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Snow storm shout out to the undeserving poor

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, September 28th, 2020 - 84 comments
Categories: benefits, labour, welfare - Tags:

Forecast is for snow all through Monday and Tuesday.

RNZ,

NIWA forecaster Nava Fedaeff said the South Island is in for very strong winds throughout the day, and widespread snowfall above 200m tomorrow.

“When you’ve got those cold temperatures and the wind combined, the wind chill is going to feel like -20 in some places – so very bitterly cold in some places.”

Yep, it’s fucking cold. I was fortunate enough to have firewood to bring in last night ahead of the storm and to be able to afford to turn the heater on at 5am when I was woken by the cold. Many others are not so lucky.

The Winter Energy Payment, one of Labour’s attempts to solve the problem of having so many New Zealand citizens living in health destroying poverty, ends in 3 days. That means the power bill that beneficiaries get next month, from the electricity they use this week, will coincide with a drop in weekly income of $40 – $63. You can do the maths on that.

(and no, beneficiaries who don’t have enough to live on, whose bank account empties half way through the week, every week, can’t save for a snowy day).

It’s common for low income people to be running out of firewood this time of year too.

Beneficiaries tend to live in older housing. Many houses in Otago and Southland are drafty, poorly insulated or not insulated at all, so space heating is both less efficient and more expensive. Some houses are damp as well as cold. Heating the room you are in rather than the whole house is pretty standard for people living in poverty.

Labour refuse to raise benefits for people living in these situations. They also refuse to plan for or even acknowledge the 100,000 people on benefits who cannot work due to illness or disability and who are thus utterly failed by Labour’s work will set you free approach to poverty.

Some of those illnesses are exacerbated by being cold, which means less ability to do things like beg WINZ for more money or hack the system to find things to burn in the fire place.

If you have to go outside, then when you come inside you have to be able to get warm, but this is very hard if you have a cold house and are disabled. This is how people get sick, and this is how unwell people get really sick. Not good at the best of times, doubly so while trying to contain a pandemic.

Media reports this morning are full of warnings about snow to low levels, road closures and care with driving/travel, and potential issues for stock on farms. Nothing about the humans who are going to really struggle this week. Out of sight out of mind I guess.

I also think there are substantial issues here for the working poor, especially those with precarious hours who also don’t have enough to live on each week. Some of these people will be helped by Labour’s work policies, but there will be others that won’t, especially as the covid recession kicks in.

I’m trying really hard here to not say Fuck You Labour, who are planning an employment insurance scheme for the well off but still can’t mention the word disability. I’m also wondering where the left’s conscience went and if all the pre-2017 election rhetoric around wanting to solve poverty was so much hot air (not enough hot air to make a difference).

Some will argue that Labour can’t fix everything over night (subtext is disabled, non-working poor should get to the back of the line, as if we weren’t already there), but the problem here is not that Labour don’t have a magic wand, it’s that they don’t have any kind of plan. That combined with their core position that poverty is resolved by jobs, makes it clear that there is nothing coming up that is going to help the large numbers of people who cannot work.

Labour don’t deserve the welfare portfolio. For anyone wanting to genuinely have this situation change, or see what solutions can look like, please see the Green Party and Māori Party’s welfare policies. The more progressive MPs we have in parliament, the more likely we will get action.

Green Party’s Poverty Action Plan
Maori Party’s Income Policy

84 comments on “Snow storm shout out to the undeserving poor ”

  1. Go on Weka….fill your boots.

    Fuck You, Labour.

    Happy to continue the kick-them-when-they're-down-and-make-them-crawl ideology of the Previous Incumbents.

    SSDD

  2. Sabine 2

    up and down the country we have people on a benefit who are below the poverty line.

    today it is a snow storm in the south island, tomorrow its heavy rain up north, and so on and so forth. They really don't care.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2009/S00148/labour-partys-welfare-policy-condemns-beneficiaries-to-poverty.htm

    “Despite all the rhetoric of kindness and compassion from the Prime Minister her Party is heading into the election without a commitment to lift people on the benefit out of poverty. COVID-19 is only going to put more strain on frontline Work and Income staff, with more people on jobseeker benefits needing food grants. Leaving core benefits below the poverty line during an economic crisis is irresponsible.

    “The Labour Party is entrenching the toxic culture at Work and Income by not further lifting core benefits. The current jobseeker rate of $250 does not cover basic expenses. Even if one receives all the supplementary assistance such as accommodation supplement people are being pushed to Work and Income to access food grants just to survive.

    “The COVID-19 Payment introduced by the Government showed us that it is possible to have income support that is individualised, allows people to cover basic costs and doesn’t have sanctions attached to it. The only thing getting in the way of overhauling our welfare system to reflect the values of the COVID-19 payment is political will.

    and let me fix this :

    “Leaving core benefits below the poverty line during an economic crisis is irresponsible criminal.

    • Craig H 2.1

      Let me fix that last line some more:

      “Leaving core benefits below the poverty line during an economic crisis is irresponsible criminal."

  3. Kay 3

    Unfortunately the media are enabling them. Not a peep out them either. Oh, for one of the 'moderators' in the upcoming debates to throw this at them and catch them off-guard. And remind them that not everyone can work should they try that line. Publicly embarrass them. Politicians hate being embarrassed. Nah, it'll never happen, but nice to dream…

  4. gsays 4

    Akin to this issue is council's around the country trying to phase out log burners.

    I see log burners as a way of heating a room, a house, heating water and cooking. The reliance on heat pumps is no good when the power is out or the power is too expensive. Heat pumps only really heat the air, as opposed to the radiant heat of a log burner.

    There is a balance to be struck with air quality, obviously but the authorities seemed to have ignored the benefits of a log burner and focussed on their downsides.

    • weka 4.1

      Agree. Wood burners are essential in the colder parts of the country, especially in older housing. The solution to air quality issues is to regulate for ultra efficient wood stoves, and to mandate better passive tech in all new builds.

      There is also the issue of climate change and power cuts in the future, as well as the inevitable big quake that takes out the grid in the South Island. Making everyone dependent on centralised power supply is daft.

      We do have a problem with firewood supplies though, that's not being managed sustainably. But our electricity production isn't either.

      • Poission 4.1.1

        We do have a problem with firewood supplies though, that's not being managed sustainably. But our electricity production isn't either.

        The electricity system is a complete stuff up,due to both ideological changes (partial sell off etc) and dogma for clean energy for clean energy sake.

        Residential nz pays some of the highest electrical charges in the OECD

        Molly Melhuish who once again cuts to the heart of the beast,argues convincingly that we are funding and subsidising the wrong horses ie the corporates,which in turn constrains any economic advantage for residential consumers to invest in alternative energy,and or energy efficiency.

        Labour’s “Clean Energy Policy” is a triumph of corporate energy’s predatory investment at the expense of energy efficiency and local energy. A $4 billion dam in Central Otago is to provide jobs for the boys, while funding for warm homes is reduced to a single token project.

        The corporates are desperate to grow their businesses. Their main spokesperson is Transpower, who in 2017 proposed doubling today’s generating capacity- mainly wind farms and geothermal power stations plus gas fired peakers. The corporates control the business plans of the regulator, the Electricity Authority, whose pricing policies are openly predatory against energy efficiency and local solar energy.

        https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2009/S00254/labours-clean-energy-policy-promotes-predatory-investment.htm

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Residential nz pays some of the highest electrical charges in the OECD

          Residential NZ pays two or three times as much as businesses do while using about the same total amount which means that Residential NZ is subsidising business.

        • Chris 4.1.1.2

          The only way is to nationalise electricity. Run it to pay for running it. No shareholder profit.

          • Tricledrown 4.1.1.2.1

            Now those companies are worth billions no govt can afford to buy them back.

            Warmer drier passively heated homes are a much cheaper option but even that is to expensive for most.

            Just pumping cheap heat into drafty poorly insulated homes is very wasteful.The greens have a more progressive policy when it come to solving poverty now with more people having to face the harsh reality of the exorbitant cost's of living hopefully they realise the only party that can change the status quo.

            • Chris 4.1.1.2.1.1

              It would happen if a government had the balls to do it. And of course more efficient ways of heating houses is a good thing.

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      There was some very dodgy science around wood burner bans in Christchurch, given that the emissions and particulate contributions of vehicles were ignored.

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        The official figures purportedly showed that the PM's that came from fires were finer and more dangerous than those from vehicles – that is what was said over and over when log burners were being phased out.

        I had a new clean burning wood heater put in. It is electrically driven. The hopper at the top has pellets of wood loaded in and an auger turns and drops them slowly down into the fire. Except it may not, the wood gets tangled up and will stop moving and the fire goes out. Or the wood does keep moving and gets through an amazing lot of pellets per day which I found quite expensive. No more getting pine cones and various sources of suitable and cheap wood.

        I can't use it if there is a strong wind. I don't think I can use it if the electricity is off. I wondered if I dropped the pellets into the bottom of the hopper would they go right through, but I don't think so because the auger feeds right to the bottom so would block the hole and needs to be turning. Then there is a problem with air pressure if there isn't any flow of air coming into the room, so passive houses, or if there are too many doors closed leads to a problem. I saw it in the paper and put it in my information bag so I can catch up on the details.

        Also I wasn't able to connect my hot water to one with a wetback system as that reduced the heat output below the required levels.

        The fire has numbers of holes for ventilation and to boost the flames, that need to be cleaned out regularly. It is a pain, and makes extra work compared to the ordinary log burners that seem pretty efficient.

        I couldn't believe that my only choice was to be an electrically driven wood burner because I had wanted one that would provide heating when power was off. There was such an unholy anxiety to get the Clean Air thing done that mere inefficiency and impracticability did not matter.

        • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1

          The pellet fires were supposed to be usable in a carbon-neutrally sort of way – just another level of dysfunction courtesy of Al Gore. A genuine carbon reduction scheme would have had household paper processed into pellets, along with unrecyclable plastics, and a fraction of coal or coke to keep the b.t.u.s up, just like the cheap tar saturated briquets used across most of Asia. But the bureaucracy behind the changes no longer cared whether households were safe or warm, much less economical.

      • Tricledrown 4.2.2

        True also most of the wood burners were old and not as efficient. People turning down the amount of air flowing through the fires at night caused most of the pollution.

        New models can't be dialed right down allowing the wood to burn properly.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      The reliance on heat pumps is no good when the power is out or the power is too expensive.

      How often does the power go out?

      Electricity should always be cheaper but the free-market fucks that up as well because it allows people to put inappropriate pricing in place to make a profit.

      Heat pumps only really heat the air, as opposed to the radiant heat of a log burner.

      WTF?

      All the radiant heat of the log burner does is heat the air.

      Heat pumps are far more efficient as what they're doing is moving the heat from outside to the inside while a log burner converts from stored energy to heat (with energy loss) and then a hell of a lot of that heat goes up the chimney.

      And then there's the problems that come with burning – the pollution and particulates that kill.

      the authorities seemed to have ignored the benefits of a log burner

      There are no benefits to a log burner but there are many downsides.

      • gsays 4.3.1

        "There are no benefits to a log burner but there are many downsides."

        Do you find hyperbole to be warming?

        Turn the log burner off ie close the damper/air intake, and it will provide warmth for many hours afterwards. Turn the heat pump off and the room is cooling immediately. There is one benefit.

        Have a kettle with water on the log burner and it is preheated or hot enough to make a brew.

        This is without going into a wetback system or raising the potential of central heating.

        "How often does the power go out?

        Electricity should always be cheaper but the free-market fucks that up as well because it allows people to put inappropriate pricing in place to make a profit."

        I am sure we agree that power should not be profitted from and should be nationalised, till we achieve that utopia, intermittent power outages are not uncommon around here in rural Manawatu and other places that get high winds and where there is underfunding of the network.

        In respect to particulate/emissions, there are a few 'mods' that can be done to ameliorate this eg:https://intensifire.co.nz/

        More importantly, it just isn't the same, having a romantic interlude on a sheepskin even if the heat pump is on 35C.

        • RedBaronCV 4.3.1.1

          After one power outage it took about three days to get the power back on in Berhampore which is at least 3 km from central wellington

          • greywarshark 4.3.1.1.1

            Looking at a fire brings out the primitive in me – it looks bright and warm, I feel warm, and if there are any romantic interludes that makes it nicer – which is a bonus. Emotions drive us all the time except not RL.

            This is part of the delusion that seems to be damn near universal. The idea that fires make things nice which, of course, they don't.

            If there is a damn near universal agreement about something, then the damn majority is likely to be right.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.2

          Turn the log burner off ie close the damper/air intake, and it will provide warmth for many hours afterwards. Turn the heat pump off and the room is cooling immediately. There is one benefit.

          That's called waste and waste is never a benefit.

          This is without going into a wetback system or raising the potential of central heating.

          Central heating does seem to be the better option:

          Most homeowners who have heat pumps use them to heat and cool their homes. But a heat pump also can be used to heat water — either as stand-alone water heating system, or as combination water heating and space conditioning system.

          The reason why NZ never went that direction despite our ties back to England which does seems to be because we've always been cheap and nasty. Using the immediately cheaper option to get a worse result.

          More importantly, it just isn't the same, having a romantic interlude on a sheepskin even if the heat pump is on 35C.

          This is part of the delusion that seems to be damn near universal. The idea that fires make things nice which, of course, they don't.

          Had plenty of romantic interludes in the lounge, with and without sheepskin or fires. The presence of either made no difference.

          • gsays 4.3.1.2.1

            "That's called waste and waste is never a benefit."

            One persons waste is another person's residual heat making a living/kitchen area warm into the morning, water for the first coffee heated, clothes dried and work boots dry and warm

            "This is part of the delusion that seems to be damn near universal. The idea that fires make things nice which, of course, they don't"

            Ever tire being the only one right?

            Fires do make nice. Marshmallows, bush television (no repeats), grilled veges/protein of choice, smoked food, a thoroughly reassuring presence when sleep is not happening when in the bush…

            Edit, I concur about us being a cheap bunch and Amen to central heating.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.2.1.1

              One persons waste is another person's residual heat making a living/kitchen area warm into the morning

              Heating more than you need is a waste and that's what you're doing. And to do that excessive heating is to use excessive amounts of scarce resources and thus pushing up the price.

              If you want a warm kitchen to wake up then turn on the heat pump 10 minutes before hand. And, yes, there's probably an app for that.

              Fires do make nice. Marshmallows, bush television (no repeats), grilled veges/protein of choice, smoked food, a thoroughly reassuring presence when sleep is not happening when in the bush…

              No they don't. It's the socialisation that happens around fires, especially in winter, that makes it nice but not the fire itself.

              We're not talking about being in the bush.

              And, yes, you can smoke foods electrically as well.

          • weka 4.3.1.2.2

            Centralised grid goes down in a big quake in the middle of winter. Snow storm takes out local power supply in the middle of winter. Now you're in an old, wooden, poorly insulated house in the middle of winter with a chronic illness that limits mobility so you can't keep your body warm by movement, and no way to heat space, hot water or food.

            This already happens.

            Changing our home infrastructure to be wholly reliant on the grid is not resilient in the future we are going into.

            oh, and firewood has the potential to be a carbon sink system when used for space and water heating, and cooking. We need to use our forestry regeneratively though.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.2.2.1

              Centralised grid goes down in a big quake in the middle of winter. Snow storm takes out local power supply in the middle of winter.

              Then we need to find a way to:

              1. Ensure that help is available when needed.
              2. Ensure that a storm won't take down the power grid.

              And I'm pretty sure that an earthquake already gets help to the locals.

              Now you're in an old, wooden, poorly insulated house

              Hopefully we start replacing those not fit for purpose houses with one that are – With solar panels on them.

              Changing our home infrastructure to be wholly reliant on the grid is not resilient in the future we are going into.

              The grid is essential to that future as its necessary for a distributed, renewable power supply. The wind doesn't blow nor the sun shine regularly enough in just one place but they do across the country.

              oh, and firewood has the potential to be a carbon sink system when used for space and water heating, and cooking.

              No, it doesn't as the difference in time span between cutting down/burning and regrowth is far too much.

              And, yeah, the pollution caused by fires is still a problem. We have people complaining about being limited now but imagine how upset they'll be when they get told that they have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on putting in filters. Reckon they'll do that to keep their fires or will they break the law?

              BTW, our forests, except for the native ones, are already regenerative. The trees are harvested and then, more often than not, replanted.

        • Binders full of women 4.3.1.3

          Before the kids came along i used to turn the hw cylinder off over winter. Wetback hot showers. There's no shortage of firewood… Wilding pines

          [If there is no good reason to change your user name then please don’t because it creates extra work for the Moderators, thanks – Incognito]

      • Tricledrown 4.3.2

        Log burners keep you warm and dry heat pumps barely warm the room and don't dry the air leaving more moisture leading to a colder feel in the room.

        Most heat pumps are not intact true heat pumps but air conditioners primarily designed to cool air .

        They are about a 1/3rd cheaper than a proper heat pump which the radiator is mounted on the floor as heat rises the floor mounted heat pump is far more efficient as it heats the air on the floor as it rises it heats the whole room,an air conditioner relies on the opposite cold air falling cooling the room,When used as a socold heatpump it has to force hot air down ,high ceiling house will take huge amounts of energy to warm even low ceiling houses most of the heat from the wall mounted unit ends up near the ceiling and not the floor.

    • satty 4.4

      So the solution is more pollution? Sounds like a National Party slogan. No wonder NZ is still one of the top-polluting countries per capita.

      The long term impact of pollution will hit the poor more than the rich. Also funny to see how the NZ "rich" or "better off" argue for the "poor" to allow them to pollute more or continue polluting. I guess that's to keep pollution for free (to everybody). More examples:

      • Low petrol price
      • No proper pollution check at WoF, keeping decades old run-down cars on the roads
      • No congestion charges or other plans to reduce number of cars in inner cities
      • Extremely old bus fleets (I consider noise a pollutant, too)

      Btw. Log burners are still relatively inefficient (see Energy and Civilisation – Vaclav Smith) and the most polluting heating option, especially in high density cities and with high rate of renewable energy available. Also people tend to choose cheapest wood, available without proper storage, like treated building materials and shitty moist stuff found in the woods, all because it's free.

      The solution is to ensure everyone can live in comfort without pollution.

      • gsays 4.4.1

        I have not advocated for more pollution. Any smoke is wasted fuel. There are some great retrofit devices to improve efficiency and reduce pollution.

        What I was pointing out is council's tendency to take a single view of an issue and not consider the wider impacts or unseen benefits. Also how a log burner is more than just a heater for a room and they contribute to resilience to a household.

        Speaking of pollution, the main domestic use of coal in Aotearoa is for electricity generation, so the heat pump isn't as righteous as some would have us believe.

        https://www.mbie.govt.nz/building-and-energy/energy-and-natural-resources/energy-statistics-and-modelling/energy-statistics/coal-statistics/

        I agree with you on exhaust and noise pollution and would add tyre residues as another toxic byproduct of our society.

        Edit, I forgot to mention all the heat pumps come from overseas, but NZ made wood burners is still a possibility.

  5. Michael 5

    A simple explanation for this state of affairs: Labour is a middle class Party and the middle classes have no empathy with the poor.

  6. Fortunate to have moved to a 1910 house that has been well renovated by the previous owner, with double glazing, roof insulation, a multi fuel burner and heat transfer system to warm the other rooms, but I do sympathise with the thrust of this topic as the 1986 'hut' I just moved from had only the floor and ceiling insulation I had put in, with no heating, mould and draughty gappy thin windows. It plays havoc with upper respiratory illnesses.

    I think the money issue for beneficiaries isn't just the money they don't get, it's about still losing the ideological battle that makes the majority of voters view them as undeserving and almost sacrificial. Change that and the rest will follow pretty swiftly.

    • weka 6.1

      this. Ardern on RNZ this morning was all about the children. It's the backhanded deserving poor positioning, and it harms us all.

      • The Al1en 6.1.1

        Since I posted, I was thinking that even if NZ found a tree that fruited diamonds and, like some oil rich countries have done in the past and improved living standards across the board, there would still be raised eyebrows and serious tutting if that were passed on way down the line.

        I do eye roll at labour for not increasing payments, but I don't hate them for it, because like a CGT, welfare doesn't get votes, though I would have thought and hoped that with the effects of C19 on the workforce, the exposure to the hard life may have changed some people's minds.

        I guess vote green is the way.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          it's the work will solve all ills that bothers me, because it patently ignores and marginalises people who for whatever reason cannot work. This is why I think Labour can't be trusted on welfare, they have no philosophical capacity to deal with the non-working poor. And yep, if we had a magic money tree I think there would still be issues because of that. Shearer's painter on the roof story still hasn't been moved on from.

          • The Al1en 6.1.1.1.1

            I've been consistent in all my time here regarding disability and welfare, agreeing with many that there should be a guarantee of a minimum standard of living with no strings attached, and it clearly isn't like it now. The Shearer 'roofgate' was always a bust, not only for it's inherent nastiness, but it failed to take in to account how someone with depression or anxiety could have had a good day and finally got some shit done. It's not like the painter was on acc knowingly defrauding the state, but yeah, that's sadly still the mentality of most.

            It use to be that the fastest way out of poverty was through employment and I can attest to that personally on a couple of occasions after periods of sickness/unemployment, but that's not really the case now with sky high rents, living costs and shit employers who still baulk at paying moderate minimum wage increases, not to mention the working poor and decent earners struggling with bills.

            To me, it still all comes down to how the out of work are viewed and portrayed by the media, and that follows through to the general public. Left or right, people don't like it when someone's taking the piss, and I'd own up to that, too, but the argument layabouts are lifestyle choicing it and getting money for nothing is one I push back on because as we put oil and coolant in our cars as a preventative measure against long term damage, decent welfare payments will keep people out of hospitals, kids bellies full and we all reap the knock on effects in saving health budgets on preventable illnesses, attentive, happy kids learning in school etc. etc.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              there will always be people that take the piss, across the whole socioeconomic range. I have way less of a problem with people doing that on the dole than at the top end. eg if people want to surf all summer and can live on the dole alone, have a it. It's not like everyone wants to do that, and there are lots of benefits to society of having people not in (full time) work. Lots of unpaid work gets done by people on benefits, including painting a roof. Society is stupid at the moment in that it doesn't value that.

              Agree on the prevention aspect, such a no brainer. I also believe that most people will be productive parts of society when given the chance and support. Way too many sticks at the moment.

              • The Al1en

                there will always be people that take the piss, across the whole socioeconomic range

                Absolutely, and the piss take from tax dodgers and/or rich pricks, who stash money in trusts for the lower rates, probably scalp more from the kitty than a few dole cheques each week ever would.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We already know that the tax dodgers cost us almost as much per annum as the entire social welfare budget.

              • Craig H

                Lord yes!

                Particularly pertinent in cold weather as the sudden cold snap reminds us, is that execution by hypothermia is disproportionately severe for not having either the will or ability to work.

                In terms of provision of basic needs, we treat criminals better than some of our citizens, and it's disgraceful. NB: the answer is not to toughen up prisons more or start executing criminals, it's to improve our income support system.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.2

              It use to be that the fastest way out of poverty was through employment and I can attest to that personally on a couple of occasions after periods of sickness/unemployment,

              I can attest to that as well but I can also attest that there needs to be jobs available and that people are willing to hire you or you can get a viable business going. For at least some people the latter two are not available.

              • The Al1en

                Both valid points

              • weka

                yep, and there need to be decent conditions in the work and enough hours to live on.

              • Kay

                Yes to the "willing to employ." Never mind those of us who still couldn't work if there were full employment with jobs to spare, active discrimination is so alive and kicking from employers- including the State Sector- that there is a significant cohort of people with disabilities languishing on benefits more than capable of working full time or part time and can't even get a foot in the door, even when they're the most qualified applicant.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I’m also wondering where the left’s conscience went and if all the pre-2017 election rhetoric around wanting to solve poverty was so much hot air

    As long as we have capitalism then anyone saying that they want to solve poverty is talking hot air.

    Capitalism creates poverty and thus having a capitalistic socio-economic system ensures that there will always be poverty.

    And Labour are all about keeping capitalism.

    That combined with their core position that poverty is resolved by jobs

    Can't solve poverty with jobs when running a high unemployment model.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1

      " As long as we have capitalism then anyone saying that they want to solve poverty is talking hot air "

      To me the heart of the problem is the belief that any amount of inequality is OK, rather than capitalism. I assume you can have a degree of capitalism, so long as you also have a strong component of wealth redistribution (recognising the fact that capitalism / markets tend to concentrate wealth in extreme otherwise). Or am I wrong and capitalism is fundamentally incompatible with any aim for reasonable equality?

    • Tricledrown 7.2

      DTB So which Socialist/Communist party has solved poverty without the help of Capitalism.

      Humans are part of Nature, Nature is about the fittest strongest surviving humans are trying to change Natures mechanisms of survival.Nothing Humans can do can completely change the way Humans behave no matter what system is in place.

      Greed is a survival mechanism so is Social cooperation.We can not undo Nature by legislation.

      Utopic ideas will only be peripheral, Looking at the evidence around the World most live in a dog eat dog world that's not going to change.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        Humans are part of Nature, Nature is about the fittest strongest surviving humans are trying to change Natures mechanisms of survival.

        Yeah, I can't actually make sense of that.

        Nothing Humans can do can completely change the way Humans behave no matter what system is in place.

        No, but we can put in place learning against corruption and how to recognise it and processes that will catch it.

        Greed is a survival mechanism

        No its not. Greed destroys the social cooperation that allows humans to survive.

        • Tricledrown 7.2.1.1

          Individual vs community but it is a survival mechanism that can't be legislated away.

          Except in a utopic world which will never exist .

          Reality is here right now after millions of years of evolution a few 1,000 years of socold civilization less than 200 years of Democracy in less than 10% of the 7 billion people.

          Your utopic ideology has barely got a following of between 200 and 1,000 people in NZ.The other 5 million are not interested in the slightest.

          Pragmatism is the only ideology most are interested in.

          Who is going to lead your utopic never land.

          Hippy communes tried something similar 99.9%failed why because it doesn't work to many people with different ideas .

          Every body is equal in your ideology nothing in Nature is equal.

          It's impossible to fight Nature it will win in the end.

  8. PaddyOT 8

    Trying to do the math using the Poverty Action Plan on a real life situation I know.

    Under the PAP-
    Weekly Payment.

    Single parent, 1 baby on the way, 2 children over 7 years plus IRD Child Support income.

    $325 ( Guaranteed minimum)
    $100 ( Universal under 3 )
    $310 ( x 2 children)
    $110 ( additional Single Parent Payment)
    $150 ( part time work minimum but
    earns more with 20 hours weekly)
    $120 ( CS received based on IRD formula from 2 different ex. biological parents. Increases with COL and CS of new baby dependent on new parent)

    ( unknowns + Accomodation, +Community service card , +Winter payment, +dental grant, +Childcare subsidy ? )

    Weekly total income baseline of

    $ 1115.00 ( before new child support added.)

    That's more earnings per week than 1 of the ex's with a new spouse, same living costs, 50/50 care who is working FT who pays out the CS but does not qualify for supplemental payments such as winter energy payment)

    Is there anomalies here ?

    • weka 8.1

      no idea, way too complicated. Redo it with a situation of just the two kids, and explain your rationales eg what does this mean "part time work minimum but earns more with 20 hours weekly"?

      • PaddyOT 8.1.1

        I don't think it can be simplified, it is just how the complex system already is. The Poverty Action Plan does not discuss how these disparities of children's living standards are addressed with two different department's legislations providing more or lessening money into households. However, Child Support is mandatory and was a measure to lift children's living standards.

        It gets worse trying to explain sorry !

        *:The $150 you asked about.?

        Currently, (without raising the unknown abatement proposed in the Poverty Action Plan _ PAP )

        • If you're a sole parent, you can earn up to $115 a week before tax, before your benefit is affected. Once you earn over $115 a week before tax any: income you get between $115 and $215 a week before tax will reduce your benefit by 30 cents for each $1 of income.

        ( income you get over $215 a week before tax will reduce your benefit by 70 cents for every $1 of income.)

        This SP ( receiving Child Support) person in above case works up to 20 hours per week part time in a cafe and that's where the additional nett $150 comes from.

        *;Not sure how to get rid of the fact of new baby in a few months ?

        Child Support (CS) is a seperate mandatory law administered by IRD. CS payments are worked on a fixed formula of income coming only from the child's biological parents and child care nights. (Proportionately , the underlying law begins with each biological parent assumed liable for half of costs of each child before complex calculations take place).

        It is complicated, eg. even if there is a new relationship with a new working or wealthy partner, the new partner's income into a household raising living standards, is NOT counted by IRD for CS.

        Complicated? Even more so with number 3 child arriving soon from a third partner, this is a Receiving parent formally declaring estrangement – non disclosure on an MSD statement for 1 child – but CS still arranged and received privately.

        Predominantly, there's a widespread call of unfair in the disparity, because under IRD formula for CS any new child born in the Payee's new family household can be worth less in $ in IRD formula, than their own other child who is worth more by IRD value, when the other child is living in the Receiver's household.

        So, if a person who is the Payee of CS has a new dependent child living with them, IRD currently values that child at an already set rate in calculations ( about $6000 pa as being the IRDs set cost to raise but adjusted up about 1.6 % each year ). The Payee can end up paying CS of more per annum for his/her other child in shared custody. Each child then having different living standards enforced by IRD.

        IRD currently has set the write off 'living allowance' for all living costs of the PAYEE parent of CS at $19600 pa. Thus assumed by IRD is the payee can live on $19600. ( No other cost factors are considered ). Already, the payee is calculated by IRD to be able to live on nearly half of the minimum wage.

        Further complicating is the more children a Receiver of CS has to any new partners, the more the write off for ( for each child) effectively lowering the Receiver's ( declared) income in calculations. This increases the PAYEE's % formula living in another household as then having a larger payment yet in reality comes from an unchanged income.

        For the Payee even if there's 50/50 shared care days, it isn't as simple as saying they should work more to increase their current household income and conditions for new children. The more income, including other such as overtime or bonuses for hard work etc the more their CS % payments increase. Their are no COL write offs in the IRD formula for the Payee household in the IRD formula.

        For years since the introduction of the new Child Support laws, 2015 this case is not uncommon with thousands of families ( now in formed lobby groups) because sadly through failed relationships and new families established, there are working families receiving less household income than the family who are Receivers of another working parent's CS payments.

        The IRD process for these families is overwhelmed already with dealing with the number of formal Administrative Review cases before the IRD committee to undertake annually. Income hiding, under table deals, providing 'inaccurate' income estimates to IRD, forming avoidance trusts and businesses, onto Family Court cases for child custody are all bound up in this from both sides.

        So, back to the start, it is already complicated even before a new PAP proposal, the two seperate policies/laws of IRD for compulsory CS and then mandated MSD income ( or a PAP approach) would need to address quite disparate incomes in shared custody families. Particularly, where Payees, years after dissolution, cannot afford exorbitant rent or mortgage but receive no MSD top ups. The living standards for children are not equal for all children.

        The real case I put forward was relatively simple. If you want complications there are many households with children from different parents and relationships.
        If we are talking fair outcomes for all children then the issues become more complicated in other cases under IRD.

        One CS payee ( X) is paying $370.00 for ONE child each week. Another family, a different Payee ( Y) is paying $129 for ONE child each week. Both X and Y s ex partners don't work. Both X and Y do not resent paying CS and are very supportive to the best of their abilities.

        How's that fair for each of those children in terms of meeting basic needs ?

        CS has always worked throughout decades mandated on the parents' responsibility to 'pay' for their child not the state.

        Child poverty is also caused by near $3 billion dollars of unpaid child support in NZ and that's assessed only on those 'found ' and are employed liable parents.

        In another scenario, if you do not have children how much does the PAP $325 realistically lift one out of poverty? Or are these persons to be covered under a second tiered arrangement similar to present MSD supplementary grants?

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          I meant that if you choose an easier example it will be easier to understand the policy and then you can move on to more complex situations. eg choose a family with two kids and work off that. I've written posts about welfare and had to do the maths around complex formulas and it's just easier to understand and discuss if you start with the basics.

          Are you blending Labour and GP policy there? I can't answer your question about anomalies, because I don't understand a lot about what you are saying.

          I understand how abatements work, I don't understand what *you mean by "part time work minimum but earns more with 20 hours weekly". It's not a sentence that makes sense. If you are saying they earn $150 some weeks and more other weeks, then again I would say stop making it so complicated, pick less complex situations, work through how the policy works and then move onto the more complex ones. Variable income is a nightmare and I don't think it will help to start with that.

          • PaddyOT 8.1.1.1.1

            Under the Green's Poverty Action Plan – post election if implemented.

            Common NZ scenario of children in one household of multiple seperated parents. ( MSD provisions for low income and family support, are additional and stand alone to IRD administering mandatory Child Support or a Receiver having additional payments direct from private Child Support arrangements. The CS Payee must pay).

            So under PAP a disparity for families occurs.

            Poverty Action Plan.

            PARENT A.
            • $325 ( Guaranteed minimum for students and people out of work, no matter what)

            • Additional support for single parents through a $110 per week top-up.

            • The parent also receives per week a nett of $150 from part time work.

            Plus Post election it IS a 3 child household so from PAP-:

            First child under 3 – $100 (Universal Child Benefit for each child under three of $100 per week.)
            2nd child $190 per week
            3rd child $120 per week

            (PAP- Family Support Credit of $190 per week for the first child and $120 per week for each of subsequent children to replace the Working for Families tax credits with a higher abatement threshold and lower abatement rate.)

            In addition PARENT A is the Receiver of $120 per week of CS from IRD formula.

            ( total of different contributions from 2 different ex partners – Payees parent B and Parent C ).

            So at this point single Parent A receives $ 1115.00 per week as base line.

            (That amount is without adding in unknowns ie. Accomodation, +Community service card , +Winter energy payment, +dental grant, +Childcare subsidy ? )

            The disparity is that in the CS payee's PARENT B's household,

            this PARENT A's base income before supplements under PAP of $1150.00

            is MORE income coming in per week than in PARENT B's household with no lift in wages .( If there is a lift in wages Parent B under IRD pays more CS % anyway.)

            ( Parent B paying CS to Parent A with same living costs, living with new spouse with new children so doesn't receive any CS, has 50/50 care of 1st child, is working FT but does not qualify for supplemental payments like the winter energy payment. )

            Many households are disadvantaged in this way, children in one household like PARENT A's have more income than in PARENT Bs.

            You can take out the $100 for the soon to be unborn if you like. That unborn will also bring additional $ too of CS out of Parent C.

