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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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    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
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