Labour’s fantastic children’s policy

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, November 8th, 2011 - 272 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, families, poverty - Tags:

Labour released its excellent children’s policy yesterday – a range of precise, focused policies that would lift 150,000 children out of poverty and make the lives for families with kids much easier.

  • Ensure every 3 and 4 year old has access to free 20 hours Early Childhood Education a week, maintain fees control, work with the sector to reinstate 100% qualified teachers and restore cuts made by this government over time;
  • Assist 150,000 of our poorest families with children, with an extra $70-$80 a week. This will come through Labour’s $5000 tax free zone and by extending, in three steps, full Working for Families eligibility to people who currently don’t meet the criteria for the ‘In Work Tax Credit’ component.
  • Provide free 24 hours a day seven days a week access to primary health care for all under 6s – through new funding, not cuts to other services;
  • Extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks in two steps;
  • Provide high quality ECE and parent support from 18 months to 3 years for very vulnerable children;
  • Fund free dental treatment for all pregnant women – studies show 18% of premature births are attributed to poor oral health in mothers;
  • Set in legislation an official poverty measure — for the first time in New Zealand;
  • Support all parents by registering every child with a Well Child provider of their parents’ choice before birth and resourcing those providers to assist families who need additional support;

All of this is carefully phased in to keep within the tight budget constraints in coming years (this isn’t additional spending on top of Labour’s announcement last week, it was included in ‘policies yet to be announced). And what an achievement: 150,000 of the 170,000 to 270,000 kids who are currently growing up in poverty lifted up to an actual brighter future.

The paid parental leave is a great policy, even Business NZ supports it. Again, this is one of those policies – like compulsory super, 67 retirement age, and industry wage standards – where Labour is only following in the well-worn footsteps of other, more successful, countries.

Predictably, the Right is wailing about the extension of the $60 per week per child payment currently called the in-work tax credit to families who don’t meet the work test (ie beneficiaries). They’re outraged at the cost and that money going to the undeserving (ie poor kids). Of course, when National borrows $1.1 billion in a year for tax cuts for the rich, there’s no worries.

Distribution of wealth within a society is a choice of that society. The Right wants it to go to the elite. The Left wants it spread more fairly, and wants to make sure that no child has too little for a decent crack at life. The Right wants more tax cuts to the rich. Labour and the Left make a priority of ending poverty, which leads to better lives and a richer society, not just for those directly affected, but ultimately for us all.

When Working for Families was introduced, it lifted 130,000 children out of poverty. Since National came to power, the number of children in benefit families has risen by 32,000. Extending WFF to those families will lift 150,000 kids out of poverty.

The Right absolutely refuse to do anything for the kids in beneficiary families. Even though National’s inept economic management has put 60,000 more people on to benefits supporting 32,000 more kids, it is all the beneficiaries’ fault and the Right’s refrain is always ‘don’t have the kids if you can’t support them’ (which displays a depressing lack of imagination: what about the 50,000 people who had jobs and could support their kids before National’s reign of economic fuck-ups began?).

Well, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the Right always piously saying that ‘something’ must be done about child poverty and then refusing any policy that comes along. Much as they talk about boosting wages but oppose any action to do so, or say that jobs are important but won’t so any further in the way of job creation than punishing those unlucky enough not to have one, or how they grudgingly agree that we have to cut our carbon emissions but wail about dire economic ramifications if we do anything to make that happen.

I was going to end this section of the post by lambasting National for not joining with Labour, the Greens, and the Maori Party in signing the Every Child Counts coalition’s pledge to improve the first 3 years of every child’s life, but nah. At least they’re being honest for once – they don’t give a crap about kids. Signing a pledge to help out kids would be just another act of hypocrisy from National.

Congratulations Labour, once again, you have shown that only a Labour-led government will have the policies for a truly brighter future for all Kiwis.

272 comments on “Labour’s fantastic children’s policy”

  1. Tangled up in blue 1

    This would be a great investment into the future of New Zealand. GG Labour.

  2. Countersinker 2

    Money for nothing & your kids for free.
    Time to tell people to stop breeding if they can’t afford them.
    [you didn’t get as far as the paragraph that addresses exactly what you have said, eh? If you’re not able to read posts. Don’t comment. Eddie]

    • BLiP 2.1

      Oh, look! Its Mr Farty visiting us to stink the place up again with RWNJ vitriolic bile suggesting human rights for New Zealand citizens are to be allotted according to the employment status of their parents.

      • Alwyn 2.1.1

        Are you saying that Jason Faafoi is a RWNJ?
        Seems a trifle unlikely given that he is a brother of the Labour MP Kris Faafoi, and they seem to get on OK. If that is not what you mean who is supposed to be the RWNJ?

        • Akldnut 2.1.1.1

          Yeah I just don’t quite get your drift Blip???

          • BLiP 2.1.1.1.1

            None of the above. I’m a little out of commenting practise at the moment and it was a hurried (and obviously failed) attempt at a humorous response directed specifically at Counterstinker. The link was meant to show that I’m down with the lingo and using a hip-wth-the-cool-kids insult, the subtext indicating that Counterstinker is, himself, childish. I think you’ll find from my posting history that while I generally fail at humour, I’m pretty much able to correctly identify RWNJs and, for the record, the Fa’afoi aiga are nothing of the sort.

            • Alwyn 2.1.1.1.1.1

              OK thanks for the response.
              The problem we have is that we haven’t seen the comment by Countersinker that you say you were replying to.
              Presumably you saw the whole post before Eddie deleted the (I assume) bulk of it which made it a bit hard to interpret what you were talking about. That is why it looked to me that you were commenting on views that you seemed to be attributing to Jason Fa’afoi.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      Time to propose policies that work as opposed to witless dogma.

    • mik e 2.3

      tui poo and counter skunk.So just keep the children in poverty is the right wing Nut jobs answer
      These are the tax payers of the future when you need your quadruple bypass medication for dementia or hip op these young people won’t have the skills we need for the future if we don’t do something now doing nothing is neglect and and your comments are tantamount to child abuse.
      Your just hiding behind your red neck simplistic pathetic lack of humanity

    • mik e 2.4

      counterskunk smug emotionally aloof bastard

  3. Tombstone 3

    Labour = All Inclusive. National = Self Serving. Simple. I will never abide by greed and corruption let alone corporate theft or the lie that is the trickle down theory so National therefore will never gain my vote. Another great policy from Labour. Poverty will never be resolved by behaving like a pack of bullies and National know no other way.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    According to independent commentators like Business NZ and Peter Dunne and Stephen Joyce, this policy will break the bank and drive the country into depression and ruin. People need to understand that public money is supposed to trickle down, through top end tax cuts, not ‘trickle up’ through feeding hungry kids.

    • Half Crown Millionare 4.1

      independent commentators like Business NZ and Peter Dunne and Stephen Joyce,

      Independent! You must be joking.

    • After 30 years the trickle down has been shown to be bollocks. Really, there is nothing like implementing an economic policy, watch it fail, collecting the evidence and rethinking your economic assumptions. You should try it.
      That is one of my biggest problems with “Business NZ and Peter Dunne and Stephen Joyce” and their like. They haven’t kept up. The jury is back and it is a big EPIC FAIL!
       
       

  5. tsmithfield 5

    As soon as I heard this policy I knew that Labour has thrown in the towel and has gone into damage control mode.

    Working people who have to pay for the “In work tax credit” to be extended to non-workers are going to resent this, as nearly all the feedback I have heard to various media outlets would suggest. It will appeal to the core Labour vote, but not much else. It will tend to sway swinging voters back towards National. The best it can do for Labour is to shore up their core support so they don’t collapse completely.

    Note that on Ipredict support for Key spiked up and support for Goff dropped after this policy was announced.

    • r0b 5.1

      It will appeal to the core Labour vote, but not much else.

      I kinda think it would appeal to kids living in poverty.  But screw them – right?

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        And the way Labour can ensure the money is actually spent on the kids is…..?

        Anyway, you didn’t even bother to try and answer my point.

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          And the way Labour can ensure the money is actually spent on the kids is…..?

          No government can ensure what benefit money is spent on.  What we do know for sure is that you can’t spend money on kids that you don’t have.  Your reply is just an excuse for saying screw the kids.  Shame on you. 

          Anyway, you didn’t even bother to try and answer my point.

          What point?

          • tsmithfield 5.1.1.1.1

            “Your reply is just an excuse for saying screw the kids. Shame on you.”

            With what beneficiaries get from the government now, there is no excuse for children to be in poverty. The main beneficiaries of this policy will be the liquor stores, cigarette sellers, casinos, and pot dealers. If this is true, then giving more money could actually be worse for children. You said yourself that the government can’t control where it is spent, so you can’t really disagree.

            “What point?”

            That this is merely damage control for Labour more than a policy that they intend to win the election with.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “The main beneficiaries…” Prove it. I think you’re just projecting your ideology onto the real world, where it will fall by the wayside and wither and die like the children it fails.

              • jem

                Speak to social workers and mental health nurses, as I have, working in South Auckland…

                The evidence is in what thety have seen with their own eyes!
                Kids scavenging in the kitchen for scraps whiel mum and dad are hung over sleepign in bed after noon.

                MORE CASH WILL NOT GO TO THE KIDS!
                Please people wake up and realise this. the money needs to be put into programs/schemes that help the kids..not cash to the parents.

                • McFlock

                  Wrong.
                   
                  Parents are more likely to go undernourished themselves so their kids can eat healthily. Suggestions from UK research are that an increase in benefits generally (yes, the people for whom we have social workers tend to have alcohol problems. Sample bias for anecdotal data, much?) results in an increase in the welfare of the kids, not so much the parents. Naomi Eisentstadt had a bit to say about that at a conference in NZ a year or two back.
                    
                  But it plays into the tory bias to say that all beneficiaries are child-neglecters (or worse).

                • mik e

                  little jem for you depression is common among poor around 90% if you must know

                • rosy

                  So Jem – you’re out there supporting efforts of parents in poor areas protesting the increase in liqour outlets in their areas – and particularly those near schools, I guess. And supporting regulation to reduce alcohol harm like advertising restrictions?

                  doc

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah lets push the meme that its drunk, smoking, gambling parents which are the real problem here.

              Ignore the fact that working poverty is also a real phenomenon in this country, something that both Key and English quietly admit.

              Fuck you and your kind tsmithfield. When the worm turns there are far more of us than there are of you.

              • tsmithfield

                “Yeah lets push the meme that its drunk, smoking, gambling parents which are the real problem here.”

                The thing is you can’t prove it isn’t. As r0b says above, the government can’t control how people spend the money, so you have no way of knowing whether I am right or not. Shit, its free money from the government. Why waste it on the kids?

                “Ignore the fact that working poverty is also a real phenomenon in this country, something that both Key and English quietly admit.”

                I agree. And the working poor are going to be made poorer by Labour because they are going to have to subsidise the non-workers more as well. Anyone who works will hate this policy.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “The thing is you can’t prove it isn’t.”

                  Akshully you’re the one making unsupported assertions. There is plenty of evidence that reducing income inequality reduces social ills, so your “drunk smoking gambling” parents are more likely where there are higher levels of inequality.

                  If you have some facts at your disposal, present them. Failing that, perhaps you can explain how you arrived at your conclusion, because as I said, I think you simply make up whatever fits your inevitable (everyone has one) bias. Which is fine for some no-account Tory shill, but it’s a shit way to run a country.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “There is plenty of evidence….”

                    FFS, you’re not going to rely on that thoroughly debunked spirit level nonsense are you?

                    “If you have some facts at your disposal, present them.”

                    I don’t need to. Can Labour guarantee that every cent of the money will be spent on the kids? If not, how much will be tipped down the toilet in all sorts of wasteful ways? If Labour can’t answer these questions, they shouldn’t be dishing out the money. It is the zenith of financial irresponsibility to do so. But what else would I expect from Labour?

                    Anyway, it doesn’t bother me because, as I said earlier, this is just an exercise in damage control. I don’t think that Labour seriously believes they will be in a position to implement this policy.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour’s the underdog in this election mate, they admit that.

                      Even Key admits that a strong Green vote will put National’s chances on the borderline. Maybe you should too.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Debunked”? Is that your idea of what “debunking” looks like? The Spirit Level is a meta-analysis of previously published work. “Debunking” it would involve a detailed examination of the studies it relies on. I note that the interview you link to references one conclusion that the interviewer claims is disputed.

                      Peer-reviewed research gets “debunked” by further study, not assertions made on blogs. When an article is debunked, it is customary for the journal that published it to retract the paper. I’m waiting for your list of “debunked” papers that have been retracted. What? You haven’t got one? Funny that.

                      “If Labour can’t answer these questions…” lol self-important much? I expect Labour to answer question from serious commenters, why would they pay a nano-second of attention to your facile dreck?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      PS: genuine (in contrast to Smithfield) debunking requires a response from the original authors. Here is Kathryn Busby’s response to the incompetent knee-jerk ideology you found so compelling.

                    • McFlock

                      Can Labour guarantee that every cent of the money will be spent on the kids? If not, how much will be tipped down the toilet in all sorts of wasteful ways?

                      Wow. What about all the money that national has wasted on outsourced contractors because of the public service purges? I don’t see you demanding to know why National has counted full dividend income from assets it plans to sell half of.
                       
                      Hypocrite.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You’re an evil divisive fucker.

                  I’ll give you that maybe 5% of children in poverty have irresponsible parents who have no wish to do better for their kids, regardless of whatever support the Government lends them.

                  and you’re willing to throw away the other 95% to get at that small group of parents.

                  Like I said, a evil divisive fucker.

                  I agree. And the top 5% are going to be made poorer by Labour because they are going to have to subsidise the non-workers more as well. Anyone who works will hate this policy.

                  Actually any one who is working poor will know that Labour is giving them their first $5000 in income tax free. That’s more than $40 in hand every month, and almost $90 a month cash in hand for a working couple on the minimum wage.

                  So not only are you a divisive evil fucker, you’re a liar as well. Just like your mate Key.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “I’ll give you that maybe 5% of children in poverty have irresponsible parents who have no wish to do better for their kids, regardless of whatever support the Government lends them.”

                    So, how do you know its only 5%?

                    “Actually any one who is working poor will know that Labour is giving them their first $5000 in income tax free.”

                    Ah, yes. Labour’s tax cut for the wealthy plan. Isn’t it true that everyone up to approx $150k in income gets a tax cut under Labour, whether they need it or not? What a hypocritical policy, especially after the way they dissed National on their tax cuts.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its only 5% because I believe that the vast majority of parents are responsible. Don’t you?

                      What a hypocritical policy, especially after the way they dissed National on their tax cuts.

                      I thought that you are a proponent of fairness TS?

                      Under Labour, everyone worker gets the same extra $40 per month in hand extra.

                      What could be fairer?

                      Of course, if the rich think that it is unfair that they get a tax cut from Labour, they could always donate the difference to charity.

                  • kriswgtn

                    You’re an evil divisive fucker.

                    +100 mate
                    nasty Nat tory troll

                • mik e

                  Labour have always had lower unemployment and beneficiaries than National
                  FACT
                  Trickle down has never worked anywhere in the world
                  The longer you keep these children in poverty the less able they will be of becoming contributing tax payers and the more there are .the NZ economy will suffer low wages low skills will keep us at the bottom of the oecd.
                  Short sighted red neck bullying the impoverished children you must really be emotionally aloof,Narcissistic. have a logic based lack of emotional awareness usually associated with mentally ill bullies and criminal behaviour.
                  The NZ I gew up in used to be inclusive.
                  Only the rich count for anything now the rest of us are just peasants to be looked down on and derided.
                  Serfs in a feudal system

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.3

              English has already admitted you cannot live on the minimum wage. So even National has admitted that benefits are at starvation level.

              A better incentive to work would be to lift wages.

              There is plenty of room to raise wages. 83% increase in labour productivity since 79. Only 15% increase in wages.

              • seanmaitland

                Hold on – since 79?

                When I was at varsity in the mid-late 90s the minimum wage was $6.20 per hour – and isn’t it now $12.50 or something?

                • Bored

                  And the value of the dollar in 15-20 years has halved in terms of real purchasing power. Face it, real wages have not kept pace with the rise in prices since the Muldoon era. Any gains in “productivity” got gobbled up by the employers (and they got f.a.in real terms) whilst real wages got driven down by “globalized” production and cheap wages in China and other sweat shop economies.

                • mik e

                  The average wage that’s is not the minimum wage heaven help us if we didn’t have a minimum wage.

            • Blighty 5.1.1.1.1.4

              you and your kind will always find an excuse to oppose every cent that goes to poor kids, because you want the money for yourself.

              Admit it, you don’t have values. All you have is naked, unenlightened self-interest.

              And the joke of it is that ending poverty is in your self-interest, you’re just too short-sighted to see it.

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.5

              I love the fake concern for the kids from the right. When their only concern is that they can reduce their taxes while bludging more of our wealth.

              • seanmaitland

                On the other hand, you can also class Phil Goff and Annette King’s concern for the kids as fake in being that it is a means to buying peoples votes, with money the country doesn’t have.

                You could also say that National’s attempts at reducing dependency on benefits and giving people a line in the sand after which they have to contribute to the economy again can only be good for kids.

                It just depends what colour the tint on your glasses are – and mine says that giving free money to people has never been a way of motivating them to get out of poverty.

                As a secondary point – I earn a decent wage – 130k per annum, and it all comes from Europe – every cent of it. Do you also class this as “your” wealth?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “You could also say that National’s attempts at reducing dependency on benefits and giving people a line in the sand after which they have to contribute to the economy again can only be good for kids.”

                  You could say it, but then you’d have to find some evidence to support your ideology, and since all the evidence is to the contrary, you’d either have to change your opinion or start down the road to ignorance and bigotry supporting National.

                  And of course your income is taxable – you drive on our roads and rely on our rule of law, and the telecommunications infrastructure that we paid for, but it must be a bit of a bind to watch the value of your Euro wages plummeting as a result of bankster greed.

                  • seanmaitland

                    Um – I get paid in NZ dollars – i.e. my income is always 130k NZ – and my company’s Euro income comes entirely from Swiss customers – last time I checked the Swiss Franc was doing fine?

                    Can you point out how giving more free money to beneficiaries will get them out of poverty? Surely it will just entrench them in it – especially when you take into account the inflation and job losses caused by $15 minimum wage?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      seanmaitland is the 1%

                    • KJT

                      No. He is just another wannabee.

                      Of course he does not use any tax payer funded facilities in NZ.

                      Or live here because of the higher social wage and stable society?

                    • seanmaitland

                      @KJT – I already pay 32k a year in provisional tax – that is more than enough – and a lot more than I imagine most of you lot around here contribute to the place……

                    • KJT

                      Good then you agree with stopping these benefits.
                      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/03/kia-ora-yeah-we-should-be-doing.html

                      Ah goody. We are playing who paid the most tax or who has the most qualifications. Can I play to??

                    • Silly thing to say Sean.  I am sure a few here pay way more than that.  The only difference is that we see the virtue of sharing the wealth around and the state doing something.  You should try it some time.
                       

                    • seanmaitland

                      Ah, so firstly I am evil because I am apparently self-interested – then when it is found out I pay a lot of tax you guys (Mickey, KJT etc) try and change the subject.

                      KJT, is it very satisfying beating Mr Strawman down so easily with your brilliant positions?

                    • NickS

                      What job loses?

                      Every single rigorous statistical study done to date shows either a very small or non significant impact on job loses from minimum wage rate rises as a sole cause. Even in recessions it’s not a statistically significant contributor.

                      As for inflation. lolwut? Evidence please, as there’s much larger scale economic causes behind inflation than simple wage rises, like rising energy costs and weak currencies.

                      I already pay 32k a year in provisional tax – that is more than enough – and a lot more than I imagine most of you lot around here contribute to the place……

                      Out of a wage of NZ$130K? Sounds like someone isn’t paying their tax, as your earning far to much to get the lowest rate, without some very creative accounting and tax rorts.

                      On teh giving money to benies front, you do realise that under investment in children results in rather large economic costs + more importantly social costs in terms of poor education, health and crime outcomes right?

                    • KJT

                      You are a strawman Sean.

                      No different from the normal RWNJ on here.

                      Your argument consists of. “I do not want to pay any more taxes to secure the future of New Zealand and our children” AND “I pay more taxes than you, and get paid more than you, Ha Ha”.

                      And increasing the minimum wage and benefits cause job losses.

                      Well I have news for you.

                      Some of us have been paying more taxes than you for 30 or more years.

                      In fact I was paying twice as much 20 years ago.

                      If we do not invest in the future of our current children, it does not matter how well you do now, because there will be no well educated and healthy work force in future.

                      The worst job losses in NZ in recent times was during Ruthanasia when wages and benefits were cut. Same as now.

                      There are so many beneficiaries because idiots like you keep voting for voodoo economics.
                      If we really wanted to be fair, RWNJ’s like you should support unemployment beneficiaries, because they are the cause of them.

                  • In Vino Veritas

                    “you drive on our roads and rely on our rule of law, and the telecommunications infrastructure that we paid for”

                    And who is “we” One? Are you referring to when most households in NZ were not net beneficiaries?

                    Over 40% of households in NZ are currently net beneficiaries One, which for you, means that they receive more in Government handouts than they pay in tax. Ergo, they are not financially contributing to “our” roads, or any infrastructure at all.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BULLSHIT

                      More bad economics from the Right wing morons

                      (and bad made up statistics too)

                      Simple lesson here is that the rich benefit the most from the structures of society, and it is just that they pay the absolute most to enjoy that benefit.

                • mik e

                  We earn more than that mr haitland and pay way more taxes but I don’t mind NZ has some of the lowest taxes in the world
                  Australia has much higher over all taxes
                  The US has higher taxes when you look at health care costs on top of that they are paying nearly double the top rate.National have increased the number on benefits +extradited 100,000 kiwis to Australia Because of their trickle down blame everybody else including the poorest least educated who can’t leave for Australia no doubt would .

                • mik e

                  Democracy and we are a community you contribute in a society.$ 30,000 a Year in taxes is probably enough to take care of the amenities you use and very little left over’.

                  • sean maitland

                    add another 10+ k in GST and secondary taxes plus the 3.5k I pay in council rates, the 2.5k in ACC – then the indirect taxation generated by my spending (hiring accountants, body corp fees, insurances etc) for the investment property company I run on the side and I’m contributing – say 50k in tax every year.

                    mik e – if you earn way more than me, how did you get there without the ability to even write a coherent paragraph?

                    KJT – you are a firetruck-wit – my position is that I pay more than enough tax, and my moral obligation above what I already pay is to look after my wife and my new born son. Don’t put words into my mouth, you simpleton.

                    • McFlock

                      So, Sean, how did you arrive at the conclusion that your current tax bill exceeds any moral obligation you have to, say, help a child (other than your own) breathe?

                    • NickS

                      Aside from the fact that 30k you pay in income taxes seems a mite too light…

                      To teh point though, we all pay GST numpty, and because it’s a regressive system the poor pay proportionally more of their income in it, so by all means go ahead and whine, but it’ll only ever be crocodile tears.

                      As for rates, that between you and the local council, it doesn’t go towards central government services, and if it’s too high for you, downsize to a cheaper house that you can afford to pay the rates on, as the higher end housing rates are basically a tax on human stupidity and avarice.

                      Moving on to ACC, would you rather have to deal with private insurers who wont pay out asap instead when shit happens? Or the various other horror stories that bubbled to the surface during the last National government’s moronic privatisation of ACC.

                      As for secondary tax, trying being poor and having secondary taxes on your wages, it is just so much fun, though I do think it should be removed as it’s a hold over from the days before IRD moved to using computers etc.

                    • mik e

                      S meathead I,m surprised you haven,t criticized the prime minster for mincing the english language .

                    • In Vino Veritas

                      And good on you, sean maitland, for spelling out that most NZ’s who make a decent income have a social conscience. But it stops at a certain point when they believe that they are being robbed. Unfortunately, with socialism, enough is never enough because far too many people end up in a position where they can vote themselves an income.

              • jem

                “I love the fake concern for the kids from the right. When their only concern is that they can reduce their taxes while bludging more of our wealth.”

                ???? Do you honestly believe that?

                So the fact that “our wealth” comes from taxes that I pay from working a 45hr day… means that I am bludging , but the people who have spent over a decade on the benefit are NOT bludging??

                Wow, now I understand the psyche of the left. Hate filled and deluded. No wonder Labour are polling so badly.

                • fender

                  jem can I come and live on your planet? 24hr days are just too short.

                  • jem

                    hahaha, you got me ! 🙂

                    I stand by the point though , just need to correct the “day” to “week” 😉

                • Colonial Viper

                  So the fact that “our wealth” comes from taxes that I pay from working a 45hr day… means that I am bludging , but the people who have spent over a decade on the benefit are NOT bludging??

                  If you backed workers rights jem, and an increased share of GDP going to ordinary incomes instead of corporates, you could make the same amount of money working just 37.5 hours a day.

                  Silly billy.

                • KJT

                  LOL.

                  Just like Key. Can’t do sums.

          • felix 5.1.1.1.2

            “What point?”

            The point being that politics should be about finding ways to help the rich, of course.

            Silly goose.

        • Blighty 5.1.1.2

          in ts’s mind, all families receiving benefits are evil and don’t care about the kids.

          Whereas if you give tax cuts to the rich, they spend it in the interests of the nation.

          What a fuckwit.

        • Tom Gould 5.1.1.3

          Same way the Tories ensured the $1000 a week given to their millioniare mates – and themselves – was saved and not blown on champagne and overseas holidays.

        • mik e 5.1.1.4

          the way is to blame the poor for being poor and let the children starve to teach them a lesson

      • jem 5.1.2

        Unfortuantely this money would never get to the vast majority of kids in this situation. It’d just buy more beer.

        If they are really concerned about the kids then they need to find a way to use the money to assist the kids directly without handing over more cash for booze!

        We have already seen in the country, for the last decade or so, that more handouts only leads to more people EXPECTING handouts. why follow the same failed ideas??

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.2.1

          Another Tory fact-free zone. Do you even think your statements through? What about all the people who have joined the dole queue over the last three years? Or the thousands who turn up for hundreds of supermarket jobs – are they suddenly drunkards? With National running the country into the ground, negative social outcomes like alcoholism are bound to increase, but your gargantuan cognitive dissonance prevents you from making even this most basic of connections.

          If I can anticipate your response, perhaps you will argue that economic strength will deliver the reduction in poverty we’d all like to see. But National are driving the country backwards economically too; we see from history that Labour do a better job on that score.

          So your definition of “failed ideas” itself fails the reality check.

          Jem, I’d like to ask you the same questions I’ve put to others: have you come by your false opinions as a result of personal observations, or because you have believed the lies you’ve been told?

          Your ignorance doesn’t really affect the well-informed, but if you people believe that information is power, having such enormous misconceptions renders you at a significant disadvantage, no?

          • jem 5.1.2.1.1

            Firstly, please keep your childish insults to yourself. I have said nothing offensive here, only added an opinion.

            No-one believes ALL beneficiaries are bludgers and boozers, but the reality is that there are a large number out there who do this and you need to find a way to change the mentality, and giving cash handouts will not encourage anyone to change anything.

            As for my experience, I see it in the people i meet, but more so I hear it for the multitude of health works i sit next to on the train every single day. They all say the same thing. the system is flawed, it gives too much to those who actually need a kick in the pants, and encourages no-one to go out and find work, look after their kids etc. everyone has “rights” and no-one has “responsibility”.

            I’m not a politician , or an accountant or a rich-prick. I’m just someone who has two eyes open and thinks that maybe instead of abusing anyone who doesn’t think exactly like you, maybe you should get out of you little angry hidy-hole and start opening your ears and not your mouth. See I can be nasty too… but it won’t get us anywhere will it…

            • McFlock 5.1.2.1.1.1

              No-one believes ALL beneficiaries are bludgers and boozers, but the reality

              [… yadda yadda more backtracking]
              Aren’t you the one that said, in capslock no less, “MORE CASH WILL NOT GO TO THE KIDS!”? Yup, here.  So by arguing that an increase in benefits means no increase in money spent on children, you were exactly saying that ALL beneficiaries would spend their money on booze not the kids.

            • mik e 5.1.2.1.1.2

              Jem Where are the 170,000 Jobs show us the jobs
              Just about all the unemployed people i know are desperate to find a job.

        • NickS 5.1.2.2

          Unfortuantely this money would never get to the vast majority of kids in this situation. It’d just buy more beer.

          Funny thing then that my mother never did that, and worse yet starved herself so me and my brother could eat. As likely would my next door neighbours.

          btw, what you think is not what others think, please go learn that whole “theory of mind” thing, a core social skill people are meant to develop before they hit their 20’s…

          If they are really concerned about the kids then they need to find a way to use the money to assist the kids directly without handing over more cash for booze!

          I heart it when NACToids get all paternal, you know, in spite of the whole “nanny state” meme they used against labour.

          We have already seen in the country, for the last decade or so, that more handouts only leads to more people EXPECTING handouts. why follow the same failed ideas??

          Evidence please or shut the ever loving fuck up.

      • infused 5.1.3

        There is no poverty in NZ. The fuck…

  6. Uturn 6

    Audrey Young is saying it will take 7 years to phase in – Labour say 6 years.

    She also says that poor people eating and their children not dying is “making life easier” for the poor.

    John Key agrees and says that if there is no difference between welfare and work, people won’t work. But he also admits that current wages aren’t liveable. Clearly welfare should mean the same as threat of death to John Key and his friends.

    So dead children and starving people is ok with them. These same sick starving people will improve our economy as a ready and able labour pool. Not possible? Then they must die and free up a few extra bucks.

    Why is it ok for government to threaten people with starvation and death should they choose not to become slaves, dying slowly in poverty?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      In the US and Europe you’ll see a resurgence in guillotine sales, for this very reason.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    I have to say, I’m a bit annoyed at Labour over this.

    I think this, and the resumption of funding of the superannuation fund, are bad things to signal in this economic environment in a campaign period where National are just going to use it as a club to clobber them with. I disagree with the contributions to the superannuation fund, while I agree with extending WFF to beneficiaries I don’t think this is the time to be trotting that policy out. Why must Labour lay out all their policies before the election, including those that span into the next term, when National clearly hasn’t? Why couldn’t they just hold that singular element back, and then when they got into power roll it out when the accounts were good enough to allow them to?

    In the case of WFF it’s doublely-edged because when it was introduced it was specifically targetted at people in work, as a way of reducing the high tax abatements for those entering the workforce from a benefit. If you give the cash out to everyone on benefits, then you remove that abatement rate tempering. The whole name of it, “Working For Families” and “In-Work Tax Credit” is all predicated on the idea of paying people who are working, so extending it out to beneficiaries is just a huge PR blunder. Labour would have been better off not announcing this, and then announcing a name change and tweaks in budget 2012 and taking it from there.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      What you say has logic Lanth, but the aim of these launches was to grab media attention and prove a very simple fact: that Labour is willing to make tough calls on our long term future, and to stand by them, whereas National can barely get any short term plans together.

      Now, if the electorate votes decisively that National’s approach is what it prefers, then that’s the nature of democracy.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Their whole policy platform without extending WFF to beneficaries would still gain media attention, except it would be positive and not negative, and not yet another club for National to beat them with.

        You only have to read the stuff comments to see how polarising this idea is. I think it’ll lose them more votes than it’ll gain.

    • tsmithfield 7.2

      Lanth, as I said above, its damage control. They actually don’t think they will get in, so they are trying to shore up as much traditional support as possible.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        I don’t really believe that. National only has to end down at around 45%, which is what they got last time after polling 50%+, and it’s game on with the election decided by the minor parties.

        • insider 7.2.1.1

          Agree with a lot of what you say above Lanth on the PR issues – and agree with TS that this could annoy a lot of those workers who might be Labour supporters traditionally who see themselves as struggling honestly to get ahead but punished for working (and if I were the Nats that’s what I’d be pushing). Why not just announce it as what it is – a benefit increase? I suspect the reason is because Labour don’t want to be positioned that way and see WFF as providing some form of masking for the negative PR effect.

          It is however in line with core Labour tradition – so not that dramatic – and may stop any bleed to the Greens/Mana/Maori.

    • Blue 7.3

      In political terms it’s not a smart thing to do. Bashing beneficiaries will always be more popular with the electorate than helping them. But it fits into Labour’s theme of doing what is right, not what is popular.

      It’s hard to watch Labour do things that will damage their chances of getting elected, but I’m finding it refreshing to see a major political party that won’t back down on important issues just because the accepted wisdom is that it’s political suicide to bring them up.

      Labour are getting back to their core principles, and it’s great to see it, even if they don’t win.

      • Lanthanide 7.3.1

        Yeah, but they can still do those things after they’re elected. They don’t need to talk about doing them now, especially if that diminishes their chances of actually being able to do them.

        That’s the clear contrast with National – they’re hardly saying anything, giving the electorate a blank canvas to project their own ideas on.

        • Blue 7.3.1.1

          I see Labour’s honesty as yet another example of what I said above. Doing what is right involves telling the electorate what you are going to be doing before you get into power.

        • insider 7.3.1.2

          But they had left a 700m hole in the accounts for this so couldn’t withold it. They may have been better positioning this as going with better economic times. WFF came in a boom period so was able to be presented as affordable. This is coming at the wrong time when fiscal responsibility is the key theme.

          PS are benefits inflation adjusted?

      • seanmaitland 7.3.2

        I thought Labour was originally the “working-class” party?

        Now from the outside looking in, it seems their values are wealth-redistribution, and supporting people to breed.

        The average working-class person is no longer represented by Labour – unless they want to breed or no longer work.

        • mik e 7.3.2.1

          We’ve exported just about all our manufacturing jobs overseas
          There will be permanent unemployment in the years to come unless we have a plan other than bashing bene’s

        • Blue 7.3.2.2

          Labour is the party of the workers. And from time to time, workers lose their jobs. And when that happens, they need support for themselves and their families until they can get another job.

          A party which represents working people understands that.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Lanth, then why would they announce this sort of policy that they must surely know will sway a lot more people away from Labour than it sways towards them? From the feedback I have heard that is coming through various media outlets, most people hate the idea. Also, it contradicts the meme of financial responsibility Labour has been pushing. Mate, they have thrown in the towel. You should cash in your Ipredict positions while you still have a chance.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      yeah more TS bullshit, I see the Labour candidates in the electorates around me kicking ass. Half the time the National candidates refuse to even front to public meetings to answer questions.

      And in the electorate whose campaign I am assisting, we are way more visible than in 2008.

      • King Kong 8.1.1

        I am pretty sure that your anecdotal evidence of Labour crushing National in this election is the same kind of vacuous fantasy as most of your comments.

        Labour actually came out of the blocks quite well at the beginning of the campaign and had me sitting up and taking notice. Unfortunately for you it smashed into a wall at the end of last week with the costings fiasco and it has quite obviously taken the air out of the lungs of the activist based. It was particularly obvious at the Standard where you can see most authors trying hard but their hearts aren’t in it.

        This policy is the equivalent of the Labour falling on their sword.

        • TighyRighty 8.1.1.1

          To quote witless left wing standard commentators

          “+100”

          Problem is for labour, the electorate saw this for what it is, a pathetic pork barrel attempt at a policy. Annette king, when asked why the policy wasn’t implemented while she was in government, “I’ve seen over the last three years….” you mean since you got turfed? If you knew three years ago, you were basically still in power. Pathetic

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      You wishing that Labour have given up doesn’t make it so, ts.

      Your argument is unconvincing. I think this is a bad strategic move, but it’s not a sign that they’ve “thrown in the towel”.

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        Lanth, either they’re strategic incompetents, or they are trying to minimize the damage.

        You seem to be leaning more towards the the former in your interpretation. I am inclined to be a bit more generous and assume the latter.

    • insider 8.3

      Disagree this is desperation. This policy would have been planned for months. Desperation would have been not releasing it through fear of alienating the core further.

  9. nadis 9

    Would be interested in someone closer to the decisions commenting on why extending WFF to beneficiaries is “good” policy now, yet the previous Labour govt fought tooth and nail against the CPAG’s legal campaign to have it declared discriminatory? Just as much child poverty then as now.

    Have to agree with the gist of Lanthanide and others- this smacks of last throw of the dice desperation. It’s certainly easy to paint that way and the middle class voter Labour needs to win back will be offended by this. This policy will specifically offend not just the “rich pricks”, it will also offend every low income worker who is battling to stay afloat. Now if the same funding was pumped into programs like providing low decile schools with funds to run breakfast programs or similar then the vast majority of NZ would say “great policy, money well spent”. How hard would it be to deliver a pallet of Up n Go to a school once a month?

    I’m never gonna be a labour voter while they have their current senior personnel, but I do believe strongly in at least one policy – the tax free threshold. Make this big enough and you don’t need to fartarse around with other redistributive policies and complicated tomfoolery like no gst on some fruit and veg. Big tax free threshold. Lower compliance costs for everyone and you get a way bigger multiplier effect on the economy than you get for the same type of reduction at the top end.

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    If you pay people to sit at home and do nothing based on the number of children they have will the underclass grow smaller? What do you think?

    • r0b 10.1

      Are you proposing doing away with the benefit system? If not, why not?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.1

        Answer my question. Then I will answer yours.

        • r0b 10.1.1.1

          I think the underclass will not grow larger if we pay benefits big enough to lift more kids out of poverty.

          I think the “lifestyle” beneficiaries that the Right love to hate are a small and fixed percentage, and it won’t change as benefits go up or down.

          I think most people on the benefit don’t want to be there, and the 60,000 extra on the benefit since the Nats took office aren’t there because they suddenly decided to get lazy, they’re there because the got screwed by forces beyond their control.

          I think their kids deserve enough to eat.

          I think arguments like yours are completely facile and unworthy of a caring country.

          Your turn. 

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.1.1.1

            Am I proposing doing away with the benefit system?

            No.

            If not, why not?

            Because I do not want people starving to death. They are not entitled to demand anything of anyone else but no-one begrudges helping out those in genuine hardship up to a point. We are beyond that point. We have in place a system which guarantees that everyone has enough to get by. It is dishonest to define poverty is a relative thing. It is an absolute thing. The definitions the left use mean that their definition of poverty is actually a definition of inequality. I do not understand from where this right to be not greatly worse off than everyone else comes.

            However, the default position to any hardship suffered by anyone seems to be that everyone else is required to fix the problem. No-one starts by trying to fix their own problems anymore, they complain that something must be done (by someone else). In fairness to them, they have reached this point because, for a generation, they have been told that nothing that happens to them is their fault and there is nothing they can do to improve their situation.

            I know it is fashionable to snigger at the concept, but what’s so funny about self-reliance?

            • r0b 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We have in place a system which guarantees that everyone has enough to get by.

              No we don’t, we have system that was set up to deliver less than that, and has been significantly eroded since. That’s why we have kids going hungry, and kids dying of preventable third-world disease (making a comeback in NZ after decades of absence).

              It is dishonest to define poverty is a relative thing.

              Well why don’t you head right on over to the Ministry of Social Development and tell them that they are wrong in their definitions (oh and by the way most other OECD countries are wrong because they use the same relative definitions too).

              No-one starts by trying to fix their own problems anymore

              What a stupid thing to say. I think you must have a very narrow circle of acquaintances.

              what’s so funny about self-reliance?

              The 60,000 extra on the benefit since Key took office were all self reliant. Now they’re on the benefit. Did they suddenly get lazy? What bullshit.

              I know it is fashionable to snigger at the concept, but what’s so funny about compassion?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                When did it become fashionable to snigger at compassion? Quite the reverse. Faux-compassion using other people’s money is all the rage.

                • r0b

                  You’re accusing me of faux compassion OB?

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    No. Not even slightly. You strike me as being very genuine.

                    • r0b

                      I’m a member of the Labour Party, proposing this policy that you so disparage. I’m happy to pay for it through higher personal taxes. Who do you think the Labour Party is? It’s made up of people like me. Take your accusations of “faux” compassion and shove ’em!

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Done.

                      Why do you people always want to be compassionate with other people’s money?

                    • r0b

                      I’m happy to contribute my money OB.  You can think of all your taxes personally going to police, or prisons, or the army, or whatever shines your buttons, if you think that will help.

                      Why do you want to be so greedy as to see children going hungry and dying of preventable diseases?

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      You’re accusing me of being greedy, r0b?

                    • McFlock

                      We’re also compassionate with our own money.
                      But some selfish fucks fail to realise that children dying from preventable third-world diseases in Upper Hutt is a Very Bad Thing ™. So democracy steps in to redistribute the wealth and opportunity, just a little bit.

                    • r0b

                      Afraid so – sorry.  Can’t see what else it comes down to in the end, this complaint about “other people’s money”.  We all pay taxes.  Its’s the price of living in a civilised society.  I don’t like some of what the government does with my money.  You don’t like other things it does.  And round and round and round it goes.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Wanting to keep your own money is greedy. Wanting to take it off other people is compassionate.

                      Got it.

                    • r0b

                      Closing your eyes to suffering so that you don’t have to give up some small percentage of luxury is greedy, yes.

                      Wanting all to contribute to the health and wellbeing of society is compassionate, yes.

                      And if you’re suggesting a system where we only have to pay taxes for the things we approve of, well, good luck with that…

                    • Lanthanide

                      Wanting to keep your money so you can spend it on whatever trinkets you want while children go hungry and die, is greedy.

                      Giving some of that money to those children is compassionate.

                      Glad we’re on the same page.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Drawing on your extensive knowledge of my personal circumstances, I see.

                    • RedLogix

                      Wanting to keep your own money is greedy. Wanting to take it off other people is compassionate.

                      Not being willing to share your good fortune is greedy.

                      The problem with RWNJ’s like you is that you always perceive that ALL of the income you are paid was due entirely by your own good looks, wonderous talents and hard hard work. Yet in reality on your own, as an isolated individual from society… you would earn nothing. You would in fact die in fairly short order of a lack of food, medical care or sheer loneliness.

                      All humans are intriniscally social creatures. We survive, indeed thrive, because we don’t compete with each other and instead share resources. Co-operation is the outstanding feature of our species success; competition is only useful in a few relatively narrow niches of human endeavour where the outcome can be easily determined with a single measure. Most of our efforts are far more complex than this.

                      Those who don’t share are cheats, usually exploiting privileged positions to avoid doing what the rest are happy to do.

                      In a small tribal setting such cheats become quickly known to everyone and are shunned or expelled. Unfortunately in a large society like ours many like you can hide in sheer numbers and escape approbrium. (Although not always… in the district I live in there is no-one more despised than farmers running multi-million dollar enterprises while presenting community services cards everywhere.)

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Those who don’t share are cheats, usually exploiting privileged positions to avoid doing what the rest are happy to do.

                      Oh, I share. And I share. And I share.

                      You might show a little gratitude.

                    • RedLogix

                      Oh, I share. And I share. And I share.

                      Well quite grizzling and you might get a little love for it.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      That, I very much doubt.

    • Tangled up in blue 10.2

      Of the total number of people unemployed in the September quarter 2,800 people (1.85%) have been unemployed for over two years.

      83.3% of those unemployed have been so for less than a year.

      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey_HOTPSep11qtr.aspx

  11. Man that picture is like something the GOP would of done for Bush.

  12. starboard 12

    Your lot had 9 years to fix “poverty”. Why didnt you do it then? It hasnt just come about under the National govt ..please explain.

    • r0b 12.1

      Yeah – for the ten thousandth time – Under the last labour government 1999 – 2008 poverty fell measurably in NZ.  Too slowly, but it did fall.  WFF gets most of the credit.  Now under National poverty is increasing again.  Citations for both claims are here:
      /children-in-poverty/

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      I’m interested in how you came to your conclusion, Starboard. As you can see from r0b’s response. you simply have your facts wrong, but what I’d like to know is: were you making a personal observation or repeating a lie you’ve been told?

      A couple more questions: how do you feel about those fact-free holes in your opinions? How many others are there?

  13. Dan Hansen 13

    Thanks guys you have just handed the election to National and posioned the vast majority of swing voters against labour…..

    • r0b 13.1

      So you’re the “silent majority” are you Dan?  That’s great! I’ve always wanted to meet you!

      • Dan Hansen 13.1.1

        No the silent majority are those represented in Nationals 50%+ poll rating…

        • Lanthanide 13.1.1.1

          They’re not exactly “silent” when they crow about beneficiaries wasting money on cigarettes and alcohol etc.

          • Dan Hansen 13.1.1.1.1

            They also won’t be ‘silent’ when they vote National into 3 more years and Phil Goff into retirement

            Anybody want to comment on the likely impact on the polls of this announcement?

            Will be a lot of what you call ‘rogue’ polls I suspect 🙂

            • The Voice of Reason 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Which polls, Dan? 4 of the last 5 have Labour’s vote increasing and all have the overall gap between the left and the right closing. Even our monkey of a PM has spotted that the election is going to be close, so well planned policy is going to be important and offering something to children that their parents are going to think is worth voting for is winning politics.

              • Dan Hansen

                As i stated the ‘likely impact’ in the polls to the this policy

                In case that not clear, this means FUTURE polls not historical polls as you refer to

                • mik e

                  Dan if you are so worried about the labour party why don’t you join it and then you can turn it into the National party just like roger douglas did.
                  If labour misses out this election
                  Nationals policy mix will see to its demise next election
                  Don’t count your chooks before they hatch

                  • Dan Hansen

                    I’m not worried, i’m pleased about the labour parties demise and the general rejection by Rob’s ‘silent majority’ of left wing thinking….

                    In fact the welfare announcement (judging by the water cooler talk) may have done untold harm to people’s perception of the labour party and what it stands for….hopefully enough to ensure 6 more years of national

                    And we also have an intriguing labour party factional bloodletting to look forward to post election and the upcoming irrelevancy of Winston

                    Finally, the rise of the green party is a promising development as they the real future of the left wing …..as soon as they drop some of their more loopy economic policies and focus on ‘green’

                    All in all its good times

                    • mik e

                      Rob’s silent minority he got in with less votes than labour
                      He borrowed and hoped just like Bills english and smugkey left the country in debt up to its eyeballs just like this lot drunk with power smug idiot like robyn malcolm said more worried about getting his smug on TV than starving children.

        • joe90 13.1.1.2

          Would this suit your silent majority Dan?

          It began as a way to control welfare spending on poor white women and men, but over time, North Carolina shifted focus, targeting more women and more blacks than whites. A third of the sterilizations performed in North Carolina were done on girls under the age of 18. Some were as young as nine years old.

    • dave brown 13.2

      These swing voters have poisoned themselves. They don’t lose a dollar of WFF by having it extended to beneficiaries’ families. The thing that is killing them is their nasty mindless status envy and need to keep social distance between themselves and the ‘underclass’ as they try to emulate the selfish parasitism of their ‘betters’ above them. They deserve National and National deserves them.

      • King Kong 13.2.1

        Its funny, I read that comment as; Fuck you hard working taxpayers for not wanting to increase the already large ammount of your money going to the idolent.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1.1

          Why is every single right winger on this blog addicted to brainless bullshit?
          Are the extra 60,000 people on the dole “idolent” (sic)? Were they indolent when they had jobs? How about the thousands who turn up for supermarket jobs? Are they indolent?

          So, KK, how did you come by your ignorance? Is it home grown or have you been lied to?

    • McFlock 13.3

      Hey Dan – this is something in the region of the tenth time a tory troll has announced that “labour has just handed the election to national” (or words to that effect).

      So it seems that as soon as Labour hand over the election victory, the nats hand it right back. Which seems to make the contest neck and neck.

      • Dan Hansen 13.3.1

        What is this ‘neck and neck’ you speak of – me think you looking at a different race?

        • McFlock 13.3.1.1

          as in constantly swapping the election outcome. I know that, as a tory, you have comprehension issues, but for Labour to repeatedly hand the election to the national party, they must first have it in their possession.
           
          Oh, and a three-point swing in the polls means National’s fucked. No coalition partners beyond trace-element seats like UF and ACT, and they’re by no means guaranteed a presence.

          • Dan Hansen 13.3.1.1.1

            I only called it once so your logic doesn’t quite work…..

            In anycase happy to take a bet that a National led coalition will win by more than 3%…..and that the main topic on this site in December will be who will be the next labour leader

            • McFlock 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Ok, so in your opinion was every tory prior to you who said that labour had given away the election wrong? Labour was in possession of the election for all that time until you made your prescient call?

              I don’t believe I’m betting on the election. If Labour/Greens (+Alliance, i can but hope 🙂 ) win it would be the best xmas present possible and bode a significant fall in child poverty. If national win (52% nat, 1% Act/UF/Maori your call?) it would signify, among other things, losing half our major assets to the tune of billions of dollars.
               
              I think the stakes are big enough already.

              • Dan Hansen

                I don’t know the context of their statements so can’t comment. Labour had a slight chance before the policy announcement – now they just protecting their core and ensuring there not a complete collapse

                I pick national will get 48% or 49% plus banks and dunne (and post event the Maori party enter the tent)

                I have no problem with partial asset sales – what control do we lose with 51% ownership that we had with 100% ownership?

                • mik e

                  Control of lost dividends income you idiot $400 to $500 millions worth look at company profits for the four energy companies at record level that lost dividend is short term thinking from Key win this election maybe the next and when the shit hits the fan he’ll be in Hawaii enjoying the sun with his Knighthood for hoodwinking economic illiterates like your self

                  • Dan Hansen

                    But you compensated for loss of divdends by the sale proceeds….so it theoretically a zero sum game if both the buyer and seller have same expectations on future performance (and you can realise those expectations via the IPO process)

                    There are levels of control you lose between 100% and 51% – for example requirement for board votes on issues such as strategic direction, debt and dividend policy, board representation, material changes in the business including divestments / acquisitions and major capex spend.

                    You may be able to run a good argument that at 51% control power companies will find it harder to justify investments with a social angle as they solely focused on achieving a return greater than their cost of capital

                    Personally the above to issues (real control lost at 51% vs 100% and pressure from the new minority shareholders to solely focus on the bottom line) are fair greater reasons to be against asset sales than the silly concept of lost dividends

                    • mik e

                      DH the profits have been at record levels since mad max bradford deregulated the industry . Their has been no social imperative since mad max[Good BS spin though no evidence other than National party propaganda]
                      So how do you equate loss of $450 million a year in dividends and when borrowing is costing 6% and dividends are in excess of 20%
                      Thats not ZERO you idiot thats a 14% loss to the tax payer every year, after year ten that is a loss of 20% +the asset is no longer in our ownership God you are a good spin doctor[BS artist]
                      But an economic imbecile!

                • McFlock

                  Well, we lose the control of the directors being able to be instructed to work to the wider interests of the owners where instructed (e.g. “don’t make so much of a profit on power prices in winter”), as opposed being obliged to work to the interests of the company itself (“maximise profits however possible”).

                  • Dan Hansen

                    see above – I agree!

                    • McFlock

                      So you see one of the points against them, but still have “no problem” with asset sales.

                      The other issue is that the purchase amount doesn’t make it a zero-sum game. Buyers only buy if they can make a profit (short or long term), either by asset stripping or by accruing dividends over a longer period of time.

                      NZ govt isn’t planning on being wound up any time soon, so it should play the long term game. With asset sales, either way in the long term we lose.

                    • Dan Hansen

                      I cant seem to reply directly to the messages above or below

                      Response below
                      ……………………………………..

                      Re it not being a zero sun game
                      – to asset strip buyers would need control which they don’t have (Under Companies Act they would need 75%)
                      – buyers will be attracted to the low yield, stable nature of cash flows and ability to hold a new asset class
                      – you forgetting it not all about return – you cant look at return / yield without looking at risk and these companies ARE low risk
                      – for example, the govt. will never admit it, but there an implicit government guarantee on the survival of power companies which to a large degree underwrites risk (admittedly this more a benefit for debt holders)
                      – being listed will theoretically improve the earnings of these companies given greater transparency, access to capital to expand and liquidity – hence this provides buyers with the excess return they demand

                      Re mike and his “yield on dividends is 20% vs 6% interest” comment above. I could tell you why you wrong and explain that there is no way that the yield is 20% but you obviously lack the background to understand the concepts, so I will let it lie.

                    • McFlock

                      Thread width limit reached, hence no “reply to”.

                      Fair call on asset stripping, but maximising profits to the detriment of the country is an issue, especially given the limited market size of the electricity sector.

                      “- you forgetting it not all about return – you cant look at return / yield without looking at risk and these companies ARE low risk”
                        
                      payment price is a function of the risk+return of the asset. The low risk would have been borne by the govt, but as you say, it’s low.

                      “- for example, the govt. will never admit it, but there an implicit government guarantee on the survival of power companies which to a large degree underwrites risk (admittedly this more a benefit for debt holders)”
                       
                      That bumps the purchase price up a bit, but not to the point that the purchaser wants to make a loss on the deal.

                      “- being listed will theoretically improve the earnings of these companies given greater transparency, access to capital to expand and liquidity – hence this provides buyers with the excess return they demand”

                      Lol. Love that sharemarket at the moment! And I just did that little mental substitution from “access to capital to expand and liquidity” to “selling even more of them”.

                      The only transparency our generators and power suppliers need is a competent minister.

                    • Dan Hansen

                      We appear to agree on the individual cost and benefits of assets sales, we just weigh each factor differently 🙂

                      The key issue will be the terms of the constitution. What rights does the government retain regarding strategic direction, dividend / debt policy and protections for consumers

                      If those protections aren’t strong enough I would soon change my view. -> it is those protections that the left should be campaigning for rather than trying to mislead people that we selling assets and losing control

                    • McFlock

                      Weighting has nothing to do with it – a purchaser is always going to want to take more money out that they initially put in. That will be our loss.
                       
                      And the constitution of the company has nothing to do with it – as soon as the company goes out of 100% ownership, the directors are legally requires to work to the benefit of the company, not the whim of the majority shareholder.
                       
                      E.g. Kiwirail buying carriages from overseas – there was the option of purchasing its own better but more expensive carriages made in NZ, and saving hundreds of NZ jobs. Under partial asset sales, that would not be an option even if the govt of the day was so inclined. 
                       

                    • Dan Hansen

                      Bugger we dont agree 🙁

                      Re purchaser always wanting to take more out. That assumes the counterfactual for performance the same under both 51% and 100% ownership scenarios

                      I content that under 51% scenaria, there an increased earnings stream due to reasons i mentioned before (transpancy, liquidity, focus on bottom line, access to capital etc)

                      It is partially this higher earnings stream that investors willing to pay a premium for that will ultimately given them the return they require (plus ability to access a unique low risk asset with an implicit govt guarentee).

                      A fixed 49% ownership limit, limits on individual shaeholding and Companies Act requirement for 75% vote allays concerns regarding asset stripping and ultimate control passing to those evil offshore investors

                      Re constitution – agree re directors, but similar to telecom, concepts like Kiwi Share do offer protection to consumers. Im sure similar methods will be applied to power companies though I agree the company will be operated (other than specific carveouts) to maximise the bottom line (hence increase earnings vs countfactual but tradeoff is likely reduction in social benefits if these cant be protected)

                    • McFlock

                      Dan, your transparency bonus (for want of a better term) in a 49% sale would need to be >49% improvement in profits in order for the country to be better off.
                        
                       
                      That’s pretty bloody theoretical – but the definite cost is 49% of any profits in perpetuity. Additionally one of your improvements (“focus on the bottom line”) proves my point: at the moment directors focus on the bottom line unless the 100% owner says “no, it’s better for the country if you focus on a particular positive externality”. Not possible under combined ownership.
                       

                      And Kiwishare was a farce.

  14. Uturn 14

    Well, one thing is clear: like the increase of Super age, Labour just ripped the direction of the debate back from National. Good work. The campaign is now moving forward again.

  15. starboard 15

    IMO we have nil poverty. Ive travelled the world , just returned from India. Now they have poverty. Real poverty. Define poverty for me from your point of view.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Absolute poverty isn’t the issue so much as income inequality, Starboard. But if you want a definition of poverty, how about “the void in the Tory brain where compassion should be”? Or perhaps you would prefer a less partisan metric. How about “the ethical bankruptcy of a government that presides over an increase of third world diseases”?

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      We have the highest rates of some diseases normally considered 3rd world in the OECD.

      Clearly we have poverty.

      • infused 15.2.1

        Poverty is not having the basic human necessities.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.1

          You don’t get to redefine English to suit your personal bias. Poverty is defined by a variety of measures, including but not limited to “The state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.” “Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter.”

          And right now, not only do we have people unable to access basic health care, we also have a resurgence of third world disease.

          Does pissing around with sophistry and semantics address the problem? No, and neither do this failed government’s policies.

          • infused 15.2.1.1.1

            “The state of being poor” is a pretty wide reaching term don’t you think? Where do you think I took that line “Poverty is not having the basic human necessities.”

            The English dictionary.

            Thanks for playing.

            • Dan Hansen 15.2.1.1.1.1

              The lefts real definition of poverty is “when one group of people earn less than everybody else”.

              They are hypocritcs though, as I highly doubt any contributors to this site donate an amount such that their own income falls to say the minimum wage (or benefit level) so they can help others less fortunate

              They ARE HAPPY to suggest / promote that OTHER PEOPLE fund this distribution from their salary though….

              • McFlock

                Nope. Generally the two major measures are <60% or <50% of the average (ISTR mean, not median) income. Yes, largely arbitray, but it’s at those levels where multiple hits on hardship criteria tend to come up (e.g. insufficient wet weather gear or doing without home heating due to income limitations).

                • Dan Hansen

                  But that is relative poverty not absolute

                  Somebody on 60% of the average wage in NZ is a damn sight better off in terms of health, opportunities etc etc than somebody on 60% of the average wage in say India

                  • McFlock

                    Not quite – the indicator measure is relative, the hardship levels that result from that income measure are absolute (e.g. a kid going to school on an empty stomach is an absolute).

                     
                    And quibbling over a few percent in tax dollars that would save lives in Mangere simply because it won’t help the starving in India is a bit retarded. 

                    Do millions of kids in india have it worse than most kids in the Hutt? Mostly. I’d suggest that the dead ones in each place are pretty equal, though.

                    • Dan Hansen

                      But the % of dead in India from poverty would be much much higher than in NZ

                      In fact has a kid ever died from hunger in NZ?

                      Here’s a solution -> if you earn under a certain amount you get a free ticket to India where in relative terms you will be a ‘rich prick’ and can enjoy the privilege of being taxed?

                    • NickS

                      What.
                      The.
                      Fuck?

                      Cthulhu you’re utterly ignorant, some from NZ going over to India would end up middle class unless they had a high level jop, and wouldn’t pay any more tax likely than what they pay here, let alone viewed as a “rich prick”.

                      And India’s problems are their issues, not ours you muppet, unless they’re major natural disasters or part of UN aid work.

                    • McFlock

                      Absolutes, remember? dead is dead.
                      “In fact has a kid ever died from hunger in NZ?”
                      Because hunger is the only poverty-related cause of death?
                      But “ever”? Almost certainly yes. 

                      “Here’s a solution -> if you earn under a certain amount you get a free ticket to India where in relative terms you will be a ‘rich prick’ and can enjoy the privilege of being taxed?”

                      Your idiocy fails to address the real hardship that is the consequence of the relative measure of poverty.
                        
                      Benefits and social services are about removing a hardship so that the morbidity/mortality/etc fails to eventuate, not just transferring it to India so fucktards can say “oh, I know you’ve got a severe respiratory infection, but that kid over there has leprosy! Feel lucky, punk!” 
                         
                      Social Welfare, primary healthcare and education spending are about preventing the respiratory illness in the first place – and are generally cheaper than flights to India, jails or tertiary healthcare.

              • mik e

                DH just to prove your point why not try to survive on that level of income, like all others before you you no doubt will have some excuse.why not go and see and be friend a poor family and see what there real situation is before writing them off. get up close and personable. You don’t have the balls

                • Dan Hansen

                  Why dont you donate all your income so you left with the minimum wage yourself …it would show you actually believe what you state – you dont have the balls (or more likely already a net beneficary from the government)

                  • NickS

                    So if we disagree with you, we’re obviously beneficiaries if we play by stupid assumptions? Which somehow means we have no right to state an opinion…

                    Also, you haven’t answered the question, aka you’ve attempted to move teh goalposts in a rather failtastic method.

                    Please try again.

                    • Dan Hansen

                      So you admitting the previous statement was a stupid assumption? Im impressed you seen the light

                      I never said you cant have an opinion…..in fact i welcome it just as this site (appears) to welcome dissenting views

                      Im not sure what a failtastic method is sorry – i looked it up on google it came up with some example about a ‘penis being stuck in a gutter’ (see below). Obviously i not up with the lingo as the conversion appears to being taking a disturbing twist

                      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=failtastic

                    • RedLogix

                      The truly fascinating thing is how RWNJ’s can only understand ‘poverty’ as something like living in a cardboard hovel in a slum, ankle deep in sewerage, scavenging for living… as they see overseas.

                      Now of course the shocking thing about India is not the poverty… it’s the wealth. That kind of extreme, absolute poverty is almost always seen cheek by jowl with an elite who enjoy fabulous wealth… far more than we even see in this country.

                      That kind of poverty is all very well in a warm or hot country. It’s deadly in cold or temperate climates like ours. You simply don’t survive the winter. It’s one reason why the most determinedly socialist nations are usually found closest to the polar regions.

                    • NickS

                      So you admitting the previous statement was a stupid assumption? Im impressed you seen the light

                      Sense, please make it.

                      I never said you cant have an opinion…..in fact i welcome it just as this site (appears) to welcome dissenting views

                      Right, that’s because you didn’t say this:

                      you dont have the balls (or more likely already a net beneficary from the government)

                      Which has some rather obvious negative implications.

                      Im not sure what a failtastic method is sorry – i looked it up on google it came up with some example about a ‘penis being stuck in a gutter’ (see below). Obviously i not up with the lingo as the conversion appears to being taking a disturbing twist

                      You also fail at working out the meaning of a word by it’s context within a sentence or larger written structure. Try again.

                  • mik e

                    DH our family is in the top 10% of income earners .And we have been donating time and money to social programs of various types.I do have the balls to do that all you have is smug Narcissism!

                    • Dan Hansen

                      Yes but do you donate it all? Could you give more to help others…..

                    • McFlock

                      Some people do. They’re called monks. Other than that, what’s your point? That someone who doesn’t donate ALL their income is as evil as someone who donates NONE?

      • tekapodreaming 15.2.2

        Hi Lathanide

        I’ve been looking for this dataset for some time for a project i’m working on – could you help me out with a link to the data.

    • mik e 15.3

      Difference is we are a so-cold first world country .Relative poverty has consequences,$6 billion per year is lost to the economy that would help pay of the debt a lot quicker yes or no

    • mik e 15.4

      starboredRighty Maybe your solution is to ship all our poor people to India so they feel better the ones that haven’t left for AUS

  16. Cin77 16

    I think this is a great policy.

    I’m a solo mum with one kid and no job. For a weeks meat I usually get a 2kg bag of chicken, any other meat is simply unaffordable. I very rarely buy fresh fruit and veges because the price is prohibitive, luckly we can have fruit from the garden soon; I’m really missing the taste.

    I’ve also applied for 14 jobs in the last two weeks and only 1 even bothered getting back to me to let know I’m not required.

    I’m lucky that I can rent my mothers house where the fruit trees are well established, and the rent is not as high as market so I can have little luxuries like the internet. My sister is not so lucky, she has 3 kids and is trying to start up her own business, her and her kids even lived with me for a year because rent is so high she got stuck with a choice, pay the rent or feed the kids. What good is a roof over your head when your stomach is screaming blue murder. People are struggling, and there is no relief.

    • infused 16.1

      Listen to talkback. It’s not going down well and I agree with all the comments. This is a stupid policy. There is no poverty in NZ.

      • PC Brigadier 16.1.1

        No, probably not in YOUR NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        What infused means to say is “THERE IS NO POVERTY IN MISSION BAY”

      • fender 16.1.3

        infused is confused, arrogant,obnoxious,blind and stupid. “there is no poverty in N.Z” reminds me of the blam blam blam song:
        there is no depression in new zealand
        there are no sheep on our farms
        there is no depression in new zealand
        we can all keep perfectly calm…..

        I guess your idea of necessities for life begin and end with fresh air.

      • NickS 16.1.4

        There is no poverty in NZ.

        Just like there’s no child abuse, let alone a welfare system.

        Also:

        Listen to talkback

        Sure, when it stops being the home of racist, misogynistic rightwing fuckwits with presenters those role is to rile them up and can’t even grasp the basics of not using argumentative fallacies with liberal abandon and wilfully lie their arses off.

        • fender 16.1.4.1

          Precisely why I’ll never again listen to RightWing ZB, especially monKeys neighbour Larry Williams.

          • NickS 16.1.4.1.1

            Heh, one of these days I might have to engage in some talk-back trolling and record it for posterity…

  17. One Anonymous Bloke 17

    Advice to people thinking of emigrating to NZ: “don’t.”

  18. giovani 18

    None of us deserve the curse of national.
    Vote the traitors out.

  19. Rain33 19

    I do not like this policy at all. Firstly I am not one of those people that denies poverty exists in New Zealand, it obviously does. Secondly I agree it is all about the kids. But, and here is the rub, I cannot see how putting a bit of extra money in the pockets of the poorest in the community is going to help one bit.

    These are what I call “lazy policies”… Here’s a few extra dollars, now go away and improve your lot. Those children living in poverty often come from households with quite complex problems. If Labour really wanted to help these families they would direct the money straight at the children. First identify the families in need then target them with direct intervention from support agencies ensuring these kids have safe transport to and from school and preschool, breakfast, lunch, access to educational equipment, school books etc etc.

    Lazy policies…throw money at the problem and it will go away….yeah right. Nothing here to improve the lot of these kids. Ask yourself, if there was a family in need in your area how would you help? I was in that position and we all helped by taking the kids to and from school, making sure they had lunch, helping with clothing, school gear etc etc. The last thing I would have thought of doing would be giving them money, too easy, too useless. That was not their issue. People often say that it is insulting to these families to assume they are not able to manage their own lives and their own money, well wake up…it just happens to be true, and they are often the first to admit it.

    I am between voting for Labour or Green, this has done nothing at all to sure up my vote. Very disappointing with an air of desperation.

    • KJT 19.1

      I will repeat the policy agin for you as you have obviously not read it.

      Isn’t this what you are asking for.

      Provide free 24 hours a day seven days a week access to primary health care for all under 6s – through new funding, not cuts to other services;
      Extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks in two steps;
      Provide high quality ECE and parent support from 18 months to 3 years for very vulnerable children;

      Support all parents by registering every child with a Well Child provider of their parents’ choice before birth and resourcing those providers to assist families who need additional support;

      • Rain33 19.1.1

        I am fully aware of that. I just completely disagree with dishing out extra money and think that money should have been directed elsewhere, and would have been better spent in more support for these families. $70 – $80 x 120’000 per week…you do the sums.

  20. One Anonymous Bloke 20

    Rain33 I think you may be missing the point: putting money in the pockets of people who will spend it will provide a boost to the economy, with a consequent positive effect on the job market and social outcomes.

  21. David 21

    Sorry y’all saying this is last minute Labour desperation: this has been more or less sorted in Labour policy since quite a way back.

    Some points being missed: Contra Peter Dunne and JK, incentives arent being thrown out the window with this one: actually rising wages and minimum wages along with tax cuts and erosion of benefits against average wages greatly reduce the Effective Marginal Tax Rate effect, and even with the In Work Tax Credit (IWTC) gone, there is still a gap between the benefit and low income jobs.

    The IWTC was supposed to address child poverty: that’s why it was given as a tax credit to low income working families. Trouble was the poorest children were denied the tax credit (because parents didnt meet paid work requirements), meaning it didnt just miss the main target, it actively excluded them. Simplest way to fix this- and to target most poverty directly- is to effectively remove the IWTC.

    Meanwhile, you continue to reward work through paying people properly (and, yes, making work pay). So, it’s not as if Labour is giving something people have ‘earned’ to people who havent earned it. It’s giving something people were given to help them survive on low wages to those who are surviving on lower still benefits.

  22. anne 22

    Key promised before the election that there are going to be “Much,Much deeper cuts and those will include everyone” his words before he started kissing babies and any available female in what could be seen as a tv reality show,’A day in the life of our PM’ this is utter rubbish when he is planning on evoking the biggest,meanist,degrading,shit in a life time, the last happened before Savage, a labour man of course,got nz into work,got people out of poverty,built houses,all of these human needs policies have been bought in by Labour party’s,national have screwed the country over and over again.
    Corruption is rife in the national style politics of keeping things secret and these need to be investigated.
    The difficulty with the media for labour is that national appears to have bought all media.
    A large payment went to sky tv from nz on air,a murdoch owned company,so that takes
    care of the papers.
    Mediaworks got a help out with tax payers money,that takes care of the rest,so that is
    most of the population that get pro-key and national coverage,my biggest delight on election
    night would be to see these leeches of politics out of parliament.

  23. Tom Gould 23

    In a vicious personal attack, Key accuses Goff of losing touch with reality, by thinking we can afford to pay to feed hungry kids rather than fund tax cuts for millionaires. What planet is Goff on?

  24. JS 24

    This policy might not appeal to some of those self-centred men commenting here, but for many women voters this is the defining issue of the election. Children are our future, our collective responsibility and they can’t vote. We need to put them at the centre of policy, and also care for their carers.

    • fender 24.1

      +1
      Exactly JS

    • Rain33 24.2

      I’m a woman and the policy does not appeal to me. I do not at all consider myself self-centered, but I also do not think that handing out more money is the answer. I stand by my previous assertions.

  25. Herodotus 25

    •Provide free 24 hours a day seven days a week access to primary health care for all under 6s – through new funding, not cuts to other services;
    I have yet to read any comments regarding the transition of this policy (Unless I was the only person to face this) The day the child hits 6 we go from a subsudy of $25 (Still costs $10-$45) to visit Dr or after hours clinic to full costs for the child. Children do not become less ill once they reach 6. This hit the budget serverly. ps Is this “Free” like “Free 20 hours, free education? And isin fact a subsidy and not what Free really means (No costs implications)
    Also this announcement to me has just redisplayed how removed Labour has become, and their only solution is to throw money at the problem, without understanding the cause.
    So WFF is to now be applied to benefits? What crap. So for 9 years under Lab are they now saying that benefits were inadequate and that we now have to lift them – But Lab appears too scared to say that diretly they want to attack the fringes and increase them in this manner. If benefits are inadequate say so and give reasoning as to what figure they should be.
    IMO Lab doesnt even know what a livable wage/benefit is, I have been asking the question on Red Alert yet the silence is deafening. Trev Mallard even commented that he did not know what a livable wage was

    • IMO Lab doesnt even know what a livable wage/benefit is,

      There isn’t “a liveable wage”, that’s one of the problems with the throw money at it approach.

      It depends on many factors – location, number of people in family, age of children (15 year olds eat a heck of a lot more than 5 eyar olds), quality of housing, rent/mortgage, heating efficiency, financial commitments/overcommitments, health issues, distance from things like school and supermarket etc etc.

      “$15 per hour mininum wage” and “lift 100,000 out of poverty” are neatly rounded election slogans.

      • mickysavage 25.1.1

        Yep it is all too complex. Let’s give up. Let’s not do anything for the poor.

        • felix 25.1.1.1

          Well that would be the simplest, therefore the most straightforward, and therefore the most sensible thing to do.

          It’s just common sense micky.

  26. Sookie 26

    My normally lefty liberal unpopular opinion- WFF is complete bullshit. It’s just a sop so greedy employers don’t have to pay decent wages. If you raised the minimum wage to something above poverty level, say 18 dollars an hour, you could scrap WFF with impunity. Plus it is of no use to people who don’t have kids who are also struggling, or overstretched mid-income families.

    The paid parental leave section of Labour’s policy is excellent, but the extending of WFF to non-workers is not going down well with the working punters. When times are tough, people like to see the worse off guy eg solo mum’s, folks on the dole, get their asses kicked for that ‘I’m alright, Jack’ good feeling. It’s the nasty side of human nature. NZ needs to do something about child poverty, but this isn’t it. Jobs/proper enforcement of child support payments/slight increase in benefits/free breakfast in schools would be a more palatable approach.

    • Rain33 26.1

      I don’t think it is that people want to see other people necessarily getting their asses kicked, but they do not like the idea of handing out money with no guarantee what will happen to it either, and I don’t see how you can blame people for that. To be in favour of handing out money to parents to spend on their children, you have to be certain that is what they are going to do with the money. There can of course be no guarantee of that.

      Before anyone suggests I am mean or self-centered, I raised two sons on my own and at one point I was working 2 jobs and studying, and it was not that long ago, so I understand hard times and exhaustion.

  27. JS 27

    I have just been reading the comments on various sites about this policy. What a mean minded, selfish, nasty group NZers seem to be. Show some compassion, people, and then when it is your turn, you might get some back.

    • NickS 27.1

      That would be because many on the right seemingly have no other job but hanging around on blogs telling people what to think, judging by how much certain commentators post…

      • sean maitland 27.1.1

        lol, thats pretty funny coming from someone posting on The Standard

        • NickS 27.1.1.1

          I have chronic depression that’s meant I’ve been frustratingly stuck on the sickness benefit and thus looking for part time work I can do and not burn out on. And get with a work history that’s been fucked over by 6 years of fucking depression, competing against others without my problems.

          So in my case it’s hardly fucking funny.

          More so given that unlike the likes of you, I actually bothering building arguments, instead of posting buzzwords and regurgitated, half-baked bullshit.

          Or to simplify it for you “here’s the evidence, this is what it indicates for these reasons”

          btw, please clarify your tax situation for me, because it looks sort of like you’re paying your taxes fully.

  28. Lenore 28

    I wish labour would bring in free lunches in schools for low decile schools in addition to the fruit in schools etc. At the moment heaps of teachers including my partner fork out their own money to feed kids as anyone who has tried to learn something on an empty stomach knows, our ability to take stuff in is fairly low. While I also agree about economic development for jobs, tax relief for low wage / beneficiaries, raising minimum wage etc, it would be a good way to guarantee our kids get good food to learn plus think about all the jobs that it would create. What did Hone say? Pay for most of it by getting our troops out of Afghanistan – bring them home and the military could set up lunches in schools etc as they are used to feeding lots of people.

    Oh well just a pipe dream anyway.

    • It would be sad if we have to rely on schools to feed kids, it should be families responsibilities.

      • McFlock 28.1.1

        because everyone’s so happy at the moment, eh?

        • Pete George 28.1.1.1

          We should be doing everything we can to stop government and schools to be playing the role that parents should be doing.

          • NickS 28.1.1.1.1

            /facepalm

            Because parents always know what’s best and always have the resources…

            That’s why there’s no unvaccinated kids, or child abuse, or neglect, or frustrated parents who don’t know what the fuck to do. And in no way could schools and other social systems play any possible role in helping…

            But like I said a week or so back, you’re a complete derp-head who can’t help but say utterly derpy moronic things, or to those who don’t get what derp means, you are a douchebag of mountainous proportions.

          • RedLogix 28.1.1.1.2

            Families would of course do more for themselves… if the had the resources. Long gone are the days when one ordinary working wage could support a family of four or five.

            These days the expectations and demands on families are so much higher, while at the same time it takes two or more incomes to pay for it all.

          • McFlock 28.1.1.1.3

            BUT you said UF policy was that “whatever we can” was just another fecking review of the situation!

            Death by inactivity.

          • fender 28.1.1.1.4

            Did monKey let UF sign the pledge y’day Pete?

      • mik e 28.1.2

        WE have fed children in schools in the past and now no doubt john key was a beneficiary of milk and food in schools as well as a state house with dignity now he advocates for hardship is the lesson

      • mickysavage 28.1.3

        Pete I thought that I would hop into that skull of yours and try and comment on both alternatives.

        Lets do nothing

        Well if you want to have that smug satisfaction of feeling that a fellow human being was a scum low life because they could not feed their kids because they spent it all on drink then this is a good idea. The only weakness is that we do not actually know or understand their financial situation. Maybe Ruth Richardson’s instruction that the benefit should be set at a level to allow beneficiaries to have 80% of a basic diet means that all beneficiaries will lose.

        Lets do something

        We are talking about kids. If we feed them and let them have a proper education then they may develop to their fullest extent. There may be the next Einstein or Helen Clark waiting there, just a proper education away. And there will be fewer kids who grow up to be crims or drug addicts or being unemployable.

        And damn it, it is just right that we make sure they are fed and have a proper education.

        So how about you get out of your smug satisfaction mode and think of the kids.

  29. What Labour has announced is a good start.
    But is not the only answer to this complex problem. So much of the current problems of the underclass can be traced back to the savage benefit cuts of Richardson and co.
    I would encourage all the right wingers to put aside their stereotypes and kneejerk solutions and read the presentations made to the Welfare Working Group – not the conclusions (which were as predetermined and predictable as Brash’s report on closing the wage gap).
     
    Rather read he submissions from people who work at the coal face and those who have done the numbers (social workers, ER doctors etc). They show the progression of third world diseases, housing related health outcomes, and a whole host of other social ills that can be charted back to the 1990s benefit cuts – when people increasingly became less able to afford to participate in society – that is the best definition of poverty.
     
    The horror is the long-term consequences. The generation that were born after or were toddlers at that time are now in their late teens and early twenties and are showing marked increased in mental illness, social dislocation, joblessness, anti-social values. (and that should worry all you right wingers because one day they will be climbing over the walls  of your gated community)

  30. Jake Milsom 30

    Could this blog be any more partisan?

    • NickS 30.1

      lolwut?

      It’s a left wing blog you idiot. One in which authors and commentators will quite merrily take the parts of the left to task over various stupidities, including feminist issues in which various lefties show themselves to be douchebags.

      Sheesh.

    • No but if you are really into partisan you could try kiwiblog.co.nz and if you are into inane inept and that bad that it has to be a satirical site you could try nationalmps.co.nz …

  31. Gus 31

    So this is my take on it. I work and get an extra few bucks a week. I dont work and I could get an extra $70 per week ? FFS who is the dip shit that dreamt this nightmare policy up? I mean honestly when you need the middle block of society who happen to work, you throw this out there. Nice job not. You just locked in those who will always vote labour and pushed away the very people you need to win. Idiots.

    • mik e 31.1

      Having children live in poverty is a $ 6 billion a year cost to the economy !

    • NickS 31.2

      So this is my take on it. I work and get an extra few bucks a week. I dont work and I could get an extra $70 per week

      Stupid poster is stupid.

      Not working, you’d still have a massive pay cut that would significantly fuck you over, so frankly your take is utterly ignorant and shows you to be an idiot.

      And funny thing, Labour never reversed the dole cuts of the 90’s that lead to those on welfare only getting 80% of what the treasury at the time considered enough to cover everything. This only sort of covers it and is a small step in helping child poverty for helping the majority of those on the DPB.

      Also, you’re ignoring all the other parts of this policy announcement.

      I mean honestly when you need the middle block of society who happen to work, you throw this out there. Nice job not. You just locked in those who will always vote labour and pushed away the very people you need to win. Idiots.

      Waaaaaaaaah! FUCK THE POOR! Waaaaah!

      I think that’s a suitable translation. btw, what you think does not represent what others think, and while some in the middle class may have you stupid irrational kneejerk reaction, there will obviously be other, more rational reactions which weigh up the benefits and costs in relation to other polices. Or even have positive irrational reactions to it, since people do tend to skim over policy…

      • Gus 31.2.1

        How is this great policy going down with the adoring fans out there ? LOL. Way in touch with the electorate dickhead

        • NickS 31.2.1.1

          So instead of actually providing any form of reasoned response, what we get is an appeal to vox populi via talkback, instead of any polling evidence, ’cause talkback is oh so representative, when you complete ignore the misogynistic, racist, science denying bullshit and the utter lack of critical thinking skills displayed by both the audience and the presenters.

          btw, anecdotes are not data /stats101

          So come back when you have polling data that isn’t self selected douchebag

          • Gus 31.2.1.1.1

            You sad little person. Someone doesnt agree with you dickhead view of the world and you spew your bile everywhere. Come back and comment on 27 November and we will see if this exciting brilliant policy is a winner. Dickhead !!!

            • NickS 31.2.1.1.1.1

              lolwut?

              And once again, instead of actually engaging your reasoning abilities instead I see post of fine whine.

              Please try again.

              As for this:

              Someone doesnt agree with you dickhead view of the world and you spew your bile everywhere.

              /smirk
              Cupcake, the truth is not “bile”, it’s the truth, and frankly, shouldn’t you have a thicker skin? Being what you are that is. Instead of going “WAAAAAAAAH! he said mean things!1!!!”.

              Dickhead !!!

              Genitalia based insults, the last refuge of the fucktarded dudebro.

    • fender 31.3

      If only monKey had delivered those 170,000 jobs he promised there might not be as many kids going without eh Gus.

  32. If, as Key says, a job is the best form of welfare (an idea that has some merits as long as it has a liveable wage and conditions) then where are the jobs, John?
    If Labour’s policies are crap then stump up with the jobs?
     
    Show us the jobs, son?
     
    If not then stand aside and lets those with better ideas take charge.

  33. felix 33

    Listen up people, I’m gonna make this real simple.

    You don’t like forking out for the unemployed? Then elect a govt with a real plan to get them working again. (Hint: not one that thinks a cycleway is a plan)

    You don’t like forking out for wage top-ups via wff? Then elect a govt with a real plan to lift low wages. (Hint: not one that says they want to see wages drop)

    It ain’t rocket surgery folks.

    • RedLogix 33.1

      Funny how none of them have a comeback for that…

    • tsmithfield 33.2

      “You don’t like forking out for the unemployed? Then elect a govt with a real plan to get them working again.”

      So, that would be by arbitrarily increasing the cost of labour so that it is more expensive than it already is with a $15 minimum wage, lumping extra costs onto business in the form of compulsory kiwi saver, hitting business with a capital gains tax, and doing away with the 90 day trial period.

      That sounds like a great formula for encouraging businesses to hire.

      • mickysavage 33.2.1

        Well TS the world is going to hell in a hand basket, the environment is stuffed, the uber wealthy are sucking more and more resources and the poor do not have enought to get by.

        What would you do?

      • McFlock 33.2.2

        As part of providing an expanded middle class as consumers (as opposed to an expanded lower class as not-quite-cheap-as-Chinese-prison-labour-labour) and a more stable economic environment so at least the NZ fundamentals are sound (rather than being leveraged on short-sold credit packages), it’s a good start.

      • felix 33.2.3

        Orrrr…. charging for commercial use of our precious natural water resources and using the money raised to fund large scale environmental protection programs such as riperian planting, which will not only employ thousands but also provide many of them with valuable marketable skills and help to ensure that our precious natural resources are maintained and able to be utilised for generations to come.

        Alternately there’s tsmithfeild and National’s preferred option. Which is do nothing, borrow, and hope.

      • NickS 33.2.4

        So, that would be by arbitrarily increasing the cost of labour so that it is more expensive than it already is with a $15 minimum wage

        Except of course what you’re suggesting is that we socialise the cost of low wages to the rest of society. How ironic.

        lumping extra costs onto business in the form of compulsory kiwi saver,

        And here’s another thing you want to pass the cost onto the rest of society.

        hitting business with a capital gains tax,

        Ah ha, because that so impacts on the majority of businesses, instead of just property developers and investors, and is an attempt at getting NZ’ers to invest in other areas instead of making the current housing affordability problem worse with over inflated prices.

        So really, wtf are you smoking? Because it doesn’t really effect on a rather large majority of business in NZ…

        and doing away with the 90 day trial period.

        I could have sworn you’d been cluebatted on the major flaw with this before, mainly that it’s very, very open to abuse. But hey, it’s not my problem that you’re braindead.

        That sounds like a great formula for encouraging businesses to hire.

        Show us the fucking published research then, because the null model is that employment levels do not respond to taxation or wages.

  34. John D 34

    Fantastic, I agree

    Labour is wonderful.
    I will definitely be voting for them

    • I would much rather put a gun to my head than vote for any kiwi scum of the earth politician.

      Government don’t care about kids until they reach voting age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • McFlock 34.1.1

        seems a bit harsh, D4J. Chillax 🙂

      • NickS 34.1.2

        Then do it already.

        Or get some fucking therapy, because you come across as in a much worse head space than me and you don’t seem to have the intelligence or tools to dig yourself out of the pit you’ve landed yourself in.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 34.1.2.1

          The compassionate left, ladies and gentlemen.

          • RedLogix 34.1.2.1.1

            As a moderator I wondered if anyone would take the tempting bait… but inciting to violence is never useful for anyone.

            Anyone whose been in the kiwi blog scene for more than a few years knows something of d4j’s story. Part of me does get it. But the rest of me also knows that knows he’s has long since burned through up most of his compassion quota with a limitless vomitarium of misogyny and gross sexism

            On balance it’s probably best if we all left off here.. d4j is hard to sympathise with; but nonetheless he’s one of ours…

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 34.1.2.1.1.1

              See, that’s more like it.

            • NickS 34.1.2.1.1.2

              I’d never say what I said above to someone who was truly suicidal obviously, having been there and all that.

              @The Gormless Fool – I have troll blood in my veins from years of dealing with idiots, and D4J is a clear locus of strong idiocy, as a quick skim of his blog would show…

      • ropata 34.1.3

        d4j,
        Read Psalm 146. Kia kaha

      • seeker 34.1.4

        I think Labour are trying to address this dad. And not before time.

        • dad4justice 34.1.4.1

          So we can expect a reduction in appalling child abuse stats?Yeah right.

          As I said before socialist governments don’t care about kiwi kids.

          And NickS, go jump in a lake you timid big bruv fag.  

          • NickS 34.1.4.1.1

            As I said before socialist governments don’t care about kiwi kids.

            By “care” I assume you mean allowing frothing at the mouth arsehats or otherwise abusive partners access to kids, along with a slew of patriarchal bullshit over male gender roles.Which is a pretty fucking narrow definition of care.

            And NickS, go jump in a lake you timid big bruv fag.

            Gladly, I love lake swimming and might have a chance in a couple of weeks to swim on Lake Kaurapatake on the way into the Otehake hot pools, aka lolwut?

            As for the fag tag, awww it sounds likes someone needs a big hug, because not only is it lazy and homophobic (hardly unexpected) it’s also rather weak. I’m also not big bruv. In case you haven’t noticed.

            And would rather see you get help, instead of what you’re doing. Which counter-intuitively probably does “help” you deal with your problems, much like someone self medicating with alcohol or cannabis, just not as much as actually therapy etc…

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