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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 11:06 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: 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: 10:15 am, June 28th, 2013 - 14 comments
Four contenders with excellent track records. Some important issues for the electorate have been highlighted, especially related to poverty, jobs, education, and affordable housing. Some commentators claim tomorrow’s by-election will be a test of this or that party’s strength.[update: RNZ interviews]
Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, June 11th, 2013 - 179 comments
Matthew Hooton is spinning like mad to talk up the economy. Unfortunately his spin sometimes bends the truth beyond breaking point, and there were three examples of that yesterday.
Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, June 2nd, 2013 - 14 comments
A Fairfax poll shows an NZ divided by income inequalities & political allegiances. Little unemployment for National voters & more for opposition voters: a precariat with a high proportion of Maori & Pacific people. The right time for Russel Norman’s speech and blockupy?
Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, May 9th, 2013 - 31 comments
The latest Household Labour Force Employment statistics are out, and on the surface, look good for John and Bill. But this is driven by improved employment in Canterbury over the last quarter. Grant Robertson says, “Disaster recovery is not a plan for jobs”.
Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 4th, 2013 - 192 comments
Supporters of the sale of the powercos, portray the Labour-Green NZ Power policy in terms of political strategy and game-play. They focus on the “market”, risk, profits & “fat cat hatred”. They avoid dealing with the guts of the issue: fuel poverty, income inequality & damaged lives.
Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, April 12th, 2013 - 27 comments
John Key’s government has been gradually dismantling NZ’s democratic processes. Various activities this week are a major part of a frightening shift: a Bill enabling mining conservation land; punitive social security Act; Key’s control over NZ’s “intelligence community”.
Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, April 10th, 2013 - 17 comments
Yesterday more planks in the NAct raft amounting to major changes, were before the House. These undermine democracy, fairness, the security and rights of individuals, and increase hardship for those on low incomes. Ardern on Social Security. Cunliffe on child support, privacy breaches & trust.
Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 1st, 2013 - 79 comments
A raft of Tory policies have been dismantling the British welfare state: bedroom tax, privatising the NHS: NZ’s NAct government is following the same pattern of slyly changing small things, adding up to major changes that are ultimately socially & economically destructive.
Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, March 27th, 2013 - 55 comments
Opposition MPs (e.g. Ardern & Mathers) and Sue Bradford highlight that the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill destroys lives, furthers NAct’s elitist agenda, & is more propaganda than social security or job creation.
Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, January 25th, 2013 - 23 comments
Mana Party president, Annette Sykes could become an MP in the next election. The future of the Maori Party is in doubt. Hone Harawira is considering a Mana-Maori Party merger. Sykes is committed to left wing values, social justice, Maori land & water rights, and social & economic justice for Maori.
Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, January 18th, 2013 - 92 comments
Paula Bennett stated that the numbers of people on benefits had dropped over the last quarter. The figures mask the reality of Bennett’s punitive welfare reforms, and the struggles of those living on low incomes. Meanwhile unemployment is still rising. [Update: RNZ]
Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, January 2nd, 2013 - 12 comments
Over the last year some issues have been under-reported, some ignored: the climate/environment, subversive FBI activities, bankster rorts, decline of democracy, the need for new left & green politics. Some news has been overdramatised, some masks the real needs. And the “fiscal cliff”?
Written By: - Date published: 5:31 pm, December 11th, 2012 - 23 comments
In these troubling times, it was uplifting to see the flax-roots, practical and collaborative action at the Onehunga Recession Busting rally for beneficiaries today. Volunteers in front of the WINZ office in Onehunga Mall, are giving support and assistance to those most in need.
Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, December 10th, 2012 - 79 comments
Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, November 9th, 2012 - 13 comments
With the crises in housing and unemployment, there are worrying trends of increasing marginalisation and struggle for selected demographic groups, such as women, Maori and Pasifika people. Meanwhile, there has been a recent increase in male unemployment. This probably is because there are fewer secure, well-paid, full time jobs available.
Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, October 21st, 2012 - 122 comments
While Labour Day commemorates the 40 hour week, 13% of Kiwis are working more than 50 hours per week, and ANZ are predicting unemployment to rise to 7%… couldn’t we distribute that work a bit better?