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Poverty Watch 42

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, August 3rd, 2013 - 85 comments
Categories: national, paula bennett, poverty - Tags: , ,

The Child poverty action group this week released, in two parts, a report into the links between poverty and child abuse (Part 1 pdf, Part 2 pdf). These reports did not get the attention that they deserved, because of course the Key spying circus is in town, sucking up all the media oxygen.

The Herald managed to muster one good article on the reports, buried (so it seems) in the “Crime” section:

Child abuse policies ‘inadequately informed’ – report

New research into child abuse suggests current social policies aimed at reining in New Zealand’s high rates of abuse are “inadequately informed”.

A Child Poverty Action Group report, which analysed abuse notifications received by Child Youth and Family between 2008 and 2012, found while higher rates of child abuse were associated with socio-economic deprivation, policies which focused specifically on income levels were unlikely to be the correct approach.

In particular, results from the report questioned the focus placed on benefit dependency and child abuse by the Government’s White Paper on Vulnerable children.

The group’s convenor and social security spokesman Associate Professor Mike O’Brien … ”[Social Development Minister Paula Bennett] has made a great play about the link between people being on benefit’s and child abuse. “The critical question is…[one] simply of inadequacy of income and issues about poverty,” he said. …

“The fundamental piece is to make sure that we get a comprehensive approach to thinking about issues of child abuse rather than doing what has often happened in recent times which is grabbing at one piece…which might be of interest. …

The Green Party have also weighed in on the report, saying the Government needed to stop beneficiary bashing. “Paula Bennett has just introduced punitive welfare policies which put beneficiary families in even more impoverished circumstances,” Green party Children’s spokeswoman Holly Walker said.

“If the minister wants to start turning around New Zealand’s horrific child abuse rates she should start supporting families and implementing policies to life them out of poverty, not bury them deeper.”

Ms Bennett was unable to comment on the report as she had not received a copy.

Somebody please send Ms Bennett a copy and then ask her again next week. There was also a short piece on the NewsTalk ZB website:

New research says Government should focus on child poverty

New research is suggesting current government policies aimed at clamping down on high rate of child abuse, are on the wrong track.

A Child Poverty Action Group report has found benefit income does not appear to be related to rates of child abuse. … It’s found while higher rates of child abuse are associated with socio-economic deprivation, policies which focus specifically on income levels are unlikely to be the correct approach.

The report says simple solutions based on characteristics of individuals are unlikely to be effective.

It says policies should address broader issues of poverty and its relationship to demographics and peoples’ ability to access employment, housing, health and other services.

Stuff’s coverage was pathetic – a “league table” of the regions with highest abuse. The Greens, of course, put out a good press release. But as far as I can tell in terms of media coverage that appears to be that (please add further links in comments if you know of them).

Child poverty and child abuse shame our country. Here we have research which explores these issues, and shows that the government’s punitive focus on beneficiaries is misguided (to say the least). These reports deserved much better coverage than they got. I’ll cover some of the detail in the next couple of editions of Poverty Watch.

Let’s close with Holly Walker trying to get a straight answer out of Paula Bennett:


Here’s the standard footnote. Poverty (and inequality) were falling (albeit too slowly) under the last Labour government.   Now they are on the rise again, in fact a Waikato University professor says that poverty is our biggest growth industry.

Before the last election Labour called for a cross party working group on poverty. Key turned the offer down.  Report after report after report has condemned the rate of poverty in this country, and called on the government to act. Meanwhile 40,000 kids are fed by charities and up to 80,000 are going to school hungry. National has responded with complete denial of the issues, saying that the government is already doing enough to help families feed their kids. Organisations working with the poor say that Key is in poverty ‘la la land’.

The Nats refuse to even measure the problem (though they certainly believe in measurement and goals when it suits them to bash beneficiaries). In a 2012 summary of the government’s targets and goals John Armstrong wrote: “Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty”…

The costs of child poverty are in the range of $6-8 Billion per year, but the Nats refuse to spend the $2 Billion that would be needed to really make a difference. Even in purely economic terms National’s attitude makes no sense.

85 comments on “Poverty Watch 42”

  1. Dv 1

    What has happened to the food in schools announced by the Nats with fanfare some months ago.

