The Greens’ new welfare policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, July 16th, 2017 - 310 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, election 2017, greens, poverty, welfare - Tags: , ,

The Greens are set to announce a major welfare policy from their AGM at 1pm today.

The Herald,

The Green Party is set to announce one of its most ambitious policies, which it hopes will put New Zealand on the path ending poverty.

It is understood the policy, to be revealed at its AGM tomorrow, will go much further than simply increasing support for lower-income families. It will also aim to change a culture of “beneficiary-bashing” in New Zealand by reversing some of the most punitive changes introduced over successive governments.

Stuff reports,

“Dad was a labourer, he left school at 15. He went to Hato Paora but spent a lot of time working on the farm there, rather than studying.

“My Mum was living independent at 14 as well.” Turei said.

“We were broke, so my parents had periods where they were living in a car, where they were living in caravans, where they were living in people’s houses. So we spent a lot of time kind of moving around a bit too – both for work and housing.”

The experiences of Turei’s family pushed her into politics and Sunday’s policy announcement is promised to be “bold” and perhaps even controversial.

“It will be families focused, and it will be about treating people with dignity,” Turei said.

Punishing people “for being poor” was something she said still happened today, and would be in her sights.

Some form of universal child payment could also form part of the Green policy.

Turei said her own policy, will set some clear stakes in the ground, while laying out a timeline for further reform down the track.

“It seems to me, totally irresponsible to not do what we can to make people’s lives better.”

I think we can safely discard the notion that the Green Party culture is solely urban and middle class, on its way to centrist neoliberalism. The Greens are pragmatic, but their values are still intact.

Update,

From comments (and the Herald)

The party is promising to:

– increase all core benefits cent (Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payments, Student Allowances) by 20 per cent.
– reduce the bottom tax rate from 10.5 to 9 per cent for people earning less than $14,000 per year.
– raise the top tax rate to 40 per cent for people earning more than $150,000 per year.
– raise the minimum wage from $15.75 to $17.75 in the first year, and eventually to 66 per cent of the average wage.
– scrap the In Work Tax Credit and create a children’s credit for low income families worth $72 per week
– lift the amount people can earn to $200 before their benefit is reduced.

The Greens would put an end to all benefit sanctions, in particular the penalising of women who do not reveal the name of the child’s father – a measure which Turei described as sexist and punitive.

Other sanctions to go will be “excessive” appointment attendance requirements, forced budgeting appointments, work testing for solo parents when their children turn 1, repeated proof of disability or sickness.

More coverage from Isaac Davison at The Herald.

Update,

The Green Party’s policy release Mending the Safety Net – No one in New Zealand should live in poverty.

Full policy and Overview (PDFs)

Metiria’s speech replay video

 

 

310 comments on “The Greens’ new welfare policy”

  1. rhinocrates 1

    Something I’m looking forward to reading about.

  2. Incognito 2

    Maybe a proposal to introduce a UBI?

    Lower GST?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      Oh God not UBI. That’s welfare for those who don’t need it.

      • dv 2.1.1

        Not if the UBI is countered with revised tax system so that the UBI is effectively reclaimed by taxes from those who don’t need it.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        Is it?

        You do know what the “U” stands for in UBI, and the “I”?

        How do you feel about current “welfare” for those who don’t need it?

        The current system is overly complex in trying to put people into the right boxes so that they qualify for the right “welfare” and no more and no less.

        With poverty you have to be bold, not timid & tinkering; we’ve had more than 9 years of that.

      • Ovid 2.1.3

        Do you feel the same way about national superannuation? That’s just a UBI with a high age requirement.

        I think there’s a strong case for a UBI as it recognises unpaid work and alleviates significant social stresses. It simplifies administration costs too. Of course it would be clawed back through the tax system. It also reduces inequality.

        But that’s not what the Greens are proposing here, but I do think it’s a strong policy package.

        • Super isn’t a UBI. The key defining word in UBI is “universal.” Super is a conditional entitlement, which is the partial version of a UBI. One of the ways you’d easily get to a UBI is taking a children’s benefit and a super entitlement, and gradually raising and lowering the age on each until you’re ready to have them meet in the middle.

          If you want to make that comparison, I highly suggest calling super a “CBI” (conditional basic income) to not dilute the point that universality saves money and provides better outcomes that conditionality.

          • Foreign waka 2.1.3.1.1

            Problem is that old people have in many cases no means to “top up” their income and are left literally with too much to die and not enough to live on. It speaks for many of those sadistic (yes, sadistic) people to constantly have a go of one of the most vulnerable group in society. But don’t fret, euthanasia will take care of that too.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.3.1.1.1

              I don’t disagree that Super isn’t sufficient for everyone, and we should be considering topping it up where necessary, but that’s not actually relevant to what I or Ovid were talking about.

          • RedLogix 2.1.3.1.2

            Interestingly even Super is not all that ‘Universal’ either. Not very well understood is that if you have other income a 70% marginal tax rate is applied:

            Other income – what you need to know:

            If your partner’s included in your payments, you can have combined other income of up to $5,200 (before tax) a year before your NZ Super is affected. If you earn more than this, we’ll take 70c off your payments for each dollar of income over this limit.

            It wouldn’t be to your financial advantage to have your partner included if you and your partner have a combined annual income of $27,839.31 or more (before tax), not including NZ Super. This is because the total NZ Super paid to you both would be less than what would be paid to you if your partner wasn’t included.

            Income includes wages, bank interest, investments, rental income, dividends from shares, income from trusts, etc. It also includes deprivation of any income or property by you and/or your partner.
            If either of you receive overseas benefits or pensions, we may reduce your NZ Super payments dollar-for-dollar.

            https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/seniors/superannuation/income-tested-superannuation-factsheet.html

            So contrary to what most people believe, Super is effectively a means tested benefit.

            • Carolyn_nth 2.1.3.1.2.1

              And those who have worked over a year in Aussie, are forced to apply for the Aussie means tested benefited (possibly every year till they die because circumstances might change) – under threat of losing the NZ super they get.

              • RedLogix

                Yes … we’ve noticed that little charmer too. Didn’t mention it since it would sound a little too much like special pleading; but it’s another brain curdling complication that hits a lot of people.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.3.1.2.2

              I wouldn’t call Super means-tested. I would probably call that provision an abatement if we’re being consistent between Super and other welfare payments, but the government calls it a tax because they don’t want Super to be seen as a welfare payment, for some strange reason, even though it absolutely is.

              The foreign super bit is pretty reasonable, tbh. You can’t claim any other benefit in multiple countries.

              Universal doesn’t actually mean “no abatement” or “no taxes,” btw. It just means you give it to everyone. That’s different from “unconditional,” which is what unemployment benefits sometimes are when they’re not work-tested, or untaxed, which you would think all benefits would be.

              • RedLogix

                OK so it’s only 70% means tested then. Happy?

                It’s certainly not comparable to a UBI.

                • Sure, I agree. My reluctance is that I wouldn’t use that term because my understanding is that being 70% means-tested would be like being 70% pregnant- I’ve only ever seen it used in the context of “you earn/own too much, you get nothing.”

    • It’s already Green policy to consider a UBI system into the future, and making existing benefits less conditional is the rational first step towards that anyway.

      • Incognito 2.2.1

        Didn’t know the Greens had a UBI policy; have you got a link by any chance?

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          “Replace the current Social Security Act 1964 with a simple two-tier benefit system consisting of a universal base rate that is enough to live on, with add-ons for specific circumstances, such as dependants, disability or chronic illness.”

          https://www.greens.org.nz/page/income-support-policy

          and,

          “Universal Basic Income (UBI)

          The Green Party supports a full and wide-ranging public debate on the nature of UBI and the details of a UBI system, and government funding for detailed studies of the impacts of UBI. The Green Party will:

          1. Investigate the implementation of a Universal Basic Income for every New Zealander.”

          From the PDF in the main income policy.

          • Incognito 2.2.1.1.1

            Ta

          • RedLogix 2.2.1.1.2

            I asked Russel Norman about this some years back. His answer was very qualified. Yes he agreed it was in the policy, but really the only concrete thing they had committed to was more ‘research’.

            I got the very strong sense that at a leadership level there wasn’t any appetite for expending political capital pushing for it.

            • weka 2.2.1.1.2.1

              I assume that’s all just changed 😉 From what I understand the UBI position is being worked on at the membership level.

              • RedLogix

                Which I genuinely welcome.

                Not so welcome is commentary like this:

                Calling Peters’ immigration policy and his rhetoric racist doesn’t cut it with immigration running at an all-time high and the electorate feeling real pain from being swamped by the numbers.

                With many Kiwis eking out a living as low-wage refugees in their own country, the rapid rise in the renting class, and an economy that doesn’t invest in its workforce, New Zealanders are facing deeper problems.

                Under nine years of National, social mobility has ground to a halt and we have a young electorate that grew up not knowing what it’s like to live in an egalitarian country. Passive acceptance of a status quo where, unless you’re in the top 5 per cent, you have to live with debt and keep borrowing way beyond your means is now embedded in their psyche.