            Family poverty for children is not just one political party's response or a Government's response as a sole cause in order to qualify " FU# Labour."
            For one, other than historical entrenched poverty from say capitalism, as pointed out earlier, near $3 billion is missing in CS over a few years of parents' escaping responsibility and that's only from liable working parents.

            Meanwhile many honest PARENT B's for 18 years can be in poverty too.

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              what are the earnings and number of hours worked of each of the two adults in the second family?

              • PaddyOT

                Gross income of $776 ( 40 hours @ $19.50 per hour) .
                PAYE is $106. 95
                ACC is $10.79
                Kiwisaver is $23.28

                On the gross wage of $776 per week IRD calculated Child Support of $79.50 is deducted for Parent B's child living in Parent A's household.

                ( A second non biological parent person working in Parent B's household does not change CS to Receiver Parent A. )

                Actual Net take home pay from wage is then $555.48

                Then qualifying on Gross for In Work Tax credit of $72, + Family tax credit of $140.

                = PARENT B Household net income is then $767.48 per week.

    • Tricledrown 8.2

      Working out the cost and where the money is coming from is the part of of UBI.

      GST would have to go to 25% all taxes would have to increase .

      Not a popular electoral strategy.

      Experimental trials are happening around the world interesting times costings need to be worked out.

      • Sacha 8.2.1

        GST would have to go to 25% all taxes would have to increase

        Balderdash. Nothing about that in any UBI proposals I've seen mentioned here. Taxing wealth would be a great way to avoid increasing income or consumption taxes, for example.

        • Tricledrown 8.2.1.1

          Wealthy people know how to avoid taxes I worked in the IRD many years ago when taxes were high very few paid the high rates.

          Tax lawyers and accounts are cheaper than paying tax .

          If you want a UBI its effectively a flat tax refund that those who earn a reasonable or high income will pay for.Since 1984 no one seems to want a tax increase or vote for a party that wants to increase benefits to a livable income.

          Maybe a very long recession or depression as happened in the 1930's is the only way Voters would change.

          • Sacha 8.2.1.1.1

            You seem to be thinking of taxing only incomes. Imagine this being more like the old stamp duty – hard to avoid even with an accountant.

      • weka 8.2.2

        Don't tell lies under my posts (or anywhere on site for that matter). The GP's GMI is funded via a wealth tax, read the policy document for costings. UBI models vary in how they are funded, but like Sacha I've never seen anyone suggest raising GST to 25%.

        • Tricledrown 8.2.2.1

          So where does the money come from the wealthy have huge powers they will not hand over money without a fight.

          How many people are in favour of a UBI.

          I did some calculations on UBI costings so if every adult and child received UBI $60 per child$100 per teenager,$300 per adult.Thats about $1.5 billion a week $75 billion a year . Where is that coming from.

          I would like to know.

          • weka 8.2.2.1.1

            My suggestion is you read the costed policies. The Greens Poverty Action Plan and their Progressive Tax Reform policy. The GMI there is not a UBI (it's for people without income).

            You can look at TOP's UBI policy for their costings. There are lots of problems with that policy, but they have done the numbers.

            There have been various posts on TS about UBI that look at costings

            https://thestandard.org.nz/tag/ubi/

            And there are other models in NZ that you can look up.

            • Tricledrown 8.2.2.1.1.1

              The greens GMI relies on getting substantial support from the electorate.Labour being the much larger party will water down the Greens policy.

              So what will the reality be most likely a bit of tinkering around the edges.No major policy shift unless the Greens started to move over 10% support.

              The fact that any party that goes into coalition with a major party suffers loss of support the big parties know this and just placate the smaller parties.

              As you say the more support the Greens can garner the more likely this progressive policy can be implemented.

              But without a substantial increase in the housing stock their is no chance of any decline in poverty.

              • weka

                that all may well be true, but it's completely different than saying that GST would have to go to 25%, when neither Labour nor the GP would ever countenance such a thing.

                • Tricledrown

                  I am a green supporter and voting your way to.But reality is that the Greens will only get a few concessions more in some areas than others.

                  For a radical shift in policy to cure poverty many more New Zealanders will have to feel the reality of poverty not seen since the 1930's

                  UBI is going to be needed then as the world moves towards a more robotic future the costings need to be thoroughly thrashed out the well off won't want to pay so an multi pronged tax that doesn't scare off the wealth creators is required.

                  No one is talking longterm at this election.

                  No one has mentioned the 4 day week either the last time that changed was in the 1930's.

  9. 100% , Weka , and as last time, the Greens will get my party vote. Labour, the electorate.

  10. Dean Reynolds 10

    It'll be a great day when Labour has the balls to renationalise the whole power industry & return us to the pre 1991 position where power was sold to consumers at the cheapest possible price. There were no parasitical CEO's on obscene salaries, no overpaid Directors, ( Shipley, the corporate criminal was paid $100 k pa to chair Genesis) no dividends to free loading shareholders & no tax to pay. We had the second cheapest power in the OECD, (after Norway) until the Nats corporatised & then privatised the whole system, from 1991 onwards

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