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The headline you didn’t see

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 94 comments
Categories: economy, Social issues, workers' rights - Tags: ,

‘Unemployment benefits at record low.’
The number of people receiving the unemployment benefit has fallen to just 17,465. That’s the lowest number since at least 1979. At the same time, Sickness Benefit numbers fell 1,542 (3%) in the last year, DPB numbers are down 12% in the last five years. Overall, benefit numbers have dropped by 120,000 since National was booted out of office.

Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars has been saved by the reduction in unemployment benefit numbers this year alone, money that can be spent on other public services.

As the Left has always said, work is the best form of social security. Rather than the punitive approach favoured by National, the Government has realised people don’t want to be on measly $200 a week benefits and has helped them into work.

In the world of mini-scandals, it’s easy to forget about this bedrock stuff; ensuring there are jobs for people is one of the most important things a government does. Let’s hope the astounding success we’ve seen in getting people off benefits and into work continues.

[But wait, didn’t we have all those headlines on the ‘shocking’ unemployment numbers in May? Why would unemployment be up but benefit number down? It’s hard to say. It’s worth noting that the benefit numbers are a definite count by MSD of the number of benefits it is paying out, but the unemployment % is a survey figure from Stats NZ and has a small margin of error.]

94 comments on “The headline you didn’t see ”

  1. zANavAShi 1

    /me Starts timer to see how many minutes before the tory-trash-trolls descend upon this thread waving placards “Cos they all got moved to the sickness benefit”

    And thus begins another Groundhog Day at the Standard…. 😀

  2. Oh yes, this is all because of Labour. The booming economy had nothing to do with it. You take credit for that, then when the economy goes ass up like it is now you want no part.

    Typical.

  3. Or “Working for Families is a benefit!”.

    Whining tories are so predictable these days.

  4. Daveski 4

    Thanks for clearing this up – I was obviously confused.

    Let me see if I got it right.

    Labour is solely responsible for all the good things that happen to the economy.

    However, anything bad that happens to the economy is due to external factors outside Labour’s control.

    Also, pleased to have another point clarified – Labour has created these jobs. It’s got nothing to do with businesses, many of which individuals put their own money into either directly or indirectly to create jobs for others. Rich pricks I think you call them.

    I for one am delighted to see unemployment figures and other benefits down too. Great news for everyone.

    I’d be more prepared to tip my hat if there was greater balance rather than anything Labour does is great and anything National does or would do is bad.

    [lprent: It seems to me that I’ve seen this comment before almost exactly word for word. I noticed it for my monumental level of boredom the last time.

    I’d suggest that you write things that don’t look like they come from a rogue program (ie a troll). I like pulling the kill switch on bugs]

  5. T-rex 5

    The point you’re missing, Dave, is that it totally invalidates the classic Tory Retard “people won’t go into work if they can get a benefit for doing nothing” argument.

    Clearly they will, and do. So the benefit is just for when there isn’t work available. What’s your suggestion for when there isn’t work available, starvation?

  6. Daveski, infused. Remind me, where is the part where I say that Labour is solely responsible for the figures?

  7. That is the connection you are trying to make Steve. Don’t kid yourself.

    “Overall, benefit numbers have dropped by 120,000 since National was booted out of office.”

  8. roger nome 8

    Infused:

    nah – just demolishes the claim, asserted by many on the right, that Labour is trying to turn NZ into a country of beneficiaries. Of course people who say this will have never read any Giddens (the founder of Labour’s presnt day “third-way” philosophy).

    The Third Way has dispensed with the reduction of inequality as a goal, and has replaced it with social inclusion and more recently, ‘justice’ (Dahrendorf 1999: 16). For instance, Tony Blair views inequality primarily as a question of barriers to individual opportunity to progress in a market economy.

    This view is consistent with the general focus of Third Way social policy, which has tended to be driven by the idea that the ability to ‘function’ in a capitalist society should become the key to all forms of self-fulfilment (Gledhill, 2001: 123-149). For example, in reforming the welfare state, Third Way governments have sought to achieve full employment by forcing people to work through the withdrawal of benefits, where normal employment is unavailable(ibid).

  9. Reading the post and the comments, several things come to mind.

    1. Labour and MMP certainly haven’t got in the way of growth and an increase in the level of prosperity generally, contrary to those who claimed (and still claim) this is impossible and isn’t happening.

    2. People want to work. Sitting around all day doing nothing isn’t good for a person and people generally don’t like it.

    3. The media are committed to a National victory. Yesterday’s pathetic story in the Herald about how the mean horrible government was taking away people’s dimmer switches (while saving power users $500 million worth of electricity) was all the proof anyone needs that no effort is being spared to portray good news as bad, ….if you must mention it all.

  10. James Kearney 10

    The headline you didn’t see: ‘Unemployment benefits at record low.’

    This is where the media’s bias becomes apparent. This should be front page news, yet it’s either not reported on or drowned in the drum-beat of minor ‘scandals’.

    I issued a challenge to Audrey Young the other day on her blog – stop chasing unauthorised balloons and for once, just once, try writing about an issue that actually affects ordinary NZers.

  11. infused 11

    Cheers for that Roger. Got any further reading?

  12. zANavAShi 12

    LOL yeh Tiger… hey, I’m pretty hot with photoshop, do you think it would be fun to start a web site called “predictable placards” – kinda like a kiwi version of the Evolve Fish web site to showcase all these tory treasures of non-wisdom?

    Maybe Lynn could write an auto-reply plugin for the site so the echo chamber can (instead of boring us to tears with their revolting repetition) just select a button that pops up an emoticon like “Send ’em to boot camp” or “Sterilise the poor”

    😀

    [lprent: I promised RedBaiter that I could write a rabid troll program to emulate his usual comments. But it’d be a xmas project because I have too much to do at present. I must say it was interesting watching his language rise markedly above the usual grunting in the subsequent conversation.]

  13. Byron 13

    “Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars has been saved by the reduction in unemployment benefit numbers this year alone”

    Maybe that could be spend restoring benefits to the pre-“Mother of all budgets” levels?

    just a suggestion…

  14. lprent 14

    Often the best you can say about a government is that they didn’t get in the way of a recovery.

    For instance the way the Nats did in the early 90’s. They stalled our economy and put it into a 5 year recession because they put in benefit cuts for ideological reasons. That was a classic case of a government screwing up an economy through ideological stupidity.

    Whereas this government hasn’t interfered with the economy doing better (for all of the rights whinging about tax cuts).

    It is even better when you can say that a government got the country ready for the inevitable recession. Cullen (properly) concentrated on killing government debt – and now we really don’t have any long-term debt.

    They have also put in a number of effective measures to help penetration into export markets (I’ve used a few). It is a fine example of how a governemnt doesn’t screw up. It all helps when we hit the next (and now current) recession.

    When we look at JK and the Nat’s, the best thing you can say is that we don’t know what they’d do. But since they seem to have given everyone the impression that they are all things to all people,

    I just assume that the Nat’s would fuck up in government through a terminal lack of clarity of thinking. It shows in their incoherent ‘policies’ – shallow and effectively useless. I suspect that my opinion will be shared by the majority of the population by election time.

  15. T-rex 15

    zANavAShi – That website plus a text-to-speech convertor would have been really handy for Bob Clarkson if he wasn’t leaving parliament.

  16. mike 16

    “Whining tories are so predictable these days.”

    Yes and there are a lot more of them which is bad news for Labour.

    “”Cos they all got moved to the sickness benefit'”

    No a good deal have moved to Australia as well, but why wouldn’t you when our per capita income($40,021)is compared to Australia’s Queensland ($54,317),New South Wales($55,805), Western Australia ($58,688), Northern Territory ($78,527)

  17. infused. you’re making a logical fallacy called ‘illicit conversion’. Just because I argue that Labour has helped reduce unemployment benefit numbers (and National failed to do so) does not mean I attribute all changes in unemployment benefit levels to governments.

  18. zANavAShi 18

    Damn you Rex!!! I had a mouthful off coffee when I refreshed the page to see your reply! (((scurries off to grab handitowels))) 😛

  19. mike. “”Whining tories are so predictable these days.’
    Yes and there are a lot more of them which is bad news for Labour.”

    Interesting – your argument is ‘we may be wrong but we are many’

  20. T-rex 20

    ‘we may be wrong but we are many’

    I think you have to pay a licensing fee to organised religion if you use that expression.

  21. James Kearney 21

    He also forgets there’s net immigration. Honestly, these trolls ain’t getting any smarter.

  22. zANavAShi 22

    Arrggghhhhh DAMMIT! Just spat my next mouthful of coffee (Lynns fault this time). That’s it! I’m going to finish my coffee in the other room.