                The more the populace falls into debt, the more the economy becomes vulnerable and volatile to shocks. With both National and Labour’s answer to the collapse of the middle-class, to beef up Working for Families and dish out add-on grants, there is a howling absence of vision and ideas about how to get us out of the rough.

                Whether you like it or not, NZ First is going to be the third party and it is going to take huge bites out of Labour, the Greens and National.

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/94742556/green-go-nuclear-and-blow-up-hopes-of-a-leftcentre-coalition

                I’m delighted to see Turei heading in the correct direction; but the core of all the problems Bowron outlines above lie in broken tax and economic settings. If you want economic radical only TOP is making the case for that.

                Address the embedded poverty and the ‘racist’ appeal of NZ1 will largely evaporate. A prosperous confident community is far more accepting of immigration and diversity than one which is struggling.

  3. Ed 3

    ‘The Green Party are releasing a families package today that co-leader Metiria Turei says is “probably the most important policy of [her] life” and will “speak truth to power”.

    Ms Turei appeared on The Hui on Sunday morning, saying the policy was important to her “because families need a Government that takes their needs seriously, that will build the houses, that will make sure they’ve got enough to get by, that will make sure their kids don’t go to school hungry”.

    When questioned by host Mihingarangi Forbes about which policy would change things most for whānau Māori, Ms Turei answered it would be the families policy to be announced at 2pm on Sunday.

    She said it is her number one priority this election.

    “When I said last week that we would tell our truths and speak truth to power, [at Sunday’s AGM] you’ll see an example of that.

    “We actually need to be honest about what’s going on in our country for those families. Two people died in the last two weeks because they were homeless sleeping on the streets. We cannot be a country that allows that to happen anymore.”‘

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/07/metiria-turei-to-announce-most-important-policy-of-her-life.html

  4. weka 4

    Does anyone have the livestream working yet?

  5. Bill 5

    In an extraordinary confession, Turei said that while she was receiving the domestic purposes benefit as solo mum in her 20s she had extra flatmates who paid rent but she did not tell WINZ.

    “I knew that if I told the truth about how many people were living in the house my benefit would be cut,” Turei told an audience of around 250 Green members at the Auckland University of Technology this afternoon.

    “And I knew that my baby and I could not get by on what was left.

    “This is what being on the benefit did to me – it made me poor and it made me lie.”

    Fucked if I know what’s “extraordinary” about that. Show me a person who hasn’t been forced to be ‘economical’ with the truth re WINZ and I’ll show you a low flying fucking penguin.

    • fender 5.1

      I think an MP being so honest is the extraordinary part. Not a chance Paula would do the same!

      • stever 5.1.1

        Let’s hope someone asks Bennett whether she ever lied to WINZ (or whatever it was then) too. I guess some good journos are onto that by now 🙂

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          Nah. Let’s not. You want an inquisition or you want reporting on policy and current realities. And I want the latter.

        • John 5.1.1.2

          What about that little shit Barclay ripping of the taxpayer getting $3000 per week and doing sweet FA. Isn’t that welfare fraud?????? What about these overseas corporates that pay little of no tax, Is that ripping NZers off?? I see the Tax Prayers Union demanding that Metiria pay it back. Wankers. They only go after the little guy they never go after the likes of big corporates or National party hacks like Barclay that get protected by National party leadership

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.1.2.1

            Exactly.

            In my own industry, private companies (literally owned by millionaires and billionaires) get generous (millions) government R&D and “development” handouts from the tax payer – with never a whimper from the tax payer union scum and the like. These companies 100% privatise any gain, and have numerous staff on their books paid below the living wage. Doubtless they structure to be tax “efficient” also.

            Brighter Future!

    • Macro 5.2

      Fact is bill if she had told the truth she would have lost her benefit – as you well know. In other words what she was saying was that the current system of welfare makes liars of all – and that has to be changed so that people don’t have to lie simply to get that to which they are entitled.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        Yup. I get that.

        Many of us have been saying just that for years. And it’s bloody refreshing that someone who was there and who has climbed the ladder hasn’t conveniently forgotten the reality of how it is.

      • James 5.2.2

        If you are telling lies to get something – by definition you are getting something that you are not entitled.

        • Incognito 5.2.2.1

          Legal and moral entitlement are different things.

          Would you lie to save your own life?

          • James 5.2.2.1.1

            Lefties and their moral “entitlement” huh.

            She had no entitlement at all – mora or otherwise. You wouldn’t accept that from a national MP.

            • Incognito 5.2.2.1.1.1

              We all have “moral” entitlements; some are called “human rights”.

            • John 5.2.2.1.1.2

              National accepts it by paying Barclay to do sweet FA for $3000 per week of taxpayers money

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2.2.1.1.3

              If John Key and co were struggling to raise a child on a pittance – they would hear no complaints from me about lying to WINZ to gain a few more dollars.

        • weka 5.2.2.2

          It’s a human rights issue James. Should gay men have lied and pretended they were straight when being gay was illegal and would have landed them in prison?

          • alwyn 5.2.2.2.1

            Being gay was not a criminal offence. Nobody had to claim they were straight to avoid a prison sentence.
            Having sexual relations with another male was the illegal thing.
            There is a difference.

            • weka 5.2.2.2.1.1

              yes, but socially intelligent people would still understand what I meant. Now that you’ve caught up see if you can respond to the actual point.

            • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2.2.1.2

              No, there is no difference. What is criminalised was claiming enough from WINZ to live, just as what was criminalised was actually acting on the fact that you were gay. In each case, if you shut up and accepted that you were were a second class citizen, you were within the law, but you weren’t allowed enough freedom for you to live your life as a full human being, which is absolutely a core similarity between both policies.

              Out of curiousity, what experience exactly do you have with being queer, Alwyn?

              • alwyn

                As Bill Clinton proposed for the US servicemen.
                “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.
                And no Mathew, I’m not at all interested in meeting you. I prefer intelligent people as my friends.

                • LOL, wow you are full of yourself. A lot of people talk on this subject despite being straight and don’t get the point, so I was politely trying to see if you were talking shit.

          • James 5.2.2.2.2

            It’s not a human rights issue at all.

            Telling lies to receive financial gain knowing you were not untitled to it is not a human rights issue. It’s fraud.

            Your argument is a false equivalence as people simply are gay – they cannot choose to be or not. But you can choose to commit fraud.

            • Incognito 5.2.2.2.2.1

              In the example, there’s a choice as to tell a lie or not; it wasn’t about being gay.

            • francesca 5.2.2.2.2.2

              Nah, sorry, there’s not lot a lot of choice when you cant afford the rent
              The moral choice between letting your kid go hungry and telling a repressive Winz a lie is very easily made

            • weka 5.2.2.2.2.3

              Sure it’s a human rights issues. People are dying James.

            • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2.2.2.4

              You don’t believe the necessities of life are a human right, James? Colour me unsurprised.

            • Dialey 5.2.2.2.2.5

              The British used to deport people for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their families. Every family should have enough for their kids to flourish – it is a human rights issue, and it is certainly a social issue.
              As a parent, I would have done anything to make sure my kids had what they needed, even lied.
              I don’t want to live in a society where the poor are reduced to begging or the modern equivalent of work-houses (jumping through compliance hoops and sanctions).

        • Macro 5.2.2.3

          As Mickey says below:

          One of the most distressing parts of our history is that in 1991 Ruth Richardson and National set minimum benefit levels at 20% below what Treasury thought was the minimum required for beneficiaries to have a full part to play in the community.

          NOTE it was Treasury who thought that the benefit level was 20% below what was the minimum required for beneficiaries to have a full part to play in the community. So essentially – from the day of the mother of all budgets in 1991 (and I remember it well) until now – beneficiaries have had to lie to receive their full entitlement.
          Your comments display a complete and utter lack of any appreciation of the life of living on a benefit. Until you do, you comments are worthless.

          • weka 5.2.2.3.1

            +1 Poor people aren’t entitled to play a part in the community, that’s what it comes down to.

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2.3.2

            To clarify further- Treasury prepared three scenarios on benefits. One was “pay enough so that anyone of any skill level in home economics can live.” That was the most expensive option.

            The cheapest option was to literally get experts on how to live as cheaply as possible and assume best practice- so this is things like buying large amounts in bulk, and whatnot, that is very difficult to manage when you’re on a fixed income if you don’t also have savings.

            They also prepared a middle ground between the two, which is what you would have expected a compassionate but cash-strapped government to choose.

            National took the cheapest option, which would already be difficult for many beneficiaries to live on, and cut it by a further 20% to give them an “incentive” to move into work. When people talk about benefits being “starvation level” they aren’t kidding, they are being literal.

            The raise and liberalisations Meyt is proposing aren’t even bumping us up to the modern equivalent of that most expensive option, which we could expect anyone to live on sustainably, btw, so it still requires those on welfare to be more knowledgable about living frugally than those in paid employment.

            Also, the changes to work abatement rates and removal of onerous conditions are both ideas that experts say are very likely to improve transition to work. While National may have gotten more people “off” benefits, it hasn’t actually gotten more of them into work, it’s just left them to the charity of their whanau, community, or in the worst cases, left them to suffer or even die.

        • mary_a 5.2.2.4

          @ James (5.2.2) & (5.2.2.2.2) …. like the double dipping Dipton MP Bill English on his accommodation allowance. Although he got caught, but no further action was taken!

          But I guess anyone else outside National, it’s fraud ……

          • Skinny 5.2.2.4.1

            The public are sick of the corruption that is why the voter collapse is happening to National. Plenty of people are worried about a revolution.

          • James 5.2.2.4.2

            No it wasn’t

            • McFlock 5.2.2.4.2.1

              Wasn’t he getting more government money on the claim that his town of residence was somewhere other than the city where he and his wife were employed and where his kids went to school?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.5

          Nope. Not with the way WINZ is/has been.

          You see, we have that bit about being entitled to life and freedom. Our welfare system tries to take those entitlements away and making it so that lying is the only way to keep them.

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.2.5.1

            And then they spend so much on trying to prove you’re lying, harassing you, and requiring you to behave in ways that don’t actually help you stay in stable employment (like requiring you to take the first job you’re offered even if you’re waiting on replies from other employers who would offer you a more secure or better-paying job) that they are arguably costing the government money and securing worse outcomes compared to just honestly trying to coach people through their situations and letting them be the judge of their own circumstances.

            • greywarshark 5.2.2.5.1.1

              Good point Matthew W. The government is not trying to help individuals to find stable employment and housing so they can live in reasonable comfort and enjoy living. It treats people like an animal in a herd being prodded forward so that person can come off their stats. That’s what people are to Brawler Parrot.

              Coaching people, supporting through difficulties, even with some residual help available when needed, would save so much, as people get empowered. But these RW materialists have chosen a religion that preaches to despise your fellow man and woman, if they look as if they might be needy or haven’t accumulated wealth. That’s why Christianity for all the faults committed in its name has the power to uplift us – what we need to remember is the story of The Good Samaritan, which is 2,000? years old and still speaks to us. And many of the other religions too, which I haven’t studied. The big exception is that with the neo liberalist dogma.

  6. weka 6

    Every beneficiary will get a 20% increase in benefit immediately, universally.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      One of the most distressing parts of our history is that in 1991 Ruth Richardson and National set minimum benefit levels at 20% below what Treasury thought was the minimum required for beneficiaries to have a full part to play in the community.

      Looks like the Greens have decided to torch this.

      Good on them.

      • weka 6.1.1

        Incredible isn’t. 26 years. That’s a generation.

      • Karen 6.1.2

        Not reinstating those cuts to benefit rates was one of the major disappointments I had with the last Labour government (along with the Seabed and Foreshore legislation).

        Well done the Greens. The policies that you have announced today will go a long way to reducing poverty in NZ.

      • BLiP 6.1.3

        Ruthanasia was a distressing moment but entirely in character for National Ltd™. The smug sneer across Richardson’s face as she did it was remarkable. It was if she almost really believed deliberate impoverishment is a valid choice for any government. But the real distress, I suggest, set in when Labour did nothing about mitigating that fiscal cruelty for a decade.

      • I would point out that even the levels the Greens are proposing are still quite modest, as remember, a 20% increase is not the same as a 20% decrease, (you need a 25% increase to offset a 20% decrease) and benefit levels have been eroded by inflation in basic goods, services, and accomodation in net even taking into account National’s scarce increase, so this is only undoing about 70-80% of Ruthanasia.

        And even if the Greens were fully undoing that 1991 cut when inflation is considered, that would still be requiring beneficiaries to be experts at living frugally in order to survive long-term. This is a really good start, for sure, but let’s not exaggerate it, either, or people will be surprised when there are further calls for increases after this policy, which there absolutely should be.

    • James 6.2

      Weka – Bet you $100 that it doesn’t happen.

  7. Craig H 7

    From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11891306 :

    The party is promising to:

    – increase all core benefits cent (Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payments, Student Allowances) by 20 per cent.
    – reduce the bottom tax rate from 10.5 to 9 per cent for people earning less than $14,000 per year.
    – raise the top tax rate to 40 per cent for people earning more than $150,000 per year.
    – raise the minimum wage from $15.75 to $17.75 in the first year, and eventually to 66 per cent of the average wage.
    – scrap the In Work Tax Credit and create a children’s credit for low income families worth $72 per week
    – lift the amount people can earn to $200 before their benefit is reduced.

    The Greens would put an end to all benefit sanctions, in particular the penalising of women who do not reveal the name of the child’s father – a measure which Turei described as sexist and punitive.

    Other sanctions to go will be “excessive” appointment attendance requirements, forced budgeting appointments, work testing for solo parents when their children turn 1, repeated proof of disability or sickness.

  8. weka 8

    They’re going to reform the abatement process. Yes! Setting a single rate that doesn’t penalise people in part time work.

    • weka 8.1

      Can’t stress how important this is, it’s the thing no-one has been willing to touch.

      • rhinocrates 8.1.1

        Exactly. Clawbacks gave the lie to any ‘generosity’ shown by Nats or Labour. They punish any attempt to improve one’s circumstances, locking people into poverty. Good to see that the Greens have actually thought about it.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          Afaik everyone has thought about it. No-one knew what to do about it because they all looked at in isolation. The Greens looking at the whole situation means it’s not just the abatement changing that will make a difference. I’ll sit down and have a work through of the figures later. Can’t remember what the current policy is but I suspect one of the levels is $100.

          • Craig H 8.1.1.1.1

            https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/on-a-benefit/tell-us/income/wages/deduction-tables/index.html

            From that, benefits reduce based on the following weekly wages:

            Jobseeker Support, no children (a.k.a. the dole): 0% up to $80, then 70%.

            Everything else: 0% up to $100, then 30% up to $200, then 70%.

            From the Student Allowance regulations at http://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/1998/0277/latest/whole.html#DLM6530650:

            0% up to $214.30 ($428.60 for couples), then 100% after that (i.e. $1 for $1). (Obviously not technically a benefit, but similar enough)

            • rhinocrates 8.1.1.1.1.1

              For things like accommodation and medical needs supplements, the clawbacks start with the first cent you earn. Since everyone on a Jobseeker allowance not living in a HNZ or City Council flat probably has an accommodation Supplement, the clawbacks start right away. I would like to see more detail from the Greens on that.

              Edit: see Craig H at 12.1.1

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes – the highest marginal tax rates faced by any sector of the community – directly and powerfully disincentivising any earning – and these NAct idiots think that low taxes should be used to incentivise productivity, while doing crap like that!! (and to be fair, this punitive approach prevailed under Labour too, to my knowledge).

              Only the poor should be motivated by morals – for everyone else, self interest is the highest value.

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.2

          ABSOLUTELY RIGHT

  9. weka 9

    Minimum wage to be raised.

  10. weka 10

    All low income families to access a universal child payment. Fixing WFF.

  11. weka 11

    Looks like the abatement won’t start until $200, and it will be a set rate. Not sure what the rate is.

    • The Greens propose that the state will take 30% for $200-$400 weekly incomes, and 70% for any income above $400 if you still qualify for a benefit. (income <$200 incurs no abatement)

      https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Mending%20the%20Safety%20Net%20policy%20paper%20FINAL.pdf (pages 5 & 6)

      The wording suggests that they won't be removing any existing exemptions from abatements, but it isn't entirely clear.

      For incomes under $400 weekly, therefore, the maximum abatement is 15%. (this is likely to be most beneficiaries who are working but still need income support, but not necessarily all) For example’s sake, the total abatement on an $800 weekly income would be 22.5%. This is a very real incentive to go to work if you can, and even people who erroneously think a “stick” method is effective will have to concede that this will also work.

  12. Craig H 12

    Totally agree with Weka above re abatement rates – this is the conversation we desperately need to have. The effective marginal tax rate created by multiple forms of assistance each with its own abatement rate is massive – for someone earning $37,000 p.a. with a child, abatement is currently as follows:

    PAYE – 18.89% (17.5% tax + 1.39% ACC)
    WFF – 25%
    Accommodation Supplement – 25%
    Student Loan (if present) – 12%

    Total is 68.89% or 80.89% for someone with a student loan.

    Just having an abatement rate of 50% for WFF + Accommodation Supplement is brutal enough, adding in the others is beyond comprehension for most people. That also doesn’t include anything else people may or may not be entitled to at low incomes e.g. legal aid (important where there are ongoing custody issues), childcare subsidies etc.

    • Bill 12.1

      You referring to the same thing?

      If someone’s claiming an entitlement and they earn some money somehow, then depending on how much they earn (used to be about $80 per week) abatement on their entitlement can be $ for $ – ie, 100%.

      • Craig H 12.1.1

        I think Weka is referring to benefit abatement rates, but I’m making the point that a lot of what is abated isn’t limited to benefits or beneficiaries, and totality needs to be considered across all income support mechanisms. But yes, there are some income support options which are reduced $1 for $1 (Temporary Additional Support and Student Allowance are two that come to mind from my research earlier today), so that’s obviously even worse.

      • BLiP 12.1.2

        Yes – Its the abatement on the main benefit which starts at (about) $80.

        But – The abatement on – supplementary benefits – disability accommodation, special needs, etc., – is immediate. So, if you earn $1 a week, you will lose $1 off your total WINZ payment.

        Its a total pain in the arse if you are in receipt of a main benefit and supplementaries. Most beneficiaries are. Each supplementary has to be individually applied for and regularly “renewed”. Be late with any one of the myriad forms and/or documents and you might not receive your payment and then have to face the task of actually contacting someone at WINZ who knows what they’re doing. A particular annoyance is when a beneficiary has done everything required but then WINZ stuffs it up. It usually gets sorted pretty quick but its just another hoop a beneficiary has to go through in order to receive the minimum amount money required to stay alive. Now, add to that bureaucratic quagmire the abatement system.

        Most of the time it works okay. Dealing with WINZ becomes more time consuming and frustrating for beneficiaries who work irregular hours and/or have more than one employer. Complications, requirements, and obligations with and to WINZ can grow exponentially if there is a spouse/companion and/or child(ren) personally involved and/or named in the file. By design, the beneficiary is never better off financially or free of WINZ altogether unless they find full time employment earning at least the livable wage. Especially in the cities.

        I reckon it would be cheaper to pay every beneficiary another $100 a week and do away with the whole the supplementary benefit system. WINZ wouldn’t really like that because there would be staff, from to top bottom, wandering around with nothing to do. National Ltd™ is also dead against doing away with the supplementary benefits system. Making it difficult and horrible and complicated to deal with WINZ is a way of keeping people away from their entitlements. As well as being difficult, horrible, and complicated to deal with, WINZ can now also be publicly humiliating. Since the terrible 2014 shooting-to-death of a WINZ worker, the corporation has maintained many of its public offices on lock-down mode. This has resulted in beneficiaries often having to queue up outside for hours at a time in the middle of winter waiting to have a compulsory interview for no other reason than it is compulsory,

        Thanks Anne Tolley and Paula Bennett. We will not forget.

    • Andre 12.2

      Craig, you seem to be fairly up to date with these regulations. Please tell me where I’m going wrong with the following scenario:

      A couple of years ago my job terminated, after I had already earned over $70,000 for the financial year. If I had been eligible for Jobseeker Support, and also took on bits and bobs of consulting work now and then, it looks to me like my effective marginal tax rate could go over 100% (to 103%) if I did enough work to take my week’s income over the abatement threshold ($80?). On the first dollar over $80 (?) earned, IRD would take $0.33, and WINZ would take a $0.70 abatement, meaning government would take back $1.03 of that $1.00 of extra earning. This effective 103% marginal tax rate would hold until I had earned enough (about $300) to completely abate away that week’s Jobseeker Support payment.

      NB, this scenario was even worse under the previous Labour government with abatement rates of 80% and tax of 39% for a total marginal tax of 119%.

      • Craig H 12.2.1

        That’s correct, if understated – you’ve missed the ACC levies of 1.39% (would likely have been higher back then as these have been reduced in the past few years) included in PAYE i.e. you would have been paying 34.39% in the current tax year, or 34.45% up to 31 March 2017 in a similar scenario.

        That’s because there is no allowance in the benefit abatement rates for current year income prior to going onto a benefit and the consequential taxes on any wages (or self-employed income) while on the benefit.

        Also, the abatement rate and threshold for Jobseeker Support (aka the dole) haven’t been amended in years – the figures were the same when I was last receiving the dole in 2005. That obviously exacerbates the issue.

        • BLiP 12.2.1.1

          That IRD vs WINZ treatment of people is just really really mean. The different income years is bad enough. But as I understand it – the IRD treats taxpayers as individuals who each receive the same treatment. WINZ, on the other hand, pays a couple less than it would pay two single people. Also, if one partner is working, their income is taken into account for abatement.

  13. weka 13

    Re abatement rates, the basics are like this,

    If you’re a single beneficiary without dependent children:

    the first $80 gross (before tax) per week doesn’t affect your main benefit
    after this the main benefit abates (reduces) by 70 cents in the dollar.

    If you’re a single beneficiary with one or more dependent children:

    the first $100 gross (before tax) per week doesn’t affect your main benefit (Work and Income also has a discretion to ignore up to $20 of your earnings that you use to pay for childcare)

    any amount you earn over $100, up to $200, abates your main benefit by 30 cents in the dollar

    any amount you earn over $200 abates your main benefit by 70 cents in the dollar.

    you can see other benefits and situations in the link.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20170414154746/http://communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/chapter-7-dealing-with-work-and-income/benefit-rates-and-how-earnings-affect-them-chapter-7/

  14. Stuart Munro 14

    Even if she doesn’t get it through it’s important. There should always be a party that advocates for those who aren’t benefiting from current policy settings. Moreso since Corbyn established there is broad support for such policies.

  15. Carolyn_nth 15

    Methinks the GP are following the turning tides overseas: going bold; telling it like it is for those facing hardship; not worrying about upsetting the comfortable middle and upper-classes; not going timid in fear of negative headlines.

    • weka 15.1

      Me too. I think they just did something quite remarkable. I can’t recall any political party doing this since I’ve been voting (first election was 1984).

    • Bill 15.2

      I agree. The ‘consequences’ are going to be interesting…maybe/hopefully, very positive.

      • garibaldi 15.2.1

        I hope so too. Go the Greens.

      • James 15.2.2

        I’m guessing it will be one way or the other – but either to a reasonable margin.

        Most likely outcome? They are going to pick up A LOT of labour voters from this.

        This is not what Little needs when he’s only 3% away from not even making in on the list.

        [Multiple indicators of attempted troll detected. Going to assume you were trying to be funny. – BLiP]

        • Incognito 15.2.2.1

          Red herring warning!

          Andrew Little is not important in the greater scheme of things; what’s important is a change of government and a real change of this country’s socio-political course. Andrew would understand and agree with this I’d like to think.

        • weka 15.2.2.2

          An opportunity for Labour to step up then. Win, win.

        • James 15.2.2.3

          Serious for first two para – yeah having fun with the third.

  16. Craig H 16

    After some research on the topic, the current unemployment benefit abatement threshold of 70% after $80 was set in 1986(!) – back then, minimum wage was $2.50/hr and the benefit was $117.71.

    That $80 would now be $200 according to the RBNZ CPI calculator so this update is a welcome, if somewhat overdue, inflation adjustment (the then benefit rate of $117.71 would now be $294.29…).

    Some other things that haven’t changed in a similar time frame are the ability to ignore $20 of weekly childcare payments (would be $50 now) when assessing income for these purposes, and the accommodation supplement asset threshold ($5,400, which would now be $10,472).

    Also, the impact of multiple forms of income assistance and abatements on each them was considered by National in 1991-1993, but was quietly abandoned as too hard, too expensive, and sending the wrong message (Minister at the time was Dame J Shipley). WFF has made the issue worse, but it has been a known issue for decades. I was working it out for a family member, and if he earns more money, his effective marginal tax rate is 89% – not exactly worth a lot of effort to try to get…

  17. chris73 17

    Heres the thing, this is meaningless, its nothing, it’ll never happen and it’ll never happen due to the Greens hubris

    Their decision to never go with National, to not even bother seeing if an agreement can be reached means that whatever policies they come up won’t be implemented unless whatever ruling party deems it to be in their favour (ie National claiming credit for and implementing insulating homes)

    So all this talk about helping people is for nothing because it means they won’t get into cabinet for a very long time (I’d say never but stranger things have happened)
    as its going to be National/NZFirst next election and after that well who knows

    The sad thing is the Greens would get more votes then they’d lose if they did enter discussions with National

    For example cleaning up the rivers, effective pest control, no more diary conversions etc etc are all things that I know I could vote for and lot of other people could as well

    Just sad that the Greens care more about themselves then they do the people they profess to want to help

    • weka 17.1

      Are you suggesting that there is some common ground between this policy and National’s policies? Care to point out the specifics?

      • chris73 17.1.1

        I’m saying by not talking to National the Greens have all but guaranteed they’ll never have much influence on government which means they can say whatever they like because they’ll never have to back it up

        • Sara Matthews 17.1.1.1

          Correct, the Greens in my opinion should be a centrist party that can work with both sides, so they can get policy gains every election. Yes I know they had a win with their home insulation scheme but they need to be making gains every election. Labour only wants the Greens when they feel they might need them.

          • weka 17.1.1.1.1

            The Greens have been working a cross party project on climate change, that included National and Act MPs amongst others. You’re not talking about the Greens making gains, your talking about watering them down so they’re no threat to your values.

            • Incognito 17.1.1.1.1.1

              So true!

            • Sara Matthews 17.1.1.1.1.2

              No I’m talking about gains, don’t try and put words in my mouth.

              • weka

                I’m not putting words in your mouth, I’m describing how I see your behaviour. You think the Greens haven’t made any gains. You are of course entitled to believe whatever you want, and I’m also entitled to point out where I think you are wrong.

                When you come trolling on a left wing blog on the day when a left wing party releases big policy and try and push the line that they shouldn’t be left wing, then expect to get knocked back and ridiculed.

                • Sara Matthews

                  All I’m saying is I personally believe the Greens could be making more consistent gains if they moved to the centre, but that’s just my opinion, and it’s an opinion that has been severely ridiculed, I think?.

                  • weka

                    Yes, ridiculed by people who understand what the GP are doing, what their core values are, and the gains they’ve made since they’ve been in parliament.

                  • francesca

                    Come on, thats precisely what they had been doing and not making any traction.Being timid centrists
                    The centrist vote is over competed for
                    Time to follow core values and bring in those who haven’t been properly represented by the centrists

          • Norfolk Traveller 17.1.1.1.2

            I agree the Greens should be able to work with both sides, but why do they have to be ‘Centrist’? The Greens have an existing policy platform that has been developed over many years. As far as I can tell it is consistent with the values of many left wing parties around the world. I personally don’t support those policies, and IMHO Labour have made a huge mistake with the MoU, but I’d rather voters have a clear choice across a broader philosophical framework than just more options in the centre.

        • weka 17.1.1.2

          I know what you are trying to say chris, but I’m asking you what the Greens could talk to National about.

          • chris73 17.1.1.2.1

            Fine off the top of my head, wait until the next election and see what options National have (probably NZfirst) and if the Greens have the numbers to be an option they can talk to National about areas that overlap

            ie cleaning up the waterways and increasing funding to pest eradication will mean both tourism and hunting/fishing can improve

            Thats one area but the Greens would have to realize that they won’t get everything they want and they’ll have to swallow some large rats in the process but that they’d also get some things done which is something they can’t really claim considering how long they’ve been around for

            And I don’t think they’re capable of compromise, the irony is they act like a FPP party in an MMP world

            • weka 17.1.1.2.1.1

              So twiddle their thumbs for the next 3 years, including in this election campaign? That’s daft.

              There’s not common ground on water, National are dead set on extract and pollute. Nothing for the Greens to gain there that they can’t get in other ways.

              Pest eradication, it could be argued that they’ve already gotten that.

              The Greens are well aware of what compromises are needed to be in government. But what you are suggesting is abandoning their membership, their core values, their principles and their motivation for being in parliament.

              I don’t really understand why RWers think that their reckons on left wing parties are going to be considered meaningful.

              • BM

                They’re a 10% party, Greens need to pull their heads out of their arses and realise that.

                Being an ideologically based party that’s probably not feasible though.

                • weka

                  Yes, BM has proclaimed reality, so it must be true 🙄 Is that really the best you’ve got today? I guess Crosby Textor are waiting until DPF has finished polling and polished the edges on the memes before they put out their memos.

              • chris73

                “There’s not common ground on water, National are dead set on extract and pollute. Nothing for the Greens to gain there that they can’t get in other ways.”

                Thats bullcrap, National have done things most people wouldn’t expect them to ie raise certain benefits, start the maori land claims off etc etc and National are quite keen on retaining power so if that means getting some things done that the Greens want well thats something that National would be prepared to compromise on.

                However the Greens simply won’t compromise, they think they shouldn’t have to so they want even go to the table to see what they could achieve and thats why the Greens are and always be selfish

                • weka

                  When National does leftie things that aren’t expected of them, that’s because we have an effective opposition.

                  The Greens are ok with compromising on policy. They won’t compromise on values.

                • Incognito

                  … and National are quite keen on retaining power so if that means getting some things done that the Greens want well thats something that National would be prepared to compromise on.

                  And there we have it; a theme (and meme) that has been cropping up recently and always by RWs.

                  • chris73

                    Yeah that National will compromise to remain in power and concessions to other parties whereas the Greens will remain pure and unsullied

                    Which means they don’t achieve anything for anyone apart from their own bank accounts of course

                    Its almost like MMP is supposed to make parties compromise

                    • weka

                      Again, policies yes, values no. If the GP compromised on their values their membership would revolt. There is literally no point to what you are suggesting.

                    • Incognito

                      It depends what you compromise on; core values and principles are unconditional (ask Winston about that). Does National have any unconditional points?

                      I don’t follow your reference to bank accounts (whose?) and MMP; are you referring to the Panama Papers and Dirty Politics by any chance?

                    • chris73

                      Maybe thats what you want to believe but when you check the voting stats you’ll see a large amount of the votes come from well to do suburbs, suburbs that normally give electorate votes to National so theres cross over appeal

                      But hey I suppose its easier to jump on the gravy train instead of compromising and getting things done for their voters after all its only been 27 years since the party was founded, don’t want to rush these things

                    • chris73

                      “I don’t follow your reference to bank accounts”

                      I’m saying the Greens have been around for 27 years and have sweet FA to show for it except that their MPs have some nicely fattened bank accounts

                      I’d have thought the point of a political party was to get into power to do things for their voters and for the country, all the Greens have done is sat on their cans and been paid a decent wage for doing it

                    • Incognito

                      I’d have thought the point of a political party was to get into power to do things for their voters and for the country …

                      Indeed, which is why we need a change of government.

            • Norfolk Traveller 17.1.1.2.1.2

              I agree, Chris, but just one correction. I don’t think it is correct to characterise minor parties as having to ‘swallow rats’. ANY policy concession a minor party achieves is a win, all else is down to the major party in the coalition.

  18. Sara Matthews 18

    What we should also do is with NCEA credits is redistribute those. So anyone that works hard at school and study’s hard who earns lots of credits, take some of their credits off them and give it to the students that are not as dedicated or performing well to lift them up so they achieve NCEA. You lefties just don’t get it do you?, hope you’re looking forward to another term in opposition.

    • weka 18.1

      You didn’t listen to the speech I take it.

      • Sara Matthews 18.1.1

        I listened alright, I just find it unbelievable how out of touch they are, but I’m sure the polls are wrong right?, just like they have been for the last decade?, how pathetic.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          So when you talked about studying hard you forgot about a core aspect of Turei’s speech i.e. when she was studying?

          • Sara Matthews 18.1.1.1.1

            Oh are you talking about when she admitted to comitting benefit fraud?

            • weka 18.1.1.1.1.1

              no I’m talking about you saying that studying hard was a virtue and me pointing to Turei talking about studying hard while on a benefit. You seem to be saying that some people working hard should be valued and others not.

              • Sara Matthews

                Trying to misconstrue what I say again, is that your usual play?

                • weka

                  No, just getting us more quickly to the point where we can see what a nasty selfish fuck you are. You had your chance to clarify, instead you want to play stupid games, so I’ll just call it now.

                  • Sara Matthews

                    And there it is, we can’t handle debate on the left, so we insult, riot and destroy property. Let’s just shout alternate views down. How clever you are.

                    • weka

                      If you were giving me some actual debate I’d be debating (and I’ll point to my years long history on this site of doing exactly that). But you’re the one that stopped responding to the actual points and started playing silly buggers. I’m just saving us all some time.

                    • lol destroy property – OMG this is UNACCEPTABLE some things have been destroyed – dirty rotten can’t handle debate lefties you…lol

                    • weka

                      Lol marty. I did restrain myself and not get out the terribly destructive ban hammer.

                    • lol yes very restrained – time for a riot!

                    • In Vino

                      Too familiar. I don’t believe that Sara is a real person.

        • Karen 18.1.1.2

          Maybe you need to do a bit of studying yourself Sara? Comprehension, spelling and grammar for a start.

          • Sara Matthews 18.1.1.2.1

            Oh, I spelt committed wrong, what a crime. Get over yourself.

            • Karen 18.1.1.2.1.1

              That was a later mistake – I was referring to your comments at 18 and 18.1.1.

              • Sara Matthews

                Oh, I’m so very sorry. How precious….

                • In Vino

                  You ought to be sorry. “study’s” instead of “studies” is exactly the sort of mistake Chuck would make. Are you related by any chance? The pattern is just too circumstantial.

        • Craig H 18.1.1.3

          I think what we should do is help workers get higher wages so the gap between wages and income support is bigger and people feel less bitter about helping the (mostly) temporarily unemployed. Employers doing it without prompting is unlikely, so that will probably require some effort from government such as increasing minimum wage. Just as well that’s part of the package, I guess.

    • Macro 18.2

      You must work very hard then Sara.
      Good for you.
      As for your analogy wrt to NCEA – I wonder where you got that impression from?

      • Sara Matthews 18.2.1

        It was mentioned on another comments page, sums it up perfectly.

        • Macro 18.2.1.1

          Well it must be true then.
          But being a hard working individual like yourself – I would have expected that you would have established it’s veracity in a more formal manner.

  19. Bill Drees 19

    At their core the Greens are a white middle class bunch of nimbies. They are NOT a left wing party. They are “conservative” like the National Party in the sense that they want to conserve all the privilidges that they already possess.
    Identity policies, environmental policies and transport policies do not a lefty make.

    • Karen 19.1

      Have you actually read this policy announcement Bill? No, I didn’t think so.

    • Macro 19.2

      Yes dear.
      You feel better now?
      BTW – you know what a nimby is?
      Ever read any Green Party Policy?

      • garibaldi 19.2.1

        Boy, this great policy of the Greens is bringing all the mean spirited righties out.
        It is sad to see just how spiteful these people are.

        • Macro 19.2.1.1

          Yep they especially don’t like the idea of a 40% tax after $150,000.
          Why take my money for a pack of bludgers! etc etc.

          • James 19.2.1.1.1

            Well – I cannot say I’m happy to pay more paye.

            • Sara Matthews 19.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m happy to pay more as long as what it is spent on gets meaningful outcomes.

            • weka 19.2.1.1.1.2

              Two people died this week James, because the system that should be a safety net is pushing people out and making life impossible. If you are earning over $150K, then I can’t see any good reason for you not to pay more tax. If you want to argue that your more expensive suit or new iPhone every year is more important than people’s lives, go ahead.

              • James

                They didn’t die because if a lack of a tax take.

                • weka

                  that’s right, they died because of the political culture in NZ. The Greens want to fix that, and they have to be able to pay for that somehow. If you have a way to pay for it without taxing rich people, I’m all ears.

                  • gsays

                    i have a way ( he said timidly, looking around cautiously)- a financial transaction tax.
                    not to say that the rich $150,000 +, shouldn’t be on 40% tax.

                    also abolish trusts.

                    got to say i like what the greens are saying here.
                    i, too, like the boldness.
                    i sense some startled horses, but they are just startled horses.

                    • weka

                      Tax rich people and have a FTT 😈

                      nice point about the horses.

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      Agree – I have no problem with 40% over 150k, but income tax doesn’t effect the truly wealthy all that much (they weirdly don’t have declared income). We need a direct tax on wealth or capital I suspect. The FTT would target true wealth which is a good move.

            • left_forward 19.2.1.1.1.3

              I’m happy that you will make a bigger contribution back to the society that you depend on to make your loot.

    • francesca 19.3

      Well I might have agreed until today.
      I think they’ve realised that they have to forget about frightening the horses and come out with their foundation policies no holds barred
      I didnt think James Shaw was that great but Metiria I really trust
      Go Greens!

  20. James 20

    On another note – will labour agree to implement this if they lead a leftie government? Will they say so before the election (after all they knew the basic vis the MoU)

    Will the greens make implementation of this a “bottom line”.

    How can they promise to make this happen immediately?

    • Sara Matthews 20.1

      If they need Winston to form a government, this will be the first policy scrapped.

    • weka 20.2

      All parties campaign on their own ticket, not on an imaginary coalition that hasn’t happened yet.

      • Sara Matthews 20.2.1

        Yes I agree, but that’s not how the public will see it. The left are seen as a block especially on current polling, that’s why we are seeing comments like “how will they pay for both Labours and the Greens policies”.

        • weka 20.2.1.1

          I was responding specifically to James’ last sentence. It’s reasonable for people to wonder how this would work in a coalition. It’s not reasonable to think that what parties campaign in is what is doable in a coalition. I don’t think people really believe that’s possible, we’ve had MMP for a long time now.

          “how will they pay for both Labours and the Greens policies”.

          That’s easy. Both parties know how to cost policies. There’s lots of overlap in their policies. I would expect some policies to just be adopted, but in general they will have to sit down and rework their budgets and plans.

          • James 20.2.1.1.1

            “It’s not reasonable to think that what parties campaign in is what is doable in a coalition.”

            Really ?? Because I’m pretty sure she said it would happen immediately.

            Is she writing checks she cannot cash?

    • Craig H 20.3

      There are enough similarities between the Green and Labour policies that they can probably find enough common ground to make both parties reasonably happy.

    • Gabby 20.4

      You don’t like the two people died note jame?

    • gsays 20.5

      hi james,
      “will labour agree to implement this if they lead a leftie government? Will they say so before the election (after all they knew the basic vis the MoU)

      Will the greens make implementation of this a “bottom line”.

      How can they promise to make this happen immediately?”

      vote green and find out.

      • James 20.5.1

        Yeah – nah.

        Would like to know how they can commit to making this happen immediately- I don’t think they can.

        • McFlock 20.5.1.1

          Funny thing about election manifestos: they’re all predicated on “if we are elected”.

          Most people understand that. Why don’t you?

  21. billmurray 21

    By golly it looks like the Greens are going to make all New Zealander’s rich.
    I intend to take a overseas holiday across the World, courtesy of the NZ taxpayer and the printing press’s.
    Thank you Metiria and James, you are two very self important people.
    You should take a bow or something.
    Yippee.

  22. mary_a 22

    Interesting headline from Isaac Davidson of NZH to the Greens new bold social welfare policy …

    “Meteria Turei lied to WINZ to keep benefit …..”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?
    c_id=1&objectid=11891306

    And let’s not forget there is an allegation re Paula Bennett’s welfare dependency days!

    • Sara Matthews 22.1

      Can’t believe she admitted to that, that statement was always going to be the headline. Shes effectively stymied her policy announcements.

    • francesca 22.2

      The allegation is that Paula Bennett [deleted]
      Lying to keep a roof over you and your child’s head is quite another matter

      [probably getting a bit too specific (the owners of TS are the ones legally liable for what gets written here) – weka]

  23. Ad 23

    I can’t see the point of the Greens cannibalising the Labour vote – or even the forgettable Hone vote – with super-generous social welfare policy.

    The Greens need policies that will increase the chance of a change of government.
    Social welfare policies that are very generous are simply going to give the likely coalition zero new votes, because those votes will come from within the left.

    Turei’s admission that she scammed social welfare may sound bold, until she realizes how punitive much of NZ is about social welfare – even the recipients. It’s a major vote loser that will play really badly on tv and talkback.

    • Sara Matthews 23.1

      Agreed, she scored an own goal there.

    • weka 23.2

      People that think Turei’s admission is a vote decider aren’t the voters that the Greens are after.

      They didn’t do this to cannibalise Labour’s vote, I would guess they’d be stoked if Labour came out with something similar. They’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do, and they made the decision already to do values-based politics.

      • Ad 23.2.1

        What is the right thing to do sorry?

      • Union city reds 23.2.2

        The way I see it, MT’s admission isn’t going to affect those who are already going to vote green, they’re already set in the way for needed change. They won’t lose votes from the right as they’d never vote green anyway.
        They may leech some votes from labour, but then, that’s not a bad thing anyway if we’re going to change government. The greener the make up, the better for us all.

        What it, like the welfare policy, might do, instead of Winston’s nasty trump like, hard labour for prisoners, make NZ great again style popularism, is motivate some of the missing million to get off their bums and have a say in their futures. Well, one can hope.

        • weka 23.2.2.1

          Yes, and even if that last bit doesn’t work, it’s put a wedge in the collective belief that it’s ok to treat people cruelly. Now there is a way to push on that further and change the narrative back to the one where NZ cares.

          • Union city reds 23.2.2.1.1

            Well the truth of the matter is that yes, while she admits to cheating a bit whilst on the dole, which she’s no doubt paid that amount back through taxes many times over already, now she’s prepared to go even further and pay more taxes as a caring high earning NZ’er would happily do to support those in need.

          • Karen 23.2.2.1.2

            + 1 Weka.

            I was hoping for a policy like this from the Greens. The policy is brave and so was Metiria with her admission. The only people who will condemn her are right-wingers so no lost votes for the left IMO and maybe, just maybe , some of the missing million will get out and vote this time.

        • Sara Matthews 23.2.2.2

          The greens need to be growing their vote with every policy announcement especially this close to the election, not simply pandering to their base, who will turn out for them anyway.

          • weka 23.2.2.2.1

            Lefties have been crying out for exactly what the Greens just did. It’s a good move, ethically, but it’s also a smart move politically.

          • Union city reds 23.2.2.2.2

            Were you, or are you now going to vote green?

            • Sara Matthews 23.2.2.2.2.1

              If you’re talking to me, I’m a historical Labour voter who could be persuaded to vote Green if they moved closer to the center or at least a bit closer to mainstream Labour. But frankly they score too many own goals. This will go down horribly in the media, and that’s not what the left block needs, we need to be taking votes off the right, and I include Winston in the right.

              • weka

                If the Greens moved to the centre they would shed left wing votes. They’ve already been told this.

              • Union city reds

                You’re in the wrong thread if you think the greens should move to the centre. It’s as likely to happen as current labour remembering it’s core values and working to protect and embolden the rights of the little people.

                • weka

                  I think Labour doing that is more likely tbh 😉 (still think they have it in them).

                  • garibaldi

                    To Sara Matthews…. Are you not aware of the continuous pressure from many lefties to get Labour to turn Left? Are you not aware that a huge portion of Green supporters cannot bring themselves to support Labour again until they apologize for ( and drop) their moving to neoliberalism from 1984 to this day?
                    The Green Party is not for sale. It cannot support the Right. You would have more chance of Labour and the Nats getting together than the Greens and Nat.
                    Moving to the centre would be suicide for the Greens.
                    This new policy is bold and brave , and timely. I am delighted with it, as any caring NZer who has witnessed the nastiness of the present social policies should be.
                    Come on NZ, show a bit of compassion for a change.
                    Try thinking along the lines of “there but for the grace of God go I”.

                    • Anne

                      garibaldi, I don’t think Sara Matthews is for real. She gives him/her self away with this comment:

                      I’m a historical Labour voter who could be persuaded to vote Green if they moved closer to the center or at least a bit closer to mainstream Labour.

                      As a real historical Labour voter, I know that is not how the majority of Labour members (at the least) think. No-one I know of is asking the Greens to move to the centre – far from it. We see the Greens as a separate entity. Most of us espouse very similar beliefs and for that reason we look forward to working with them in a Lab/Green govt. If it has to include NZ First so be it. But despite his political ducking and weaving, I don’t think NZ1st is that far away from us policy-wise.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      There’s also the thing that irrespective of wingedness, the Gnats are browner that a post-Nick Smith river. The Greens for whom a rightwing alliance would be palatable would reject the Gnats on environmental grounds. The Green/Gnat alliance is a media artifact, not to be taken seriously.

                    • Incognito

                      Hi Anne, I think you’re right. Her phrasing is off and I’ve never seen her here on TS before (doesn’t mean all that much, I’d admit).

                    • McFlock

                      It’s funny how many “long time Labour supporters” appear and show concern whenever Lab/Grn have decent headlines or policies, then disappear never to return.

                    • Is there something about “long-time Labour supporters” who go on about “you lefties” and want the Greens to support National that makes you suspicious then, McFlock?

    • francesca 23.3

      they may come from people who have never felt represented before and have never bothered voting
      Similar Corbyn policies motivated many who had previously given up on voting

    • BM 23.4

      Labour must be hating the MOU, every brain fart of Turei’s is another kick to the nuts.

      Little really needs to cast them adrift, before the Greens drag labours vote so low that he’s out of Parliament.

      • weka 23.4.1

        Funny, because the latest polls show L/G neck and neck with National.

        • BM 23.4.1.1

          Labours vote is tanking, this is just going to make it worse.

          Vote Labour get this bollocks.

          • Psycho Milt 23.4.1.1.1

            Labours vote is tanking…

            So’s National’s. Low 40s for National = no government without Winston Peters, same as it does for Labour/Green. Let’s see if you can still reach the low 40s after a couple of years of that.

        • Sara Matthews 23.4.1.2

          You’re delusional, we will still need Winston, and he’s never going to work with us, a vote for Winston is a vote for the Nats and another three years in opposition. We need to wise up.

          • weka 23.4.1.2.1

            What? I’m urging everyone to not vote for Peters.

            If we still need him, then it’s put to him what he does.

            • Sara Matthews 23.4.1.2.1.1

              We simply won’t win with L/G votes, saying that L/G will form a government without Winston is delusional and he’s never going to go with us, so bragging that we may have out polled the Nats in one poll is pointless.

              • weka

                That literally doesn’t make sense. If L/G can’t govern without Peters, and Peters is going to go with National, then what’s the problem with the Greens doing what they are doing?

                • It doesn’t make sense coming from someone who says “we” and means “we voters on the left.” On the other hand, from someone whose role on the thread is to sow confusion, discord and despair on the left, Sara Matthews’ comments make perfect sense.

    • Incognito 23.5

      It might well play to the stereotyping that reigns strongly here in NZ partly thanks to lazy journalists repeaters in MSM.

      Edit: thanks for the correction, Ed.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 23.6

      They might attract the interest of one of the largest voter blocks – the non-voters.

  24. Sara Matthews 24

    Already getting great publicity on the 6pm news I see….

    • Sara Matthews 24.1

      Horrible news headlines already, what’s the big story from these announcements, not redressing Richardsons cuts and improving the lives of the poor, but Turei’s defrauding the tax payer, great work, not.

      • weka 24.1.1

        Which channel?

      • Union city reds 24.1.2

        And the green voters say ‘so what?’
        Labour voters say ‘I do that too’
        Nat voters say ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter. Mooo’
        Non voters ???

        Playing percentage politics. Rock on, concern troll. 🙄

        • Sara Matthews 24.1.2.1

          You don’t get it, we need to be growing the left block, curse me as much as you want, bad publicity won’t win this election, votes will and we aren’t gaining any with idiotic statements like that. Open your eyes do you want another three years in opposition?, I don’t!.

          • Union city reds 24.1.2.1.1

            And how do you think promising extra money to beneficiaries and working families at the expense of the super rich won’t grow the left block if it’s there to be grown?
            The middle ground is done. Only movement there is bigoted racist NZ1st types changing colours like car tyres.

          • adam 24.1.2.1.2

            I say be weary of the radical center. They talk the right words, but when push comes to shove, it’s more of the same old, same old – bugger working people.

            • Sara Matthews 24.1.2.1.2.1

              Helen moved to the centre and held it proudly for three terms gaining and shaping this countries policies greatly for future generations through WFF and KS, we abandon the middle at our peril. Winston isn’t centrist he’s right of centre and always has been, that’s why I don’t want to be relying on him, we should be targeting him even more.

      • Robert Guyton 24.1.3

        “The Greens co-leader’s story is one of determination and hard work, however. It would be a mean-spirited person who accused her of intentionally set out to rip off taxpayers. ”
        – from Stuff and for you, Sara

        • Sara Matthews 24.1.3.1

          6 o’clock news is very mean spirited then, BTW my apple tree is going great Robert.

          • Robert Guyton 24.1.3.1.1

            It can be. Great to hear about your tree – it’ll need pruning round about now, even if it’s young. I start on mine tomorrow. I did the little orchard at Kew Hospital a couple of weeks ago and a pruning workshop at Otatara in the Rance’s orchard too – lots of apple trees in Southland these days 🙂

            • Sara Matthews 24.1.3.1.1.1

              Yeah I have three lovely Oratia red trees that are going great, we talked about them last time I was down in Colac, glad to see many wee orchards sprouting up around Southland, we also have many newly discovered orchards or trees up around central Otago, I’m sure there are many heritage varieties around here, just have to find them.

          • In Vino 24.1.3.1.2

            Is that you Alwyn? So many right Wing trolls that all have such similar turns of phrase… Chuck, Mr Chairman, James, BM, Pockish Rouge, etc. I sometimes wonder if they are a few writing under different IDs to disguise the fact that they are almost full-time trolling…

            • James 24.1.3.1.2.1

              Like ed and Paul ?- I think the same thing.

              • In Vino

                You may be right there, but that is only 2 IDs. I am thinking 4, 5, 6… Including you.

            • alwyn 24.1.3.1.2.2

              Pray tell me,
              Who do you think is imitating me?
              You appear to be replying to Sara.

              • Sara Matthews

                I imitate no one.

              • In Vino

                Well, you would say that, if what I suspect is true.. Chuck, I mean Mr Chairman, I mean BM … You all have mannerisms in common – suspiciously so. Even this new ‘Sara’ invention.
                One or two people operating full-time, but wanting to appear like many?
                Just because you don’t like my opinion doesn’t mean it isn’t true. (James hammers that one, but others echo it…)

            • Incognito 24.1.3.1.2.3

              Entanglement is a phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of RWs or RWNJs interact in ways such that the mental state and online behaviour of each RW or RWNJ cannot be described independently of the others, even when the RWs or RWNJs are separated by a large distance—instead, a mental state and online behaviour must be described for the collective of all RWs or RWNJs as a whole.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement 😉

        • alwyn 24.1.3.2

          I would have thought the same thing Robert.
          Provided she had paid the money back when she reached the exalted income she now gets from the taxpayer I didn’t think anyone would have cared.
          What amazes me is the trend in the comments to this story on Stuff.
          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94781490/opinion-metiria-turei-makes-a-risky-admission-politically-and-legally
          The comments must be running about 50:1 against her.
          I am truly astonished.

          • McFlock 24.1.3.2.1

            Stuff comment streams have their bad days. Especially when the nats are having their own bad days.

      • mauī 24.1.4

        Yeah the TV news is the protector of the status quo. It was all about Turei telling a lie and Steven Joyce getting a return hit in.

        No decent critical analysis of the actual policy.

        • Robert Guyton 24.1.4.1

          Metiria owned up to a past action involving WINZ.
          Paula Bennet has been accused of past improprieties involving beneficiary status, but has not owned up to anything.
          The public compares both stories and feels in their hearts…
          …what, do you think?

          • James 24.1.4.1.1

            Accused with zero evidence to back up.

            The other actually committed fraud

            Big difference.

          • gsays 24.1.4.1.2

            that’s not fair robert, tories don’t feel from their heart, they feel from their wallet, their trust fund, their property port folio.

            speaking of apples, i think above is the scrumpy talking.

  25. Cricklewood 25

    I hope they do something with abatement… In my previous job I used to hire directly from the local winz it was out and out wheelbarrow work to begin with at $17 per hour alot calculated how much extra they got compared to the benefit and conflated that to an hourly rate and decided it wasnt worthwhile. Only a few grasped that after 3-6 months there was an apprenticeship on offer and a steady increase in wage and where they could be in 5 years.
    Less punitive abatement would allow the necessary time for a young person to see past the first few months and into the future. I would like to see abatement commiserate with the time on a benefit.

    • Cricklewood 25.1

      Wouldnt mind see court fines for minor offences forgiven gradually if in settled employment as well. I had guys with tens of thousands worth of fines losing money from a paypacket against these was also a significant barrier.

    • weka 25.2

      “I would like to see abatement commiserate with the time on a benefit.”

      Good idea.

      I knew someone who was working part time while on a benefit (couldn’t get full time hours), and they literally ended up $0/hr for those hours worked.

      • McFlock 25.2.1

        Yep – they used to abate the accommodation supplement all at once, rather than a bit for each hour worked. Had a friend when I was bouncing who did it casual to keep her hand in – needed to work three hours before she broke even on the job.

        Just one of the thousand little ways that being on a benefit isn’t the life of leisure tories paint it as.

      • Cricklewood 25.2.2

        Yeah its a problem you need to find a way for people to understand it can be a long game in terms of advancement. Not to mention you add in costs related to work ie travel clothing childcare etc you can be worse off. No point been punitive around this stuff

  26. James 26

    Question I thought an mp had to resign if found guilty of a crime carrying a 2 year jail term.

    What’s the potential sentence for what she has admitted?

    • weka 26.1

      Depends on whether it was fraud, how much money was involved etc.

    • In Vino 26.2

      19 years’ hard labour, Javert.

    • James’ pecker’s up!!

    • McFlock 26.4

      assuming the records still exist, depending on the quantity and hardship at the time, she could well get a discharge without conviction. It’s happened before, people being let off by judges because winz were being dicks.

      • weka 26.4.1

        And depending on her circumstances, how long it went on for, what she actually did, WINZ might choose to just get it recovered as a debt rather than having her charges with fraud.

        • Cricklewood 26.4.1.1

          If she’s clever she will calculate the amount and very publicly donate it to a worthy charity in the social sphere. City mission or womans refuge cone to mind.

    • Cinny 26.5

      I wonder if Todd is looking at a lag?

    • alwyn 26.6

      She used to be a lawyer.
      I suspect she would have checked up on the Statute of Limitations before she came out with this silly statement.
      Long expired I would imagine.

      • In Vino 26.6.1

        Nothing silly about her, then. And her statement carries weight for those who are unbiased.

      • dukeofurl 26.6.2

        No statute of limitations in NZ,

        Misleading information to WINZ is only punishable with up to 1 years prison.

        Cant see how they would prosecute in this case where the benefit was legally obtained but only the rate of some things like accommodation costs werent fully correct.

        I have a feeling national has been digging on this and would have liked to dump the news via the usual suspects much closer to the election. Turei has done this now to gain the upper hand.

    • Craig H 26.7

      If anything happens at all, it depends on which statute she’s tried under, and which section, and also which date the events occurred as the various laws have been updated over time.

      Under the Social Securities Act, the maximum sentence is 12 months’ imprisonment, so that would not trigger the Electoral Act. If it is deemed to be obtaining by deception as in the Crimes Act, then it depends on how much was obtained, and also when the deception occurred, but if it is over the threshold for 7 years’ imprisonment, that would trigger the Electoral Act. If forged or false documents were used, then the maximum sentence is 10 years’ imprisonment, so that would trigger the Electoral Act.

  27. BM 27

    Is this a Turei thing or is what the Green party has come up with and she’s just presenting it?

  28. Ian 28

    My parents were poor.I lived in a car.I can’t recall ever stealing from my whanau.
    Turei is a disgrace
    Someone in her position needs to be honest.I have found that if someone has a shown tendency for dishonesty in one area of their life,it will filter through to everything they do
    She is soiled goods .

    • McFlock 28.1

      So who did you steal from?
      Just looking at the careful omission.

    • ,it will filter through to everything they do

      No it won’t.

      Well, for RWNJs who lie all the time such as National Party MPs it does.

      But others actually realise doing so is wrong unless the situation that is forced upon them requires it. These people won’t do it unless they’re forced and the welfare system that National has put in place forces people to lie.

  29. Ian 29

    You need to do better than that.She stole from the whanau of taxpayers.I pay a lot of tax.Ripping off taxpayer’s is a deadly sin in my books.She should resign from parliament
    She is a disgrace.

  30. Pat 30

    this and the climate change policy announcements cast the attack on winston in an entirely different light…it would appear all are part of a well considered strategy to offer a real alternative policy prescription that is long overdue…now to see if it works.

  31. Cynical jester 31

    Boom. This settles it, I’m officially voting green. Red for the electorate of course!

  32. This is all growth based crap
    The greeds are a large part of the problem.
    I call it the scatter gun approach
    It’s like loading the gun with children, then firing them at the bottle neck of depletion and massive crop failures , with the hope that some will make it through, alas if they do they will come smack up against the cork of climate change , and methane ‘explosions’
    So yeah like I said before the greeds only contact with the environment is when they fly through it.
    They are 100% ignoring reality, and by encouraging breeding are just making the situation worse, but not for me and you, just for the LAST human generation, currently maybe 20 years old?
    As Guy says, we are living in a system governed by opinion not facts.
    They should be arrested for their lies, or at least treated with total contempt, or the utter joke they are.
    May your gods protect us.
    Flying Spaghetti Monster Akbar

  33. Michael 33

    It’s a great policy – the sort of thing an authentic Labour Party would produce. As it is, the policy will never be implemented because (a) it is highly unlikely Labour will score enough Party Vote to form a government without Winston; and (b) Winston won’t have anything to do with the Greens (he’s unlikely to want anything to do with Labour either, but that’s another issue); and (c) even if the Greens and Labour went into government together, Labour would never allocate $1.5bn towards alleviating poverty, such are its priorities these days.

    • McFlock 33.1

      Well, they shelled out for kiwirail and kiwibank.

      Winston might go for the policy itself as well. He can actually vote in a principled manner on occasion. He probably won’t argue for it, but he’ll want to claim credit.

  34. mosa 34

    Thanks for the post WEKA

    Some great policy work from the Greens and i hope they can get up and grab 15% this time and be a serious player in any progressive change.

  35. Penny Bright 35

    Now THIS – in my view – is a winning platform to help ROLLBACK ROGERNOMIC$ by tackling ‘corporate welfare’ – head on.

    (I look forward to as many political parties as possible similarly taking up this call 🙂

    Where could the public money come from to provide SOCIAL welfare for the vulnerable poor and needy?

    By cutting CORPORATE welfare for the undeserving rich and greedy!

    International research has PROVEN that contracting out (privatisation of public services formerly provided
    in-house under the ‘public service’ model) is TWICE as expensive!

    So! Let’s OPEN THE (public) BOOKS and CUT OUT THE (private) CONTRACTORS!

    Shouldn’t PUBLIC money benefit the PUBLIC majority – not the PRIVATE minority?

    Time to look after the PUBLIC 99% – not the CORPORATE 1%?

    Here’s a blast from the past – a Press Release I made in 2011, when I stood as an Independent against John Banks in Epsom.

    (I have been persistent and consistent on these matters for some years – and now folks are getting it.)

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/m.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00095/wheres-nationals-corporate-welfare-reform.htm

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?
    By: Penny Bright
    Published: Thu 3 Nov 2011 05:28 PM

    PRESS RELEASE: Independent Candidate for Epsom Penny Bright:

    “How many billion$ of public monies could be saved by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    3 November 2011

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?

    Which of the maor political parties are pushing for ‘corporate welfare’ reform and shrinking the long-term dependency of the private sector on our public monies?

    Where is the ‘devilish detail’ at both local and central government level – which shows EXACTLY where our public rates and taxes are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors?

    Why aren’t the names of the consultant(s)/ contrators(s) – the scope, term and value of these contracts, published in Council or central government Annual Reports – so this information on the spending of OUR public monies is available for public scrutiny?

    Where are the publicly-available ‘Registers of Interests’ for those local government elected representatives, and staff responsible for property and procurement, in order to help guard against possible ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who ‘give’ the contracts and those who ‘get’ the contracts?

    Where’s the ‘transparency’?

    Given that New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world – along with Denmark and Singapore, according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index – shouldn’t we arguably be the most transparent?

    Going back a step – where are the New Zealand ‘cost-benefit’ analyses which prove that the old ‘Rogernomic$ mantra – public is bad – private (contracting) is good’ can be substantiated by FACTS and EVIDENCE?

    At last – someone – somewhere has actually done some substantial research – which proves the opposite.

    That ‘contracting out’ services that were once provided ‘in-house’ is actually TWICE as expensive.

    “USA Project On Government Oversight (POGO)[1] decided to take on the task of doing what others have not—comparing total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

    http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/reports/contract-oversight/bad-business/co-gp-20110913.html

    Executive Summary

    Based on the current public debate regarding the salary comparisons of federal and private sector employees, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO)[1] decided to take on the task of doing what others have not—comparing total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

    The current debate over pay differentials largely relies on the theory that the government pays private sector compensation rates when it outsources services.

    This report proves otherwise: in fact, it shows that the government actually pays service contractors at rates far exceeding the cost of employing federal employees to perform comparable functions.
    POGO’s study analyzed the total compensation paid to federal and private sector employees, and annual billing rates for contractor employees across 35 occupational classifications covering over 550 service activities.

    Our findings were shocking—POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services.

    Specifically, POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates—deemed fair and reasonable—that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services. ”
    ____________________________

    The implications of this both nationally and internationally are HUGE.

    If NZ central government figures are comparable with those of USA Federal Government – could the current NZ $82 billion central government spend be sliced in half by $40 billion ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?
    ……”

    Penny Bright
    Independent candidate for Tamaki.

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    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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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, ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    3 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.  ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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. ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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. ...
    3 weeks ago