- Date published:
12:21 pm, July 7th, 2015 - 10 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, crime, education, poverty - Tags: beneficiary bashing, benefits, crime, economy, education, lies, poverty, working poor
The government has awarded itself a nice report card:
Crime and welfare-dependency down – Government report card
The number of children living in benefit-dependent households has dropped by 42,000 in three years, new government figures show.
Some of the specific indicators are good. But with respect to that headline claim, it would be good news if the drop meant families moving out of poverty, but it doesn’t. It means that people are being pushed off benefits by tighter criteria and punitive processes. That’s why we see the rise of the working poor, and why we see headlines like these:
Working poor at ‘crisis’ point
NZ children suffer higher relative hardship than 20 European countries
Poverty blamed for leap in infectious disease admissions
Disease figures a national ’embarrassment’
Auckland homelessness: Rough sleepers tally doubles
Demand high at Auckland City Mission
Auckland beggars: ‘Don’t judge us’
AUDIO: HOW DO WE DEAL WITH AN INCREASING NUMBER OF BEGGARS ON THE STREETS?
Hamilton plan to ban rough sleeping
Tough times blamed for surge in food parcel demand
Big demand puts pressure on foodbank
Kiwi kids face school year without the essentials
Back to the report card:
Across the education targets, more students are leaving school with a qualification of NCEA Level 2 or more. The rate of 18-year olds who achieve a NCEA Level 2 qualification has risen from 74 per cent to 81 per cent; the target is 85 per cent by 2017. And among 25 to 34-year-olds, 54.2 per cent had a qualification at Level 4 or above – up from 51.4 per cent.
By coincidence, also in the news today:
NCEA pass rates increases ‘don’t reflect genuine increase in learning’
Skyrocketing NCEA pass rates “clearly indicate” unrealistic grade inflation in New Zealand’s schools, an international expert says. …
The internationally-recognised Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA), on the other hand, showed falls in the achievement of fifteen year-old New Zealand students in reading, mathematics and science between 2009 and 2012.
Schools are upping their NCEA pass rates – and who can blame them – but it doesn’t mean that kids are learning more, as the falling scores on international tests show. Put enough pressure on any outcome measure you want and you will get the “results” that you want to see.
Back to the report:
Total crime since 2012 has dropped 17.6 percentage points, with violent crime down 9.1 points and youth crime 37.3 points. The rate of reoffending dropped 9.6 points.
This is genuinely good news of course, falling crime, yay! It is part of a strong international trend in “Western” countries, probably due to the changing popluation structure (aging). National’s contribution to falling crime, however, appears to be limited to cutting funding to police.
In short, as usual, lies, damn lies, and statistics. The Nats’ report card is a mess, and that’s before we even get started on the economy and the environment.