web analytics
The Standard

Sick

Written By: - Date published: 4:21 pm, January 23rd, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: bill english, jobs, welfare - Tags:

Bill English’s priority in 2013 will be to “bed in” welfare reforms. Because that’s where the big fiscal savings lie.

He’s hoping to cut 44,000 beneficiaries and save $1.6 billion by 2016-17.  Which would be fantastic if this was a jobs government focussed on employment growth and those 44,000 were going into decent paying jobs.

But no.  Instead we have unemployment expected to remain around 7% by the end of the year, and the economic forecast deteriorating until 2017.

So those 44,000 are going to go the same way we just got our last big drop in benefit numbers while the unemployment rate rose: by pushing vulnerable people off the safety net.

As Ed Miliband was recently saying in the UK where they have a similar story unfolding: There’s a Labour way to reduce benefit numbers and welfare costs and a Tory way. The Labour way is to create jobs, the Tory way is to attack the vulnerable.

This government’s just given us the highest level of unemployment since the last National government 13 years ago, at the same time as they’ve almost got benefit numbers back down to the levels the last Labour government left them with…

It’s all well and good National trying to divide us into a nation of strivers vs shirkers, but we haven’t just gained tens of thousands of so-called shirkers in the last few years – we’ve just gained a National government that is doing nothing to protect Kiwi jobs, and everything to encourage our best and brightest to head across the ditch.

Here’s an excellent Garrick Tremain cartoon (h/t Frank Macskasy):

key1

90 comments on “Sick”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    Actually, welfare doesn’t offer big fiscal savings long term. In fact, the total welfare spend is expected to fall as a percentage of GDP over the next 50 years. The fiscal risk areas are superannuation and health, and the increased debt servicing costs associated with them. ( see http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/affordingourfuture )

    Like Ruth Richardson’s December 1990 benefit cuts, that Helen Clark never reversed, those who advocate welfare reform do so not primarily for fiscal reasons but to change incentives in the economy in order to create a greater motivation to try to find work. (An argument can be had about whether work is there to be found. And while there are labour shortages in some parts of the country that may not be true on an aggregated basis. But that’s another debate.)

    • framu 1.1

      so are you saying its not used as a mechanism to reduce wages?

    • So Mattey

      Are you saying that under the current regime the rate of bludgerism has doubled and if so what is it about Tory Governments that create the incentive for so many people to become loafers?

      • vto 1.2.1

        Micky, the strivers are the ones trying to get a job or do what they have to so the family can somehow be fed and housed. The shirkers are the ones not willing to do their bit to ensure all of the community is so fed and housed. Wankers.

      • Tanz 1.2.2

        Thought you would have beeb on the side of those in need, Micky. Tory governments hate benes, of course.

    • vto 1.3

      What are you doing commenting here with the loonies and nutters?

      And as for this “the increased debt servicing costs associated with them”. Privately issued interest-bearing debt can go fuck itself. It serves no useful purpose and people are steadily catching onto the scam that is this form of money.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.3.1

        The debt I refer to is publicly issued

        • vto 1.3.1.1

          Oh yes of course. However, the point remains, as if/when privately issued interest-bearing debt gets tossed out so too of course will interest-bearing public debt wither in an instant. It is the interest factor which is the problem, not so much the public / private. Interest is bad news and serves no good purpose, hence it being banned in many places over much of time …. As stated, the populace is catching onto this scam, albeit slowly slowly.

          • Matthew Hooton 1.3.1.1.1

            “if/when privately issued interest-bearing debt gets tossed out so too of course will interest-bearing public debt wither in an instant.”

            The opposite is true isn’t it?

            If companies and banks are no longer able to issue debt (ie, issue bonds or take deposits and term deposits), then the only entity a person or organisation would be able to lend money to in order earn interest would be the government. So I don’t see that interest-bearing public debt would wither in an instant – to the contrary, money would flow out of the banks into government bonds.

            I think my logic is right, but perhaps we have misunderstood one another.

            • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Hey Mattey you did not answer my question. I admit that I engaged in a bit of reframing and presented something with a fair bit of spin and it arguably was not true. But you do this all the time. So how about a response?

            • vto 1.3.1.1.1.2

              No misunderstanding, just poor communication on my part. Brain seems to have caramelised more than usual in todays heat. My point concerns interest-bearing debt fullstop. Interest needs tgo be made illegal like it is in many other parts of the world. Bad bad bad. Always ends badly for society.

        • muzza 1.3.1.2

          Elaborate on your version/definition of *publically issued*!

      • Rhinoviper 1.3.2

        What are you doing commenting here with the loonies and nutters?

        Well if Hoots is going to shill for work with the sorts who inspired Anders Brevik, “loonies and butters” are no trouble at all.

    • xtasy 1.4

      “Actually, welfare doesn’t offer big fiscal savings long term.”

      “Like Ruth Richardson’s December 1990 benefit cuts, that Helen Clark never reversed, those who advocate welfare reform do so not primarily for fiscal reasons but to change incentives in the economy in order to create a greater motivation to try to find work.”

      Thanks for admitting the first bit, that welfare reforms of the types presented to the public and Parliament now, are unlikely to offer “big” fiscal savings long term.

      I agree with you on that, and if they are to be implemented as suggested, it will only create new, complex systems, bureaucracies and involve MSD staff in partly working for the justice department and police. Also will case managers have to try and enforce “social obligations” that non-beneficiaries do in part not have.

      Re the “Ruthanasia” cuts, yes it was disappointing that Helen Clark’s governments did not find a constructive approach to really assist those with health and disability issues, “some” sole parents into suitable work, that would also pay a reasonable income, without necessarily leading to too high cut-backs on welfare support where it would still have been needed.

      As for “incentives”, what incentives are needed???

      The regime applied by WINZ already, especially since Future Focus has been introduced, is quite harsh, and some now fall through the safety nets, even when having fair and reasonable reasons for in part perhaps not meeting some expectations. Others are victims of an “impersonal” system now, where phone calls of brief duration are counted as efforts by case managers to contact persons.

      Some have had their benefits cut without receiving letters.

      With some youth staying at home while unemployed, they may manage OK on the dole, but most pay rent or have mortgages and debts to serve. You will always have the odd ones able to cope without working, but as we have a minimum wage, work does pay more than a benefit.

      The jobs are not there, and those few that are, are not accessibly within short times, for short times and what else may be needed. Others lack the skills needed.

      No easy answers, but I do not buy this crap about “changing incentives”!

    • muzza 1.5

      Hooton – Whats your position on human necessities, being played off against eachother over the manufactured scarcity, of *money*?

    • Pete 1.6

      The biggest factor in whether somebody finds work is whether the jobs are available. And this is where Keynes vs neoliberalism comes in. A Keynesian response would mandate substantial public investment in the economy, with public works providing jobs that provide more than a subsitence level of existence. There is dignity in well-paying, productive work. Not the forelock-tugging state-sanctioned serfdom where the peasants beat each other down in terms of the conditions they are resigned to accept that the neoliberal approach fosters.

      • Colonial Viper 1.6.1

        And given that we need to take at least half a million vehicles off the road over the next 10 years, as well as provide 100,000 well insulated, energy efficient, long life state houses, there is indeed a lot of public works to be done ASAP.

        • aerobubble 1.6.1.1

          Strange how automobiles, the petrol engine, removed many labour intensive jobs from the economy but is now in the way of creating a new economy of jobs as the energy from oil is redirected to processes that engage people in work rather than riding around wastefully in cars.

          Doesn’t the internet, a part of a revolution that is doing away with jobs, eventually promise to bring whole new classes of jobs. And how is it going to do that? Government had to remake regulation and business as the automobile appeared (what are suburbs, etc) move government out of the way, not of developers, not of big fiscal, or big industrial, but citizen capitalism.

          The problem is, just like the world wars, governments are incapable of throwing off the wealth class whose interests are lockstep against change. We get the internet but only with crushing invasions of privacy, we got the world wars because states hated unions and the progressive forces of change that they promoted, only afterward did the consensus create the post war economy, based around humanity and secularism.

    • Colonial Viper 1.7

      Hooten, superannuation IS social welfare.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.7.1

        Not in the presentation I linked to. You should read it again. You’ll see it refers to Superannuation (NZS) and Non-NZS Welfare (which means DPB, sickness benefit, dole etc). The former nearly doubles as a percentage of GDP whereas the latter actually falls to just 3.9% of GDP, below the 4.4% of GDP that superannuation is costing us now, which surprised me. (Note, these all assume no policy changes.) So even if the Non-NZS welfare budget were cut in half, it wouldn’t really have much of an impact on the long-term fiscal outlook. Health and superannuation really stand out as the major fiscal issues (see the table entitled “Long-term fiscal projections – cost pressures” at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/affordingourfuture

        • geoff 1.7.1.1

          Which is another argument for means/asset testing of super so that we’re not wasting money on wealthy baby boomers.

          • vto 1.7.1.1.1

            Why isn’t it means or asset tested now? I know the politics of the many forcing their greedy will on the fewer but what of the actual arguments that are put up in support?

            Seems like this is where the shirker element resides.

          • Matthew Hooton 1.7.1.1.2

            I agree but it was tried by the Lange/Douglas government and then by Bolger/Richardson, but it turned out to be politically unsustainable and led to the rise of Winston Peters and NZ First, so I doubt any future government will be prepared to advance it again, blue or red/green.

            • geoff 1.7.1.1.2.1

              Perhaps it will become politically sustainable after a few more years of circling the drain…

              • Colonial Viper

                Exactly.

                Hooten is happy to raise the retirement age on ordinary workers to reduce the deficit, but targetting the rich? No, we’re not allowed to do that.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  I thought I was quite clear that I think we should means-test superannuation, as Roger Douglas did in 1985 and Ruth Richardson did in 1991. The problem is that Jim Anderton and Winston Peters strongly opposed them and campaigned for superannuation for everyone, including billionaires. By the mid-1990s, after the MMP referendum, superannuation became universal again. I doubt any government will ever try to means-test it again, but I hope I am wrong.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Ah, thanks for that clarification. Next to do something about those wealthy rural types whose kids all get student allowances and interest free loans.

                • alwyn

                  I suggest you re-read his comment. He doesn’t say that we’re not allowed to means test it.
                  When someone suggested that NZS should be means tested he replied “I agree”.
                  After that he says that he doesn’t think that any Government will be willing to try it. He is not saying that they shouldn’t. He is saying that he does not think that they will.

                • geoff

                  Anyway, after all that I think there may be something we all agree on. Perhaps this should be something for the standard’s manifesto?

                • aerobubble

                  As people grow up and live longer in poverty they die earlier, are likely out of
                  the work force for longer, this will lead to a crisis as ever more boomers
                  reach a hundred while the ‘bread winners’ of the economy fail to provide
                  taxation for government. And then there’s the seepage problem, that those
                  skilled, motivated and healthy will jump the ditch, exasperating the crisis.
                  Oh, wait, we’re here already, as we see numbers of young people in the
                  criminal system, skilled flocking to OZ and governments removing the
                  welfare net to push citizens into low wage serfdom.

                  Why aren’t builders flocking to Chch? maybe because the costs of
                  moving, the likelihood of owning one of the homes they build at the
                  end of the exercise is so low that it does not merit thought. Sure
                  we can at the moment attract foriegn builders due to the higher dollar
                  but that won’t last, and harms the economy because those workers
                  will immediately send their fund home to their countries of origin.

            • Frank Macskasy 1.7.1.1.2.2

              @ Matthew,

              Those with means and access to clever schemes can always find ways to hide their wealth and thereby have access to super.

              The easiest, simplist is a universal system and claw it back from the top 10%, 1%, whatever, by a comprehensive progressive taxation system. And by that I include CGT, FTT, etc, so that wealth can’t be hidden in non-taxable investments.

              A system of universality/claw-backs also apply to Gareth Morgan’s propsals, via his negative taxation idea (aka, Universal Basic Income). Pay it to everybody; do away with most the vast WINZ bureacracy, and the savings are there.

              The only downside is the hundreds of WINZ case workers who would be thrown onto the unemployment scrapheap themselves. Some on the Right may laugh at such an irony, but they have families to support as well…

              • Colonial Viper

                There’s plenty of social work and counselling/support work to be done in this society Frank. Those WINZ case officers could help look after a lot of people being neglected today, in ways other than helping people figure out the complexity of rules around various benefits and entitlements.

                • @ Colonial Viper – you may well be right. In fact, watching “Campbell Live” tonight, I’m sure you are.

                  It would have to be carefully managed though. I recall the mass redundancies of the mid/late 1980s and 1990s, as SOEs were privatised and staff were laid off by their new owners (or even prior to sale, to make them attractive to prospective purchasers/investors).

                  That is not something I’d want to see again. It was bad enough seeing the mass redundancies from last year,

                  ANZ; 1,000 redundancies
                  Yellow Pages; 125 redundancies
                  Wire by Design, 55 redundancies
                  Hakes Marine; 15 redundancies
                  Telecom; 400 redundancies
                  Brightwater Engineering; 40 redundancies
                  Pernod Ricard New Zealand; 13 redundancies
                  Depart of Corrections; 130 redundancies
                  Summit Wool Spinners; 80 redundancies
                  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 80 redundancies
                  Cavalier/Norman Ellison Carpets; 70 redundancies
                  IRD; 51 redundancies
                  Flotech; 70 redundancies
                  NZ Police; 125 redundancies
                  CRI Plant and Food; 25 redundancies
                  Te Papa; 16 redundancies (?)
                  PrimePort Timaru; 30 redundancies
                  Kiwirail; 158 redundancies
                  Fisher & Paykel; 29 redundancies
                  Goulds Fine Foods; 60 redundancies
                  Canterbury University; 150 redundancies (over three years)
                  Solid Energy; 363 redundancies 460 redundancies
                  Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter; 100 redundancies
                  Axiam Metals; 44 redundancies
                  Norske Skog; 120 redundancies
                  Goodman Fielder; redundancy numbers t.b.a.
                  Dunedin City Council/Delta: 30 redundancies
                  Blue Sky Meats; 100 redundancies
                  Kaipara Ltd/Stockton Alliance; 63 redundancies
                  Wainuiomata New World; 44 redundancies
                  Nuplex; 64 redundancies
                  Newmont Waihi Gold; 20 redundancies
                  Ministry of Justice; 70-200 redundancies
                  McKenzie Residential School in Christchurch; 90 redundancies (?)
                  Rakon; 60 redundancies
                  Dynamic Solutions; 40-60 redundancies
                  Thorn Lighting; 8 redundancies
                  Eastern Institute of Technology; 12 redundancies (?)
                  UCOL; 30 – 50 redundancies
                  Kiwirail Hillside Workshops; 90 redundancies
                  SCA Hygiene Australasia; 140 redundancies
                  Carter Holt Harvey; 70 redundancies

              • tracey

                I wonder why the very wealthy just don’t apply for the super. They don’t have to. It would be the responsible and accountable thing to do…

                • alwyn

                  Bob Jones at least doesn’t and won’t. One of the left politicians accused him of taking National Super in an article in the Dom/Post a few months ago. There was a letter from Bob a day or two later saying that he never had and never would.
                  I can’t find a link unfortunately
                  Jim Anderton on the other hand had no shame at all. He whined that he was “entitled” to it even though at the time his greed was exposed he was a Cabinet Minister and on a very generous salary and expenses package.

        • xtasy 1.7.1.2

          MH – Why then, if there is little chance of subtantial cost savings, do you think it is, that English is pushing to “bed in” welfare reforms, which clearly are meant to be the very ones before the Social Security Committee, due back in Parliamant in March.

          They are NOT about “reforming” superannuation and the likes, they are about FORCING SICK AND DISABLED TO get “READY” for some forms of WORK on the open market. That is where jobs are presently quite hard to get for most fit and healthy.

          I may suspect the answer is: RIGHT WING NAT-ACT IDEOLOGY!?

          • red rattler 1.7.1.2.1

            Its right wing ideology that serves right wing interests to throw 10s of 000s of beneficiaries onto the job market to lower wages and hence raise profits, when those profits are falling as a result of the global capitalist crisis. The ‘incentive’ is poverty, misery, and bullshit about working making one ‘free’. Almost ‘free’ to the boss.

    • Coronial Typer 1.8

      the welfare reform I’d like to see is a higher retirement age. To me that’s where the big savings are. Slowly shifting the Current Account Deficit with Kiwisaver and Kiwibank is a good policy motivator, as well as rewarding local capital to work locally.

      And the big incentives to live healthier in order to increase one’s lifespan and enjoy the state pension, and to motivate everyone who possibly can to save like bastards. 70 sounds like a start.

      • Coronial Typer 1.8.1

        it’s always fun to be at a Wanaka dinner party and be amidst 6-8 oldie couples frothing at the mouth about the Maaries and the Bennies and “back in the day… we had to work for a living”, and then I get to agree, and join in and talk about:
        that appalling group of bennies
        who aren’t means tested,
        don’t have to work,
        have their own card system for discounts,
        never get criticized,
        get sucked up to by their own tailor-made political party
        have state bank accounts and funds set up to slop up their lifestyle choices
        and are a massive drain on the health system, transport system and all the rest
        in fact these layabouts even often get their own car parks!
        Ourageous sloppy troughers, these waster bennies!

        …and then explain that they are the biggest beneficiaries troughers in the country.
        It’s them.

        Although my wife does give me a bit of grief afterwards.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.8.2

        I agree that Labour’s policy to increase the retirement age to 67 is better than National’s position.

        Not sure though what Kiwisaver and Kiwibank have to do with the current account deficit.

        • Colonial Viper 1.8.2.1

          So you like austerity measures. No surprise. Ironic, for Labour the Workers Party to be leading the charge on this. All in the name of “neoliberal fiscal responsibility”

          In reality we should be offering early retirement packages to all over 60, clearing way for younger people to get jobs.

          • Matthew Hooton 1.8.2.1.1

            I don’t think it is true to call a progressive increase in the age of eligibility to NZ Super to 67 “austerity”.

            According to the last formal long-term fiscal projections, under current policies net public debt will reach over 200% by 2050 and there will never be a fiscal surplus between now and then (see figure 2.1 at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/longterm/fiscalposition/2009/ltfs-09.pdf )

            The main reason for this would be the change in the dependency ratio from 1:5.x to 1:2.x (see the second slide at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/affordingourfuture )

            But changing the age of superannuation is not mean-spirited. If you look at the third slide at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/affordingourfuture you’ll see that currently, when the average male reaches 65, he has worked for 43 years and will live for another 20. It is expected that by 2060, when the average male reaches 65, he will have worked for 42 years and will have 26 years to live. (Back in the 1960s, when the average male reached 65 he would have worked for 50 years and have just 13 years to live.) What this all means is that back in 1960, to be 65 was to be old, whereas that is not true now and will become less true in the future. In response to that trend, it makes sense to adjust the age of eligibility for superannuation, as Labour proposed in 2011 and continues to advocate with majority public support.

            • Colonial Viper 1.8.2.1.1.1

              Of course its austerity.

              There is an excess labour force, insufficient jobs to go around, record low tax rates and massive inequality of wealth, and your solution is to make the decreasing number of workers work harder and longer?

              Like I said, its an irony that Labour is proposing this austerity measure.

              What is needed is for early retirement packages for all who want them so that younger people can take their jobs.

              Those who are over 60 can then contribute their knowledge and wisdom to society in many different non-employment roles.

              As for your stats re: people living longer – well they work more hours now during their work week than ever before, so its time they had a chance to contribute to society in a way other than making business and asset owners richer.

            • BLiP 1.8.2.1.1.2

              I don’t think it is true good PR to call a progressive increase in the age of eligibility to NZ Super to 67 “austerity”.

              FIFY.

            • Colonial Weka 1.8.2.1.1.3

              Try analysing those figures by ethnicity and see how fair they look.

              “Mäori life expectancy is lower than that of non-Mäori by about 7 years. However, it has been increasing in recent decades.

              A Mäori boy born in 1996 can expect to live 67 years, 13 years longer than his counterpart born in 1951. A Mäori girl born in 1996 can expect to live to age 72, up 16 years on her 1951 counterpart.

              Historically Mäori life expectancy has been much lower than that of non-Mäori New Zealanders, but the gap has narrowed considerably over time. The difference in life expectancy for Mäori males and non-Mäori males has dropped from around 13 years in 1950-52 to seven years in 1996. For females, the difference between Mäori and non-Mäori life expectancy has fallen from around 15 years in 1950-52 to seven years in 1996.

              Age-standardised mortality rates for Mäori fell more rapidly than for non-Mäori between 1972 and 1987. But since 1987, Mäori mortality rates have dropped more slowly than non-Mäori and the gap between Mäori and non-Mäori mortality rates has widened. ”

              http://www2.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/web/nzstories.nsf/3d7ba81fd31d11adcc256b16006bfcf3/82dfd788a5ad21c1cc256b180004bacf?OpenDocument

              I’d like to see similar analysis by class/socio-economic status.

              • vto

                Yep. And for men as opposed to women. And others surely? Smokers don’t live as long either, but I suppose they deserve to suffer.

              • Matthew Hooton

                Yes, this is the counter view and it does make the issue extremely difficult. But the status quo is not realistic so some change is needed, a debate Phil Goff and Labour led in 2011.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  I don’t think it is true to call a progressive increase in the age of eligibility to NZ Super to 67 “austerity”.

                  You might want to keep the “austerity” label. TrevellerEv thinks raising the age of entitlement to superannuation by five years over a twelve year period is “terrorism”.

                  http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/john-key-phill-goff-to-sides-of-the-same-coin-or-how-both-are-catering-to-the-money-masters/

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    A simple start would be to remove the ability to include underage spouses.

                    If other beneficiaries under the age of 65 have to look for work why not those ones? What is it about being married to / living with a superannuitant that makes them special?

                    Lets not forget too that increasing the age of NZS also increases the number of people on benefit.

                    Look here for an explanation of Invalids Benefit increases post increasing super age.

                    http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/research/sbib-growth/index.html

                    With Maori and Pacific Island peoples having lower life expectancy this would give the racist right an even greater number of bludgers to whinge about but in reality will disadvantage those populations.

                    Introducing income testing until say 75 with no income testing post 75 post 75 would be useful in reducing costs but make the income testing relatively generous i.e. you can earn up to the equivalent in income that NZS payments are with then no entitlement if you earn more than that.

                    On current rates a single person could get $20,000 per annum super plus up to another $20,000-00 from working and interest before NZS would stop.

                    A couple would be able to get $15,000 + $15,000 each giving up to a total of $60,000 between them.

                    This would allow older people to work part-time and businesses to still benefit from their skills and knowledge but basically say if you want to work full-time or close to it no NZS. Make your choice.

                    Run alongside this a compulsory trust register that also must identify primary beneficiaries of a trust and tight controls on assistance where assets and income have been put into trusts.

                    My thinking would be that that those amounts ensure a decent standard of living and income test through those years from 65-75 when the majority of the effectiveness of income testing would occur. Post 75 few would be working and this would be of less import.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      I don’t support any further increase in age. Blue collar workers like my father and his fellow workers who worked around chemicals, did physical work and shift work for years got little or no super as it was.

                      Many died before 65 and many more between 65 and 70. Others may still be alive but are physically stuffed.

                      While many manual jobs have gone those that do physical work should be allowed some retirement – short though for many of them it will be.

    • geoff 1.9

      Sounds like Hooton is advocating for means testing of superannuation.

    • Georgecom 1.10

      Matthew, you may want to read what Bill English actually said:
      “Mr English said the broad aim for this year was to bed in the welfare reforms “because that is where by far the biggest fiscal benefits lie”.
      “In terms of the Government’s focus on those long-term costs, the welfare reforms are the biggest single effort there.”

      All about fiscal stuff, little about incentives and motivation.

    • Tom Gould 1.11

      Social and corporate welfare are simply two sides of the same coin. Taxpayers subsidise business and their workforces to help them grow and prosper, and they support individuals and their families to help them grow and prosper. So why do Tories loathe one and love the other? Could be basic greed and envy? Is the typical Tory simply a lesser being?

    • bad12 1.12

      So Matty,or Hooties or whatever is the appropriate form of address one such as you has come to expect,

      You didn’t come ‘fishing’ here today did you??? sorry no bites, But, we will talk,(snigger)…

  2. xtasy 2

    Going by the vision of Paula Bennett NZ must return to the good old spirit, where slogans like “If anybody can, a Kiwi can”, and “only a Kiwi can”, will likely be revived and broadcast on all media day in and out.

    Get the wheel-chair bound to ready themselves to head off each morning to the work-bench, get the mentally ill sent to something like “work houses” to ready them for work, no matter what, they will possibly be numbed and feel no pain, after the GPs start a massive medication program, so they can partly physically function and at least collect and push trolleys at supermarkets.

    It is all there, just have a read of her “great Kiwi spirity”, expressed in this speech – to “health professionals”, just after the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill had been presented to Parliament:

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals

    Her heroes are those that went to the Paralympics. With all respect, some may be able to, but with such talk, I fear some will feel the “pressure” and “stern breathing” coming down their necks, when seeing their GPs, a designated doctor, or a new (UK style) assessor, examining their “capacity to work”.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/10/31/government-use-might-of-american-insurance-giant-to-destroy-uk-safety-net-by-mo-stewart-update/

    Current UK DWP work fitness test – apparently fancied by Paula Bennett, upon advice of hard-line work assessment promoter, Prof. Mansel Aylward (former Chief Med. Officer of DWP):

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

    And those that are healthy job-seekers already: Bear in mind, sit by the phone 24/7, as if you miss a call from a WINZ case manager, that may count as not being available or willing to engage in work planning now!

    • It’s interesting that Bennett refers to numbers on the sickness bebefit;

      “If we left the system as it was and let past trends in Invalid’s and Sickness Benefit continue, 16 per cent of the working age population could be on a benefit by 2050.”

      Yet again, a National minister is telling us only half the story.

      Until 2008, unemployed and sole-parent beneficiaries were dropping as the booming economy demanded more labour.

      After 2008, both unemployed and sole-parents benefciary numbers started to rise again.

      The only numbers that seemed impervious to Boom/Bust cycles was the Invalids/Sickness beneficiary numbers.

      http://fmacskasy.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/numbers-in-receipt-of-working-age-income-tested-benefits-1986-to-2009-30-jun.png

      The reason, it quickly became apparent, was because of ACC policy,

      The proportion of long-term ACC clients moving on to benefits has surged since the corporation adopted a tough new stance, which has fuelled allegations that they are being forced off compensation before they are rehabilitated.

      Figures supplied by the corporation yesterday also show it has slashed the number of long-term claimants on its books by a quarter since mid-2009.

      […]

      But yesterday’s figures show that the proportion of long-term claimants leaving ACC and going on to health-related, unemployment or domestic purposes benefits rose sharply from early 2009.

      In the five years to 2008, the proportion going on to benefits was 12.1 per cent, but during 2009 that rose to 16.4. In the first five months of 2010, the most recent data held by ACC, the proportion rose to 19.4 per cent.

      ACC figures also showed the corporation had reduced the number of long-term claimants on its books by 3644 or 25 per cent to 10773 in the three years since June 2009. That reduction is well ahead of ACC’s targets.

      Source: More ACC clients going on to welfare

      So the answer (which is really no great surprise to anyone) is plain and simple: jobs. Lots of them.

      I suspect Matthew knows this as well. (Being the sanest and most rational right winger in the country.)

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 2.1.1

        The report I linked to above show other reasons such as increased age of super, aging population, worsening of degenerative diseases, de-institutionalisation, increased mental health problems and so on.

        Many more factors than just ACC changes.

        One interesting comment in that report was the movement of sole parents to IB as work-testing came in. I’ll be looking forward to all the right-wing nongs complaining about National moving people onto IB to make the numbers look better.

      • xtasy 2.1.2

        Frank, I tried that link “More ACC clients going on to welfare”, but it only takes me to the NZ Herald Online front page now.

        I also spotted this one:
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10859641

        So the NZ Herald likes to run these stories about “fraud” on welfare and ACC, rather than report about things that get discussed here, for instance in this thread.

        10 million defrauded over 4 years is the story. What a ‘big deal”, with the amounts that ACC handles all the time. It must be a drop in the bucket, same as WINZ benefit fraud by recipients.

        Yet mainstream media always run these stories, and sometimes on the front page, which naturally “prepares” the wider public, not informed enough about what goes on behind the scenes, to support the kind of welfare slashing Bennett, Key and the Natzy gang are planning.

        It is all so disheartening, yes disgusting. I raise this here, so “Mr Hooton” may take note of this also!

        • Frank Macskasy 2.1.2.1

          Bugger, not sure why that link didn’t work properly, Xtasy.

          Here’s the full link; http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10814974

          And yes, from early 2011, the MSM was running a constant campaign of media releases, from Bennett’s office, demonising welfare recipients. More info here, on this blogpost; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/johnnys-report-card-national-standards-assessment-the-social-welfare-safet-net/

          National was very keen to deflect attention from the lack of jobs (a government failure of policy) to painting welfare recipients as lazy, drug addicts, “reckless breeders”, etc (a beneficiary failure of morals).

          From 2009, the rise in Sickness/Invalid beneficiaries coincided perfectly with ACC dumping it’s clients onto welfare.

          This can only be called deflection on a massive scale.

          • xtasy 2.1.2.1.1

            Frank – thanks for all that!

            You are doing a lot of work analysing, disecting, writing the more truthful story and presenting this. Good on you for all that!

            As for the MSM bias, I am so sick of it!

            I tried to do an on-site search on the NZ Herald website about the so secretive Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt (employed by MSD and working for WiNZ as the manager, supervisor and mentor of their in-house Regional Health and Disability Advisors, promoting a bias in them and doctors by presenting also pseudo scientific “evidence).

            The search result is: NIL!

            No media report about what is going on behind the scenes at MSD, WINZ and ACC, except that 60 minutes piece on hatchet doctors last year (a follow up in September on the initial expose on Bronwyn Pullar’s issues).

            It is SCANDALOUS!

      • tracey 2.1.3

        Under the last labour govt my brother-in-law had to be reassessed yearly just in case his cerebral palsy had been cured. Ruth Dyson messed around alot with folks like him, so please let’s not pretend this is National’s bogey only. Caused immense stress to his mother who had cared for him in her home for 43 years, with no financial or other govt assistance (other than his sickness benefit).

  3. vto 3

    Perhaps the Nats would like to explain how, when we are at our most wealthy in our short history pretty much, we are unable to provide jobs or activity for such a large portion of our people? Why is that? There has been plenty of time to get it sorted. There must be something seriously fundamentally flawed in our system, obviously ……..

    And why can’t we adequately feed and house everyone and keep them healthy?

    Simple questions I would have thought.

  4. xtasy 4

    As I have exposed repeatedly, we already have a rather harsh regime when it comes to work capacity testing in NZ, where the Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ, a Dr David Bratt, is trying all, to tell and “indoctrinate” the public AND especially the medical professionals themselves, that benefit dependence is bad for your health, indeed as “addictive” like a drug.

    He always presents selective “scientific” findings that are coming from a school of though that is represented by people like Professor Mansel Aylward, former Department of Work and Pensions Chief Medical Officer under Thatcher in the UK, who appears to be now working on convincing Paula Bennett and senior advisors at MSD, that they must bring in harsher work testing here, similar to what they have had in the UK.

    It has all been thought out and promoted by a few key persons, who advised repeated UK governments, and who have in many cases had ties with Unum insurance company, and who worked for a medical research facility at Cardiff University, that also propagates the same kinds of thoughts and “medical findings” (certainly not shared widely amongst medical experts and scientists) ad Prof. Aylward.

    David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ appears to have been a fan of that “experts” theories and philosophy, so he has integrated much of this in presentations he held at GP conferences, before medical trainers, at the Welfare Working Group Forum and so forth:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf
    (see pages 13, 20 and 35, where Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ, Dr David Bratt compares benefit dependence to opiate or drug dependence)

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP CME/Friday/C1 1515 Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf
    (see pages 3, 16 and 33 of that presentation, where Dr David Bratt compares benefit dependence with DRUG dependence)

    BUT this is about almost “ALL” the background of this supposedly “international research”:

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-joll

    “INCENTIVES” to work? WHOSE INCENTIVES, I ask??? … to make money and save costs…

  5. PlanetOrphan 5

    We need to fight back ….

    I propose a new “Asset Stripping” regime,

    We organise Demolition Parties for the Gnats’ private homes and holdings, via Facebook and text messaging, make sure we invite the local police (Coz there good at that demolition stuff)

    Sell the demolished homes on Trade Me to Oversees investors, and hay presto no more money problems for NZ !!

    Ya reckon Bully Boy English should go on the block first ?

    • Saccharomyces 5.1

      Lol, nice one! Love to see you get that off the ground!

      • PlanetOrphan 5.1.1

        You’d be amazed @ what a simple fuel air explosion can do M8!

        Just need a weed spayer and 2 liters of petrol, good old Zippo 4-5metres away’ll do the rest 😀

        Flatten a house with that one M8!

  6. geoff 6

    Approx half the working age population, 45 yrs+, has on average, a surplus of wealth and assets and the other half, those under 45, have on average a deficit of wealth and assets. This
    structural imbalance is one of the many wonderful gifts from Rogernomics that has screwed the country.

    • rosy 6.1

      It’s to be expected that +45 will have more wealth and assets. If you’ve been able to save since you began working it’s logical that you’d have more wealth and assets 25 years or so after starting out.

      The problem is how much more some people have (usually older people) and how much opportunity there remains for other people (usually younger people, but also low wage workers of any age) to build assets, because of concentration of wealth in fewer hands. And that’s “one of the many wonderful gifts from Rogernomics that has screwed the country” It’s also the gift that the current government is renewing, with bells on.

      • geoff 6.1.1

        Yes good point about older people having more wealth on average. I guess I meant that Rogernomics has exaccerbated this beyond what you would consider ‘normal’.

  7. vto 7

    Gareth Morgan, besides doing good work on behalf of our native birdies who get trashed by cats with irresponsible owners, should keep pushing his idea for a universal living allowance.

    That resolves it once and for all. We would then all together ensure we all have enough to put a roof over head and food in belly.

    This is truly the sign of a fine society. And the economy would charge along too, funnily enough ….

    • rosy 7.1

      Yip. Universal income + a living wage = policy I’d advocate for. (and bells on cats)

      • rosy 7.1.1

        oh – and how to pay for the UI? FTT & CGT & reverse the top end tax cuts.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Plus a super-profit corporate tax level…on profits of over $100M pa.

          And a wealth tax…0.20% pa on all assets held over a total of $1M

          And an estate (death) tax…25% on everything over $1M inheritance value.

          • rosy 7.1.1.1.1

            Yip, I’d go there – and that way we can start cutting regressive taxes like GST…

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I still think simplifying our tax system and bring businesses and trusts in line with workers by taxing at a gross rate rather than a net rate is the easiest way to go.

              I know I seem to be the only one thinking this but I’ve worked through this in my head a number of times and have a view that this is much simpler than a financial transaction tax, leaves business expenses between the owners of a business and those running it, discourages layering of businesses to reduce tax (which would then subsequently increase productivity by not having all those subsets of businesses) and scams like Australian bank A charging it’s subsidy in NZ for it’s own name to shrink profit or the latest one IRD is looking to clamp down on having the profits appear in a low tax economy and the losses in a higher taxed one.

              We already tax at gross via GST and the world hasn’t ended.

              Banks would pay more tax than they do now. If I have to pay tax on my gross incomes I can’t see why businesses don’t.

              As it’s easier to calculate tax could be paid monthly for the previous months sales and so on.

              If you want to have a flash Christmas Party or have a corporate box at the rugby then it should have nothing to do with government but you should be answerable to you shareholders. Shareholders could concentrate on real profit and not just taxable profit where it seems minimising tax is seen as important if not more so than the profit made.

              • Colonial Viper

                ideas worth thinking about, DoS.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Here’s an earlier post where it was debated a little more:

                  http://thestandard.org.nz/tax-take-bullshit/#comment-422506

                  I’d like to find a figure for the total gross (before expenses) income for all businesses to do a rough calculation but can’t find this anywhere. I asked IRD but they didn’t know either.

                  It would seem to me to be quite simple to simply tax at say 5% of total income across every business in NZ. Every business would be on the same footing tax wise as every other business.

    • One Tāne Huna 7.2

      vto: See Campbell Live last night: the evidence presented implies that by killing (predominantly) mice and rats, cats save more birds than they kill.

      • geoff 7.2.1

        So if you managed to exterminate the mice and rats, do the cats still save more birds?

        • Rhinoviper 7.2.1.1

          “If”

          Aye, there’s the rub.

          Gareth Morgan has really overlooked the nature and scale of the rodent problem. For example, the main threat to the Kea are rats. Being ground-nesting birds, their chicks are predated by rats.

          We’ve certainly been trying to wipe out rodents, but so far cats are better at controlling them at least. Unless you’re dealing with a small isolated island and you can lay traps without new rodents moving in, so far the most effective rodent extermination tool is a cat.

          It’s anecdata I’m afraid, but in more than one case, the extermination of one exotic pest species has led to the explosion of population in another. The example I see most often is the case where cats were trapped to “save” a bird population… which promptly crashed as the other pests, formerly predated by those cats, do what they always do – reproduce and eat – destroying the birds’ habitat.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Correct me if I am wrong but Blinglish plans to crush not the riceburners of young hoodies, but the remnants of freedom of association for workers as recognised by the ILO and UN, and social security for those having to seek benefits or ACC such as they remain. Mangled out of shape from their original intent.

    “Fiscal savings” is surely the “going forward” of 2013. Degrade and minimise the state and social wage. The dirty filthy tories have the Australian pressure release valve otherwise they would be in deep is all I can say.

  9. tc 9

    He could generate 1.2-1.5B p.a. if he reversed his ‘lying out of his arse’ fiscally neutral tax cut and make those can afford to contribute do so.

    Ah but that would be counter to Nat philospohy, I rich so must be good, you not so must be bad, let me just play with the games rules some more.

  10. Tanz 10

    Just went for a job working on the census, guess what, the pay is $14.00 an hour. Before tax I believe, though I could be wrong about that. I think that this is a disgraceful amount, given that it is a job, a short-term one, working for the government. Surely it is worth about $18.00 an hour, at least.
    Not all of us can be lawyers, well who wants to go back to uni in their middle age!! If I do, I will aspire to be like Judith Collins. She’s the best the Nats. have.

    • tc 10.1

      They don’t want accurate data collected as the facts are an inconvenience to them. Watch them extrapolate in lieu of hard data where it suits them.

  11. Interestingly, despite the government rhetoric about “encouraging” beneficiaries back to work, to quote Bennett, when she stated on TVNZ’s Q+A on 29 April 2012,

    “There’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do. “

    Source: http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/transcript-paula-bennett-interview-4856860

    So even Bennett understands the simple realities of a post 2008 global economy that has seen millions thrown onto the economic scrapheap. (So dastardly, these beneficies, sitting on the Boards of Wall St financial institutions, engineering an economic catastrophe so they could stay on welfare a wee bit longer…)

    Which means that all the National Party rhetoric and welfare “reforms” are there for only one reason; raw meat for conservative minded and low-information voters, to win the next election.

    Yup, it’s as simple as that.

    Dog-whistle politics.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 hour ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 hour ago
  • Today’s awful politicians
    by Redliners “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”… ...
    RedlineBy daphna
    16 hours ago
  • Not as much as it sounds
    According to TV3, the police are being inundated with OIA requests:Police are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of Official Information Act (OIA) requests which flood their offices every day, and some of their time-saving measures are now prompting… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Taxpayers condemned to a life sentence with Serco
    Public Service Association/Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) national secretary Erin Polaczuk and organisers Willie Cochrane & Nerinda Cropp will attend the privatisation protest outside Mt Eden Prison this Saturday, 1 August at 11am. ...
    17 hours ago
  • Journalism isn’t treason
    Back in February, German news website Netzpolitik.org published stories based on leaked documents showing that the domestic intelligence agency BfV was seeking additional funding to increase online surveillance and monitor social media. The German government's response? Investigate them for treason:Germany… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Questions in the House this week on TPPA.
    A busy time in the House this week with a lot of questions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. James Shaw asking John Key about the benefits to the ICT sector and the risks of investor-state dispute settlement and Andrew Little… ...
    Its our futureBy Edward Miller
    18 hours ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    18 hours ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    18 hours ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    20 hours ago
  • The end of the unarmed police force
    Since forever, the New Zealand police have been arguing for more and better weapons with which to intimidate the public. And once again, they've got what they want:New Zealand police will now routinely carry Tasers, it has been announced. Police… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    21 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Navel Gazing with Toni Street – a lesson in trust.
    They should rename this cross: Navel Gazing with Toni Street A diet requires a variety of food groups.  Yet whenever healthy eating is discussed in the context of legislating for better food sources in our supermarkets, or a new study… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    22 hours ago
  • The Impotence Of Purity
    "Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure": Gough Whitlam struggled to make the left of his party understand that purity at the expense of power is a poor bargain. “It is true that some parties can exist only as pressure groups… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Target Tokyo – Docs Show NSA Targets Japan Over Trade Deal
    Press Release – Wikileaks Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    23 hours ago
  • K-pop’s loyal New Zealand fanbase
    Ahead of the Wellington K-Pop World Festival competition we talk to some of the stand out contestants.   K-pop is music at its pop-iest with ultra polished dance sequences, catchy melodies, and elaborate outfits. While it may be some… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    1 day ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    While rapid change is always possible in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui won’t improve much beyond the “appallingly bad” level currently being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hone Harawira’s Open Letter to Barack Obama
    Press Release – Hone Harawira Heard you were able to get back to your dads turangawaewae last week. Mean hope you had a good catch up with the whanau. I also hear youre getting ready to endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime)
    Read into this what you will. ...
    2 days ago
  • Top 10 stories of the month – July 2015
    In case you missed something, here are our most read stories for the month.   1 - THE PENCILSWORD: WHO'S AFRAID OF THE TPPA? Laws are made to serve people, not profits, says Toby Morris. So what does… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Kick Out The Jams: Beatcomber
    Beatcomber are “a crazy, noisy, psychedelic, super-delayed, saturated, gear orientated, band from Wellington.” That’s how guitarist/vocalist Trent Williams describes them anyway. He says that he modelled his sound off surf music, which he was listening to a lot of when… ...
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   She's So Rad. The true cost of streaming: Spotify paid Kiwi band with five-star reviews and 90,000 streams just $130 – by Lydia Jenkin,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: Halfway there
    In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change committed the world to preventing "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". This is generally interpreted as limiting climate change to an increase of no more than 2 degrees Celsius… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago

  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    20 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    20 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    20 hours ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    7 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere