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Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 5th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: Economy, wages - Tags: ,

Charles Waldegrave has slammed Brian Scott’s critique of the method used to calculate the Living Wage in New Zealand.

In a detailed and interesting analysis, he addresses the databases used to develop the Living Wage and compares the New Zealand approach with that of other countries. He shows Scott’s critique, and that of the Treasury, lack an informed understanding of the definition of a living wage and confuse market wage rates and welfare transfers.

He also demonstrates how Scott selectively applies international comparative data and consistently misapplies the use of Statistics New Zealand’s Household Economic Survey database. Further, he states Scott provides no evidence for his assertions about the negative impacts of the living wage on workplace morale and productivity.

Waldegrave cites the evidence of the balance of studies that have shown positive business and economic outcomes from living wage policies internationally.

*The living wage level was set at $18.40 per hour in February 2013. Scott’s paper has been given prominence on David Farrar’s Kiwiblog 3 January 2014

 

 

 

45 comments on “Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique”

  1. Disraeli Gladstone 1

    “It is not suggested that the minimum wage be lifted to the level of the living wage.
    They are quite separate entities.”

    I sometimes feel like that get lost in translation to both the left and right. The right goes “oh no! look at this massive increase” and the left goes “everybody gets it!”

    It shouldn’t be statutorily enforced. I like the London scheme which is similar to a fair trade badge. You get the logo if you pay the living wage. I’d certainly tailor that knowledge into where I shop.

    • framu 1.1

      thats pretty much my view as well (living wage, not minimum wage)

      yes the market can decide – and the purchaser is as much a part of the market as the employer (and the use of the badge is a good idea). But theres no reason why the govt (who is a player in the market too) cant lead the way

      it will only work by showing it works and by building the expectation and demand. It wont work and is too easily undone if its a top down imposed thing

    • McFlock 1.2

      personally, I’d want very good reasons why the minimum wage is not set at a living-wage level.

      As always ( :) ) I’d be looking for a phased increase rather than a blanket dictat, but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society. That includes a right to work 35-40 hrs per week, and to work only 35-40hrs per week.

      I was amused that Waldegrave’s response had to continually address the fact that tories have no idea what “dignity” means, and that it’s not the same as “minimum”.

      • weka 1.2.1

        “but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society”

        What would you do with benefit rates in that case?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1.1

          +1 Weka.

          Set benefit rates at living wage rates. Or don’t you want to live in high waged economy? Politics of envy handicap?

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          probably along the lines of what oak said above, especially for longer term benefits. Ideally the unemployment benefit is a bridging benefit, but that requires full employent policies

      • Lanthanide 1.2.2

        The only argument I could think for why the living wage should not be the minimum is that the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.

        Of course the minimum wage should be $15, preferably $16, so the leap from there to $18.40 isn’t all that much.

        • just saying 1.2.2.1

          …there are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount,…

          Sure,
          If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

          Unless you mean short-term……but for many, many, people, it’s not. And even short term in the best of all possible circumstances, why shouldn’t workers be allowed to splurge a little – have a nice meal, a holiday once in a while…..

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.1.1

            Sure,
            If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

            Note that I’m suggesting a minimum wage of $16, and that therefore someone who was single could ‘live well’ for $16/hour.

            If you’re saying that the difference between $16 and $18.40 is so marked that all of the things you’ve mentioned here are true, for a single person, then I can only conclude that you would also consider $18.40 to be too little to raise a family on, which is what the living wage was calculated for.

            • just saying 1.2.2.1.1.1

              If you are working fulltime on $16 per hour an extra $2.40 per hour is not “chump change” it could mean you could afford to see the dentist, for example.

              Btw, I live quite well on less because I’m pretty well-set-up (though not a puritan). But when that bump comes I’m fucked, and you know what? – that’s an incessant life-sapping stress.

          • gem 1.2.2.1.2

            +1 But somehow the commensurate argument about the top of the scale never gains traction; i.e why on earth does the head of an SOE need 50 times or more the minimum wage? The double standard is a bit like John Galbraith’s ‘private opulence and public squalor’, except now we have a quasi corporate public sector where the head of the postal service gets 28 times the minimum wage.

        • karol 1.2.2.2

          It evens out in the long run as people’s circumstances change. Most single people will eventually have children. Most people with children will eventually be empty nesters. Several along the way will have others to care for – older people, injured, sick or disabled, etc.

          Good if one can have a few good times before having children. Maybe also save a little.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.2.1

            Yes, savings is a good point I hadn’t really considered.

            Anyway, I said that was the only argument I could think of, I’m not necessarily putting that forwards myself. Like I said in the post, I’m in favour of a minimum wage of $16, and I see $2.40 as being chump-change on top of that (extra 15%), so while I wouldn’t necessarily support a raise to $18.40, I also wouldn’t oppose it.

        • stargazer 1.2.2.3

          “the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.”

          the living wage is based on a family of 2 adults & 2 children, with one person working 40 hours per week & the other working 20 hours per week. a single person wouldn’t be getting the wage from the additional 20 hours. the living wage also takes into account working for families entitlements. a single person without kids would not get any working for families payments.

          so taking both those things into account, a single person would be getting a significantly lesser amount in terms of their overall income. bigger families would get a higher working for families entitlement, so a higher level of overall income.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.3.1

            Thanks stargazer, I wasn’t aware of those specific details.

            In that case yes, $18.40 for a single person seems like a reasonable rate.

    • KJT 1.3

      A minimum wage should be at the same level as a “living” wage.

      Why should your employees, subsidise, your business?

      Capitalism 101. Businesses which cannot pay the true costs of the resources they use, including people, should be allowed to fail, to make room for those who can use their inputs more effectively.

      • Macro 1.3.1

        +100

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.3.2

        The true costs of the resources they use (people) is not the living wage. The true cost isn’t even the minimum wage. It would be what the market decides (probably far below the minimum wage).

        That’s why we have statutory guarantees on a wage limit because capitalism would lead to an effective minimum wage that would be far too low.

        So, no. Not really Capitalism 101.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Waldegrave clearly doesn’t understand how right wing facts work. His work has been subjected to a process of denial therefore it is flawed. No fact-based analysis can compete with this.

    • Macro 2.1

      Sad but true.

    • QoT 2.2

      At some point we really do have to let go of the idea we can convince the right with facts. They don’t want the people at the bottom of the ladder to have fulfilled, satisfying lives. They cannot be reasoned with on this point.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        I think the best strategy is to make their arguments the subject of ridicule.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        Yes. When I contemplate the gulf between the two ways of thinking – I’m tempted by the idea that there must be some irreducible genetic difference. By alas therein lies the madness of eugenics.

        I have this clear memory of an old picture from a mountain equipment catalog from the 1980’s. It was a gorgeous photo of a climber casually cooking dinner, while ensconced in a suspended bivvy dangling on one of the massive vertical faces in the Yosemite. The contrast between the eerie exposure of his position, with the domestic familiarity of what he was doing was the striking element. The caption said, “humans are the most adaptable species”.

        I guess that is what I hang onto – that we are all inherently capable of adapting to new circumstances. Change the circumstance and most people will change with it.

        Humans have arrived at one of the extremes of our adaptability. We’re an highly agonist, hierarchical and competitive society, and we are so heavily adapted to it we have trouble imagining an alternative. Or perhaps more to the point, most people have so much personal energy invested into the adaptation they really cannot let go.

        It’s my observation that it’s takes something bigger than the individual to trigger that letting go, to allow the possibility of transformation. Traditionally it has been a belief in a strong leader, the tribe, village, state or race which energises us. Or a belief system, benign or otherwise, such as the almost universal religious experience.

        Yet none of these traditional modes of transformation seem adequate any longer.

        OAK – yes but ridicule goes bpth ways.

        • greywarbler 2.2.2.1

          Red Logix
          +100

          • karol 2.2.2.1.1

            Then it just becomes a nasty, aggressive, slanging match.

            Best just to keep repeating your values and position – sometimes with facts, at other times with humour, at other times just the position, etc – there is no one way that fits all responses/contexts.

            • greywarbler 2.2.2.1.1.1

              That’s a Good simple little adage to remember karol. Well put, I think I’ll keep it. It’s a bit like How to implement a mission statement.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.1.1.2

              Yeah plus one Karol. Suit the tactics to the terrain.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.2

          RedLogix, are you sure we haven’t just adapted to having lots of cheap energy? The true range of our adaptability is determined by our environment. Easy to survive in the tropics. At the poles, in the deserts, not so much.

          As for a trans-formative experience, hang on to your hat, Dorothea.

          • RedLogix 2.2.2.2.1

            Yes and no. The Innuit have managed just fine in the Arctic and the Kalahari San thrive in an environment quite the opposite.

            What would not survive so well without cheap energy is all the technology. (Right now I’m working in an innovative mining area which is addressing urgent challenges around how to extract minerals from increasingly lower-grade ores without the energy costs going beserk – so your comment makes perfect sense from that perspective.)

            What does interest me a lot is that when you look beyond the relatively narrow confines of our own current society there are a myriad other possible ways of living. We keep making the mistake of thinking that because we have constructed a highly competitive, hierarchical, individualistic society and because people have adapted to this – that this is the ONLY way people can behave. That’s just flat-out not true.

            Almost all behaviour (as distinct from our motivations) is a social construct and is a result of the circumstances we construct and tolerate. Change these circumstances and people’s beahviour will adapt with an extraordinary flexibility.

            Jared Diamond (who I keep on referencing) used the example in his book Collapse. How Societies choose to Succeed or Fail used the example of an isolated group on a tiny, remote Eastern Pacific atolls who faced with environmental collapse chose to ban the raising and eating of pigs. This was a very big and difficult decision for them to make – but enabled them to survive an otherwise almost certain collapse.

            Part of Diamond’s argument is that when the decision-making elites of a society become too isolated, insulated, from the conditions of ordinary people – then it becomes impossible for them to make these challenging and critical reconfigurations essential to adaptation. Which always results in social collapse.

            It has been of course a religious belief in the god of progress that has sustained our society in it’s present configuration. When that god fails us – right about the time the oil fails – we will be desperately in need of a wholly new and transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.2.1.1

              That’s my point: the “transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave”, will be our environment, as always.

              The price of oil and the costs of climate change loom large.

              • Colonial Viper

                Problem is, the environment is a highly lagging indicator.

                By the time it’s obvious to ordinary people in ‘advanced western nations’ how changed (for the worse) things have become in the global environment, it will be far too late.

  3. Tracey 3

    But joyce says that labour and greens are lying about the numbers. He wouldnt lie.

    • Macro 3.1

      Yeah! The lying bastards! I mean what do they know about wages and living?? Whereas Joyce knows how to live it up – and pay minimal wages.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Pretty sure any payroll administered by Steven Joyce would be a monumental fuckup. Not a dig at Novopay – his feeble ideology is the only connection he has with that.

        Nah, I’m saying he lacks the day-to-day diligence and care too.

  4. greywarbler 4

    I was interested in who this Brian Scott is. He is not Graham Scott from Treasury in case anyone thought that. And found some interesting links and quotes as well which I throw in to show attitudes from various people in society.

    http://www.tvhe.co.nz/2014/01/03/some-links-against-a-living-wage/
    The Visible Hand in Economics – Matt Nolan

    One site said he was a – Researcher Brian Scott
    From Home Paddock summary – But Brian Scott who has recently completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with first class honours, has done a very thorough critique of the living wage proposal.

    On HomePaddock – In the critique.
    P 33 10 About the Author
    Brian Scott, 50, is currently taking a middle-age gap year after successfully completing four years of tertiary study at the Victoria University of Wellington. On completion Brian was awarded a Batchelor of Commerce and Administration (1st Class Honours), majoring in Information Systems. In addition to the degree, Brian was also awarded a prestigious “Excellence Award” which recognises the achievements of the top five percent of Business School graduates. He is not, and has never been, a member of any political party or movement.
    The BCA (Hon) is a research degree, with a focus on research and critical thinking.
    brianscotthamilton@gmail.com
    http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/living-wage-already-raised/

    Then from stuff – http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/9606501/Living-wage-policy-is-poor-solution-to-complex-problem
    Wellington City Council’s adoption of a living wage policy represents a failure of governance, writes Nicola Young.
    “Mayor Celia Wade- Brown has defended this Alice in Wonderland approach”
    (Nicola Young is a Wellington city councillor. Last month she attempted to delay the implementation of the minimum wage to allow for consultation. Her motion was defeated eight votes to five.)

    And following on but eagerly pushing forward is dahdah – Lindsay Mitchell: Living wage critique
    lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2014/01/living-wage-critique.html‎
    Jan 3, 2014 – Brian Scott has published a critique of the so called Living Wage, and it … No all we need is a half-way competent economist to point out what every business- owner and every job-creator in NZ knows: … February 3 in history.

    (Unfortunately Brian Scott has never been in involved in any movement. Pity he didn’t move his brain more aside from the channel of Commerce towards Humanity when he was tudying.)

  5. adam 5

    Blah blah blah – f&^k the labour market. Wages have been going backwards for years. A minimum wage is a joke, it means victory for bad bosses and slack, nasty owners. Ffs come on people, if you going to work for someone else they need to pay you and pay your fair. It seems to me all this statistical analysis is a smoke screen so employers can carry on being ass-holes.

    If your not getting $27 a hour – why are you getting out of bed?

    Plus screw the moaning right wing d*&kwads if there so good with money, why does the economy keep collapsing? And why do they keep making the middle class and poorest classes pay for their bloody mistakes?

  6. freedom 6

    here is a simple table of income realted info doing the rounds today, might be useful to some.
    https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/l/t1/q71/s720x720/71612_10152260667576477_1557799566_n.jpg

    As broadstrokes go it is quite clear, so let’s not be too pedantic on it

    • weka 6.1

      Very useful table.

      How come the person running Housing NZ earns half the person running Superannuation? (and other discrepancies).

  7. tricledrown 7

    Who less than half of the lotteries commissioner!

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    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    9 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    13 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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