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Another shaming report on child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, September 13th, 2011 - 70 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class war, election 2011, poverty - Tags: ,

It was left up to Radio New Zealand to provide the best coverage of yet another shaming report on child poverty in NZ:

One in five children in severe hardship – report

A report on child poverty says at least one in five children experience severe hardship that compromises their health, education and future.

The report, by the Child Poverty Action Group, says the Government needs to make urgent policy changes to help 200,000 children who are living in poverty.
It makes seven key recommendations, including removing the work-based rules for child financial assistance and creating a Minister for Children. …

The Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, has declined to comment, saying she has not had time to read the report.

One in five children. By a stunning coincidence that is the same proportion that the Nats would have you believe are failing in the education system. I wonder if perchance these two observations are connected? No doubt national standards will fix it. Hah hah.  Meanwhile, coverage in The Herald stressed the gap with Oz:

‘Tasman gap’ getting bigger, group warns

Low-income families with children will be able to almost double their weekly tax credits if they move to Australia by 2018, an analysis has found.

In a pre-election “state of our children” report, the Child Poverty Action Group says this year’s Budget cuts in Working for Families tax credits will create a dire “Tasman gap” between family support in the two countries by 2018 when they will be fully phased in.

Auckland University economist Susan St John said the cuts were subtle and would take effect slowly until 2018. “They don’t appear to hurt much, but over the time the differences between us and Australia will become ever starker,” she said. …

Dr St John said the widening gap was not simply because Australia was richer. “Obviously they are more generous because they are richer, but the design of the policy reflects a different value structure,” she said.

Labour has promised to put children at the centre of social policy.  If the election doesn’t return a Labour government, then we’re going to have three more years of inaction punctuated by brief ritual hand-wringing over each new report.  But the media interest never lasts long.  Perhaps if they want to raise their profile, poor kids everywhere need to head down to their local beach and start eating wet sand.  That seems to be the way to get some real attention in this country.  Yes I’m joking.  I think.

70 comments on “Another shaming report on child poverty ”

  1. aerobubble 1

    I was blown away by the child commisionarie, when has it been normal to
    drug kids and stunt their ability, sure it may well have no long term consequences
    unless of course they happen to have unforeseeable conflicts with other drugs,
    or chemicals in the environment. so it does not follow that its safe to give
    drugs to kids just because there are no long term effects (just good outcomes).
    We need to also address why kids are so stressed and anxious that they need
    medication, and that’s the job of a Child Commissioner. So why was he just
    dealing with the issue as a drug problem that isn’t a problem with the medicines.
    Its more than that, its a societal problem that needs an advocate for children,
    like the appointment of a Child Commissioner, do we have one of those?

    • Ianupnorth 1.1

      The kids he was referring to have autism of ADHD; there is a much higher number of kids with various disorders as a result of what mothers choose to consume during pregnancy (everything from P to V – ever seen the kid of a six can a day mum ? Not a pleasant sight!)

      They are not drugging children for no reason, there are clear clinical guidelines.

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    If the election doesn’t return a Labour government, then we’re going to have three more years of inaction punctuated by brief ritual hand-wringing over each new report.

    Speculation. If you want a return to Labour, then the question should be why, after having 9 full years of a Labour-led Government, had it failed so badly? As this report says:

    Unfortunately, CPAG’s 2008 report provided ample evidence that despite WFF and other family-related policies, the poorest children were left behind relative to their peers.

    And it goes on and on. The current Govt hasn’t fixed, in a single term, the problems it inherited after 9 years of Labour policies.

    Fairly, the reports notes that “2008 marked the end of New Zealand’s seven-year period of sustained economic ‘golden weather’, the beginning of the world financial crisis and a protracted recession”. One can only imagine how much worse the 2008 report would have been had the world financial crisis struck earlier.

    • r0b 2.1

      Child poverty was falling under Labour.  It is rising again under the Nats.  Simple really.

      • In Vino Veritas 2.1.1

        Falling under Labour? I assume you have statistics to back that up r0b. And I’d suggest the number spiked under Labour as well. Why is it that people who cannot afford children keep producing them? I know this is an old school question, but surely its entirely relevant. The only reason these kids are in poverty and their parents troughing at the expense of the taxpayer, is because those parent chose to have children they couldnt afford.

        • r0b 2.1.1.1

          Sure do, in the links above that you didn’t read.

          • In Vino Veritas 2.1.1.1.1

            Thanks r0b, quite correct, didnt read! However, having briefly scanned them, it would appear that you are therefore blaming National for the financial crisis and subsequent recession? Would this be the extremely long bow you are drawing?

            • r0b 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks r0b, quite correct, didnt read! 

              Might be an idea next time before you challenge someone to produce their evidence eh?

              However, having briefly scanned them,

              Here’s another radical suggestion, why not read them properly?  What have you got to lose?

              it would appear that you are therefore blaming National for the financial crisis and subsequent recession

              I’m blaming national for their cuts to WFF, as per the original post, which I’m guessing you also didn’t read.

              • queenstfarmer

                I’m blaming national for their cuts to WFF

                Well fortunately the CPAG report takes a more measured view:

                Oops we had a recession
                When the Labour-led Government developed WFF, it did not factor in the possibility of a deep recession in New Zealand, nor did it envisage events such as the global financial crisis or disasters like the Pike River mine explosion in 2010, and the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

                As for WFF, the report says it did some good things (which you’d expect) but also says on the issue of the poorest children – the thrust of the report:

                The biggest problem is that the design of Working for Families does not put the needs of the child at the centre. It manages to exclude the poorest children, and its critical purpose has become lost in a morass of arguments over entitlements, overpayments, abatements and work tests.

                I have no doubt WFF is a mess (inherited or otherwise doesn’t matter) but simply throwing more money at the problem won’t fix it.

                • r0b

                  Of course Labour didn’t factor in to WFF events that hadn’t happened.

                  The response to those events is National’s to determine, and cutting WFF is the wrong response. 

                  As to the efficacy of WFF, despite its many faults:
                   

                  Has child poverty improved?
                   
                  Between 2004 and 2007 the numbers declined on all measures and that can be attributed to the effect of Working for Families. 

                   

                  • queenstfarmer

                    And the numbers have continued to decline, albeit at a lesser rate and bearing in mind the major events since 2008.

                    Of course Labour didn’t factor in to WFF events that hadn’t happened

                    Of course, but the report says it didn’t factor in the possibility.

                    • r0b

                      Held roughly constant on some measures, not others.

                      When the Government finally acted on child poverty by improving family assistance with its Working for Families (WFF) package (see chapter 6), child poverty rates fell from 28% in 2004 to 22% in 2007 (using the 60% of median relative income threshold). WFF transferred considerable financial support to low- to middle-income ‘working’ families with children, who also gained from improvements in employment in this period. But by 2009, after the early impacts of the global financial crisis, the relative AHC child poverty rate had risen to 26%. Using the fixed line, the 2010 child poverty rate was around 22%, the same as in 2009 and in the 1980s (B. Perry, 2010, p. 84).

                      No the Nats are not responsible for the financial crisis. But they are responsible for NZs response to it. And cutting WFF is the wrong response. Poverty will rise again by all measures.

              • In Vino Veritas

                Touche. But my original response still stands. Can’t afford kids, dont have ’em. If you do, don’t expect to trough from the taxpayer.

                • r0b

                  Can’t afford kids, dont have ‘em. If you do, don’t expect to trough from the taxpayer.

                  Yeah but the kids don’t get to make that choice.  Bummer for them eh.

                  • In Vino Veritas

                    And your solution is what r0b? Do you think that the taxpayer should pay for other peoples bad choices? If there were no money available, do you think that some of these people would think twice?

                    • Vicky32

                      If there were no money available, do you think that some of these people would think twice?

                      I’ve had children (maybe you have, maybe not?) However I assure you that when a child is being conceived, the last thing either of the people involved are thinking is, “Oh, can I afford to have a child?” (Well, maybe some cold people do, but that’s not me!) 😀

                    • That may be true, but many people do consider in advance of the possibility of conception whether they are emotionaly, financially, ocupationally and realtionshiply ready to conceive, and they take suitable precautions if the time isn’t optimum for them or for their future offspring.

                    • R

                      @Vicky32 because I can’t reply using this system.

                      Since you use a smiling/laughing emoticon I presume that you aren’t referring to rape.

                      Why should the state support children raised with your beliefs? Why should your beliefs support introducing a child to the world when others’ beliefs don’t?

                      My understanding of the DPB is that it’s intended to assist children who are bereft of a parent. i.e. a parent raising children without a partner, when once upon a time the parents who conceived the child actually cared for it.

                      Your use of a smiling emoticon and ‘oops’ attitude in terms of conceiving a child speaks volumes about your values. Most grown-ups in this day and age (unless subject to oppressive religious mores, rape or lack of access to contraception) decide when and how they conceive. Including planning to provide for their offspring.

                      It is a sad state of affairs when young women have no choice, awareness or control over their fertility and are then condemned and vilified by the very men who used them so.

                • Deadly_NZ

                  So then I expect that if you can’t afford to have children you will do either A have NO sex. B get your nuts cut. so off you go to the NUT cutting and tell uncle John that you are a good NAT and won’t pollute the gene pool any more. Much to the relief of the rest of us normal people.

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.2

        The report shows the numbers have continued to fall under the current Govt (they are also considerably lower than in 2004, after 5 years of Labour being in Govt).

        And if you want to compare, you will need to see if the numbers are better (as they are currently heading) or worse than the terrible figures that the report says existed after Labour’s 9 years in Govt, in the equivalent period.

        • r0b 2.1.2.1

          Not sure what report you’re reading QST.  Measures of child poverty fell between 2004 and 2007 thanks to working for families.  

          Now they are on the rise again, and cuts to WFF have just been implemented in the 2011 budget so its going to get worse.

          • Pete George 2.1.2.1.1

            Doesn’t that suggest that WFF may have been a temporary albeit expensive fix rather than a solution?

            • r0b 2.1.2.1.1.1

              It suggests that WFF was a good start. You are right that a “solution” would require something much more radical.

          • queenstfarmer 2.1.2.1.2

            I’m reading the report – the data on pages 16 and 17, which shows a continued fall in the numbers of after-housing-cost poor (using the continuity-corrected data series).

            It’s not great, but it’s in the right direction and as the report stresses, the latest figures do not reflect the GFC or earthquakes.

            • Ianupnorth 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Or tax cuts for the rich, don’t forget that is where a fair bit of money has gone – the redistribution of wealth back to the top!

              • queenstfarmer

                I do always find it amusing that some people regard taking less tax off a person a “redistribution of wealth”.

          • Herodotus 2.1.2.1.3

            r0b – wff requires the basis that there are available jobs. Given that in the 00’s many industries growth or existance was based on short term opportunism. e.g. The property bubble, consumerism funded by available credit. There was to the the inevitable crash with job losses/coy failures. The recession has been more severe than anyone predicted or feared.
            The loss of job opportunities has resulted in a double dip effect on the family. Loss of job and to go on welfare = reduction of income and the loss of WFF entitlements = loss of income. WFF always had the issue of those that were not in employment were missing out 2 ways – this was never really addressed with benefits that a family was able to live on. The savagery of the Ruth R budget was never reveresed 🙁
            Our economy was not built on substainablity but on opportunism, and as a result employment levels bounce around. So how were our employment levels of 05-07 to persist?

      • fabregas4 2.1.3

        Yes you are correct Rob. For the first time in many years poverty in general was reducing (in the main due to working for families) over the last nine years. This report says quite clearly that all the gains made in this time have been lost in the last three years. I’d vouch for this. In my micro study a 118 child school in Northland we have gone from almost closing the breakfast club to being inundated with children needing food. School donations have crashed. Contributions for trips etc have become harder to collect. We signed up for fruit in schools and it is sad to see how happy the kids are to receive it. Before and knob-ends right in about people not working and wasting their money – I’m not seeing that at all. I’m seeing people doing their best for their kids but that times have just got to tough. The GST rise has cut back any fat in their incomes. The cost of living rise smashed the balance. It is not their fault – nobody cares about them. My job is now 30% social work 70% principal.

    • alex 2.2

      Wrangling over Labour and National is pointless, its the Greens who are planning to bring 100,000 kiwi kids out of poverty. I agree with r0b that Labour did more for kids below the line, but seriously, with a strong Green presence in govt, they would do a lot more.

  3. prism 3

    This is very long sorry. I hope that it is useful to somebody. Some thoughts on why the DPB and low income families so often are struggling to manage in the present environment despite social welfare help. The DPB was introduced to avoid the poverty of a parent bringing up a child/children alone and having to support herself. The trouble is that having children, though it results in wide learning, and requires discipline, doesn’t provide the learning and discipline required for a job that brings in a livable income. And so many of the jobs that women do are not paid at a living level, only satisfactory to women in a marriage or partnership with two incomes, which enables a reasonable living standard.

    Much more work is needed to help women on the DPB find part-time work close to home and school, and allowing them To Keep Their Earnings which would be a major incentive for them and would help with extra child care, and extra costs brought about by loss of time for home and parental duties because of the paid employment.

    A significant help would be the demolishing of secondary tax, which I think still exists and which I don’t understand the reason for, and also a subsidy to businesses which created part-time jobs within school hours. Getting into part-time work would give the women opportunity to both earn and manage their parental lives and work.

    Also they would be offered a weekend away at an outdoor camp with their children once a year, so good for families who are too strapped to afford a holiday, and a stand-out for the children with new experiences and outdoor education with other similar children alongside their parent. Things like this would enrich the lives and inspire both children and parent with the feeling that they are important and worthwhile. The country would be doing more than at present – give them a mildewed house and a minimum necessary to drudge through their lives which is where the miserly and morally ambivalent social welfare strictures of NZ government has led to.

    Another problem, brought about by moral disapproval from such as Jenny Shipley and the earlier Nat government and the termited Labour government and that voiced by Lindsay Shelton this morning, from the Institute of Liberal Values, is the emphasis on Making Father’s Take Responsibility. Many of them are just young dicks and useless as role models or for support (similar to the colonial days when wandering fathers turned up irregularly, impregnated their wives and used up any money she had accumulated or left debts for her to repay – the reason for introducing the rights of women to own property rather than having everything of a married woman pass to her husband.)

    Yet the moral imperative by the government forces a mother to name the father and then he is loaded with the costs of his one-night stand? or unconsidered sexual activity without any allegiance to a role of father, and he has to pay throughout the child’s life which creates domestic conflicts and homes with violent displays that affect the children badly, perhaps spoiling their whole lives.

    A job done reluctantly isn’t done well and this is the case for the DPB also poor families. We have a lesser country and sad and damaged women and children because of the lack of targeted extra expenditure and support. This would require overview and reasonable expectations for these families who could offer so much to the country but are now handicapped under the present grind of government. The overview could be incorporated into present social welfare staff duties by them encouraging beneficiaries and helping them occasionally when needed, rather than concentrating on checking and constant involvement because of the emphasis on $ paid being the minimum which requires perhaps weekly reporting.

  4. prism 4

    Petulant Bean had not read the large report of the Child Poverty Action Group earlier today. Presumably now she has because she says that it’s ‘political’. It is a rehashed version of previous reports and she sounds as if she is going to ignore this one like the others. Like the ill-informed NACTS prefer – give me no background and stats that shows me clearly the whole problem just ignore the specialist academics views based on their facts and knowledge. Can’t let facts spoil a good right wing story of lazy bludgers.

  5. So, we have a problem that an increasing proportion of the nation’s children have parents on social welfare benefits, which is effectively what “increasing child poverty” is a euphemism for.

    Labour doesn’t have any proposal to deal with this problem, but does have some plans for expensive tinkering with existing public services aimed at children, which may eventually accrue benefits that outweigh the expense. You could make a case for this being a significant improvement on National’s proposal to do nothing and pretend the problem doesn’t exist, but I’m dubious – neither one actually addresses the problem at hand, so it seems pointless to attempt to rank them.

  6. If the election doesn’t return a Labour government…
    It would be an unlikely turnaround if a Labour government is returned. So what’s the best option?

    Greens look likely to get a good mandate, if they put the interests of children in need before their party ideals they could negotiate some significant influence on this in the the next government. Hpefully they can get their heads around smartly targetted assistance rather than across the board benefit (and xpense) increases.

    A lot of weight could be added to the at risk children lobby if UnitedFuture also get a handful of seats and combined their strong family focus with the Greens. That would also keep Act out of the main act.

    • felix 6.1

      “if they put the interests of children in need before their party ideals “

      You obviously have very little idea about Green party ideals if you think there’s a conflict there.

      “A lot of weight could be added to the at risk children lobby if UnitedFuture also get a handful of seats”

      Or the recreational hunting lobby. Or the fundamentalist christian lobby. Or the alcohol lobby. Or whoever else will write your leader a cheque this year.

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        You obviously have very little idea about Green party ideals if you think there’s a conflict there.

        Russell Norman:

        The prospect of a coalition between National and the Greens is “highly unlikely”.

        He says the “philosophical difference” between the Greens and other political parties can cause friction.

        How much would Greens be prepared to reassess their philosophical distance if a coalition with National would mean they would be able to push for significant action on vulnerable children?

        If UnitedFuture were in a position to add the weight of a few seats to that it would be even better. If I become an MP children and family issues will be my major focus, I know others in the party are similar, and the party is behind that.

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          You missed the point, Pete.

          There is no conflict between “Green party ideals” and “putting the needs of children first”.

          If you want to put the needs of children first, it’s you who’ll be moving closer to the Green party’s ideals, not the other way around.

          And if you had any clue about Green party policy and philosophy I wouldn’t need to tell you that.

          “I know others in the party are similar, and the party is behind that”

          FFS Anakin, “others in the party” are behind whatever issue will keep Peter Dunne’s useless arse in his seat, and there’s hardly a voter in the country who doesn’t know it.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.1

            The Greens don’t own policy on children. I had my own personal policies on children before the Green Party existed. I won’t be moving to their misguided idealism.

            For the Greens to do any good for children they need to move their policy positions to something that is realistic. And they need to move their ideals on who to work with in government to something that will make it possible for them to do something.

            I don’t expect you to have any inside knowledge of UnitedFuture. I expect you will keep making things up, that’s how you tend to troll.

            • felix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Unsurprising, Anakin.

              Fortunately for NZ there are around 10 times as many people who’ll vote for the greens – party who stick to their principles – than for your tawdry little bunch of self-serving sellouts, for sale to the highest bidder.

            • alex 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks for that Pete, as you point out the Greens do have an excellent policy on child poverty. However, I think you’ll find that United Future’s policy boils down to saying ‘family values’ and then playing watch the worm.

          • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1.1.2

            Didn’t the Greens recently have an election campaign that featured a child asking the electorate to vote for her future? I’m pretty sure it looked a lot like this, Pete.
             
             

      • kriswgtn 6.1.2

        Or the recreational hunting lobby. Or the fundamentalist christian lobby. Or the alcohol lobby. Or whoever else will write your leader a cheque this year.

        Def wont be the Legalize Marijuana Lobby

        His hair piece is still stoned and rules his brain
        drugs are bad for you but not me

        😛

        So Pete what party is backing him this year?

    • Campbell Larsen 6.2

      Maybe if the government that united future is currently a part of would start putting the interests of children in need ahead of their party ideals we wouldn’t have to rely on the Greens to save us.

      “get their heads around targeted assistance” you mean fall for the bullshit – playing off the needs of children against the needs of other vulnerable/ poor people is dirty, cheap politics.

      How about the very well off buy a few less ferraris, or smaller mansions, they will barely notice it – the ‘targeting’ that you refer to is going to have a significant and detrimental effect on the already poor.

      UF don’t have a family focus – they have a survival focus – their own. Pretending that it’s all about the kids is about as ugly as electioneering gets.

      What’s the best option? Consign UF to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

      • felix 6.2.1

        Indeed, UF is not and has never been about anything but sinecure and longevity.

        It says a lot about “Pete Dunno” here that he chose to throw his lot in with such a self-serving, ego-oriented one-man-band.

      • Puddleglum 6.2.2

        Multiple nails on heads, Campbell. A pleasure to read.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Ya ain’t seen nuthin yet!

    Labour can make all the promises it likes: nothing within the framework of orthodox economics or orthodox politics is going to stop what is now ‘thundering up the beach’.

    If it doesn’t hit October 2011 it will definitely hit before October 2012.

    Brace for impact.

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/09/brace-for-impact/

    And just in case there is anyone reading this who is at all interested in dealing with reality:

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/09/lessons-of-history/

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      And if it doesn’t hit in October 2012 it will definitley hit in October 2013.

      There is nothing more certain

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        From the second link:

        However, studies have repeatedly demonstrated the reluctance of people to respond to alarms. Upon hearing a fire alarm, rather than taking decisive action, subjects in groups tend to seek cues from others; if others ignore the alarm, they also tend to. That is particularly so if an authority figure is present and that person ignores the alarm, or even worse, tells everyone to ignore the alarm. On the other hand, if an authority figure suggests the venue be evacuated immediately, all those present usually respond quickly.

        I suspect you’re one of the people waiting for your authority figure to tell you to respond to the alarm.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1.1

          But certainly no later than October 2014. At the latest.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            And what has that got to do with me? I’ve been saying for the last few years that the shit will hit the fan around 2020. Of course the shit will be flying before then. AFKTT has different timing on the same prediction.

            I was just pointing out that the sirens and alarms have been going on for some time, they’ve been getting louder and yet people are still wondering WTF to do – waiting for their Authority Figure to tell them. Some people even deny the existence of the alarms even though they’ve been obvious for the last half century or more. You and Enough is Enough seem to be in this latter group.

  8. UpandComer 8

    Hilarious:

    You have all this terrible, shit state housing stock believed in by Labour like it’s the gospel. 3 bedrooms for one person, or 3 bedrooms for ten people, the latter of which get sick and suffer terribly. They are a stain on the landscape and a disgraceful lapse of care for vulnerable people. Those houses will be demolished, or sold, and people given housing that isn’t stupid and shit that makes sense. This will bring child poverty down hugely.

    In welfare the government is spending 24 million dollars on the most at risk people, school age mums or pregnant girls, giving them active monitoring and support so they get level 2. If they get level 2 they have a 70% less chance of going on the benefit. If they go on a benefit they cost $400000 before the come off. Under national you get a person looking after ten girls, given $100k, and if they don’t do a good job they get fired and someone else gets it. You have to start somewhere so this is where they are starting. Under Labour you give these little kids money and tell them ‘go fish’ and they all go on the benefit.

    Welfare is being changed for the better in a way it hasn’t for 20 years. We’ve told 200,000 people for 20 years who don’t have a job, you’re screwed, here’s a bit of money, see you later. Well this government is actually following up on people and providing them active support. If stuff doesn’t work it needs to change! Welfare is shit, it doesn’t work, so it is getting changed. Govt create jobs? well the public service people who have tragically lost their jobs are victims of a grossly inflated public service that blew up under Labour.

    Education – simple ideas, here’s one – about 4000 kids leave school each year and just disappear, almost all ending up on the benefit, drug screwed, and Labour doesn’t give a shit. National makes these kids worth money to schools, by taking the funding away from the school to accrue to the kid and makes the money arrive in much swifter installments. Suddenly schools say shit these kids are worth a lot of money to us, and the polytechs see this worth and compete for them too. Where before they were left to rot, now the institutions are competing for their patronage. The polytechs are incentivised to provide decent industry training, and are doing that, and these kids are back to school smartly. That’s how you get decent industry courses, not by funding worthless classes that industry proponents avoid like the plauge, as in plumbing and plastering.

    You have this tail end of kids who can’t spell or read, but that’s okay if you’re Labour. National standards are simply a threshold of stuff a kid should know at a given age that parents can check. It’s not teach to test. You’re right, this will absolutely help kids. Mate kids in classes hierarchy themselves implicitly anyway. Schooling is a joke, basically a contract for the middle class who pay their taxes and get child-care. It’s not working for so many people, it’s getting changed, because it’s not about the bloody ministry or the teachers or Labour, it’s about the kids.

    The Labour school of thought that says, well if the kids poor and brown, low decile they can’t do it, so stuff them forget expectations, just give their parents or the unions more borrowed money, that’ll solve it, is anathema to National.

    Government always runs businesses badly, always. They have no reason to run them well. Institutions need to be made self-aware and dynamic, as they are starting to become. There is 13.5 billions $$$ worth of school capital. The ministry is using that more efficiently by not getting massive new money intakes, financed by debt. Asset sales are going to make these SOE’s provide about one hundred millions dollars more to the taxpayer, even with decreased ownership, and guess what, people aren’t shit scared anymore, Labour can’t exploit people’s fear and keep them down, because people have confidence they can actually own shares now. Nats bring it in and go up and up and up. You people are living in the 90’s. It’s a long time ago guys.

    Labour doesn’t get it. The days of spend the money. are. over. It’s finished guys, world wide it is finished. Labour paralysed and interefered with the public service, so it stayed stagnant. You guys don’t get it. You’re finished for a long time, at least until you apologise to New Zealand for screwing it up so badly for so long and then maybe you can come back, maybe.

    Labour is all about the institutions and itself, National is actually about the people. Counterintuitive isn’t it, but true. All this Labour mythology is funny and it’s pierced. Yeah great create a giant useless ministry that peddles such worthless crap as the ‘fast forward fund’, that interferes with beneficial stuff that doesn’t fall under it’s aegis, and pushes reams of disempowering identity political crap on institutions that lose all motivation.

    National would welcome constructively working with the greens. You guys shat on them for years taking them for granted like you take brown people for granted, well you might very well be going to them cap in hand in the future, so maybe you should stop stealing Green policies and start being nice to the few people who unbelievably still think you are worth their time.

    Welcome to the new world chaps, one that has moved on from you. Happy reading and happy electioneering.

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    DTB.

    Interestingly, the alarm was sounded very loudly in late 2007 (when all the share markets peaked) and idiots like Enough and the Gormless Fool scoffed and mocked, just as they do now.

    None of the markets have recovered to even their 1999 levels. So when we look at the decline in the value of money, most markets have fallen by 40-60% in real terms over the past decade. Note that gold, which was around $250 an ounce around 2003 is now well over $1800, i.e. the value of fiat currencies has fallen to 250/1800 = 14% of its former value in just 8 years.

    Ignorant twats like ‘Enough’ and ‘Gormless’ can’t see such things because they don’t want to.

    The next round of collape in Europe, the US and Japan is underway, and the Chinese bubble economy is bursting.

    The only question is: will it be devastating for NZ by the end of this year or will take a year to be devastating for NZ?

  10. jem 10

    “Labour has promised to put children at the centre of social policy”

    And since when do Labour follow through on any promises?
    They are the opposition and desperate, of course they are promising the “world”.

    They had 9years at the helm, and cut it any way you want, the current situation did not happen overnight so Labour are at least partly responsible for the current problems. If you they they arent then you are living in a dream world.

    • r0b 10.1

      And since when do Labour follow through on any promises?

      Since 1999. That’s why I joined the party then.

      They had 9years at the helm, and cut it any way you want,

      Cut it any way you want things were getting better for kids in poverty. Too slowly, of course, but getting better.

      • jem 10.1.1

        “Since 1999” Really? lets look back shall we…

        2004
        “A $56.9 million package of new and expanded initiatives in Budget 2004 will cement in the government’s commitment to provide all 15 to 19 year olds with a kick start to their working lives”

        2003
        “Budget 2003 contains a comprehensive package of initiatives to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are involved in education, training or work or other options by 2007”

        2002
        “Government plans to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are in education, training or work by 2006 could save taxpayers more than $1 billion, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.”

        2000
        “No young person will leave school without options in education, training or employment within three years, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.”

        Anyone notice a trend here?
        Maybe along the lines of LABOUR NOT ABLE TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON PROMISES??

        • mickysavage 10.1.1.1

          Money was programmed, budgeted and spent.  And your point is?

          • jem 10.1.1.1.1

            My point it only that, in 9years, when you look at the historical figures for Youth unemployment it really doesn’t look like all that money spent has achieved anything what-so-ever.

            Basically the figures have never gone into single digits, so what exactly was this money being spent on???

            And look at the 2002 quote above.
            “Government plans to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are in education, training or work by 2006”

            Did they achieve that? No-where near!

            So question with all sincerity is…
            If they couldn’t achieve that goal, why should I believe that they can achieve this one?

            • mickysavage 10.1.1.1.1.1

              My point it only that, in 9years, when you look at the historical figures for Youth unemployment it really doesn’t look like all that money spent has achieved anything what-so-ever.
               
              Go and find the youth unemployment figures for 2008.  They were startlingly good.
               
              Have a look at them now.  They are appalling.
               
              Then figure out possible reasons:
               
              1.  Good at least in part because of the spending over the previous years you have identified.
              2.  Appalling because we have a bunch of buffoons running the country.
               
