Daily Review 14/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, March 14th, 2017 - 111 comments
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Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

111 comments on “Daily Review 14/03/2017”

  1. adam 1

    Are the reporters being obtuse, or trying hard to push an anti-union agenda to keep funding. This is why I’ve stopped listening.

    https://twitter.com/nzmorningreport/status/841367660294094848

  2. RedLogix 2

    TOP release their UBI and Rental policy. Interesting and realistic. As a landlord I can happily live with the rental policy and I’d venture maybe some here might be intrigued at how they’ve worked through the UBI idea as well:

    http://www.top.org.nz/top7?utm_campaign=num7&utm_medium=email&utm_source=garethmorgan

    • Cricklewood 2.1

      The Rental policy is something i have advocated for a long time. Good to see TOP have made it policy. I well remember the property manager throwing her weight around when the the place I was renting went up for sale. Tune changed when I purchased it but the woman was revolting.

      I think it will have a secondary benefit in that it will make it more difficult casual investors to flip properties for quick profit potentially removing them from the market and reducing pressure on prices.

      • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1

        Like the non-eviction when rental properties are sold.

        But gifting HNZ properties to the voluntary sector?

        No way! We need more HNZ properties, not less.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          It’s not as simple as that. The voluntary sector has it’s place as well. There is also a place for housing associations, something entirely missing from the NZ scene. Many of these organisations work with people aiming to transition them from lifelong tenancy into eventual ownership.

          Gifting properties to this sector in this way can reduce HNZ’s stock of unsuitable units, and free up capital to increase it’s properties that are better matched to demand. There is no rule that says HNZ’s stock has to be fixed and static; It can build, maintain and turnover properties as fast as it likes so long as it meets it’s social mandate. It’s helpful to keep in mind that houses (and the locations they are in) exist in a social and economic context that changes over the lifetime of the structure,

          The issue you are really concerned about, as I am too, is not whether HNZ lets go or sells stock … but the exact shape of political mandate it is operating under. That would be a much more interesting question to ask TOP.

        • Bill 2.1.1.2

          I could be very supportive of housing being passed to bona fide collectives and co-operatives. But yeah – I suspect such set-ups are not the imagined or intended recipients.

    • weka 2.2

      I don’t get it. A UBI that’s not universal, that pays $200/wk to all families with young kids including wealthy families (but is that on top of DBP, dole etc?), addresses the work testing aspect of welfare for some adults, but leaves all other vulnerable adults in the hands of WINZ. It doesn’t address the supplementary benefits issue, except to say they will be less (doesn’t explain how). As far as I can see it doesn’t look at Accommodation Supplement in its concurrent housing policy either. To be really frank, it looks like it another middle class attempt to solve child poverty while not actually addressing the fucked up nature of WINZ and welfare culture in NZ. In other words, yet another round of restructuring that will solve some problems and create others and just make WINZ even more dysfunctional than it already is.

      Cutting Super, glad to hear about that, that should slash their vote a bit.

      • weka 2.2.1

        Policy is badly explained too 🙁

      • mauī 2.2.2

        I think that’s a bit harsh considering I think this is the only party that will implement a UBI (even a partial one) if elected? And a UBI is where I think we need to be heading. Targetting young families seems sensible as a starting point. I don’t like how they’ve taken away paid parental leave to put in a UBI though. It does seem like the policy is hamstrung by fiscal constraints, but we’ve got nothing from the other parties to see if that could be overcome.

        • weka 2.2.2.1

          If it’s not universal, why call it a UBI?

          Part of the reason I am harsh is that I read his original proposal and it basically throws beneficiaries under a bus because it fails to address the supplementary benefits issue. So some beneficiaries would end up being paid less than they are now. IMO, trading off one set of vulnerable people for another is very neoliberal and we should be resisting it with everything we’ve got.

          Can you tell if the $200/wk would be paid to beneficiaries on top of their benefit or instead of? i.e. people on dole, DPB, Supported Living.

          Sorry, but I am sick of middle class management types fucking over welfare. If they’d come out with some serious roll backs of the Bennett reforms I’d be kinder, but why would you address work ready requirements for some parents but not people who are ill? This shit is going to reinforce stigma, not decrease it. It’s about the deserving poor, and it will entrench those attitudes into the liberal parts of society who will get to feel better because there are less poor kid under 3 while still not having to stand up to anti-welfare advocates.

          Morgan has some good ideas but the more I see the detail behind them the less I trust him. His ideas are superficially attractive to the left, but the implementation is a tweak of neoliberalism (neoliberalism with a pseudo-progressive face if you like).

          The Greens have long had a pro-UBI policy. Labour are making moves towards this being favourable too (I would guess 2nd term). TOP have zero chance of getting their policy adopted without L/G, but they are going to frame the issue around centrist ideas not left wing ones.

          • weka 2.2.2.1.1

            Also, means and asset testing elderly people is a seriously bad idea unless it is done by a govt system that cares about people. We don’t have that. What I expect is an increasing number of distressed elderly people esp those on the borderline of poverty. This is what happens when you try and design social policy from an economics pov. It’s why Morgan’s original UBI proposal was also a fail. He simply doesn’t start from a place of wellbeing for all.

            • RedLogix 2.2.2.1.1.1

              So your precious Greens are pro-UBI but when I last asked one of their senior leaders up-front, admitted there was no research, no fiscal plan, no intention to campaign on the issue, and no expectation to ever implement it. Pure bullshit window-dressing.

              But somehow you see this as morally superior and more caring of the ‘well being for all’.

              • weka

                I make one very short sentence about the Greens in the context of multiple critiques of TOP’s UBI policy, and that’s what you respond with? Nothing about the actual critiques?

                Here’s the policy. Read the UBI bit in in the context of the whole policy and their other interrelated policies. Yes, I do think those policies make the Greens’ position better in terms of caring for the wellbeing of all. For a start they want to have a wide-ranging public debate about a UBI as part of its development, rather than presenting a ready-made policy developed by economists (and as I pointed out, economists have a different starting point). And they also base their UBI in an overall policy that says,


                Everyone deserves decent work, a living wage, and to be treated with respect.

                Work includes paid work, but also the vital, unpaid work of caring for children and family members, and volunteering in our communities.

                Everyone should have enough income to fully participate in their community, and to live safe, healthy lives. We support welfare policies that are sufficient to ensure this, simple to understand and access, and universal in their application.

                We are committed to moving New Zealand back to a state of full employment – in which there is enough work for everyone who needs it. We support welfare policies that help to achieve this.

                . Universal Basic Income (UBI)

                The Green Party supports a full and wide-ranging public debate on the nature of UBI and the details of a UBI system, and government funding for detailed studies of the impacts of UBI. The Green Party will:

                Investigate the implementation of a Universal Basic Income for every New Zealander.

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

                By all means link to TOP’s welfare policy and we can compare them.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.1.2

              It’s why Morgan’s original UBI proposal was also a fail. He simply doesn’t start from a place of wellbeing for all.

              He starts from the position that things should be as they are now in the financial system. He doesn’t realise that’s where changes need to start first in stopping the private banks from creating money, having government be the only entity that can create money and that government spending is the prime mover of money in the economy.

              Until he addresses that hen he’s going to stuck on the affordability of a UBI and not realising that not being able to afford a UBI is proof that the economy isn’t working for the well being of the nation or the world or that we just have too many people in the country and the world.

          • mauī 2.2.2.1.2

            They intend to make it Universal, that’s why they’ve called it a UBI. This is their stage 1. I don’t think they’re being misleading.

            The best I could find out about the UBI affecting beneficiaries was this:
            https://garethsworld.com/kahuna/are-you-a-client-of-work-and-income/

            The one payment to fit all does seem to have a few problems, for instance a $11,000 UBI can’t match a $30,000 sole parent with 3 kids benefit. They talk about saving accommodation costs by encouraging sharing a house with others which isn’t exactly ideal for mum and the kids. And they look to be strongly encouraging people to cover their costs by topping up by having a job too, which may not be the best thing for mum either. I’m feeling a bit of a big brother slant to this… I’m having some doubts about how this would all work through, but would be fascinating to see it trialled.

            The intentions seem good enough, they say a UBI would mean “no requirement to attend employment workshops, for example, or live in a particular type of household, or get medical certificates”

            • weka 2.2.2.1.2.1

              I’m not convinced they do mean to make it universal. For instance, they want to means test the Super replacement. That’s not universal, and I can see them making similar compromises on other later aspects.

              re the DPB, that’s my understanding about some of the shortcomings of his model too. I’ve commented in the past on what would happen to women on the DPB. The irony is that he wants to remove the work ready bit for young mums, but not older mums, who would then either be poorer or *have to take on work (assuming it was even available) irrespective of whether that was suitable or not. This is the problem with the lack of universality. If we want a UBI, apply it across the board. Otherwise call it something else. What I see is the potential for setting up a piecemeal system that never gets established properly and is vulnerable to being monkey wrenched by the next National govt.

              (can’t remember if he removes the abatement on beneficiary earnings, but that’s another biggie).

              There are better versions of UBIs around than Morgan’s. Although admittedly few attempt to solve the supplementary benefit issue or the Accommodation Supplement as Landlord subsidy.

              The intentions seem good enough, they say a UBI would mean “no requirement to attend employment workshops, for example, or live in a particular type of household, or get medical certificates”

              So why not apply those things now across the board?

            • weka 2.2.2.1.2.2

              Thanks for that link btw. It’s a really good example of how seriously bad his policy would be for some beneficiaries, and sorry, but he is pig ignorant about disability and illness beneficiaries. He is suggesting that they lose substantial income and have that replaced with govt controlled services. I’m going to hazard a guess that he doesn’t know what that income gets used for, and didn’t bother doing the research to find out. How would the govt provide a replacement car or special foods or alternative medical costs or new washing machine or fridge or any of the *individual needs that people have, if it wasn’t being done by an income model?

              He fails to appreciate that the reason for the IB being higher than Sickness is that IB is a long term, sometimes permanent benefit with originally no work ready requirement. Sickness was meant to be short term. You need a higher rate if you are going to live on a benefit for a long time. That’s got nothing to do with health services. It’s about whether you can afford to have your house repaired or buy a new pair of shoes.

              Taking income off people with disabilities and trying to replace it with govt controlled services is discriminatory. What other sector of society would you think that would be acceptable for? It’s Bennett-esque, albeit unintentional.

              He also wants to remove hardship grants, and appears to believe that the dole is liveable on its own. Benefits have been set below liveable for a long time, which is *precisely why we have supplementary benefits, special needs grants etc. He is saying that people should have less income and take more responsibility for meeting their needs on that lower than liveable income. Presumably because everyone can get a job. That’s just not real.

              The thing that stands out for me is that he just didn’t bother researching this and I would guess he didn’t talk to experts in the field including beneficiaries or their advocates.

              The thing that really fucks me off about it is that there are lefties who will vote for TOP and possibly cost the left the election, and this policy is just shit compared to the Greens who if they had more MPs in parliament and were part of govt could make some real gains around social security. Red can be all snarky above about the precious Greens but the point is that they do actually want a real welfare safety net. Morgan doesn’t. It’s beyond belief that lefties would support him on this.

              • Antoine

                > there are lefties who will vote for TOP and possibly cost the left the election

                Probably not many. As we get towards the election and TOP is well below 5% in the polls, it will become clear that a TOP vote is a wasted vote, and the TOP vote share should drop still further.

                A.

                • Bill

                  Another way to look at it is that as far as UBI or/and climate goes, TOPS are (arguably) ahead of the pack. I’ve read the opinion that TOPS may ‘back’ a National government, meaning that they’ll fail to translate their proposals into policy.

                  That opinion would seem to be based on the notion that Labour + Greens would fall short of a National + partners share of the vote. And that TOPS wouldn’t opt to give confidence and supply to the bloc most likely to execute aspects of their agenda. (A truly bizarre suggestion)

                  There’s also the proposal that TOPS will fall short of the 5%. Well, like you say, polls will give some indication of the likelihood of that and people can then vote accordingly or appropriately.

                  Assuming that TOPS break the 5% and sit on the cross benches, then they will push their policies and those policies will be amended or improved or fine-tuned or discarded out of hand by the government of the day. But here’s the thing. Things will be on the table, with TOPS in parliament, that so far haven’t seen the light of fucking day.

                  Maybe someone could enlighten me as to why that would be a bad thing?

                  • weka

                    “That opinion would seem to be based on the notion that Labour + Greens would fall short of a National + partners share of the vote. And that TOPS wouldn’t opt to give confidence and supply to the bloc most likely to execute aspects of their agenda. (A truly bizarre suggestion)”

                    One potential, likely scenario, is the the 2 or 3 or 4% that lefties give to TOP will come from L/G, stop them from forming govt outright, and means that National get first go at forming a govt. So there’s that, just an outright removal of L/G on the basis of one or 2 MPs.

                    In which case why would TOP not do what the Mp have done?

                    Your rationales around CC and voting TOP might be sound, but there is no doubt that lefties party voting TOP is a risk.

                    I asked Matthew about how govts can be formed, it’s not that clear cut. And we have yet to factor in that Peters usually negotiates with the party with the highest vote, and we don’t yet know if he will consider L/G a bloc. The only really safe outcome here is L/G governing on their own, including if we put CC at the top of the agenda.

                    • Bill

                      Neither Labour nor the Greens will put CC at the top of their respective agendas. I doubt that TOPS would give it primacy either.

                      But insofar as the TOPS CC policy/proposal is the only one that recognises the reality of the situation we face (though the actual prescription doesn’t cut the mustard), then it would at least get a discussion going that’s based on reality as against the unscientific bullshit about cutting emissions by given percentages by some given date while quietly investing hope in a crazy reliance on fairy tale technology and magical capabilities.

                      If polls show TOPS struggling to reach 5%, then people will make whatever decisions they make. But maybe more to the point – if Labour + Greens can’t absolutely trounce National on polling day, then there is something very wrong with the Labour and/or the Green parties.

          • The Chairman 2.2.2.1.3

            “So some beneficiaries would end up being paid less than they are now. IMO, trading off one set of vulnerable people for another is very neoliberal and we should be resisting it with everything we’ve got.”

            Indeed.
            +1, weka.

            • greywarshark 2.2.2.1.3.1

              TOP Party can be acknowledged for bringing UBI to the forefront where it is being discussed by thoughtful people like us instead of just being the hobby horse of committed people with vision.

              Careful consideration must be part of the policy in a practical way that includes how fair and balanced it is for all.

              Careful countries have better legislation, so let’s be as careful as the Netherlands which uses electronic devices in the counting of election votes but also, because of the possibility of cyber interference, has also hand counted the votes. Thorough, careful implementation of policy for good, reliable results. That is what we must have, with UBI, and all instead of fast and furious recipients.

              • The Chairman

                While Morgan can be acknowledged for bringing UBI to the forefront, his model is inferior.

                Moreover, what he’s proposing will also wreck our current UBI model (Super).

                Instead of looking at ways to improve and expand Super to the rest of society, he’s proposing to slash and means test it.

                We require a more balanced model that improves upon or is at least equal to our current Super. Therefore, not only will it acknowledge unpaid work, it will also better value it.

        • Calling a policy a “partial UBI” is like talking about being partially pregnant. The “U” stands for Universal, not “unconditional.” (although “unconditional” is an important part of a UBI scheme, it’s implied in the universality of the basic income) It’s not a “partial UBI,” it’s a cut to super (A HUGE cut, from $25k p/a to $10k p/a!) packaged together with removing work-testing from WFF and implementing a new child benefit. While some families might be struggling, they’re not the only priority in welfare reform.

          Overall, this reinforces my perception that Gareth doesn’t understand why a UBI is benificial, and why genuine left-wing parties who advocate one want a higher benefit rate and higher income taxes to achieve one.

          Even Labour’s future of work commission proposed a higher benefit rate than TOP does- they wanted $12.5k p/a.

          I worked off $20k p/a because I think it’s livable for people long-term, but it also presents a benefit level that’s affordable in the context of taking new revenue measures such as taking wealth.

          There is so much misunderstanding of what a “UBI” already is that TOP shouldn’t be contributing to it with a “UBI policy” that’s essentially a “benefit reform policy” that cuts and then means-tests Super.

        • The Chairman 2.2.2.3

          @ mauī

          “I think that’s a bit harsh considering I think this is the only party that will implement a UBI (even a partial one) if elected?”

          What’s harsh, disappointing, but expected is Morgan is wrecking Super (our current universal income) to replace it with an inferior model.

          Instead of building upon and improving on Super, he wants to slash and means test it.

          Moreover, as Morgan considers the family home to be income generating (and plans to tax us on it) no doubt that so-called income will also be counted in a means test.

          • bwaghorn 2.2.2.3.1

            like he has said though why give super to people who are wealthy,

            • The Chairman 2.2.2.3.1.1

              The problem is, a number of pensioners own their own home but it doesn’t necessarily make them wealthy.

              Moreover, owning their own home is what is currently helping keep a number of pensioners above the poverty line.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.2.3.1.2

              Why not tax their wealth and then let them have Super anyway if they really want it?

              Effectively you’ve means-tested it by making them pay for the Super out of wealth taxes, but you wouldn’t have to change who qualifies or how, preserving it as a relatively easy to get transfer. It ticks all the boxes and oh look it’s essentially what the Green Party want to do anyway.

              • The Chairman

                “Why not tax their wealth and then let them have Super anyway if they really want it?”

                Morgan wants to tax their wealth (the family home) but also wants to means test them and slash their Super.

                As for why not tax them? First off the goal (fairer redistribution) is to transfer wealth from the top end down, not rob pensioners that are nowhere near the top one percent.

                Secondly, Morgan wants to tax homes on some form of calculated annual gain, not an actual gain. Therefore, there is no real money being made, thus forcing those with little actual income to mortgage their family home to pay the tax. Taking away what they worked hard to attain, while robbing family members (who could also be struggling) of their inheritance.

                • Oh, I agree Morgan’s proposals are wrongly tuned and a bunch of right-wing rubbish, especially his “expected capital gain” nonsense, I’m saying the reason we shouldn’t means-test Super is because we should just tax actual wealth enough that wealthy people “getting super” still doesn’t make up for the extra taxes, thus, we’ve effectively “means tested” them without ever having to pay anyone to check if they’re too wealthy to get super. Much more efficient.

                  I’m saying let’s give them a proper CGT on dividends, property sales, share sales, etc, and align it with the highest level of income tax, and maybe add an inheritance tax on estates past a certain threshold to that, too. That would more than fund Super. The VUW CGT model would give you an extra $300million-$5billion (depending on where you set the rate) or so after fully funding the current Super to pay down debt and/or save against paying for boomers without any age raises or cuts being necessary, and that would also free up income tax and GST to go to other priorities too, because that’s $12billion you were currently spending on Super that can go to increasing benefits, alleviating poverty, improving health and education, climate change research, or whatever your priorities are.

          • greywarshark 2.2.2.3.2

            The Chairman
            Housing, unearned income because you actually live in it as your home and get taxed on foregone rental? Eek don’t like that. It seems counter productive if one is trying to cut down our rentier class activity.

      • b waghorn 2.2.3

        Unconditional not universal is what he’s calling it

        • weka 2.2.3.1

          Thanks, if missed that. Makes sense as it’s not universal. I wonder what he means by unconditional.

          • Andre 2.2.3.1.1

            He means that if you meet the conditions, you don’t have to meet conditions.

            • weka 2.2.3.1.1.1

              Lol

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.3.1.1.2

              Nice one. 😉 I had assumed they opted for “unconditional” to justify calling their interim measures a “UBI” policy, because they’re clearly not universal benefits. Of course all this does is confuse people about what a UBI is.

      • Bill 2.2.4

        Cutting Super, glad to hear about that, that should slash their vote a bit.

        Is it? Seriously, I don’t know what current levels are, but from the policy doc it proposes a $10K sum topped up through means testing by up to $7.5K.

        And why keep stomping on the potential prospects of a party that would at the very least get some stuff on the table that’s just not there at the moment?

        You’d rather we settle for Greens/Labour talking about talking about Universal or Unconditional Basic Income as against their arms being twisted and the conversation actually taking place?

        Can’t say I understand that approach.

        • weka 2.2.4.1

          “And why keep stomping on the potential prospects of a party that would at the very least get some stuff on the table that’s just not there at the moment?”

          If they weren’t a risk to the left forming govt I’d be very happy that they are running, but for the raising issues value. Their policy detail is often really lacking, and they are *not left wing.

          “You’d rather we settle for Greens/Labour talking about talking about Universal or Unconditional Basic Income as against their arms being twisted and the conversation actually taking place?”

          You mean Labour who basically asked NZ last year to help them develop a UBI policy? Or the Greens that have taking the debate to NZ as part of their core welfare policy. The Greens who have an actual welfare policy.

          So my question for you in return then is why you are so supportive of a wealthy person who supports economic tinkering with neoliberalism but doesn’t support many left wing policies or values?

          • Bill 2.2.4.1.1

            If the Greens have a welfare policy (as opposed to a UBI policy) and if Labour are muttering about talking about it (a UBI)….then what’s the loss in TOPS + Greens formulating a higher common denominator through discussion and Labour being forced out of their “lets-consult-about-a-consultation-process -never-never-land” comfort zone?

            As for potentially voting for a political party wedded to or accommodating of liberalism – that’s the basic Hobsons choice we’ve got before us, innit?

            • weka 2.2.4.1.1.1

              Because, and honestly I don’t know how many times I have to say this, TOP getting MPs instead of L/G may mean that Labour can’t form govt. That’s how MMP works.

              It’s not an ‘if’ the Greens have a welfare policy, they do. I linked to it above.

              The Greens aren’t wedded to neoliberalism, they’re shacked up for a while out of expediency and because NZ has been too chickenshit to vote them more power when they were more left. TOP are avid supporters of neoliberalism. There is a difference.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.4.1.1.2

              The Greens are, by philosophy, the most socialist party we currently have in Parliament, they’re just aware that they’re not in a position to entirely set the agenda just yet and need to focus on changes they can work with Labour or National to get through parliament, which means being a little neoliberal because both the biggest parties are. Trust me when I say that they’re not a particularly neoliberal party. You can tell by the lack of traditional economists.

              The Greens actually have a better welfare (they call it “Income Support”) policy than TOP does, they have better ideas on Super, (they want to look to the revenue side of the equation and keep or expand access to Super, which is eminently practical as the Greens support wealth taxes) and they are just as willing to look toward a Universal Basic Income, and they actually commit to the “universal” part, unlike TOP. Most notable is that they’re the only party with a policy to end starvation-level benefits by proposing indexing them to realistic living costs.

              Basically, if you want a UBI, or just any system that’s better for people who need income support from the government, your choice is between the Greens, the Greens, or the Greens right now. Labour has been unwilling to move on starvation-level benefits for so long that National beat them to giving beneficiaries a raise. TOP have made it perfectly clear with this policy that their pro-UBI noises are just noise and they don’t actually get that part of the opportunity in a UBI is to reform the benefit system into something that works for everyone, both those who are hard at work on low incomes and those who for whatever reason cannot do paid work, whether it’s because they can’t find it, have kids to look after, or because of illness. And the other parties in Parliament either don’t care or are too small-change to do anything about it.

              And Weka is correct. TOP is competing with Labour and the Greens largely for votes, not with National, and they have committed to sitting on the cross-benches, meaning they will make it harder for a left-wing government to form. If you care about unseating National, you shouldn’t vote for TOP, not just because your vote is unlikely to clear the threshold based on current polling, but also because they’ll be a waste of space if they do get into Parliament, because they’re not willing to work with like-minded parties to support a government.

              • Bill

                So if the Green’s welfare policy is better, what’s the problem? Like I said above, there is nothing preventing discussion that results in highest common denominators. If there are aspects of TOPS proposal that could be incorporated into the Green’s welfare policy in such a way that their welfare policy is improved, then good. If the Greens welfare policy covers all the bases, then good. If Labour get it coming at them from both sides, then good.

                Formation of government.

                TOPS have said they’d offer ‘confidence and supply’ to a government – so no barrier to a Lab/Green configuration – and then sit on the cross benches. Not seeing the problem with that. In fact, it kind of appeals because it means they’d deal with matters on a case by case basis and not be bound by strings and hooks.

                Beyond welfare, the question is do they have positive contributions to make in terms of housing, tax, environment etc? I guess people can make a judgement call on that and decide whether it’s worth giving some or any of those ideas (in part or in whole) any space in the policy and legislative space of parliament.

                • weka

                  The problem is that the % of vote that TOP might get could stop Labour from being able to form govt. I’ll just keep saying it.

                  “TOPS have said they’d offer ‘confidence and supply’ to a government – so no barrier to a Lab/Green configuration – and then sit on the cross benches.”

                  Citation for that. The only thing I’ve seen is a vague statement on their website that doesn’t way what they will do post-election. If they are now saying they will provide C and S, that would be good to see.

                  I get what you are aiming at here and if the numbers and election politics were playing out differently and if CC weren’t at stake, I’d probably support the strategy. I just think the risk is far too high and you are advocating gambling with the election.

                  Best case scenario is a L/G govt with maximum Green MPs and no NZF. Every vote that goes away from that scenario has big risks e.g Labour having to choose NZF over the Greens. Or not being able to form govt at all.

                  • Bill

                    Confidence and Supply – http://www.top.org.nz/whose_corner

                    “Despite not having announced any policies, and saying that I would work in a supply and confidence agreement with any governing party or coalition,…”

                    Not vague at all to my way of reading, but hey.

                    And then we’re back to would he go with National if TOPS could ensure a Lab/Green coalition? Given that there is far more chance that aspects of TOPS policy get adopted (in part or in whole) by a Labour/Green government…

                    But sure. TOPS are in parliament and the numbers just won’t stack up for a Lab/Green led coalition, then I guess they somewhat follow the example of the Green Party previously and work with National where they can…and that wouldn’t entail offering them confidence and supply. If it did, then we’re back to TOPS being in a position where they could ensure a Lab/Green coalition. And why wouldn’t they?

                    • weka

                      You are still missing the point. Votes going to TOP could literally prevent Labour from forming govt. Not TOP getting MPs and being likely to support a L/G coalition on C and S, but TOP getting left wing votes so that a L/G coalition with or without anyone else is impossible.

                      As for C and S, given NZ’s MMP history, largely due to NZF fucking over its voters, I think it’s reasonable to expect parties to be explicit about their post-election intentions. A passing comment in reference to how the media have treated him is far from a clear statement. They’re a political party, they need to do way better than this to be trusted.

                      “And why wouldn’t they?”

                      National might offer them a better deal. The Mt Albert TOP candidate seems to favour National.

                      What we need at this point is a really good write up on how governments in NZ form and what the potential scenarios are.

                    • Bill

                      You are still missing the point.

                      Nope. I get the whole ‘failing to achieve the 5% threshold’ angle.

                    • weka

                      I’m not talking about failing to reach 5% (although there is that too).

                    • Bill

                      If you’re accepting the scenario where TOPS are in parliament, then how is it that they prevent a Lab/Green government forming? The notion they go with National when a Lab/Green option exists makes somewhere between zero and zilch sense – it doesn’t stack up.

                    • weka

                      Afaik, in order to form govt parties need credibility around stability as well as numbers. So if the L/G bloc is too low compared to National then National will get first crack at the Governor General. Plus the issue of NZF. The risk is when either side could form govt depending on who did deals with who.

                      There does seem to be a convention of the largest party getting to form govt. So technically, L/G bloc bigger than National could go to the GG and say we can do it, here’s how. But if National have a substantially larger number and L/G need TOP, Mp, Mana, NZF or some combination of those to outweigh National’s numbers, then L/G will be perceived as the less stable option (I think this has happened in a previous election) and thus not get to form govt.

                      (it’s not good, and isn’t how MMP should be IMO, and I’d pin a large amount of there responsibility on Peters for monkey wrenching MMP in various ways, but stability, or perceptions of, seems to play a big role. Think all the wake jumping stuff that’s happened in the past).

                      Matthew might want to comment on this, but here’s from a convo recently.

                      OK, first, the actual rules. There are none, we never wrote them down. 😉 Not the answer you wanted? OK, we have something, it’s just not a solid rule. The constitutional convention is “secure the support of a majority of MPs in the House so you can demonstrate to the Governor General your coalition leader needs to be appointed Prime Minister.”

                      Have a look at Matthew’s full comment here (including bits about stability),

                      https://thestandard.org.nz/coalition-building-deft-politics-from-little/#comment-1306352

                      I have a feeling that there is some good writing on this in Pundit too, I might see if I can find it. My concern is that in a tight election National will trump L/G, which is why L/G need all the MPs they can get. If L/G were actively working with TOP pre-election it might be different, but even then TOP have never been in parliament before and I’m not sure how much they would be trusted to be stable.

                    • Bill

                      And your theoretical government falls at the first vote of confidence.

                    • weka

                      What theoretical govt???

                    • Bill

                      Your minority National Party led one.

                    • weka

                      Why would it fall at the first vote of confidence?

                    • Bill

                      Because any government that can’t secure 50%+ in a confidence vote can’t govern (eg – can’t pass a budget) and an election is called…not that they’d even get that far. They’d be gone before they even got up and running.

                    • weka

                      But National have coalition partners, that’s the whole point of C and S.

                    • Bill

                      How many ways you trying to cut this?

                      Sure. If National can form a majority, they get to form government. And if Labour and Greens can form a majority, then they get to form government.

                      And TOP doesn’t somehow automatically stop the formation of a Lab/Green government or make it impossible (which is what you were arguing at some point up thread)

                    • weka

                      No, what I am arguing is that numbers alone aren’t sufficient, that a senior party also needs to convince the GG that the coalition they propose is stable and viable.

                      My understanding is that NZ tends to favour large senior parties with small add on parties, rather than a handful of medium sized parties.

                      As we’ve both said, parties are reluctant to form unstable govts. NZ also has a history of the mainstream perceiving multi-party govts as unstable.

                      This is part of why the L/G MoU is important, because by the time the election is over they have demonstrated that they can work together well. Imagine on the other hand a situation where Labour and a much bigger Mp were trying to kill each other all year and then after the election were then saying, no, it’s ok, we really do like each other and can work together. I’m not suggesting that is TOP and Labour, just using an extreme example to illustrate the point (and it’s part of why I keep asking lefties what’s going to happen if Labour need the Mp to form govt).

                      I don’t know where TOP fit into that, but the questions I am asking are reasonable enough.

                      “How many ways you trying to cut this?”

                      Well only one above I think, but I would say that this is easily the most complex election I’ve seen in terms of possible scenarios. TOP add to that complexity, even more so because they are a big unknown. Again, it seems entirely reasonable to be looking at these issues.

                    • Bill

                      If National can garner over 50% of parliamentarians to grant them confidence and supply, then they form a government. If Labour can do that, then they form a government.

                      If one or the other cannot do that but goes to the GG to seek the permission to form a government, then they won’t last two seconds. They will fall at the first vote of confidence…which is on day one.

                      The confidence and supply is the signal of stability.

                      If you’re suggesting for one second that the GG can force the majority of parliament to accept a government they have no confidence in…yeah, nah.

                    • weka

                      So basically you are saying it’s all down to a numbers game and nothing to do with perception of stability?

                • The problem is that people are incorrectly perceiving TOP as radical practical policy reformers or geniuses of welfare and tax policy, when the best you can say about them is that they’re derivative of a few Green Party ideas where they’ve got things right, and dangerously perverting good ideas when they’ve got things badly wrong, such as on welfare reform. Until I actually saw what they were doing and the reception they were receiving among their fans, I regarded it as a bit of a harmless vanity party, which to be honest, it kind of is, except minus the “harmless” bit.

                  TOP are diluting the meaning of what a UBI is in a political debate where people are already confused, because it’s actually a radically socialist idea in many ways when it’s implemented universally, it’s just that TOP are so caught up on how to afford to do it they’re not crafting the policy around having its best effect, but rather around fitting it into a preconceived fraction of the budget. If you’re going to be bold and go for a UBI, you have to ask: “what do we need to do to fund it effectively?” not “how can we fit it into our existing revenue?”

                  I don’t mind new parties existing when they’re going to add genuinely new perspectives to the debate, or better represent under-served constituencies. But TOP doesn’t add anything significantly new. It’s largely rehashing Green Party policies, but doing them worse. It’s borrowing the party mechanics of an Internet Party, but without its interesting and modern values, or its more radical approach. It’s about as productive as United Future, except they’re talking about pragmatism and policy rather than common sense and community values. What is there to like?

                  Especially when its lacking electoral strategy looks set to throw Party Votes directly down the drain. They’re people’s to waste, of course, if that’s what they really believe in, but you have a responsibility as a Party if you’re making a serious pitch for their vote to try to have a serious electoral strategy, ie. aim for an electorate win if you don’t have the numbers yet to try for 5%. It’s not even clear at this stage whether their nationwide support would be enough to win an electorate if all of them moved to the same area, and yet here they are confusing the public as to what a UBI, an idea that we will need to implement in the upcoming era of automation, actually means.

                  As for confidence and supply- I had heard they planned to abstain or vote no for everyone, was that incorrect? Honestly, any consistently non-partisan approach is basically just as bad. If they get in and vote “no” for everyone, it hurts Labour and the Greens. If they get in and vote “yes” for everyone, it helps National and ACT. If they get in and abstain for everyone, that’s essentially a little bit of both. Given that they’re not representing an under-voiced constituency like say, the MP are, (and they therefore have something of an argument that it’s important to bring their perspective to governments of both stripes) they should get some guts and pick a side, because it matters who wins.

                  • weka

                    If TOP get 4.5% and no electorate, what happens to those votes?

                    • Andre

                      Same thing that happened to the Conservatives 4%. They get ignored in allocating seats. So the parties that do get in get slightly more seats than their vote share.

                      So in 2014, Nats got 50% of the allocated seats with 47% of the vote, Labour got 27% of the seats with 25% of the vote, Greens got 12% of the seats with 11% of the votes. (Dunne was an overhang, so his seat wasn’t one of the 120 allocated seats based on vote share)

                    • weka

                      In other words the ‘lost’ votes are redistributed proportionally? And from memory, that can mean an extra MP or two in the wrong place from a left perspective right?

                    • Andre

                      Absolutely strictly speaking, they are discarded. But it gives the same result as if they were redistributed.

                      edit: yes, it does mean seats can go to the “wrong” parties. If we assume the 4% (which would have given them 5 seats) who voted Conservative would have otherwise voted National, 3 of those seats went to Nats and 2 went to Labour (the “wrong party” from a Cons voter perspective)

                    • weka

                      Ah ok, that’s not what I meant but that is important too. I was meaning that when I’ve played around with the election calculator putting various small players in or out, it can have surprising results, something to do with when the % tips over into another MP?

                    • It’s mathematically the same thing if they’re discarded or redistributed proportionately, as Saint-Lague is a divisor formula based on iterative allocation of list seats. So yes, effectively, they go to National in proportion to their share of the vote, just as to Labour and the Greens or whoever. If you want your Party Vote to count, it needs to be going to a Party that gets List seats, or that you think will get List seats this time. There’s only five options that look realistic at this point for that, and that’s Labour, the Greens, NZF, National, or maybe the Māori Party.

                      That said, TOP aren’t even registering significantly in opinion polling, and New Zealand First managed to fall behind the threshold when they were polling above it, so it’s unlikely to be as big a deal as 4.5%.

                      In my opinion the real danger from TOP is that they’re confusing the debate without offering anything significant to make up for the dilution of important policy ideas.

                      It’s not even clear they could pull 16,000 votes nationwide at this point, which is a pretty average amount to win an electorate contest with.

                    • Andre

                      NZ uses the pure StLague method for allocating the seats (after threshold considerations are applied to discard the party votes for parties that don’t get in). So if there were no threshold and no complications like wasted votes, a party that got just over 1/240 of the vote would get one seat, a party with 3/240 would get two seats, 5/240 gets 3 seats.

                      So it gives the weirdness that UFs 0.22% of the vote was used in allocating seats, even though it’s way below what would give it a seat under any reasonable allocation method. But ALCPs 0.46%, IMPs 1.42%, and Cons 3.97% were all discarded.

                      http://archive.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/e9/html/e9_part2.html

                    • It doesn’t give any weirdness at all, Andre. They chuck everyone into the formula that wins an electorate seat or clears the threshold just in case, so no errors are made and people can see that they failed to get any seats.

                      Remember, it’s as much about seeing that the system is fair as it is about actually being fair.

                  • Bill

                    A UBI had some very right wing proponents back in the day (Mises, Hayek types) . It’s not intrinsically socialist at all.

                    Stepping back a tad.

                    Lets say the Green Party form a coalition with Labour and bring up their welfare policy. As you acknowledge, Labour have been utter bastards on welfare and there’s been no sign of a shift in their position or attitude. So they’d likely shut the Greens down on the welfare front by citing fiscal constraints or whatever and that would be that.

                    But if TOPS are there and they and the Greens enter into public discussion or debate, then any ‘shutting down’ of the Greens by Labour will be…well, let’s just say “less than wholly successful”….they can’t stop the conversation from happening and with the conversation happening, they’d hopefully not be able to keep their feet away from the fire.

                    Just to add as an aside. Their take on CC really is streets ahead of the Greens or Labour insofar as they name it and don’t hide behind nonsense.

                    Throw in their “re-hashed Green” policies and arguably what we have is a commonality and a ‘pushing of the envelope’.

                    (I’ll come back to this much later – but must away to the grimbly city for now)

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    If you’re going to be bold and go for a UBI, you have to ask: “what do we need to do to fund it effectively?” not “how can we fit it into our existing revenue?”

                    And even that’s the wrong question. The question must be: What if we funded the entire economy through the UBI?

                    Then there would be no question about being to afford it as it instantly becomes affordable. In fact, you couldn’t afford not to have it.

                    This is the major problem we have – everyone thinks that taxes are there to fund the government but it’s actually the government that funds our entire economy. This lie has been propagated for decades, centuries even, to sell the lie that rich actually pay for everything when the reality is that the rich don’t pay for a thing and, in fact, steal from the rest of us.

                    • No, I’m actually already with you on this. But you need to think about “how we get the money to pay for it in the short term” even if you think in the long term it’ll just end up being “how our economy works.” 🙂 I believe in the long term the economic benefits of a genuine left-wing approach to the UBI will be huge as well as the social benefits, but nobody’s done a large-scale trial so you really have to sell it as “the benefits are likely to be huge, and hey look, we can totes afford it with a new tax or two.”

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We need to challenge the lie, make it common knowledge.

              • Macro

                Couldn’t have said it better Matthew.
                Totally agree.

        • weka 2.2.4.2

          “Is it? Seriously, I don’t know what current levels are, but from the policy doc it proposes a $10K sum topped up through means testing by up to $7.5K.”

          Yes, it is a cut. It’s turning Super from a UBI, into a means tested benefit. Even if we agree that people who earn more than $50,000/yr don’t deserve Super (or we can’t afford to give it to them), do you really want to put elderly people through the shit that you and I go through with WINZ?

          When you start scratching at the surface of Morgan’s policies, they often have no real world solutions for these issues. He’s an economist and he is trying to solve welfare economically rather than from a base of wellbeing.

          • Bill 2.2.4.2.1

            What’s the current $ value of super?

            • weka 2.2.4.2.1.1

              It depends, but I think the single rate is the $17,500. The cut is that the top up wouldn’t be paid to people on $50,000 or more. So the base rate of $10,000 (the dole) would be paid to everyone, and then if you wanted more you would have to hoop jump. (I think that’s right, but it’s from memory)

              Edit, see Matthew’s comment below for the correct rates.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.4.2.1.2

              It’s about $20k p/a for the unmarried last I checked. Morgan is proposing $10k p/a with a $7.5k topup, ie. a cut of $2.5k p/a for people who do get the top-up.

              This is likely because he’s way too focused on fitting it into the current revenue structure and not focused enough on actually looking at the settings that make an actual UBI (as opposed to his dumb welfare reform proposal) really work as advertised, which is normally a reasonably generous level for the basic income that people will be able to live off.

              • weka

                Plus, those people on low incomes that own homes would be expected to take out mortgages to pay the yearly asset tax he wants on the family home. So double whammy for those people.

                • Yeah, this is why his approach to wealth taxes is a little problematic. I don’t mind taxing actual capital gains as they eventuate, so that owning a home doesn’t actually hit you with the CGT, but renting it or selling it does. (which is a little bit of tough love for homeowners who have to move and therefore need to sell and rebuy, but hey, it might be worth it in reduced prices of their new house anyway, and if you’ve already got a home odds are you’re better off than average)

                  But taxing capital at an expected rate of capital gain isn’t actually going to discourage bad behaviour, rather, it’s going to burn both people who don’t make sufficiently smart investments and those who aren’t sufficiently ruthless in business. (ie. it will incentivise predatory corporate behaviour even moreso than our current economic settings)

                  We shouldn’t have to set the Super levels while worrying about capital taxes forcing retirees out of their homes. That’s creating problems you don’t need. If I want to tax people for having homes that are too flash, we can do it when they sell them, or if they want someone else to inherit them. (because seriously, if you’re passing on a multi-million dollar inheritance, it deserves to be taxed)

                • Bill

                  Plus, those people on low incomes that own homes would be expected to take out mortgages to pay the yearly asset tax…

                  So low earning home owners are among the 20% of the population who (TOPS claims) would be adversely affected by the gradual introduction of the tax proposals once all aspects of the proposal and their interplay are taken into account?

                  • weka

                    I’ve have no idea what you are talking about there.

                    • Bill

                      TOPS tax policy with all the re-distributive bits and pieces included. Are you including those bits when you assert that low income people who own houses would be expected to take out mortgages to pay an asset tax?

                    • weka

                      Every time I’ve looked at the detail of their policies they’ve come up wanting. Haven’t looked at the CC one yet, looking forward to that. Morgan’s original UBI is anti-welfare and would make many beneficiaries worse off. The updated one skirts around those issues, and is a problem for all the reasons that Matthew and I have been pointing out. The tax on homes will hit small numbers of poor people, and impoverish some people who are just above the poverty line. I don’t see anything in their overall package that mitigates those things, but please point them out if I am missing them.

                      As I keep saying, Morgan designs from an economics pov not a wellbeing one. It shows by the people he is willing to throw under the bus. Matthew is also saying that Morgan designs from a let’s squeeze this into a tight budget perspective instead of rearranging the budget entirely (which is what the Greens are proposing).

                    • Bill

                      The tax on homes will hit small numbers of poor people, and impoverish some people who are just above the poverty line. I don’t see anything in their overall package that mitigates those things, but please point them out if I am missing them.

                      Not a home owner and not paying attention to all the details. But you claimed that those on low incomes who own their homes will be forced to take out mortgages. Meanwhile, TOPS have said 20% of people would take a financial hit (the wealthiest). I mentioned that there’s other aspects of the policy that impact on that asset tax.

                      A very quick look at the FAQs throws out this…which may or may not show that poor people who own homes get hit. I’m posting the link because there’s too much text….and maybe more relevant questions and answers through the link.

                      http://www.top.org.nz/26_how_do_i_calculate_how_i_m_effected

                    • Bill

                      Meant to add – we’re talking about tax, which is a fairly economic kind of a thing…and all governments govern with economics at the top of their agenda. But anyway.

                      How is completely changing the focus for tax merely “squeezing this into a tight budget”? The claim is that it’s revenue neutral. A government could implement the ideas in a non-neutral fashion, but as it stands they can’t reject it out of hand on the grounds that it’s fiscally irresponsible (I think that’s their favourite line, yes?)

                    • weka

                      If you are 50, own your own home (freehold), and are on invalids benefit, here’s what would happen if Morgan had his way.

                      1. your base benefit would be cut to the rate of the dole.
                      2. you would lose any supplementary benefits you have (disability allowance, TAS, not sure about accommodation supplement).
                      3. you would be expected to make up that income by supporting yourself and budgeting (yes, he does frame it that way). You can do this by getting a job.
                      4. if you are unable to work, the govt will meet the health costs you have that it deems valid by providing services directly to you. Morgan hasn’t said what that means in reality but it is clear that instead of having income, you will now be expected to be assessed by a different part of govt who will decide whether you are entitled to those services (at the moment it’s generally between a beneficiary and their GP what goes on disability allowance). You want to know what a MoH assessment looks like, look at Rosemary’s accounts of dealing with that system.
                      5. there will be no SNGs or hardship grants, just the dole.
                      6. if you need extra assistance for firewood or buying a new fridge or special foods, you won’t be getting that from the govt.
                      7. you will be expected to pay tax on the perceived increase in assets from your home. If the rate is 1% and you own a home worth $300,000, that’s $3,000/yr out of an income of $10,000/yr. You won’t be forced to take out a mortgage, you can choose to sell your home instead. Morgan just suggests that you take out a mortgage. I don’t actually know how that works tbh, because you still have to pay the mortgage and interest weekly (maybe he has some deferred payment thing in mind).
                      8. According to your link, Morgan’s solution to all of that is to do it ‘properly’ and thus enable a tax cut of 30%. I’ll leave it to you to figure out how much a 30% tax cut is for someone on the dole and what difference that will make in the above scenario.

                      “Meanwhile, TOPS have said 20% of people would take a financial hit (the wealthiest).”

                      If by that they mean that only 20% would take a hit and those people are all wealthy, then they’re lying. I have no idea why you believe them.

                      edit, I will try and fact check all that later. The original UBI proposal seems to be setting the rate at $10,000 with the expectation of no income top ups from the govt. Yet he confirmed by tweet today that the $200 he is proposing in the announcement yesterday is on top of benefits for those people that are eligible. Tbh, it’s a big bloody mess. I’m reasonably up with how various UBIs work and I can’t see a good explanation for what they’ve announced.

                    • RedLogix

                      As Bill says, it seems reasonable to ask that if some is going to design tax and welfare policy that they have some economic skills to do so.

                      weka slagging Morgan because he’s an ‘economist’ is a bit like saying that because someone is a trained architect they shouldn’t be designing houses. Of course an architect who has a bad brief will design a bad house, but equally with the same skill set they might produce an absolute gem given the right intent and opportunity.

                      The argument that Morgan cannot design a humane and equitable tax system that respects and enhances human dignity, just because he has skills as an economist is plain silly.

                      And in terms of researching, actively promoting and putting the UBI concept into the NZ political spotlight, Morgan and TOP have done far more than the Greens have done in decades. More importantly they are doing it in the context of wider tax and fiscal reform, AND achievable within a political framework that demands a model of fiscal neutrality before we can even talk about it.

                      TOP are quite plain about it; in order to make progress they plan of pushing for transitional, interim steps that are less than perfect. Of course this means their policy is less than ideologically pure. weka loves playing them all up … and then points to nice but waffley Green policy they themselves rarely mention and have never actively campaigned on.

                      Demanding perfection and then using this as an excuse for inaction is a very conservative mind-set, a covert convoluted strategy to tell us to shut up until we have a fool-proof plan that resolves or names every complexity. Such a demand is stifling, a paralysis by over-analysis that ensures nothing ever changes.

                    • weka

                      “The argument that Morgan cannot design a humane and equitable tax system that respects and enhances human dignity, just because he has skills as an economist is plain silly.”

                      I’m not saying he can’t, I’m saying he hasn’t. Economics and social justice intelligence are two different skill sets. There’s not reason why someone can’t have both, it’s just that the balance is way off in Morgan. IMO, we want the design to be done by people who understand social justice who then bring in economists to do that part of the design. That way we don’t have architects designing social services but of course they can design the buildings for those social services to sit within.

                      “And in terms of researching, actively promoting and putting the UBI concept into the NZ political spotlight, Morgan and TOP have done far more than the Greens have done in decades. More importantly they are doing it in the context of wider tax and fiscal reform, AND achievable within a political framework that demands a model of fiscal neutrality before we can even talk about it.”

                      Sure, sounds good, until you look at the details and who gets affected how. As I’ve been saying, Morgan has good ideas, but because of his positioning he doesn’t draw on the right expertise to get it right at the details level.

                      Morgan is talking about a tax policy. The Greens are talking about social security. I’d prefer to see those things brought together.

                      “TOP are quite plain about it; in order to make progress they plan of pushing for transitional, interim steps that are less than perfect. Of course this means their policy is less than ideologically pure. weka loves playing them all up … and then points to nice but waffley Green policy they themselves rarely mention and have never actively campaigned on.”

                      Nice bit of marginalising there Red. It’s not about ideological purity, it’s about baseline values systems. Those are different things.

                      “Demanding perfection…”

                      I’m not demanding perfection, you just made that up.

                      “…and then using this as an excuse for inaction…”

                      I’m not arguing for inaction, you just made that up.

                      “…is a very conservative mind-set, a covert convoluted strategy to tell us to shut up until we have a fool-proof plan that resolves or names every complexity.”

                      I haven’t told you to shut up, you just made the up.

                      “Such a demand is stifling, a paralysis by over-analysis that ensures nothing ever changes.”

                      In the link that mauī gives above Morgan devotes maybe two paragraphs to what to do with ill and disabled people. It’s his woeful underanalysis that is a problem there. I’ve seen very few people willing to meaningfully address what happens to beneficiaries who can’t work. I don’t get it, because it’s a reasonable expectation and it there will be good solutions. But to write those people off is just bizarre.

                      Anyway, I’ll just note that you haven’t addressed any of the points I have been raising, and instead appear to be saying stop being mean about Morgan’s ideas, they’re good (with a fair amount of ad hom thrown in). I don’t think they are good (although some have potential), and what we do here is pull things apart and critique them.

                      I’m also puzzled about the aggression from you on this. Your work on a UBI, based on Morgan’s, is a good grounding, it’s one of the things I draw on, and I had hoped that if we do the focus on UBI on TS that you would be involved in that.

                    • RedLogix

                      All I’m reading from you on the UBI topic lately is total negativity. I’m reflecting back what I’m hearing from you. Nonetheless In the interests of brevity I’ll focus on the issue which affects you personally and you always come back to .. disability.

                      There is no need to overthink this. Nor does TOP. They make it plain here in my original link:

                      It is unlikely that a UBI will ever totally replace targeted social assistance but it certainly will markedly reduce our reliance on targeting, with its stigma-laden selection criteria and its perverse impact on behaviour.

                      Make that what you will, but it clearly anticipates that there will be people who will continue to need targeted assistance above and beyond the UBI levels they see as politically achievable in the current context.

                    • weka

                      All I’m reading from you on the UBI topic lately is total negativity. I’m reflecting back what I’m hearing from you.

                      Yes, I am highly critical of what they are doing, for very good reasons. You don’t have to like it, but the points are there to argue with.

                      Nonetheless In the interests of brevity I’ll focus on the issue which affects you personally and you always come back to .. disability.

                      There is no need to overthink this. Nor does TOP. They make it plain here in my original link:

                      “It is unlikely that a UBI will ever totally replace targeted social assistance but it certainly will markedly reduce our reliance on targeting, with its stigma-laden selection criteria and its perverse impact on behaviour.”

                      Make that what you will, but it clearly anticipates that there will be people who will continue to need targeted assistance above and beyond the UBI levels they see as politically achievable in the current context.

                      From mauī’s link,

                      For people with disabilities, the UBI would provide less than the Invalids Benefit does currently (but something on par with the Sickness Benefit). The Invalids Benefit is currently higher than the Unemployment Benefit for example, because there are added costs associated with disability – such as ongoing medication and doctor’s visits. The additional needs of invalids could continue to be supported within the context of the UBI by policies which directly supply essential services to them and/or by addressing the charging policy associated with services supplied to those with on-going medical needs.

                      https://garethsworld.com/kahuna/are-you-a-client-of-work-and-income/

                      They clearly intend that ill and disabled people would have less income. And they think that that taken income can be made up for by providing services. I’ve given a number of examples of costs that need income not service provision.

                      It’s also clear from Morgan’s UBI documentation that other beneficiaries like those on the DPB would have less income.

                      At the very least their policy is unclear and possibly contradictory. I am not willing to support a party that is so cavalier with vulnerable people’s lives. I’m not overthinking it, I’m pointing to some glaring problems that not only don’t have solutions in his policy but would be actively harmful. There are far better ways to do this.

                    • Bill

                      That’s reading like a list of unsubstantiated assertions.

                      Can you provide the link within the policy where it’s stated that a person on disability would have their income cut to the level of the dole with no compensatory checks or balances coming into play?

                      If there is no simple cut and slash being applied, then your points number 2 and 3 fall over.

                      Points number 4, 5 and 6 are also predicated on a kind of fear-mongering about on a slash and burn approach being adopted with no countervailing systems being developed or applied.

                      And you’ve offered no evidence through links to anything actually written in policy that would suggest that’s the idea or plan.

                      Point 7 completely ignores that a ‘tax free’ amount (could be $100 000 or $200 000 or whatever a government agrees) would apply to assets.

                      So yes, it would be good if , as you say in your comment, you fact checked the assertions you’re making. I very much doubt there’s a glaring hole missed by those drawing up the policies that would mean poorer people getting hammered. And I very much doubt that there’s a flat out lie being told with regards the 20% and what income bracket those people occupy.

                    • weka

                      I’m not making wild assumptions, I’m drawing conclusions from having read the relevant bits on Morgan’s original UBI proposal (that he still considers to be the structure of the current policy), and the current policy. I’ve been linking or referring to links and quoting throughout this conversation (don’t know if you have read all of it).

                      Can you provide the link within the policy where it’s stated that a person on disability would have their income cut to the level of the dole with no compensatory checks or balances coming into play?

                      Pretty sure I’ve already covered this, but here it is again. This is from this link, but it also matches in depth conversations on TS that were based on looking at his overall UBI proposal a year or so ago (which I was involved in),

                      https://garethsworld.com/kahuna/are-you-a-client-of-work-and-income/

                      Every adult aged 21 and over would get $11,000 a year

                      That’s a decrease for SLP of $2,624.

                      If you had to rely on that income alone, you could (it’s close to what a single unemployed person gets at the moment).

                      So my reading of that is that Morgan thinks that all people are equivalent to people on the dole, and that the dole is liveable. He probably doesn’t literally think that, but that’s what the UBI proposal is based on. However we know that the dole is intentionally set at a level that is not liveable on, and the whole WINZ system is based upon top-ups to make it (theoretically) liveable for people that can’t get work.

                      However, you would no longer be able to get Work and Income to pay your phone bill or power bill, for example. “Top up” payments like Hardship Grants would no longer be available. So with the freedom to live your life as you choose, comes the responsibility to handle any financial obligations yourself (but with the help of budget advisers, family and community groups).

                      I hope that is self-explanatory and very clear. No additional support above the $11,000.

                      In the document there is then a bit about the DPB, which seems to be saying that sole parents should work and then get topped up via various mechanisms, some of which seem an improvement, but I’ve largely ignored it because I don’t understand how WFF etc works and it’s too much work to go learn all that stuff. I’d feel more confident about that part of the proposal if I thought he had worked through the solutions with people who are actually affected.

                      At the bottom is this,

                      For people with disabilities, the UBI would provide less than the Invalids Benefit does currently (but something on par with the Sickness Benefit). The Invalids Benefit is currently higher than the Unemployment Benefit for example, because there are added costs associated with disability – such as ongoing medication and doctor’s visits. The additional needs of invalids could continue to be supported within the context of the UBI by policies which directly supply essential services to them and/or by addressing the charging policy associated with services supplied to those with on-going medical needs.

                      This is the one that tells me he is basically clueless about how welfare actually works. Unless one thinks that the govt should become service providers of things like firewood or new fridges, that paragraph is alarming. He fails to understand that long term beneficiaries need actual income, not just services.

                      And as I have argued repeatedly on this issue for years, removing income and then having the state do needs assessments is hugely problematic because the state is already fucking that model up via the MoH models being used. If people think that WINZ is evil and Health is lovely and helpful then they’re going to be in for one hell of a shock. Again, listen to the people who are already at the coal face on this one. I’m willing to bet that Morgan and co didn’t.

                      Personally, I think the top-ups issues is solvable including for disability and in the past have worked with Morgan’s model to see how it could be adapted. But Morgan’s proposal hasn’t solved those issues and now he is running for parliament with some seriously dangerous ideas. That’s part of why I am so critical of TOP’s policy and positioning.

                      Plus, have a look at Matthew’s points on why we need a left wing govt to implement a UBI not a RW economist.

                      Now, I’m happy to be proved wrong about the topups/worse off benes issue. I tweeted Morgan the other day and asked if the TOP policy this week of $200/wk was on top of benefits. He said on top of. So that’s very different to everything I’ve just outlined. But I have also seen him reference the Big Kahuna as the baseline for their overall UBI policy ie. the one they want to roll out over time. I then followed up with another tweet asking if that $200 on top of other benefits would eventually be applied to all beneficiaries. He didn’t reply.

                      So at the very least, even if I am wrong in my reading of their overall intent, TOP and Morgan are pretty unclear on what they would do re the total UBI and tax reform, and that is unacceptable for someone wanting to be in parliament and who could end up holding the balance of power.

                      edit, here’s the twitter convo,

                      https://twitter.com/garethmorgannz/status/841501008723353600

                    • Bill

                      Absolutely none of that is in TOPS policy.. is 2011 figures and neglects to mention a fairly salient point or two.

                      1. The whole scheme is designed with a high degree of elasticity
                      2. In a parliamentary context it would not be TOPS who determined the final policy or legislative expression of the various ideas proposed by them. (Cross benches = not in cabinet)

                      The general overview UBI proposal is that…(emphasis added in bold)

                      The first 2 groups to enter the UBI regime will be

                      1. all families with very young children (under 3, or under 6 if adopted or fostered) – $200 per family per week. This replaces paid parental leave

                      2. elders – all those citizens over 65 years of age – $200 each per week. In addition elders who satisfy a means test will be able to top up to the current NZ Superannuation level by a further $7,500 pa. We will index the top-up to elders’ costs not to average incomes.

                      The UBI for families with young children provides a substantial (up to $10,000 pa) lift to those families and is the most potent boost to their ability to nurture their children in their most vulnerable years. This change starts to honour the millions of hours of unpaid work associated with child rearing, without which our economy would collapse. For low-income families we intend to make additional changes to step them back from the arduous work-testing that is proving so debilitating for these vulnerable families.

                      Low-income families with children (under 17) – an additional $72 pw ($3,744 pa) instead of in-work tax credit, no hours test required. Of course they remain eligible for the other current welfare payments (unemployment, disability, sole parent, illness etc).
                      low income families will get free full-time childcare (for children between 1 and 3) if they are in paid work. The work test will have no minimum hours.

                    • weka

                      Yes, thanks, I read the policy the other day and as I said I tried to clarify this with Morgan directly.

                      Are you saying that you think that The Big Kahuna proposal will be dropped and won’t be used as the basis for a full UBI in the future? Or that you want now to look at just the policy on its own and not as part of their bigger plan for a UBI?

                      Either way, it’s actually very unclear what they intend for welfare/UBI in the future. If Morgan is now saying that The Big Kahuna UBI is wrong and they’re doing something else that doesn’t hit those at the bottom, fantastic. But I haven’t seen that, and again I’m really curious why you trust the RW economist on this.

                      (I’m willing to not trust them simply for the degree of confusion and lack of clarity. They’re running for parliament ffs).

                      Morgan himself recently referred to The Big Kahuna as the guiding document for how to understand the current policy. I think that was in the FB thread about the policy.

                      EDIT, Here’s Morgan,

                      “In the first sentence of the landing page the book “The Big Kahuna” is mentioned. Have a read for a long term view of where we see things ending up. It’s fully costed, and the most recent iteration has been audited by NZIER, but like I said this stuff is expensive and we need to start somewhere”

                      https://www.facebook.com/garethmorgannz/posts/1433644913344009?comment_id=1433652383343262&reply_comment_id=1433675593340941&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D

                      Perhaps you can explain to me how the Policy this week is a UBI despite being selectedly targeted and then how it will fit into The Big Kahuna costings and plan? Because I just don’t get it.

                    • Bill

                      I’m interested in their actual policies…wealth tax, Unconditional Basic Income, Climate Change, Environment etc – and how they work off or impact on one another.

                      If it was the 1920s and a Labour Party was putting out policy, I’d be interested in their actual policies rather than Das Capital or how the policies announced stacked up in relation to arguments and analysis contained in Das Capital…

                      You tweeted a question that was answered and then followed up with a question that isn’t related to any stated policy and that wasn’t answered. I’d say that’s fair enough.

                      TOPS do not intend to form government. That means that their ideas and suggestions will inevitably be subject to alteration or modification by those parties that do form government.

                      And that means that we get to have a conversation on those ideas and suggestions. And an informed/engaged electorate….

                      So you can call or smear Morgan for being a RW economist or whatever. I really couldn’t give a fuck where he sits on the spectrum of economists (I’ll just note that he doesn’t appear to sit with liberal schools of thought).

                      Meanwhile, the policies. As stated. They interest me. And discussion of those stated policies interests me.

                    • weka

                      Ok, so just so we are clear, you are taking TOP’s policies at face value with no reference to The Big Kahuna? And in fact are explicitly excluding The Big Kahuna from the analysis?

                      I still think there is plenty to critique about the policy on its own.

                      You tweeted a question that was answered and then followed up with a question that isn’t related to any stated policy and that wasn’t answered. I’d say that’s fair enough.

                      Anyone is entitled to not tweet back, but the question *is relevant when Morgan himself is both referring back The Big Kahuna, and placing the policy itself in the context of the bigger picture of what they want to have happen.

                      “Meanwhile, the policies. As stated. They interest me. And discussion of those stated policies interests me.”

                      Yep, and some of us are critiquing them and I’m not seeing a lot of critique back tbh.

    • Colour me unimpressed. This shows even further that Morgan doesn’t get how a UBI is supposed to work that he’s painting a couple new benefits and cutting and de-universalising Super as a “first step to a UBI.”

      If you want a real first step to a UBI, start phasing out unnecessary conditions on certain benefits, especially Jobseeker Support, over time, and see how it works out.

  3. Tory 4

    Labour and Willie Jaskson handed their arse in The House today by the Maori Party, great job 🙂

    [You are going to have to do better than this. Quote chapter and verse and phrases and words. If you do not I will have to conclude you are trolling – MS]

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      If anyone wants evidence the Maori Party are with National and against Labour, it’s when a rwnj crows about perceived Maori Party victories over Labour in the house.

      • A RWNJ crows over anything they think looks like disunity in the Left. That’s not evidence that the Māori Party is Forever For National. 😉

        • Muttonbird 4.1.1.1

          Perhaps they are not forever with National but they certainly are now under the current leadership.

          I’d love to know what National Party money and even what public money is involved in coaching the Maori Party to damage Labour in the Maori seats this election.

          As for the Maori Party being Left, well I strongly disagree with you there. They are a second NZ First Party and Tuku Morgan’s celebrity presidency is proof of that.

          They are for elite Maori in the same way National is for the elite in general, and they don’t mind dividing Maori in order to protect that position.

          • Antoine 4.1.1.1.1

            There’s no need to get all worked up about it. Just don’t vote MP if you want to change the Government

          • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1.2

            I think we can’t yet trust them to swing left when they’re the critical vote in determining the government, or even on key issues after their time with National. They’ve certainly had the effect of promoting the interests of Māori elites ahead of ordinary Māori under a National government, but that may be because those are the only concessions National would give them. It’s also likely that they may be working a bit closer with Hone after the election, which might get their priorities straight.

            However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’ll prefer a Labour-Green government over a National one, given that the MP generally aligns reasonably closely with the Greens on policy.

            In short: I wouldn’t trust them yet, but I wouldn’t write them off as being irredeemable either. It’s very possible that they would actually choose the Left if given a choice, and that they could mitigate the influence of Peters and his lot when the government changes.

            • weka 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I came across something the other day, probably the wikipedia on the relevant election, that said that post-election the Mp went back to their people and asked who they should work with and were told Labour. But Labour and the Mp were unable to come to an arrangement (presumably because of Clark and Turia and the Foreshore and Seabed). I’m guessing that was the first election after the Mp was formed. And the last Labour govt. So basically since then there has been no choice to choose Labour because National has been able to form govt anyway.

              In that sense I see the Mp as potentially going either way, depending on what they see as to their best advantage. What I’d really like to know is if they still go back to their people post-election, what that means, do they do that in a real way, and would they do what they are told this time round?

              I’m not sure if they consult their communities or their members. If it’s the former I would guess we’d see the Mp choosing Labour. If it’s the latter, maybe choosing National if other Māori are already aligned with Labour, the Greens or Mana.

  4. https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/maori-singled-out-child-welfare-agencies

    What can be said about this – swearing? Yelling? Crying?

    So fucken sad this, just so sad.

    Luckily good people out there who care and are trying to help

    https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/new-resources-fight-maori-male-suicide

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