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Five Broken Things.

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, February 16th, 2013 - 81 comments
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Universal Basic Income UBIYesterday I rather shamelessly threadjacked one of Irish’s posts on a Colin Espiner column in the direction of the Universal Basic Income idea. In this post I want to also shamelessly filch from Gareth Morgan’s book The Big Kahuna, specifically Ch.5 “The Five Big Issues” and wrap it into a quick read. (At some points I’ll be pretty much lifting words direct from the book.)

Morgan identifies five principles that a good tax system would achieve, namely: vertical equity, horizontal equity, individual responsibility, efficiency and adequacy. Here’s my take on what he’s saying:

1. Vertical Equity. In the broadest sense this means the big players in the system, businesses and speculators, should not have unfair advantages over the smaller players like ordinary workers and beneficiaries. Instead our existing system deliberately allows numerous ways for those who have capital, wealth and access to good tax lawyers to avoid paying their share of tax, or allows them to re-arrange their affair to access benefits like Student Loans, Rest Home Care and the like … which they are not entitled to.

As Warren Buffet stated, he’s paying less than 15% tax overall, while his secretary pays over 30%. While locally there is the story of a farmer who owned properties worth tens of millions presenting a Community Services Card. The left has long denounced this kind of gross unfairness.

2. Horizontal Equity. This is the idea that like cases should be treated in like fashion. Because our current system is a inchoate mess of targeted benefits and tax credits, it is riven with inconsistencies. If you cannot work because you’ve had an accident you’re better off than if you have fallen ill. If you are in a job you’re family support via WFF is more generous than if you have the same children … but just got made redundant. If you are unemployed and your partner is over 65 you both receive Super at the couples rate, while if your partner is 64 you don’t.

Or an employee pays for his or her transport to work from after-tax income; while the owner of the business makes the same trip in a vehicle paid for from before-tax expenses. A landlord can claim the mortgage interest as a pre-tax expense; the owner-occupier of the same house cannot. And so on; there are any number of examples.

All these inconsistencies undermine people’s sense of faith in the system and fuel resentment.

3. Individual Responsibility. A well-designed tax system would encourage self-reliance and avoid stigmatising those who cannot achieve it. The current system puts barriers in the way of both these goals.

The big one is the very high marginal tax rates that are inherent in any targeted tax/benefit system. I cannot emphasis this more. A person say with one child and an accommodation supplement will find that if they move into a typical median wage job they really are not all that much better off … especially when you take into account the extra expenses they incur by working. (It’s a remarkable fact nonetheless that so many people will still choose to work despite the lack of ‘economically rational’ motivation to do so.) Nonetheless when the right talk about ‘welfare dependency’ they have a point; the current tax system certainly creates poverty traps that those with minimal motivation are unlikely to try very hard to leap over.

Much the same sort of problem exists with WFF; to avoid abrupt transition effects the abatement rate has to be set so low that incomes over $100k are still obtaining a portion of it. This doesn’t make sense in terms of the claimed purpose for WFF, while creating perverse, unintended incentives in the labour market place.

The current system pits self-interest against community interest; while an intelligent system would align them.

4. Efficiency. The total cost of administering our current system is much higher than most people imagine. Morgan notes that in 2010 the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) had a budget of $20.3b. Total payment transfers amounted to only $16b. Of the $4.3b gap he estimates $0.7b was incurred for reasons other than it’s redistributive function; leaving some $3.6b in costs. That’s an astounding 6% of all tax revenues for that year! It’s almost a quarter the size of the Health budget … just on the cost of running this absurd house of cards.

And this does not count the costs that IRD incur around WFF and Kiwisaver. The creakily ad hoc nature of the current system means that virtually every taxpayer needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

But those are the direct costs. A rational tax system would encourage people to invest their wealth in economically productive activities that would enable the nation to prosper. Instead it has more or less pushed us all the wrong directions, housing being the most obvious example. The economic costs of these distortions are impossible to calculate, but one only has to look at the absolute paucity of good companies being listed on our stock exchange, or the chronic inability of New Zealand-owned companies to capture their real potential in the global market to have some idea of the lost opportunity.

5. Adequacy. There are far too many people, and their children, living in poverty. Their access to the common good and prosperity of the nation if filtered through a layers of meanness, snobbery and indifference. No-one reading this blog is in any doubt of this. Despite all the immense cost of our redistributive system, it still leaves too many people in deprivation.

Worse still “too much government expenditure is currently directed towards ameliorative programs which primarily serve to contain a problem at a point where the possibility for change is lost”. The right has a legitimate point when they complain that too much of ‘their tax money’ is wasted.  We have $16b of transfer payments in this country … and we still have poverty? Something isn’t working here.

On all five of these underlying principles our current tax and redistributive system is completely broken. Another round of reforms, another Ministry reorganisation or re-branding exercise will only kick these broken bits around. Worse still it opens the door to Steven Joyce exploiting the opportunity to impose his own version of ‘crisis capitalism’ onto the system .. reforms that will use soothing and deceptive language … but in reality subvert these principles even further.

The UBI idea is not new. It has a long intellectual history; Keith Rankin and Gareth Morgan have done much groundwork locally. The Greens have a substantial history with the idea themselves. But if we want a new Labour/Green government to be anything other than yet another crew of passionless deck-chair re-arrangers the left must be able to articulate exactly what we want in a new deal. Tax and welfare are the two most invasive and potent of all things our governments undertake; it’s time to start creating a coherent political narrative the people of this country can understand and believe in.

81 comments on “Five Broken Things.”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    While locally there is the story of a farmer who owned properties worth tens of millions presenting a Community Services Card. The left has long denounced this kind of gross unfairness.

    You’ll find that a lot of National voters absolutely hate situations like this with a vengeance too, and would support it being stamped out asap. A typical example would be a corporate manager on a good salary, say $150K pa, putting two kids through university, and having to put in a substantial sum of money for both childrens week to week expenses flatting in another town.

    Yet his farmer mate, whom he knows is considerably better off than him in both wealth and income, well the farmers kids get $1600 in student allowances per month in total, while his own kids get zip.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      You’ll find that a lot of National voters absolutely hate situations like this with a vengeance too, and would support it being stamped out asap.

      Yes … that’s exactly what happened. Which indeed is how I got to hear the story in the first place. I didn’t intend for it to be read as an ‘anti-farmer’ line… merely an example of how those with capital have opportunities to squirm through loop-holes that should not be there.

  2. Sosoo 2

    All this is just talk. It’s all very well to invent schemes such as this, and this one is one of many, but its a political problem at root. There are a sufficient number of New Zealanders who are fundamentally mean spirited and/or desirous of an unequal/hierarchical society to make such schemes electoral poison. Unless you find some way of removing these people from the political equation, a GMI is a pipe dream. For example, WFF only has the high support it does because wealthy people can rort it, and they do in large numbers.

    If you have some cure for the 30% of New Zealanders who are authoritarian assholes I’d like to hear it.

  3. saarbo 3

    RL, There is a lot in this post, but one Labour policy that goes a long way to sorting some of the problems you have noted i.e: “As Warren Buffet stated, he’s paying less than 15% tax overall, while his secretary pays over 30%.” is the implementation of a Capital Gains Tax. But it needs to be implemented at full tax rates, rather than getting a 50% discount, which is why it doesn’t work as well as it should in Australia.

    Farmers often get Community Services cards because when dairy production payouts are around the current $5.90 kg ms, farmers are actually making losses. This may be despite the fact that they have 4 farms, which when they eventually sell will make them several million dollars in capital gains. There is no reason why these capital gains shouldn’t be taxed.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      The UBI is only part of Gareth Morgan’s proposals; a comprehensive CGT is another crucial element.

      But Gareth’s CGT is somewhat different to Labour’s; in particular it points up the necessity of capturing ALL asset classes, including shares and the family home. Leaving exemptions only creates more distortions and unintended consequences.

      Another question around CGT’s is whether they should be assessed on an accrued or time of sale basis. The relationship between capital gain and cashflow in a business is a complex one with many aspects to consider.

      I’ll try and put up another post on this later.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Does Morgan say anything about a straight asset tax? On property it could be something similar to local council rates.

        It would make the accumulation of piles of unproductive assets that much less attractive.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Gosh darn it, that man has thought of everything. Thanks geoff.

