Some facts on benefit numbers

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, May 28th, 2008 - 29 comments
Categories: benefits, spin - Tags: ,

Hear that sound? It’s Judith Collins banging the sickness beneficiaries drum again. Fresh from a sensationalist report on the front page of the Dom today, Collins is demanding the Government and the Department of Work & Income:

“admit they are failing beneficiaries and failing doctors because Labour is more focused on pushing people on to sickness benefits to make unemployment benefit numbers look better.”

This has been a Tory standard for some time: the reason unemployment rates are down so much is because Labour is putting everyone on sickness benefits. Unfortunately the stats don’t support this claim. Here’s a graph showing trends in benefit numbers between 1990-1999 under National, and 1999-2007 under Labour.

You’ll note that even with our growing and aging population putting pressure on sickness beneficiary numbers there is no marked increase since 1999, and certainly nothing to account for the drastic fall in unemployment. In fact, if you adjust the figures to population, sickness beneficiary numbers increased 51% under National compared to just 33% under Labour.

Collins has a research unit to tell her this kind of stuff. She just knows you don’t.

29 comments on “Some facts on benefit numbers”

  1. Ben R 1

    “Fresh from a sensationalist report on the front page of the Dom today”

    That’s true about the stat’s not showing unemployment is simply down by transferring people to sickness/invalids benefits. I think what that Belgium doctor described would be a fairly widespread difficulty though, particularly for rural/small town GP’s.

  2. alex 2

    Judith Collins used this against Darren Hughes today at Oral Question time.

    He replied that in his electorate of Levin, over 1000 more people now have jobs, while only 36 have moved to sickness benefit.

    I can only assume Judith Collins is persisting with this line of questioning as a marketing tool for the National party, the evidence doesn’t stack up.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Tane

    The link is to Collins talking about GPs being pressured into assisting people onto sickness benefits – I can confirm this does indeed happen in certain parts of the country.

  4. RedLogix 4

    I can confirm this does indeed happen in certain parts of the country.

    Always has. All doctors know this.

    Look at the numbers. At most there are about 50,000 SB’s. Lets hypothetically guess that fully 50% of them are malingerers… ie all of about 25,000 individuals amounting to about 0.8% of the total workforce. It’s not the biggest issue facing the country, and hell if we have to pay these good for nothings a benefit to keep out of our faces, it’s probably money well spent.

    Now it would be really nice if we could get the number of freeloaders down to zero, if for no other reason than it might mean could afford to be more generous with the genuinely disabled… but you and I know this is not going to happen under any government you or I would care to live under.

  5. Tane 5

    I have no doubt that some GPs have felt pressured like that Belgian doctor says, but Collins is trying to project the idea that this is the norm when it’s simply not true. That’s because people are on sickness benefits because they are sick, not because they’re rorting the system or being pushed onto it by the government to massage unemployment figures as Collins has so frequently argued.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Red

    I would suggest that the malingers are at the most in the 1000s not the 10s of thousands.

    While some of my colleagues in primary care are a pushover most know a scam when they see it.

  7. higherstandard 7

    Tane I’m prepared to give Collins a break today on the back of her efforts for the Vietnam veterans

  8. Just beat me to fixing your typo, Tane. Who thought those roles would be reversed.

  9. lemsip 9

    In fact, if you adjust the figures to population, sickness beneficiary numbers increased 51% under National compared to just 33% under Labour.

    Tane

    The proportion of the working aged population receiving a Sickness Benefit at the end of March trended upward between 1999 and 2007, but has decreased in the last year.

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/media-information/benefit-factsheets/national-benefit-factsheets.html#sickness

    Which stat is more important?

  10. alex 10

    lemsip,

    The stat that is most important is the huge decrease of people on the UB, compared to the slight increase of people on the SB.

    Hence it doesn’t follow that National can accuse Labour of massaging unemployment figures by moving people onto the SB.

  11. dave 11

    .. well not all of the unemployed, anyway. Just a lot of them. And not just the sickness benefit, either, the invalids benefit too.

  12. One could be forgiven for thinking the assault on public servants in the Herald and beneficiaries in the DomPost on the same day is National’s attempt to distract voters and the media from that party’s lack of released policy and loss of initiative after the Cullen Budget that left them speechless.

    Next it will be solo mums and Maori……

    Show us yer policy, John! Stop bullying the weak.

  13. erikter 13

    “Next it will be solo mums and Maori.”

    And why not? To the list I’d add people of any race, social status or religion, who passing as a ‘beneficiary’ cheats the new Zealand taxpayer by being a bludger.

