Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, December 9th, 2013 - 305 comments
The findings of the child poverty monitoring report are being released today. One in four or 265,000 children live in poverty and one in ten live in severe poverty. Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills has called for a bipartisan political approach to the issue but Paula Bennett has replied by saying that she is incredibly proud of the Government’s record. How can you be incredibly proud of allowing one in four children to live in poverty?
Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, December 7th, 2013 - 247 comments
Just when you begin to think Labour are looking like a Government, one of the has-beens from the Rogernomics era, again! shows that they have NFI how to get elected and they are still clinging desperately to the Neo-liberal paradigm.
Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, December 4th, 2013 - 26 comments
NZ Census 2013 shows a widening income gap: rises for the haves; more struggle for the have nots. Gains for women in education and some in the highest income brackets; more struggle for those on low incomes, especially beneficiaries impacted by Bennett’s punitive welfare reforms. Welcome to Key’s “Brighter Future”.
Written By: - Date published: 8:20 pm, November 9th, 2013 - 95 comments
On 101 East on Al Jazeera. Too many people in NZ prisons, especially Maori: too many in poverty; too much money spent on prisons; not enough for low income communities; some very good community initiatives. Is this a fair representation?
Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, October 31st, 2013 - 41 comments
The meme of “we cannot afford super, welfare seems to be very powerful. So powerful, that even those who know better have been taken in.
Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, October 29th, 2013 - 51 comments
A charity is taking on the funding of the essential work on monitoring poverty, in the face of Paula Bennett, Bill English and John Key et al failing to do their job: a return to Dickensian & Edwardian times.
Written By: - Date published: 6:24 pm, October 22nd, 2013 - 22 comments
Cunliffe talked of moving from a “from a cost-based to a values-based” strategy. We need a new narrative: valuing all, including children of those on benefits; about long term benefits for all of less inequality & poverty, and more affordable housing & better public transport, & more.
Written By: - Date published: 5:51 pm, October 18th, 2013 - 20 comments
Last week there was a Fabian debate between Wayne Mapp and Jane Kelsey about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that New Zealand started originally as a free trade agreement. Bearing in mind the short notice there were a quite credible audience. However to enhance the audience, Lyn Collie was inveigled into filming and editing the debate. Here is the film of the debate..
Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, October 12th, 2013 - 30 comments
John Armstrong has a good column on National’s attack on Kiwi workers today. Covering off David Cunliffe’s speech to the CTU, Armstrong talks about the way the Nats have been playing small target on their raft of small employment changes that add up to a serious attack on the wages and rights of all of […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, October 10th, 2013 - 7 comments
Cunliffe’s CTU speech is significant, rousing and inspiring, laying out a shift “from a cost-based to a value-based” strategy- for an inclusive society and one that provides a good life for “all” Kiwis, with opportunities for all. Video of the speech is a must see. And social security? [Update: Gordon Campbell] & Turei’s speech
Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, October 2nd, 2013 - 15 comments
“I just utter one fear…”
Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, September 23rd, 2013 - 41 comments
Ed Miliband got the idea of pre-distribution from Jacob Hacker. Cunliffe has followed. Can “pre-distribution” underpin a new direction for the left in NZ: one relevant to the challenges of the 21st century, especially in countering the too wide inequality gap & re-instating social democracy?
Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, September 18th, 2013 - 17 comments
What seems to be the defining feature of this government is in providing corporate welfare to incompetents who underbid their competition for government work or want bigger subsidies at the taxpayers expense. Give them the vaguest excuse and Key or Joyce will wilt like a flower in a desert and throw money at companies who […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, September 16th, 2013 - 22 comments
Today is the 75th Anniversary of the 1938 Social Security Act, one of Labour’s finest achievements that shaped our modern society. As Michael Joseph Savage said during the passage of the Bill: “There is enough of the best for all of us, and I want to bring about security for everyone during illness, whether it be temporary incapacity due to accident, or anything else. I should think it was the inalienable right of every person to be secured against distress of any form.”
Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, September 13th, 2013 - 69 comments
Auckland Action Against Poverty did 3 days of advocacy action in New Lynn. Their press releases & videos show the struggles of low income Kiwis to survive in John Key’s corporate-loving NZ. The tales tell of a need for real social security legislation & a more client-friendly WINZ.
Written By: - Date published: 4:47 pm, September 9th, 2013 - 8 comments
Last December I reported on the Auckland Action Against Poverty, Advocacy Activism in Onehunga. There’s another one happening this week in New Lynn - starts tomorrow at 9am outside the WINZ office. [Update:] Press release from AAAP. Tales of despair: from the streets of New Lynn.
Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, September 9th, 2013 - 158 comments
John Key honed his skills as a speculative banker. As PM, this casino capitalist has undermined democracy, & promoted international corporate interests, while beneficiaries & workers are brutalised, inequalities enhanced and NZ’s economy & sovereignty damaged. Does one Labour leader contender have his
Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, September 6th, 2013 - 168 comments
Cunliffe & Robertson stress the need to improve employment laws, jobs, wages, the economy, workers’ rights. Cunliffe invokes Savage-like social security & the need to end the Nats beneficiary bashing. Wider community pressure is needed for there to be real political change away from the destructive neoliberal scam.
Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, September 5th, 2013 - 230 comments
The concept of UBI has a long history in New Zealand.
Of course, we already have a UBI for those over 65. Which has been extremely successful at eliminating poverty amongst the elderly, at a very moderate cost by international standards.
Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, August 30th, 2013 - 75 comments
TV3′s Mind the Gap documentary (Bryan Bruce) is very important because it put before the general population the damaging impact of income inequality in a clear and and straightforward manner. The solutions? Ideas from academics, journalists, campaigners & opposition politicians/parties.
Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, August 27th, 2013 - 94 comments
Dunne’s proposal for flexible superannuation is a U-Turn for Key, while he hides behind it being a Dunne and flexible initiative & good for low income people. Sue Bradford argues against Dunne’s initiative, saying it will benefit those on higher incomes. She prefers better and universal benefits.
Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, August 23rd, 2013 - 137 comments
I wasn’t going to express my opinion on the upcoming Labour leadership selection process. However, the usual right leaning MSM hacks seem to have been following the current Labour caucus leadership in naming Robertson as the frontrunner. This is my op ed testimony for my frontrunner, the MP for my electorate: Cunliffe.
Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, August 16th, 2013 - 22 comments
Stuff’s polls aren’t usually known for their left-wing bias. Indeed there’s a tendency for them to pitch the other way. Which is why I clicked on the results button for their latest (self-selected) poll with some trepidation. after all the question was “Should doctors be encouraged to question unemployed patients on their career goals?”
Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, August 14th, 2013 - 31 comments
The IRD writes of penalties and interest on tax debt almost as standard – along with a chunk of the actual tax. MSD will pursue you beyond the grave to get back loans because you can’t cover your living expenses. Why are we treating people and debt so differently?
Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, July 30th, 2013 - 60 comments
The Herald is reporting that more that 51% of Kiwis are in favour of giving beneficiaries with kid the Working for Families tax credit.
That’s right, just over half of New Zealanders polled wanted to give beneficiaries more money despite twenty years of active demonisation of beneficiaries by the right.
Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, July 26th, 2013 - 144 comments
The Nats have created a beneficiary bashing culture so rigid and so nasty that crazy stuff happens. They cry some crocodile tears about it – but only for cases publicised by the media.
Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, July 25th, 2013 - 87 comments
UK children born on the same day as the new prince will get a silver penny: but their lives will be vastly different. Left foot Forward spells out the inequalities between these new born. John Key gushes over the new prince, while his government slashes, burns and fuels inequalities.
Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, July 22nd, 2013 - 36 comments
The Nats used to make a career out of faux “nanny state” hysteria. Now they want to ID number and track beneficiaries’ kids in pre-school. Paul Little warns of “the surveillance state that we are becoming”.