- Date published:
7:41 am, February 2nd, 2022 - 107 comments
Categories: climate change, covid-19, education, Environment, health, housing, jacinda ardern, labour, law and "order", poverty, uncategorized, Unions - Tags:
With Ardern getting a good-old media beat-down, remember here’s how to change a country for good like no one else but Labour can.
In justice, their strategy for reduction has worked: offending rates among young people have dropped by 63%. Over 10,000 fewer children and young people offending over 10 years. And all prisoners serving 3 years or less can now vote again. The prison population is down 24% to 8,000 since 2017. That’s 1,000 fewer Maori not in prison.
Total crime overall has fallen through the floor.
All counter-terrorism laws are significantly strengthened. Some* guns must be registered. 60,000 guns have been bought back and destroyed. Semiautomatics nearly eliminated.
As to health, the Labour government has defeated 3 strains of a global pandemic that has killed millions in other countries and maimed tens of millions more – we have less than 60 deaths total and a globally insignificant infection rate for over 2 years. Every single public health measure has worked. They rolled out vaccines to 4 million people, and counting.
Cannabis use is down to 8.5% using it once a month, and smoking cigarettes is finally down to 9.4% of adults smoking daily and just 1% youth.
They are on track to recentralise the health system, establish a standalone Maori health authority, and spend tens of billions ensuring the same good level of care for every person no matter whether you are in Bluff or Auckland.
In housing, they banned foreigners buying existing houses. Investors cannot sell any investment property inside 10 years without heavy taxes. They have set high standards for every single rental property, and given tenants much stronger rights including highly restrictive reasons to ever get evicted. You can only ever increase rents once a year. – and while re-regulating it still ensured home owners weren’t hurt at all. They have stopped state housing sales and built 6,000 more, with a further 18,000 public and transitional houses being built by 2024.
Every single rough sleeper in cities was housed during the pandemic – never been done before.
Kainga Ora now masterplans whole city suburbs into strong and sustainable urban communities.
In education, apprenticeships are now free. Over 200,000 people have been trained. Removed all school donations and NCEA fees. Made the first university degree free. Nurses and mental health workers permanently in schools.
For the environment, they’ve passed the Zero Carbon plan supported by all in Parliament except Act. A target of net zero emissions by 2050, and a plan for it across every single Department, state entity and local government.
They’ve eliminated plastic bags and most food and drink packaging. Got the Department of Conservation its largest funding boost since 2002.
Stopped all new oil and gas permits. Far more freight and daily commuters now choose to go by rail than at any time this century.
Delivered the strongest-ever protections to clean up our rivers and lakes, and built a permanent place for Maori managing our water systems.
Opened hundreds of kilometres of city and rural cycleways.
In poverty reduction, it’s all been about the practical things. 215,000 children now get free lunches. All 9 measures of poverty show improvement. Benefits are up. Minimum wage is up. 109,000 families with children are on average better off by $175 per week. Free period products in schools and kura. Made going to the doctor $30 cheaper for 540,000 people on low incomes. Abatements levels for working and on a benefit are up.
Over 850,000 older people are now warmer in winter. Read that number again slowly.
Parents now get 26 weeks leave as of right. The tax credit of $60 per week has assisted over 100,000 newborns. Free doctor visits up to age 13.
As to workers, the government gave almost $20 billion in wage subsidies and resurgence payments to businesses. As a result, business was stable and we have the lowest unemployment rate and under-employment rate we’ve had this century.
They protected 1.8 million people in jobs putting food on the table: that is, Labour saved the entire economy. The lowest-paying and lowest-productivity parts of the economy (such as hospitality, tourism and foreign language schools) have shrunk and higher productivity sectors have boomed.
Wages are up. Worker protections to unionise are up. Conditions are up as businesses compete for workers. Crap jobs are down. Cheap immigrant workers suppressing wages are way down. More flexibility to work from home for massive working sectors. And a minimum of 10 sick days a year.
Everyone gets a new public holiday this year – focused on the way Maori celebrate the future year.
They are on track to spend $53.7 billion on infrastructure renewals, and for the first time in decades there is a clear plan for improving roads, schools and hospitals from one end of the country to the other.
I didn’t even get halfway through. And we haven’t got to Budget 2022.
See: Our Achievements – NZ Labour Party for nearly all of the references.
So to state the obvious: None of this would have happened under National or Act, the Maori Party can’t deliver anything, and the Greens have two very small portfolios outside cabinet.
None of the above would have happened if Labour didn’t run the country.
And on this clear record, none of it will improve unless Labour are running the country next time.
* Corrected the statement “Every gun must be registered” to “Some guns must be registered”. Category “A” guns unfortunately do not have to be registered. This includes sporting configuration rifles and shotguns. Wikipedia
Registration is not required under the law but the police carry out a regime similar to registration for all but “A Category” firearms. Firearms in any other category require a “permit to procure” before they are transferred.