    Te welfare state should be reformed, so only people in real need can have access to benefits.

    It’s been a free ride for too long for too many people.

  14. It’s been a free ride for too long for too many people.

    No it hasn’t. The stats right in front of you show it hasn’t. The growth in poverty in the 1990’s that hasn’t been properly dealt with show it hasn’t. In fact you moron, any measure of reality shows it hasn’t. But reality doesn’t mean that much to you does it, eriktard? You dull little creature.

  15. Te welfare state should be reformed, so only people in real need can have access to benefits.

    My God, that’s a brilliant idea! Why has no-one thought of this before? What have these lazy-arsed govts over the decades been doing, ignoring such a simple and obvious solution?

    Redlogix makes a good point: It’s not the biggest issue facing the country, and hell if we have to pay these good for nothings a benefit to keep out of our faces, it’s probably money well spent.

    Indeed. There is a proportion of lazy, useless, criminal, trouble-making fucks in any society, and I’m entirely happier for them to be off congratulating themselves for fraudulently drawing a minimal benefit at our expense somewhere, rather than applying for jobs with me and lying to my face in job interviews.

  16. infused 16

    Actually, I know quite a few changing from the unemployment benefit to sickness because they are so NAZI on the former and the later is so easy to get (and pays more).

    And I really believe Labour have just benefited from good economic times. If National gets in, the numbers will jump up with all the job losses of late and National will get the blame once again.

  17. ak 17

    “…the later is so easy to get (and pays more).”

    Infused with pure crapola on both counts: SB and UB rates are identical and SB requires a medical professional to approve.

  18. ghostwhowalks 18

    infused the SB isnt ‘more’ than the UB. The only ‘advantage’ is that you dont have to look for work.
    You are thinking of the invalids benefit

  19. fraser 19

    “To the list I’d add people of any race, social status or religion, who passing as a ‘beneficiary’ cheats the new Zealand taxpayer by being a bludger.” – wtf?

    im unsure of the intent behind the statement

    Are you saying that there are certain people of various religious/ethnic/social backgrounds getting an easier time while on the benefit?
    OR,
    are you saying that certain religious/ethnic/social backgrounds somehow qualify one as a bludger (or that they are culturally/geneticly/socailly predisposed to bludging)?

    either way – some evidence for the claim would be good

  20. ants 20

    Ha ha ha – and then you include the number of Kiwis stuck on the Working for Families benefit and blows your pathetic figures out of the water.

  21. r0b 21

    Hello ants, welcome to The Standard. We look forward to many intelligent and thoughtful posts from you during your stay. Unfortunately, that wasn’t one of them.

  22. Kerry 22

    Nothing like 50% of sickness beneficiaries are malingerers. Maybe 10% are. GPs are always trying to cull those numbers.

    Doctors are continually pressured to issue inappropriate sickness benefits. But being pressured does not mean they issue them. The pressure gets tiresome, but the rules are clear, you have to be sick, you have to be engaging in treatment imo.

    WINZ cannot make the call about whther a person is too unwell to work, so when people fail to turn up for their seminars and work planning and workplaces assessments and say they are too sick, WINZ must advose them to see their GP. so the non sick person comes along saying WINZ sent them. That is misrepresenting the facts. WINZ must advise them to seek medical review if they arent meeting the requirements of the unemployment benefit. WINZ arent telling doctors to put people on the sickness benefit, and they never have.

    The unemployment figures in Nz are hidden in a plethora of pointless ‘training courses’ that will never lead to anything, but keep the kids off the street.

  23. Kerry 23

    SB isn’t ‘easier’ to get.

    SB isnt more money than UB or IB.

    Some people want to be on SB because they cannot be bothered working. And cant be bothered going to three weeekly seminars and work planning and work trials. But if they are fit they should be on UB and should be planning to work.

    There is a category of people that will never ever get a job. They wont get one no matter how many seminars they go do. There are some personality disordered people who will never successfully gain employment. There are a few on them on SB, but really I think there should be an unemployable benefit.

    There is also another group of people who have done hard physical work all their lives then in their 50s and 60s have burned themselves out are incapable of doing the work they have always done, and have no skills to pick up any other kind of work. Our society is ageist and I do know several not retirement age but not employable people on the SB who would far rather be working but no one wants them.

  24. Kerry 24

    The slight increase in SB and Invalids benefits in no way matches falling unemployment benefit numbers

    It does reflect out aging society though, there are more older people now than previously, and that number will climb every year for the next few decades

    You people repeat crap, you dont do the sums for yourself, you just parrot something unsupported by any facts

    Invalids Benefit is very hard to get, you have to be provably permantly disabled in a major way. That can[t be faked. Or easily obtained.
    . SB is not easy to get, and if you are pretending to be sick you have to maintain that facade when you front up to your doctor every 3 months. Most people could not be bothered for the pittance of the SB

    Several commentators obviously have absolutely no experience of knowledge of that which they spout forth so authoritatively

  25. Kerry 25

    And stupid Judith Collins is claiming it is a government conspiracy saying David Bratt said so. David Bratt said doctors are regularly pressured to give unnecessary SBs, and that the people often said WINZ sent them. But he never said it was government policy, the woman is an idiot
    WINZ MUST recommend medical advice if people say they are too sick to work, but that is nothing like saying WINZ are pressuring doctors to put people on SB. The initiators of this process are solely those people who choose not to work and say they are too sick to. Not the department. The department advise them quite appropriately to seek a medical opinion.

    System working as it should

  26. weka 26

    IB is easier to get on now than it used to be, but not as easy as it was before National got its hands on it in the 90s.

    The criteria for IB isn’t permanent disability.

    “To qualify for an Invalid’s Benefit you must be 16 or over and:

    unable to regularly work 15 hours or more a week because of a sickness, injury or disability which is expected to last at least 2 years

    or your life expectancy is expected to be less than 2 years and you are unable to regularly work 15 hours or more a week

    or blind with a specified level of restriction in your visual field or in the sharpness of your vision.”

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/get-assistance/main-benefit/invalids.html

    People who know how to work the system will have a better chance of getting on SB or IB.

    I don’t accept that there has been no ‘significant’ increase in SB or IB, although I accept the general point being made by Tane that there is no correlation between the changes in figures of UB, SB and IB. However I don’t think anyone has ever said that the decrease in UB is solely to one thing like the rise in medical beneficiaries. Obviously the fact that there are more jobs is the major factor, but that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been some shuffling and fiddling going on either.

    eg I don’t trust that the long-term UB numbers have decreased in a meaningful way because if you make UB harder to get and stay on then you will increase the number of people that move between UB and short-term or part-time work and who will no longer be classified as long-term unemployed even though to all intents and purposes they are.

    The only way we can know how many people have shifted from UB to SB or IB (or from DPB to IB for that matter) is if someone analyses the actual people involved and what’s happened to them over the last decade. Simply comparing numbers is too blunt an instrument.

    The thing that concerns me about Collins, and this discussion, is that there seems to be no account taken of the increasing number of people whose health is deteriorating because of long term poverty and are either on the dole where their health problems aren’t acknowledged, or are on sickness and being given a hard time for it because they’re not ‘really’ sick. I’m not sure who Collins meant when she said GPs were being bullied (i.e. who is doing the bullying?), but if someone on the dole has decreasing health then good for them if they make it onto SB.

  27. Swampy 27

    The situation for IB in particular is that a number of people who were LTE were found to qualify for IB when programmes like Jobs Jolt came along to specifically address LTE. Whilst it would be accurate to say people have gone from UB to IB etc these people would have always qualified.

    That said, Winz staff have often gone to existing beneficiaries and given them the forms for their GPs in order to ensure they are receiving their full entitlements. This includes SB/IB forms regardless of whether the beneficiary is sick or invalid.

  28. weka 28

    LTE?

    ” Winz staff have often gone to existing beneficiaries and given them the forms for their GPs in order to ensure they are receiving their full entitlements. ”

    Historically or recently? Why would they do that?

  29. Alex 29

    “?Next it will be solo mums and Maori.?

    And why not? To the list I?d add people of any race, social status or religion, who passing as a ?beneficiary? cheats the new Zealand taxpayer by being a bludger.

    Te welfare state should be reformed, so only people in real need can have access to benefits.

    It?s been a free ride for too long for too many people.”

    ARGH why do people think this!? Only about 10% of people on an unemployment benefit at the start of a year are on it at the end of the year.

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE DOLE BLUDGING MINORITY THAT EXISTS IN EVERY TORY’S FANTASY WORLD.

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    The fight goes on.   Merinda Jackson. Photo: The Wireless/Max Towle Women wearing suffragist dress gathered outside Wellington’s central library this afternoon. They periodically broke off into small groups and disappeared inside for a few minutes at ...
    3 days ago
  • How WINZ got social housing costs so wrong
    Last year, National bowed to public pressure over homelessness and replaced emergency housing loans - under which the homeless were saddled with odious debt to be put up in price-gouging motels - with a grant. Their initial budget for these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Narcissistic men are more likely to troll on Facebook – study
    “Aggression, manipulativeness, low agreeableness.” Sound familiar? Illustration: 123RF A new study analysing people’s motivations for trolling has found men are more likely to bully others on Facebook because they’re more narcissistic. Researchers from Brunel and Goldsmiths universities ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: This is going to cost us
    For the past six months, National have been suppressing Ministry for the Environment guidance on coastal hazards, which show that sea level rise and the resulting storm surges threaten $19 billion of coastal property. This government malfeasance isn't just bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National has failed our health system
    Along with a number of other worsening sectors in New Zealand, the public health system has become increasingly degraded under a National led government. The statistics clearly show a complete failure to meet growing demand for services, especially in peak ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day
    Today, September 19th, is Suffrage Day. 124 years ago today, women gained the right to vote in New Zealand. Its one of our greatest achievements as a nation, and yet its not one we publicly mark. That needs to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins and the swamp kauri petrol crisis
    The ruptured fuel pipe that runs to Auckland Airport looks set to cause more chaos as fuel shortages start to impede people trying to fill up at the pump.Already a number of international flights have been diverted or cancelled due ...
    3 days ago
  • Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand
    This sort of serious dental fluorosis does not occur in New Zealand A recent issue of the Fluoride Exposed Newsletter gives us the facts about dental fluorosis – a subject very often misrepresented by opponents of community water fluoridation. Ever ...
    3 days ago
  • PT Ridership around New Zealand
    Auckland had a pretty good year for public transport ridership in the last financial year (to the end of June). Overall, compared to the 2016 ridership increased by 5.5 million (7%) to 88.44 million trips, the highest point since 1955. ...
    3 days ago
  • Australia tries to deport Rohingya to persecution
    Myanmar is currently waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Rohingya minority. So naturally, the racist Australian government is trying to force Rohingya detained in its concentration camps to return to persecution:Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Chevron’s Amazon Chernobyl Case moves to Canada
    After perpetrating what is probably the worst oil-related catastrophe on Earth - a 20,000 hectare death zone in Ecuador, known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” - the Chevron Corporation has spent two decades and over a billion dollars trying to avoid ...
    3 days ago
  • 5 reasons the car industry needs to change its ways now
    Today the world’s biggest motor show gets underway in Germany. The Frankfurt Motorshow is the moment many of the world’s best known car manufacturers get together for a grand display of vehicles that have been polished so hard it’s a ...
    3 days ago
  • Access Granted: Kat Greenbrook – From insight to action
    Kat Greenbrook (@katgreenbrook) is on a mission to increase the number of data insights actioned as she sees a growing gap between analytics teams and decision makers, stemming from a breakdown in communication.  Kat, through her own company Rogue Penguin, works across ...
    3 days ago
  • When The Country Goes To Town.
    Pretty Ugly, Pretty Quickly: That the demographic and cultural divide between rural and urban New Zealand remains a source of deep unease to farmers cannot be doubted. Equally indisputable, historically-speaking, has been the militant, even violent, character of rural New ...
    3 days ago
  • More on Kiwi Rail De-electrification
    *This is a guest post by Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders KIWIRAIL’S NIMT DECISION EXPOSED IN LEAKED DOCUMENTS Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders1 Leaked documents show that KiwiRail’s decision in December 2016, to ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Limits to growth?
    Mounting concern with housing, transport and diversity issues in Auckland point to a consensus that growth trends are exceeding our ability to readily cope. This is aggravated by reports that portions of our wilderness tourism areas are being hammered by ...
    Briefing PapersBy Charles Crothers
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters hijacks National’s protest
    There was a lot of anticipation surrounding a farmer’s protest in Morrinsville yesterday, a protest over Labour’s proposed levy of 1 to 2 cents per 1000 litres of water used for irrigation.Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ in particular have been ...
    4 days ago
  • Just when will the fat lady start singing this election?
    Now we’ve entered the last week of the election campaign, Saturday’s finishing post is in sight. Once the polls close at 7pm on that day, no further ballots may be cast.read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Prediction
    There's nothing stupider on the internet than putting down your thoughts in an indisputable form.  So that, of course is what I am going to do:NAT – 42%LAB – 39%NZF – 8%GRE – 6%TOP – 2%MAO – 1.5% (With electorate ...
    4 days ago

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 day ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    2 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    2 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    3 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    3 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    6 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago