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The Standard

Taking from the poor to pay the rich

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 23rd, 2013 - 119 comments
Categories: class war - Tags:

In the same week the government announces a five million dollar gift to a yachting syndicate, Child Poverty Action Group has revealed that 13,000 of our poorest families have had their income slashed. That’s 13,000 families suffering the anguish of not being able to feed their kids or pay their rent.

Add to that the massive transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the share-buying elite that is the Meridian farce, and the attacks on low-payed worker’s rights, and the message from John Key’s government is clear – if you’re rich you’re gonna get richer if you’re poor? Well f**k you.

And it’s important to remember that, under this government, welfare policies are labour market policies. When you push 13,000 desperate families into an already supply-saturated labour market all you do is shift the price point down. And down, and down.

119 comments on “Taking from the poor to pay the rich”

  1. Paul 1

    Put this on open mike but it seems more appropriate here.

    John Key’s New Zealand…
    “Benefits cut for 13,000 parents in new regime”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11144397

    “Mother with newborn told to get a full-time job”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11144400

  2. ak 2

    “Pause for 30 seconds then resume interview”

    State-ordered passive-aggressive abuse of the most vulnerable. Cruel, sickening, bullying, bastards.

    • David H 2.1

      “Pause for 30 seconds then resume interview”

      This comes up on all winz computers it’s supposed to stop RSI, but I reckon it’s just to infuriate the client that they are treating like shit.

    • Cruel, sickening, bullying, bastards.

      Well, if we’re going to get busy assassinating the characters of people who are for all we know entirely worthy individuals who just find themselves in difficult circumstances at the moment, the disqualified driver with the junkie boyfriend could easily be included. “Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?”

      • Tat Loo 2.2.1

        And its the Government’s responsibility if the “junkie boyfriend” doesn’t have satisfactory access to drug and alcohol rehab and support.

      • ak 2.2.2

        You’ve lost me Milto: what difficult circs are Bennett and Borrows in again?

        • Psycho Milt 2.2.2.1

          You quoted a WINZ case worker to illustrate your comment. Those are people in pretty difficult circumstances.

          • ak 2.2.2.1.1

            Extremely difficult at times Milt, fully agree. But quoting what one read off her computer hardly qualifies as “assassinating (her) character” old boy. Tone it down man, I recall you once had interesting things to say.

          • Crunchtime 2.2.2.1.2

            Yeah… WINZ workers are horrendously underpaid, few of them earn over 40k. This is yet another example of state ordered passive abuse of the less fortunate. Underpay those who are supposed to be providing a service to them.

            I understood clearly that ak was referring to the state as the cruel sickening bullying bastards, not the WINZ case workers. You are being obtuse.

  3. Tat Loo 3

    In the UK, Cameron is shrugging his shoulders at 10% household energy price increases which are going to leave millions in fuel poverty this winter, but give energy corporations windfall profits and CEOs massive bonuses.

    These neoliberals all seem to have been grown in the same cloning facility.

    It seems that National want to lose the next election comprehensively.

    “if you’re rich you’re gonna get richer if you’re poor? Well f**k you.”

    Yep. Now I’m waiting for Labour to get done a comprehensive framework for restoring benefits to survivable levels and keeping them there, as a prelude to a UBI.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Forget the prelude, just go straight to a UBI and raise taxes on the rich to 45% or higher to cover it.

      • Tat Loo 3.1.1

        Just remember that taxes are very useful, but they are not required to fund government spending.

  4. bad12 4

    Yes the figures for the deliberate acts of child molestation by this National Government are an obscenity written large on the fabric of New Zealand society,

    i was thinking of writing a ‘joke’ comment in the vein of whats wrong with the young today when they cannot raise the energy to leap from their hospital beds after having a minor surgery while giving birth to attend an appointment with WINZ to access a service they no longer required, but, there’s nothing in what WINZ, Paula Bennett and this National Government are presently inflicting upon solo parents anywhere near being in any way ‘funny’,

    The absurdity, admitted to openly in the Herald story this morning is that nearly all of those who had their benefits stopped for ‘non-compliance’ were within a short period of time re-instated onto those very same benefits,

    i fail to see exactly what the fuck the point is, in a situation of what is obviously totally minor infractions of some stupidity developed by Bennett and National of ham-stringing those parents and those children financially except to in essence ‘fuck with their heads’,

    There is NO monetary gain for the Government in such actions, Bennett admitted in the Parliament last week that while numbers on benefit have fallen special needs payments have risen dramatically,

    The why of such a rise in special needs payments is in the story of how many beneficiaries are for however a short time given the kick off of their main benefit, next week as the bills come in for the week they were kicked off that benefit they are back again to apply for more help,

    Bennett and this National Government in a grand display of ‘the loonies have taken over the asylum’ have turned the benefit system into a reflection of their own sanity which appears to be sadly lacking,

    The Labour/Green Government in it’s first 100 days in office need reverse every change made to that system by this Government…

  5. David H 5

    “Yep. Now I’m waiting for Labour to get done a comprehensive framework for restoring benefits to survivable levels and keeping them there, as a prelude to a UBI.”:

    Hi Tat,

    This is something that we have been waiting for successive governments since the big Benefit slash of the 90’s. And Labour is at the forefront of that, because they should have reversed the cuts, it was the only decent thing to do, to try to relieve the pain that caused, and it was at Bloody Christmas as well, but they didn’t, they just left the Nat cuts in place, and pretty much said bugger the poor. And after 9 years of Surpluses did they do anything re the benefits? Nope just the usual inflation adjustment pittance. This Needs to be addressed, and not just tinkered with.

    • Tat Loo 5.1

      Correct. And what many people have not realised is this – in combination with a programme of full employment for 25’s and under, restoring benefits to satisfactory levels can form part of an excellent government directed fiscal transmission mechanism.

      A way to force otherwise dead, hoarded money to start actively circulating through a stagnant economy, helping local communities and small businesses to start with and then percolating through the rest of the economy.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Actually, what we need to do with that dead, hoarded money is to make it worthless and the way to do that is to stop the private banks from creating money while having the government then create the money they need to keep society running and to make 0% loans available. Hoarded money then decreases in value at the rate of inflation.

        • Mike S 5.1.1.2

          +1

          And make the bullshit, unproductive, entirely for the elite to make money from money financial economy so unattractive that most of it slowly fades into oblivion. ‘Money’ should not be used as a commodity, it should be there only to help facilitate trade. ‘Money’ should not be allowed to be sucked out of the real economy of goods and services, to where it never returns, by these parasites. How many millions and billions are enough for these people?

          Rather than government create money we just need Kiwibank to become a real public bank. Instead of it’s goal being profit (revenue for government), it should not make any monetary profit at all. It should be the governments bank for a start instead of Westpac? It could use the fractional reserve system to our benefit to give for example first home buyers 0% fixed mortgages, start up or expanding local businesses very low interest loans, local government infrastructure 0% loans, etc,etc. The ‘profit’ generated would be the benefit to society and all of the increased economic activity generated through more businesses and more jobs.

          Why the fuck is Kiwibank competing with the big foreign banks when it should be wiping the floor with them? All it needs to do is meet it’s costs so that it isn’t a cost to taxpayers. Banks should exist solely to help us manage OUR money. They should exist to benefit and help society, not to create our entire money supply out of thin air and gouge massive profits from us by way of interest and fees, which goes offshore to private foreign shareholders. In fact, government should legislate to make banking a completely non profit activity, at least for private individuals as opposed to commercial customers.

          Imagine an Auckland Bank with a captive deposit base of all rates revenue from which multiple times that amount in loans can be made. Young couples with zero interest mortgages are more likely to spend the extra money into the local economy, more likely to think about starting up a business and so on because they know exactly what there monthly payments will be for the next 20 years. (I would envisage some sort of up front fee which would cover the banks costs). Why should a private, for profit bank be allowed to take your signature and create ‘money’ out of thin air with it, which it then ‘loans’ to you at interest so that at the end of the deal the bank, who started with nothing, contributed nothing to the building of the house, put up no collateral and took no risk, ends up with two houses worth of interest payments and you end up with the house you’ve paid 3 times for, paying back ‘money’ that couldn’t be created without your signature in the first place????

          Just at the weekend, this topic came up in conversation, (as it does). It amazes me how many people still think that banks ‘loan’ out other peoples deposits!!

          Have you ever taken out a ‘loan’ and had to sign a form which says (amongst a million other things) something like “I, the undersigned, do declare I have received the sum of….blah blah blah.? Ever tried saying “Umm, I can’t sign this until I have received the money because it says I am signing to declare I have received the money. So give me the 10 grand and then I’ll sign to say I have received it…”

          Of course they won’t give it to you, they don’t fucking have it! You create the ‘money’ via your signature, it doesn’t exist until you sign to say you have received it. For you to create the loan amount, we have allowed private banks to step in and charge outrageous, usurious, interest charges and fees for doing nothing.

          Our monetary and banking system is the one thing that if radically changed, could make an absolutely massive difference to our society.

          Anyway, sorry, I needed a rant..phew.

          (fuck I hate banks….)

          (and winz)

          (sniff…)

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2.1

            It could use the fractional reserve system to our benefit to give for example first home buyers 0% fixed mortgages,

            With the government creating money we don’t need the fractional reserve system as the 0% money would be available as loans through Kiwibank. We can remove interest from the equation very easily but doing so will really piss the bludgers, otherwise known as “rich pricks”, off and once we do that accumulating large piles of money will be worthless as it should be.

  6. karol 6

    This bit at the end of the Herald article:

    A report by action group analyst Donna Wynd found parents in Northland and the Waikato were three times as likely to have their benefits cut as those in Taranaki, Central Districts and Nelson. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said no parent had had their benefit cut for more than eight weeks.

    Are there esepcially nasty WINZ workers in Northland and the Waikato? Or are conditions especially difficult for those parents than in other areas?

    Oh, not more than 8 weeks, Paula? That’s alright then /sarc. Even a week is a long time for someone with no money to feed the kids.

    • Shona 6.1

      In the Far North transport is the key issue. There are minibus services in out lying areas but only 2 or 3 times a week. People hitch hike of course but often don’t make it.. Fortunately when Sue Bradford was resident up there she got a people’s centre going in Kaitaia and so there is an advocacy service these days that makes a real difference. Putting the boot into the already downtrodden who have little if any life experience is cruel and serves no useful purpose. There are some particularly nasty WINZ workers in Whangarei. I went to a seminar where the facilitator referred to the client group as “youse” and frequently said “somethink” instead of something. She was young and incompetent . I was insulted and nauseated at the ignorance of the WINZ staff. You have to keep going back even to get an initial interview. They don’t want to know about older workers.Their only policy is to misinform, block and obfuscate.

      • Mary 6.1.1

        “Their only policy is to misinform, block and obfuscate.”

        Yes, and they deliberately employ people who they think aren’t likely to challenge policies and practices that aren’t practical or workable or at times are even unlawful therefore who just blindly accept instructions from above regardless. When advocacy groups challenge what goes on the problems are reduced to one-off individual cases and everything is done to avoid fixing anything at a systemic level. Bennett even goes so far as to accuse anyone who confronts her as “not caring” because they’re too busy ‘complaining’ instead of doing anything to fix things, as if it isn’t her problem:

        https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/bennett-s-sanctions-against-kids-must-stop

        That smugness Bennett oozes, that same bullshit way of talking Shipley was good at, and that at times Parata likes to spin, needs to be exposed more and more. Interesting that it’s usually those with not too much going on behind the eyes who’re the worst culprits.

    • greywarbler 6.2

      karol
      I think it takes 8 weeks to starve yourself to death. Would be less for a child I suppose. That’s probably calculated into the decision to make it 8 weeks. You in the naughty corner for 8 weeks – that’ll larn yer.

      As Philip Larkin wrote in a sardonic moment:

      I want to see them starving,
      The so-called working class,
      Their wages weekly halving,
      Their women stewing grass.

      And of course that is the working class. Mothers with children don’t ‘work’, so they are beneath contempt for just being natural-born people.

      And is it relevant that Northland and Waikato have big Maori populations.? I don’t know if Taranaki Maori recovered their full numbers after being ousted.

    • Mike S 6.3

      “Are there esepcially nasty WINZ workers in Northland and the Waikato?”

      I bet they don’t come close to the people (I use that word begrudgingly) at the Highland Park office in Auckland..

  7. Sable 7

    Yes another example of how utterly grotesque this government is. Its champagne and caviar for a few and misery for the rest.

    Keys is by far and a way the worst politician this country has ever had. Even the likes of Muldoon had something of a social conscience.

    • unsol 7.1

      “Keys is by far and a way the worst politician this country has ever had. Even the likes of Muldoon had something of a social conscience.”

      Not true. The rich list increased by 300% under the previous Labour government – the rich/poor gap increased far more than it has under the Nats. And that was despite massive increases in welfare including the extension of family assistance to the Working for Families we see today. They kept taxes far too high for far too long & allowed the rich to avoid the top rate & claim WFF through trusts & LAQCs. Loop holes that no government seems keen on closing as they all have rich mates they don’t want to piss off. Just have a look at the party presidents on all sides – they are all rich. Williams, Goodfellow, Hirschfeld…all squillionaires.

      But there is truth to your statement that it’s “champagne and caviar for a few and misery for the rest”.

      Of course what is often ignored though is that those sipping the champagne and eating caviar are not the ones actually paying the taxes.

      Most of our tax revenue – around 75% of it at least, is collected by those individuals earning between $120k-200k p/a. Not rich, but definitely well off but who bare the brunt of an unfair tax burden.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Not true. The rich list increased by 300% under the previous Labour government – the rich/poor gap increased far more than it has under the Nats.

        [citation needed]

        Not rich, but definitely well off but who bare the brunt of an unfair tax burden.

        It’s not unfair at all. The group you describe has most of the income and so they end up paying more taxes. Fairly simple.

        • Tat Loo 7.1.1.1

          Correct. In fact, they are actually the group which bears the brunt of our modern economy’s financial benefits.

          Which also avoids a simple question – where is capital and asset wealth not being taxed? Because people earning a salary of $200K pa do actually pay significant taxes on that income. Not so the people tax shielding their wealth and income.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            Which also avoids a simple question – where is capital and asset wealth not being taxed?

            And that’s the big one where people who are asset rich and hide their real income behind trusts and multiple business fronts.

        • Mike S 7.1.1.2

          And I think the figure of 75% for that group is way off. I’d like to see a source, other than that David Farrar wank stain and other than Bill English as their similar statements have been proven to be very misleading.

          Regardless, if it was true then rather than be astonished that so few pay so much of the tax, we should be outraged that incomes for the vast majority of income earners are so low that they collectively only pay 25% of the total income tax take.

          Also, the rich list comment is a red herring. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the rich list increasing by 300%, it just means a few hundred more people (a tiny proportion of the population) became richer. Of far more importance is by how much the inequality gap increased

      • framu 7.1.2

        “Most of our tax revenue – around 75% of it at least, is collected by those individuals earning between $120k-200k p/a”

        this is bullshit – keith Ng did a very detailed analysis of this claim and its a blatant twisting of stats

        • greywarbler 7.1.2.1

          framu
          Can you give us a link. Some clear facts are needed here to stop the propaganda buillshit being repeated. It should be getting worn out but seems to revivify so that it can be used again and again to cloud every attempt at reasoned consideration.

  8. Dr Terry 8

    It is encouraging to see the level of concern and compassion toward the victims of the government, in these comments. It gives one hope, although I would like to see many more New Zealanders’ demonstrating such sensitivity toward the ever increasing number of desperately needy people. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  9. unsol 9

    As left wingers you believe that those on higher incomes should pay for those on lower incomes – no exceptions yes?

    Ok, this has some merit, especially when you look at the cost of living increases over the past 15 years vs the increase in the average wage.

    Then this is also fair pay – someone picking dehydrated peas off a conveyor belt for example, should be on a minimum wage, as well, it requires minimal effort. Monkeys could do it. But someone working as a caregiver in a rest home – no way. This is difficult awkward work that is demanding & deserves a pay rate similar to that of a new grad nurse.

    So there is a real lack of fairness in the workplace in terms of what is a fair wage for a fair days work.

    And of course most NZers who are humane & want to live in a humane society believe that those faced with circumstances genuinely beyond their control or perhaps caught out by a mistake – after all, everyone makes them – deserve to have a safety net in the form of emergency welfare. Absolutely.

    But solo parents whose youngest child is 6 being required to look for work – just actively look,….which my guess is so they start to see their benefit as a stepping stone, a safety net, rather than a way of life….well it’s not too much to ask is it? Especially when you consider there are 2 types of solo parents (mostly women): 1 who has been left with all the kids & mortgage because hubby went through a mid-life crisis & buggered off with his receptionist & 1 who breeds as frequently as most of us take breaths, people who have failed to make the connection that children a financial cost, that they are a privilege, a blessing, something to be cherished.

    It is this last group that more often that not fails to meet really easy, basic benefit obligations – obligations that come on the back of money earned by other people.

    So given this group has had a free ride since benefits began & it hasn’t changed anything – welfare has increased massively over the last 20 years yet child poverty (not family poverty as it is only the kids that are missing out) & abuse has continued to skyrocket. No left/right blame here. Just blame on governments in general for poor policy & lack of foresight.

    So if you don’t like this policy then what is your solution….remembering of course that all this is paid for by a mere 10% of New Zealanders – that is, the few number of nett taxpayers that pay enough in tax to cover their own cost on society including NZ super, as well as enough to help pay for others? Is it fair to ask these people to just keep paying more?

    Do you think it is OK for people who cant afford the child they have got to go on & have more rather than thinking shit, this is expensive, my life & that of my child is worth more than this, we deserve better, how can I get ahead? And what about the cultural & religious issues – PIs often have massive families as it is a cultural thing. They are also deeply religious meaning they tithe & sometimes feel compelled to tithe resulting in financial hardship & loan sharks circling.

    Point being this is a massively complex issue, but the number of children being born into low income – mostly solo – homes is unacceptable as we all know if they are born into a beneficiary household they are more likely to grow up & be beneficiaries. Our kids deserve better & what is happening now, before these Nat policies, cant continue.

    So if you don’t like them what is your solution? Increased welfare hasn’t worked so what then? How do we encourage our young people to aspire to be more than a young parent living from benefit to benefit?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Then this is also fair pay – someone picking dehydrated peas off a conveyor belt for example, should be on a minimum wage, as well, it requires minimal effort.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBH-6aFMVUM

      And I think you’ll find that it requires more effort than you’d put into your job.

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        like shelling peas

      • greywarbler 9.1.2

        Children’s little fingers could shell peas and quick eyes could sort the bad ones. Little children were preferred in the cotton spinning mills because they could dart around and get under the looms. Their parents might be rejected for employment, while their children would be taken on.

        Could be that the rational economists thought Groucho Marx! wasn’t being funny when he said this about a task .

        A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five.

    • Tat Loo 9.2

      Then this is also fair pay – someone picking dehydrated peas off a conveyor belt for example, should be on a minimum wage, as well, it requires minimal effort. Monkeys could do it. But someone working as a caregiver in a rest home – no way.

      What a dickhead comment.

      Good dependable process workers with multiple skills are worth their weight in gold. And if a job design is so stupid and backward that “monkeys could do it”, well that is the fault of management and the fault of the board.

      the number of children being born into low income – mostly solo – homes is unacceptable as we all know if they are born into a beneficiary household they are more likely to grow up & be beneficiaries. Our kids deserve better & what is happening now, before these Nat policies, cant continue.

      Get a grip and address the real problem. An unwillingness on Government’s part to create enough full time jobs, and an unwillingness to ensure that all workers have a living wage.

      Your beating up on the most vulnerable in society when it is the wealthiest and most powerful who have designed our economic system not them, is what cannot continue.

      • King Kong 9.2.1

        I am often amazed that your heart doesn’t just explode under the pressure of all the caring and championing for the poor souls of New Zealand.

        Unfortunately in the real world we understand that Oliver Twist is just a story and most of the people who find themselves in these positions are feral scum bags. You could create all the jobs you want but it will make very little difference.

        Incentivising them not to reproduce and taking their kids away when it looks like they may be harmed is just good sense.

        • thatguynz 9.2.1.1

          So what makes an hour of your or my time worth more than a process worker, or the guy manning the stop/go sign at the roadworks? No matter who is expending it, it is still the same hour after all.

          Not taking the piss at all- it’s a genuine question.

        • emergency mike 9.2.1.2

          So “poor souls of New Zealand” = ” mostly feral scum bags”?

          I’m often amazed that you have a heart. Tr0ll on though, I’m sure someone here will be convinced by your constructive criticism. Any minute now.

        • MrSmith 9.2.1.3

          “You could create all the jobs you want but it will make very little difference.”

          No KK you twit, what it would do is drive up wages due to a shortage of labour, so lets keep it quiet ah.

    • Bill 9.3

      Always reckoned that people in soul destroying jobs should be handsomely compensated.

      If you’re employed in an empowering and interesting job, how much of your wage would you be willing to forfeit and still do the job because the of the non-financial rewards?

      And how does that thought experiment pan out when the job is absolutely shit?

      • Psycho Milt 9.3.1

        Absolutely. I went into one of our toilets last week and here’s a guy scrubbing the stainless steel trough urinal that has I-don’t-know-how-many-hundred-students-a day piss in it. I wondered how much someone would have to pay me to do that, and the answer was “a lot more than I’m paid to be a manager” – because I have the option of being paid plenty without having to clean up after crowds of careless pissers and shitters. Which means, the guy doing the scrubbing lacks other options, which in turn means the whole thing of paying people peanuts to scrub toilets is predicated on desperation. It’s not something anybody should be pleased about.

    • framu 9.4

      step 1 – find out where all of the shared wealth we used to enjoy has gone

      step 2 – take it back

      pretty fucking simple – Ok not that simple in practice. But your whole sorry generalisation is missing one really stonking huge point that shouldnt be a suprise to anyone.

      The middle and the bottom arent where all the resources we used to enjoy have disappeared to – its the top end who have enacted or supported a system that funnels more and more wealth upwards, while calling for the state and society to make itself poorer and poorer.

      The outcome of this is more and more people needing state assistance just to stay alive and the middle getting squeezed further and further to cover both the increased demands on the state and the increased flow of money to the top

      All of which screws the economy and down and down we go.

      The problem isnt that people are poor – the problem is that we have a system that rewards the elite for the entrenchment of their position

      • Draco T Bastard 9.4.1

        The middle and the bottom arent where all the resources we used to enjoy have disappeared to – its the top end who have enacted or supported a system that funnels more and more wealth upwards, while calling for the state and society to make itself poorer and poorer.

        QFT

        It is the system and the system has been designed by sociopaths to reward the sociopaths. Economic theory today is nothing more than a justification for that sociopathic system.

    • emergency mike 9.5

      “Then this is also fair pay – someone picking dehydrated peas off a conveyor belt for example, should be on a minimum wage, as well, it requires minimal effort.”

      Spoken like someone who’s never done a factory job. You think the conveyor belt is set to ‘minimal effort’ speed? Think again.

    • KJT 9.6

      “Increased welfare”. Welfare has been DECREASED since the 90’s.

      We have been reaping the effects of impoveished people with little hope, ever since.

      Read and learn. http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/

      The hordes of feral teenage solo mums, breeding for a living, exist only in the fevered imaginations of right wing bennie bashers.
      Who have an unhealthy fascination with the sex lives of teenage girls.
      Probably resentment because none of the teenage girls were interested in nasty, mean, little twits, like them, when they were at high school.

      If they were really concerned about young women “breeding for a living”, and their children, they would be advocating the proven method of slowing the birth rate. Giving young women better, income and empowering them.

      And they would be chasing the real source of the the net high expenditure on the DPB. The Dads, often middle aged and wealthy, who abandon their wives and children, then hide their income to avoid child support..

    • RedBaronCV 9.7

      Haven’t you answered your own question? All the time is spent hounding the parent showing responsibility and looking after the kids. How about a much harder look at the “sod off and leave them types” who don’t do anything and don’t pay. A higher tax rate for them and interviews about why they arn’t earning more?

    • QoT 9.8

      As left wingers you believe that those on higher incomes should pay for those on lower incomes – no exceptions yes?

      Yes. This is exactly what we think. Just because we’re bastards who hate the rich. :rolls:

    • Mike S 9.9

      You forgot to mention the old “lifestyle choice” twaddle and the benefit fraud twaddle. Trying to disguise dumb generalizations and opinions rather than facts by chucking in a few sentences of supposedly well meaning sounding comments just makes it more obvious.

      Don’t always believe what you think.

  10. Melb 10

    “Most parents then met their obligations quickly enough to have their benefits restored”

    The system works.

    “Since last October, parents who have another baby while on the benefit have to go back to work one year after giving birth if their next youngest child is five or over.”

    Birth-control is free if you’re receiving a benefit.

    “From July 15 this year parents may also have benefits cut if they have children aged three or over who are not in preschool or school, not enrolled with a GP or not up to date with core Well Child checks”

    It’s good that there are measures in place to make sure these children are cared for; previously some parents wouldn’t have given two shits.

    • Tat Loo 10.1

      So you believe that separating young children from their parents is the “system working”?

      Interesting way to look at it. At least I can see you coming around to the idea of the need for a nanny state.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      “Most parents then met their obligations quickly enough to have their benefits restored”

      The system works.

      Nope, most of them were probably meeting their obligations anyway but they still got pinged. I got my benefit cut because it was recorded that I didn’t go to a seminar that I actually went to.

      Birth-control is free if you’re receiving a benefit.

      Doesn’t mean to say that it works.

      It’s good that there are measures in place to make sure these children are cared for;

      Yes, making sure that the children don’t have any food rather just not enough is really caring for them.

    • vto 10.3

      melb ““From July 15 this year parents may also have benefits cut if they have children aged three or over who are not in preschool or school, not enrolled with a GP or not up to date with core Well Child checks”

      It’s good that there are measures in place to make sure these children are cared for; previously some parents wouldn’t have given two shits.”

      what a load of horse shit melb.
      why do you not advocate this for all parents, whether “working” or not? And if they don’t do these things then they get fined? Any reason?

    • RedBaronCV 10.4

      And it applies to those who are in a relationship whilst they are pregnant but the father abandons the baby before birth .. that’s real sick, how do they expect a woman to unwind that for FFS.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    When you push 13,000 desperate families into an already supply-saturated labour market all you do is shift the price point down. And down, and down.

    Well, John Key did say he wanted lower wages and now he’s delivering them.

    Really, what we’re seeing is what you get when psychopaths are voted in and National/Act/UF are psychopathic.

