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Social investment meets the surveillance state

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 pm, March 4th, 2017 - 45 comments

First they came for the budgeting services. Now we know that every social service agency  has to provide clients’ private personal data to the Ministry of Social Development or get no funding. Apparently it’s  essential to Bill English’s much-touted and little understood “social investment” strategy, which is sounding more like something out of Orwell’s 1984. […]

Spinning ‘social investment’

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, January 14th, 2017 - 53 comments

Bill English has co-opted the old term “social investment” to replace another old term “targeted welfare”. Simon Wilson (writing at The Spinoff) has bought into the spin and written a deeply confused piece about it.

The Centrelink fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, January 6th, 2017 - 29 comments

In Australia the Turnbull Government is implementing a policy that will demand in 12 months at least 200,000 Australians repay benefits they were entitled to because of faulty data mapping.

Briefing Papers: And so this is Christmas…

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, December 23rd, 2016 - 107 comments

Alicia Sudden reflects on Christmas at The Briefing Papers: “Yet this brief annual window excludes the elephant in the room: that this poverty is a consequence of our welfare system failing to provide the support it was intended to.”

The Future of Work Commission report

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, November 6th, 2016 - 17 comments

The Future of Work Commission report has now been released. It contains 63 recommendations including the tentative implementation of a universal basic income and a that voluntary work for approved organisations allow beneficiaries to continue to receive a benefit.

Through the Looking Glass.

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, October 31st, 2016 - 15 comments

The culture being addressed will be familiar enough to many here in NZ who deal with Work and Income. Government strategies to address that culture? Well, that’s another story. This isn’t just happening half a world away. It might as well be happening in another universe – back on the sane side of some looking glass NZ has fallen through.

I see a poverty of ideas and a poverty of Government responsibility

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, October 13th, 2016 - 210 comments

Judith Collins yesterday said that child poverty is the fault of parents and not the fault of her Government.

Fortress NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, September 16th, 2016 - 120 comments

TS regular Tony Veitch has some practical ideas as to how we insulate NZ from the ravages of neoliberalism and climate change. Readers may agree with some, none or all of the suggestions. However, whichever way you look at it, the time for hand wringing is over. It’s time for action.

Stop the Sanctions!

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, September 16th, 2016 - 131 comments

Auckland Action Against Poverty is trying to get a sanction on sole mothers removed.

New Zealand’s most shameful secret: ‘We have normalised child poverty’

Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, August 16th, 2016 - 175 comments

Fuck the whole “Brighter Future” New Zealand.

Meth Fries Housing NZ’s Brains

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, August 3rd, 2016 - 129 comments

Housing NZ has admitted that it is evicting tenants when only tiny trace amounts of meth are found on the property. It further admits that the testing regime is not fit for purpose. But, hey, they have the power to make people homeless and they’re not going to let fairness or common sense get in the way of their moral panic.

When did the War on Drugs become the War on the Poor?

NZ being used as international example of a bad welfare system

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, August 2nd, 2016 - 104 comments

NZ under National is being used internationally as an example of a bad welfare system.

Do we care? Are we going to fix it?

A target we can celebrate missing

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, July 16th, 2016 - 72 comments

Anne Tolley has conceeded that the Nats will not meet their objective of getting 65,000 people off the benefit in the next two years. Good. It is the wrong goal.

Be Like Dad, Keep Mum (in fear).

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, July 10th, 2016 - 62 comments

Temuera Morrison has made a powerful video for the Women’s Refuge annual appeal. He’s making a difference. You can do something the Key Government won’t do. You can make a difference. You can stop keeping mum about domestic violence and you can help fund your local refuge.

What the Swiss voted on (UBI proposal)

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, June 7th, 2016 - 13 comments

Some context for the debate.

UBI gathers momentum in Europe

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, June 3rd, 2016 - 51 comments

Practical trials of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) are taking place or are under consideration across Europe. Given the increasing automation of work it’s difficult to see a practical alternative to a UBI in the medium to long term.

A scene from the National War Cabinet in September 2014

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, May 31st, 2016 - 38 comments

News broke this morning about a major mistake discovered in September 2014 during the height of an election campaign.  But it was hidden from view until now.  It makes you wonder how the news could have been hidden for so long.

The Government thinks that poverty is the fault of the poor, and some budget advisers

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 am, May 25th, 2016 - 121 comments

The Government is planning to change funding for budgeting services and to require providers to become “financial mentors” rather than “budgeting advisers” as if this will improve things.

In the middle of a housing crisis Housing Corp is selling state houses

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, May 20th, 2016 - 49 comments

John Campbell is covering the homeless crisis with stories that highlight the personal tragedies that are occurring and the complete indifference of the Government to their plight.

Government’s plan for housing crisis: tread water

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, May 18th, 2016 - 54 comments

The Government’s promised funding for 3,000 new beds for the homeless will not create any but will make sure that existing beds are kept available.

Key to Homeless: You Can Stay at Mine

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, May 18th, 2016 - 54 comments

Prime Minister John Key has today announced a radical plan to solve the housing crisis. The homeless are now welcome to go flatting with him in his Parnell bach. The plan includes draining the swimming pool and subdividing it into flats, putting hammocks in the palm trees and making soup in the pool cabana’s kitchen. Max Key may have to move out to make way for the homeless, but the PM described that as a painful sacrifice he was now willing to make in the light of his son’s most recent social media posting.

TV3 – The Hui – Special report on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, May 15th, 2016 - 43 comments

TV3’s excellent current affairs show, The Hui (Mihingarangi Forbes) just screened a special report on poverty. What happens to people who are kicked off a benefit?

Shameful tactics on beneficiaries

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, April 8th, 2016 - 42 comments

Why does it take a volunteer organisation like Auckland Action Against Poverty to help people get the benefits that they are entitled to?

A quick question (again)

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, March 29th, 2016 - 231 comments

“More than 2400 benefits suspended since 2013”. I have a quick question…

House Tales.

Written By: - Date published: 3:01 pm, March 22nd, 2016 - 32 comments

If ‘home is where the heart is’ then what’s the story when everything’s heartless?

Glasses and Brick Walls (& woods and trees).

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 pm, March 21st, 2016 - 47 comments

The thing about not having great sight is that sometimes you don’t really see things coming.

Labour considering Unconditional Basic Income

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, March 14th, 2016 - 360 comments

As with capital gains tax, the political left is kicking off a very important discussion for NZ.

So, how would you spend $1.2B per year?

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, February 1st, 2016 - 84 comments

A Kiwi Kids allowance for all under fives, with totally fee free public primary and secondary schools.

War Veteran’s superannuation cancelled because of Government policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, January 26th, 2016 - 163 comments

National is the master of micro changes to policies which give it the appearance that it is being hard on beneficiaries.  But in extreme cases the policies produce ridiculous results.  Such as the 89 year old war veteran who lost his superannuation and was forced to beg after had an arrest warrant issued for trespass.

Another housing policy screwup?

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, January 22nd, 2016 - 38 comments

Bennet’s proposal to incentivise / coerce state housing applicants to leave Auckland for housing elsewhere seems to have hit a snag…

Well this is awkward

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 8th, 2016 - 80 comments

Jamie Whyte yesterday wrote an article for the Herald claiming that child poverty does not exist in New Zealand. But he wrote essentially the same article in 2005 about child poverty in Great Britain.

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