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Put away the champagne, Paula

Written By: - Date published: 3:42 pm, October 5th, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: national/act government, unemployment - Tags:

Paula Bennett:

“The number of people needing an Unemployment Benefit has slowed significantly over the last month, says the Minister for Social Development and Employment.”

Here, let me correct that for you:

“The growth in the number of people needing an Unemployment Benefit has slowed over the last month but still increased by 1,500 or one every seven minutes of the working month”, says the Minister for Social Development and Employment.

“In total, over 37,000 people have joined the dole queue under my watch and many more have become unemployed but aren’t protected by the welfare safety net”, the Minister adds.

“The number on the dole now stands at 60,660 – the first time since 2004 it has been over 60,000. Quite an achievement after less than a year in the job. I’m going to put my feet up,” concludes the Minister.

40 comments on “Put away the champagne, Paula ”

  1. Geek 1

    Of course that rise in unemployment has nothing to do with the recession that was ushered in by the previous government. Also note that the unemployment levels have not hit any where near as high as anyone predicted because of the actions of this government.

    Thats some mighty fine spin you got going on there partner.

    • gobsmacked 1.1

      So were the low levels of unemployment under Labour “because of the actions of the government”?

      Love the history rewrite on the global recession. Of course, the rest of the world thinks it had something to do with Wall Street. Stupid world.

      • Herman Poole 1.1.1

        Absolutely, the undersupply of labour that stifled growth during their term was the responsibilty of the Labour government.

        • Maynard J

          mmm, that one child policy was an abomination.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Stifled growth ?

            You mean the balanced growth promoted by labour

            Just as well we didnt have the ‘growth’ of Ireland, their unemployment level has hit 13%, and then there was Iceland who followed Keys mantra of higher ‘gearing’ so that growth wasnt ‘stiffled’

        • lprent

          You missed a crucial word – “skilled”. The actual shortage was in skilled labour, not just labour. There was usually an over-supply of unskilled labour through most of the 2000’s. The reason for lack of skills can largely be attributed to student loans and tax-cuts – mostly from the short-term idiots in National.

          The reason for the lack of home grown skills largely lies in the previous decades especially the 1990’s, not the 2000’s – large student loans. For people who did have student loans it was more economic to move offshore to higher real wage economies than it was to stay in NZ. So they did, mostly people in their late 20’s and 30’s. Exactly the types of people we were short of.

          There was limited room to bring in immigrants because their need for housing in particular tended to overheat the economy, resulting in the reserve bank stepping in to raise interest rates.

          The best way of retaining skills in NZ would have been to reduce student loan levels. However the tax cuts of the 1990’s while retaining the high government debt levels inherited from previous decades AND having aan aging population with the consequent increasing superannuation/health etc costs meant that there was a narrow margin for reducing student loan levels.

          We finally effectively got rid of the 70’s and 80’s government debt in 2007. Public pressure led to some extremely stupid and massively ineffective tax-cuts by both major parties. Now we are increasing government debt as a result while still having those super and health costs…… But that is Nat’s all over. Stupid and conservative.

          • toad

            Lynn, you are usually far more ecomomically dry than me.

            But that analysis is spot on. Not much more I can add.

            Except that a capital gains tax would have helped to stop the housing market overheating the economy if we had brought in more skilled migrants – but Labour and National are both too populist to go there for fear of the backlash from those who are creaming it from property inventment.

            • lprent

              I am indeed drier.

              But this is all pretty obvious once you look past the populist right-wing hysteria about ‘taxcuts’, usually by the same idiots complaining about skilled labour shortages. They tend to crap in the own nests and then whine about wanting someone else to clean it up.

              But as usual we have the Nat’s making the level of government deficit rising again with their usual short-term thinking. Eventually we’ll have to repay that with considerable interest on top of it accumulating over time. The national party truly are the debt monsters of NZ

  2. Ianmac 2

    As the Titanic finally sank below the waves, a spin doctor’s last gurgled words were, “The water is not coming in nearly as fast now so we must be OK.” Dizzy Paula?

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    What actions Geek? Was that the cycle way or cuts to the public service or………

    • Rob 3.1

      9 day fortnight saved our afternoon shift here bro

      • Maynard J 3.1.1

        Wow, given that about two companies joined up, I could probably find out your surname if your real name is Rob. So few people were affected by that policy odds on you are the only rob.

        • Craig Glen Eden

          MJ you forgot the Bro bit being tagged on to make it look like a real worker!

          • Rob

            Well I am a ‘real worker!’. I think the most disturbing thing about all this is that if those companies hadn’t signed up to those schemes and those jobs were lost, then you would be pleased.

            Quite a few companies employed a 9 day work programme without drawing the Govt subsidy after discussions with staff on how was the best way to get through the issue. Remember not all businesses have a unionised labour force.

            An Auckland based, trades business asked their team what they wanted to do, and they decided to not work Friday afternoons. This action helped that business to keep trading,

    • Herman Poole 3.2

      The important thing is what they didn’t do, they didn’t saddle future generations of kiwis with massive debt to save our generation a few months pain that we brought on ourselves. It is best to bear the brunt and start moving forward again as quickly as possible rather than putting it off for another day. It’s in twenty years that we will appreciate the various choices we had on what kind of stimulus choices were available.

      Bringing forward pre-existing projects was about the only constructive thing to do. An Obama-style stimulus package encourages stagnation as companies don’t make decisions while they wait for their handout, and in twenty years will not be viewed as providing value for money. It was also a waste of political capital as I think the stimulus packages have made the electorate wary of far more important healthcare reform.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        Well Herman (aka Sonny Blount) … the moot point is that, if given that money supply is a function of the state (and the sole legal tender in which taxes may be paid), why then does the creation of money have to be in debt?

        Over the last 9 months or so the global economy has been kept afloat because the major nations have created money supply to the tune of about $20 trillion, or about 30% of global GDP. If they had not done so, the world economy would have collapsed totally and dramatically, with dire and horrendous consequences that at least in the short term, would have been far more severe than any conceivable costs of say… mitigating global warming.

        The result of this enormous fiscal stimulus has been quite remarkable. The interesting question is, can it be sustained? In the normal course of events the creation of so much extra money supply would be inflationary, but in when confronted with the entirely predictable failure of the casino ‘free market’, and the immense deflationary pressure caused by debt deleveraging… printing all this extra money has had a stabilising effect. As long as the govt does not print more money than the productive sector of the economy can absorb (and in a depression there is a lot of spare capacity waiting to be used).. then the effect will not be inflationary.

        Indeed one of the best economic theories now left standing is Chartalism which explains what is currently happening rather accurately.

        The major shift in thinking that this idea proposes is that the creation of money supply should be a direct function of govt, not of the private banks who then charge interest on it.

        • Herman Poole


          I have two aliases for the simple reason that some real life people know one or the other of my aliases. Sometimes I might discuss a situation that a real life person who knows my alias and might want to apply(or assume) what I am saying to them or someone they know. I would like to be able to talk freely without worrying about that. I also do not want everyone I know to know when and what I post. I believe in what I say and anyone else is perfectly able to judge my opinions and observe what I have previously said. I have no need for publicity and believe posting anything on the net under my real name is unwise and if too many real life people know my alias I will change it.

          Moderators can see who I am and are perfectly able to remove my posts if they are considered spam or other. I would appreciate if the people who run the sight did not (in my opinion) abuse their knowledge otherwise you have found a succesful method to censor opinions and posting that goes unnecessarily beyond deleting their posts.

          [lprent: Hell no, we all use psuedonyms for exactly the same reason (even me..). This stuff sits around on the net for decades.
          Your identicon gives you away. It is keyed off your email address. As you say the moderators can track you using IP’s etc anyway.
          I don’t think that we have had to with you. ]

          • RedLogix

            Well, golly gosh.. nothing that 2 secs googling didn’t reveal.

            I can follow your reasoning up to a point; but personally I would stick to one pseudonym on any given blogsite. YMMV.

            • Herman Poole

              What does YMMV mean please?

            • Herman Poole

              I feel like a geek after acquiring that piece of knowledge.

              I’m really just terrified of coming to work and feeling all those eyes on me thinking “that guy can’t spell…”

            • felix

              I’m assuming you don’t work with too many music fans then…

            • Herman Poole

              None that would know offhand, not likely too either… despite my meek attempt at publicity there are few who have gone from “never heard of him” to “I heard that guy and he’s terrible”

            • felix

              Heh, yeah that’s probably the usual arc of interest. I’m only fairly recently acquainted with his work myself. I look forward to a journey of discovery which may take quite some time.

            • Herman Poole

              May I recommend Supersonic Jazz (Advice to Medics!!!) and The Magic City, probably his best at each end of the spectrum. Supersonic Jazz is really tight and more hard bop with a bit of world music around the edges, and along with Lanquidity (kinda groovy 70’s jazz) can be played comfortably with other people in the room. I also really like Fate In A Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out from his Chicago period and Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy from the New York period (IIRC).

              The Magic CIty (great sax like nothing else) along with Atlantis (great percussion and Ra’s best keyboard freakout) will clear the room but the rewards are huge, super-exhilerating and satisfy your brain in a way nothing else can. The Magic CIty is about his home town Birmingham in Alabama, ‘The most racist town in America’ which had recently had the 1963 Church bombings of 3 little black girls (Coltranes Alabama from Live at Birdland is another fantastic piece of music inspired by this, Coltrane was heavily influenced by Sunny and his highly regarded Sax man John Gilmore).