    And while I’m AFK I nominate Rex to come up with a “predictable placard” for Mike’s predictable tory whine about the labour-govt-driven mass-exodus-to-Oz 😛

    PS: Lynn… I love that idea for a project. Anything I can do to help (photoshopping, etc etc) just gimme a shout 🙂

  23. Thanks T-Rex. That’s the first time I’ve laughed since I saw Tane trying to chat up a girl the other week.

    (both elements of that story are untrue: I laugh often and heartily, while Tane never bothers trying to chat them up in the first place)

  24. T-rex 24

    My pleasure, but ease up! You’ll give the poor guy a complex 🙂

  25. Phil 25

    No Steve, the argument is actually “we used to be labour supporters, but then we grew a backbone and a brain… and balls”

    If the rejection gets too much for Tane, he can always get one of those “robots for lonely men” the japanese have just invented. You can buy them online, but they vet prospective purchasers by scanning your mouse to tell if you’ve ever had a girlfriend.

  26. Rex Widerstrom 26

    Okay, I’ll add my whine, even though I’m not really much of a Tory 😛

    But before I do I’ll acknowledge Labour’s positive influence on (albeit not total credit for, since external economic conditions do play a role) this outcome. Looking after people who really need government help is one of the things Labour does – and I guess will always do – far better than National.

    Okay, now on with the whining 🙂

    1. Why didn’t they reverse the benefit cuts as Byron has pointed out? If they’re saving quarter of a billion dollars then surely some of that could be spent ensuring beneficiaries get more than the measly (as you correctly term it) $200 a week?

    2. Given that living conditions on $200 a week must be absolutely shocking (it quite literally scares me to think I might ever find myself in that position given today’s prices) one could almost accuse Labour of adopting National’s unwritten policy: to keep benefits so low as to ensure that beneficiaries’ standard of living is so completely appalling that they’ll do anything rather than remain on it, even if that means a low paid crappy fast food job, joining the “black economy” or trying to juggle multiple casual part-time jobs. (Incidentally, many people in the black economy or juggling part time work tell Stats NZ they are “actively seeking work” because they are, though they’re not drawing a benefit. Hence the disparity in figures).

    3. Why haven’t they tackled the ridiculously punitive benefit abatement regime that acts as a complete disincentive to any beneficiary transitioning to work by any means other than stepping into a well paid full time job?

    4. Picking up on what I said in 2 above, I still think more could be done in terms of training, though again I acknowledge the advances made in this respect, all of which are attributable to Labour.

  27. higherstandard 27

    Lynn

    “Often the best you can say about a government is that they didn’t get in the way of a recovery.

    For instance the way the Nats did in the early 90’s. They stalled our economy and put it into a 5 year recession because they put in benefit cuts for ideological reasons. That was a classic case of a government screwing up an economy through ideological stupidity.”

    It appears you have conveniently forgotten what National inherited from the previous government in 1990.

    Not the least of which was a massively alarming fiscal situation, a weak domestic and international economy and an outlook of rising unemployment and increased debt

  28. Heh even better: A tory doll with a string that when pulled will spout any number of predictable choice phrases. I can see it now:

    “The all new Tory Doll! Thatcher and Key models now available. Teach your child to be a closed minded, poor hating, greedy, power hungry bigot while they play!”

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    No Steve, the argument is actually “we used to be labour supporters, but then we grew a backbone and a brain and balls’?

    And whored our souls?

  30. higherstandard. By slashing benefits and public service, National sucked the life out of the economy and caused unemployment to spike. Have a look at our graph of unemployment, you can see the spike clearly, and Watch In a Land of Plenty some time.

    Thanks for the update on the genitalia there, Phil. This story might interest you. Apparently, a kilt is the way to go.

  31. Daveski 31

    Mod – not sure why I’m being threatened when I continue to demonstrate a willingness to present my differing opinions without resorting to personal abuse.

    Undoubtedly, Labour has had great economic conditions. Equally true, they haven’t made things worse but it is reasonable to ask could they have made things better. See Rex’s comments for some reasonable points.

    I agree entirely that the less people on benefits the better. Strange that that is something the Left seems to believe is there view only.

    My point was that to claim only the good but attribute the bad to external factors is simply too simplistic. I’m not the only one saying so which is why the message may sound familiar.

    [lprent: Much better. I didn’t get bored that time.]

  32. djp 32

    steve do you believe a govts policys have full effect at the instant they are implemented? I would expect a lag of 5 years or so (who knows).

    for example, suppose Obama is elected in the states in Nov and there is a continuing recession in USA next year… would you blame Obama for it (or Bush who seems to have sucked the life out of the states through his expensive warmongering)?

    I don’t think you ever seem to take into account policy effect lag (or whatever it should be called).

    [They slashed benefits and public spending in the 1991 Budget. That meant that beneficaires and civil servants had less money to spend right away. Right away, some consumer demand in the economy disappeared, which had a multiplier effect of echoing layoffs and demand reductions. Many policies have long lags from implementation to effect. Taking money out of poor people’s pockets has an instant effect on their ability to buy things. SP]

  33. higherstandard 33

    SP

    No stop misdirecting – Lynn explicity stated that National was responsible for stalling the economy and putting it in a 5 year recession due to cutting benefits this is incorrect.

    As I said previously National inherited a massively alarming fiscal situation, a weak domestic and international economy and an outlook of rising unemployment and increased debt they did not inherit a booming and healthy economy.

    They slashed spending due to the projected deficits why is this so hard to acknowledge ?

  34. Rex Widerstrom 34

    Alright, I’ll play. Here’s some of my suggestions for IT’s new doll line:

    Action Woman: Placed in the middle of any disaster situation, she won’t actually do anything, just stand there waving her arms about and saying “Common sense will save us, common sense will save us” and “It happened because it’s a full moon”.

    Pie Man: Place him in your doll’s tea party and he steals the breakfasts of all the smaller dolls. Says “You don’t need your cornflakes, you’re on a diet” and “I think I just ate a small child by mistake”.

    The Man of Steal: Springs into action while you’re sleeping and rifles through your wallet, taking around half of what he finds there. When you wake up in the morning you find the bedroom floor littered with rusty old train sets that don’t work properly.

    Tuff Trev: Very easy to wind up, and when you do he just nuts the other dolls. There seems to be a fault in this model, though: when you pull the string to make him say “sorry” it will only do so when it’s fingers are crossed.

    Taito the Terrible: comes complete with a set of imported ‘worker’ dolls. Operated via radio control, the ‘Taito’ model seems to interfere with the operation of the other dolls, who are unable to speak when he’s in the vicinity.

    Aunty Jeanette: Goes round taking the batteries out of all the other dolls. Pull her string and she complains she’s not made out of biodegradable materials. Not much fun to play with.

    Dolly Dunne: Utterly useless in it’s own right, but very handy if parts fall off your other dolls, as he’s infinitely flexible and can be used to prop up anything.

    Wee Willy Winston: Comes with a coiffure that’s impenetrable to hairbrushes. Or an arc welder. Wardrobe comes in 27 other boxes. Advertised as the type of doll which can respond to simple questions, it keeps being recalled because it always responds by saying “That’s just impertinent. What people really want to know is…” and then starts talking gibberish. Will only come to tea parties if he gets all the silverware.

    😀

  35. roger nome 35

    HS – the Nats could have cut spending more incrementally, and in areas wouldn’t have affected demand so much. There was no need to triple child poverty from 1990 to 1996.

  36. roger nome 36

    Rex:

    “But it’s also contended that the operation involved mass-murder of civilians, and assassination politicians”

    Didn’t you used to have your hand firmly implanted in that puppet’s posterior?

  37. djp 37

    SP, I imagine that if National slashed spending in one area then they would have spent it in another (unless they were facing a deficit like HS says), would this not counter the the reduction in demand that you cite.

    Btw. Does anyone have any references on this 91 budget? It would be nice to know:
    1. What amount of (if any) deficits was the govt facing
    2. What spending was reduced and by how much

    ps. captcha “to Guantanamo”, I hope echelon is not onto me

  38. higherstandard 38

    RN

    You’re probably right – I think looking down the barrel of deficits of 3.5 billion rising to over 5 billion spooked them somewhat.

    Rex – Te hee I’ll use some of those if you don’t mind.

    DJP the link you are after is here.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/briefings/1990/big90-1.pdf

  39. Matthew Pilott 39

    See daveski, it worked! See how much more coherent and reasoned your second post was.

  40. Daveski 40

    MP – 🙂

    I can see why they dropped the Pilott too!

  41. Rex Widerstrom 41

    roger nome: What are you quoting me as supposedly saying? :-O I don’t recall us committing mass murder whilst I was with NZF. It probably just seemed that way because a goodly proportion of the audience were likely to expire due to natural causes during the course of a meeting.