  12. For the 30 years I’ve been paying attention Natonal’s policies in office are always about creating a pool of unemployed to act as a brake on wage rises and to provide leverage for breaking unions and generally reducing wages and conditions of people who earn wages or salaries. They have been very effective over time.

    I’m amazed election after election that anyone in these categories ever votes for National…..as they are voting to have their own standard of living – and thus personal freedom – eroded steadily over time.

    It becomes understandable when one realises most people know very little about almost everything that actually matters.

    GO the ABs!

    Win the America’s Cup!

    ….distractions.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      It becomes understandable when one realises most people know very little about almost everything that actually matters.

      Exactly. People voting from imperfect knowledge and believing the simple sound bites that the RWNJs use to fool them

    • MrSmith 12.2

      “GO the ABs!
      Win the America’s Cup!
      ….distractions.”
      Distraction yes, social control more likely, governments are well aware that a submissive/distracted population is easy to manage, God forbid you give them to much time to think for themselves as they just might start asking stupid questions like why are we standing up to our waists in shit, so the populous is feed a diet of nationalistic and provincial euphoria.

    • Mike S 12.3

      And berms…oh those berms!

  13. Seti 13

    Where was the consternation over the Clark government’s $10m gift ($12m in today’s money) to a yachting syndicate?

    • framu 13.1

      i do wish people would drop the “well labour did something and their lefties just like you lot” routine

      many people didnt like it then and dont like it know

    • Crunchtime 13.2

      You miss the point. The point is not the gift to the yachting syndicate. The point is the tens of thousands of poor being pushed off benefits or having benefits reduced. The yachting gift is used as contrast, and to illustrate where this government’s priorities are: Give to the rich, take from the rest of us.

      +1 for a UBI. In fact, +4,242,048. It’s going to be hard to sell that to the majority of NZers though, who are still largely brainwashed by nearly 3 decades of bashing the poor and bashing “dole bludgers”.

    • You must have missed it. It was there.

    • binders full of women 13.4

      Just be thankful that Trev didn’t get to spend 750 Million on a dumb stadium for a dumber still sport. 750 Million for three games or rugger. 750 mil could sail rings around Larry Ellison!

  14. TheContrarian 14

    Anyone going to bemoan the millions given to the equestrian syndicate? How about the millions given to rowing NZ? Focusing on yatching is a sideshow

  15. phil 15

    I hold National AND Labour to account. And the misinformed who did not hold them to account. Future governments will, hopefully, stand and deliver policies for the benefit of all (not just the corporates) They have both failed, and should Labour/Greens get a turn at governing, will have to negotiate a way forward against huge corporate Interests. I. e. Fonterra, Auckland Supercity, Fletchers, SKY, Downers, Mainzeal, SERCO,Westgate, Fairfax etc. etc. Do you think they will not squeal like stuck pigs, dig dirt, and pay lobbyists (pollies? ) behind the scenes? The growth businesses are? Food and building supplies, Child care and elder care. Constructing supermarkets and Mega stores. Clearly mega profit here! Monopolies in a free market. Haha! Looks more like a corrupt laizey faire Fifedom in the South Pacific.

    • tc 15.1

      Mainzeal are gone but add Chorus, Fulton Hogan and all the newly privatised power companies to the NACT created supershity. The virtual freight duopoly (mainfreight/Toll) is a key one also.

      We need a commerce commission with legislative balls and resources to make the rules stick and nationalise a few players to level their fields out.

      Some NZ created/owned business do quite well cosying up to a foreign player for some potential cartel practices.

      Chorus is effectively a taxpayer funded business under this government go all the way an nationalise it so we own our telco infrastructure as one example.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      Monopolies in a free market. Haha!

      To maintain profit a free-market cannot be allowed* because there is no profit in a free-market*.

      * And the free-market doesn’t work either due to unrealistic assumptions.

  16. Olwyn 16

    The problem is systemic, and can only be addressed by systemic means. It seems to have begun with, “Countries with lots of poor people are outstripping us in manufacturing, so let’s impoverish our own people so as to create a level playing field with them.” Which then became, “Now that we have a more-or-less level playing field, with inflation under control and all, let’s just protect our wealth.” Hence, much of the population is no longer seen as “useful” and the only worth they are given relates to the pressure they place on jobs and housing. Beyond that, they register as a “minus” on expenditure side of the ledger and a “nil” on the “profit” side. And fiscal responsibility demands the continuous shrinking of expenditure but does not demand the kind of investment that would shift people to the other side of the register.

    Along with the brutal treatment of beneficiaries, think also of the thousands driven out to Australia, where they get no social support, and if they have student loans, only start to register on the profit side through the extortionate compound interest on those loans.

    Even if NZ remains determinedly cruel and stupid, I think the wealthy in other countries will soon begin to fear failed state status as a result of this destructiveness. Worse things can happen to billionaires than having to pay their due: they can be robbed of refuge themselves, as a result of wrecking their own societies.

    • joe90 16.1

      Foreseen long ago.

      “There is no greater economic delusion in the world than that of the benefit in the process of shipping goods all over the earth. It is sheer waste, justified only in cases where the country has not the raw materials to make that particular product. Why, for example, should we buy from Japanese bulbers? We have all the material and the skilled labor to make our own. But the Japanese undersell us you say! How? For one reason and one only, because the Japanese workers have a lower standard of life than ours, will work longer hours and eat less food. So it appears that the purpose of international trade is to bring the advanced people down to the coolie standard.”

      Upton Sinclair: 1937 – page 37 The Way Out.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Worse things can happen to billionaires than having to pay their due: they can be robbed of refuge themselves, as a result of wrecking their own societies.

      There’s always the French Solution.

  17. KJT 17

    The money to the yachting syndicate is a good thing. It is an investment in the future of our high tech boat building industry. Must go gainst the “free market” principles of the “dries” in National. If they have any principles apart from stealing our wealth.
    Investment in industry development and NZ production the Government should be extending to other industries, not just dairying.

    Unlike many of our Governments policies it is actually a positive investment for future jobs in higher paid industries for our children. Much better than having them on a benefit.

    It is shameful that our Government does not also think investing in the future, by feeding and educating so many of our children, is something they should bother about.

    • MrSmith 17.1

      Normally love your stuff KJT, but I really fail to see how allowing rich white males to continue to racing there toys while we sit in-front of our screens watching is doing anyone any good.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        It’s the R&D behind the race that makes the government subsidy of it worthwhile although I think a space program would be far better.

      • KJT 17.1.2

        It transfers wealth from the squillionaires to the local community.

        Which is a good thing.

        Instead of putting it into the casino of the financial markets where it “magically” multiplies, without doing any good, it is going to jobs for boatbuilders in Warkworth, structural engineers in Auckland, researchers at NZ universities etc etc, and all the people that supply them, in their turn, with goods and services. Enabling them to support their kids, stay off the dole and spend money within their community.

        Not to mention the spinoffs of the same squillionaires thinking that having a boat built by the best, in New Zealand, is a status symbol. Even they look at resale value, and compete with each other to claim the best boat..
        Like the 100 million plus superyacht project just landed by Whangarei.

        We have started several kids from very poor families in both yachting and ski-ing.
        The perception that they are only for the rich unfortunately tends to scare kids away from trying them.
        In reality both are two of the cheapest sports to participate in.
        One girl has been ski-ing all around the world, first as a lodge waitress/cleaner and now as an instructor.
        In yachting, keel yacht owners in particular are always looking for keen rail meat, and most clubs have balloted learner boats for members. Cost per year less than a pair of rugby boots.

        It is not the owners that are having the most fun. They are not even allowed on those boats while racing.

      • KJT 17.1.3

        It transfers wealth from the squillionaires to the local community.

        Which is a good thing.

        Instead of putting it into the casino of the financial markets where it “magically” multiplies, without doing any good, it is going to jobs for boatbuilders in Warkworth, structural engineers in Auckland, researchers at NZ universities etc etc, and all the people that supply them, in their turn, with goods and services. Enabling them to support their kids, stay off the dole and spend money within their community.

        Not to mention the spinoffs of the same squillionaires thinking that having a boat built by the best, in New Zealand, is a status symbol. Even they look at resale value, and compete with each other to claim the best boat..
        Like the 100 million plus superyacht project just landed by Whangarei.

        Not just boats for millionaires either. A reputation for being the best, and having the skilled people in place, helps land commercial boat building contracts as well

        We have started several kids from very poor families in both yachting and ski-ing.
        The perception that they are only for the rich unfortunately tends to scare kids away from trying them.
        In reality both are two of the cheapest sports to participate in.
        One girl has been ski-ing all around the world, first as a lodge waitress/cleaner and now as an instructor.
        In yachting, keel yacht owners in particular are always looking for keen rail meat, and most clubs have balloted learner boats for members. Cost per year less than a pair of rugby boots.

        It is not the owners that are having the most fun. They are not even allowed on those boats while racing.

    • QoT 17.2

      It is an investment in the future of our high tech boat building industry.

      Bollocks. The fact that Kiwis helped build the boat which actually won is an investment in the future of our boat-building industry. Throwing more money at the boat which lost ain’t an investment in shit.

      • Tat Loo 17.2.1

        I tend to back KJT here. You can’t relinquish the expertise and leadership accumulated simply by being laissez faire about funding, because it is very difficult and expensive to rebuild it once you let it dissipate.

        Bollocks. The fact that Kiwis helped build the boat which actually won is an investment in the future of our boat-building industry. Throwing more money at the boat which lost ain’t an investment in shit.

        The $5M is not for the boat, it is for the team.

        Further you can’t have any kind of serious industry where there is just a single winning player. Successful industries require complex ecosystems of businesses and capabilities to be nurtured over time.

  18. Natwest 18

    More left wing spin and drivel. If these people, who are being propped up by the tax payers of NZ Inc. – parented correctly and abidded by the rules – there would be no issues for them. So stop making excuses for these pathetic inviduals, who need nanny state to manage their lives.

    • Tat Loo 18.1

      Good to see you giving the thumbs up to the nanny state. Or is it the cruel step mother state?

      It’s the responsibility of government to ensure that there is an economy which provides adequate income and work for everyone who wants it.

      At the moment we have an economy where profits come from eliminating jobs and reducing pay.

      What do you propose to do about that?

    • framu 18.2

      still interviewing your imagination i see – please do inform everyone when youve made it to things outside your skull

    • Draco T Bastard 18.3

      They’re abiding by the rules – that’s why they’re on the bones of their arse. The problem is the rules which prop up the rich while impoverishing everyone else.

    • Murray Olsen 18.4

      We’re talking about the yachties now, Natwest, so please leave their parenting skills out of it. I agree with the rest of your post, though.

  19. Lloyd 19

    Actually it was a New Zealand built boat that won the America’s Cup. So it is our cup but not as we know it Jim……

    If it takes $5 million every two or three years to keep an America’s Cup boat building industry in New Zealand it actually might be a very good investment and has the likelihood of creating and/or keeping a lot of jobs in a wide range of occupations in New Zealand. It is called a subsidy and involves ‘picking winners’ and the unfortunate thing is it is contrary to neo-liberal philosophy and the present government isn’t doing a tenth of this sort of thing that it should be doing.

    If the New Zealand economy is to keep us all in at least the present poor style to which we have become accustomed we are going to have to depend on more than cow’s milk to survive. New industries will need to be invented and nurtured. An America’s Cup boat manufacturing industry will generate good paying jobs, just as the formula one manufacturing industry does in the UK. Sure it is about rich boys toys, but the engineers, designers, machinists, truck drivers and factory cleaners involved all have paying jobs.

    My complaint about the present government is that they have done bugger all since they came into power to encourage technical innovation in our industry. One of the first things they did after kicking out Helen was to get rid of tax breaks for companies doing R & D. DUMB. Real dumb.

    Spending $5 mil on Team NZ might be a really good long term way of helping at least a handful on NZ’s poorest families. At least it isn’t union bashing to get a film produced in this country.

    • Tat Loo 19.1

      It is called a subsidy and involves ‘picking winners’ and the unfortunate thing is it is contrary to neo-liberal philosophy and the present government isn’t doing a fiftieth of this sort of thing that it should be doing.

      Just sayin’

      Also it may be better to pick industry sectors and subsectors as winners rather than individual companies or teams.

      The other thing that Government can do is to pour money into blue skies research. Which is something else we have forgotten to do in the last couple of decades.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1

        Also it may be better to pick industry sectors and subsectors as winners rather than individual companies or teams.

        According to Mazzucato, the US government department picks the fields to do the research in and then awards companies (both large and small but mostly small) and universities (and other public institutions) the funding the funding to carry out that research.

        Which is something else we have forgotten to do in the last couple of decades.

        We have, the US hasn’t. The US government pours billions of dollars a year into blue sky research because they understand, despite the rhetoric that comes out of both Democrats and Republicans, that the private sector won’t do so:

        Far from stifling innovation and being a drag on the economic system, it has fostered innovation and dynamism in many important modern industries, with the private sector often taking a back seat. Ironically the State has often done so in the US, which in policy circles is often discussed as following a more ‘market’-oriented (liberal) model than Europe. This has not been the case where innovation is concerned.

        Mazzucato, Mariana (2013-05-15). The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Myths in Risk and Innovation (Kindle Locations 1912-1915). Anthem Press. Kindle Edition.

    • greywarbler 19.2

      Lloyd
      As I see it the NACTs are very focussed on picking winners when it comes to policies influencing business. Unfortunately the winners are inside a narrow ring around the pollies, and within a brown-bag handshake of them, and includes their influential friends.

      The influence they encourage on business is the sort that provides lots of baubles while in government and keeps on giving for decades in the future.

  20. phil 20

    Blue skies research! What’s that? We only do “brown rivers” around here. Prof Calahan (late) made the point that dairy was not sufficient to build a better/smarter economy. Oh and the environment stupid!

    • greywarbler 20.1

      People hearing Prof Callaghan thought the word dairy was a typo and he meant diary for taking action. So they have taken that advice and made a note to read his recommendations in 2015 after, they hope, they will have won the election and then who cares.

  21. JLLJames 21

    actually there is no transfer of wealth from govt (that’s right, not New Zealanders, the Government [it’s a separate legal entity]) to shareholders. Purchasers of SOE shares paid consideration. It’s net zero. Further, investors have taken on future risks and rewards from ownerships of shares.

    Time to take some law and commerce papers to pad that BA you have. Then your argument will be valid.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 21.1

      Are you really too much of an economic simpleton to see that those assets were sold for a fraction of their NPV, let alone their strategic value?

      Purchasers of SOE shares paid consideration. It’s net zero. Further, investors have taken on future risks and rewards from ownerships of shares.

      Sounds onerous. Looks like they might have to come back to the State some time. Don’t worry, I’m sure some “consideration” will be paid to ensure that the loss facing private shareholders is a “net zero.”

    • greywarbler 21.2

      JllJames, HMSS; EOC; LLBu(Hon)
      Since you are so gratified by tertiary papers and degrees I have kindly added some acronyms that are meaningless to me, and no doubt to you, but might have some worthy aspect somewhere, sometime in the world.

      If you believe in the postal, or blotting paper style of education and have just soaked up what has been laid in front of you (with advice that you should slant your opinions away from Keynesian and the thoughtful bits of Adam Smith because the money isn’t strong on them) then you are a machine without a ghost. And no bloody good to the citizens of NZ or humankind, but you will be able to earn good bones tossed to you by The Masters of the Golden Rule.

  22. phil 22

    Time for Law and commerce papers? Sounds like smoke and mirrors from a a law/commerce grad. Any business person would tell you that selling off a golden egg machine, MRP, Meridian etc, for far less than its rate of return to the country is economic lunacy, at the very least. Even Treasury advised the Government of this point. Please save me from this preposterous line of fallacious nonsense. ‘Paid consideration’! haha got to be be a lawyer, who bought the shares. Just could be vested interest? Disclosure required Mr or Mrs or just Ms Lawyer.

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    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    7 days ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 week ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    1 week ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    2 weeks ago

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