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Budget gives with one hand and takes with the other

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, May 22nd, 2015 - 188 comments
Categories: benefits, budget 2015, class war, poverty, welfare - Tags: , ,

An increase to the base rate of benefits is welcome, but it comes with nasty fishhooks. There is the usual (for this government) increased pressure on beneficiaries (source):

• Most sole-parents, and partners of beneficiaries, will have to be available for part-time work once their youngest child turns three, rather than the current age of five.

• All beneficiaries with part-time work obligations would be expected to find work for 20 hours a week, rather than current 15 hours.

• Beneficiaries receiving Sole Parent Support will have to reapply for their benefit every year.

As the CTU point out, for beneficiaries with young children the increased work requirements are going to absorb the increase: “This will effectively become an extra ECE cost that easily swallows the extra $25 per week”. (Plenty of good discussion in that CTU document, check it out.)

Also, abatements / clawbacks reduce the impact of the increased rate. From the factsheet:

What else changes when benefits increase?

The interconnected nature of the welfare system means that the $25 a week per family increase in benefit rates will have an effect on some of the supplementary payments that families may be receiving.

Beneficiary families who pay income-related rents for social housing will pay slightly more in rent than they otherwise would. Their rent is set at 25 per cent of their income, so a benefit increase of $25 a week means their rent will go up by $6.25 a week.

Beneficiary families who are renting privately, getting the Accommodation Supplement, and receiving less than the maximum subsidy for their area, are expected to get $4 a week less in Accommodation Supplement than they otherwise would.

People who are receiving Temporary Additional Support on top of their benefit may also find this reduces slightly because of the increase in their income.

These flow-on effects mean beneficiary families will receive, on average, an in-the-hand income gain of just over $23 a week.

Naturally the major “take” in the budget, cutting Kiwisaver, takes effect immediately, while the increase to benefits is scheduled for April next year.  And, as usual, health and education go backwards in real terms:

Today’s budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards – as they have every year under National (Education has even been cut in nominal terms, falling from $11.5 billion in 2009 to $10.8 billion today).

This budget shows that National is in a panic, forced by widespread public pressure to address leftie / progressive issues – a capital gains tax, Auckland housing, and poverty. In each case, however, they have done it as weakly as they could. We the people need to keep the pressure on.


Update: I’m copying the comment from Mike in Auckland up here into the post:

I dare to say that there will be little extra spending by this government on benefits, contrary to the perception by many in the mainstream media and public. It sounds great this talk of 25 dollars extra for low income, benefit receiving sole parents.

In reality the existing abatement system will result in cuts to temporary additional support and the accommodation supplement for many, they get more base benefits, but it will in too many cases be clawed back from other benefit components, thus leaving the affected no better off.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755318/not-much-for-poor-in-budget-family-centre-boss

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755317/bill-english-explains-benefict-increase-of-25-dollars-a-week

So sole parents will have to look for part time work once the youngest child is 3 years old, and that means they will be moved to the lower Jobseeker benefit and no longer get sole parent support, and then no longer get the increased base benefit for that. Also will they have to work at least 20 hours a week, so they are likely to get less top up from WINZ once in that category, if at all.

What seems a top up of a benefit will only really leave few better off, and most no better off. It is just another English con job by our Finance Minister and this government.

And in other areas they move even sick and disabled into work, by putting some forms of expectations and pressures on them, they have even started putting pressures on people’s doctors, to not sign them off as unable to work, despite of sickness, injury and disability:

http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/16092-work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-%E2%80%93-partly-following-acc%E2%80%99s-approach-a-revealing-fact-study/

http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/designated-doctors-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc-the-truth-about-them/

Yet work in not always “good for health”, despite of supposed “evidence” WINZ now rely on:

http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/work-has-fewer-health-benefits-than-mansel-aylward-and-other-experts-claim-it-can-cause-serious-harm/

And discretely MSD has made it harder for beneficiaries making appeals against WINZ decisions on health grounds, or grounds relating to work capability, to get a fair hearing at Medical Appeals Boards:

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-medical-appeal-board-how-msd-and-winz-have-secretely-changed-the-process-disadvantaging-beneficiaries/
Some new OIA info raises serious questions about the success of their use of contractors to get sick and disabled, same as sole parents, into work:
https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/

I call this step by the government much BS and propaganda, it is not what it seems, dear folks.

188 comments on “Budget gives with one hand and takes with the other”

  1. Karuna Nelson 1

    What can I say Mr Bill English I thought I could trust that you would see that issues of affordable housing and education are paramount to looking after New Zealand. It would be good if you developed a conscience and gave NZers a hand up. I see more and more beggars and homelessness. I know that people who are suffering needlessly mental illness are falling through the cracks and even turned away from help from Psychiatrists.

    It is becoming common that the mentally ill are only getting help by getting into trouble with neighbours. More and more it is necessary for the mentally ill to get help from the police. Either because they are having difficulties with erroneous beliefs eg hallucinations or paranoia. Or getting on the wrong side of the law. The Police shouldn’t have to diagnose psych problems they have enough trouble in today’s society with criminals.

    It is a fractured society Alvin Toffler said that there would be problems with rapid changes and that instead of good infrastructure providing services that actually help people there would be facades eg our Mental Health system. There are a lotvof victims of this who are self harming and committing suicide today even when they are in supposed care eg Nicky Autumn Stevens under Waikato DHB Unit recently.

    Mr John Key I believe had Social housing and I believe his mother was on a widows pension. She was a solo parent and wasn’t told to work When John Key was a child. I believe that Paula Bennett got her degree on the TIA and was on the DPB and now she has been wreaking havoc with beneficiary entitlements her last portfolio and has been moved to being Minister of Social Development! !! Lord have mercy on us!!! And wake up Team Key!!! Your people are suffering! !!!

    • Molly 1.1

      I agree with what you say Karuna, except for this:
      ..”And wake up Team Key!!! Your people are suffering! !!!”

      Team Key is wide awake and grasping. Their people are thriving.

      Ordinary NZer’s are not even on their radar.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        +1

        The National Party is, overall, sociopathic.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1

          Fucking sociopaths with their first increase in benefit levels since 1972. Arseholes.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            The same sociopaths that removed $20/wk out of the benefits in 1990. Given it’s taken them this long to put it back to that level, you have to ask, why now?

            • Michael 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The sociopaths who succeeded them in 1999 did not bother to restore benefit levels either.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s the thing about sociopaths. You have to distrust their motives.

              Unlike the caring Clark government which never increased benefit levels in real terms despite sustained, record surpluses. You know when they did not act, they were doing so in a caring way.

              • weka

                You seem to be mistaking sociopathy with meanness. However I’m quite willing to accept that there are sociopaths within the Labour caucus. They didn’t have any where near the same degree of power and control in the Clark govt as they do in the Key govt.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Nope. They were catering to the rich almost as much as National and were sociopathic in that regard. But they didn’t put the boot in to the poor the way that National does.

                • weka

                  True, but I wouldn’t call catering to the rich as the marker of sociopathy, I’d call I immoral. Sociopathy is something different, more about a level of disconnect in the individual, and I don’t see that to nearly the same degree in the Clark govt. Although maybe they were just kinder sociopaths (the stab in the back rather than the front kind).

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2

            Did you read the bit about giving with one hand and taking with the other?

            An increase of $25 would be nice if things remained the same but National have actually managed to also make it harder to be on a benefit. This on top of the beneficiary bashing that they’ve been engaging in over the last few years.

            This is National to a T. They support the enrichment of the already rich and put the boot into the poor. These are the actions of sociopaths.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.2.1

              See, again, more evidence of the Left’s impotent fury. For seven years, they’ve been spouting this nonsense (sociopaths, governing for America, lining the pockets of their rich mates) and everywhere normal people look, they see no evidence of it. So, they conclude you are all mental. Which causes you to grow ever more desperate and unbalanced. And around we go again.

              • weka

                most people I know look at the current govt and know that something is really wrong. If that makes us all mental, so be it, but it’s a sizeable portion of the population which creates a problem for all you sane ones, doesn’t it.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  You should ask your friends to vote.

              • Gosman

                Yeah but the normal people are kept ignorant by the biased MSM apparently (well according to some lefties at least).

  2. Mike in Auckland 2

    I dare to say that there will be little extra spending by this government on benefits, contrary to the perception by many in the mainstream media and public. It sounds great this talk of 25 dollars extra for low income, benefit receiving sole parents.

    In reality the existing abatement system will result in cuts to temporary additional support and the accommodation supplement for many, they get more base benefits, but it will in too many cases be clawed back from other benefit components, thus leaving the affected no better off.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755318/not-much-for-poor-in-budget-family-centre-boss

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755317/bill-english-explains-benefict-increase-of-25-dollars-a-week

    So sole parents will have to look for part time work once the youngest child is 3 years old, and that means they will be moved to the lower Jobseeker benefit and no longer get sole parent support, and then no longer get the increased base benefit for that. Also will they have to work at least 20 hours a week, so they are likely to get less top up from WINZ once in that category, if at all.

    What seems a top up of a benefit will only really leave few better off, and most no better off. It is just another English con job by our Finance Minister and this government.

    And in other areas they move even sick and disabled into work, by putting some forms of expectations and pressures on them, they have even started putting pressures on people’s doctors, to not sign them off as unable to work, despite of sickness, injury and disability:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/16092-work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-%E2%80%93-partly-following-acc%E2%80%99s-approach-a-revealing-fact-study/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/designated-doctors-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc-the-truth-about-them/

    Yet work in not always “good for health”, despite of supposed “evidence” WINZ now rely on:

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/work-has-fewer-health-benefits-than-mansel-aylward-and-other-experts-claim-it-can-cause-serious-harm/

    And discretely MSD has made it harder for beneficiaries making appeals against WINZ decisions on health grounds, or grounds relating to work capability, to get a fair hearing at Medical Appeals Boards:

    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-medical-appeal-board-how-msd-and-winz-have-secretely-changed-the-process-disadvantaging-beneficiaries/

    Some new OIA info raises serious questions about the success of their use of contractors to get sick and disabled, same as sole parents, into work:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/

    I call this step by the government much BS and propaganda, it is not what it seems, dear folks.

    • Molly 2.1

      I had the same reaction to the news Mike. Thanks for laying it out so well.

  3. Mike the Savage One 3

    I dare to say that there will be little extra spending by this government on benefits, contrary to the perception by many in the mainstream media and public. It sounds great this talk of 25 dollars extra for low income, benefit receiving sole parents.

    In reality the existing abatement system will result in cuts to temporary additional support and the accommodation supplement for many, they get more base benefits, but it will in too many cases be clawed back from other benefit components, thus leaving the affected no better off.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755318/not-much-for-poor-in-budget-family-centre-boss

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755317/bill-english-explains-benefict-increase-of-25-dollars-a-week

    So sole parents will have to look for part time work once the youngest child is 3 years old, and that means they will be moved to the lower Jobseeker benefit and no longer get sole parent support, and then no longer get the increased base benefit for that. Also will they have to work at least 20 hours a week, so they are likely to get less top up from WINZ once in that category, if at all.

    What seems a top up of a benefit will only really leave few better off, and most no better off. It is just another English con job by our Finance Minister and this government.

    And in other areas they move even sick and disabled into work, by putting some forms of expectations and pressures on them, they have even started putting pressures on people’s doctors, to not sign them off as unable to work, despite of sickness, injury and disability:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/16092-work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-%E2%80%93-partly-following-acc%E2%80%99s-approach-a-revealing-fact-study/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/designated-doctors-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc-the-truth-about-them/

    Yet work in not always “good for health”, despite of supposed “evidence” WINZ now rely on:
    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/work-has-fewer-health-benefits-than-mansel-aylward-and-other-experts-claim-it-can-cause-serious-harm/

    And discretely MSD has made it harder for beneficiaries making appeals against WINZ decisions on health grounds, or grounds relating to work capability, to get a fair hearing at Medical Appeals Boards:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-medical-appeal-board-how-msd-and-winz-have-secretely-changed-the-process-disadvantaging-beneficiaries/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/17116-the-medical-appeal-board-how-msd-and-winz-have-secretely-changed-the-process/

    Some new OIA info raises serious questions about the success of their use of contractors to get sick and disabled, same as sole parents, into work:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/

    I call this step by the government much BS and propaganda, it is not quite what it seems, dear folks. More work expectations, even for sick and disabled, will see to it, that more will be forced off benefits. That will make this step by the government quite “affordable”.

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/nz-finance-minister-bill-english-insults-beneficiaries-with-mansel-aylwards-work-will-set-you-free-approach/

    • Gosman 3.1

      That should mean then there is a surplus earlier than expected as the Government is cutting spending in some areas to pay for the extra social spending.

      • Halfcrown 3.1.1

        “That should mean then there is a surplus earlier than expected”

        When?
        Next month,
        Next year
        2016
        2017
        Never

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          You didn’t read the comment above mine did you?

          If the extra spending is not actually extra spending then cutting the Kickstart subsidy will mean there is surplus funds.

          You do understand how budgets work don’t you?

          • Matthew Hooton 3.1.1.1.1

            There will never be a surplus under the current government, unless they change their approach.
            The forecast $176 million surplus for 2015/16 is based on forecast dairy prices that are far higher than most people in the industry think are realistic.

            • thatguynz 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Putting aside the debate as to whether a surplus is a good thing or otherwise, why then do they continue to promise the surplus and not achieve it?

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Highly likely. However if they claw back the extra spending on Child Poverty alieviation as the person above believes they will do and they also remove the Kickstart subsidy it would give them much more room to achieve this surplus. Of course they aren’t going to be clawing back the extra spending at all but some lefties can’t accept that National is really spending more in this area.

    • weka 3.2

      “So sole parents will have to look for part time work once the youngest child is 3 years old, and that means they will be moved to the lower Jobseeker benefit and no longer get sole parent support, and then no longer get the increased base benefit for that. Also will they have to work at least 20 hours a week, so they are likely to get less top up from WINZ once in that category, if at all.”

      Are you sure the policy is going to be a shift from the DPB to the dole once the child is 3 (i.e. a drop in benefit)?

      The other issue here is that 20hours a week at minimum wage is well over the threshold where the income abatement kicks in. So on top of all the other abatement issues people are talking about, there is a secondary tax on every dollar earned from IRD, and a further abatement from WINZ for every dollar over $100 earned, something like 30c between $100 and $200, and 70c for above $200 (there is an upper limit on that I think). The WINZ abatement is calculated on pre-taxed income.

      • Sacha 3.2.1

        Yes, I spotted the extra 5 hours work abatement problem too. Not seen any pundit/media talking about it yet.

        MSD must be expecting a tiny proportion of beneficiaries to actually secure jobs if they calculate the net average at $23. Must also be wildly optimistic about how many are affected by accommodation and TAS clawbacks to arrive at that number.

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          The cynic in me thinks that they know damn well that on paper it looks like $23/family, but in reality the amount this costs the govt will be far far less.

          • Colonial Rawshark 3.2.1.1.1

            Bryan Gould says the policy is priced at $790M (I presume per annum). That’s a lot of people receiving it.

            • weka 3.2.1.1.1.1

              “Bryan Gould says the policy is priced at $790M (I presume per annum). That’s a lot of people receiving it.”

              I’m not sure I can believe you are really that naive CV. Just because the budget says $790M, what makes you think this is is going to translate into real help? I think you will find the real life numbers being helped in reality will be much smaller.

            • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1.2

              about 600,000 recipients at $25/wk.

              I.e. about twice the number of current beneficiaries.

              From the stuff article in the post:

              Low-income working families earning $36,350 a year or less, before tax, will get $12.50 extra a week from Working for Families.

              Remember Labour’s plan to extend WFF to beneficiaries?
              The nats have stolen it and simply reversed the packaging (including WFF in a benefit increase).

              This isn’t a national party budget, this is outright plagiarism of labour party policies…

              • Descendant Of Sssmith

                This one back in 2011.
                http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/election-2011/90338/labour-would-extend-working-for-families

                Note the National criticism at the bottom.

                Note also it’s policy absence at the last election and from current policy.

                http://campaign.labour.org.nz/all_our_announced_policies

                See how easy it was for Labour to lose my vote.

                • McFlock

                  Labour keep coming up with good policies, but then either the tories or other lefties bitch so much they get a panic on and drop the policies again.

                  They need to stop being chicken and just let a good policy stand, regardless of criticism. I’m coming to the extremely strong conclusion that collective indecisiveness is a bigger vote-killer than shitty policy.

                  Let the caucus and party members support and comment on policies in their own area, and for any other topic “well, it was a policy put together by sensible and experienced people whom I trust to look closely and rationally at all the details, so even if we’re not completely familiar with all aspects of the issue at this stage it’s probably a lot better than ‘some’ people are making out“.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Mate, they’ve been trying to lose the vote of left wingers for a very long time. I wonder how that is working out for them.

            • Ergo Robertina 3.2.1.1.1.3

              It’s not an annual amount It’s $790 million over four years: https://www.national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2015/05/21/Help-for-families-at-heart-of-responsible-Budget

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.2.1.1.2

            Seriously.

            “that means they will be moved to the lower Jobseeker benefit and no longer get sole parent support, and then no longer get the increased base benefit for that.”

            An even cursory look at the WINZ website will tell you that sole parent rate for a Job Seeker is $300-98 and the sole parent rate for sole parent support is $300-98. A difference of zero.

            I’ve long argued for Labour to have a policy of increasing benefit rates but it seems that the fact that National has done it has caused people to find bogeymen that aren’t there ie lose all objectivity.

            Points in favour

            1. It’s a more substantial increase in benefit rates parents than the normal annual increase would have been
            2. There are no changes to increase the current abating of benefits to make it different from any other increase eg the annual general increase
            3. It’s in addition to the annual adjustment and could have simply been instead of
            4. It pushes Labour to the left (though that may be wishful thinking).

            Points against:

            1. It only applies to those with children and those without children should also get it
            2. It doesn’t resolve the issue of those people most disadvantaged by the benefit cuts who were youth aged 18-24 who got moved to what was then the under 18 rate. Unless youth rates are returned to the pre-cut under 18 benefits only no resolution can be considered complete.
            3. It shouldn’t be considered a re-instatement of the benefit cuts because it bears no relationship to the inflationary rate of those $20-00 per week cuts and nor does it resolve any sort of restitution for all those who have suffered as a result of those cuts (including back-payment)
            4. It comes with an increase in obligations that seems unnecessary.
            5. It doesn’t start now.

            Now when you compare it against Labours policy of increasing benefits by more than this – oops they don’t have one, or of changing the abatement regime so that when benefits are increased there is less abatement – oops there isn’t one, or of removing age discrimination and making all benefits the same rate as NZS – oops there isn’t one of those either then it’s a bit difficult to portray the increase as miserable.

            Compared to Labour’s offering for beneficiaries it is munificent.

            I also think they’ve been quite honest about pointing out the fact that for some people they will get less due to supplementary abatement. It would be wrong of them to not do that.

            It’s not all I would want but fact is, it’s more than Labour cared to do then (you know the cynical pricks that only put the $20-00 back on NZS) and more than Labour care to do now.

            When a single NZS client can get $374-53 per week payment and a single non-NZS beneficiary aged 23 can only get $175-10 per week there something fundamentally wrong with the benefit system.

            • weka 3.2.1.1.2.1

              It’s strange though, this FPP Labour making National look good approach to critique. Try the GP policy and see how far National (and Labour) have to go,

              Key Principles

              Everyone has a standard of living that enables them to participate in their community.

              People have sufficient income for their personal and whanau/family’s well-being.

              People are actively involved in meeting their potential and creating a fulfilling life.

              A commitment to full employment.

              Greater emphasis on sufficiency, simplicity, universality.

              Specific Policy Points

              Set benefit amounts at a level sufficient for all basic needs of the individual/family.

              Protect all benefit levels by linking rates to a fixed percentage of the average wage (like superannuation).

              Replace the current Social Security Act 1964 with a simple two-tier benefit system consisting of a universal base rate that is enough to live on, with add-ons for specific circumstances, such as dependants, disability or chronic illness.

              A Universal Child Benefit with the ability to capitalise it towards a home deposit.

              Abolish stand-down periods, treat people aged 18 and over as adults for benefit purposes; no forced work for the dole.

              Support urgent Government action to address the problem of benefit abatement for those moving into employment, and the removal of the poverty trap created by high marginal tax rates that exist for people on low incomes.

              Introduce a tax-free zone at the bottom end of the income scale.

              DPB to be protected; no compulsory work-testing.

              Appropriate training, vocational advice and support for sole parents.

              Remove discrimination from tax credit regimes such as the In Work

              Payment component of Working for Families.

              Support an allowance to beneficiaries who carry out a minimum number of hours of voluntary work per week.

              Improve the culture of Work and Income so that people are treated with dignity and respect and are enable to access their full entitlements promptly.

              https://home.greens.org.nz/policysummary/income-support-policy-summary

              • Descendant Of Sssmith

                Aye acknowledged yesterday that only Greens and Mana had actual policies to increase benefit rates, That’s why one of them got my vote last election.

            • Mike the Savage One 3.2.1.1.2.2

              Also add the point to the negatives (“Points against”), that this $ 25 increase will be for parents with kids on benefits, irrespective of how many children they have. So those with two or more kids are being disadvantaged, as they were before.

              Child poverty must be addressed differently, not by a one off, single increase simply for being a parent dependent on a benefit, no matter what childcare obligations they have for how many children.

              • Descendant Of Sssmith

                Agreed if you read my older posts I’d bring back universal family benefit at a decent rate.

                That would resolve that issue and remove much of the divide and conquer aspects of targeted assistance and reduce the interaction a normal citizen has to have with the state to get assistance eg providing income details, etc.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  and reduce the interaction a normal citizen has to have with the state to get assistance eg providing income details, etc.

                  Labour also loves piling all kinds of onerous requirements on beneficiaries

                  Another reason why a UBI is needed

                  • weka

                    “Labour also loves piling all kinds of onerous requirements on beneficiaries”

                    Such as?

            • Colonial Rawshark 3.2.1.1.2.3

              DoS

              Thanks for this complete run down

              Says it all

      • Mike the Savage One 3.2.2

        I added a comment further below, correcting that presumption. Yes, Sole Parent Support recipients can continue to claim that benefit until the youngest child is 14. But they do have much tougher work test obligations. By increasing the hours that sole parents (and all others with part time work obligations) have to work from 15 to 20, WINZ will save money, as this extra income that persons earn will affect their total benefit entitlement.

        • weka 3.2.2.1

          Thanks, saw that. Very few people are commenting on the income abatement issue.

          • Mike the Savage One 3.2.2.1.1

            I suspect that even Bill English and John Key do not understand the benefit system and the abatement system that exists. They may actually believe that the extra support will be what beneficiary parents get. And the same seems to apply to many within Labour, I think most politicians have no clue about the benefit system and how it really works.

            And most certainly the mainstream media are at least as ignorant and clueless, and having listened to Duncan Garner on Radio Live this afternoon, where he called AAAP protestors nothing less than “thugs”, that shows how damned biased most media reporters and hosts are. With that it is an uphill battle to inform the public, who give these idiots and jerks too much credit and who then believe what the media report.

            The average joe blogs will not know much about abatement of benefits, and will simply continue to think that those on benefits have it far too easy, on their taxpayers’ expense.

    • Mike the Savage One 3.3

      Apologies for two posts from me above being very similar, almost identical, I did first this morning load a post under “Mike in Auckland”, which is not the usual pseudonym I post under on TS. As it did not show, I loaded another comment soon after.

      Having had another read of Bill English’s Budget 2015 speech, I need to clarify, that it appears to not be as of now, but rather from 01 April 2016 onwards that beneficiaries (not just sole parents or parents with children) will have to look for at least 20 hours part time work, instead of 15. That is also when this applies once the youngest child is 3 (instead of 5).

      Also do Sole Parent Support recipients have to re-apply for benefits after each year of being in receipt of this benefit, which is new and will force people to declare and prove their circumstances. I must clarify and correct also, that sole parents can receive the Sole Parent Support Benefit until their youngest child is 14. So they should not be moved off that benefit once the new work obligations kick in when their youngest child turns 5 as it is now, or will be 3 as of 01 April 2015.

      See this info on the WINZ website:
      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/a-z-benefits/sole-parent-support.html
      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/income-support/main-benefits/sole-parent-support/qualifications.html

      Let us also not forget what they brought in before, for those mothers or parents, who have another child while on the benefit:
      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/obligations/having-another-child-while-you-are-on-a-benefit.html

      It is a bit strange how this extra $ 25 payment will be treated, as it is meant to be paid to beneficiaries with children, not just Sole Parent Support recipients. So it may be treated as a separate “top up” for those qualifying, irrespective of what benefit type they are on.

      It does definitely not look that benefit categories themselves will be increased by that amount, e.g. the Sole Parent Support benefit. So also those on Jobseeker Support should get it, it seems.

      As for my other mentioned concerns, they remain, i.e. that the additional benefit income of $ 25 will naturally result in abatement of other benefit components paid, and unless there is a lift in the threshold for extra income, few will actually get those $ 25, if anything extra at all, if they also depend on temporary additional support and/or the accommodation supplement.

      The whole “increase” does hardly compensate for the radical cuts in 1991 and for costs those facing new work-test obligations will have to meet, to get to work, to dress for work, and to have their kids put into childcare.

      And under National we had ‘Future Focus’ and the draconian reforms in 2013, that have brought in massive, harsh sanctions for those failing to meet expectations and obligations, including very high, firm work test obligations. The pressure will be on for all those parents that were given a “carrot” yesterday, to move off that benefit, into work, a.s.a.p..

      See the whole speech here (apologies for the website it is on):
      http://www.billenglish.co.nz/archives/1068-Budget-Speech.html

      Another roundup of the Budget details is found here:
      http://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/75611/elizabeth-kerr-digs-through-detail-budget-2015-find-beneficiaries-working

  4. Gosman 4

    Do you not think National moving to the left will make it difficult for Labour to gather enough support to form a government?

    • Enough is Enough 4.1

      This mob play politics very very well.

      They have delivered a budget which on balance gives nothing to the most vulnerable, but have sold it as a budget for the poor.

      They throw out enough crumbs to avoid being labelled as doing nothing, when if reality they continue to govern solely for the 1%

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        $25 extra per week for families on benefits is your definition of doing nothing is it?

        What amount of extra money should they be getting and where will you fund this from?

        • Enough is Enough 4.1.1.1

          The funding part is quite easy…Those people earning over 150k can afford to pay a little bit more tax Mr Gosman

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            Cost a tax increase then that will enable you to spend more than National. Do not just assume the money will come from thin air.

            • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Modern money does come from “thin air” Gossie. Or rather, from keyboards and electrons.

        • weka 4.1.1.2

          $25 extra per week for families on benefits is your definition of doing nothing is it?

          What amount of extra money should they be getting and where will you fund this from?

          Imagine that 25 years ago the lowest wage earners lost 15% of their income, and then ever since then their hourly rate has been adjusted for inflation but there have been no other pay rises. Now the govt is putting the 15% back in, but only for some people, and only under certain conditions, and they’re also doing it with a bureaucratic system that is not easily understood by many and for some will be impossible to navigate. Some of the people who need to increase the most won’t get it, and others will get some of it but will be penalised if they take on more hours at their job.

          As for what to do instead, a UBI would be the ideal (although you’d still need to sort out the issues around different needs and how a bureaucracy handles that). Failing that, increase benefits by the $25 or whatever, fix the abatements issues, fix the problems with Accommodation Supplement feeding landlords, and use carrots not sticks to assist the people that are in a position to work to get jobs (assuming you also create the extra jobs). Fix the ECA, so that people have jobs again that create stability and security.

      • The lost sheep 4.1.2

        They govern solely for the majority that allows them to form a government.

        This budget is a very slick example of how they do that very successfully.

        If they governed solely for the 1% they would only have the electoral support of a tiny majority.

        These are simple concepts, but I have long since given up on the ability of the far left to perceive them.

        • thatguynz 4.1.2.1

          You have truly been asleep for the last 30 years haven’t you. They DO govern for the 1% and sell the rest of you the false pretense that “if you work hard enough, you too can join the 1%”. Aspirational propaganda that you’ve clearly bought into.

          You’re very right – it is a simple concept and you’ve demonstrated that you simple can’t grasp it.

          • The lost sheep 4.1.2.1.1

            Remind me again who is in Government, and how long they have been there, and what the polls say about electoral feeling at the moment?

            Then I will tell you again that the far left wing is incapable of absorbing the simple concept of how you get to be a government in Aotearoa.

            As you have just demonstrated.

            • thatguynz 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Wooosh, you missed the point entirely, just as you missed EiE’s original point.. Somewhat unsurprisingly.

            • felix 4.1.2.1.1.2

              People like “The lost sheep” should be permanently banned from this site for replying to comments they haven’t read.

              Just a waste of everyone’s time and pixels.

              [True, but to be fair, it might just be chronic incomprehension. I don’t think we ban for that. TRP]

              • felix

                lol I know. Sigh.

                Even better would be an amendment to the copyright infringing whatsit act so if he does it three times his ISP has to cut him off.

    • b waghorn 4.2

      It will have pained the nats deeply to have to up benefits but all there polling will have told them they had to be seen to do something for kids in poverty and key governs by the polls .

  5. dukeofurl 5

    A $0.7 billion effective cut in Education since 2009.

    It would be greater for public education as the Nats have been paying off ACT support with the so called scholarships to failing expensive private schools and the more recent outrageously expensive charter schools.

    I expect more details to come to light about extra deals for the above , so that ACT will swallow the dead rat for them of an increase in child support payments. ACT is after more money for rich kids only

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    It’s the grand strategy which is failing – English wouldn’t need to rob Peter to pay Paul if his neo-liberal cultist bullshit were actually working. No growth here. No growth for seven years. Worst finance minister ever.

    • Gosman 6.1

      2.8 % increase in GDP is not growth in your world?

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        How much GDP per capita is that, Gosman?

        • Gosman 6.1.1.1

          Eh???

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            If GDP goes up by 5%, and the population has increased by 50%, then realistically we could say the economy has shrunk, not grown, as there is only 5% more wealth to (attempt to) spread between 50% more people.

            Hence, I am asking what the GDP per capita rise has been, since the population has been increasing rapidly due to inward migration.

            • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1.1

              There is no indication the GDP per capita is falling nor that the GDP growth is mainly due to increase in population as a result of immigration.

              • Lanthanide

                I never said it was falling, I just want to know what the GDP growth is per capita.

                Because 2.8% GDP growth if population has stayed static, or maybe grown at 1% is quite a bit different from 2.8% GDP growth if the population grew at 2%.

  7. tracey 7

    Thanks Mike (above)

  8. DH 8

    $25 is a curiously coincidental number in light of this recent article;

    Trade Me says rents are up $25 a week

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/68697868/trade-me-says-rents-are-up-25-a-week

    Since the majority of beneficiaries will be renters I’d think it pretty clear they’re still worse off than a year ago.

    • Gosman 8.1

      I presume they also get their benefits indexed to inflation and have the ability to access Housing support on top of the benefits that are rising,

  9. ianmac 9

    Much is made of the “first raise since 1972.”
    Cullen Budget: The in-work tax credit for working families was introduced at $60 a week in 2006 and next April’s rise will be the first time it has gone up since.
    Funny how $25 lauded when $60 forgotten.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9.1

      The in-work tax credit was for working families. In what sense are they beneficiaries?

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        a lot of working families are beneficiaries.

        They might be low income working families. One member of the income earners might be unemployed or chronically sick. One member of the family might be looking after an depended child or adult in the family. Etc etc etc.

        Yes, Gosman, there are working people on the Dole. Gasp.

      • stever 9.1.2

        Well surely they are beneficiaries since they get support from the State, just like pensioners, solo parents, people out of work….and all the other sorts of beneficiaries.

        Though I do understand that it helps cement in the hate for “the other” if the huge numbers of families with income from work do not think of themselves (though they clearly should) as “beneficiaries”. It spoils the extra, hate-filled meaning of the word I know.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.2.1

          And this is one of the nice halo effects of the UBI – everyone is a beneficiary. Everyone also pays the same tax rate, too.

          • stever 9.1.2.1.1

            Yeah…so it’ll never be adopted…we need our two minutes hate time.

            Or rather certain politicians do, to keep the rest of us mindlessly in order.

            How was Orwell just so prescient???

      • Sabine 9.1.3

        insofar as families without children, single people without children and older people without children, are paying for this benefit to irresponsible married parents that are having children that they can’t afford.

        I agree, best we do away altogether with the Working for Families Benefit right away. Moochers.

        Why should I pay for children other families have even tho they can’t afford them. Oh you mean its ok because they are married? And its just the unmarried, divorced, widowed single parents that are surviving on a Single Parent Benefit that are irresponsible breeders?

  10. The Fairy Godmother 10

    This is a sick budget pushing parents of young children into the workforce when they already have a job to do – looking after their children. Its not as if there are loads of jobs out there that need doing. Then they will push the children into poor people’s ece with minimum ratios one adult to ten children. How the hell are the children meant to learn the social skills and language that they need before school under those conditions. Makes my blood boil.

    • Gosman 10.1

      There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that suggests beneficiaries staying home with their kids provide long term benfits to those kids. There is evidence suggesting that children of parents who move off benefits to work do better than those who stay on benefits.

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        so you are saying that a stay at home parent provides no long term benefit to their child.

        • Gosman 10.1.1.1

          I’m stating that stay at home beneficiaries don’t seem to be providing any long term benefit to their children. A family where one partner is working and another is stay at home does seem to be beneficial though (according to research I have seen).

          • Puddleglum 10.1.1.1.1

            stay at home beneficiaries don’t seem to be providing any long term benefit to their children

            I’d be very interested to read any research in support of this claim. Are you able to provide links or references?

      • thatguynz 10.1.2

        Wow Gosman you are really weaseling a bullshit trope there. Why would there need to be evidence of the benefits of “beneficiaries” staying home with their children as distinct from “parents” staying home with their children of which there are lots?

        • Gosman 10.1.2.1

          Because the studies I have seen suggest Children do better in a household with a parent at work than households where the parent is stay at home but on the benefit.

          • thatguynz 10.1.2.1.1

            That’s not what you said however. You stated that “at home beneficiaries don’t seem to be providing any long term benefit to their children”. A pretty carte blanche statement no?

            I’m sure however you won’t mind sharing the studies where your subsequent comparison is made?

      • Mark Craig 10.1.3

        I hope that turns out to be true plankman (as in thick as a ).

  11. Sabine 11

    All the increases mean nothing, if they don’t come right away.

    What is a 25$ in welfare payment increase to a family starting in 2016, that currently can’t pay rent, food, electricity, phone and transport despite working full time jobs?

    And yes, a large number of people on “The Benefit” ™ are working families, working single parents, and care givers (FULLTIME) for invalid Family Members.

    The 25$ increase promised for next year, after tax is not even going to cover the current rent increase of $ 25 mentioned above. By the time this increase is gonna get to the people, rents will have increased another 25$ per week.

    National going to the left? No National is trying to look like a party that is doing right by its people.
    Too little too late, or as a saying goes Too little to live, too much to die…..fuckwits the lot of them.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 12

    These flow-on effects mean beneficiary families will receive, on average, an in-the-hand income gain of just over $23 a week.

    If this figure is accurate, National has done a very good thing for many NZ beneficiary families; and in a deficit year no less.

    • Sabine 12.1

      how much do you think the $ 23 (in today’s value) will be worth once the increase is actually being paid out.

      As for a year of deficits, we have had seven of them, and as discussed elsewhere it should mean nothing other than we are having national debt vs personal debt. So it means nothing, the government is spending money it does not have.

      Considering that the Tax Cuts from 2008/9 were the first thing to be introduced, and the GST increase hits the poor more dominantly then others, it means nothing. Really.

      But again, what do you thing the increase is worth in real dollars in April 2016, 11 month from now.

      • alwyn 12.1.1

        You will probably be disappointed Sabine.
        If inflation continues at its current rate of 0.8%/annum that $23.00 will reduce to the incredibly low amount of $22.83.
        BLIP might add it to his litany of Key’s lies but I don’t think anyone else would start complaining that it was nothing meaningful.
        There, satisfied?

      • John 12.1.2

        Great post – you are complaining that the govt is spending money it doesn’t have, but should be spending more.

        • Gosman 12.1.2.1

          Oh I do believe they think Government should magic the extra money by imposing extra taxes (but how much is unclear).

          • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.2.1.1

            The wealthiest 5% in the country can afford to pay a little bit more in extra taxes. But government can simply spend the money it wants into existence, if the taxation option is unpalatable to you.

    • weka 12.2

      “If this figure is accurate, National has done a very good thing for many NZ beneficiary families; and in a deficit year no less.”

      I think your National cheerleading is blinding you there CV. First, the quote you use is from a National Govt document. Why are you trusting that?

      Second, this increase is only for beneficiaries who have children living with them. That specifically excludes some of the most vulnerable people in NZ (non-parent chronically ill, seriously disabled, people with serious mental health issues).

      Third, as you must be aware, the various complex abatement issues mean that many will not get that amount ($23 is an average, but let’s wait and see what the reality is).

      Fourth, forcing sole parents into work when their youngest is 3 is financially punitive. How far do you think $23 will go towards childcare, transport, and the loss of benefit once they earn over $100/wk?

      Fifth, WINZ is a highly dysfunctional system. There will be staff who won’t understand how these changes work, let alone the beneficiaries who most need them. Even with the time lag for implementing this, I expect there will be people who will have changes made to their benefit and won’t know why. At the moment, the headlines are misleading (saying beneficiaries will get a rise, when it’s only some) and I’d guess that most people won’t be able to see the implications for themselves.

      • Colonial Rawshark 12.2.1

        All fair points, but this is the best change beneficiaries have had from a NZ government in decades.

  13. Clean_power 13

    National in the 2015 budget went deep into Labour territory by giving an uplift in benefit rates, the first in 43 years. Labour’s Clark government did not do this even in nine years.

    Why the outcry on these measures? Why now after years of inaction?

  14. • Most sole-parents, and partners of beneficiaries, will have to be available for part-time work once their youngest child turns three, rather than the current age of five.

    • All beneficiaries with part-time work obligations would be expected to find work for 20 hours a week, rather than current 15 hours.

    This is a “well, duh” requirement that should be in place regardless of the level of benefit provided. Being a stay-at-home parent is a luxury item for people whose spouses earn enough to support a family on that one income. Sole parents and partners of beneficiaries by definition don’t fall into that category.

    • weka 14.1

      If you want to take the humanity out of it, look at it pragmatically. It’s financially punitive to force sole parents into work (see my explanations above). Expect flow on effects from poverty, stress, ill health, and family/community disengagement. Really stupid.

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.1

        If there are people who have to be “forced” to make some effort towards earning their own living, that’s a reflection on them, not the government. And there’s nothing remotely stupid about seeing to it that kids grow up knowing at least one adult who has a job, and knowing that their society expects them to earn their own living unless there’s a genuine reason they can’t.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          Which is all very well ideologically, but doesn’t address the points I raised. If you are concerned about dependency and responsibility, this isn’t the way to sort that out.

          • Psycho Milt 14.1.1.1.1

            The points you raised were an assertion that getting a job would represent a financial loss for sole parents on a benefit, and that this financial loss would have unpleasant flow-on effects in other areas.

            The claimed financial loss hasn’t been demonstrated, and the flow-on effects, should they occur, are just the negative side of a cost/benefit ledger – something we have to live with. For instance, there are flow-on effects from poverty, stress, ill-health and family/community disengagement that arise from the fact that we provide a sole parent support benefit, but these negatives are outweighed by the need to provide some means of sole-parent support.

            • Gosman 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Left wingers tend to hate cost/benefit analysis unless they can point out all the negative consequences of not adopting their policies. This then justifies any level of social spending as in their mind they don’t tend to worry about the cost of adopting them.

              • thatguynz

                What? You mean like Roads of National Significance? Seems to me that the Right ain’t too fond of CBA’s either…

                • John

                  So what’s the cost to Wellington every time there rain/slip/flooding/accident/breakdown/high wind on the only road out of town.

                  And that’s not even considering what would happen in an earthquake (for a city built on a faultline)

                  • thatguynz

                    Surely they will have been factored into the Governments ROI calculations for the roads John. Or are you suggesting that their ROI calculations aren’t accurate?

              • Mark Craig

                I have several family members availing themselves of the prison service ,dear boy ,what does that cost us per head per year gonzo?

  15. Karen 15

    It is so depressing to see all the commentary suggesting this budget is doing anything to help child poverty. This paltry $25 per family (not per child) will not be paid until next year, meanwhile accommodation costs keep rising. It will be treated as income so will reduce the accommodation supplement or increase the rent if the family is lucky enough to have one of the dwindling number of state houses.

    The requirement to work 20 hours when the youngest child is 3 is both shortsighted and inhumane. There are not enough jobs available, quality childcare is difficult to find in many areas, childcare won’t take children when they are unwell and there aren’t many employers willing to give time off to care for sick children, and there is no allowance being made for the extra costs in travelling to work and to childcare.

    This policy guarantees to increase the level of disadvantage many children in this country are suffering. The result will eventually require increased expenditure in the justice and health sectors.

    • John 15.1

      $790 million of new spending on child poverty – just about more than the whole total of new spending on EVERY other sector, and the first non-inflation benefit rise by any govt in over four decades – and it STILL results in a whingefest.

      I can see why no other government in the last forty years has bothered.

      Then the bludge culture kicks in. Very few working people I know can afford the luxury of staying home with their young kids, but beneficiaries thing they are owed this luxury. Working people with young kids should be out working and paying tax so they don’t have to.

      The best part of a billion of new spending gets met with whinge whinge whinge.

      • weka 15.1.1

        “Very few working people I know can afford the luxury of staying home with their young kids, but beneficiaries thing they are owed this luxury.”

        How many of those working people are sole parents? It’s not a luxury to stay home with kids when you are on your own, it’s a fucking necessity for many people.

        “Working people with young kids should be out working and paying tax so they don’t have to.”

        Ae, so create jobs, and pay a living wage, and then see how many people ‘want’ to stay on benefits. But also see how many families want one parent at home at least some of the time, because it’s how most families function best. Running the economy so that both parents have to work full time destroys families and communities.

        “The best part of a billion of new spending gets met with whinge whinge whinge.”

        It’s about how it’s being done. Inefficiently, punitively, and misleadingly.

        • John 15.1.1.1

          In that case we should all just stay home to look after our kids and get the three people still working to pay for us all.

          • weka 15.1.1.1.1

            Ok, I get it, you don’t want to discuss this, you just wanted to come here and have a winge.

            • John 15.1.1.1.1.1

              So if half of all parents stay at home like you suggest, tax take will go down massively and you’ll have to slash spending on benefits, health, education etc.

              Or will you magically make the billions appear out of nowhere?

              • weka

                How did the economy work when large numbers of families had one parent home part or full time?

                • John

                  Different time, different economy.

                  Back then we had things like 30 people in a typing pool, or a railway gang, both of which are now not needed.

                  It used to take 350 man-hours to manufacture a car. Now it takes 30.

                  In the mid 70s a microwave oven or a colour tv cost $1000, which is over $6000 today. Many average families couldn’t afford them.

                  The last of the awful Hillman Hunter cars assembled in NZ cost $30,000, which is over $100,000 in today’s money.

                  Air travel was only for the rich.

                  Poor families today have a lot more than average families back then.

                  It’s delusional to think it could be like that again, and even more delusional to WANT it to be like that.

                  • weka

                    Just as well I’m not wanting it to be like that again then (last thing I’ll advocate is women being financially dependent on a husband to survive). I’m just pointing out there is no inherent reason why an economy can’t manage with one parent in unpaid work.

                    We’re getting off track though. Your argument was that families you know have working parents, therefore beneficiaries should too. I pointed out that you are probably talking about two parent families, whereas the beneficiaries in question are one parent families. Until you can address that point, your argument seems fatally flawed at a simple logic level.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    John, what is delusional is:

                    1) ignoring the utter greed of the 0.1%
                    2) ignoring the energy depletion curve we are now on and which is getting steeper
                    3) your focus on consumer materialism as the main measures for society.
                    4) Corporations creating an economy which no longer needs people.

                  • joe90

                    Hillman Hunter cars assembled in NZ cost $30,000,

                    In 1975 I paid $1200 for a four year old Volkswagen so unless you can cite I’m calling that a lie.

                    • John

                      Yeah, but inflation was so bad, that buying
                      $100 of goods in 1975, cost
                      $215 in 1980.
                      $369 in 1985, and
                      $592 by 1990.
                      $634 by 1994
                      $967 by 201

                      (i.e. 600% in the two decades before 1995, and just 50% in the two decades after)

                      However even since inflation has been under control ….

                      “New car prices down 77pc since 1994 ”
                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/10578313/New-car-prices-down-77pc-since-1994

                    • Colonial Viper

                      John also ignores how deflation in consumer goods has matched deflation in worker wages. Ignorant. The only people this situation has helped are the top 20% who managed to hang on to secure jobs with strong incomes.

                    • John

                      Since 2000, there’s been a
                      – 59% increase in CPI inflation
                      – 95% increase in the minimum wage ($7.55 to $14.75)

                      And median wages have increased at a faster rate than CPI inflation as well, which shows your claims are totally made up nonsense from lala land and have nothing to do with what’s happening in the real world.

                      Minimum wages
                      http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/pay/minimumwage/previousminimum.asp

                      Inflation Calculator
                      http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary_policy/inflation_calculator/

                    • joe90

                      The last Hillman was assembled in NZ in 1974 when the nominal weekly wage for males was $77.17 and you’re saying a car was worth more than twice as much as a house.

                      Liar.

                    • John

                      Todds built a new factory in 1974 and kept producing whole line up including Hillman Hunters, Hillman Avengers etc.

                      There’s adverts in the late 70s for brand new Hillman Hunters.

                      Anyway – were getting far away from the point which is new cars are much much cheaper today than they were in the 1970s

                      (as I linked earlier, a 77% drop in real price just since 1994)

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Since 2000, there’s been a
                      – 59% increase in CPI inflation
                      – 95% increase in the minimum wage ($7.55 to $14.75)

                      Hey dickhead, the minimum wage is only a minimum wage if you can score a secure full time job. Otherwise, its just a mean joke. And the CPI doesn’t take into account the horrendous increase in housing costs in cities like Auckland and Christchurch.

                      But if you want to keep on quoting bullshit statistics in contradiction of peoples real lived experiences, go ahead. This strategy is already on its last legs as more people realise that their lives, or the lives of their indebted children, are going backwards under both National and Labour.

                      Anyway – were getting far away from the point which is new cars are much much cheaper today than they were in the 1970s

                      Great for the comfortable middle classes who can afford to buy a $30K to $40K new car. Or have their corporate work buy one for them.

                    • John

                      Is there anybody who just makes up more nonsense than colonial rawshark?

                      Quote “And the CPI doesn’t take into account the horrendous increase in housing costs in cities like Auckland and Christchurch.”

                      Quote from Statistics NZ on how the housing in the CPI is made up –
                      “Prices provided from respondents are stratified into the five broad CPI regions: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Rest of North Island and Rest of South Island. ”

                      If people put as much effort into finding work as you do in whinging, nobody would be out of work in the first place.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Hey John,

                      You’re trying to tell me that your statistics “prove” that people on the minimum wage are doing better housing and accommodation wise in Christchurch and Auckland than 10-15 years ago?

                      Fuck off, that’s a dream world.

          • Gosman 15.1.1.1.2

            The trouble is John many on the left think the government can magic the economy so that it has the ability to pay for all this additional social spending they want. They dislike the private sector and would generally prefer if government invested in it’s own commercial enterprises because it has been shown that government owned commercial enterprises are always the best /sarc. They also think if they slap massive tax increases on people earning over 150,000 dollars it will balance everything nicely with no negative consequences at all.

            • thatguynz 15.1.1.1.2.1

              Really Gos. Of all people I can think of no-one less equipped than you to comment intelligently on what “many on the left” think. You’ve demonstrated time and time again you really have little awareness of what “many on the left” think outside of your myopic and nuanced perception of such.

            • John 15.1.1.1.2.2

              I saw treasury figure a while ago about extra tax on high incomes, and the issue was there were so few people on high incomes that it would not bring in much extra tax.

              Personally I don’t actually have an issue on taxing people on $150,000 a bit more – I’m just not under the delusion that it will solve a whole lot of problems.

              • Clemgeopin

                Yet this pro wealthy crooked government
                * gave massive tax cuts, (running into billions of dollars every year), that helped the most wealthy (and continues to help the most wealthy) the most.
                * broke its dishonest BS election promise and increased the GST that disadvantaged the most poor (and continues to disadvantage the most poor) the most as they, out of necessity, have to spend all their meager income for bare living necessities to take care of their children and families.
                * sold productive, profitable public assets, reducing regular incomes to the state, which once again primarily benefited the private interests, corporates, foreign entities and the wealthy most of whom are the supporters, mates and donors of National/ACT.
                * have now deprived the children of the poor from the $1,000 kick starter fund for their Kiwi Saver start up, with IMMEDIATE effect!
                * yet the $24/month extra for SOME beneficiaries will only apply in an YEARS time with attached harsh confitions to the most vulnerable and deprived. We are yet to see the full devil in the details and the practical effect of the fish hooks in this policy, being an initiative of a pretentious, cunning and often dishonest RW outfit of dirty politics repute.
                * is now directly selling (or practically giving away?) public land (of schools, universities, hospitals, DOC etc, probably cheaply to private wealthy developers for houses in Auckland. It won’t surprise me if this plan is just another cunning asset sale programme, probably at bargain prices, to transfer public assets to private interests. Again, the devil will be in the details. Will these houses be affordable to the struggling common people or a bonanza for their rich mates, in the name of easing the housing crisis? Remains to be seen!

                • alwyn

                  You say
                  ” have now deprived the children of the poor from the $1,000 kick starter fund for their Kiwi Saver start up,”
                  Why do you regard this as so awful?
                  This is a thousand dollars that these children will not get until they are 65 years old. That is, if they are children as you propose, at least 50 years into the future. Who knows what will have happened by then and what a National Super scheme might be able to provide?
                  Until that 50, or so, years is up it isn’t money they can access at all.
                  Wouldn’t you rather it went into supporting the people who are poor TODAY?

                  • Clemgeopin

                    It is an incentive for the parents, relatives and grandparents to put a few meager dollars into that fund as and when they can manage to save a dollar or two from their low incomes, be it on a weekly basis or on birthdays etc so that these kids could have a slowly and steadily growing fund over the years to use sometime when they are adults to use towards a house deposit or towards their retirement. It is a small $1,000 one time kick starter incentive of great significance to such poor families who did not have the privilege,DNA or karma to be born in a wealthier family or the recipients of some inheritance from their parents as the rich pricks are. $1000 /65years=$15 per YEAR! What sort of an arse hole leadership of a government grudges them such a modest start in life?

                    Also, notice this crooked govt has stopped this kick starter with IMMEDIATE effect, but the $25 per week for SOME beneficiaries (and with restrictions and claw back of work conditions etc) only applies from NEXT YEAR! So the government is stealing in advance from all the people, including the poor families, to fund the $25/week from next year! Do you get my point?

                    Another related point is that Key and English’s claim: “The whole package will cost $790 million over four years, or $240 million a year once fully implemented. The Beneficiary families will receive an extra $25 a week, after tax, from April 2016 – the centrepiece of a $240 million a year ‘hardship reduction’ package.”

                    But note two points here:
                    This will only start from April 2016 and the amount is $240 million per year for 4 years! But the next election is one and a half years after that in 2017. So in effect, the money this government will be REALLY spending during that time will be $240×1.5=$360 million dollars from April 2016 to Sept/Oct 2017, not $790 over four years that they cunningly claim arrogantly for effect presuming they will be in government again in 2017! This govt and their so called ‘leaders’ are deceptive cunning crooks.

                    • alwyn

                      You do comment
                      ” use sometime when they are adults to use towards a house deposit”
                      You are not allowed to withdraw this money for a first home deposit, although some other contributions can be. That is why I said it would be tied up for about 50 years.
                      From the Government website.

                      “What can be withdrawn?
                      If you’re eligible, you may be able to withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver savings (except for the $1,000 kick-start) to put towards purchasing your home.”

                      This extract from
                      http://www.kiwisaver.govt.nz/new/benefits/home-withdrawl/

                      Young people, under 18 have also ever been able to get the Government contribution matching their own money.

                      By the way. Are you really suggesting that if Labour, or somebody else, became the Government in 2017 they would scrap the proposal? I bet you can’t find anyone to say that from the Labour Party.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @alwyn
                      I don’t speak for the Labour party or any party, though I am of the opinion that by and large, the Labour party is the best of all parties to lead a progressive, moderate, sensible and responsible government for the country in economic, environmental and social policies.

                      Though the $1,000 can not be withdrawn for a house deposit, the other contributions and interest etc accrued over the years (including for the initial 1,000) can be.

                      My views are based on my own independent thinking. The Labour party is having a major review of all of its policies at the moment and which will have to be discussed, debated and voted on by the wider membership. Hence neither they nor I can accurately answer your hypothetical question in the last paragraph. I hope they will bring back the $1,000 kick starter incentive, at least for those in poverty and below the medium wage, if not all. I don’t know.

                      I also hope that Labour will in fact help to increase benefits, wages and jobs and take measures to bridge the ever increasing income and wealth gap between the rich pricks and the common, what Key once arrogantly termed, the ‘under class’.

                      I also hope they will reduce the tax for the lower end of society and increase it for the wealthy to the previous level of 39% for incomes OVER a certain income. May be for over $150,000 pa?

                      If it was all up to me, one policy I would like to implement would be to make it illegal for any one person in NZ to own more than two houses, one to live in and one to rent, ( though they would be free to BUILD houses to sell (or live in, as long as they don’t own more than two)), so that they could put their money to more productive purposes and at the same time, help make houses affordable for everyone. But hey, that is just me. I would be pleasantly shocked if you agree with my brilliant (or stupid) idea. Do you or don’t you agree? Why/why not? I am keen to know what you independently think, unencumbered by any political party policies.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Take a look at this :

                    Budget Blues

        • Karen 15.1.1.2

          +1 Weka.
          Taking care of children on your own is very difficult, and this is not a situation that is any way comparable to having a 2 parents sharing the childcare.

          Solo parents with young children should be encouraged to get qualifications that will help them get a better job when they are in a position to take one up by reinstating the training incentive allowance. At least then they may be able to get an adequately paid job when they are in a position to take one up. This is not when they have preschoolers unless they have considerable family support.

          • Gosman 15.1.1.2.1

            So they should be discouraged from pursuing an Arts degree then 😉

          • Psycho Milt 15.1.1.2.2

            Taking care of children on your own is very difficult…

            If people genuinely believed that taking care of children on your own was very difficult (more difficult than working for a living, for example), we could reasonably expect to see them making strenuous efforts to avoid finding themselves in that situation – troubling themselves to use contraception for example, or not ending their marriages for trivial reasons. But the evidence points the other way.

            • Karen 15.1.1.2.2.1

              What a nasty, unbelievably ignorant pair of commentators we have here in Psycho Milt and Gosman. So willing to pass judgement without having a clue about the life of a solo parent.

              • “Your comment made me angry” isn’t a counter-argument.

                • Karen

                  Who said I was angry?
                  I just see no point in wasting my time discussing this topic with someone as wilfully ignorant as yourself.

                  • I usually only call complete strangers “nasty” and “unbelievably ignorant” when I’m angry with them, but then I’m getting old – maybe that’s just how people who totally aren’t angry at anyone talk to each other now and I’m just out of touch.

  16. SMILIN 16

    The tobacco companies will probably get a boost from the $25 for what I hear are declining sales in the most troubled areas of the world. I suppose thats classed as overseas aid from NZ to the effort by those companies to kept the Auschwitz industry going and the health services will be stretched further as a result
    Education yes well thats the main tool these fascists have to keep our youth ignorant and disorganised by putting further pressure on their parents to comply with employment requirements that are not based on real jobs just subsistence income in training or part time work that has no guarantee of a job permanent at the end and the earning threshold is designed to keep the class system intact that came with Key when he stole the country
    And then there is the basic BS by this govt about what is productive industry and what is service industry .How much cost is wrapped up in the internal economy that doesnt have a significant export income and relies on the spending of the everyday person causing the govt to borrow for the deficit after the international corporations syphon of their considerable fortune from fast foods finance and any other luxuries
    Rosie Key and his vision should be change to “Thru the KEYHOLE your future NZ”

  17. Chris 17

    “People who are receiving Temporary Additional Support on top of their benefit may also find this reduces slightly because of the increase in their income.”

    This is wrong. Anyone receiving Temporary Additional Support and whose benefit increases by $25 a week will lose either $25 per week Temporary Additional Support or all of the Temporary Additional Support if it’s paid at a rate less than $25. In other words, it’s a dollar for dollar reduction. There’s no “may” or “slightly less” about it.

    Exactly the same also applies to any increase in tax credits because tax credits are income for Temporary Additional Support. This is one of the difference between Temporary Additional Support and the previous Special Benefit. Under Special Benefit tax credits were not regarded as income. They were factored in when determining the formula assessment but were not treated directly as income when calculating what an individual may receive.

  18. The Fairy Godmother 18

    A reply to gosman. Unfortunately am on my mobile and can’t link directly. Regards the studies about benefits of ece to children. The ece has to be better than the home in terms of engagement language etc for the ece to be better for them. So yes really high quality ece can be good in some circumstances. I can’t link the studies due to being on my mobile but try myece. Will link at home later. Problem is that in this country you pay extra to get high quality ece so the children of beneficiaries will go to minimum standards eces and will most likely not benefit or do worse.

    Also I would have thought that if the parenting was lacking we’d be better off educating the parent and child together you know like they do at playcentre or kohanga.

    • Gosman 18.1

      Quite possibly accurate. Educate the parent and child together till the child hits three then the parent can go find a job. I have no real problem with that idea.

    • The Fairy Godmother 18.2

      Here are a couple of readings which explain some of the problems with putting children in ECE.

      http://penniebrownlee.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/4/3/10437917/moths_in_the_family_fabric.pdf

      http://penniebrownlee.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/4/3/10437917/meerkat_quiz.pdf

      http://www.myece.org.nz/inside-news/154-have-you-wondered-what-happens-in-centres-after-parents-leave

      I was a beneficiary with three children. My husband has always worked but we qualified for the independent family tax credits. This enabled me to stay at home and care for our children full time. Why is this sort of beneficiary OK to stay home with children but others aren’t? When my youngest started school I got my grad diploma in ece and have worked full time as a teacher ever since. My youngest went into after school care which worked OK although I finished late because I could do the drop off at school and my husband could do the pick up. This would have been real difficult in a one parent family. In fact one of the things that rwnjs struggle to understand is that it is easier for a parent in a two parent family to work and manage childcare because there is double the sick leave etc etc. I think I would have found it really hard to go back to work if I had not had my husband to help. Look after the parents and we will look after the children.

      What a load of nasty vindictive people there are out there ready to kick people when they are down and kick their babies as well.

  19. So yes really high quality ece can be good in some circumstances. I can’t link the studies due to being on my mobile…

    Yes, there’s no end of studies carried out by religious and conservative groups, all reaching the unsurprising conclusion that paid childcare is harmful and a mother’s place is in the home. Fuck them and whatever horses they rode in on. It annoys me to see supposed leftists (Metiria Turei’s another one) peddling conservative memes.

  20. The Fairy Godmother 20

    Not a religious organisation. It is just that parents should be valued aNd have a choice. 50 kids stuck in a centre with five teachers and only half of them qualified is not quality and not good for kids. Rich people’s centted are way better

    • Gosman 20.1

      When you rely on your source of income for any length of time from the State then you should lose your choice option around whether you stay at home or go out to work.

      • weka 20.1.1

        why?

        • Gosman 20.1.1.1

          Because you rely on other people’s money not your own.

          • stever 20.1.1.1.1

            I can just imagine you marking all your dollars and then, when you see someone else hand them over in a transaction, you walk over and proclaim “that used to be mine, you know!!!!”

            Anyhow, I trust that you pay now and have always payed for and will always pay for the roads, pavements, schools, doctors, hospitals, nurses, teachers, police officers….that you use or used or will use. In full, with no subsidies form “other people’s money”.

            Or will you live a good life and be a part of this wonderful society of ours that has learned, over centuries, that “devil take the hindmost” is not worthy of intelligent humans?

      • thatguynz 20.1.2

        Do you have children Gos?

      • The Fairy Godmother 20.1.3

        Lets stay with your argument that beneficiaries should not have a choice because the government pays – and I certainly don’t agree with you. Why on earth would any sane government force a group of people out to work into an economy where there isn’t the work. It makes no sense when this group of vulnerable people already has a job to do. Its not as if there is a whole lot of other work out there that needs to be done. So what is the real reason for this decision? I think it is to benefit the businesses that benefit from childcare. For instance a centre with the top funding rate for 80% qualified staff would receive $220.66 a week for a three year old and one on the bottom rate of less than 25% qualified staff would receive $165.40 per week and that excludes other payments such as equity funding. When the minimum ratio is two adults to twenty children you can start to see how the numbers stack up for businesses. So the businesses are the beneficiaries and I am tired of it. Citation for funding ministry of education website.

        http://www.lead.ece.govt.nz/LeadHome/ManagementInformation/Funding/FundingHandbook/Glossary/AppendixOneFundingRates.aspx

    • … It is just that parents should be valued aNd have a choice.

      And I should be clever and handsome, but somehow the universe fails to deliver. Also, there’s no “should” about whether society should facilitate the “choice” not to bother earning your own living, or not to provide for your own children. Our funding of that is intended as a last-ditch emergency measure for people who’ve run out of choices, not as a menu item on a smorgasbord of publicly-funded lifestyle choices.

  21. Hateatea 21

    I didn’t expect anything from the Wellington based Diptonite, Finance Minister, so was not disappointed.

    I am one of the many ‘beneficiaries’ who don’t get anything at all but I will have increased expectations by WINZ in terms of the hours I work each week. This would be fantastic were there work available and public transport to enable a person to get to that non-existent work.

    Roll on November when I transfer to Super, get a pay increase and, should I obtain work, pay secondary tax and keep the rest unlike now.

    The 1% haven’t a clue what it is really like down here where we live.

    • Gosman 21.1

      Do you have a child then? I thought it was only beneficiaries with children with new work test arrangements.

      • Hateatea 21.1.1

        As it happens, I do have responsibilities for a child which do proscribe some of my employment options. I am a foster parent of a child under the age of 14 and can’t work outside school hours or holidays but I am not considered to be a ‘sole parent’ and the category of ‘widow’ no longer exists.

        • Gosman 21.1.1.1

          What is the new work test arrangement for you then?

          • Hateatea 21.1.1.1.1

            I am sure that I will hear sometime in the near future. 😉

            If I am very, very lucky it won’t be until October when it will be moot as November brings ‘retirement age’. Of course, I still have my community commitments and the 10 hours a week paid employment at my local school.

  22. Stuart Munro 22

    This is a guilt-edged budget – designed to spare its authors their date with the judgement for a few more rorting-rich months. Don’t be fooled – the job creating growth Bill English lied about in 2008 was only over a cover story for stealing our assets and destroying our social services. That’s all he’s delivered and his just desserts lie in an oubliette with vermin and reptiles like John Key.

  23. Talking about the budget reminds me of John Key’s election campaign inkling (perhaps generated by his near-psychic oneness with all things financial and economic) that we were on the ‘cusp’ of something special.

    Are we still teetering on that cusp or is the promised land resplendent about us yet?

    Maybe my eyesight is too jaundiced to see it.

  24. Facetious 24

    Oh dear, the communist Bradord protesting again. An unsavoury character who has nothing to do.

  25. Clemgeopin 25

    Key has spoken at SKY CITY in his post budget speech.

    Auckland Action Against Poverty protesters chanted anti-government slogans and waved billboards outside the venue.

    In his speech, Key said :
    “We are the first Government to raise benefits in 43 years. I would have thought they’d be cheering out there, not protesting,” he said, to laughter from the audience.

    He also spoke about his dad, his mom and his upbringing:

    “I can’t remember my father, the guy dropped down dead when I was six,” he said.

    “My mother worked for 17 hours a day half the time, as a cleaner.
    “It was through her that I learned you’ve got to work hard.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68772652/key-were-first-to-raise-benefits-in-43-years

    • Colonial Rawshark 25.1

      We are the first Government to raise benefits in 43 years.

      And it took a National government.

      • Mike the Savage One 25.1.1

        The claim has been repeated every year though, by Key, English and Nats, that they “raise” benefits each year, for the last 7 years while in government. They did of course mean the inflation adjustments, nothing else.

        It is though a change of tune coming from them, now admitting the widened gap between those on benefits and those working and earning wages and salaries (usually referring to the median income), and they admit now that there is real poverty that needs addressing.

        In admitting this they have done a 180 degrees turnaround.

  26. Mike the Savage One 26

    Read what “Janine” commented on the Daily Blog on a topic on the budget (10.18 am today, 22 May):

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/21/more-grudget-than-budget/#comment-287217

    “Interestingly a parent working 20 hours per week regularly will not be on ‘the benefit’ but will instead be eligible to receive the working for families top up.

    As all sole parents are now expected to be working 20 hours once their youngest child is 3 this should ( if such 20 hour permanent jobs during childcare hours are actually available) see a drop in numbers on the benefit

    So a win – win for Paula and John maybe but not so much for 3 to 5 year olds to be bundled into compulsory day-care.”

    What do we make of that then?

    • I make of it that it would be great if people would stop peddling conservative bullshit about professional childcare being bad for children, because that really sucks a big one.

      Otherwise, meh – doesn’t make much difference whether your income top-up comes from sole parent benefit or tax credits, as long as it works out as being enough to live on.

      • Mike the Savage One 26.1.1

        You did not address the main question, my friend, you are sidelining the issue here. The tax credits are only half as much as the 25 dollars promised to parent beneficiaries.

  27. Mike the Savage One 27

    AAAP organised protest outside Sky City Convention Centre today, footage of which has been exploited by media, to slam their tactics and call them “thugs”:

    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/WATCH-Violent-protests-outside-Sky-City/tabid/504/articleID/83116/Default.aspx

    Shame on the MSM for their one lopsidedness, I would say.

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