  2. srylands 2

    “Paula Bennett has just introduced punitive welfare policies which put beneficiary families in even more impoverished circumstances,”

    Can someone tell me which benefits the Government has reduced? Work testing doesn’t count. If a welfare recipient gets a job they are better off. If they don’t get a job they keep their welfare, which last time I checked has not been reduced across any of the welfare payments since this Government was elected.

    So what are the “punitive welfare policies” that will actually reduce money in the hand to those on welfare?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Of course work testing counts. It sucks up valuable time and energy (basically just jumping hoops) for no result.

      The government should be providing full paying jobs for everyone who is capable and willing to work.

      • srylands 2.1.1

        That is not the Government’s role.

        • blue leopard 2.1.1.1

          Ensuring the wellbeing of all members of our society is very much the governments role.

          Governments need to aim at policies that encourage 100% employment otherwise there becomes a problem with poverty and/or welfare.

          So far governments have tried to deal with the ‘problem’ of welfare costs by drastically the welfare paid (’90s), forcing people to look for jobs that aren’t there, creating more stringent rules to make it harder to get welfare and easier to toss people off.

          Wouldn’t it be altogether more pragmatic to focus on policies that have a strong focus on job creation instead? Stopping encouraging job losses, jobs going overseas and the importing workers would be an excellent start.

      • David H 2.1.2

        Work testing in my town is just going around annoying busy shop owners, and managers, that are getting pissed off at the time lost dealing with job seekers, day after day. who are just jumping thru hoops. You can just see it in their eyes, and demeanor, it’s like ‘again’

    • tricledrown 2.2

      srylands the govt doesn’t have enough staff at work and income to work this pathetic policy.
      Jobs are the answer where are the jobs you said you had a couple of high paid jobs, in reality this govt’s policy settings aren’t delivering any nett job gain except in Australia as you have pointed out before all you are doing is ghettoising those who haven’t got the skills have mental and physical health issues location issues.
      Their are their are up to 400’000 New Zealanders who don’t register as unemployed who are also looking for work.
      With bullying bean brained bean counters in charge you are not going to change the fact that their are no where near enough jobs!
      This policy is just designed to pander to the redneck vote!

      • srylands 2.2.1

        There are not enough jobs for people with low skills. That will only get worse over time. At the same time that we have thousands of people unemployed, we are importing thousands of immigrants to fill all the job vacancies. And don’t tell me we need to “retrain” the unemployed. We can do some of that. We should do more. But we need skilled workers NOW. The priority should be to help the kids who are in school now not repeat the mistakes of their parents.

        The reason we are in the shit is low productivity and a raft of policies that impede growth and employment – and all these policies are the policies applauded by the left.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          so just leave the parents on the shit-heap then?
          That will have nooooooo effect on the kids’ achievement levels whatsoever /sarc

          The reason we are in the shit is low productivity and a raft of policies that impede growth and employmen

          I agree entirely. We need a lower dollar, a government that believes in the products produced by the businesses it fucking owns (like trains) let alone NZ businesses in general, and intense investment in, yes, retraining. At a minimal start. Aggressive attacks on inequality and massive investment in education, health (especially in high-dep areas, and including dental), and real social welfare (community courses, social workers for at-risk kids and so on) are needed, too.

          • srylands 2.2.1.1.1

            ” (like trains)”

            Trains are not competitive. Despite the best efforts KiwiRail is going down. Five years from now you will just have Wellington and Auckland metro trains. That’s it. And only them because of the large subsidy they get from motor vehicle owners and the taxpayer.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.1

              “Best efforts”? What a joke.
              Trains are incredibly efficient especially in goods haulage. What is not competitive is the damage to roads caused by large trucks, but other road users subsidise that (RUC don’t cut it). But the problem is that under your neolib religion, because truckies compete with each other (and receive greater hidden subsidies), they are fine (although they have greater negative externalities). Trains, which have fewer negative externalities and greater positive externalities, cannot really appear competitive in NZ (e.g. side-by-side lines). So society gets held back because you can’t count something on your slide rule.

              • srylands

                No you got it wrong – trains are subsidised. And dead. You work on transport policy? No, didn’t think so.

                • McFlock

                  Trains are no more subsidised than trucks and busses.

                  An issue that periodically gets done to death here when the nats give their trucking mates more benefits.

              • srylands

                Trains are competitive in high volume bulk haulage – milk powder, logs etc between hubs.

                This has been analysed to death. Stop being stupid. If we could make trains work we would make trains work.

                and so fucking sorry – I meant to say “raise GST to 17.5%” – doesn’t make the rest of the package invalid.

                • Colonial Viper

                  “This has been analysed to death. Stop being stupid. If we could make trains work we would make trains work.”

                  Blatant bullshit. Trains worked in 1900 and they would work now- except we seem to prefer to “subsidise” the road transport industry by billions a year.

                • McFlock

                  “If we could make trains work we would make trains work.”
                  Bullshit. It doesn’t fit on the tory slide rule, the massive benefits are too indirect to be put into the correct line item, so slow-thinking priests of libertarianism like yourself bleed rail at every opportunity.

                  and so fucking sorry – I meant to say “raise GST to 17.5%” – doesn’t make the rest of the package invalid.
                  No, but it does typify the thought you put into them (and increasing a regressive tax is a nice way to fuck over more children of the poor, by the way, you soulless prick). Some of your list wasn’t immediately stupid – some here support a UBI, for example. But then you suggesting it might make some supporters take another look, just to be sure they fully analysed the math and implications.

            • tricledrown 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Trains are 18 x more efficient at moving passengers 1/3 the cost to construct
              Information from Tory Camoron Govt UK the Tories in the UK have stopped building Motorways because they are to expensive our Tories send clowns like you Schrilands to tell lies and spread cynicism!

          • srylands 2.2.1.1.2

            “Massive investment” can’t just mean more spending. You have to get the incentives right. Eliminate subsidies. Use market mechanisms to drive efficient delivery. All the things that are NOT being done now.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Use market mechanisms to drive efficient delivery.

              Because that will totes work in education, health, and providing social workers for at-risk kids. /sarc

              [cue catechism about how the market will save us all]

            • blue leopard 2.2.1.1.2.2

              How can someone still believe in trusting everything to ‘the market mechanism’ when it is clear that in such a deregulated mess that we’ve created; even that doesn’t work anymore?

              ‘ People’ short selling, buying up stocks of commodities in large quantities and thereby creating monopoly effects and fraudulent behaviours such as the Libor and forex scandals are leading to ‘an accurate price discovery mechanism’ being as fictitious a concept as ‘an intelligent, generous-spirited and thoughtful neo-liberal.’

            • Murray Olsen 2.2.1.1.2.3

              Eliminate subsidies? In that case the trucking industry should be paying at least 1000 times the road user charges that they are. Instead we pay for them to wreck our roads. Stop that subsidy and carting stuff between Auckland and Wellington on the backs of purebred Arabian stallions would probably be competitive. Trains and coastal shipping would hold all the advantages, except that governments are heavily lobbied by road freight and would rather see a large number of individualistic truckies than unionised rail workers or sailors.

      • srylands 2.2.2

        Yes there is a bit of pandering to the red neck vote – but my point remains – this government has maintained welfare levels. If you read a lot of the slogans posted on these threads you are left with the impression that the government has “slashed” welfare. It has not.

        All parties do sometimes pander to their core constituencies – doesn’t make them evil. Labour used to pander to nut job unionists in some of their policies even though they knew they were nut jobs, but they had to do it. With National there is just a different flavour of nut job to be served. But you need to look through this. The Government’s pro Growth policies are in the right direction. A lot more could be done, and should be done. But the electorate is too scared of change and the adjustment costs. And the left fuels that fear.

        The unemployment problem is created and maintained by the left.

        • joe90 2.2.2.1

          The unemployment problem is created and maintained by the left

          Reality check – NZ unemployment trends 1999 – 2013.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1

            srylands is peddling a brand of economic mysticism which over 30 years has been thoroughly discredited. It is a mysticism which particularly benefits the top 5% of developed countries i.e. the top 1% of the world.

            Unemployment can be solved but it can only be solved in our current economic system by massive spending, massive investment and massive sales revenue.

            That srylands doesn’t understand that is a massive indictment of how wrong-headed his theories are.

          • srylands 2.2.2.1.2

            The current government is a left government.

            • blue leopard 2.2.2.1.2.1

              @ Srylands

              Unless wealth disparity is addressed, you can have as much growth as you like and it will not address unemployment, in fact the ideology that both the right and left are following is increasing welfare.

              Not adjusting to the ‘time saving’ effect of technology, (such as redefining fulltime work and ensuring those profiting from this technology feel a responsibility to share their profits) means not enough jobs for everyone, not enough money for all and more welfare costs.

              Those with capital have no focus on creating jobs for people, they solely wish to ‘make their money grow’ which can be achieved through firing as many people as they can, encouraging increasingly low wages, speculating on futures markets and houses etc which raises the costs of necessities for everyone else and other such unproductive activities.

              Focusing on ‘efficiency’ creates more profit for the top dogs and leads to job losses and higher welfare costs.

              Following low wage ideologies means more welfare costs.

              Most of the above-mentioned rubbish idiocies are encouraged by right-wing or centre policies; not left ones, yet, really, who cares whether it is left or right. It would be good to get things moving in a more positive direction.

              • srylands

                “speculating on futures markets” ?

                really? Future markets are important. For those that need to manage temporal risk.

                How many Kiwis are “speculating” on futures markets? Wow that is a serious problem that is affecting welfare folk.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You’re a fucking idiot. So you would be happy to limit options trading strictly to those who had a material exposure to the underlying? Go on then, because that would be one of the rare scenarios where limited forms of option trading would have real economic use.

                  • srylands

                    Why are you so bitter and twisted about the world around you? It is such a hallmark of the left. Every bad situation is the fault of someone else.

                    I have offered a range of suggestions for reform. Most of these will be realised in the next 20 years. The left’s prescription of envy and tax and control, no chance. In 20 years we will look back at R Norman as a footnote and laugh.

                    BTW did you see that one of the “experts” cited as the foundation for NZ Power has come out and said it is a load of crap?

                    Left policies in NZ as currently formulated will condemn NZ workers to another generation of misery.

                    e.g. the first thing to do is abolish the WINZ machinery, and introduce an absolute minimum income. No more welfare. No more abatement no more work testing. That just removes welfare as an issue.

                    Then we can get on to lifting productivity and working on education and training.

                    It is time to quit the bitterness and bleating and – especially the politics of envy – quit moaning and get behind a decent programme of reform measures. There are plenty of successful role models internationally. Memo – Greece and Spain are not what I am talking about.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If you don’t understand why people are bitter, then you have no fucking clue as to what has been happening in this country for the last 30 years.

                      Memo: following the prescription of the elite banking and political cartel have resulted in Greece and Spain being in the predicament they are today. Your “answers” will take us there at double the rate.

                      BTW nice side step you made there to the universal income, which is a policy I support, as well as a policy of full employment.

                      Why are you so bitter and twisted about the world around you? It is such a hallmark of the left. Every bad situation is the fault of someone else.

                      You’re a fucking idiot, as I said. This is not an individuals problem. It is a societal problem of political economy. The individual response is relevant to themselves, but irrelevant to the core of the problem.

                    • tricledrown

                      the gangs will love you

                    • tricledrown

                      once again show us the evidence

                • “How many Kiwis are “speculating” on futures markets? Wow that is a serious problem that is affecting welfare folk” ~Srylands

                  It doesn’t matter whether there are large amounts of Kiwis speculating on futures markets or not the effects of such activity are global in reach.

                  Everyone needs to eat.

                  Banks and hedge funds typically argue that speculation makes little or no difference to food prices and point out that no definitive link has been proved. But there is a growing consensus that the influx of cash into food has increased demand so much that it has inevitably pushed up the prices.

                  Since deregulation allowed the creation of the commodity funds that allowed many speculators to invest in agriculture for the first time, institutions such as Goldman have channelled more than $200bn of cash into the area. This investment has coincided with a significant and sustained rise in global food prices.

                  ~The Independent

                  • A 2011 study by UNCTAD concluded that the commodities market had stopped to function “properly” in a way where prices are shaped by supply and demand.

                    “The activities of financial participants drive commodity prices away from levels justified by market fundamentals,” the study said.

