English: excuses but no solutions on plummeting incomes

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, November 19th, 2010 - 32 comments
Categories: bill english, class war, jobs, wages - Tags: , ,

Labour picked up on the statistics I revealed yesterday that show the median income of Maori has fallen 11.5% under National and the Pacific Island median income is down an astounding 19%. Kris Fa’afoi and Annette King put out press releases. Then King took the battle to Bill English in the House, who it seems is also a reader 🙂

Hon Annette King: Would a drop in income and an increase in GST have an impact on the budgets of low-income New Zealanders?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Of course, if that happened in an individual case they may be worse off. Any drop in income, which I am sure is the drop the member will refer to, occurs when people, for instance, lose their jobs. A whole lot of Māori and Pacific people lost their jobs because those jobs were reliant on excessive Government spending and excessive borrowing, and they were not sustainable jobs. We are going to create sustainable jobs so that when people get the jobs they can keep them.

“excessive spending and excessive borrowing”? Um. Labour ran surpluses every year and spending declined as a % of GDP, while both borrowing and spending (because of more beneficiaries) are up under National.

Hon Annette King: Can I take from that answer, then, that the Minister has seen the information from Statistics New Zealand showing that the median income for Māori has dropped by 11 percent and the median income for Pacific people has dropped by 19 percent in the 2 years under a National Government, and does she think this will impact on the ability of families to cope at present?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: As I pointed out, those figures take account of all sources of income. For those who have kept their jobs, wages have gone up. As for those who have lost their jobs, Labour should be apologising to them, because those jobs were created by wasteful Government spending and a mismanaged economy. They were not sustainable jobs.

So, we’re meant to believe that these weren’t ‘real’ or ‘useful’ jobs and that the natural and right condition is for Maori and Pacific Islanders to be unemployed. How’s that for ambitious for New Zealand?

And of course the “figures take account of all sources of income”. If you only count the median of those who have a job then the median will rise sharply when low income people lose their jobs. That might look good if you want to play statistical games like English, but it’s not good for working Kiwis.

Hon Annette King: In light of the Prime Minister saying New Zealanders would be better off after the tax switch, how can that be the case for Pacific people, whose inflation-adjusted median weekly income has dropped by $89 per week, and for Māori, whose same income has dropped by $60 per week, in the 2 years under a National Government? It has nothing to with a Labour Government; it occurred under a National Government, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: As I have explained, the drop in the median income has occurred because Māori and Pacific unemployment has gone up, and it has gone up because of the recession induced by the Labour Government through its damaging economic policies, and a global financial recession. The wages of Māori and Pacific people who have kept their jobs or found new jobs—if they are among the 40,000 who have found new jobs—have gone up. We will create sustainable jobs for those on benefits.

When are you going to create this jobs, Bill? Because John Key’s economic policy – hi-fiving schoolgirls and playing with spiders – isn’t doing the trick.

Hon Annette King: Do I take from the Minister’s answer that he is saying that the job of a Pacific Island woman—a job she has lost—providing home care to an elderly person under a Labour Government that was providing such care was a waste of money and time?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: No, I am not saying that. I am saying that the promises made by the Labour Government to Pacific Island communities that it had performed some magic and created jobs for them turned out to be false promises. This time round, we will manage the economy properly so that sustainable jobs are created, and so that once people get new jobs they will keep them.

King’s example is a pearler. Here is a worker whose job was funded by the government and that funding was cut by National resulting in her losing her job. Therefore, one can only conclude that English believes spending money on creating jobs in home help for the elderly was a waste of money. English was completely caught out.

32 comments on “English: excuses but no solutions on plummeting incomes”

  1. just saying 1

    “…Bill English in the House, who it seems is also a reader :-)”
    -More the merrier.

    Good work Labour (pity you picked it up from Marty rather than vice-versa, but hey). See what you can achieve when you stop turning a blind eye to the poor!

  2. Fisiani 2

    Another own goal on the Standard. Your shonky stats were refuted and you were told yesterday on this blog and then in the House by Bill English that the average after tax income for working people of Maori and PI origin has risen. Get with the play.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Dont you know median trumps average. English has shifted the goalposts as well using a different period. This from the guy who wanted more government money to clean his house

    • Bright Red 2.2

      The stats weren’t refuted here or in the House. Indeed, English accepts them:

      “Any drop in income, which I am sure is the drop the member will refer to, occurs when people, for instance, lose their jobs. A whole lot of Māori and Pacific people lost their jobs”

      and you can go to the Stats table builder and work them out yourself, if you have the numeracy.

      captcha: numbers

    • bbfloyd 2.3

      i didn’t believe you could get any more desperate fisi.. i stand corrected…

    • Jum 2.4

      Fisiani, That’s what I hate about your Pondscum Inc. What is happening in New Zealand is not a play. It is real life and your masters are destroying people’s lives by their creative crxp. But no doubt you and they are pleased; it’s all going to plan. Cheap, desperate labour. Nice one Fisiani. You’re a true believer in greed and misogyny. When you belong to NAct that’s your profile.

  3. Carol 3

    In the exchange linked to by Marty, there is also this question from Horomia, that was disallowed by the Speaker :

    Hon Parekura Horomia: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister seems quite clear on why things have happened. Can he give us a response as to why the unemployment rate for Māori is the same as what it was before—

    Actually the employment rate for Maori has fallen by about 1.1% and 0.3% over the last 5 years. But that’s a lot different from the 11.5% decrease in median income for Maori.

    http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/lmr/quick-facts/maori.asp

    And the unemployment rate rose for both Maori & Pacific Island people between March 2009 & March 2010

    http://pacificeyewitness.com/2010/05/06/latest-nz-unemployed-stats-delivers-more-bad-news-for-pacific-maori/

    The data shows a worsening job market for Maori and Pacific communities.

    Over the past 12 months since March 2009, statistics show Pacific unemployment has steadily climbed from 13.6 percent to a staggering 14.4 percent.

    During the same period, Maori unemployment has gone from 10.7 percent to 14.2 percent. Meanwhile, the European rate of employment is at 4.4 percent.

    But isn’t that a rise of 1% for Pacific people and 1.5% for Maori, over the last year?

    So, help me out here, please? Isn’t Horomia incorrect in saying the unemployment rate has remained the same for Maori. OTOH, the rise in unemployment for both Maori and Pacific people is not as big as the drop in income?

    But it looks to me that I am not comparing like-with-like: ie drop in the media wage, with percentage of people unemployed or employed, are not the same sort of statistics. And the unemployment stats are only for one year.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      Are you looking at the labour participation rate? because the unemployment graph is the one below that and shows Maori unemployment up 5.5% in the past five years.

      Of course, it hasn’t gone up much recently and the drop in incomes is far more dramatic – because wages are going backwards.

      captcha: compare (love it!)

      • Carol 3.1.1

        thanks, Bright Red. So, Horomia was correct in principle, and Blinglish’s claims about the drop in Maori & Pacific median incomes being totally due to axing the “unreal” jobs in the public sector is incorrect.

    • freedom 3.2

      it would have been better had he asked for a supplementary question but he kind of stuffed it by jumping in and the question inevitably was never officially asked,… in that session. he had a big grin though as he sat back watching the speaker rustling throught the order papers

      can one of our resident experts tell us if it can be put as a new question in the next sitting ?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Bill seems to be saying that any jobs created by National, are “real” and permanent jobs, that apparently will never disappear, ever. This seems like it can easily come back to bite him, if there is another recession/rise in unemployment under a National government, the question to ask if “I thought you said these were sustainable jobs? Why haven’t they been sustained?”.

  5. Nice work Marty.

    When are you going to create these jobs, Bill?

    i wondered that too and where and how is he gonna create them ?

    • freedom 5.1

      they must still be studying how many people it takes to carve a cycleway out of bullshit?

      • bbfloyd 5.1.1

        freedom…that must be why it’s taking so long.. they have to wait for it to dry out enough not to splatter when hit with a pickaxe..

  6. KJT 6

    “For those who have kept their jobs, wages have gone up”.

    That what tends to happen when the low waged jobs disappear. Statistically average wages go up when low paid jobs disappear and executive pay goes up. We all know that wages for most of us are dropping rapidly compared to prices of necessities as they have been since the 80’s.

  7. KJT 7

    Sustainable jobs? 6000 dollars to McD’s so they can employ another part timer while telling WINZ it is a full time job until they get the employee to leave, because the hours do not pay for travel , so the can get the subsidy for another one.
    3 months work on a cycleway.

    That sort of sustainable jobs?

  8. KJT 8

    Meanwhile, as the neo-liberal circus carries on, China is spending as much of their US dollars as possible in buying concrete assets and resources before the $US becomes as valueless as blankets and beads.

    Stupid mugs like us keep selling to them for $US..

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Ultimately, possession is 9/10ths of the law. China buying foreign assets with soon-to-be-worthless-US$ doesn’t help them if the victim country decides to re-nationalise the asset when the US$ does become worthless.

      Of course the flipside of that is that whoever has the biggest stick, makes the rules, and China’s stick is on the path to become bigger than the US’s and Russia’s.

  9. tc 9

    ‘We are going to create sustainable jobs so that when people get the jobs they can keep them…’

    which in nat speak is jobz for the boyz which we’ll try and entrench as far as we possibly can.

    when is labour going to take down this clown over this continued whining about a mismanaged economy…..no point in waiting for the msm to illustrate it as they’re too busy cowering in the corner writing lightweight puff pieces and trying not to upset big daddy.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    The Standard is having a real impact. Well done fellas 😀

    Now its about taking the fight to the streets; politics is our country’s contact sport and once the mob start paying attention to how the teams are performing on the field as opposed to the bluster of the coaches, National is finished. 😀

    ps although it would have been nice to see Labour pull up the stats itself, dumping the Blue Boys next year is going to be a team effort. Let’s see if National’s individualism every bloke for himself mantra is going to trump the Left’s power through co-ordinated collective action mantra 😀

  11. Red Rosa 11

    Bill English must be quietly tearing his hair out. It always was a massive gamble that the economy could stand that dodgy Budget move. The expected shift in spending resulting from the GST increase/tax cut on high incomes has not happened.

    Instead, the economy has been nudged further downhill, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

    The contrast to the prudent Cullen/Clark years, with their govt surpluses, gets more obvious by the day. When English took over, as he occasionally admits, the books were in great shape.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      The expected shift in spending resulting from the GST increase/tax cut on high incomes has not happened.

      Honestly only very very few people were actually and sincerely “expecting” it.

      The NATs know how to game an economy they don’t know how to build one.

  12. Jim Nald 12

    Oh Dipton is acting minister. Good acting.

    Anyway, where is dear dahling Ms Benefit Bennett?
    At a time when things are tough for the people, she is in absentia.
    Is her social development portfolio (and youth affairs) so unimportant and insignificant that we haven’t got a real minister for that portfolio in the country?

    Any updates on the work she is doing overseas, how much taxpayers are still paying her to be so very busy to be minister, her travel perks, etc?

  13. PC Brigadier 13

    Yes, Labour is lucky that stories like this are getting picked up. They are sleep walking. I can’t see much difference between Labour and National still, despite Phil Goff’s single speech indicating new directions. I’m voting Unite party.

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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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