Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, December 4th, 2013 - 25 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: 12:21 pm, December 3rd, 2013 - 17 comments
The 2013 census data is being revealed. The initial information is presented in Stats NZ’s package, with some curious slants/biases: e.g. on income, occupations and housing. What else do the stats reveal? [Update: Stats NZ on income]
Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, November 20th, 2013 - 239 comments
Since he came to office, John Key’s government has spent over $350 billion (and borrowed over $50 billion). It has handed out taxpayer largesse to casinos, rich sailors, finance companies, and international corporations. So, why the blunt refusal to pay just $3.4 million to the Pike families and lean on the shareholders to get the cash back? Tin ear or cold heart?
Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, November 19th, 2013 - 23 comments
David Cunliffe has pledged that the next Labour government will pay the court-ordered compensation owed to the families of the disaster’s victims, and will then recover the money from Pike’s shareholders. As he succinctly puts it – this is the right thing to do.
Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, November 19th, 2013 - 130 comments
In our highly gendered socio-economic system that has institutionalised poverty, gendered violence, sexual violence and rape culture, low income women are multiply disadvantaged. Trigger warning: This post addresses some difficult and sensitive issues about poverty, women and rape culture. Subsequent comments will be tightly moderated.
Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, November 16th, 2013 - 119 comments
John Key this week ruled out any Government contribution to compensation ordered to be paid by Pike River to the deceased miners’ families despite a strong suggestion by Judge Farrish that this should occur. Now that the photo opportunities have finished and the effect of the corporate PR spin has worn off the Government’s handling of the issue appears to be deeply cynical and totally unjust.
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: 9:01 am, November 7th, 2013 - 52 comments
National’s been working hard to keep wages down for the 5 years. They’ve weakened union laws, introduced fire at will, opposed $15 minimum wage and the living wage. And it’s worked: 46% of workers got no raise last year, another 18% got less than a 2% raise. 5 years ago, 59% got a raise above 2%. Strangely, though, English says high wages are good for the economy.
Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, November 7th, 2013 - 15 comments
Len Brown will today propose to Council that it funds a living wage for all Council and CCO employees. It is intended that this is funded through savings, particularly with high level wages, and efficiencies and will be brought in over three years if supported by the Council.
Written By: - Date published: 5:48 pm, November 6th, 2013 - 29 comments
Sir Edmund Thomas’s recent Bruce Jesson Lecture is now online. He argues for a need to reduce inequalities, via a change in values away from those directed by “neoliberal” economics, & for a struggle from “below”. Is this intended to soften capitalism & not replace it?
Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, October 31st, 2013 - 86 comments
Why is Treasury providing the government with advice on spinning and disguising widespread changes to Education? In this way, NZ’s democracy is undermined, and changes are continually made that benefit the few and make life more difficult for the many. Government MO or renegade Treasury?
Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, October 30th, 2013 - 82 comments
From the ranks of those working in the murky depths of dirty, disgusting and despicable politics, comes a piss take of a “union” of “taxpayers”, to lobby against a fair, democratic, caring and inclusive state and for the already greedy and powerful.
Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, October 29th, 2013 - 81 comments
Auckland authorities disrespected past worker struggles in allowing an art work on the waterfront, that commemorates the ruthless suppression of the 1913 strike. After protests, it has now been covered. Time for the many to unite for fairness at work & in daily living!
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: 12:00 pm, October 28th, 2013 - 14 comments
From the movement that brought you equal pay, the weekend, minimum wages, child protection laws, injury prevention, the right to organise …
Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, October 27th, 2013 - 61 comments
US mathematician Peter Turchin believes that mathematics can predict events such as the recent constitutional crisis in America and has constructed a model based on social and economic data that he believes predicts periods of instability and disaster for nations. This work shows the negative side of inequality and neatly compliments the work of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in the Spirit Level that showed the benefits of increased equality.
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: 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: 6:29 am, October 10th, 2013 - 139 comments
David Cunliffe showed that he wasn’t just pandering for votes in the leadership race by reaffirming and strengthening his commitment to work rights at the CTU conference yesterday. When David is PM the minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour, the public service will set an example by paying the living wage, and the Nats’ attacks on rights will be reversed – no more Fire at Will, no more youth rates.
Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, October 9th, 2013 - 108 comments
A recent study gives a strong indication of the extent of, and the recent increases in, insecure work in NZ. It is being released at the CTU conference today, along with the launch of a campaign to improve worker security. [Update: Cunliffe to CTU on Labour pledges]
Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, October 8th, 2013 - 76 comments
John Key’s role as Obama surrogate in chairing TPP discussions at APEC just reinforce how much Key is deeply involved in crony capitalist, Big Corporate serving networks of influence: ones that link him with anti-democratic Big Tobacco, Big Oil, and climate change denial propaganda.
Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, September 29th, 2013 - 35 comments
Which Labour MP has Matt McCarten today described as “Another Cunliffe loyalist rewarded.” and scored 5/10?
Now, which Labour MP got the government on the ropes with a member’s bill to the point that Bill English had to threaten a rarely used and politically damaging financial veto?
Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, September 27th, 2013 - 162 comments
Imagine that your job was to clean 130 toilets every day. Imagine the grinding unpleasantness of it. Imagine the horrors some disgusting person would regularly leave for you to deal with. Imagine you do that for just above the minimum wage, barely enough to support your family, far from enough to live a real life. And imagine seeing one of the people whose shit you clean sneer at you.
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: 10:18 am, September 20th, 2013 - 220 comments
David Cunliffe spoke to the Left base in the Daily Blog Live interview last night: economy, tax, employment, GCSB, TPPA & more. He raises hopes for a new, post GFC social democratic vision. But he spoke to those with economic & policy knowledge. His nods towards better social security, away from bennie bashing, need fleshing out.
Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, September 18th, 2013 - 43 comments
Yesterday Paula Bennett introduced the First Reading of the Vulnerable Children Bill. Nat MPs separated child abuse from issues of poverty and income inequality. Opposition MPs from Mana, Labour & The Greens called the Nats on it, arguing for the bigger picture.
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: 11:07 am, September 13th, 2013 - 75 comments
The response to Metiria Turei’s sttements about affordable housing on The Vote, raises questions about political narratives are told to the general electorate? The Greens, Mana and Cunliffe have stressed their “vision“. How to tell it so it reaches the hearts of New Zealanders?