                    Many banks and fund managers are quick to dismiss the impact of speculation, saying there is no credible evidence to prove that it leads to more volatility.

                    “Short-term speculation creates a lot of noise,” said Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at London & Capital.

                    “It makes headlines. But there are much larger drivers behind food price spikes, most of all changes in energy prices, which have been the biggest driver.”

                    Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, says prices for a number of commodities fluctuated too wildly within a short period of time to have been the result of supply and demand.

                    Wheat prices, for example, rose 46 percent between January and February 2008, fell back almost completely by May and increased again by 21 percent in July before falling again in August 2008.

                    Thomson Reuters Foundation

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The key understanding is this: volatility is what makes financial trading super profitable. And with the use of HFT algorithms, large trading houses can dial up volatility at will. The fact that it will destroy real economy businesses and leave people hungry on the other side of the world is irrelevant to these people.

                    • +1 CV

                      And the real worry is those, such as Srylands, who promote the interests of ‘these people’, without even understanding whose interests they are propagating and what it is that they are going to create if people buy into their mindless parroting.

                      I can’t think of anything more stupid.

  3. srylands 3

    Policies to promote growth, productivity and reduce unemployment. I could list 100 but I’ll just give you some obvious ones:

    Sell all remaining state owned enterprises

    Remove urban land use control from local governments and pass to a new Crown entity with housing affordability as its sole aim.

    Introduce a 25% CGT on all asset appreciation over CPI upon realisation of gains, with no exceptions

    Introduce a 25% flat tax, and company tax rate.

    Increase GST to 15%

    Remove ALL import duties and taxes on all goods.

    Remove all subsidies to all industries, including the film and “cultural” industries.

    With the sale proceeds of TVNZ create a new public funded content provider, but with the content streamed on Youtube.

    Abolish the Defence Forces.

    Create a new public funder of innovation and research.

    Reintroduce interest on student loans equal to the bond rate. Use the savings to massively boost university places, and higher ed research.

    Allow anyone to take up residence in NZ who gas $5 million and will employ five people (with checks on continuity and criminal background checks)

    Increase NZ Super age to 67 over 10 years and progressively to 70 over the next 20 years.

    A guaranteed minimum income for everyone of $15,000 annually. Abolish all “welfare” work tests, and the whole WINZ machinery.

    I could keep going. There is no reason why we couldn’t do this now. It would make New Zealand a better place.

    Transfer all roads to a new SOE and run and construct all roads as a business (just like airports now – how are they different?)

    Introduce a diversity of school types, and massively increase funding for disadvantaged children at school.

    I ask that you put aside your immediate prejudices against my “right” views and think about this. It is not really a “package” because it has not been costed. But as a direction of travel, it has a lot going for it.

    • joe90 3.1

      Wow – an apostle…..

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        An apostle who doesn’t even know that GST is already 15% (policy number five).
        What a fucking dick.

        • srylands 3.1.1.1

          What a fucking rude lefttard.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            What hurt your feelings more – being called a dick, the rude words, or it being revealed that you don’t even know the basics of the NZ economy?

            • srylands 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t have hurt feelings – I’m just reminded that the left are generally (a) rude and (b) have no sense of humour and are (c) rude and (d) you can’t take them anywhere and (e) they are rude and (f) you can’t take them anywhere and …

              • srylands

                and we stopped using sliderules in 1985

                • Colonial Viper

                  Great more neo liberal stupidity. Look at the socioeconomic wreckage of the last 30 years. Why are you ordering up more of the same?

                  • srylands

                    It is not more of the same. None of it has been done yet.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course it has. Its just more of the same. Radical reform to lift more income up to the top 5%, same old tropes.

              • Murray Olsen

                I expect that you would have no feelings, hurt or otherwise. I’ve yet to discern anything remotely like feelings in anyone who would put up such an evangelical list of Friedmanite rubbish.

                Although I have no sense of humour, I do have a picture of me on a donkey, so your argument is invalid.

                • srylands

                  My “list of rubbish” will be New Zealand in 20 years, or we will simply slip down the international rankings. The bleating over “beneficiary (sic) bashing” will evolve to bleating over the remaining scraps. Kind of like a Zimbabwe with deflation and power blackouts R Norman as Associate Finance Minister.

                  The rich pricks will come back to their summer holiday homes for 6 weeks each summer.

                  That is the future that you are condemning your children to.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I just love it. Positioning yourself as the All holy “follow me or condemn your grandkids to economic hell” saviour.

                  • tricledrown

                    schrilands your a pessimistic utopian fool

              • McFlock

                A) awwwww
                B) your entire economic paradigm is a joke
                C) awwwww
                D) you came here
                E) awwwww
                F) we already know where to go

                Oh, and if you’re not using sliderules any more, you can start doing economic analysis with a bit more complexity than one variable at a time.

                Fucko.

          • tricledrown 3.1.1.1.2

            you have just stolen half of acts policy and mixed it with gareth morgans big kahuna!
            Missing out that we have no duties on imports already.
            abolish the defence force The US would put you in guantanimo .good idea
            you are an utopian with a borderline personality.

    • tricledrown 3.2

      schril why would you have to bother with super if everyone is getting $15,000 what about children.
      I like the idea of 25% CGT thats good but no one will vote for it except mana party supporters!
      massively increasing funding for underprivileged children another good idea the left likes as well!
      Increasing the cost of student loans would undermine the motivation of our best and brightest to stay in country and add value dumb idea you should know being a free marketeer.
      Getting rid of our defence force would bring immediate consequences from our trading partners the US Aus would probably reintroduce trade sanctions and arrest you with any luck!
      Selling off TVNZ who’s going to buy old technology look at tv3 its worth nothing!

  4. Rosetinted 4

    The man is an apostle with wings. He doesn’t see what the difference is between an airport and roads! wrylands I think. Quite wry.

  5. red blooded 5

    Srylands, you make John Banks look moderate – not an easy job. Are you perhaps an elaborate joke by a lefty with a less-than-subtle sense of humour?

    I’m only going to reply to a couple of you ravings (sorry, meant to say “comments”).

    1) “Punitive welfare policies” – cutting a benefit in half if someone turns down a job (never mind if the hours are impossible with family commitments, or the person is trying for something in their area of expertise);
    2) Just which of the last Labour government’s policies do you think we’re designed to pander to “unionist nut jobs”? Their policy to allow new workers access to a collective contract (or let them opt out and bargain for themselves, if they so desired)? Wow! Really radical… I can see why that one was tossed out so early! Perhaps it was their policy to abolish Youth Rates and pay for the job, rather than the age of the person doing it? I know: it must have been the policy to require workplaces to allow workers toilet breaks and half hour lunchtimes…. Actually, while they dumped the infamous Employment Contracts Act, the last Labour government was pretty conservative in the field of labour law, probably because they knew there were plenty of commentators like you waiting to pounce and accuse them of being in the pockets of the unions. (So much better to be in the pockets of foreign business interests, eh Srylands?)

    • srylands 5.1

      “or the person is trying for something in their area of expertise” ?

      so an unemployed social worker can turn down a job as a call centre worker (one of those cool jobs coming from Australia) and stay on welfare?

      I don’t think so.

      • Paul 5.1.1

        Not busy tonight?
        Or just trolling for fun?

        • Rosetinted 5.1.1.1

          Paul
          Yes wrylands is either working for a right wing think tank, is very involved with a RW movement such as the NACT party, is newly retired with time on his hands. Or is threatened in his narrow mindset by so many differing ideas, so many that he can’t get out his flyswat fast enough. He’ll burn out, or go nuts eventually, hope it is before us.

          • Paul 5.1.1.1.1

            Normally I just ignore; however, it’s dull getting to the real discussions because there is so much troll traffic sometimes.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        Thankfully, peoples dreams and interests aren’t subject to your idiocy. At least, they shouldn’t be. By the way, if someone rejects your shitty job, you should try paying them more.

        • srylands 5.1.2.1

          Because being on welfare is better?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.1

            If the private sector can’t create decent paying jobs with a living wage they can go get fucked.

          • Rosetinted 5.1.2.1.2

            wrylands
            Could be even a beneficiary can do a rough cost benefit calculation. If your pay and conditions are shitty enough it may be better having a low but regular amount coming in.