              Beyond those I would go for the live stuff next, I had Live At Montreux which had great long workouts but I’ve lost it 🙁
              My other early favs are Nubians of Plutonia/Angels & Demons At Play, Futuristic Sounds, Monorails & Satelites. Go for Magic City and Atlantis before Other Planes of There and Heliocentric Worlds. Strange Celestial Roads is an easy listen a bit like Lanquidity.

              The only real stinker I’ve hit is My Brother The Wind Vol II, although I haven’t heard it for 6 years so I might have to give it another try to see if I missed the point, I’m a bit luke warm on Nuclear War also.

              The John Swzed biography is a good read, Sun Ra is a hero to me beyond his music and this is quite informative. The Sound of Joy documentary (Robert Mugge I think) is really worthwhile and many bits are on youtube. I find Brother From Another Planet to be not entirely a Ra work, its alot blaxploitation.

              If you’re into jazz in any way and haven’t already, I can’t go long without Ornette Colemans “Shape of Jazz To Come’, most people wouldn’t even think it was free jazz today. And anyone who likes Ra will probably see a differnt kind of continuation into Parliament/Funkadelic.

              Just my 2 cents.

            • felix

              Awesome, thanks for the tips.

              I first got interested when someone sent me a live-sounding recording called “captain of the spaceship” which I haven’t been able to find out much about since. Any idea what album it might be on?

            • Herman Poole

              I don’t know that one sorry.

              The blaxploitation flic may have been Space Is The Place rather than Brother From Another Planet, it was at either Aro St Video or Alice in Videoland in Chch at least several years ago. Lots of topless black chicks running around iirc and not entirely representative if my idea of Ra.

              If you’re interested I’m happy to to burn bits and pieces as it can be expensive and variable to order the albums

            • felix

              Thanks, but I’ve found plenty to keep me going with for now. You’ve been most helpful.

              Here’s that track I mentioned – see what you think. The sound quality is pretty rough, it may have been taken from a film or something.

  4. Would anyone like to speculate on whether Bennet actually understands the difference between the two?

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Right so we have a few workers jobs saved by the nine day fortnight (union idea by the way not the govenrments) and we have they did nothing and statedgy but that has resulted us being in a better situation.Oh Hang on Bill was doing somthing during all this wasnt he, he was busy with his trust arrangements and John he’s been on Holiday for five weeks so far his year. In case you wingnuts have forgotten the worlds in this mess (recession) because of one other wing nut called Bush and his mates not because of Labour.

    • marco 5.1

      Actually the country was in recession before the world was. Also if you look at the economic data Labour inherited an economy on the up. But then again who is keeping score.

      • Craig Glen Eden 5.1.1

        Marco the reason for our economy going down had nothing to do with Labour, the substantive reasons for this have been covered many times by contributers to this site.
        You are correct when you say that the economy was on the up when Labour took over. However Labour invested hugely in things like the public sector which had been badly run down. Nurses, Social workers and Teachers were 3 professions that had been run down by National. Our Army was very poorly paid we had almost no trade apprenticeships for our young kids the list goes on and on .
        The new National supporters seem to have forgotten all this or are to young to remember.

  6. Anne 6

    Talking of Paula Bennett… when is the Privacy Commissioner going to make a call on her beneficiary bullying antics of a few months ago?

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    “The number of IQ points I’m losing each day has significantly slowed,” said the Minister for Social Development and Employment. “If this rate of decrease in the increase continues to decrease… no wait, increase… no, as you were, decrease… then my use of hackneyed phrases like ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’ is predicted to decrease by… I mean increase but at a decreased rate… I mean… ooo look, a butterfly. Pretty butterfly.”

    • nice one Rex.

      here’s Bennett on RNZ this afternoon, she is so out of her depth it’s just a little bit frightening that your parody is largely indistinguishable from the reality…


      • Rex Widerstrom 7.1.1

        That’s scary.

        “We used to be focused on ensuring people were getting their full entitlements, now we’re absolutely focused on jobs…” (or words to that effect).

        What, these are mutually exclusive activities?

        “Can we be confident that the number of people receiving the unemployment beenfit has slowed?”

        “Too soon to say… we have definitely seen a significant slowdown…”

        So we can have mutually exclusive responses, it seems.

        To be scrupulously fair, that was far from a great interview. The questions were as poorly phrased and vaguely informed as the answers they elicited. But that wouldn’t stop a competent pollie getting their talking points across… indeed it’d provide them an oportunity to do so rather than to waffle.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Rex is on form. Another line she uses is step up.

    Also a good point Anne, when indeed.

  9. North 9

    Many of us are simple folk so let’s not contribute too arcanely…….Paula Bennefit is more or less incompetent.

    Next question…….who’s really in charge of that portfolio ?

    Note that I’m suggesting a scenario well beyond normal inner-cabinet control. She’s the fall-gal for the meannesss to come.

    Poor Cow !

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    North, I agree with with the cow part.

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