  42. ghostwhowalks 42

    yes the famous 1990 treasury briefing.
    Amoung the things they said was unemployments benefits rates were ‘too high’ and in itself was leading to increased numbers

    So they were cut savagely , so the result was the numbers on unemployment ( and other benefits) ROSE

    And the results today with ultra low unemployment , show its he available JOBS that cut unemployment

    Who would have guessed.

    Moral of the story.
    Treasury cooks the books

  43. roger nome 43

    oops, the message to Rex went a little wayward. Was supposed to read.

    “Wee Willy Winston: Comes with a coiffure that’s impenetrable to hairbrushes. Or an arc welder. Wardrobe comes in 27 other boxes.”

    Didn’t you used to have your hand firmly implanted in that puppet’s posterior?

  44. roger nome 44

    hehe Rex:

    nah, that was part of a message to a friend about “Operation Gladio”. Very interesting doco on it here

  45. vto 45

    some 2c pieces.

    I see on your graph it rises about 1996. I remember that time. Winston Bjeikle-Peterson had just become part of the govt and the economy was finally starting to lift from the gloom of the 80s hangover. But Peters went and announced $5billion of govt spending on all sorts of things. The sorts ofthings that are paraded here as boosting an economy and doing it good. But I distinctly remember the downturn in the corners of biz-peoples smiles as they realised he had just turned off the tap. And the economy headed south.

    Time for beer. I’m feeling poverty stricken. Poke jab.

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    I can see why they dropped the Pilott too!

    That went over my head…

    rex – great call. “No surprises” being the theme of said meetings…

  47. Quoth the Raven 47

    mike – Whenever you think about the wage gap please remember what John Key said “We would love to see wages drop.” Please keep that in mind when you go to vote as well.

  48. vto. the uptick you are talking about is from the 1998 Asian crisis that put NZ into its second recession under National in the 1990s. Interestingly, Australia didn’t go into recession, hardly felt the shock.

  49. “But wait, didn’t we have all those headlines on the ‘shocking’ unemployment numbers in May?”

    I agree that those numbers are a bit suspect with unemployment benefits staying at record lows. The only way I can think of the two working together is if it was mainly secondary earners that lost their jobs over the March quarter.

    It will be good when the June unemployment figure is out, so we can get a clearer idea of what’s going on.

  50. kk 50

    “Strange that that is something the Left seems to believe is there view only.”

    To an extent it’s a good argument but the point was the headline (or lack of). Why is it that stories such as these are only found in the lefist media? Why does the right ignore these progressive social trends?

  51. lprent 51

    hs: There were other alternatives that could have been done. There was a hole in the budget and a problem with the BNZ. So what? It was not a major hole, more of an annoying hole. It wasn’t even 1/20th of the budget if you take the worst possible interpretation.

    There was simply no reason to do what they did. It was just a recipe for disaster. I was running Cargo Kings inventory system at the time. The benefit cuts were announced and sales dropped immediately into the toilet. That happened for every retailer, and therefore for evey manufacturer and importer. Everyone laid off as many staff as they could (or in my case I left to start becoming a full-time programmer).

    The cost to the government in tax revenue was massively bigger than the savings. The increased costs on additional unemployed were more than the savings. It was a totally incoherent ideologically driven and absolutely stupid policy.

    As far as I’m concerned it was done because it sounded good in soundbites. Noone who’d studied anything about economic shocks would have even considered the idea. No-one that’d looked at how previous budget deficits were handled in NZ would have done it. The effects were completely predicable and were predicted at the time.

    It was just idiotic.

  52. higherstandard 52

    Also apparently a bit of a drought during those years SP

    From the archives

    “economic growth, which had slowed in 1997 and 1998 due to the negative effects of the Asian financial crisis and two successive years of drought, rebounded in 1999.

    A low New Zealand dollar, favourable weather, and high commodity prices boosted exports, and the economy is estimated to have grown by 2.5% in 2000. Growth resumed at a higher level from 2001 onwards due primarily to the lower value of the New Zealand dollar which made exports more competitive. The return of substantial economic growth led the unemployment rate to drop from 7.8% in 1999 to 3.4% in late 2005, the lowest rate in nearly 20 years.”

  53. dave 53

    Steve, I wonder how much the invalids benefit has dropped. You never mentioned that.
    And I don’t blame you because the numbers on the invalids benefit have rocketed up. Previously the sickness benefit was the new dole, now the invalids benefit is the new dole and the sickness benefit is a stepping stone towards an invalids benefit.