            Of course if the wage payment is for part-time work and comes under the cap for allowable earnings then the low-paid employee can achieve a small advance in net income before the SWD discounts their base benefit till they get less income after working than that originally received from the state.

            If the employers are paying wages below that needed to provide a living then the person receiving benefits are subsidising the employer.

        • srylands 5.1.2.2

          “you should try paying them more.”

          workers get paid according to their productivity. You can’t just “dial up” higher wages by regulation.

          • blue leopard 5.1.2.2.1

            …and ‘productivity’ involves an employer deciding how much profit they want to make and adding that in as part of the ‘productivity’ equation.

            The word is profitability in common parlance, ‘productivity’ is a catch-phrase employed to cover its real meaning.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.2

            “workers get paid according to their productivity. You can’t just “dial up” higher wages by regulation.”

            As BL implied – its time to use a Marxian approach and move some of the economic surplus out of the hands of large corporations and into the hands of workers and small businesses.

            And of course, you can dial up higher wages by regulation, just as you can dial in lower wages through deregulation and off-shoring.

            You must think us stupid to try and run that past us.

            • srylands 5.1.2.2.2.1

              “its time to use a Marxian approach and move some of the economic surplus out of the hands of large corporations and into the hands of workers and small businesses.”

              Yes good luck with that. It is bound to work so well for a small economy like New Zealand with mobile capital and a large common labour pool next door with 25 million people. We will adopt a “marxian” approach. Sure that will make us better off. None of our regional neighbours will laugh hysterically. They will all gape in admiration. We will be the toast of APEC with our marxian approach.

              Dickhead.

              • I see that last comment is signed “Dickhead”

                How very appropriate.

              • Colonial Viper

                Why should we be afraid of wealthy ‘investors’ withdrawing their paper and electronic wealth from NZ? We will still have all our physical resources, our hard working people, and our real economic assets right here.

                And we can just issue more currency to put all those elements to work for the nation.

                BL 🙂

                • srylands

                  Because our future prosperity depends on innovation. Also severe capital flight results in rapid depreciation and a fall in living standards. The tax base also erodes. You end up with the uneducated and the welfare recipients who have no skills to participate in a modern economy and little will or energy to do anything but play pokies and take drugs.

                  Why am I even explaining that capital flight is a bad thing? Physical resources alone mean fuck all. Look at PNG or Burma.

                  But by all means – convince David Shearer to come out and say “capital flight is not important – we can just issue more currency”. See what happens.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But capital flight isn’t important. Or rather, it is easily managed. Its just electronic numbers debited and credited. Our real physical wealth remains, and we can always issue new currency to make up for any losses of NZD overseas, and continue economic activity unhindered.

                    It’ll let the government nationalise assets on the cheap and permanently lower house prices for everyone, as shortsighted people liquidate and leave (to where??? NZ is the best place in the world to live).

                    Further, where do you think people are going to put their electronic digitised “wealth”? NZ is a great place for it. Can you get more yield elsewhere? Of course. But buying into more paper assets in foreign financial markets is the equivalent of picking up dollar coins in front of a steamroller. Do so at your own risk.

                    Finally, you speak of “innovation” but you can’t see one inch beyond orthodox economic and monetary policy.

          • tricledrown 5.1.2.2.3

            schrilands workers don’t get paid according to their productivity thats just more bullshiT.
            Under National they get the minimum wage under act they would nothing like the korean fishing boats!

          • felix 5.1.2.2.4

            “workers get paid according to their productivity”

            lol no they don’t, nothing like it. That’s one reason why wages are so low.

            • Psycho Milt 5.1.2.2.4.1

              workers get paid according to their productivity

              Thanks for highlighting that one – I was skimming the thread, but having seen that I don’t need to read anything else. Srylands is an ideologue, an imbecile or a liar – whichever, there’s no need to waste any time on them.

  6. Sable 6

    Doesn’t look like Bennett has missed a meal in a while.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Surprised the PC brigade haven’t caned you for that comment 😈

    • Me too – especially since a quick squizz at the people on the customer side of the counter in a WINZ office could prompt a person to “jokes” about how they don’t look to have missed a meal in a while either.

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  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
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    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
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    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
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    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago