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Campbell on welfare reforms

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, May 31st, 2011 - 60 comments
Categories: class war, economy, national, welfare - Tags: , ,

Gordon Campbell, as ever, is there with the insightful commentary:

Gordon Campbell on John Key’s assault on the welfare system

If John Key is the face of moderation, there’s not much room left on the margins for the extremism of Don Brash. “Moderation” evidently means asset sales, tax breaks for the rich, cuts to government spending, a view that public services are “unsustainable” and unaffordable” plus – as Key indicated at yesterday’s post -Cabinet press conference – forced contraception for women on benefits as an idea worthy of further consideration. If you can get all that from the smiling face of “moderation” who needs the Act Party?

Act’s first dismal round of polls under its new leadership suggest that the centre right voters have indeed decided that Act is a redundancy. That’s an entirely rational conclusion. As a political shell company for the National Party – led by its lesser, older lights – the Act Party’s only purpose seems to be to foster the illusion of Key’s moderation. Yesterday, Key-the-moderate was engaged in the age-old right wing election year rhetoric of welfare bashing.

More in sorrow than in anger though, of course. The current system was “broken”. It was “unaffordable” And it was “unsustainable ” – unless most of the wilder ideas of the Welfare Working Group are put into action. A Cabinet working team and government departments are now to be tasked with furthering the WWG recommendations.

These welfare alarums are bogus, of course. Only three years ago, this same allegedly broken system had benefit levels down at record lows. The driver of beneficiary numbers is not the mindset of individual beneficiaries, or the fact that New Zealand has suddenly transformed itself into a nation of shirkers. The main determinant of beneficiary numbers is a functioning economy where jobs are available – and that’s something for which Key takes no responsibility whatsoever. Instead, the government seems to be hellbent on making beneficiaries keep their side of the social contract – while taking no responsibility as managers of the economy, for failing to keep its side of the bargain.

In that respect, the government’s welfare reform rhetoric is as dishonest as the timeframe that Key chose to introduce the topic at yesterday’s press conference. In 1970, Key twice pointed out, only 2% of the working age population were on benefits, while 13% were on benefits today. Conclusion: the system is making it too easy for people to get on, and stay on benefits. No concession that he is measuring those beneficiary numbers at the employment trough of the worst global recession since the 1930s, and in the wake of one of New Zealand’s worst natural disasters.

Campbell is spot on. People are desperate for work. But the work isn’t there. The Nats have not responded successfully to the current challenges, so they are blaming beneficiaries for their own failures. Read on for the rest of Campbell’s piece, then go and read his Ten Myths About Welfare. Another electoral battle line has been drawn – arm yourself with the facts!

60 comments on “Campbell on welfare reforms”

  1. JaJ 1

    Forced contraception? What is this – last time I checked the proposal was for free contraception.

    • r0b 1.1

      I had a quick look and couldn’t find anything further on that claim. I’m hoping a reader can elaborate?

  2. todd 2

    The WWG report states:

    We have heard a concern among some people that setting a work expectation for parents when their youngest child reaches three years or six years may create an incentive for a small minority of parents to have additional children to avoid this work expectation. Should this eventuate, this would likely contribute to worse outcomes for the parents, their existing children and the family as a whole, and make it even harder for parents to regain their independence from the welfare system. The Working Group considers that one component of addressing this incentive is to provide support for people on welfare to manage their fertility, including through contraception and information about expectations.

    My understanding of what that means is that if a woman gets pregnant while on a benefit, she must accept state enforced contraception if she wishes to continue to receive her $194 per week social support.

  3. Bunji 3

    From wikipedia:

    Until the 20th century, poverty was seen as a quasi-criminal state, and this was reflected in the Vagabonds and Beggars Act 1495 that imprisoned beggars. During Elizabethan times, English poor laws represented a shift whereby the poor were seen merely as morally degenerate, and were expected to perform forced labour in workhouses.

    Looks like Key’s keen to bring that mindset back.

    Progress? What progress?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      That’s exactly the mindset that they have and are trying to force upon the rest of us.

  4. Bunji 4

    Campbell points out Key’s complete denial of reality again. Just like seeing a respected scientist and expert in his field as just another “opinion” on HardTalk. When even the departing head of Treasury writes a report showing the stats of NZ as the 7th most unequal country in the OECD, John Key is “not sure that’s right. I haven’t had a really good look…” but he ‘knows’ better.

    And he claims that NZ’s benefit system is “universally regarded as a more generous scheme than in many other countries…” despite the reality we spend far less on welfare than most of the OECD. Just because the US is the place he holidays and it’s more nasty to the poor, doesn’t mean we’re universally regarded as generous…

    I can’t believe how much making shit up the media lets him get away with. We need a media that factchecks our politicians’ statements. So when Bill says our wages have all risen lots, they say: but only if you use whichever contorted metric, most academics would say this instead. Sanitise all our politicians, please, the more that National get away with it, the more everyone else will make shit up to counter-balance.

    • Ed 4.1

      I suspect that Key was thinking about something entirely different – state provision of retirement income. He and National clearly regard that as a welfare benefit, forgetting entirely the history of the provision of a universal income benefit from age 65 – which is based in an understanding that a proportion of income taxes will be used to provide the benefit. The original 2/6 in the pound was developed at a time when we had a lower average age than now, and life expectancy was much shorter, and the amount of the pension was I think a little different, but the principle was for a long term commitment as a public service, not a welfare benefit.

      Next we will have National including secondary education and health care as ‘welfare’ – to be restricted for those unable to pay for privately provided services . . .

  5. tc 5

    Making shit up is what bankers and big business interests do best, having a tame media that never questions and let’s the BS go unchallenged is a bonus as I think they’d be surprised at how little scrutiny they’ve faced.

    That’s why the arrogance has gone up a notch or 3 I reckon……a docile compliant MSM which gives them a sense of ‘we can do nothing wrong’

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    Generous be damned – as I’ve much lamented – Labour couldn’t bring themselves to even put back the $20-00 per week taken away from the poor.

    Here’s a simple example of the difference between the US and France – the whole article is linked to and explains the difference in values placed upon having children. We used to value people having with children once – even the banking industry where I worked in the early 80’s paid people a higher rate if they had a family to support.:

    It’s not hard to find examples of better and more generous welfare systems than ours.

    “Mary Lou Sarazin went to Paris to teach. When the job ended, she was newly married to a French husband and pregnant. Her visa had expired, however, and she couldn’t renew it right away, so she returned to New York a little over a year ago to finish graduate school and have the baby.

    Sarazin, 34, has since received health care in both France and the United States. Her experience has given her a firsthand look into why France has earned a reputation for being a good place to be pregnant and have a child.

    In New York, pregnant and unable to find work, Sarazin couldn’t find health insurance that she could afford. Eventually, she did get limited coverage through New York Medicaid, the state program for the poor and uninsured, but it only covered her prenatal and hospital care. Once the baby was born, she would be uninsured again. ”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92116914

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Labour couldn’t bring themselves to even put back the $20-00 per week taken away from the poor.

      Don’t use absolute figures as inflation tends to eat them away. Use the actual percentage that the benefits were cut which, IIRC, was something like 15 or 20 percent.

  7. Bored 7

    I really cannot express my disgust for these malcreants and their supporters. Key and his ilk leave me with nothing I want to debate with the likes of HStandard, PeteG, Gosman etc, I leave it to the facts to state the case, regardless of the spin scum put on it. I leave those people haters to contemplate Campbells lines “the government seems to be hellbent on making beneficiaries keep their side of the social contract – while taking no responsibility as managers of the economy, for failing to keep its side of the bargain..

  8. Chris 8

    I think most people would agree the benefit system needs to be looked at as it has become somewhat of a monster. Its not ‘benefit bashing’ so forget the rhetoric.

    • Campbell Larsen 8.1

      The only ‘monster’ here is a government that implements policies that create poverty and then embarks on a hate campaign against the poor, stripping them of dignity and fundamental human rights.

    • Descendant Of Smith 8.2

      Yeah it needs looking at – the standard benefit rates need increasing so people can afford to live.

      There needs to be less applying for and grovelling for assistance so people are able to retain some dignity and not get pissed off all the time by having to denigrate themselves.

      There needs to be more investment in training and support – preferably run by state agencies such as polytechs and not private sector wallies who are more interested in making a buck rather than producing quality training – dive courses anyone!

      Industry and ITO’s should have input into where the skill shortages are likely to occur and then work with the polytechs to plan for these

      More support to sole parents to ensure that their children are well supported and nourished

      More information sharing with other government agencies so that fraud can be identified earlier and more quickly e.g. IRD number matches before assistance is paid, including self employed

      Welfare trusts should be accessed before state assistance – if a trust with all it’s tax advantages has been set up to provide for someones welfare then it should damn well do so – I mean the mantra of the right is that everyone should provide for themselves – why the fuck do they then take the tax breaks and not do so

      Support should be provided to assist people to move form low employment areas to high employment areas – you know help move labour supply to labour demand

      There’s some suggestions:

      You can hardly say the benefit system is a monster then say not to use rhetoric – besides if there is a monster it’s the banking system – you know like Australian charging it’s NZ counterpart a fee to use the banks name to avoid tax, or charging a premium on NZer’s with higher interest rates cause they can, or lending out more and more money on an ever-increasing money go round – shit even Muldoon knew how corrupt the bankers were – it’s why he put restrictions on how much they could lend., or the speculation on currency that simply puts our dollar value up and creates exactly nothing of any substance.

      • Campbell Larsen 8.2.1

        The devil is very much in the detail.

        You were sounding so ‘reasonable’ until you recited one of the myths of the free market – the erroneous assumption that there was no cost associated with moving people around the country to fill labour shortages.

        People have families. People have friends and support networks. People have homes. How are you going to compensate them for giving up all of these essential intangibles? Let me guess, the minimum wage?

        Sloppy work, Decendant of Smith, the other Smith is smarter than you.

        • Descendant Of Smith 8.2.1.1

          No I don’t quite agree with you there – support for people to move meant exactly that – support. I wasn’t talking about forcing people to move either – just help for those that are willing to do so but the costs associated make it difficult e.g. moving from a small rural area where rent may be low to an area with skill and labour shortages – this could be actual moving costs, some initial support with higher rents until a job is found, maybe help with paying dual rent while one parent goes to look for work while the other waits with the children, assistance for dual rent to move to do seasonal work and then return home once the seasonal work is finished – currently there is no assistance for these things.

          There are people willing to move but the cost of moving is a significant barrier.

          It’s easy when you are single and young and own nothing – if you were laid off at 40 then it’s much harder to sell up and start again

          • Campbell Larsen 8.2.1.1.1

            Ah yes seasonal work, you did mean the minimum wage, and your point was?
            They will of course all want to uproot themselves for a few months a year for minimum wage, and the government would never force them to move…
            Fool, that’s exactly what the government will do.

            You gave yourself away with “there needs to be less applying for and groveling for assistance”

            Couldnt quite hide the disgust could you?

            Don’t say things like that and pretend you care.

            • Descendant Of Smith 8.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m not sure how many people you know on benefit but that is exactly how many of them feel – the point which you seem to have missed is that by increasing the benefit rates then people will have less need to apply for additional assistance such as food grants – if you don’t think putting an extra $20-00 per week plus in the poorest’s pocket would make a positive difference then I don’t know why you think having to go to Work and Income and apply for food is a much better option.

              Don’t equate how others say they feel and that reflection with my own feelings – I have the utmost respect for anyone who is struggling to survive on a benefit – particularly sole parents. Maybe I should have put those words in quotation marks to emphasise that it was a common public generalisation rather than my own perception – but then I thought I’d posted long enough on here over the last couple of years that regulars would have some idea about where I come from.

              Also you can earn considerably more than minimum wage doing seasonal work and many people do. For some it also leads to permanent work.

              • Campbell Larsen

                I note that you don’t just argue for an increase in benefits (understandable, commendable) but also the removal of emergency grants.

                Generous, but not too generous eh? Or is it that you don’t rely like those additional grants.

                If you are such a nice guy, why would you ever suggest axing emergency support?

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  I didn’t argue for axing the assistance – I said people wouldn’t need to apply for it so often cause they would have more money in their pocket.

                  It was a short post not a detailed policy statement.

                  Upon reflection it seems the only one suggesting negative ideas / intent here is yourself.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    Why don’t you pack up your life into a suitcase and go pick some apples, someone told me it’s a great life., with great career opportunities.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Seasonal work is more than picking apples – and if you want to go to the lowest denominator as you seem want to do I would suggest asparagus – it’s a darn sight more difficult.

        • rosy 8.2.1.2

          Yes, move the jobs around, not (always) the people, especially the most vulnerable. We all know the free market can shift production 😉

          There was regional development at some stage, if I recall correctly – even had a minister for it.

          • Descendant Of Smith 8.2.1.2.1

            I totally agree with regional development and don’t think continuing urbanisation is a good thing overall but I also know that for many people opportunities lie elsewhere and it’s often good to move and make a fresh start or to go where the work is now.

            Sometimes regardless of willingness some people don’t have a shitshow of getting employment in there local area – e.g. blacklisted by employers cause they took one to court and won their grievance, criminal record for something stupid they did when they were young, and so on.

            Having the option to be supported to move gives people more options – I don’t see that it takes any away therefore see that as a positive move.

            • Campbell Larsen 8.2.1.2.1.1

              “Blacklisted by employers because they took one to court and won”

              If they won then a clause would have been inserted into the settlement ensuring that it was illegal for the company to badmouth the employee.

              Criminal record – well that will follow them everywhere, no moving away from that.

              Your ‘more options’ sounds a precursor to move or be cut off to me.

              How about coming up with an idea that offers more than part time minimum wage and doesn’t involve significant disruption to the individual concerned.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Yeah well I guess that your comment that “fool, that’s exactly what the government will do” indicates that you have a total lack of trust in government. If you are predisposed to see the bad in everything then that’s your problem.

                Anything can be used for the wrong reasons and I understand that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions but I was at least trying to provide some positive ideas to go against the negativity .from this government.

                Maybe you could come up with some decent suggestions.

                BTW in the real world people are blacklisted by employers all the time and as far as I know it’s not illegal in this country to do so. Criminal records in themselves don’t always stop people getting a job but local reputation does – the record might follow but the reputation doesn’t.

                • Campbell Larsen

                  Let’s start with respecting peoples human rights (freedom of movement, freedom of association) you will be surprised about the difference that makes.

                  Perhaps you simply chose your works poorly. Time will tell.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Or, perhaps, you’re just a fuckwit purposefully misreading DoS’s words.

                  • Campbell, I don’t think you and DoS are worlds apart. When I was younger I did plenty of apple picking, oast-house work, kitchen handing, etc.. You’re right that the ideal is not to have to move for work (it was at its extreme in South Africa when black men had to live for years away from their families – back in the ‘homelands’ – because of lack of work there). That kind of dislocation and ‘churn’ inevitably undermines individuals, families and communities. 

                    But, right now and in this context, the best pragmatic response may well be for the state to help with the ‘costs’ of moving (both financial and ‘other’) in exactly the same way that the state helps with the consequences of being unemployed, invalided, etc.. I think the welfare state is, structurally, simply a support for capitalism. That doesn’t mean, however, that I argue against it and want it dismantled. I realise that many people – including myself from time to time – depend upon it directly just to survive.

                    Your basic principle is correct … and DoS’s practical suggestions are also correct.

                    I know, helping individuals cope within a system that is manifestly harmful and unjust in aggregate is also helping the system to continue. That’s the moral and practical bind all those with some humanity find themselves in – in this world.

              • Vicky32

                “Blacklisted by employers because they took one to court and won”

                That did happen to a friend of mine, I won’t go into details as I don’t have his permission – but he worked in a job where there are a limited number of possible employers in his district, who required people with his particular skills…

                • Campbell Larsen

                  Fair is fair Vicky – this sort of thing does happen, I have seen it myself.

                  People like me can move – no kids, relatively unattached – and frequently do when there are opportunities to be had elsewhere.

                  Many people cannot without breaking up families, relationships…

    • Vicky32 8.3

      I think most people would agree the benefit system needs to be looked at as it has become somewhat of a monster.

      And I think you’re wrong! Define monster, to begin with…

  9. Campbell has hit the strategic nail on the head.

    Key’s aim all along has been to maintain his mantle of Mr Moderate/ Mr Universally Liked while also delivering big time for the radical right. The fact that that strategy allows the ultra-radical right to explore, with all its auto-stimulatory pleasure, the politically uncharted nether regions of radical right wing insanity in public should not distract from the increasingly radical nature of the measures Key has followed and intends to follow more and more aggressively.

    The budget was only ‘moderate’ to the extent that it is ‘postponed’ and there remains an election hurdle to leap. All the signals are there – literally, and explicitly, in black and white – that Key is rhetorically positioning a post-election government to chant, endlessly, that ‘we have a mandate’ for whatever radical right policies they then wish to pursue. 

    This is starting to look like the ultimate triumph of shallow perception (image) over truth (reality), of absurdity over sense, of unconvincing spectacle over substance. Never a pretty sight – but for some reason I can’t keep my eyes from the gory and sad details as it plays out right in front of me. 

    With this capstone announcement about a pre-election set of welfare reform policies, it’s almost as if Key is deliberately pushing the NZ public to make a devotional choice: “How much do you really love me?” 

    Asset sales vs. “How much do you really love me?”

    Beneficiary bashing vs. “How much do you really love me?” 

    An increasingly unequal society vs. “How much do you really love me?”

    ACC privatisation vs. “How much do you really love me?”

    Tax cuts for the rich vs. “How much do you really love me?”

    For some reason, I keep getting reminded of the book Nineteen Eighty-Four at the moment.

    There’s that scene right at the end when Winston Smith – completely shattered by his experiences in the Ministry of Truth – is sitting at an outside table at a cafe with the tune ‘under the spreading chestnut tree’ (‘where I sold you and you sold me’) running through his mind. He looks across the road at one of the omnipresent billboards of Big Brother and tears well in his eyes – he realises that he loves Big Brother. It’s his consolation for selling his soul – and his belief in the truth.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      Quite right puddlegum……Orwell is indeed turning out to be the prophet some hailed him when that book was written.

      Required reading for schools i would have said. A modern political science textbook.

  10. Akldnut 10

    Campbell missed “the major” contributing factor in his list of causes.

    “No concession that he is measuring those beneficiary numbers at the employment trough of the worst global recession since the 1930s, in the wake of one of New Zealand’s worst natural disasters and the most under-performing govt & worst handling of the NZ economy that we Kiwis have ever had!!!”

    There fixed it for him. 😎

  11. Demoralised 11

    The only ‘monster’ here is a government that implements policies that create poverty and then embarks on a hate campaign against the poor, stripping them of dignity and fundamental human rights.

    Tell me about it.Over the last few years i have even been refused help with dental care,with suggestion it were due to high cost, even though i would have ended up needing to pay most of it back.Instead i had to put up with pain of many ongoing mouth ulcers and gum disease that slowly set in, the outcome of this being my teeth have all been painfully slowly falling out.Add to this im now on a invalid benefit due to having deep depression and PTSD connected to some sensitive issues, that also leave me with lack of sleep extensive anxiety and extreme anger issues which also mean im unable to find an employer.This has left me scratching to find enough money to pay rent, and so ive then also been forced into needing to try living in some bad situations with some very dubious flatmates,somebody of whom also opened my mail that was marked confidential.Removing my human rights and dignity even more

    Dignity and human rights ?

    To be honest, what i have shared here, is really only the very tip of the ice burg of the lack of dignity and human rights ive been experiencing.And because im so poor i cant even affort any lawyer to help me stand up for my rights.To top this matter off seems the health system has also been cut and/or become so over worked, there is nobody there that provides me with any proper support or points me in the right direction toward where i can find help.If somebody was willing to help me, i would be more than willing to blow the whole whistle on this nasty situation.But all i ever seem to hear,is people telling me to try to cheer up and just forget about it.

    And now this government suggests it wants to make some more cuts?.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      Demoralised, I really feel for you.. some of your issues are the same as mine.. I wish I could do more than say that I feel for you!

  12. M 12

    I was musing over the “problem” of women having more children whilst on the benefit, wouldn’t it be better to encourage them not to have any more children by not forcing them to find work when a child is a pre-schooler because anyone who’s parented on their own knows how damned tiring it is. An expectation of seeking work once the kids are in school and paying for child care for before and after school in conjunction with paying for upskilling is positive not punitive.

    As for financial incentives women could receive positive financial encouragement to avoid having more children through higher abatement rates for the DPB for money earnt and would see this as a way to better their lot. I know that I’m placing the onus on women in this but it’s women who so often are left holding the bag as it were. God forbid we should return to the days when the only escape from alcoholism/gambling/drugs or violence for a woman in a violent relationship was death or grinding poverty.

  13. O2B 13

    Yet in the polls Key and his henchmen can do wrong. It would seem that if the voting public allow National another term, it would basically give them carte blanche for more cuts, more asset sales, more user-pays. And who is this going to affect the most? Quite a number of the same voting public that for some reason thought National would stop the Labour rot and make millionaires of us all.

    Are we suffering from Stockholm syndrome?

    • RedLogix 13.1

      That’s the most interesting question O2B. I won’t attempt anything like an answer right now… it’s late and I’m tired…. but I do recall reading quite a few very interesting contributions along those lines.

      The core question can be put; why do the working class everywhere in the Western world vote for govts whose policies directly hurt their own interests?

      At least part of the answer is that no-one likes to think of themselves as ‘working class’ anymore. Most people no longer believe in unions; the word ‘solidarity’ is a joke, and the idea of a ‘social contract’ or a collective public good is dead in the water. These things no longer form a part of the identity for many, many people.

      There has been a massive generational change here, especially over the last 30 years. How it came about is a complex story with many trails leading down some very interesting rabbit holes…

      • O2B 13.1.1

        It’s important for those on the left side of the political spectrum to keep faith in what we believe in. But it’s even more important to get across the message of ‘collective public good’ to our friends and family. When the shit well and truly has hit the fan we will need to be strong for each other. Hopefully some of us will learn from the mistakes in voting this lot in… and biting our tongues when we’re about say ‘I told you so’.

    • McFlock 13.2

      Hostages forming an intense, irrational bond with their kidnappers based on a perceived external threat of common harm?
       
      Not too far off, if you believe the polling.

      • Tigger 13.2.1

        The Stockholm theory makes perfect sense. Also it enables me to see National voters as something deeper than just selfish and deluded.

  14. ZeeBop 14

    Agrarian societies evolve! Well NZ de-evolves, every day we give too much relief to agriculture, manufacturers hurt, businesses pay a risk premium, only the wealthy farm sector can carry the risk. So farmers harm the rest of the economy and in doing so force up their own cost of borrowing, and expose themselves to more debt from farm land bubbles.