               
               

  11. vto 11

    The name and definition of this report needs changing because it is misleading and deceptive.

    The measure of “poverty” here is a proportion of the population at the bottom. As such it has nothing to do with how well they can provide for themselves and everything to do with how well they are “kkeping up with the Joneses”. No use.

    Similarly, because it is measured as a proportion of the population there will always be this type of “poverty”. There is always a bottom proportion and as such can never be removed.

    Further, the word “poverty” has a meaning to most everybody in the population which is different than in this report. Most regard poverty as not being able to provide adequate food and shelter. But here it is not being able to provide as much as the richer people.

    The naming of this report needs changing. Take out the reference to poverty. It should be called the “Report on Keeping up with the Joneses”.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Not really. It seems to use a standard mix of poverty measures, including hardship. <50% median income, and so on. 
        
         
      Some of the hardship measures tend to go towards socialisation and social participation (e.g. gaming console ownership put off because of income), but that’s why researchers use a bundle (4 or more, 6 or more) so that physical hardship is also included – e.g. no wet-weather gear, shoes not repaired, etc. If you just restricted “poverty” to food and shelter, you’d miss education (those “voluntary” purchases of ipads and uniforms), heating (not shorts-in-winter, just above WHO minimums to prevent the onset of preventable respiratory conditions), overcrowding (excellent for infection and bug transmission),  etc.
       
      Frankly I’m surprised it took this long for the “keeping up with the Joneses” misinterpretation to be seized on as a “there is no Depression in NZ” meme, because on the face of it any poverty threshhold is arbitrary. But it’s actually a merging of hardship indicators from prevalence surveys and wider income-related data, and is not too far off the mark when you compare it to the consequential indicators like imprisonment, injury, preventable illness and early death.

  12. Vicky32 12

    @R because I can’t reply using this system.
    Why should the state support children raised with your beliefs? Why should your beliefs support introducing a child to the world when others’ beliefs don’t?

    I think you misunderstood me completely! (Probably my own fault, but still). My point that I wanted to make is, that when people not using contraception, make a baby, that’s usually the last thing on their minds, that is, they’re not even thinking about the possibility. Then it happens. People to whom it happens don’t necessarily end up on the DPB – my parents didn’t! People in relationships who take the line that sterility is the default, and children are an automatic oops, let’s panic, have it all bass-ackwards, in terms of all of human history to date, and in terms of human nature. (It’s important that I point out that I come from a previous generation to yours..)

    My understanding of the DPB is that it’s intended to assist children who are bereft of a parent. i.e. a parent raising children without a partner, when once upon a time the parents who conceived the child actually cared for it.

    Ma dai! You seem to be saying that parents on the DPB don’t care about their child(ren). I brought up a son on a DPB because his father disappeared… I admit I was not using contraception, neither was my ex – but it’s important to point out that I didn’t know I needed to! At the risk of being too self-disclosing, I believed I couldn’t conceive… Also, of course, I didn’t expect the relationship to come to an abrupt and to me, horrifying end…

    It is a sad state of affairs when young women have no choice, awareness or control over their fertility and are then condemned and vilified by the very men who used them so.

    You’re attacking me, and I don’t understand why. I agree with you!

    • R 12.1

      My apologies, Vicky, I did misunderstand you.

      And I certainly didn’t mean to say that people on the DPB don’t care for their children, I obviously put that completely the wrong way; I was trying to say that the person not caring for the child was the absent parent who wasn’t supporting their child financially, NOT the custodial parent on the DPB.

      I don’t think that people should stay in relationships that are bad for them or their children, but I do believe emphatically that both parties have an obligation to provide for their children.

      R

      • Vicky32 12.1.1

        I don’t think that people should stay in relationships that are bad for them or their children, but I do believe emphatically that both parties have an obligation to provide for their children.

        Absolutely agreed! 🙂

        • R 12.1.1.1

          thanks Vicky, I do apologise sincerely: my original rant was not appropriate or fair and I am sorry for it. Like you, I have some personal experience with these issues; it was unwise of me to comment from my own p.o.v. on a more general discussion and I really hope I haven’t offended others.

          • Vicky32 12.1.1.1.1

            From my point of view, R., it’s fine, as we now understand one another. Thank you so much for your apology which is accepted with thanks!

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