          • saarbo 3.1.1.1.2

            The CCT is interesting, something such as this asset/capital tax would certainly go some way to improving what is happening in our farming community. Having recently shifted back to the countryside, I discovered that the farmer on one side of our family home owns 8 dairy farms in our district and the farmer on the other side owns 6 farms. Fifteen years ago all of these farms were individually owned. Their farms are still being operated as standalone units using CONTRACT managers. The managers are paid approx. $50k, they must pay for all of their own cover for days off and holidays. The affect on our community from these farmers accumulating farms in my opinion is:
            1) There is a clear class system being developed with the farm owners sending their children to private boarding schools while the workers children go to the local public school. The workers and farm owners dont mix socially.
            2)The Contract managers are under immense pressure, they dont give themselves time off, recently we had a child from one of the farms come over to our home in a distressed state because of physical threats from her parents, we are currently dealing with this in conjunction with our local school.
            3)The farms are being operated at around 70% of their potential, I reckon if these farms were owner operated they would be producing significantly better. So this is clearly an economic development issue also.
            4)The 50/50 share milking system was a good way for farm workers to step up to farm ownership but greedy farm owners now use Contract managers and take a bigger slice of the income so that they can accumulate more farms. There is a trade off in farm production but farm owners are prepared to forgo this additional production as they receive more income using Contract managers.

            I reckon if New Zealand wants to optimise its farming land then there needs to be a return to owner operated farms. What is currently happening is not only sad from a community point of view but is sub optimal from an economic point of view. Something needs to be done, a capitals gain tax may help. A CCT may also need a deeper look.

            Labour has an opportunity to get farm workers on board because they certainly are not getting any protection from National. Given the structure of farm ownership, I would imagine that there are a lot more farm workers than farm owners. Labour needs to develop policy in this area to protect farm worker rights, if they can encourage farm worker solidarity in this area they could shift a number of voters from National to Labour.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2.1

              3)The farms are being operated at around 70% of their potential, I reckon if these farms were owner operated they would be producing significantly better. So this is clearly an economic development issue also.

              Doubt it. I suspect that if the farmers who owned those farms were running them as well it wouldn’t change at all.

            • David C 3.1.1.1.2.2

              Interesting. I have had the good fortune of recently meeting a contract farm manager in Hawkes Bay.. I sold him a section at the beach. he is maybe 30 yrs old recently married and with a 1 yr old daughter. great family. he is a hard working lad with a hard working wife. both graduates. they own a house and a beach property now and are loving life. I have been on the property he works. It is imaculate and earning near top end of potential. His bonus payments refect this hard work.

              • Colonial Viper

                Break up big farm properties and give people like him a chance of owning their own farm.

              • saarbo

                There are cases where responsible farm owners set up good structures for their contract farmers, but unfortunately there are not enough of them. I can assure you that the Contract Managers in our area are struggling, a beach section would be a dream to them.

                But you hit something on the head when you mentioned (or should have mentioned) that the farm managers were a couple, because that is another thing farm owners often demand, that a couple apply for one job, so that they essentially get 2 people for the price of one.

                The other thing that is rare about your case is contract farm workers buying a beach section, A) most farm workers have a desire to one day own a farm and save money for this and B) Not many contract farm workers give themselves time off to enjoy holidays.

                Workers need their rights protected from unscrupulous farm owners.

    • jim 3.2

      Don!t disagree with capital gains tax,even better M.T.T.As for the fairness of a community services card for a landed or many property landed farmer should be exempt, as their greed and servicing of their debt, mortgage is of their own making.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Tax will soon become irrelevant; just look at what is happening in Greece: the tax take is imploding as the economy collapses., and the few people who do have income are avoiding paying taxes wherever possible. Britain has a similar problem, as GDP fall and retail sector declines. under ‘austerity’. Japan is ‘kaput. The US is running a faux economy based on money-printing and war.

    Okay, it will probably take another couple of years for NZ to reach a situation similar to that of Greece but there certainly is no time to fix anything within the present system.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      I don’t disagree AFKTT … but I’m still willing to back this idea because at heart I see it as not just a reform to the existing capitalist system, but opening a door to allowing the kind of innovation and change of values that just might …might make a difference.

      Hopeless romantic that I am….

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        You’re not wrong RL. In the absence of effective change directly preparing for Climate Change and Energy Depletion, we can focus on the wellbeing, health and fitness (mental and physical) of the population.

        So when hard times hit and tough work needs to be done, the people of the country (and its administrative systems) are ready for it.

      • Rogue Trooper 4.1.2

        that’s from a Steve Earle song too :)

  5. just saying 5

    Really glad you’ve turned this discussion into a post of its own, Red Logic.

    Though I need to do stuff now, I look forward to reading the conversation later.

    There’s just one thing I want to mention now, and that is the gross inequality that would be the starting point for a UBI. A gaping chasm between the rich and poor in resources in the widest sense – certainly material wealth, but also, health, support systems, ability to generate more resources, and/or collaborate with other resource-rich people, middle-class nous (for want of a better term), education and skill-sets. It may be that in the long-term, some degree of inequality and poverty may be ameliorated, but why should the most deprived have to continue to wait for some theoretical future in which they get a place at the table, (if they are really good).

    Flat tax, may mean the richest would end up paying more tax than they do now, but the rich owe a lot more than that, particularly to those who have been unjustly deprived by a rigged competition in which a few have already made off with most of the loot.

    Btw, children*are* people.

  6. Bill 6

    A substantial hurdle UBI faces is the simple fact that it runs counter to one of the basic dynamics of the class war. A livable income as envisaged by UBI would mean that no-one would feel compelled to undertake soul destroying and useless jobs, meaning that no-one would profit from creating soul destroying and useless jobs. And the ‘right’ to mercilessly exploit isn’t one that’s just going to be given up.

    One powerful and incontravertable argument that I believe should be made against the preservation of the privilege to exploit, is the simple fact that our climate and civilisation can not and will not survive the flow on effects of our current market system. Given that, UBI should be argued as being one component of a raft of measures needed to help us carry out the necessary winding down of our market economy.

    Resistence to such a move (ie, a defense of the status quo) then becomes condemned as a position arguing for the inevitable short term demise of civilisation alongside the trashing of the climate. And that’s not a position anyone would have any success defending.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Resistence to such a move (ie, a defense of the status quo) then becomes condemned as a position arguing for the inevitable short term demise of civilisation alongside the trashing of the climate.

      Although the above is correct, the political messaging needs to be more along the lines of:

      – The current system is wasteful, complex and full of unequal treatment and unfairness.
      – The current system leaves too many people struggling and suffering while giving too much to those who do not need it.
      – Its time for a transparent, simpler system where money and effort is spent looking after New Zealanders and not on massive bureaucracy.
      – The new approach fits in perfectly with calls for a living wage.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Don’t know about that political messaging CV.

        ‘Everybody’ already knows the current system (ie, capitalism) is unfair, wastful and so on. And those arguments have ebbing and flowing in one form or another for the past 150 years or so. They don’t arrive at a conclusion but merely push or pull the tide of opinion this way or that.

        We don’t have time to continue with intellectual games that adopt theoretical positions in line with known pro’s and con’s of the market. We need to cut to the quick. We need to push the central and pressing problem front and center and force those unwilling to accept movement to justify their position and deny them the opportunity to obsfuscate or avoid matters by playing games based on economic theory.

        Even if Capitalism was made more equitable – even acceptably equitable – the fact remains that market driven production and consumption or distribution will simply see us, our civilisation, driven out beyond the edge of viability.

        (And before anyone is tempted to jump in here and wank on about the failings of industrial command economies as a round-a-bout way of justifying market economies on the grounds that they are a lesser of two evils, my argument is that both those types of economies are unfeasible – absolutely stupid and dangerous options – given the real world situation of climate change)

        • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1.1

          Yep

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2

          All good, but unfortunately we don’t have any political grouping in NZ (including or excluding the political parties) or media outlet who will make these points.

          ‘Everybody’ already knows the current system (ie, capitalism) is unfair, wastful and so on.

          I suspect that very large numbers of ordinary people are not overtly conscious of capitalism or its mechanics, even though they carry it on their back every day.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          ‘Everybody’ already knows the current system (ie, capitalism) is unfair, wastful and so on.

          Actually, everybody for the last few decades has been told that the capitalist free-market is the most efficient and fair system ever invented. It’s only in the last few years that the facts have started to show that that isn’t the case. It’s going to take awhile before a majority of people hold to the view that capitalism is wasteful and unfair.

    • Lefty 6.2

      A substantial hurdle UBI faces is the simple fact that it runs counter to one of the basic dynamics of the class war.

      You are so right Bill.

      A good UBI would be radically transformational – the sort of big idea the Salvation Army is calling for at the moment.

      A properly designed UBI would redistribute power as well as income.

      It would also lead to a redefinition of what work is and an incredible increase in level of economic and social freedom we all have.

      I am fearful of what would happen if any of our present political parties and the state bureacracy adopted the idea at the moment though.

      We would probably end up with a Gareth Morgan version of it that made it more of a streamlining of the benefit system than the introduction an unconditional right for each woman, man and child to have a basic income sufficient to meet their needs to survive and participate in society as their share of our common wealth.

      A UBI is really about the state granting this right to each person, and distributing this income to them simply because they exist.

      I think the citizens are probably going to have to make the ruling class and their minions in the parliamentary parties a little more afraid of us before they allow us a true UBI.

      • Lanthanide 6.2.1

        Gareth Morgan’s UBI was built with the goal of keeping the current welfare expenditure and tax revenue about the same, so the increase in welfare that is inherent in the UBI is offset by his changes to GST, CGT and efficiency from dramatically shrinking the welfare department.

        You could easily come up with a more generous UBI than his ($12k/year IIRC) but you have to have some way to fund it.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1

          You could easily come up with a more generous UBI than his ($12k/year IIRC) but you have to have some way to fund it.

          That’s easy. The government creates the money and the private banks don’t. Funding is now secured and the economy can be brought into line with reality.

          • Bill 6.2.1.1.1

            You do know that no matter how often you state that obvious point DTB, that most people will continue to experience a dismissive ‘whoosh! inside their heads’?

            • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep, I know. I figure if I state it often enough then maybe people will at least begin to question the present financial system.

              • Rogue Trooper

                Repitition beds bulbs in

              • TheContrarian

                Maybe you shouldn’t say such stupid things. People would pay more attention if you didn’t come up with such delusional crap while callings other stupid because they don’t share in your insane imaginings.

                Just sayin’

                • bad12

                  So printing money is only stupid if this country does it, is that what your saying,

                  I have yet to see you lambasting the US,Japan, and the British who all have in the last 5 years indulged their economies via the use of money printing, just to name a few…

                  • TheContrarian

                    No. What I am saying is Draco is a fucking idiot.

                    In fact, no, he isn’t stupid. He’s just fucking stupid…if ya know what I mean.

                    • McFlock

                      funny.
                      You always strike me as being more dense than dtb. Beneath the oozing secretions of conceit and arrogance that plaster your comments, of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There’s no essential difference between the private banks providing the money supply and the government providing the money supply.

                    • TheContrarian

                      It isn’t hard to be conceited and arrogant when faced with naked idiocy.

                    • bad12

                      Oh so you have no intention of debating the ‘subtance’ of what Draco says vis a vis printing money,

                      You just feel it is relevant on this Sunday afternoon to indulge in a spot of abuse of the commenter,

                      Lucky you i don’t get to punish people for such ignorant use of this site, others have that small pleasure,

                      If i did tho, your above comments would have resulted in you receiving a severe spanking…

                    • TheContrarian

                      Hugs and kisses.

                    • bad12

                      Tick, tock, your clock just reached 2 minutes to midnight…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I’ve seen Iron Maiden play ‘Two midnights to Midnight” live twice now.

                      They kick ass in concert

                    • fenderviper

                      They should have removed you from the crowd and kicked your ass.

                    • TheContrarian

                      I had a foot of San Pedro cactus in my bag and whacked the guy in front of me in the head with it. He turned around and went “MAIDEN!!!” while giving me the goat salute.

                    • fenderviper

                      Too bad when you drank the juice from that cactus it permanently rendered you a fucking idiot.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Not permanently – it wore off after a few hours. But I missed my flight and created a scene at the airport.

                    • fenderviper

                      “No. What I am saying is Draco is a fucking idiot.

                      In fact, no, he isn’t stupid. He’s just fucking stupid…if ya know what I mean”

                      It DIDN’T wear off, nor the desire to create a scene.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Just trying to go about my day.

                      Here, lets give you hug. Poor wee lamb.

                    • fenderviper

                      I’d not accept neither cactus juice or a hug from ewe.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Oh so you have no intention of debating the ‘subtance’ of what Draco says vis a vis printing money,

                      Of course he doesn’t – because he can’t.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Hey Draco – tell me again about how Sudan can produce everything it needs and Labour is a right wing party.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We’re waiting for you to dispute, with logic and facts, what I’ve said.

      • georgecom 6.2.2

        One important aspects of a liveable UBI is that it can break the link between income and the market. At present access to an income is dependant on being available to work, being in the labour market and exploitable by capital.

        The exception is if you are genuinely unable to work temporarily or permanently. If unavailable temporarily, considerable effort will be made to get you to the point where you are market ready. Coercion can form part of this effort. If permanently unavailable for the work your income is set at breadline levels and additional income severley taxed. You are either presenting yourself at the job market or you are encouraged, cajoled, coerced (punished) to be so.

        A UBI sets up a greater range of options and flexibilities for people. They do not need to present themselves on the job market in order to exist, or if they do go to the market, can do so more on their terms. The states role as the ‘workforce ready’ employment agency for capital is weakened. Paula Bennetts ‘workforce ready’ bureaucracies could be severly downsized.

        Some may try and argue that a UBI removes incentives to work. It won’t actually however. Incentives will still be present. How strong the icnentive is will depend on what level a UBI is set. A UBI of $2000 per person per week may leave little incentive to work given the lifestyle that can be had on that income. A level of $300 per person per week would leave much scope for people to desire extra income and the work necessary to access it.

        The UBI would also be fair to all. I cannot complain about my neighbour being a bludger and living off an income whilst I go out to work. We both receive the same income from the state. If I want or need more I can work to gain it. If my neighbour wants the minimum income they will devote their time to things they want to.

        The level of a UBI would need to include the countries ability to afford, the level to maintain a minimum standard of living and the level necessary to leave open incentive. Perhaps an amount of $300 per person per week tax free might be the starting point. A couple gets $600 per week. The age where people receive it another matter. It may be accorded to children at birth, it may have an entitlement threshold at an age where school finishes for example. A compromise between the two might be to have stepped entitlements at various ages to acknowledge the costs of raising children such as $100 p/w before 5, $150 up to the age of 12, $200 from 12 until full entitlement age.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    A well-designed tax system would encourage self-reliance…

    A well designed tax system would start from the reality that we’re all dependent upon each other.

    Nonetheless when the right talk about ‘welfare dependency’ they have a point; the current tax system certainly creates poverty traps that those with minimal motivation are unlikely to try very hard to leap over.

    Is it minimal motivation or the fact that there’s no way out for those people? They have no resources to hand, no chance of getting any and they’re also lacking the basic knowledge needed as well and, with needed training costing so much, no chance of getting that either. And, yes, I’m well aware that there are other factors as well.

    On all five of these underlying principles our current tax and redistributive system is completely broken.

    The only real solution we have is to design a new tax system from the ground up and that means dropping all previous precedent as well. The tinkering that we’ve had over the last century or so is what’s caused the mess that we have.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Is it minimal motivation or the fact that there’s no way out for those people? They have no resources to hand, no chance of getting any and they’re also lacking the basic knowledge needed as well and, with needed training costing so much, no chance of getting that either.

      RL and I had a brief exchange yesterday on letting people band together and capitalise their UBI in order to organise communal housing, collective enterprises, group transport and amenities etc.

      Italy lets their unemployed do something similar in small collectives, with their Marcora law.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        One of the reasons why I set the UBI to a higher rate is that people then wouldn’t need to capitalise it – they’d already have the resources available. Throw in the Learning Centres that I suggested and people of like mind could easily come together to pool those resources to start a cooperative. If the cooperative becomes successful and they need extra money to expand then an interest free loan would be available from the government, a loan that would be paid back by the taxes that the successful business pays rather than through a defined repayment schedule. This achieves a number of critical points:

        1.) People will be free to innovate
        2.) The financial capital will be available to support the cooperative
        3.) Makes the accumulation of money worthless

    • RedLogix 7.2

      A well designed tax system would start from the reality that we’re all dependent upon each other.

      Well it’s both. Yes we are all dependent on each other and that is what the redistributive function of a tax system recognises.

      But equally it only works if we are all as self-reliant (or responsible) to the extent we can be. Obviously the UBI concept would be broken if everybody chose to just live on it alone and no-one undertook any essential or productive work.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        The question is: Responsible to whom? If it’s only responsibility to yourself, as the right seem to think, then society collapses. It must be responsibility to the community first and foremost.

        Obviously the UBI concept would be broken if everybody chose to just live on it alone and no-one undertook any essential or productive work.

        Yep, which is why I want everyone to know just what resources we have available and what needs to be done. Get that out there and I’m sure we’ll actually get what we need rather than the driving force of profit that’s destroying our world.

  8. Colonial Weka 8

    Thanks for opening up this discussion RL. The post is a good outline of what is wrong and what needs to change. I think we also need to have outlines of potential solutions and how they would work in NZ.

    eg Bill mentions above about the UBI being a livable income, but yesterday the ideas on what the UBI would be ranged from the current rate of the dole to up to $35,000 pa. If the UBI is set at the rate of the dole, then it’s not a livable income. These things need to be fleshed out and made overt in order to have useful discussion about them.

    I’d like to see what would happen to menial labour under a UBI system, but until we know what the UBI system might be, we can’t meaningfully discuss that.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      …but yesterday the ideas on what the UBI would be ranged from the current rate of the dole to up to $35,000 pa.

      Nobody suggested $35k/annum. The most suggested was by me at $20k. The US$35k was the approximate amount available for every man/woman and child in NZ.

      I’d like to see what would happen to menial labour under a UBI system, but until we know what the UBI system might be, we can’t meaningfully discuss that.

      Yes we can it’s just that, without having a defined system, it would be a rather broad discussion.

      With my own system I think you’d find that a lot of menial labour would disappear and that what’s left would be higher paid. But I think that the biggest improvement would be that arsehole bosses would quickly find themselves without a job as people would no longer be forced to work for them the way that the present system does.

      • Bill 8.1.1

        Necessary but tedious or menial work could be incorporated into ‘job complexes’ rather than beng assigned to one person. And there’s no reason why wages could not then be in the form of a social wage that varied – increased – in line with how much undesirable work you took on.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Necessary but tedious or menial work could be incorporated into ‘job complexes’ rather than beng assigned to one person.

          And the teams assigned to work these “job complexes” can be taught to be self managing and self organising. Eliminating the need for a supervisory or managerial class.

          • Bill 8.1.1.1.1

            … can be taught to be self managing and self organising. Eliminating the need for a supervisory or managerial class.

            Indeed. Well, almost. I’m just thinking people can’t be taught to be self managing. Rather, we have to learn, otherwise we’ve just created a new vertical division of labour.

  9. tracey 9

    redlogix 914 am

    in my experience they hate it on others and use their mythological belief in bludgers to justify or rationalise their own rorts

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    What an Excellent post (foundational” The Big Kahuna”,and The Big Lebowski, along with “Growth Fetish”)

  11. Ad 11

    Red, really appreciate the post.
    Very thoughtful and challenging.
    I hand’t properly engaged with Morgan’s ideas before and this was a helpful bite-size.
    Tax is not my field of expertise so I won’t presume to engage other than to read properly and think.
    Seriously hope Parker and Norman are neck deep into it.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      The main thing to take away from here is not to fall for the “There is No Alternative” orthodoxy. From now on when you read or listen to any discussion around tax or redistribution, come back to the UBI concept and see how it fits.

      In most cases I’d suggest that it would be a better solution than the one the media, business or political class is offering you. There is an alternative and it works because fundamentally it treats all people exactly the same.

    • The Greens have proposed a UBI before, so I imagine they’re still well-disposed to the idea.

  12. bad12 12

    Ok the big Kahuna treats us all the same at the point of starting with a universal allowance, lets put this at $15,000 a year just for arguments sake, there’s a level playing field there but how does this alter the realities of both employment and accommodation,

    The level playing field of providing everyone with that initial $15,000 is soon destroyed when we look at how employees are paid, and how the accommodation market charges rent,

    If both accommodation costs and pay rates were not also equal across the whole of society then the only real benefit of having the universal nature of the universal benefit is that such would highly decrease the chances for politicians to denigrate beneficiaries,

    I cannot though see how a universal $15,000 would lead us to a more equal society then we have now if both accommodation costs and wage rates were not to also be equalized,

    The next problem of course is the division of labour, how do we ensure that an equal opportunity of work is made available to all…

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Yep. The UBI is only one piece of the puzzle, but an important one.

  14. “Tax and welfare are the two most invasive and potent of all things our governments undertake; it’s time to start creating a coherent political narrative the people of this country can understand and believe in.”

    Very true. Transparency around the welfare system is a prerequiste for a well functioning democracy – irrespective of ideology.

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    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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