voters are sick to the back teeth of these bludgers.

            • Te Reo Putake 28.1.1.1.1.1

              Hobbit hater!

            • KJT 28.1.1.1.1.2

              BM.
              If you were really concerned about poor women having children you would be advocating the methods that have been proven wordwide to lesson the number of children born to poor women.

              Make them richer, and more powerful, (Especially over contraception and income) and better educated.

              If you are really concerned about women “breeding for an income”. Give them better options.

              The best way to avoid “children born in poverty”, is to remove poverty.

            • Pasupial 28.1.1.1.1.3

              BM

              I am sick to the back teeth of your bullshit. If we have “completely misread the mood of the voter” then:

              a/ How do you have such insight into these voters mood?
              b/ Why are you so concerned?
              c/ What are the terms of your “guarantee [of] an out right National win”?

              You are a wretched excuse for a human who obtrudes their vile excretions onto those who are seeking hope for the future. I hope you suffer a lingering penniless death; in a for-profit rest-home run by neoliberal ideologues, in whatever country you emigrate to when the Labour-Green coalition emerge as the next government of this one.

            • KJT 28.1.1.1.1.4

              Don’t talk about the Fletchers like that, BM.

            • dave 28.1.1.1.1.5

              bm is Cameron salter ignore him

            • dave 28.1.1.1.1.6

              the slaters are out in force there desperate worried that there time on planet key is about to end with visit from one cunliffes new tax auditors

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 28.1.1.1.1.7

              BM, when the voters prove you wrong, I don’t want you to reconsider your position; I want you to choke on it.

            • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1.1.8

              Voters are sick to the back teeth of these bludgers.

              You mean the bludgers like:

              SkyCity
              Rio Tinto
              Warner Bros
              Fuckwit Peter Whateverhisnameis

              And all the rest of the corporations and rich pricks that this government has been giving our money and wealth to?

          • Colonial Viper 28.1.1.1.2

            :)

        • Tracey 28.1.1.2

          The Labour you clearly want was 84 to 90. Otherwise why would you support NationaL?

      • Herodotus 28.1.2

        Being so important that the previous labour govt fought tooth and nail to exclude beneficiaries.
        The previous labour govt had ample time and funds to adequately fund beneficiaries.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/469911
        Helen Clark is quoted as
        “We don’t want to do anything that would stop the movement of beneficiaries back to work.”
        And this policy is only given these families a short term respite, what happens once the child has their 4th birthday ? A reduction of income to the family of $60. Funny costs for a family don’t magically reduce at this stage.
        Fund benefits adequately, don’t try to be smart as there are families that are bearing the consequences to being political pawns.

  29. ecossemaid 29

    BM,,,You aren’t John Keys in disguise are you?

  30. View Balanced 30

    Just out of interest, whose idea was it to have this “State of the Nation” speech coinciding with Auckland anniversary and the Grammy that was likely to feature a NZ winner?? Surely you’d want to dominate the airwaves on a day when a third of the country aren’t on holiday.

    • greywarbler 30.1

      View Bal-an-ced or to give it some class – La Belle Vue
      IMO having it on Anniversary Day was a Good Idea. As for Lorde winning, we can’t diary our national business around every possible winning outcome in NZ. Although in future it is going to get so good in NZ that there will never be a day free from some great breakthrough or triumph!

      At least I think it might be like that, can’t get too passionate about things, it’s not the NZ way is it. Better to just stay behind the fence and make snarky remarks about anything that gets done, and feel superior and wise, while not placing oneself in the firing line by actually doing anything.

  31. ecossemaid 31

    How much is a pound of dog shit worth in kiwi dollars? How many tonnes of it do I need to gather to have enough for a deposit for a home in Auckland?

  32. Jepenseque 32

    Hi all

    I’m a national voter (ducks for cover.. :-) My perspective on this is just that it is bad public polcy and bad for family budgets.

    Puting a reasonably significant payment in place for 1-3 years means it becomes part of the budget. The $60 comes in each week and will be spent.

    Then it will end (just as the actual costs of the child start to ramp up).

    If these families really don’t have enough to support their kids on shouldn’t we fix it on a systemic basis i.e increase benefits, WFF, lower taxes etc. This seems like an element of instability in a family budget.

    For that reason and its poor targetting at almost every child it’s a fail in my view.

    If on the other hand he’d announced a UBI he might of had this righty’s vote..

    Cheers

    • greywarbler 32.1

      Jepenseque
      There is so much care required when a child is very small, the $60 will be of great benefit for sure. Do you think that parents are going to get hooked on the cash, and find it hard to go cold turkey when it all ends? Nothing must be done that is positive for parents, because it just encourages them, eh?

      • Jepenseque 32.1.1

        GW, you have mis read me slighlty. Not saying positive things can’t be done. Shouldn’t they be sustainable things though. Not ending after a short while

    • Colonial Viper 32.2

      Some reasoned critique from a self-proclaimed National voter.

      WELCOME, YOU!!!

    • Pasupial 32.3

      J

      We’ll probably have to wait until at least the second term of a Cunliffe Government before a UBI becomes feasible. It’ll take at least that long to untangle the mess NACT has been making (safe set of hands on the economic tiller – my arse!). Fortunately, the 3-year period of the Best Start program will tide new parents over that period. And at least parents of older children won’t be any more shit out of luck than they are now.

    • miravox 32.4

      “shouldn’t we fix it on a systemic basis i.e increase benefits, WFF, lower taxes etc. “

      I’m not sure how you see this as fixing things on a systemic basis How can you have lower taxes etc. and increase benefits and WFF at the same time without something else being defunded? (health? education?).

      How is WFF a systemic fix? It’s a stopgap measure to make up for low pay. I’m all for a systemic fix that improves wages, but otoh there are a whole lot of people out there who say businesses shouldn’t be responsible for supporting families – that they pay the worker for their productivity not their ‘lifestyle choices’, or that businesses can’t afford to pay a fair wage.

      All this at a time when it’s been comprehensively shown that families are struggling and that attention to early years improves individual and community health and well-being. These factors make this policy a good one, imo. Albeit one that will need to be communicated well to overcome the knee-jerk reaction of the individualistic mindset that seems so prevalent these days.

      • Jepenseque 32.4.1

        Hi there, I agree it was slightly sloppy use of the word systemic. I meant it in the sense of being ongoing, structural level of income or cash in hand. Family budgets need to be sustainable, a piece of support that ends just as the child cost increases seems illogical to me

        Cheers

        • miravox 32.4.1.1

          “I meant it in the sense of being ongoing, structural level of income or cash in hand.”

          That would be a living wage or universal basic income then? I don’t disagree…

          “a piece of support that ends just as the child cost increases seems illogical to me”

          Another piece of support comes in as ECE funding.

          I’d love that all jobs and benefits paid enough to feed, clothe and house a family from birth to adulthood, and am happy to call for structural change to ensure that could happen. It would take a revolution to implement this change in one go though, would it not? Meantime, I’ll go for helping out new parents and their babies.

    • McFlock 32.5

      the extra funds go away when the ECE becomes a more regular occurrence. I suspect that might be part of their cunning plan

    • weka 32.6

      Jepenesque, I think part of it is the idea that the mother will return to the workforce once the child is a certain age. The $60 ensures that those families who can’t benefit from paid parental leave get support to give the child/mother bond the best start possible.

      In the 2nd and 3rd year the mother (or father) in mid/low income families can use the money for childcare. This is a huge boon for people on part time or low wages needing to get back into the workforce, when otherwise childcare makes them essentially working for incredibly low rates. I’m assuming that Labour see this policy as part of their overall plan re job creation, the Living Wage, and increasing employment.

      The more I think about it the more this policy seems really good. The post-natal time is often quite stressful for families, women in particular can have a hard time that takes years to recover from. Supporting the family at that time is inspired. On so many levels that first year is crucial – babies that are well loved and cared for in a stress-free home parents who can afford to eat properly are going to develop more strongly physically, mentally, emotionally. Women supported at that time are going to manage better when they need or want to return to paid work.

      This is the first policy that I’ve seen in a long time that is thinking intergenerationally. What we do with these babies now will have impacts for the next 100 years. Think about that.

      • Jepenseque 32.6.1

        That would be fine but the payment is not tied to work (genrally apart from 150k+) its just a payment that ends at an arbitrary point in time.

        I hear what you are staying about a stress free environment. That should be a goal. Having your payment end might be a cause of stress though.

        • McFlock 32.6.1.1

          It will simply delay the stress they would otherwise have had, only when it kicks it they know in advance and no longer have a newborn to worry over at the same time.

        • weka 32.6.1.2

          “That would be fine but the payment is not tied to work”

          Not sure what your point is. The policy gives people a choice – stay at home, or use the money for childcare to return to work. Why would you want to tie it to work only?

          “Having your payment end might be a cause of stress though.”

          Same could be said for paid parental leave. Or holiday pay. Pretty weak argument I’m afraid.

          What McFlock said about being able to plan around that. Plus what I said re giving women time to recover before having to go back to work. There is alot of flexibility here.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 32.7

      Jepenseque, I’d prefer the situation be alleviated by rebalancing the GDP : wages ratio, but that is something that could take years, since it relies (among other things) on restoring people’s rights to freedom of expression and association.

      In the meantime a direct subsidy makes sense, given this government’s war on children.

    • dave 32.8

      huge changes to employment laws are on the way industry and sector based bargaining with an indexed wage system points of reference already exist and could almost be a ubi . current system is shit hr bitches have been very successful at suppressing wage rates how do think we got to this point wages stagnated while every other cost went up now 47 percent of population need a hand out because of the low wages high cost of living ,to people like bm there b luggers its really easy to mouth off and play the blame game but the truth is neo liberalism went up in smoke in 2008 it had 30 years to work it failed miserable its time to bury it for good and move on. Bring it on I say !!!!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 32.9

      I agree, a UBI would have been far better but this is a step in the right direction and we can always continue push for a UBI.

    • Puddleglum 32.10

      I don’t think that’s very clear thinking, Jepenseque.

      The same psychology, surely, would apply to beneficiaries seeking out intermittent work. Would you argue that they shouldn’t – and certainly shouldn’t be encouraged to – take such work as it (slightly) increases their budget temporarily, which would get them into a habit of budgeting to that increased income?

      There are many circumstances in which people receive temporary increases in income. Normally, people welcome these brief bursts of increased income and are, generally, encouraged to make use of such opportunities.

      Also, in this day and age, the chance of being ‘redeployed’ to a lower-paying position, being asked to take a pay-cut or being made redundant and having to live off a lower income (state provided or via a new job with lower remuneration) would suggest that no-one should be encouraged to get used to their current income as it has a good chance of ceasing or reducing, which would then wreck their budget.

      Are you also opposed to training allowances, ‘start up’ funds for business, etc., etc., being provided for limited periods?

      Are you also opposed to National’s scheme to provide substantial additional remuneration to certain teachers (far more than $60 per week) for 2 years (extendable for another couple of years)?

      Think of what damage that would do to their budgeting.

      • RedLogix 32.10.1

        What is remarkable about these people is how they apply one set of rules to rich people, and a completely contradictory set of ideas to the rest of us. Jepenseque has just provided a remarkable example of it.

        And they don’t even notice they are doing it. What the hell is going on here?

    • tricledrown 32.11

      jepers i think you have shot yourself in the foot with that argument.
      universal benefits were always predicated on the reality that higher taxed people got a flat tax cut .
      so back in the days when Muldoon taxed the uber rich at 66cents in the dollar they also got family support cheap finance to buy the farm subsidies for their meat wool and cheese.
      so cunliffes policy is much simpler.

    • Tracey 32.12

      If you think UBI is a good thing why do you vote for national?

  33. Salsy 33

    Im feeling greatly dishearted also. I found the speech uninspiring, the backlash on other media is scathing. The stuff poll is showing nearly 60% of voters think the $60 per week handout is a terrible idea. GST off fresh fruit and veg helps the entire population. So does healthy housing, a fair tax system, education and healthcare. Cash for newborns is simply a baby bonus. The fact that a couple on $3000 per week can claim is simply outrageous.

    • Pasupial 33.1

      Salsy

      Did you listen to the speech? Or are you like La; mouthing off without acquainting themself with the facts? I found it inspiring enough to be getting along with, though I’m still double voting for the Green Party.

      Last Stuff poll I tried; the self-selecting sample could “vote” multiple times from the same IP address. It has no statistical validity.

    • Olwyn 33.2

      I was not disheartened, mainly due to the broad directional outlines he made at the beginning of his speech. And I thought that the early childhood stuff was a good first step. For one thing, extended parental leave will allow mothers to stay home with their children at that important age. Increased childcare facilities will make it easier for them when they do go to work. And $60 is an amount that does make a difference.

      But back to the broad outlines. What he hopes to do is not easy. It is hard to wean a population off property speculation and get them enthused about making stuff. It is hard to push back against terrible labour laws when employers have grown accustomed to throw-away workers. And it is all made harder by a media whose fortunes rest with supporting a toxic status quo. We need to both support him in his aims and challenge him to keep his word, right up to the election and beyond. But he is not possessed of a magic wand that he can wave and make everything hunky dory.

      • Draco T Bastard 33.2.1

        But he is not possessed of a magic wand that he can wave and make everything hunky dory.

        Change the banking system so that the private banks can’t create money. Ban foreign ownership.

        It’s not a magic wand and it won’t make everything hunky dory but it will go a long way to make it so that we can make things right.

    • weka 33.3

      “The fact that a couple on $3000 per week can claim is simply outrageous.”

      Sorry dude, but if Labour made this about only poor people they would get slammed for treating poor women to have more babies.

      “So does healthy housing, a fair tax system, education and healthcare.”

      Yes. Have you seen Labour’s other policies? So apart from the GST on fresh food, what is the problem?

      “Cash for newborns is simply a baby bonus.”

      That makes me despair. That we are now so far from what human societies are about that people think that having a baby is a lifestyle choice. Do you have any sense of what community is?

    • RedLogix 33.4

      Salsy,

      Once upon a time NZ had a Child Allowance that was in real terms quite similar to this proposal.

      It was Universal – it did not matter how high your income was everyone received it.

      It was not just for the first three years, but IIRC it was paid out until the child was 16.

      And if you wanted you could capitalise it on your first child and the state would provide the cash deposit on your first home.

      And no-one thought it was ‘outrageous’. It’s part of our history you either never knew, or you have forgotten – or you have been brain-damaged by the neo-liberal lie.

      Truly I read people like you and despair.

      • miravox 33.4.1

        +1 RL, on all points.

        All this angst and vitriol about re-instating a reduced Family Benefit *sigh*.

      • Colonial Viper 33.4.2

        Very informative, RL.

        • joe90 33.4.2.1

          Universal family benefits were introduced on 1 April 1946.

          In interpreting this table as an indication of the incidence of social-security and income taxation in New Zealand, it should be noted that under the provisions of the Social Security Act a family benefit of £26 per annum is paid in respect of each child under sixteen years of age, irrespective of the income of the parents. This operates from 1st April, 1946. The family benefit is normally paid to the mother, but with her concurrence may be used as an offset against income-tax due.

          http://www3.stats.govt.nz/New_Zealand_Official_Yearbooks/1946/NZOYB_1946.html

        • joe90 33.4.2.2

          Under the provisions of the Family Benefits (Home Ownership) Act 1958, family benefits may be capitalised and paid in advance to assist parents with the purchase of home properties, additions or alterations to existing homes, or the repayment of mortgages and other obligations on family homes. In outline, the measure provides for the capitalisation of the family benefit in respect of one or more children from the age of one year up to the age of 16 years, provided that the total of the advance or advances in the case of any one family is not less than £200 or more than £1,000.

          http://www3.stats.govt.nz/New_Zealand_Official_Yearbooks/1964/NZOYB_1964.html

          • Colonial Viper 33.4.2.2.1

            This is just awesome. Thanks joe90.

            These are excellent provisions to help ordinary NZers get out from under the thumb of the voracious banks, and worth a lot of money in today’s $$$.

      • Anne 33.4.3

        And if you wanted you could capitalise it on your first child and the state would provide the cash deposit on your first home.

        Not only that, but the Housing Corporation (or whatever it was called back then) lent money out on first home mortgages at very low rates of interest.

        It was how the vast majority of baby boomers were able to finance themselves into their first home. John Key’s generation had exactly the same privileges but the newer generations have fallen for the terrible lie that somehow that was all a bad thing. So bad in fact that crime statistics were much lower, children were better educated, truancy was less and people felt so secure in their homes they rarely bothered to lock their back doors. NZ had one of the highest standards of living in the world and many countries copied the health, welfare and housing policies of the first Labour Govt.under Michael Savage and Peter Fraser.

        • KJT 33.4.3.2

          It wasn’t the boomers Anne, It was their parents.

          Boomers got the 28% interest rates.

          Look at the dates.

          • Anne 33.4.3.2.1

            Well the early boomers (born late 1940s and early 1950s) got the State Advance loans etc KJT. By the mid 1970s it became known as the Housing Corp. but the loan scheme was still much the same. But yes, you’re right it was the parents of most boomers who received the benefits of the original scheme. It was the generation born in the 60s that copped the 28%.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomers

            • Colonial Viper 33.4.3.2.1.1

              The thing is that the interest rate only tells a small part of the story. How overleveraged borrowers are tells the other part.

              For instance take half that 28% rate. How many mortgage holders today would go under at 14% p.a.?

              My bet: most of them.

              Now I was a wee lad back in the days of the 28% interest rates – were there mortgagee sales on every street corner, or did people still manage?

              • joe90

                With two incomes were only just managing to pay a first mortgage at 19% and a second at 23%.

                And then along came ‘think big’ which tripled my income.

                • KJT

                  With two incomes, all of mine was going in tax and mortgage. And mine was rather high, even then.
                  Many people struggled to get the required 30% or more deposits, and even more with repayments. Banks were a lot tougher about giving out loans so many just put off buying a house, just like now. Often the prices would rise faster than their savings.

                  Housing affordability has more to do with how much you have to pay in a mortgage, each month, than the sale prices.

                  Fortunately the “militant” unions pushed everyone’s pay up, so that eventually we could afford to have children.

                  The point is, that, not even a majority of boomers had 3% loans.

                  I am as disgusted as anyone else about those who had free university education and pulled the ladder up after them, but only 10% of boomers went to university.

                  And sure, we benefited from the family benefit, our parents and the early boomers got, and other taxpayer help that the Douglas and Richardson Governments removed. We also paid 40% or more tax, starting from moderate incomes, for it.

                  Not even the Greens are suggesting we go to 40% tax on 60k and the 66% top tax rate on about 130k, which would be the equivalent, now.

                  I could say that personally I got the dirty end of the stick, having paid the high taxes, and, a student loan. And bringing up kids in the gap between family benefit and WFF.

                  Personally I would like to see free education and the other state support back, for a great many reasons, including reducing inequality.
                  And I think we should return to the high progressive taxes that paid for it.
                  Tricledown as we all know, hasn’t worked.

                  But. I get pissed off at the children of the rich, who are still most university students, moaning about student loans, which are much less than the extra tax they would have paid in the 60’s to the 80’s.
                  And those who buy into the right wing framing of generational equity. It is nothing to do with it. As always, it is the already rich, ripping off the rest of us.

                  It is young children starting out at school who need the most help. Then we may see more upward mobility, and better access to education. .
                  Lets face it, the majority who make it to University have always come from rather privileged families.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    the majority who make it to University have always come from rather privileged families.

                    You can say that, but what wingnuts hear is “wealth bestows intelligence.”

    • Draco T Bastard 33.5

      The stuff poll is showing nearly 60% of voters think the $60 per week handout is a terrible idea.

      No, the Stuff poll is showing that 60% of the people who read Stuff think it’s a terrible idea. It’s entirely possible that it’s the other way around in the general populace.

    • vto 33.6

      “The fact that a couple on $3000 per week can claim is simply outrageous.”

      The fact that retirees on $30,000 per week can claim superannuation is more outrageous. Greedy bludgers.

    • Tracey 33.7

      the stuff poll is showing 60% of stuff READERS not 60% of NZ voters.

      • Arfamo 33.7.1

        Actually, the stuff poll is showing percentages of stuff COMMENTERS, not stuff readers. And for all we know some are commenting under more than 1 ID.

  34. newsense 34

    Help!

    Please a post on how to deal with the stress of the election as the threatened right launches vitriol, lies, and the media runs bs and distraction?

    This is the problem when ever things start to look good for the left- if it’s the Kennedy’s or Martin Luther King…the right start to go troppo and scare you crapless…

    • McFlock 34.1

      don’t worry, the ivory-towered intelligensia have the solution.

    • geoff 34.2

      Please a post on how to deal with the stress of the election as the threatened right launches vitriol, lies, and the media runs bs and distraction?

      Hey that’s a cue for you to have a laugh cos that means they’re shitting themselves. Look at Stuff today, the reaction was a real eye-opener. DC has given the tory wasps’ nest a big thwack with a stick and they’re going bananas because they’re afraid of losing their ill-gotten gains.
      Remember how ape-shit they went when kiwi-power was announced?

      If they react like that it means we’re doing the right thing.

  35. Richard McGrath 35

    “What does that mean for you? It means that if your mortgage is at 5.75% and it costs you $500 a week now, at 8% it’s going to cost an extra $136 a week.”

    How so? A mortgage of $345k paid off over 25 years @ 5.75% would mean fortnightly payments of $1,001. If interest rates rose to 8%, by my calculation payments would rise to $1,228 per fortnight or $614 a week. That’s an extra $114, not $136.

    And Labour think they should be given control of the nation’s treasury…

    • Colonial Viper 35.1

      It’s only $22 mate.

      Bill English came up $750,000,000 short on asset sales, yet you still put your faith in him.

      • Tracey 35.1.1

        LOL

      • Richard McGrath 35.1.2

        Fairly basic calculation screwed up though, you have to admit.

        No I don’t have “faith” in Bill English. Among his many memorable quotes is this little gem:

        “The top 10 percent of households contribute over 70 percent of income tax, net of transfers—over 70 percent of income tax, net of transfers. This system is highly redistributive and we believe it is fair.”

        There is little real difference between Nat and Lab, despite the denials from their respective tribes.

    • miravox 35.2

      A bit of a diversion, aye Richard?

      Did Cunliffe say it was a 25 year mortgage and fortnightly repayments? I always thought there were a few variables around these things so you’re not going to get an exact figure.

      I don’t know anyone who has a 25yr mortgage – all 30yr, given the amounts they’re borrowing.

  36. lurgee 36

    Haven’t watched it, but it read very well. Of course, a good speech wasn’t enough to save Shearer. Bad polls beat good talk every time. We’ve got to get those numbers up. There is no point in relying on some possibly mythical Red-Green deal. The Greens owe Labour nothing, having been treated like rubbish for years; coalescing with Labour may not be in their long term interests. And a coalition that will look like two distant losers ganging up will not go down well with the electorate. Labour needs to narrow the gap with National. This may have helped a bit, but more good policies, and a smarter media approach, are needed.

  37. vto 37

    Why is superannuation paid to every person over 65 even when they are the richest person in New Zealand?

    Seems like a selfish bludge to me.

    • Richard McGrath 37.1

      I guess it might have something to do with having been forced to pay contributions through taxes.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 37.1.1

        “Forced”? :lol: yes, come and see the violence inherent in the system.

        Stop whining about having to pay your taxes, cry-baby.

  38. tricledrown 38

    Salsy the taxation system will mean most of that money will end up back in. govt coffers for thse on a family income of $150,000

  39. Ad 39

    This looks like the policy the base who elected Cunliffe wanted. Fair enough. Soften the worst costs of capitalism. Only the heartless would argue.

    This speech definitely defined a particular part of the state of the nation. A part.

    I sincerely hope this gets Labour an extra 2% in the next poll as a result. But I was underwhelmed by the scale of the proposal. This wasn’t the invention of Social Welfare, or the Great Society, or Working For Families that was launched yesterday. It was a reasonably modest proposal.

    But I also want the speech that tells us how the poor and disadvantaged will get help out of poverty, and gain more control of themselves.

    I want another speech talking about a great transition in the economy.

    And another speech talking about how New Zealand will triumph in the world – how we will be proud of ourselves.

    And another about how the great values he proposes we both have and have lost will be re-instilled in us.

    And another just about exporting. In fact all of the stuff we debated beforehand.

    Quite odd that his office could not predict the media cycle of the Grammy’s on that day – and in doing so show one very young New Zealader gaining great success and reward in the world. Precisely the topic of the speech. It underlined the binary quandary of Labour this year: people adore success, and hate loss. National appeals to success, and is reaching deep into Labour’s union heartland with teachers to reward success. National will be riding success after success this year, and Labour has launched the alternative harder narrative of failure.

    Now that that speech is out of the way, it’s not too much to ask to broaden the appeal beyond the base.

    • Colonial Viper 39.1

      Did you see this from joe90?

      http://thestandard.org.nz/a-nation-of-opportunity-cunliffes-speech/#comment-764202

      With the announcements yesterday, Labour became a slight shade redder. Not bad, but that is all.

      • Ad 39.1.1

        Yes I saw the comment. So he can tax and redistribute. Great.
        Now show me how we grow New Zealand. So far that’s Key’s playground in election year.

        If he looked back from the mountain in 3 years (more fool the speechwriter who actually invited the Moses comparison), would this be the move that said; yes, we made it? Nope.

        Would a nationalised insurance option? Nope.

        Nor would 5 more of that scale.

        The set-up for the speech, replete with putting his own child in the front, and inflating the moment with 15 minutes of hopey-changey stuff, simply did not pay off.

        • Colonial Viper 39.1.1.2

          You cannot promote any kind of radical change, or even any change beyond a managerial adjusting of taxation/redistribution levers, unless you clearly and succinctly set out your overarching narrative of the age.

          The battle for choosing that framing is what the Left loses all the time. Or more correctly, that it doesn’t even bother to fight.

          “Growing NZ” is a framing that is highly problematic. More growth, more resource consumption. More growth, more people, more cows, more pollution. More growth, more profits exported overseas, more costs left for us to deal with.

          So then, are we down to trying to export software and high tech stuff?

          Nor would 5 more of that scale.

          The set-up for the speech, replete with putting his own child in the front, and inflating the moment with 15 minutes of hopey-changey stuff, simply did not pay off.

          It was impressively more than we would ever see from Shearer, but yeah, your comments are in the ball park. At best, a tasty apertif for opening election year, but not the opening of an artillery onslaught like it really needed to be.

          • SPC 39.1.1.2.1

            The over-arching narrative in this case is support to families with children under 3. That means distinguishing them from other families by noting that this is a time when families are often financed by only one working parent.

            The extension to funding ECE to 25 hours each week of course assists those parents with children aged 3 to 5 as they are then more able to look for part-time work.

            • Ad 39.1.1.2.1.1

              “Supporting children under 3″ is not an overarching narrative of anything.

              The speech in reply to Parliament, now I have seen it again, has the narrative in spades. The narrative is: inequality is killing us.

              A good populist message of elite rules versus the 99%, and DC is emphasising in Parliament at least that it’s about the 100%. Excellent tub-thumping.

              • SPC

                Ad, the problem is that the support for families in the first year is universal, thus is not in keeping with the big narrative of dealing with inequality.

                Thus the need for the sub-narrative, that families need more help when the children are young and there is either a reduction down to one parental income or high child care costs.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Ad, the problem is that the support for families in the first year is universal, thus is not in keeping with the big narrative of dealing with inequality.

                  Actually the support adds considerably (proportionately) to the disposable income of a family on 2 minimum wages. They will certainly notice the difference.

                  It adds very little disposable income (proportionately) to a family on $150K. They won’t notice the difference.

  40. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 40

    Sad to see the cowardice of “my opponent, my opponent, my opponent” in the text. Pathetic.

  41. tricledrown 41

    Septic Hidious Gloater
    Where is you argument you have none.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 41.1

      Witty comeback, Oscar Wilde.

      As a rhetorical technique to conspicuously avoid mentioning your opponent’s name is to show you’re afraid of them. It demonstrates that you know THE OTHER GUY is powerful, charismatic, popular, has better ideas. So whatever happens don’t mention THE OTHER GUY because the moment people hear his name, they’ll remember “hey yeah, that guy’s awesome”.

      Again: cowardice.

      • Richard McGrath 41.1.1

        Ditto Cunliffe’s avoidance of speaking Key’s name from the election campaign last year: “The greasy little fullah in the blue suit”.

  42. adam 42

    What I think we need to ask is – how right wing have we become? When labour announce a moderate, and yes to all the Hooton lap dogs out there, it was very moderate. When labour announce a moderate proposal to offer families with young children a chance to keep their children healthy, not only with cash but support services – the reaction is extreme.

    Ask yourself one simple question – why? Why such a extreme response to a moderate proposal? I think they are scared shitless of more bold proposals appealing to the wider electorate – So they attack ,attack, attack – attack to instil fear in labour/greens and their supporters. So the nats have reached for the bag of political skulls and daggers – did you think it would not come? You realise the neo-liberals have been putting the con, back into conservatism for the last thirty years, they ‘ant going without a fight.

    To all the right wing douche bags who write on here, your child haters – we get it. Now bugger off, we got work to do.

    • greywarbler 42.1

      The people who oppose new Labour measures for families are not child haters, they are too distant from average life and ordinary people now to know ordinary emotions. Since neo lib encouraged self-silo thinking, they have become thoroughly indoctrinated in the ‘me’ thinking and aspirational for consumer gratification.

      They have absorbed the mantra and are self-centred, money-mad, high lifestyle and pleasure oriented, people despisers. It only really shows up when it’s children being discussed. The self-centred graspers of good times and things don’t give a f..k about others who aren’t benefiting from the regime that gives them their nice life. They will utter conventional phrases, but after a while any sensitive ear can pick up the put-downs.

      What the heck, those people haven’t worked hard, is a special anti-prayer invented to exterminate caring, interest and understanding about others and community.

    • Richard McGrath 42.2

      By that logic Cunliffe hates children whose parents earn more than $150k p.a.

  43. captain hook 43

    the problem is that National and its followers want to grab anything that’s any good and keep it for themselves. They don’t want to share and they are psychologically incapable of giving without some form of ass kissing attached.
    They have had their ‘turn’ and its time for them to go.

  44. SPC 45

    My take on what it is.

    The premise

    1. Affordability – limiting it to a support payment to new parents

    If the funding source is a CGT, this starts small and grows in annual revenue across time. Thus it covers new babies 2016/17, then 2 years of babies 2017/2018 and 3 years in 2018/19.

    2. It’s an extension of parental leave

    First its 26 weeks at MW (breast feeding period), then a further $60 a week till the end of the year (standard parental leave cover across Europe is a full year and is universal – this proposal is the cheapest form of that possible).

    For those on lower incomes, a second and third year at $60 a week – this helps those stay at homes and those who go back to work (they decide if it covers child care cost or to support them at home).

    3. The goal might be compatibility with DPB

    That would involve later extension to age 5 (the part-time work test for the DPB comes in when the youngest is age 5)

    Or if not compatibility (as per 3) , the connection to the support developed in recent times to provide free child care education for those over the age of 3.

    This speaks to the costs of parental leave or child care (if working) to age 3 for parents.

  45. Tracey 46

    IKnow a few families on over 130k combined household incones. About 87% of them have children doing class c and a substances… most are living at home. Havent including ecstasy cos dont know what class it is.
    Are those parents parenting responsibly or not?

    • Colonial Viper 46.1

      If those parents are paying for private drug counselling and rehab for said little darlings and not relying on the tax payer funded public system, then the answer to whether or not they are “responsible parents” is clearly YES OF COURSE.

    • Tamati 46.2

      Ectasy is a class B drug. The chief drug adviser to the UK Government called it “safer than than riding a horse”. I hope it’s decriminalized along with cannabis,

  46. SPC 47

    What I would have done, given the inequity in the system.

    Mr and Mrs Smith both work and when Mrs Smith takes time off to have a child she is paid the MW by the taxpayer. This to sustain their two incomes while she is off work.

    Mr Brown works and Mrs Brown used to but was laid off and is looking for work – because her partner works she cannot get the dole (half the MW). If she has a child, she gets nothing but the family tax credit and the IWTC (as does Mrs Smith who also gets the MW paid by the taxpayer).

    If one was reconciling the system for greater equity.

    A new universal parent payment.

    All women/stay at home parents with working partners get a dole equivalent payment for the first 6 months.

    This is equivalent to MW paid for 14 weeks as Mrs Smith gets now. But Mrs Brown would also get the same amount.

    With an an extension to 1 year, an option for those returning to work after 6 months taking a MW rate payment for 6 months in lieu of a 12 month dole rate (circa half MW).

    That is the PART ONE I would have as the universal component.

  47. clemgeopin 48

    Another excellent and impressive speech in parliament today:
    http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/22654

    • Anne 48.1

      Indeed it was. Worth a post of its own. The only problem his voice was croaky under the strain of so much oratory and MSM interviews in the past 24 hours.

      • karol 48.1.1

        Cunliffe is a great orator, but he needs to learn to pace himself, and not to strain his voice so much.

        Full on, often loud, rhetorical mode is great for the start of the campaign. But maybe take a tip from Peters and norman and be a bit more low key and relaxed in style sometimes in front of the camera – vary the delivery style.

        • Anne 48.1.1.1

          Excellent advice karol but I think David knows…

          He needed to begin the year with some great oratory and he’s done that. He will repeat the performance from time to time, but I think we’ll see a more measured Cunliffe from now on. If he doesn’t slow down he’ll be getting an email from me. :)

        • amirite 48.1.1.2

          +1 Karol

    • Ad 48.2

      Agree. Great fun.

  48. Johnm 49

    My Opinion?
    The great NeoLiberal wealth grab succeeded, making us one of the most unequal societies in the world.
    Now enter Cunliffe who’ll pacify the have nots with some palliatives. :-) National and Labour are the same Bill and Ben outfit with some differences. Will give Labour this they wouldn’t have sold off more assets.

    • gem 49.1

      And the ameliorations/wage subsidies/WFF etc required by the distortions of the market economy grow ever larger by necessity.
      People forget that while the first Labour Govt in NZ the 1945 British Labour Govt set up social and welfare systems, they ALSO tackled capital.
      It wasn’t a walk in the park then either, but they did it.
      This is the pale echo.

      • greywarbler 49.1.1

        I did a search on Roger Douglas and reacquainted myself with his m.o. And to make great changes you have to be determined and cunning as to how to get round the road blocks. Easier for someone who can get business slavering behind them. And I found a good comment about Margaret Thatcher’s steely determination, the Iron Woman didn’t they call her, that showed a similar type to Douglas. I put it on Open Mike I think yesterday, look it up in my archive, I was building on a Murray Olsen comment.

        Labour needs to to get some fighting spirit back, or make some more with new technology now everyone isn’t using picks and shovels. It needs people who can think politically and financially strategically. If there were enough it would show up – they would not be voting for a 67 year and up superannuation level, that’s neo lib efficiency social economics. Not using democratic socialist brainwork.

        I went to some of Jim Anderton’s meetings and there were the guys from ordinary working backgrounds in their hand knitted jerseys, hard workers from way back who knew what being labour and Labour was about. But there weren’t enough, though he was closer to true Labour than the subversives amongst the Labour MPs, who might save the world but wouldn’t save us from the termite invasion of neo-lib and extreme rationalisation of business.

        And sometimes here there’ll be a disquieting comment telling us what the workers want and what we should be doing. Probably trolls. But the working class have to care about getting fair treatment for all, and fire themselves up to go to meetings, talk, reason, brainstorm, write out scenarios and look for workable and affordable ones. They need to support positive schemes that will give work and a lifestyle, not a slavery existence and limit time-consuming nit-picking and disagreement.

        The sharp teeth of greed and usury have broken through the hard-won achievements of the UK social welfare provisions – the proud British heritage wasn’t formed on caring about the poor and being fair to them. Many of us are from British extraction, and their ideas and the USA one of muddled freedom and the devil take the hind-most, may yet swamp us.

        • gem 49.1.1.1

          ”I did a search on Roger Douglas and reacquainted myself with his m.o. And to make great changes you have to be determined and cunning as to how to get round the road blocks.”

          Under MMP those road blocks are harder to get around, for good reason, but the irony is it locked us into the existing system. I voted to keep MMP; it can ideally nurture pluralism if we had an informed/engaged population…
          But for now we get narcissistic ninnies Winston/Peter Dunne potentially determining the outcome of the election. (Matt Robson on the Daily Blog has a good piece on this)

          ” But the working class have to care about getting fair treatment for all, and fire themselves up to go to meetings, talk, reason, brainstorm, write out scenarios and look for workable and affordable ones. They need to support positive schemes that will give work and a lifestyle, not a slavery existence and limit time-consuming nit-picking and disagreement.”

          Technology, free trade, and consumerism destroyed the working class; and now, the supposedly progressive types deceive themselves that technology is our salvation.
          The BBC’s resident political doco maker, Adam Curtis, has made some brilliant documentaries about how the machines and ideas that were supposed to liberate have led to greater control and division. See (on youtube) The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom? and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. He also has an excellent blog.

          I’ve been reading about the British Labour party in the 30s and 40s, and am struck by the fact its leaders advocated or at least accommodated free market economics, and had to be pushed to the left again and again by the likes of Aneurin Bevan.

  49. Chooky 50

    @ Johnm….so …..vote Green?..or Mana?….more please

    • gem 50.1

      While the labour brand name commands a third of the electorate there will be no structural change to the market economy (it seems). BUT, Labour does a better job of managing the economy.

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    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11