    And all we need do is tax farming properly (and homes), a capital gains tax. And until
    someone pulls their finger out and starts pointing it at the fiscal mob who make so much
    money out of sitting at the fiscal port and taking their cut of any action.

    Fair taxation isn’t some wholly left wing policy, its good for efficiencies in an economy,
    a level trading field makes us all richer.

  15. Chris 15

    Campbell Larsen 8.1
    31 May 2011 at 8:52 pm
    Quote
    “The only ‘monster’ here is a government that implements policies that create poverty and then embarks on a hate campaign against the poor, stripping them of dignity and fundamental human rights”

    It psychotic comments like this that give the left a bad name.

    The left also are giving a mixed message.

    On the Mike Hosking ZB Newstalk this AM Annette King was clearly agreeing with Steven Joyce that the benefit system needed a review and changes had to be made as the cost was significant and there were people who took advantage of it. The caveat being future jobs.
    A review is timely and the majority of people believe it is due and no it is not ‘benefit bashing’.

    • Luxated 15.1

      The left also are giving a mixed message.

      Could that be because, quelle horreur, ‘the left’ don’t all have the same thoughts? That ‘the left’ aren’t all mindless drones incapable of amicable (or otherwise) disagreement with each other? That Labour have an unfortunate history of doing what is perceived as popular at times?

  16. deemac 16

    you still haven’t defined this alleged monster! Or explained why it magically appears during a recession…

  17. randal 17

    Chris, there is no doubt in anyones mind that some onthe the right are getting off on bashing up beneficiaries. they are ineffectual people and psychologically disposed to bash up people but being the sort of people they are they can only pick on those weaker than themselves. Its being going on since the pharisees picked on Jesus so dont try and pretend that violence against the poor is imaginary. and it comes from the top down not the bottom up.

  18. Chris 18

    What has to be addressed is intergenerational welfare dependency. That is the ‘monster’. It has nothing to do with ‘benefit bashing’ – that is an immature rebuttal and using that term debases your argument.
    Long term welfare dependency robs motivation and creates chronic low self esteem and depression. It leads to lower academic outcomes, subsequent difficulty in the labour market, lower incomes, lower health outcomes and poverty.
    Long term welfare dependency has especially been detrimental to the Tanga Te Whenua – this is one of the reasons why Maori are high in negative statistics in Aoteroa. It is another form of prolonged colonization.
    This has nothing to do with the genuinely sick, disabled and the aged. The state is their to protect them.
    Welfare is a hand up not a hand out. As a society we owe it to those on the fringes of society, those with situational stressors and those who come from a background of adversity not to allow long term welfare dependency. Dependency on state sanctioned hand outs is never a good thing.
    Sometimes one needs to see the world not from ‘left or right’ doctrine as that limits us – but from a humanistic viewpoint.

    • McFlock 18.1

      “Welfare dependency” is a made-up condition. Inter-generational economic inequality is a major problem, but you have to ask “why are certain sectors excluded from econonomic self-determination over decades and centuries?”. The answer IS political: righties say “they don’t try”, lefties say “alienation and seperation from the means of production”.
       
      And your switch to the “hand up not a hand out” mantra just oozes your own bias.

      • Descendant Of Smith 18.1.1

        The percentage of people on benefit long-term is minimal and is quite a mythic fantasy.

        Getting data is difficult because the main data provided is current numbers and duration on benefit e.g. most recent year available
        MSD Website

        Length of current spell to the end of June

        Working-age clients receiving an unemployment-associated benefit
        2009 Number
        Under 6 months 40,938
        6 months–2 years 14,554
        2–4 years 1,742
        Over 4 years 1,227
        Total 58,461

        A percentage based on a fixed point in time gives too simplistic a figure but even then it is only 2% who had been on for more than four years. Many of these are likely to live in rural areas with low employment opportunities and will include 64 year old ladies working part-time at a supermarket and getting $30-00 to $40-00 to top up their low wages.

        If you were able to tell how many people had been on benefit in total that year (lets guess at 5 for everyone on at the above point in time throughout a year) then this figure would drop to 1,227 / 292,305 = 0.41%

        As most right-wingers like to focus on the over 10 year people you can see that if the fours are this low the 10’s must be even lower.

        The percentage of managers / lawyers /brokers/ accountants done for fraud or tax evasion each year is likely higher than this and much more damaging to many more people.

    • Campbell Larsen 18.2

      Chris – I held back before because I try never to be rude to people in public two days in a row (tho I have been know to fall short of the ideal)
      BUT you are so twisted I don’t even know where start, calling you the worst names I can think of is still doing you a compliment.
      You call yourself a humanist – I think if we peeled your skin back there would be a reptile underneath.
      You don’t even know what it is to be human.
      You are preaching to the wrong person: go suck Darth McVicars ‘sensible’ cock – he at least will enjoy you ministrations.

      • Campbell Larsen 18.2.1

        Oh, I take it you got the comment email follow up Chris!

        Good goad!

        Your desire to provoke me coincided with my desire to slag you off.

        Now we are both happy : )

  19. Chris 19

    ‘Cambell Larsen’ et al – you can be rude all you want – if it makes you feel better. It is an immature defense mechanism. It does not effect me. You are blinded by your left ideology. It breeds contempt and hatred towards those who may have an alternative viewpoint to your failed socialist doctrines.

  20. Chris 20

    ‘Cambell Larsen’ – you give up easily. Is it that easy to reach your own level of intellectual incompetence. ?
    ‘Puddlegum’ – can’t you write something original and intelligent yourself instead of referring to some other persons thoughts ?
    Here was me thinking socialist’s had reasonable debating skills.
    Good night – pleasant dreams my socialist illiterates.

    • McFlock 20.1

      riiiight.
       
      Can’t keep track of who you’re debating with? Can’t count beyond two?
       
      Good night, innumerate tory.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    24 hours ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
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    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
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    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
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    2 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
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    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
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    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
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    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
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    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
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    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
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    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
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    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
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    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
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    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
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    7 days ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
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    7 days ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Porirua housing partnership to improve housing in the city
    A partnership signed today between the Crown and local iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa), will improve the quality of state housing in western Porirua, says the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Contracts have been signed at a ceremony at Takapūwāhia Marae, in Porirua, between Ngāti Toa, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minster Delivers Erebus Apology
    E aku manukura, tēnā koutou. He kupu whakamahara tēnei i te aituā nui i Te Tiri o Te Moana, i Erebus I runga i tētahi maunga tiketike i riro atu rā tētahi hunga i arohanuitia E murimuri aroha tonu ana ki a rātou.  Kua titia rātou ki te manawa, mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF backing Southland skills
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting an initiative that will help Southlanders into local jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced in Invercargill today. “I’m pleased to be in the great South today to announce PGF support of $1.5 million for Southland Youth Futures. This initiative is all ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ten Southland engineering firms get PGF funding
    Ten engineering firms in Southland are receiving Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment to lift productivity and create new jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today in Invercargill. Minister Jones announced over $4 million of PGF support for projects in the engineering and manufacturing, and aquaculture sectors and for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Public service gender pay gap continues to close and more women in leadership
    The Government has made good progress towards eliminating the gender pay gap in the Public Service, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today.  The latest data from the annual Public Service Workforce Data Report, shows that the 2019 Public Service gender pay gap fell to 10.5% from 12.2% in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Safer speed limits for schools
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school, by reducing speed limits to a maximum of 40 km/h around urban schools and 60 km/h around rural schools. “Our kids should have the freedom to walk and cycle to school ...
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    1 week ago