Just like Ruth, Jim and Jenny

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 pm, May 30th, 2011 - 131 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, welfare - Tags:

Having starved the economy and created record unemployment the government is now preparing to stick the knife into the Kiwis it has failed – if they can’t find a job in this broken economy they’ll see their benefits reduced.

Of course like all welfare policies this is an employment policy in disguise. People will just take worse and worse work as the safety net shrinks and and increased labour market supply depresses the price of labour and the quality of jobs. The macro-economic effect will be to depress wages and conditions across the board.

Workers should take note of the whitcoulls workers who have been told to ditch their redundancy and overtime rates or land in the dole queue – that’s coming for each and everyone of you and just like in the 90’s the employers’ catch-cry will be “if you don’t like it there’s a hundred beneficiaries who’d do it for half the price.”

If it wasn’t for all the misery this is going to cause I’d be getting nostalgic – it’s starting to feel just like Ruth, Jim and Jenny are back.

131 comments on “Just like Ruth, Jim and Jenny”

  1. tc 1

    And it’ll all be done with a smile n wave as always

  2. Cin77 2

    I was reading this on the NZHerald website and one of the links on the page was to an article from the 17th about how the public sector is being given job cut targets. It makes no sense to me how the fulla that runs our country can take those jobs away and then kick the newly jobless guys right in the balls like that.

    This is the first time I’ve really paid attention to this sort of thing. Is it always this… so… fucked up?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Its a good thing for businesses and large corporates to have large numbers of excess skilled workers dumped into a labour pool , because you start getting a work force which is desperate for a job, any job, at any low wage.

      And when you employ them you can push employees harder and meaner, and they cannot afford to fight back or risk being dumped straight back on to the unemployment slag heap.

      Currently, more than 1 in 6 NZ born Kiwis have moved to Australia, or overseas long term, that should give you an indication of how “fucked up” things have gotten in this country.

    • Welcome to the real world Cin77

    • Vicky32 2.3

      Pretty much, yes…

  3. Richard 3

    It seems to me that the job market is shrinking rapidly… government jobs are on the decline, overseas investors who moved to NZ and invested here are considering moving elsewhere lest they be kicked out in case they get ill or have a risk of a heart attack in the next 30 years.

    Add to this, the issues Christchurch will have, and what do you do? Christchurch will only really see some serious construction it seems in 6-12 months, maybe more (for commerical property, whos going to put up a high rise building when theres buildings around the site that need to come down?)

    Then you have the expected ‘opening to competition’ of ACC, which will see workers paying the same, if not more, for the same or less cover

  4. A few days ago a commenter (with a right wing lean) made passing reference to the Ministry of Truth. Well, we’ve just had their latest press release:

    The welfare system should send a clear message that if you could work and support yourself, then you must, he said.
    It was not doing enough to send that message, which was not fair on taxpayers, not affordable and not fair on beneficiaries who fell short of their potential, he said.
    It was also not fair on the approximately 220,000 children growing up in welfare-dependent households.

    Where’s Winston Smith when you need him? (Nineteen Eighty-Four, all over again)

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Simple answer is to migrate to Australia while the going is still good over there. Fuck these jokers running our fine country into the ground.

      • marsman 4.1.1

        No, fight them instead!

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          🙂

          • Drakula 4.1.1.1.1

            Viper; Mars is soo right fight the bastards why the hell should we be moved away from our home?

            We are not alone, look at the thousands who have taken the center of Madrid and look at the marches that is putting the Sarkosy government into serious jeopardy in France.

            The workers of whitcoulls shoud not go work until their union has struck an agreement with the bosses.

            Lenin said that a strike is worth 20 elections!!!

            Don’t get me wrong I am not against elections!!!!

      • erentz 4.1.2

        The other answer is to finally give up trying to run our own sh*t and join the Australian federation.

      • Rob 4.1.3

        Working in Australia…. really, so how do you compare their labour laws to ours.

    • PeteG 4.2

      if you could work and support yourself, then you must

      That implies that if work is available you should support yourself – that sounds reasonable.

      • RobC 4.2.1

        “if work being available” …. I don’t get that implication from the statement PeteG.

        • PeteG 4.2.1.1

          I think it’s pretty obvious you couldn’t work if there isn’t work available.

          • RobC 4.2.1.1.1

            It’s not obvious. The statement “if you could work” could merely be a reference to a person’s ability to work and have nothing to do with the availability of work. Hence why I’ve questioned your implication.

            Actually, it’s pretty obvious that there are plenty of beneficiaries that could work but there isn’t work available.

            • PeteG 4.2.1.1.1.1

              “if you could work and support yourself” requires a job.

              I know it’s bloody hard for a lot of people looking for work right now. This move is more semantics for a particular audience than waving a work wand.

          • felix 4.2.1.1.2

            It can be read either way, and that’s the trouble Pete.

            Just like everything Key says, there’s a reasonable-sounding interpretation for reasonable people to agree with.

            There’s also a nasty one that leaves the door open for the govt to pull the rug out without technically breaking their word.

            It’s something the voters need to understand about Key’s corporate waffle speaking style, and something I’ve been pointing out for a while. You’ve highlighted it beautifully today.

            • PeteG 4.2.1.1.2.1

              Yes, I know I was pointing out different angles to the statement. There doesn’t need to be a nasty side to it. Most of the non-paranoid criticism of Key is that he doesn’t change enough fast enough, that he’s too cautious.

              • felix

                So what?

                If Key didn’t want to include the extremely nasty reading within that statement, he would’ve worded it differently. He chose to phrase it to contain that extremely nasty sentiment.

                I think you’re trying to change the subject.

                • PeteG

                  You chose to try put an “extremely nasty” reading on it. That doesn’t mean most people would see it the same way. Polls suggest most people (two thirds) think Key is doing ok.

                  • felix

                    “You chose to try put an “extremely nasty” reading on it.”

                    No Pete, the two interpretations are contained within his statement. One of them (force benes to look for jobs that don’t exist) is particularly nasty.

                    “That doesn’t mean most people would see it the same way”

                    My entire argument is that the duality in his statements exists precisely to allow reasonable people to focus on the reasonable interpretation (those who can work should work IF jobs are available).

                    I’m not sure if you intended to support my argument as much as you have, but thanks anyway.

                  • RobC

                    Being particularly obtuse today I see PeteG.

                    First you defend an implication you made as obvious, but now say there are different angles to a statement?

                    Next, you accuse Felix “chose” to put a “nasty reading” when in fact his opening contribution was “It can be read either way”.

                  • bbfloyd

                    “Semantics for a particular audience”… right….. too bad those semantics are going to precipitate “real” hardship for the targets, aye pete.. Or do you, like your hero, consider those “real” people to be acceptable collatoral damage?

                    More fodder to feed collins shiny new prison machine? most likely.. Now, remind me again, when was the last time a country imprisoning men, women, and children for stealing food? … oh that’s right… that’s how australia was populated.

            • Drakula 4.2.1.1.2.2

              Felix; you are right Key has the gift of clothing everything with a euphormism, classic example is that he said something of the effect : –

              ‘that giving tax breaks will put more revenue into the hands of employers so they can give their workers more money’

              But his government is not going to keep or amend any laws that will make it mandatory for any employer to give their worker more money!!!

              In fact his government is doing the opposite!!!!

              The difference between Brash and Key is that Brash will give you his extremist policies, up front but around the last election Key was asked what Nationals policies were and he said something vague like: ‘Well we’ll just see what works and what doesn’t work’

              So he hides his cards very carefully; can he be trusted?

      • Puddleglum 4.2.2

        Sorry PeteG, your interpretation is far less likely. This statement is pitched at individuals, hence the strong implication is that the ‘could’ refers to ‘able’ (as in ‘able-bodied’, ‘capable’, etc.). It is not a comment about, or made with reference to, features of the environment external to the individual.

        In addition, the context of other comments made by Key and Bennett is strongly suggestive that this phrasing is about personal capability rather than external opportunity. For example, there is the comment made by Key that “there will always be bad luck stories” (i.e., they are the only reasons someone is without a job – not the external economic environment). There is also the phrase that Key has used that this will be a “carrot and stick” approach. That comment is entirely phrased in relation to personal motivation and, once again, excludes external circumstances such as the state of the economy.

        The whole focus of the Welfare Working Group Reforms was on ‘incentivising’ people into work – not about generating jobs. They are reported as wanting to reduce the cost of welfare from $47b to $34b and the number of people on benefits, from 360,000, by 100,000 by 2021. 

        Further, Key’s comment, in the same link, that “it was unacceptable that the proportion of working age population on benefits had increased from 2 per cent in 1970 to 13 per cent today” is reported, and I imagine said, in a complete vacuum in relation to the structural adjustments in the New Zealand economy that erupted as a result of the highly deliberate ‘policy settings’ enacted in the 1980s.

        Given this clear context, I cannot personally see how a reasonable person could interpret Key’s comment about ‘could work’ in any way other than as a comment on individual capability.

  5. logie97 5

    …and KiwiSaver

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5075973/Voters-split-over-KiwiSaver-poll.

    Would be interesting to know how many polled actually are members of KiwiSaver. Bet you that very few members agree with the cut announced in the budget.

    As Joky Hen famously said on HardTalk (BBC) I can find another voice that will give a counter view. Yeah those who are not in the scheme.

  6. calltoaccount 6

    Yep, it’s surely a back to the future moment, asset sales, acc privatisation and benefit cuts . To complete the set they even have a Cave Creek redux in Pike River!

  7. HC 7

    NOW this one will be a space to watch, for sure! That is also why Paula Pudding Bennett is keeping such a very low profile at present. She is busy in the kitchen brewing up a very, very nasty stew for all that do and may one day depend on Work and Insult NZ.

    There is talk about bringing in one benefit for all, that will only be “topped” up to additional needs by following most stringent guidelines and limits.

    No more higher Invalid’s Benefit, work testing for all types of benefits, draconian steps to force people to take part in certain health treatment and basic skills training, so that even the sick and disabled can be forced to perform some kinds of jobs.

    The goal is clear: Save more costs, reduce benefit numbers and put on the tight thumb screws for all, because the tax cuts (on non existing or borrowed money) given to higher incomes, that already force “cuts” to be made elsewhere, they will now also be used as an excuse to save on the worst off in society.

    I fear that this will the a grim attack that will resemble what Jenny Shapely and Aunti Ruthanasia did to many at the very bottom in the early 1990s.

    So WATCH THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The coup d’ Brash on ACT was probably an agenda for National to seize that party so it can through that second political vehicle attract the disaffected National Party voters. Then if ACT get over 5 % and National may get enough to form a new coalition government with them, then they true whole agenda will be rolled out to us.

    The Mother of All Budgets will be in 2012, clearing the shelves of remaining assets in public hand, demolishing the welfare state, privatising social services and Housing NZ, ACC and more.

    We are at a bloody crossroads, that is for real. Watch and listen all those sitting on the fence and feeling uncertain. The real show down will come in this election in November now.

  8. chris73 8

    The Welfare Working Group’s recommendations include:

    Requiring mothers who have a baby while on a benefit to go back to work when their additional child is 14 weeks.
    -Not going to happen

    Providing beneficiaries with long-term reversible contraception.
    -This is a good idea

    Requiring single parents to look for 20 hours work a week once their youngest child is three and 30 hours a week when the youngest turns six.
    -The key word being “Look”, nopt find but look there is a big difference

    Tying the benefit to a requirement that solo parents ensure their children go to school and get regular health checks.
    -This is as it should be or don’t you lefties care about kids?

    Requiring 16 and 17-year-olds on a benefit to be in education, training, paid work or a combination of the three.
    -Again whats the problemn with this?

    Providing teen parent facilities so teenage mothers can continue their education.
    -Wow the heartless bastards

    Requiring beneficiaries aged under 18 to live with a responsible adult or under adult supervision.
    -Ok this one could cause problems in the future

    Cutting benefits for people with drug and alcohol problems who refuse to attend treatment and counselling services.
    -“Who refuse to attend”

    Beneficiaries who do not meet work test, drug and alcohol and other requirements would have their payments cut for two weeks by 25 per cent for the first breach, 50 per cent for the second and completely for the third. A fourth failure would result in a 13-week stand-down.
    -How evil, you get 4 chances to do what you should be doing anyway

    Seriously if you lefties think this is evil or vile you really do need to get a grip or it’ll be another 6 years before you get a taste of power

    • RedLogix 8.1

      That’s a reasonable comment chris.

      On the superficial face of it there is nothing wrong with many of these policies. Indeed it was a Helen Clark 2008 election pledge to extend the education leaving age to 18 (the same as your fifth point)… in terms of desired end result we are not too far apart.

      The real question is how to get there.

      National propose to do it by putting pressure onto beneficiaries, opening the door to WINZ harrassing them and increasing their sense of helplessness and lack of control over their lives. National seem to believe that people finish up on benefits because they are lazy and lack moral fibre… when all the evidence points to people being on a benefit because there are no jobs for them.

      http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=341#more-341

      It is the method that is vile. We know from direct experience in the 1990’s exactly what will happen.

      • Peter Rabbit 8.1.1

        “National seem to believe that people finish up on benefits because they are lazy and lack moral fibre… when all the evidence points to people being on a benefit because there are no jobs for them.”

        And Labour think that everybody ends up on benefits because something beyond their control has gone wrong and they need a helping hand.

        Where as the reality is that currently on benefit there are people with both mentalities. From first hand experience though the ones that end up there because of events beyond their control generally move off the benefit fairly quickly while those who have ended up there due to “life style” choices generally remain long term without proactive intervention.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          Where as the reality is that currently on benefit there are people with both mentalities.

          True. And when the economy was doing well under Labour total beneficiary numbers dropped to a level considered by most economists as better than ‘full employment’. There are a small minority of adults who even under the best circumstances are never likely to hold down a full time job.

          You really have to accept that there are some folk who just aren’t going to fit in. Some of them are bad, some are mad and some are just plain unemployable for one reason or another. They are a small minority… but supporting them (at a very modest level) is part of the price the rest of us pay for a civilised society.

          But the vast majority of people on a benefit are there for economic reasons. They are not lazy or feckless, they hate having to make do on the miserable level of state support they have to jump through hoops to obtain, and they will jump at the first reasonable job offered to them. When the economy is bouyant they will usually find that new job fairly quickly…. but not so at the present time.

          That’s the fatal flaw in your reasoning; the time a person spends on a benefit is more related to the state of the economy as to whether they are the ‘morally deficient’ or not. Or are you going to argue that the huge and rapid rise in benefit numbers under this National govt is solely due to a massive rise in fecklessness among ordinary working people??

          There is no evidence to suggest that putting beneficiaries (the majority of whom want a job if it was available) under more pressure makes any useful difference. All it does is create an extra level of wholly unecessary stress.

          Neither is there any evidence to suggest that it’s at all useful to pressure the unemployable into jobs either… why would you want to? They aren’t going to be all that productive, even in good times no-one wanted them, so why would they want them now when times are tough?

          The only reason why you want to do this is that it makes good wedge politics….bashing the weakest and least able in society has long been a fail-safe conservative ploy, albeit a vile one.

        • terryg 8.1.1.2

          and what, pray tell, of those who, through no fault of their own, are (functionally) illiterate? how many jobs are there for people who cannot read, and/or have a very, very limited grasp of english?

          or how about those with very low IQs? brain damage (i.e. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)?

          We have a number of quadraplegic friends, one of whom is totally paralysed from polio – several times a year she has to go and prove to WINZ that she’s still paralysed. But they can all move their heads……

          soon we will see WINZ remove their (internal) restriction on sex work (its legal, after all), and these lazy bludging so-called “disabled” scum can then pay their own way by sucking the cocks of fat businessmen. Hurrah NACT!

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.1

            soon we will see WINZ remove their (internal) restriction on sex work

            If a person chooses that type of work, then that is their right… but any form of compulsion, however indirect has to be totally repugnant. But I can’t see it happening… righties are far too uptight and hypocritical about anything to do with sex even for this.

            (On the other hand the upcoming RWC has to be a business bonanza for more than just Aucklanders renting out their homes….)

            • terryg 8.1.1.2.1.1

              RedLogix, I am not denigrating sex workers at all – to each their own (for anyone who has a problem with sex workers, I suggest not utilising their services).

              You make an interesting point. I roared with laughter when, on the day prostitution became legal, a job was placed with WINZ – whom had not considered that aspect. And you’re absolutely right re. compulsion – if that step is taken, why not gas chambers for long-term sickness beneficiaries…

              nevertheless, the corporatisation of welfare will IMO make this inevitable – it is, after all, perfectly legal, and this would certainly allow large numbers of human beings to be moved off welfare, thereby increasing the profitability of private “welfare” companies.

              it will be interesting to see how the RW deal with the conflict between their hatred of welfare and their insane judeo-christian beliefs. I suspect cognitive dissonance will solve those problems – a-la the death penalty and “thou shalt not kill”.

              There are no gods – religion is a mental virus.

              • Clipbox

                You seem to be unaware that no all religious people are RWNJs

                • terryg

                  they might not be RW, but the religious are, by definition, NJs. some more so than others.

                  I dinnae know how tae dae i’ wi’ a scottish accent

                  • Vicky32

                    they might not be RW, but the religious are, by definition, NJs. some more so than others.

                    Thanks heaps! I find your nasty bigoted comment very inappropriate here…  (although I am certain it will be both welcome and applauded! I recommend you go to Dawkins’s site, and sign up, if you haven’t already.) The worst thing about the Standard is the weekly 2 hour hate against Christians… 🙁 (Ever wondered why they don’t stay?)

                    • Vicky32

                      (Ever wondered why they don’t stay?)

                      Just adding – I am a Christian, I stay. Because I am an insomniac! 🙂

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.2

              righties are far too uptight and hypocritical about anything to do with sex even for this.

              There, I highlighted the only part of that sentence that has any relevance.

    • HC 8.2

      chris73:

      How weird? Almost all those measures are already in place!

      Except perhaps forcing people under 18 to live with an adult.

      Hence what is all this really about???

      And what about alcohol and drug testing beneficiaries?

      Do beneficiaries not have a right to drink alcohol in a moderate and acceptable manner, perhaps even at times enjoy participating in a social activity like a party like others?

      Truth is hardly anyone can afford this.

      And if you want to cut benefits for people legally enjoying themselves by drinking (like all other citizens), then you are clearly discriminating and denying people otherwise qualifying for reasonable support to become social outcasts.

      Perhaps you want to cut benefits of addicts to alcohol and drugs? Now that may to a degree be justified, but what about a person trying to address such issues and having a relapse? Do you want to use that to penalise the addict more than she or he are already being penalised?

      No this is all crap stuff you are raising! you are obviously a very mean spirited and possibly miserable person wanting to have people to look down on.

      I have learned from people with psychological and physical disabilities that WINZ does hardly offer much in the way of subsidising fees they have to pay for treatment in the form of counselling or whatever.

      Especially mental health cases have a very hard time. Most get put on some kind of medication and get sent home out in the community, being left to their own, because the health system has not enough professionals to treat them.

      Psychologists and psychiatrists, like also specialist physicists, prefer to set up own practices and charging high fees to afford themselves their standard of living.

      Whosoever cannot afford to pay them gets NO or minimum care and treatment.

      The truth is: If the government would really want to help those sick and invalids to get better and return to some kind of ability to work, then this will cost a lot of money to treat them. That needs to be put into the health system, which is though not happening. The health system is struggling as it is, and if you would have first hand experience you would know this.

      Some mental health cases are under public health only treated by trainee counsellors, intern psychologists and nurses, not fully and sufficiently qualified and experienced staff. That shown in the lack of success that is evident.

      I know of people having voluntarily sought help and WINZ did not even appreciate this, not supporting them at all, rather always hassling them about costs to be saved, no entitlements to exist for additional treatment and bla, bla, bla.

      So go back and chat with your redneck mates, who love to frown on others they do not like. It is a social thing too, is it not, to rubbish and stigmatise “beneficiaries”, who are apparently “all the same”.

      Stop fraud and offer those that need it the actual, proper help they need! That is though not wanted, because it may also cost more overall. This is all about cost saving, cost saving and cost saving, not about caring about people what Bennett, Key and those thugs are on about!

    • Vicky32 8.3

      Requiring mothers who have a baby while on a benefit to go back to work when their additional child is 14 weeks.
      -Not going to happen
      Thankfully!
      Providing beneficiaries with long-term reversible contraception.
      -This is a good idea
      No it’s not. “Providing with” would very quickly become ‘requiring”
      Requiring 16 and 17-year-olds on a benefit to be in education, training, paid work or a combination of the three.
      -Again whats the problem with this?
      First, most of them already are if they’re 16 or 17, so it’s meaningless.
      Requiring beneficiaries aged under 18 to live with a responsible adult or under adult supervision.
      -Ok this one could cause problems in the future
      No kidding!
      Cutting benefits for people with drug and alcohol problems who refuse to attend treatment and counselling services.
      -”Who refuse to attend”
      As I told the woman who rang to opinion poll me about all of these things, drug and alcohol rehab works only if the person is ready. Forcing someone into rehab by starving them won’t do anyone any good. I know – my oldest son has just entered rehab 3 years after he was told it was his only chance to see his baby son. Even with that incentive he couldn’t do it until now – and now, it has every chance of working.
       
       

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    All those nice little health checks cost money, transport costs money, it costs money to provide lunches every day, some benes don’t send their kids through embarrassment at no food in the house.
    Many beneficiaries will not have the resources to comply.

    What medical expert will be deciding who has drug and booze problems? or will WINZ offices drug test and breathalyze everyone that walks throught the door? “Providing” contraception-will it be mandatory?

    This is all surveillence state stuff, and combined with attacks on unions right to organise (ILO freedom of association clauses) is a measure to put severe downward pressure on wages in a high unemployment environment. Workers will be squeezed from all sides and it will not be pretty.

    Now you know why people are in the streets in the UK, Spain and Greece. You smug righties are going to quickly discover the flow on effect to the middle classes from bashing the dirty bennies. There will soon just be two categories in this country-benes/low paid, and the top 10%ers aka the ‘Filthy Few’.

  10. joe bloggs 10

    Spot the difference:

    Labour demonises farmers – just 3% of the population but they generate 15% of New Zealand’s GDP

    National questions why the proportion of the working-age population on benefits has increased from 2 per cent to 13 per cent since 1970, and wants to get 100,000 beneficiaries back into work by 2021.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Hey joe, is your message on behalf of National to celebrate the wealth of the farmers while stomping down on the far more numerous and much worse off beneficiary population?

      Your statements of “what National wants” is a laugh, because National wants a lot of things but HAS NO PLAN to get there. Apart from platitudes and putting the boot in, but maybe you think that passes for a plan.

      • joe bloggs 10.1.1

        I see your fingers are in gear while your brain’s still in neutral CV.

        So you have no intention of getting 100,000 workers back into work? Keep us on the bennie. Good docile Labour supporters, reliant on Nanny State handouts.

        Go on – keep handing out a fish a day – it’s far too risky to teach us how to fish. We might lift ourselves out of the mire and end up rich pricks.

        • felix 10.1.1.1

          That’s actually pretty funny joe. Nice one.

          • Zetetic 10.1.1.1.1

            yeah. pretty funny when the next post shows Labour reduced benefit numbers by a third. And National has reversed that in 3 years.

    • Eddie 10.2

      what’s your source on 15% of GDP from agriculture? National Accounts say 4.4%. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/NationalAccounts/NationalAccounts_HOTPyeMar10.aspx

      But I guess the numbers you pull from your arse are more reliable.

      • joe bloggs 10.2.1

        15% includes the downstream processing that is created by the agricultural sector.

        That’s where Labour blinkered policies fail miserably – no understanding of how money flows through the economy.

        Of course that would be a difficult concept for you to grasp so this might help clarify for you.

        The New Zealand agricultural sector generated $18,926 million in gross revenue for the year ended March 2008.

        Much of this gross revenue is intermediate consumption of $10,696 million. A further $2,219 million was paid to employees as wages and salaries and $3,359 million paid out as interest on loans.

        Agriculture made a direct contribution to GDP of over $8,230 million (five percent of total GDP), excluding downstream processing. Including downstream processing, agriculture is estimated to contribute over 15% of total GDP.

        Over the past 10 years, agricultural sector multi-factor productivity has grown at a rate of 1.8% per year, double the rate for the economy as a whole. This is important because in the longer term productivity is what determines economic growth and competitiveness internationally.

        Help you any, or are you still struggling to recognise the connection.

        • Eddie 10.2.1.1

          you can’t include the downstream/multiplier effects of ag unless you do the same for everyone else. And then you get a total of more than 100%, eh genius?

          • joe bloggs 10.2.1.1.1

            oh I get it now – the multiplier effect – that’s where 87% of working-age population work and get taxed to keep 13% of the population gainfully unemployed

            • McFlock 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Another tory demonstrates economic incompetence. Should be in Cabinet or Treasury.

        • marsman 10.2.1.2

          ‘Downstream ‘ is polluted thanks to those farmers,what’s the cost of that!

          • joe bloggs 10.2.1.2.1

            there you go demonising the farmers again.

            How happy you must feel having all these people on benefits, driving economic growth!

            • felix 10.2.1.2.1.1

              Demonising=Stop dumping shit in our rivers?

              Whatever.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.2.1.2

              Ah, joe, the farmers really are costing us with their pollution and over use of natural resources. Personally, I think they’re costing us far more than they’re worth.

              • McFlock

                It’s not the farmers coasting us, or our minister for tourism floundering while being challenged on “100% pure NZ” on BBC World, no – it’s the damned scientists who stupidly test the water quality downstream. /sarc

        • HC 10.2.1.3

          “That’s where Labour blinkered policies fail miserably – no understanding of how money flows through the economy.”

          Ha – talk about money “flowing through the system”. What we have had the last decades has mostly been the “flow up” rather than the so-called “trickle down” effect. Only under the last Labour led government did that trend slow down.

          This present government is putting the upwards showerstream into top gear again, so that the pockets of the top earners and asset holders get filled to overflow again.

          That money is now short in other places, partly borrowed and this fact is the perfect excuse to cut down on welfare. Great plan, is it not?

          Nothing new under the sun, Don Key the master of all peasants.

  11. RobC 11

    Get with the times Joe, even Treasury admit GDP is a figure that’s hardly worth the paper it’s written on

    • joe bloggs 11.1

      RobC – that pre-supposes Treasury is a credible commentator on the economy 😀

      • south paw 11.1.1

        your hero Smiley Wavey is happy enough to use their figures for his zero budget

        • HC 11.1.1.1

          Well truth is: He picks out what may suit him, but does not present the whole picture.

  12. Wayne 12

    RobC – what a cop-out answer to reasoned analysis whether you agree with it or not.

  13. They are just following ‘the plan’

    The Shock Doctrine
    In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

    http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

    Key is tits deep in this doctrine, he is part of the Chicago Club … ( I think that is what it is called)

    • marsman 13.1

      Exactly!

    • south paw 13.2

      Chicago School ( of Economics ) – where the academic Milton Friedman’s whacky theories were picked up on by the Neo Cons and took hold in the Western countries under both right and left wing governments.

    • felix 13.3

      The “pocket” Shock Doctrine for those who like their politics easily digestible and set to music:

    • HC 13.4

      Don Key is what they call a “Chicago Boy”! (i.e. follower of M. Friedman’s teachings)

  14. We are following in Greece’s footsteps
    Shonkeyoppolis is just following his orders from Standard and Poors ie bring the country to its knees, sell everything, turn people into slaves.
    He is just carrying on where Helen left off.
    He is just doing it faster.

    Automatic Earth: Honey, I Swapped The Greeks
    http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/05/may-29-2011-honey-i-swapped-greeks.html
    The Greek debt issue becomes more impenetrable by the day; or at least, so it may seem. The European Central Bank is threatening not to take on anymore Greek bonds if its conditions are not met, the IMF says it may not release the next phase of the $110 billion bailout fund agreed on last year if Greece doesn’t meet it austerity promises. Meanwhile, the yield on 2-year bonds has soared to 25%. That alone, or so you would think, should be enough for either a rapid default or a next bailout package. However, talks keep on going on unabated. The IMF now has had a team in place in Athens for over 3 weeks while the Acropolis is burning – in a manner of speaking-.

  15. Yes I agree with Robert at comment 12 and I watched this doco the other day

    http://www.archivefire.net/2011/05/shock-doctrine-2009.html

    we know what they are doing and we are in the middle of them doing it

  16. chris 16

    More socialist clap trap. I guess labour need to get back into power then so the hand out mentality can continue. Don’t worry that it costs $8 billion a year.The problem is capitalism pays for socialism.

    • felix 16.1

      Wow, and the very next post on the standard proves you sooooo wrong!

      • Tiger Mountain 16.1.1

        @ Chris: No ‘we’ the majority pay for capitalism with 75% of kiwis on under $50,000 per year and a good number under $20,000 pa. Long suffering tax payers bailed out SCF in NZ and all sorts of other corporates around the world. GM in the US etc. Capitalism is a parasitic past its useby system that coughs up “minimum wage for poor kiwis bad, maximum wage for CEOs good”.

    • RedLogix 16.2

      Actually dude… it’s socialism that props up capitalism. You keep getting your chickens and eggs muddled up. My advice… don’t go into business.

  17. MrSmith 17

    Just another thing New Zealand does to much of “Restructuring” we call it , keeping those little hamsters on there wheels, shitting them-selfs, knowing any minute they could lose there job or benefit! all the while dangling the carrot of promotion/jobs just out of there reach.
     
    This may come as a surprise to some people, but this is how Companies/Corporations and this government works. Threats, intimidation and confusion.

    • ZeeBop 17.1

      In the light of such figures – that show by international standards we have proportionally fewer of the sick and disabled on benefits, allocate relatively less of our national wealth to meet their needs, have more of them in work, and fewer of them on the dole – Bennett should be deeply ashamed of mounting any further attack on the people who currently receive such benefits.
      http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2011/05/31/gordon-campbell-on-john-key%E2%80%99s-assault-on-the-welfare-system/

      The bludgers all have jobs, paid for by the taxpayer, and are supposed to serve the people but actively serve themselves and are helped by the media who continue to help manufacture consent. Only last night there was a opinion about the recent poll about the budget, it was the opinion of the reporter that most people liked the budget. Despite only 43% saying that on the screen behind him. This blatant lying is typical of our tv media.

      Most people are worse off due to the budget. Most people are hard done by by the welfare and tax systems. Most people are forced to take on unnecessary debt, and work harder to help their bosses keep up the excess they have to pay when borrowing money.

      Kiwis really need to wake up to themselves and stop buying the MSM bollocks.

  18. JS 18

    The Minister of Social Welfare is once more pulling up the ladder behind her. She was a young single mother and got a benefit and training assistance. Now she is ensuring no others willl have her chances.

    • HC 18.1

      Sorry – correction of a misnomer:

      Paula Bennett is NOT the Minister of Social Development, she is the Minister of Personal Career and High Income Development (short: MPCAHID)!

  19. randal 19

    all the nats are doing is copping a whole lot of short term cash for themselves from the transactions and creating a mess that will have to be turned around at the next election. and it will.
    they talk a whole lot of principle but in the end they are just piranhas looking for the main chance.

  20. Lanthanide 20

    Paula Bennet was on Morning Report this morning.

    When asked how these beneficiaries are going to get jobs, and where are the jobs going to come from. Paula essentially said she’d hold her breath and hope that new jobs were created…

    Also, John Key is saying there are so many more people on benefits now than there were on 1970, as if this is somehow a reasonable comparison to make and hold up 1970 as the ideal. Lets look at what has changed in the labour market, and socially, since 1970:

    1. Huge loss of low-skilled manufacturing jobs, where people who may now be on a disability benefit would have previously worked in 1970. They would again too, but the jobs aren’t there.

    2. Much better understanding of many diseases and illnesses, particularly mental ones, and a focus on wellness of life. I expect there would have been more than a few people working in 1970’s (see #1) who actually would have been better off getting treatment out of the work force.

    3. Massive increase in employment of women, giving us many families where both parents work. This sucks up a lot of jobs, especially part time ones, that would have been available to those who are now on benefits.

    4. Inefficient government that employed huge numbers of people. The size of the government is now much smaller in comparison to the rest of the economy – fewer jobs.

    5. Much greater social stigma around single mothers – teenagers didn’t get pregnant as often, were more pressured to give the children up to adoption. Older women were also more likely to stay in dysfunctional or violent relationships, and therefore not required the DPB.

    John Key is making a comparison that simply isn’t relevant to today’s society.

    • Tom Gould 20.1

      I’m not so sure that Key is making an irrelevant comparison. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but if the trick is to drive the wealth upwards, isn’t the permanent ‘job-hungry under-class’ a pre-requisite? And he accused Clark of social engineering?

    • RedLogix 20.2

      Inefficient government that employed huge numbers of people.

      Public entities such as NZR, MoW, Post Office and Forestry acted very much as a ’employer of last resort’ (google the term, it’s a respectable economic idea)… soaking up the low-skilled of modest aspirations … by providing a place where they had to turn up daily, and at least go through the motions of appearing to work.

      Well in fact they often did better than that. Outfits like the Post Office and MoW actually did an awful lot of technical training and to this day there are still a lot of skilled people in the workforce who got their start in these places.

      But even in the worst case, we now understand that it is far more efficient to have low-skilled people in some sort of employment than it is to have them stigmatised and demoralised on a benefit. And while I would argue that it is certainly more socially efficient… if you include all the externalities… it’s probably more economically efficient too.

      (And otherwise a highly pertinent comment Lanth.)

      • Lanthanide 20.2.1

        I wasn’t making a value judgement on whether the government should be doing that or not. There are certainly benefits for it, as you’ve outlined. Although I question the difference between giving someone a benefit, and providing them a job where they turn up and do very little productive – that has all the overheads of needing a building, electricity, people to manage them etc, and they’d probably expect a little more than the same $ from a benefit so it’d cost more overall.

        Simply a statement of fact – output divided by input, we now produce the same or more output with less input = more efficient. Fewer government jobs means much less of a safety net to catch people in the official employment stats = more people on benefits.

        • terryg 20.2.1.1

          +1 La, Tom Gould, RedLogix.

          La, you missed one useful piece of data – population. in 1970 NZ’s population was 2.82 million, in 2009 it was 4.316 million, so it will be about 4.5 million now.

          and thats always something the RW casually neglect when making fatuous comparisons. its glaringly evident in AGW “discussions” too……

          oh, and La, your point #5 – “more pressured” is a bit of an understatement. IMO “forced to” would be a lot closer to the reality. bastards.

          • Lanthanide 20.2.1.1.1

            With regards to the population – both figures are percentages, so theoretically the total population doesn’t enter into it.

            Also apparently the DPB didn’t even exist in 1970, so my #5 point is largely moot – those women couldn’t get a benefit even if they wanted to.

    • NickS 20.3

      John Key is making a comparison that simply isn’t relevant to today’s society.

      This.

      Now if Labour would only use this to point out the utter stupidity of Key’s argument instead of the usual limp PR-spun responses they’ve been giving.

      Or even, dare I hope, the media could do it…

      • Cin77 20.3.1

        “Or even, dare I hope, the media could do it…”

        Was that a pig I just saw flying past?

  21. Wrecked the economy???

    • Draco T Bastard 21.1

      Yes, wrecked. It took 9 years of a Labour led government, after the 4th Labour and National government reforms, to start to fix things and then we voted in NAct and they started wrecking it again.

      • PeteG 21.1.1

        The great munting began well before the 2008 election. Similarly Obama can’t be saddled with the resonsibility for the mess he inherited. As he did with “The Pet Goat” GW tried to turn the books upside down but his reaction looked just as bad.

        The finance company fiascos and property bellyflops didn’t just come out of nowhere, they had been brewing for years.

        • NickS 21.1.1.1

          Yeah, we can place blame on the Bush Administration for weakening banking regulations, but at heart it’s the fault of the finance and other idiots who ignored the advise from their quants (the modelling wizards) that the loan bundles + bad loans were going to cause problems in the future.

  22. Samuel Hill 22

    “The latest Labour Market Report tell us that the unemployment rate for 20-24 year olds is 12.5%. In reality the number of 20-24 year olds without a job is closer to triple that amount. 34.9% (110,100 out of 315,500) 20-24 year olds in New Zealand are currently not in paid work.”

    http://theglobalcircus.blogspot.com/2011/05/elephant-in-room-youth-unemployment.html

  23. randal 23

    national sya they are the party of bsuiness. well, where is the business? why aren’t there jobs for all these people?

  24. randal 24

    red logix. I worked for the forestry department in the 70’s and they are still logging the trees I planted. They were not the employer of last resort.
    they all met their rate of return targets.

    • Murray 24.1

      I agree Randal. I also worked for the NZFS in the 70,s. NZ would be in a far better situation if they had kept it going.

      • RedLogix 24.1.1

        Fair cop, I can see your point of view.

        1. I only really included Forestry as an afterthought. One thing I do know is that the bushmen they employed were among the most skilled this country has ever seen. Top blokes who worked damned hard at jobs most folk wouldn’t last ten minutes at.

        2. The term ’employer of last resort’ isn’t meant as a denigration. In fact much of what these organisations achieved was first class work…. the term really refers to the idea that they would provide work to virtually all-comers regardless of narrow economic measures as are applied to private sector entities.

    • NickS 25.1

      I wouldn’t expect anything less from the victim-exploitation master, and all round douchebag Garth McVicar.

    • lprent 25.2

      Meaningless statement. They support killers as well (as long as they are like them). National party supporters trust

      • joe bloggs 25.2.1

        They support killers as well

        Citation required.

        Or do you just make shit up for the sheer hell of it?

        • wtl 25.2.1.1

          Idiot. Here you go:

          Bruce Emery, 50, was found guilty on Friday of manslaughter for the fatal stabbing of Pihema Cameron, 15.

          He caught the teenager spray-painting his garage door in Manurewa in January.

          Trust spokesperson Garth McVicar says the verdict is a shame, because he understands the frustration Emery was going through when he caught the tagger at his house.

          Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/11590/sensible-sentencing-trust-wanted-killer-of-tagger-set-free

          • McFlock 25.2.1.1.1

            lol.
             
            When RWNJs make shit up and get challenged on source, they either respond with irrelevancies or slide the conversation elsewhere. So they copy the “source” question and it turns out they must be living in a cave not to have been able to find it within 5 minutes themselves.

    • Campbell Larsen 25.3

      That Garth McVicar needs some serious help…

      He is so angry and filled with hate that I bet that in the morning when he looks at himself in the mirror he even glares at himself with disgust.

  25. I do not like to see people punished due to circumstances which are beyond their control e.g. a suitable job not being available. Not everyone is physically, cognitively, or skillfully capable of performing in a job of their choice. Those under the most pressure will end up stressed due to the limitations they face. People are either up to it (able) or not up to it (unable) when it comes to filling a job requirement.

  26. infused 27

    Front Page:

    Having wrecked the economy and put tens of thousands of workers on the dole queue John Key is now planning to give them another kick in the guts by cutting their benefits.

    Actual:

    Having starved the economy and created record unemployment the government is now preparing to stick the knife into the Kiwis it has failed

    Monger much?

  27. Gina 28

    We must get the message out to workers about labours policy of increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

    I mentioned it to several workers today and none of them knew anything about it. They all had big smiles on their faces and were determined to get out and vote labour this election.

    I’m sure the media will keep bashing it but if we get the message out that the spending will boost NZ businesses. Low wages are really meant to run NZ businesses into the ground because NZ workers who are also their “customers” have no money. Guess who takes over their businesses when they fail through lack of money in the economy, yeah you got it Multi-Nationals or big corporates who then move profits off-shore.

  28. burt 29

    Irtishbill

    Just like Ruth, Jim & Jenny… Absolutely correct, preceded by a Labour govt that refuses to accept it had any hand in the stagnant economy that resulted in them loosing the election and National inheriting a fiscal basket case.

    Remember the Fiscal Responsibility Act passed after Labour lied about the state of the economy just before Ruth was forced into dishing out hard medicine ? I guees you won’t remember that or you would have called foul when labour failed to disclose stuff this time as well. …

    How can you be so in love with such a self serving dishonest bunch of halfwits simply because their party banner is red ?

  29. Gina 30

    “after Labour lied about the state of the economy just before Ruth was forced into dishing out hard medicine ?”

    That was eons ago. When Nationals history was bought up at the last election we were told that it was past history and National were no longer like that. Seems Labours distant history is relvant to people like Burt but Nationals isn’t. Looks like National is still following that vein.

    “I guees you won’t remember that or you would have called foul when labour failed to disclose stuff this time as well”

    Don’t talk to me about failing to disclose. Right now John Key is writing New Zealands obituary in the Trans paific Partnership and its all been done in secret. He misleads the public over our real debt status knowing that most kiwis don’t really understand it so will accept any cuts he puts forward under false pretences. Proctor and gamble successfully sued “Bankers Trust” for selling them derivatives in 1993. They claimed they were sold products they didn’t really understand that Bankers trust employees knew were not in their clients best interest. John Key was working for them then and his expertise was derivatives. Looks like he’s trying to do the same to the New Zealand public. Hoodwink them with disinfo against their best interests. I’d call that Treason. “To work against the interests of your own citizens”

    Who the hell are you anyway. A corporate New World Order (Facist dictatorship) operative? That is who the Nats are working for.

    • burt 30.1

      Gina

      Umm, this thread is about ancient history…. So what is your point exactly ?

      Oh that’s right – It’s not Labour’s fault their policies always create a recession…. It’s not their fault it was National that created the recession before they took office ….. What a dork – read the title of the F##king thread you muppet.

  30. Gina 31

    Yes this thread is about ancient history thats true. Point is though Labour changed. Helen Clarke made promises for 9 years and stuck to them. National still has the same old ideology.

    Most of we lefties here allways knew that National cut taxes and got into debt deliberately so they would have an excuse to cut welfare and tell us it was not affordable. The Nats are also cutting the state sector which has grown under labour to meet a vastly increased population. Last time the Nats did that we ended up with massive bills to the private sector to make up the shortfall. In other words cuts to the state sector will leave a gap that will be filled by a new corporate trough for rich piggies to feed on with massive fees etc to do what the state services do for much less.

    • burt 31.1

      Most of we lefties here allways knew that National cut taxes and got into debt deliberately so they would have an excuse to cut welfare and tell us it was not affordable.

      Did you make your own tinfoil hat or did you buy it in the con$piracy $hop ?

    • burt 31.2

      Gina

      Sadly the one person in NZ political history who was famous for keeping election promises was Rob Muldoon. Absolute disaster having a socialist dictator running the country – but he did keep his election promises.

      Actually the policies of Mulddon are not that different to what Labour keep comming up with… Nationalise everything, control the price of everything and dictate what wages should be while creating employment through recycling tax payers money…

      Being a Labour supporter now you would have probably been a Muldoon supporter if you were of voting age at that time.

  31. burt 32

    Helen Clarke made promises for 9 years and stuck to them. National still has the same old ideology.

    What utter rubbish.

    1) This top tax rate will only be applied to the top 5%….

    Said in 1999 – broken by early 2000 when the rate calculated on 1998 income figures was imposed on earners in 2000. It hit about 6.5%-7% of earners from the first day it was implemented.

    2) A new standard of openness and accountability… Taito Field, Winston Peters… need I say more.

    Then the lying hag turned around in 2002 and said he had keep the 1999 promises – which was in itself a lie. You believed the woman – how seriously did you scrutinize anything she said ?

  32. Gina 33

    You consistantly bring up absolute trivial sins that were blown up out of all proportion.
    Tato Field is not a government policy. Labour promised to do things like reversing the means testing for superannuatants which Helen stuck to along with many other policies I’m sure you hated. Labour removed most of the part charges National had added to the Health services. They stuck by all their promises and did them incrementally. People like you didn’t like those things Labour did for Kiwi’s. Too bad, we liked them and New Zealand should remember just how lucky they now are that those things were fixed.

    Why do you come to this blog. The only reason I can see is to disrupt lefties discussions ect. Why don’t you hang out on Farrars blog. Its a free world and all that but you are not here to constructivly discuss left wing policy so you must have another compelling reason for being here sooo much Burt.

    • burt 33.1

      Oh In get it, I list a few promises that were not kept so you just wheel out a few you think were. I guess if you could you would edit your statement I quoted to say;

      Helen Clarke made promises for 9 years and selectively stuck to them. National still has the same old ideology.

      Why do I come here… because I can. And because it’s hysterical how short peoples memories usually are but with blogs we get to laugh at that rather than have history re-written every few years.

      See if you were writing history you have written the version Helen wanted you to write which was that all her election promises were kept. Which you did – which was clearly wrong. Thank me for reminding you of the truth…

  33. Gina 34

    I’m sure you can find something insignificant she didn’t keep to Burt but many things that matter to Kiwis she did. Now the corporate media lacky’s are pissing all over her because we can’t have a woman hero in this country can we. The only acceptable women (or men) in politics are those who support the corporate agenda which impoverishes women and Kiwi’s workers in general. I don’t think I’m going to continue to waste my time on you so cherio.

    • calltoaccount 34.1

      Well done Gina for fronting up with common sense to Burp. Have a drink on me!

      • Gina 34.1.1

        Cheers Calltoaccount

        That’ll be Rum and Coke and I might forget the austerity for a little.
        Oh sorry made a real big mistake. Must remeber the media drill of no luxuries for scumbag workers. We workers must increase productivity, scrimp and get by on unlivable wages, work all hours and in any possible spare 5 mins we get plant a garden for our landlord to sell when he offloads the rental for a quick profit and takes the family to Europe for the sunmmer. There he will deservedly bask in Luxury thanks to your doing up that dump he was renting to you.

  34. RedBaron 35

    Can we also assume that the NACT’s will require the father of any children being brought up on a welfare benefit to also be using long term contraception? Abnd if not why not?

  35. Tombstone 36

    National have done nothing but create job losses rather than jobs – so where’s ‘the better NZ for all’ you promised Mr Key? Fail!

  36. HC 37

    I heard a burp – or was it a burt?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Membership: Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board
    The Governments of Australia and New Zealand have announced the membership of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) today. This is an important step towards implementing e-Invoicing across both countries to help businesses save time and money ...
    5 days ago
  • An end to unnecessary secondary tax
    Workers who are paying too much tax because of incorrect secondary tax codes are in line for relief with the passage of legislation through Parliament late last night. The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018-19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) ...
    6 days ago
  • Chatham Islands pāua plan approved
    Efforts to reverse the decline in the Chatham Islands pāua fishery are the focus of a new plan jointly agreed between government, the local community and industry. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the plan was developed by the PauaMAC4 Industry ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill introduced for synthetics crackdown
    The Police will get stronger powers of search and seizure to crackdown on synthetic drugs under new legislation, which makes the two main synthetics (5F-ADB and AMB-FUBINACA) Class A drugs. The Government has today introduced the Misuse of Drugs Amendment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Blasphemous libel law repealed
    The archaic blasphemous libel offence will be repealed following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill today, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government lassos livestock rustling
    New rules to crack down on livestock rustling will come into force following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Medieval law axed
    The ‘year and a day rule’ rule will be repealed following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further steps to combat tax evasion
    Further steps to combat tax evasion Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has announced New Zealand is expanding its global ability to combat tax evasion by joining forces with authorities in 30 countries and jurisdictions. Cabinet has agreed to add another ...
    2 weeks ago