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Enough of the Best for All of Us

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, September 16th, 2013 - 22 comments
Categories: labour, welfare - Tags:

Today is the 75th Anniversary of the 1938 Social Security Act, one of Labour’s finest achievements that shaped our modern society.

As Michael Joseph Savage said during the passage of the Bill:

There is enough of the best for all of us, and I want to bring about security for everyone during illness, whether it be temporary incapacity due to accident, or anything else. I should think it was the inalienable right of every person to be secured against distress of any form.

Something to commemorate…

22 comments on “Enough of the Best for All of Us ”

  1. Treetop 1

    Just about everything attached to any form of government assistance in NZ has been eroded.

    Housing (unaffordable for most people and HNZ has not been productive for years).
    Education (national standards which are not standardised).
    Health (could be managed better e.g. some big gaps in treatment/diagnosis).
    Work and Income (they have unrealistic expectations of clients in core delivery).
    ACC (have forgotten what an injury is).

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Busy day for Labour Leader and MPs but it would be nice for caucus to take a stand on this (in terms of a media event) and for Cunliffe to say something. I hope his media folks are on to it too.

  3. Pete 3

    It’s amazing what the First Labour Government did. Here’s its own account of just its first year in office

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Of course there’s enough for all of us. The only reason why we have poverty at all is because we have the rich taking everything we own for themselves. Telecommunications, power, water, land etc, etc.

  5. Sable 5

    Yep Savage would turn in his grave if he could see what has happened to New Zealand, especially if he knew it was a Labour government that started the process of undoing his good work.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Labour’s 80s secret switch to neo liberalism was THE key factor that started disengagement with politics and community as towns, regions and industries were steamrollered. Many old school type males never fully recovered.

    But there can be a second chance, this one however will need to seriously include Greens and Mana.
    Went local election letterboxing with a Labour Party friend on Sat and the number of people that said along the lines of “anything good that has ever happened has been under Labour” was amazing. But they were referring to indeed the initial state house build type items.

    We need houses, lets build the buggers, train the people to help build them and so forth. Why do we run an economy as nation state if not to give citizens a good chance at being productive and a fulfilling life? Because the populace since 1984 ceded their rights to dirty filthy financiers, developers, speculators and various other non productive types.

    It is past time for bludgers like Key to pack up and shuffle off to Hawaii and leave the rest of us to it.

  7. xtasy 7

    So the ‘Social Security Act’ is now 75 years into its making, and it is being hollowed out, amended beyond recognition, in parts “perverted”, and used to turn the original purpose into an instrument used by MSD and WINZ to do the opposite. It is now increasingly being used to pressure, haunt, scare and punish the “beneficiaries” it is meant to “support”. It has been – and is being used more and more often – to rather deny entitlements, to impose harsh rules, obligations, various duties or responsibilities, and to now even force mothers with only one year old little children, same as sick, disabled with incapacity to work, to seek jobs on the open market, where actually truly fit and healthy often struggle to find employment.

    What a damned shame and disgrace, that this government we still have, has betrayed the original spirit behind it, and is working hard, to outsource services, to actually privatise parts of welfare delivery, so others can earn nice fees to make a profit out of the suffering of the unfortunate.

    An “investment approach” is being introduced, so all on benefits are being treated like numbers and commodities, who have to justify their existence, to prove they “deserve” assistance, to face endless interviews, seminars, checks, medical examinations and so forth, to avoid falling through the loosely woven “safety net”.

    If you are sick or disabled you will now have to prepare for the hard questions, fear going to see your own doctor, as MSD has been “training” and “informing” GPs and other health professionals, to rather look at what you hypothetically “can do”, rather than what you “cannot do”.

    Questionable “experts” from the UK are being referred to, like a Mansel Aylward and a Gordon Waddell, who gathered selective data, and assembled “reports” from hand picked other “experts”, that are supposed to prove that work is actually “therapeutic” and “best for your health”, even if you are sick or disabled. Most suffering sickness are considered to merely “suffer” from “illness belief” (to just have adopted the wrong mindset), and thus need the extra bit of “convincing” (commonly called a “kick in the pants”) to get out there and get well by working in marginal, casual and part time jobs at low pay on the open market.

    More is to be found here:

    Michael Joseph Savage would probably turn in his grave.

  8. xtasy 8

    Here though is more proof that all this “compelling evidence” that MSD and WINZ now rely on, coming from Mansel Aylward, the over-decorated professor of utter “self serving interests”, is completely ridiculous pseudo scientific humbug:

    Source: ‚THINK PROGRESS’

    “Poverty Has Same Effect On The Brain As Constantly Pulling All Nighters”

    By Bryce Covert on August 30, 2013 at 8:54 am



    “Kids Who Overcome Poverty Are Still In For A Lifetime Of Medical Problems”

    By Sy Mukherjee on May 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm


    The cause of bad health for many beneficiaries and those long term unemployed is actually POVERTY, not simply “worklessness”, as we are supposed to be told. What about the health of the new class of “working poor”, I ask? Has any damned research been done on that? Not enough, if any, I suppose.

    Forcing sick and disabled or sole mothers into marginalised, casual, part time and low paid job, which creates only more stress and worries, that will hardly make them healthier, according to the above findings!

    • The Al1en 8.1

      “Forcing sick and disabled or sole mothers into marginalised, casual, part time and low paid job, which creates only more stress and worries”

      Whilst totally agreeing regards to sick and disabled, there’s nothing wrong in asking solo mothers to work if the work is available.
      If solo mums (and dads) take the free twenty hours childcare, and then work for those twenty hours per week, they qualify for working for families in work tax credits, and their income, even despite potentially working for low wages, gets boosted through minimum family tax credits.
      That’s not so bad, is it? ‘Forced’ to earn more money than they’d get on the benefit.
      I contest the extra money ‘will’ make them healthier and less stressed and worried, trying to live on the meager amount the state provides and having to deal with the stigma that comes attached.

      • xtasy 8.1.1

        The Allen – Childcare for 1 year olds, if a female beneficiary “dares” to have another child while on a benefit????

        And for those who are sick and disabled, especially with mental health issues, I contest the “extra” money will not make them healthier and less stressed. As most will only be able to work a few hours a week part-time, it will likely be deducted from the benefit top ups, once it goes above the small amounts allowed before abatement becomes effective. Few will be able to work 20 hours or more.

        As for other sole parents, whose youngest child is 5 or older, yes in some cases they may well be better off, but not necessarily in all cases.

        In any case, fluctuating part time, casual and uncertain employment will create stress and negatively affect health. That is all most in the above categories will get in the form of work. There should be no stigma for people that have to live off a benefit, but I fear you have fallen into the trap of accepting the wide-spread prejudice that abounds.

        • The Al1en

          RE: Second paragraph – You must have missed the opening sentence of my post. “Whilst totally agreeing regards to sick and disabled”

          “I fear you have fallen into the trap of accepting the wide-spread prejudice that abounds.”

          Fear away, friend, but you’re wrong.

          I write from personal experience. Solo mums and dads, like me, are better of using the wff system than relying on winz. Work the minimum twenty hours a week, and even at low wages, one can take home double the money of a benefit, with the added bonus of being able to sign off and not be beholden to the front desk ss staff, which in itself it almost priceless.
          One can even get an accommodation supplement which doesn’t contribute to ird earnings.

          I can’t see how solo parents, like me, can complain. It’s only twenty hours.

          • xtasy

            Ok, I did not read properly your reference to sick and disabled in the opening sentence. Re sole parents, I was concerned that the ones (I presume females) that happen to have another child while on a benefit, will under the present, new regime have to prepare for part time work, once that youngest child turns 1. I do not know of any childcare centres that accept 1 year olds.

            But as that is only affecting a few, and as you are pointing out that there are ways to improve one’s situation as a “standard” sole parent on a benefit, if stable 20 hours per week in part time work can be achieved, I take your point on that one.

            By having this pointed out, I fear that Paula Bandit may stumble across this, and decide, to make an end to this kind of “benefiting” from various welfare payments (WFF, accom. supplement, etc.). Let us hope she – or her staff – will not get more nasty ideas.


  9. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9

    “I should think it was the inalienable right of every person to be secured against distress of any form.”

    Course it is.

  10. Steve Bradley 10

    We need to remind fellow kiwis today why previous generations revered Michael Joseph Savage, the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    I believe that a lot of the Savage Labour government’s caring political policies got extra impetus from his youthful experience as a member of the then rural precariat – itinerant workers on poor farms in hill county Victoria. This was during a seven year drought late in the Nineteenth Century.

    During this period of intermittent employment that was mostly chronic part time, casual, and short time work, acording to Gustaphson’s biography, young Mickey lived for quite some time in a hollow log.

    He joined what was then a tide of migration from Australia to New Zealand governed by the Liberal party leg by “King Dick” Seddon.

    The rest, as they say, is historyy

  11. millsy 11

    Free healthcare — 7 years before the government in the UK did it.

    Savage’s government was a true nation builder’s government.

    Savage, Kirk, and (I know this is an unpopular choice) Muldoon were New Zealand’s 3 greatest prime ministers. Not only did they build this nation, they also ensured that no one was left behind. Something that even Helen Clark failed to do.

  12. Treetop 12

    Credit where credit is due.

    On Campbell Live last night I saw three brand new two bedroom HNZ units in Christchurch. They had double glazed windows, were insulated and had no grass. The total build is going to be 700 homes and about 5,000 HNZ homes fixed up. My only criticism is that three homes are not going to alleviate the desperate housing faced by many low income people.

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