web analytics

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.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago