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Local Bodies: National and the Poverty Deniers

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 pm, August 8th, 2014 - 24 comments
Categories: greens, national, poverty, same old national - Tags:

Not only is National the party of preference for those who reject the science behind human induced climate change, it is also the party for poverty deniers. For them real poverty only happens in Africa and in New Zealand poor kids are just the result of bad parents.

Poverty deniers are also adamant that the ‘relative’ poverty that may exist has been flatlining for some time and the best way of stopping poverty is just getting people into work. They ignore the fact that 40% of children living in poverty have at least one parent in full-time employment. The latest census revealed that our poorest communities have become even poorer since 2006. The median income for the Mangere-Otahuhu local board area dropped by 16% in real terms and is a pitiful $19,700.

Poverty deniers get very defensive when people express concern about the growing wealth of our richest New Zealanders. They claim it is just envy and that our rich have worked hard for their wealth and earned every cent. It is the wealthy, they claim, who will create more jobs and that their generosity will save us all in the end.

Interestingly it is the fast food barons, the rest home moguls and many dairy farmers who actually pay their workers the lowest wages. There is little trickle down to the workers despite the profitability  of each industry.

Consecutive governments have also increased the pay of the CEOs of government departments to amongst the highest in the world and increases of 10% aren’t unusual. The Orion head received a triple figure increase while health workers have been told that a .7% increase is all they can expect after 12 months of negotiations.

Poverty deniers are often sick and tired of beneficiaries sucking hard working taxpayers dry and are especially frustrated about the privileges Maori have over ordinary New Zealanders. Act leader Jamie Whyte has been especially critical of pampered Maori and feels that the National Party needs to be even tougher with those minorities claiming to be poor.

The pampered poor queuing outside the Auckland City Mission

To poverty deniers the myth of child poverty is fed by bleeding heart do gooders who are only perpetuating the problem by making excuses for bad parenting. If food parcelsweren’t given out these parents will be forced grow their own vegetables and stop spending all their money on cigarettes and pokies. Giving more money to poor people is not the answer, cutting support is the best incentive. To poverty deniers, it’s that simple.

However, if you believe poverty is caused by low wages, uncaring and underfunded support systems and too many barriers to gaining financial independence and real opportunities, then PARTY VOTE GREEN!

24 comments on “Local Bodies: National and the Poverty Deniers ”

  1. infused 1

    Karol post eh?

  2. Weepus beard 2

    Watch the Natblog crew come in, run distraction, and bash the poor some more.

    Oh, wait, too slow, it’s already happened.

  3. The Real Matthew 3

    National is not a good choice for climate change deniers as they have run a comprehensive ETS, one of few developed countries to do so.

    The writer then presents a simplistic argument in order to argue against it.

    There is a lot of hysteria from the left on the topic of poverty. Using the term “child poverty” is the first step in trying to swing public opinion behind the hysteria. It’s emotive to use children but no ground is sacred when it comes to the left trying to sell their propaganda.

    Poverty as measured as 60% of the median wage is a fallacy. Using an inequality measure is plain wrong. Poverty is a basket of goods measure. Do you have enough to survive? Using the 60% measure would see millionaires in Monaco deemed as being in poverty. It’s ridiculous yet people fall for it.

    Thankfully many New Zealanders have travelled and have seen real poverty overseas. These New Zealanders bring their experiences back to New Zealand and laugh in the face of the poverty proponents who attempt to spread their hysteria.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      National is not a good choice for climate change deniers as they have ruined a comprehensive ETS


      Everything else you wrote was just as truthful as the unedited bit.

    • miravox 3.2

      “Thankfully many New Zealanders have travelled and have seen real poverty overseas.”

      Some people live overseas for awhile and see how progressive governments manage policy so parents have enough income to ensure children are housed, clothed, fed and schooled. Then they come back to NZ and are full of shame about how New Zealand’s children are not worthy of consideration in the government’s drive to lower wages.

    • Michael 3.3

      Defining poverty by measuring people living in households receiving less than 60 percent of the average income in that society is orthodox, as is defining severe poverty using the 50 percent metric. The methodology has its drawbacks but including millionaires living in Monaco among the ranks of the “poor” is not one of them. You are using a straw man to blow away a real and growing political issue. Fortunately, the issue can be addressed, if not solved completely, by making the rich pay their taxes. Now if only we had a government prepared to do that … .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.4

      Hysteria from the Lancet, for example.

      Increasing incidence of serious infectious diseases and inequalities in New Zealand: a national epidemiological study.

      …We noted clear ethnic and social inequalities in infectious disease risk….These findings support the need for stronger prevention efforts for infectious diseases, and reinforce the need to reduce ethnic and social inequalities and to address disparities in broad social determinants such as income levels, housing conditions, and access to health services.

      Read the paper. They were expecting to find a gradual decline. Instead they found a rise.

      While you blither and deny and blame and defame, more kids are going to hospital with diseases caused by poor housing, and that was in 2008. Unemployment has risen since then. What effect do you suppose this has had?

      Hysteria? Callous criminal neglect more like, and no, the fact that Labour did it too is no excuse for it.

    • karol 3.5

      The 60% formula is not the only one used to identify poverty. It’s shortcomings are recognised in some key NZ reports on poverty.

      They also use classifications of “material hardship” and “persistent poverty”

      For those in persistent (ie continuing) poverty is more likely to result in poor outcomes in the life eg re health, education, etc.

      I agree that focusing on child poverty is a limitation. Adults also experience damaging poverty. It is when adults experience poverty that children also experience it.

      The focus is on child poverty because the poverty deniers spend so much time spinning denial, smears and distractions – eg blaming adults for the poverty they are in.

      The Local Bodies post above does a very good job of explaining the facts of poverty – yet, some deniers keep spinning by attacking the focus on child poverty.

      Here’s an idea: instead of spending money on overseas travel, take a trip to South Auckland, or parts of West Auckland or Christchurch. Talk to people and learn a little about their struggles.

  4. bad12 4

    Here is Real Poverty in 2 short sentences:

    From the Post “The median income for the Mangere–Otahuhu local board area is a pitiful $19,700 a year”,

    From the Herald: ”The average rent for a 3 bedroom property in Auckland was now $464 a week”

    The math, kindly supplied to you the reader via the back of a HousingNZ income statement,(recycle/reuse people, recycle/reuse), is this,

    Average annual income $19,700,
    Average annual rent: $23,200,

    And right there we have god knows how many people, all the beneficiaries, minimum wage workers,minimum hour workers already if you will excuse my language, FUCKED,

    Those numbers say that the only means of survival for this demographic, and god knows how many people we are talking about here, children included, is to be a beggar, weekly at WINZ and/or their local food bank,

    My view here is possibly diametrically opposed to that of many, BUT, if we simply demand that all this demographic of people receive more money there will be little perceived real gain for them,

    Simply put,these people, our fellow Kiwi’s, trapped renting in the private sector, the fucking Tory landlords will with cynical deliberation simply rack the rents up to steal from these people their higher income,

    What HAS to occur is the major cost to this demographic of low income earners, both working and beneficiary, has to be LOWERED,

    There is a point of low income that is in monetarist terms the agreed definition of Poverty, i would suggest again, again, and again, to the point where you all are wishing i wouldn’t, that we need to campaign on the basis that ALL people, no matter who, no matter where, whose income defines them as living in poverty pay no more of their income as RENT than 25%,

    How we are to arrive at this, for the moment, in a world of ‘private property rights’ is beyond me, BUT, it is obvious that while those who earn such sums annually of a paltry $19700 while they are liable for rent payments of $23,200 annually cannot be removed from such poverty simply by tossing 20 bucks a week at them…

    • weka 4.1

      The govt and local bodies owning rental housing and keeping the rents low might change the overall rents over time, eventually allowing legislation that limits rents.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Weka, you will have to be far more lucid than that to make a point that can be understood,

        What you appear to be advocating for is the status quo because some benevolent Government is going to wave the wand and fix the problem, ”in the magic future”…

        • weka

          You have been talking about lowering rents to a % of income. I’m suggesting that one way to do this is for national and local govt to own housing and rent it for low rent (that meets the % criteria) and that over time this may bring down the rents overall (private rentals). Is that clear enough?

          edit: the WINZ accommodation supplement system needs to be replaced too, to stop it subsidising landlords.

          • bad12

            Weka, it is the ”over time” bit that i am wondering about, tell me how urgently do you view such a massive change in how we address poverty,

            Give me a number out of ten,

            My problem here is that across the spectrum all the parties have policy on housing, welfare, wages, jobs etc etc,

            Most of these tho do not go straight to the heart of poverty and many of such policies while giving the impression of addressing poverty will lead to an inflation spiral and do not address poverty across the whole spectrum,

            The poverty line, as measured in X amount of dollars and a policy that No-one who is forced to exist below that X of the poverty line pays no more than 25% of their income as rent does,

            It is a simplification on your part to blithely propose that ”over time” Council/State Housing will catch up with the actual need to immediately and drastically lower conditions of poverty in our communities,

            i agree totally it is the responsibility of Government to achieve this goal, BUT, it is the abdication of this responsibility by successive Governments that has lead us to the present state,

            Myself i would simply propose interim and immediate Legislation which not only locked current tenancies in place but also set the X of that poverty line and Legislated further that such tenants would pay only 25% of their income as rent,

            Landords in the private sector effected negatively by such Legislation would then be given the ability to approach WINZ with the necessary proof to access a hardship grant which would cover any shortfall in mortgage payments…

            • silverbullet

              This housing affordability is basically an Auckland issue then isn’t it?

              Compared to property prices the rent is actually very low yield in Auckland, and landlords would like to increase rents a lot more to reflect this but maybe income limits of tenants is a barrier – for now.

              • bad12

                Befor we get into this Silverbullet, prove the assertion you make in your first sentence, as in provide links which show such poverty brought about by lack of income and high rents is centric to Auckland alone,

                i will add that IF you truly believe that assertion you make in your first line above you need to ‘get out and about a hell of a lot more’,

                Your other point, simply adds weight to my earlier assertion that if incomes for the poorest are increased the inflation spiral will start and Landlords will increase rents knowing their tenants have more money thereby leaving the poor no better off and further enriching the Landlords…

                • silverbullet

                  You use South Auckland as your example, why not use other cities then if you think the problem is as bad all over NZ – how about some of those ‘zombie towns’?

                  By selecting only the poorest suburbs in the city with the craziest property bubble ( approaching London, NY, Sydney levels ) and virtually the only bubble isn’t that being very selective and doesn’t reflect much about what is going on in Northland and Southland?

                  In which case solutions need to be tailored to a specific property market. ie Auckland.

                  Yes, on your last point, I have seen comments from successful property investors on interest.co.nz laughing about how accommodation supplements only subsidises their investment. But I disagree with your assertion that landlords put the rent up only in response to client incomes. They also do it in response to property values – after all if you have a $700 000 [ there are total sh#tholes going for a million in Auckland ] property investment you are going to have to charge a lot more to get the same yield % on a $400 000 investment.

                  Also supply and demand. In Auckland land lords have the upper hand. More houses needed, population growing exponentially at around 2.5%. Housing Accord not working.

            • weka

              Myself, while I agree with a set % of income for rent, and that be legislated, I also think the solutions are necessarily multiple. My best guess is a UBI, replacing AS with something that doesn’t increase rents, legislating a cap in rents (either across the board, or as you suggest for those below the poverty line), plus all the other things being proposed (Living wage, replacing the ECA etc).

              As for timeframes, I wasn’t simplyfying things, I was putting out an initial idea for discussion because I have seen you raise this issue a number of times and you seemed to be saying you didn’t know how it could be achieved. Please stop reading negatives into my comments that aren’t there, and instead check out with me.

              Timeframes are also dependent on logisitics and physics. Building houses takes time, but any reason why the state and local bodies couldn’t buy existing housing stock? That could happen pretty quickly. Beyond that, if you want timeframes someone would have to provide stats of what housing is needed where and by whom.

              btw, I didn’t suggest that the govt side of things happen over time, I suggested that if the govt supplied low rent housing that this would affect the private market over time (for everyone else, a good thing IMO, as it would enable low and middle income earners to save again).

              I think involving private landlords in WINZ would just create a whole lot of complications. I’m not in favour of the govt subsidising private landlords’ investment payouts indefinitely either.

          • dave

            WINZ accommodation supplement system needs to be replaced too, to stop it subsidising landlords.

            before we do that there couple things that need to happen first.

            capital gains tax
            banning over seas purchases of nz homes
            tighter lending restrictions (no predatory lending )
            building shit more homes but not out in the wops or we will just swap housing poverty for energy poverty)
            incomes have to rise for workers
            and a return to full employment
            I don’t think we could just remove it over night we need to do the ground work first.

    • dave 4.2

      your so right what’s happened in housing is criminal just total greed and represent everything that is wrong with our country when the property market goes in to meltdown and it will i really couldn’t give a shit about land lords and speculators i honestly hope they go to the wall we need a correction badly where prices and costs reflect actual new Zealand incomes and families again don’t have to dream and a country where home owner ship in affordable and that goes for Auckland council they need stop screwing around with bureaucrats and consultants and hire staff again to do dam job not bureaucrats to eat up the budgets rate payers are struggling we cant afford this stupid service delivery model.

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