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Cost of benefit system plummeting

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 25 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008, john key, labour, national, workers' rights - Tags: , , , , ,

Continuing our benefits theme, here’s a look at how much the benefit system costs you. The figures are the combined expenditure by the Government on the Unemployment, Sickness, Invalids’, and Domestic Purposes benefits per day per working age New Zealander, in 2007 dollars.

benefitcost.JPG

Sources: MSD (1,2,3), StatsNZ (4,5)

The portion of the working age population receiving a benefit is also included. As you can see, the numbers getting benefits and, so, the amount spent on benefits has fallen rapidly under Labour. The system costs less than $4 per adult a day.

Now, the Right tends to have a very punitive approach to benefits. They stereotype beneficiaries as lazy or morally deficient. John Key spoke of mothers on the DPB ‘breeding for a business‘ and, wrongly, said the numbers on the DPB were growing. With this view, they seek to punish beneficiaries with stricter requirements, lower payments, and ‘work-for-the-dole’ schemes. None of that ever works. In fact, when National made their infamous ‘Black Budget’ benefit cuts in 1991, they slashed beneficiaries’ spending power so much that other people lost their jobs and ended up on the dole queue too. Again, National is attempting to solve the symptom, not the problem; targeting beneficiaries, rather than the lack of decent jobs.

Labour has a full employment policy, and its approach in government has been to assist, not coerce, people into work. This approach is based on a fundamentally different worldview to National’s: people want to work, people do not choose to scrape by on $200 a week of handouts, they would prefer a job with the dignity, sense of purpose, and income it brings. This full employment policy and positive assistance to beneficiaries, through work training schemes and staff that don’t just hand out benefits cheques but work with individuals to get them in jobs again, has seen the number of people on benefits fall dramatically.

It’s pretty clear what policy produces good results.

25 comments on “Cost of benefit system plummeting”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    incidentally, in the same article that Key raved about mothers “breeding for a business” someone else said:

    “I’m not your DPB-bashing sort of person… Most of the people I meet on the DPB are pretty motivated people who have the same dreams and aspirations as the rest of us. Beneficiary bashing is a most unsatisfactory practice. It doesn’t really take you anywhere.”

    that was Katherine Rich. National’s last decent MP. http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/f/6/2/48HansD_20080213_00000830-Debate-on-Prime-Minister-s-Statement.htm

  2. rjs131 2

    Any comment on Labours last decent MP – Taito Philip Field.

    I guess calling Rich decent fair, she has at least commented on teh F& P job losses unlike the other local MPs

  3. Can you add in the cost of Working for Families?

  4. dave 4

    Steve, does this include the IYB, WB, Training benefit, accommodation assistance, special benefits, money spent on grants, advances, overpaymentsby WINZ staf and fraud recovery? Does it include advances and grants and supplements given by WINZ to low income families?

    or just sickness, Unemployed invalids dpb and unemployment. or dont you know.

  5. rjs131 5

    Plus will you also make any comments on international economic conditions vs Welfare spend?

  6. Hey guys – I’ve got a good idea. How about you stop your shrill hysterics and stop demanding the owners of this blog post on what you want them to. You are like spoiled children.

    Oh and dave, I wouldn’t knock the benefit system too much if I were you, ‘cos given your obvious lack of talent the only thing that’s keeping you out of it is record employment.

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    dave – instead of asking facile questions, why don’t you read the post. It is spelled out, clear as day, what is graphed.

    If you think this is in some way misleading, say so. If you think there are omissions, you could take some time to add the cost of said omissions, and present them to us. We could hten have a nice chat about them. That would be a lot more productive.

    rjs131 – why don’t you make some comments on international economic conditions vs welfare spend, if it’s of interest and importance to you?

    Nicholas O’kane – given that WFF is a tax credit, adding it on here is a bit disingenuous. For someone on WFF, let’s imagine they are paid $400 a week gross, and are taxed $100 of that. They then get $60 back because they’ve got a couple of sprogs. The cost to them is $60, and the benefit is the same.

    This is discinctly different to people working, receiving no tax credit, but paying a few dollars per day, on average, to support New Zealand’s benefit system for those not in work.

    The four benefits Steve has used are the four that are traditionally targeted during beneficiary bashing sessions by certain parties, which is why (I’m assuming) they are the ones graphed here – so we can see the cost to workers, in real terms.

  8. mike 8

    “Can you add in the cost of Working for Families?”

    Steve has this wierd theory that WFF is a tax cut and not targeted, means tested welfare for the middle class. Besides it would make his pretty graph look funny.

  9. Santi 9

    No more of this graphs guys because I’m starting to believe I live in paradise! Even better than Sweden, the dream of any decent socialist.

    The numbers will go up slightly when you add some of 430 people made redundant by F&P this morning in Dunedin.

    Another fine achievement of the Labour government (quick press release from Goff to deny any involvement).

  10. Stephen 10

    Well going on the shortage of skilled and unskilled labour we have, I doubt they are ALL going to fall onto the unemployment benefit.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    Santi, do you think the government should have subsidised F & P, or perhaps engaged in some other protectionist behaviour?

    Maybe they should have a few more regulations, engage in some heavy market intervention to keep manufacturing jobs here.

    For a right-winger (forgive the assumption if you’re not), it’s hard to see your angle. Apart from the obvious one, Way of the Troll…

  12. Steve Pierson 12

    Nic O’Kane. WfF is a tax credit. It would simply be weird to start adding the costs of tax rebates, tax credits, and tax cuts to the benefit system.

    Santi. Pretty scummy gloating over 430 people losing their jobs. Fortunately, in this economy most of them will soon have news jobs and their union will ensure they get redundancy to see them through the gap.

  13. Steve Pierson 13

    dave. my sources are listed, as the the contents of the graph.

    you’ve not no substantive come back, you can’t deny the fact that the numbers on benefits are falling and so is the cost of supporting them, so you try to pick at the margins. unimpressive.

    captcha: annulment Louise (she saw it coming)

  14. The costs of benefits may have gone down under this Labour Government, what you fail to point out though, so has wages. Jobs which four or five years ago could earn you $15-20 dollars an hour, are now at $12, and that is a bigger crime, than having low cost benefits to the NZ public.

  15. Tane 15

    Brett, care to provide a source? Which occupations, and in which industries?

  16. mike 16

    “Maybe they should have a few more regulations, engage in some heavy market intervention to keep manufacturing jobs here.”

    No Matt , as F&P said “the increasingly complex and costly compliance costs of manufacturing in its home countries had not helped.”

    Sounds more like Labours red tape is to blame… RMA, ACC, EPMU…

  17. Tane 17

    Yes Mike. It’s the right to workplace accident compensation that’s to blame, not the fact F&P wants to make use of the cheap exploited labour of Mexican workers. For a cheerleader of capitalism you don’t seem to know a lot about how it works.

  18. Steve Pierson 18

    Brett Dale. You’re just making that up.

    Here’s an actual fact, the minimum wage has been increased 9 times since 1999 (lifting it was one of Labour’s first acts in government). It’s now 70% higher than it was when National was booted out.

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    mike, these compliance costs are presumably also high in the US and Australia – so is it the Rebublicans’ and Conservatives’ red tape as well?

    Or is that part and parcel of being a developed country, not a ‘low wage’ country?

  20. Steve Pierson 21

    Isn’t Colin Espiner the one that said a government can’t make wages drop? oh yeah – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1252

  21. randal 22

    compliance costs are necessary because otherwise standards, specifications and tax evasion wil run rampant over the economy as the rugged individuals left to self regulatate themselves will cheat, chizel and go at it till they have debased and defiled everything and anything they get their greasy hands on. It is ingrained in their nature to get something for nothing and to stop at nothing till they finished it off.

  22. dave 23

    How can benefit nunbers be dropping when according to the MSFDs own fact sheets, the number on main benefits have gone UP from September to December and the numbers of the Unemployment beenefit have remained constant. dpb numbers have increased by 1,000 every quarter from June- September 2007 , the invalids benefit numbers increased by 10,000 since June, but sickness benefit numbers increased by only 1000 because so many of those on the sickness benefit were transferred to the invalids benefit.

  23. r0b 24

    How can benefit nunbers be dropping when according to the MSFDs own fact sheets, the number on main benefits have gone UP from September to December

    Dave, you must know by now that you’re simply wrong. There is monthly variation in the figures. You manage to pick two points (September and December) that give you the opportunity to say that benefits went UP. But in fact the trend each year and long term is DOWN:

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/media-information/benefit-factsheets/national-benefit-factsheets.html

    Key Facts at the end of December 2007 …

    At the end of December 2007, 270,000 working aged people (aged 1864 years) were receiving a main benefit. Over the year to December 2007, the number of recipients of a main benefit decreased by 17,000, or six percent.

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/media-information/benefit-factsheets/2006-benefit-factsheets.html

    Key Facts at the end of December 2006 …

    At the end of December 2006, 287,000 working aged people (aged 1864 years) were receiving a main benefit. Over the year to December 2006, the number of recipients of a main benefit decreased by 15,000, or five percent.

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/media-information/benefit-factsheets/2005-benefit-factsheets.html

    Key Facts at the end of December 2005 …

    At the end of December 2005, 302,083 working aged people (aged 1864 years) were receiving an income tested benefit. Over the year to December 2005, the number of recipients of an income tested benefit decreased by 17,616, or six percent.

    and so on. You then say:

    and the numbers of the Unemployment beenefit have remained constant.

    Wrong again. http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1706036

    Unemployment lowest since 1979
    Apr 12, 2008 3:44 PM

    The government is hailing figures showing the number of unemployed has dropped to its lowest level since 1979. The number of people receiving the unemployment benefit has fallen to just over 19000. Helen Clark says that’s an 88% drop from December 1999, when more than 161000 people were receiving the benefit.

    National has said previously that the unemployment rate is falling because more people are being moved onto other benefits. But the government says the number of people receiving the sickness benefit is 45000 – the lowest in three years.

    In short Dave, you’re either spectacularly impervious to facts, or you’re deliberately lying, and I’m starting to think it’s the latter.

  24. Lindsay 25

    Steve, Some people – the last figure I saw was 66,000 – receiving WFF payments receive more from the government than they pay in tax. They are not receiving a tax refund. Call it a credit if you will but it is still welfare. In fact the In Work Payment, Child Tax Credit and Family Support are included under the welfare category by Treasury. The last figure I saw was 66,000. I have the Treasury NZ superannuation and welfare benefits figures and forecasts here;

    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2007/04/in-work-payments-to-cost-half-billion.html

    You have no argument with me that benefit numbers have fallen but I explained yesterday why that masks a deeper underlying problem so I won’t start again. Based on 2007$ you can show a decline in spending in the main benefits for working age people but add in all the extra targeted family assistance and you will find you are on shakier ground.

    Note also that Treasury are not forecasting DPB to drop further. That is my expectation under current policy. I’d be happy to be proved wrong:-)

    Jum, if you are reading, I sent a response to you yesterday but it seems to have disappeared. I am not a National person. Have never voted National but have voted for Labour. Now I vote ACT. Economically and socially liberal.

    [lprent: You have to be quite careful with the recaptcha. Sometimes due to javascript it looks as if the comment was ok, but it didn't make it to the database. Use the arrowed circle symbol until you get readable and writeable text. Avoid punctuation.
    I really need to write a page saying all this so the moderators and I can just link to it.]

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  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Curwen Rolinson – They’re tryna build a prison system ...
    Well, at least we now know how National intends to deliver that extra hundred and fifty thousand jobs they’ve promised us. Although on sixty cents an hour, it’s not *quite* the reasonable pay packet – or, hell, living wage that...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ General Election is in full swing September 11 2014
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss the fallout from the dirty politics revelations and also how the political leaders are fairing. The NZ General Election is in full swing. Since we last talked, the fallout from the dirty...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • If it barks like a dog…
    If it barks like a dog…...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • The obscenity of National’s tax cuts
    It should be an abhorrence in a nation that once prided itself on its egalitarianism that National want to borrow another $500 million per year while 250 000 – 285 000 children live in poverty. There are two reasons why...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • National’s work prison gulags
    All jails to become ‘working prisons’ under NationalMore prisoners will be put to work and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government. Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley says the working prisons model will be expanded...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Top 10 questions if the Conservative Party get over 5%
    1. If the Conservative Party get over 5% do we automatically go back to 1950? 2. If the Conservative Party get over 5% will  the National Anthem be changed from “God defend NZ’ to “God God God” 3. If the...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BackBenches Auckland Election special & TV3 Leaders debate review
    Fascinating time at the Auckland election special of BackBenches this year. I was at the filming in 2011 and it was a very different beast. I remember in 2011 a sea of blue. Team Key acolytes were everywhere, there was...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Was the Donghua Liu Affair another example of Dirty Politics?
    . . – Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Public interest at risk more than business interests this election
    This election is not just about which political party wins. It’s about the privilege of multinational corporates, including the all-powerful media. It’s about access to minerals and resources needed to prop up the prevailing economic order and to stave off...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Green Pasifika candidates
    In the last couple of elections the Greens have stood Rev Mua Strickson-Pua as their candidate in Mangere. A well known personality in the Pacific community, often seen by many as a little eccentric. I’ve enjoyed seeing Rev Strickson-Pua make...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Gordon Campbell’s 19 reasons Why We Can’t Afford Another Nat...
    National Party Billboard if it was honest   The ever brilliant Gordon Campbell over at Werewolf has put together 19 reasons why we can’t afford another National Government. I highly recommend you read the entire thing – his 19 reasons...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Sandy Smiles
    The man tapped the glass with his pen at two minutes and I wound up my less than positive comments about the MPs who’d betrayed the Whangarei Electorate. It’s hard to stay on-message when looking at the state of this...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Purity and Power: Chris Trotter critiques John Armstrong’s advice to the ...
    WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY COLUMN from John Armstrong! There have been many this year, but his latest (10/9/14) stands out because of the cynical amorality underpinning the writer’s political analysis. “The Greens face an old dilemma”, opines the NZ Herald’s Chief Political...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New funding to support high value food exports
    Auckland, New Zealand. 15 September 2014...Plant & Food Research has received funding for two new projects in the latest government science investment round....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National, Greens Big Movers on Bribe-O-Meter
    The Taxpayers’ Union has updated its election policy 'Bribe-O-Meter’ to reflect the cost of recent campaign promises. The update takes into account Labour’s new fiscal tables and all announcements up to Friday and is based on numbers provided...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Policy Costing Expert Questions ‘NZ Power’ Numbers
    Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the 'Bribe-O-Meter' election costing website , is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship "NZ Power” policy....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Meet the Real Colin Craig
    Watching Conservative Party leader Colin Craig struggling to explain his tax policy on The Nation this morning finally revealed that he is making dishonest promises....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora
    Earlier this month, Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga and Christchurch based candidate, Ngaire Button, said she was rapt local hero, Tihi Puanaki, was named Regional Winner of the Pride of NZ 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award. Button is clearly delighted...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore And Seabed
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New Zealand’s participation in Five Eyes
    “Our policy is we're committing to a full review of all of New Zealand's security services. We will be repealing the GCSB legislation and we will replace it with something that is guaranteed to be more protective of New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Once in a Lifetime travels north!
    After Once in a Lifetime ’s packed launch and sold-out panel discussion at the Christchurch Word Writers and Readers Festival, members of the editorial team are presenting the book to Auckland and Wellington audiences, in an attempt to increase...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Q+A: The role of the GCSB and our participation
    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told TV One’s Q+A programme that they would close Waihopai and review the role of the GCSB and our participation in Five Eyes....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • NZ First poll shows Labour coalition more likely than ever
    New Zealand First’s East Coast candidate, Mere Takoko, has revealed that her party’s internal polling shows Labour’s Moana Mackey is just 2 percent away from winning the East Coast electorate seat from incumbent Anne Tolley....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    Initial allegations made by journalist Glenn Greenwald yesterday appear to have dented National’s chances of leading the next Government, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict,...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • ACT is holding the Balance of Power
    ACT will hold the balance of power after the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Statement From Hone Harawira And Laila Harré
    The Prime Minister has used his security access to further own political interests, demonstrating he is unfit to hold the office....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Key “rejected mass surveillance plan”
    National Party leader John Key told TV1’s Q+A programme that the GCSB looked into a plan for mass surveillance after two companies were subjected to a major cyber-attack – but he rejected it....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Monday a Moment of Truth for Key on Spying, Says Harré
    Assurances given by the Prime Minister and the GCSB that spy agencies do not conduct mass surveillance on New Zealanders look set to be tested on Monday, says Internet Party leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Outdoor Voters Poised to Vote
    A New Zealand-wide outdoor recreation organisation predicts the outdoors voting public will have a big impact on the election result....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Patrick Gower Interviews NZFirst Leader Winston Peters
    Good. It looks like you’ve got a good crowd there. If we could start, Mr Peters, with Kim Dotcom and Monday night – the big reveal. A personal view from you, do you think that John Key knew about Kim...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Lisa Owen Interviews Glenn Greenwald
    Says there are serious questions about whether the government has been truthful about changes to the GCSB legislation. “What I can tell you is that the statement that the GCSB made to New Zealand citizens last year — 'we do...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Lisa Owen Interviews National Party Leader John Key
    Lisa Owen: We've got the top five polling party leaders today, but first, Prime Minister John Key. I spoke to him first thing this morning and began by asking him, post-election, who would he prefer to form a coalition with...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • On the Nation: Lisa Owen Interviews Colin Craig
    Lisa Owen: Conservative Party leader Colin Craig joins me now. Good morning, Mr Craig. Colin Craig: Good morning. John Key was on this programme this morning, and he had a chance to endorse you with a week to go. He...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Patrick Gower Interviews Labour Leader David Cunliffe
    Patrick Gower: Yes, David Cunliffe, let’s look at the polls. Any way you slice or dice it, you’ve got a lot of convincing to do with voters to get that left block across the line. How are you going to...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Vote for Healthy Seas and Dolphins
    WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) , NABU International and Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Provinces Deserve a Fair Go
    Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today. At the outset of my talk today it is important to emphasis that New Zealand First has a strong commitment to regional development....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Cunnliffe is lying about ACT policy
    "Mr Cunnliffe says that ACT’s policy would enable shopkeepers to have loaded guns in their shops for self defence." said Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Support kiwi business-friendly policies in Election 2014
    Support kiwi business-friendly policies in Election 2014 The Motel Association of NZ (MANZ) is calling on voters to make sure they vote for the party and candidate who will do the most to support kiwi businesses in the election next...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Disappointment with early start to Holiday Highway
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is disappointed by the Prime Minister's announcement today that the Puhoi-Warkworth Highway would start construction in 2016. The highway is over 18 kilometres long, and latest estimates put the cost at over $760 million....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Rural Women welcomes travel cost settlement
    Rural Women New Zealand welcomes news that a proposed settlement has been agreed that will lead to home support workers being paid mileage and wages for the time they spend travelling between clients....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • InternetNZ political survey gets answers
    In July this year, InternetNZ released its Election '14 and the Internet document, outlining seven key Internet issues for focus and discussion during this year's election and over the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
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