    Could the increase be because because of those who were on an Unemployment Benefit last year, 193 transferred to the Invalids benefit and massive 8579 transferred to the Sickness Benefit. That’s just last year. Of those who were on a Sickness Benefit, 5968 transferred to the Invalids benefit, including probably some of the ones that were transferred from the Unemployment Benefit earlier in the year. That’s the highest amount since 2002.

    And guess what. They re still there. There are more people on the invlads benefit and sickness benefit combined who are collecting income than those who are on the dole.

    So, why aren’t they on the dole if they can work? Perhaps they`re also committing crime, like breaking into bottle stores.

  54. lprent 54

    hs: They inherited a deficit. I just argue that their response was completely inappropiate (read – completely screwed in the head).

    It ensured that they increased the deficit problem over subsequent years. They did not reduce it.

    They also (in the usual Nat style) passed the costs down the generations because we got institutional unemployed families. They were literally too poor to move to where the work was even if they’d wanted to. Social workers and other cliff bottom people are stil;l dealing with the consequences of that today.

  55. dave 55

    So the headline you didnt see actualy is…

    Invalids benefits at record high

  56. dave. follow the links. http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2068

    I didn’t mention invlaid’s because the latest figures weren’t provided in the release.

    Invalid’s is up a wee bit but that’s because the population is aging. In fact, the percentage of the working age pop on invalid’s increased faster under National than it has under Labour.

    Overall, benefit numbers are down 120,000 under leftwing govt and the number continues to fall. Now, only invalid’s is rising and that only by 0.3% of the working age pop in 5 years.

  57. higherstandard 57

    No Lynn I think you’re too ready to place the blame for the problems of the 1990s squarely with National and refuse to look at the wider issues which suggest both parties were to blame.

    After three years of partial Rogernomics, followed by three years over which even that has been attenuated, the economy was propelled into a rolling recession.

    The importance of presenting a comprehensive policy umbrella to combat this escaped the Labour members in their final days and during their term, but it was also given little importance by the National Party leadership.

  58. lprent 58

    dave: SP will no doubt give you numbers. But you are wrong. The only way you could say that is if you are stupid enough to look at percentages rather than absolute numbers.

    If I have 10 people and I add one more it is a 10% increase.
    If I have 10,000 people and I add one thousand more it is a also a 10% increase.

    But there is a significant difference between the two statements – it has to do with scale. I’ve noticed that some people on the right seem to think that a percentage change is all that counts, and they don’t bother to look at the divisor.

    Ummm. I really need nicotine…. Oh well I’ll just keep taking the frustration out here instead.

  59. dave, beating up on people who are invalids – ie have a permanent phyisical or mental disabiltiy that prevents them from working is a new low.

    These are mostly crippled or severly mentally impaired people. and they make up less than 3% of the population.

    incidentally, if you had read the release you would have seen that MSD is now focusing on how to find ways for more people on invalids to move into work.

  60. lprent 60

    hs: Actually I’d agree with you. The real problem was a lack of a clear vision in both parties about what they were trying to acheive.

    In the latter part of the 4th labour government it was due to infighting.

    In the bolger/shipley governments it seemed to be just a clear lack of any kind of vision. They just muddled around looking for soundbites rather than running the country towards something.

    Labour inherited a better position, but came in with a clear idea of what they were trying to do. That is also largely what they did.

    The nat’s still seem confused. Still cannot articulate a vision, still don’t have any policy, and still appear to believe that they can win by not being Labour. Rather pathetic really.

    Opps install finished – back to work

  61. higherstandard 61

    Lynn

    Let’s agree where we can and agree to disagree on the last point – I’m off to a fundraiser for the kids school this evening so must away.

    [lprent: I’d agree to disagree. Have fun. For me a beer with the people from my old company for catchup and discussion of what kids are what age now. Then I think I’m being dragged off to a movie (ok – less reluctantly than dragging)]

  62. dave 62

    MSD is now focusing on how to find ways for more people on invalids to move into work
    … and that is because the invalids benefit is the new dole and these people CAN work.Many do not have permanent physical or mental disabilities – although some may be depressed through being on the dole or sickness benefit. And they are there because of MSD policies. From the MSDs own research

    Through disillusion with their prospects as job seekers, or as a result of being moved by the employment services or by benefit administrators, [people] progressively moved on to incapacity-related benefits.

    Lynn are you blind or something, I used real numbers, not percentages. Numbers that Steve apparently wont go looking for because it doesnt suit his theory.

    [benefit numbers down 120,000 since 1999, having risen 70,000 under National, and still dropping. That’s not theory, that’s fact. SP]

  63. dave 63

    [WINZ adminstrators have moved people onto benefits such as invalids and sickness benefits. Thats not theory, thats fact, backed up by MSD research.]

  64. lprent 64

    I don’t have time to look them up. Look since 1999 or 1990. Don’t do the usual trick and take a short period because it is usually meaningless and within the usual ‘noise’.

    The absolute numbers of people on the invalids benefit have gone up over the last decade. But nothing like the absolute numbers of people on the dole have gone down.

    The numbers for both actually around on thise site somewhere.

  65. dave 65

    OK Lprent just for you

    here are the figures of the main benefits

    6/07 261,000
    9/07 263,000
    12/07 270,000
    3/08 256,000

    Invalids benefit 3/08 88.130
    12/98 49,115

    Sickness bneefit 3/08 45676
    3/07 48000
    12/98 33587

    Gee invalids have gone up – nearly DOUBLE – and sickness has gone down. Shit what a surprise. Overall benefit numbers have gone up in the past year with just a seasonal drop in March.

    Cant wait until the June figures are released…. up they`ll go up again like they do most years from March to June.

  66. ak 66

    Here we go again…. the clunky old “davey” train rolls along, this time not only beneficiary-bashing but bashing the most vulnerable and afflicted within the target group.

    What dave conveniently omits from his poisonous little spin selection (but of which he is fully aware) is that every person on the Invalid’s Benefit must be assessed by a medical professional as severely and permanently incapacitated and incapable of working in open employment for more than 15 hours per week.

    The increase in numbers on IB over recent years has been experienced in all first-world countries and is the result of ageing populations, the extension of the age for superannuation qualification and improved diagnosis.

    these people CAN work.many do not have permanent physical or mental disabilities –

    Oh I see, you’re a doctor dave. Congratulations on the sterling effort of having assessed every single person in the country on IB.
    Either that or you’re just another ignorant tory hatemonger shamefully denigrating our most unfortunate fellows and the medical professionals who assessed them.

  67. Lukas 67

    how was that beneficiary bashing?

  68. dave 68

    ak,

    Do you want to know how many on the invalids benefit have been working for 15 hours a week or more, when they should at least be transferred to the sickness benefit.. watch this space.

  69. ak 69

    Ta dave. You just confirmed my suspicions that you’re a paid tory operative with inside knowledge – and that the current efforts of the hatemonger party are directed at taking money off the most unfortunate New Zealanders. Top man. You must be so proud of yourself and your miserable wee mates.

  70. dave 70

    The increase in numbers on IB over recent years has been experienced in all first-world countries and is the result of ageing populations
    Oh, and before you believe THAT, here’s the figures that disprove that theory. All figures are percentages.
    First, 48% of people on an invalids benefit have been on a beneit for 10 years or more.

    Male
    2003 54.8
    2008 52.7

    Female
    2003 45.2
    2008 47.3

    1824 years
    2003 7.2
    2008 7.2

    2539 years
    2003 24.7
    2008 20.7

    4054 years
    2003 36.9
    2008 37.9

    55-64
    2003 31.2
    2008 34.3

  71. zANavAShi 71

    @ ak: “Davey Train” <– ROFLMFAO!!! You’re way too kind 😀

    And it only took him 56 posts to arrive with his placard…. DAMMIT, and thus made me loose a bet! (((mumble fuck mumble fuck mumble)))

    Yo Rex (not the T one): my mom’s burpday this week, so where I can I buy one of your Wee Willy Winston dolls please? Sounds like her perfect gift hehehe 😉

  72. dave 72

    ak, no I’m not an inside tory, just a shame you cant compete. never mind, just run away and play and havea good glass of milk, that`ll do the trick.

  73. ak 73

    “Proof” davey? Percentages? Half-sentence selective quotes? Sorry bud, obtuse straw-grasping doesn’t quite cut it in rationalsville – you wouldn’t make the standard 4 debating team in my day. I’d stick to the Montyesque general rant trope if I were you.

  74. dave 74

    everything I have written is off fact sheets off this site
    http://www.msd.govt.nz. Hardly obtuse straw-grasping. They dont call them fact sheets for nothing.

  75. ak 75

    everything I have written is off fact sheets off this site
    http://www.msd.govt.nz.

    Ah good. So you are familiar with the facts and where to find them, and have studied the subject.

    And yet you wrote this:

    and that is because the invalids benefit is the new dole and these people CAN work.Many do not have permanent physical or mental disabilities

    A deliberate and wilful lie and an insult to all invalids and the medical profession.

    Sorry dave, but as with your tory mate Hoolian (who was caught in a similar wilful lie a few weeks back) I find I can no longer believe a single word you might say.

  76. dave 76

    And why then, if invalids beneficiaries cant work, did hundreds get tranferred from the invalids to the dole in the last quarter between 300 -400 to be precise. Did their permanent disabilities just magically disappear?

    Why then if invalids beneficiaries cant work, are MORE invalids beneficiaries declaring earnings than those on the sickness and dole combined – 12% of invalids beneficiaries are declaring earnings. If they cant work, why are case managers accepting declared earnings from these people.

    ak, you really are a bit of a fool, arent you. Best not to dig yourself in too deep, aye, because you`re not the brightest and most rational cookie in the jar..

  77. randal 77

    what does being rational have to do with being a cookie?

  78. andy 78

    randal

    it means the cookies have golden syrup and extra oats…

    kinda like scroggin but different.

  79. vto 79

    SP it is clearly not from the asian crisis as it started in 96, as I point out. I was waiting for that excuse

  80. vto 80

    Actually SP you did the same thing about a week ago when you claimed that the business tax cuts announced in 2008 contributed to the growth for the period up to 2008! Really, not a good look.

  81. ak 81

    And why then, if invalids beneficiaries cant work, did hundreds get tranferred from the invalids to the dole in the last quarter..

    And on and on with the persistent lies….but just in case someone else is reading;

    As dimdave knows full well, the criterion for an IB-qualifying disability is “likely to last at least two years”. Of course some invald’s beneficiaries come off the IB – particularly when this government is putting considerable resources into that very outcome.

    If they cant work, why are case managers accepting declared earnings from these people.

    As I wrote just minutes ago, darling dave, the criterion for IB is “unable to work more than 15 hours per week”. See that number, numb nut? 15 hours? It means that IB recipients can and do work – in fact it is encouraged – and must declare all earnings. So they do dave. Simple enough for you dear?

    ak, you really are a bit of a fool, arent you.
    (geezers wept – even the attempted insults are as insipid as lukewarm amoeba flatulence – it’s like being mauled by a lethargic toothless kitten)

  82. Swampy 82

    This is a very selective view of statistics. Labour got people off the dole and onto Invalids benefits, the numbers on which have risen sharply.

    The numbers on the DPB are still way too high.

  83. r0b 83

    This is a very selective view of statistics. Labour got people off the dole and onto Invalids benefits, the numbers on which have risen sharply.

    Sorry Swampy, this just makes you look like a fool. See the data (up to March 2008) from the Ministry of Social Development:

    Unemployment benefit: Five year trend:

    The number of clients receiving an Unemployment Benefit at the end of March has decreased from 101,000 to 19,000 between 2003 and 2008.

    Invalids benefit: Fiver year trend:

    The number of clients receiving an Invalid’s Benefit at the end of March has increased steadily from 67,000 in 2003 to 81,000 in 2008.

    So let’s see over this period Labour took 82,000 people off the unemployment benefit and put them on the invalids benefit which miraculously increased by only 14,000. I guess either Labour can work magic or Swampy doesn’t know his arse from his elbow. You be the judge.

  84. bill brown 84

    I guess either Labour can work magic or Swampy doesn’t know his arse from his elbow

    Or maybe they’ve all gone to Australia!

  85. NOYB 85

    Its a pity for your argument that only 30% of New Zealand voters agree with you Steve, and even then, Labour appears to have the softest vote of the major political parties. 20% of Labour voters say they are likely, or very likely to switch parties before the election.

    So much for National having the softest vote.

  86. r0b 86

    20% of Labour voters say they are likely, or very likely to switch parties before the election.

    I must admit that I’m surprised by that result, and disturbed by it too if it is true.

    But I don’t necessarily believe that it is representative of the population as a whole. Poll results are drawn from a population that has been through two sets of filters: getting selected for the poll and then agreeing to give answers. There is evidence of different kinds of bias at both stages.

    Good article on the perils of polling here:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10347022

    That’s not easy in an indecisive, diverse and sometimes reticent nation, where up to 70 per cent of people refuse to take part in polls and at least 20 per cent change their minds from one week to the next.

    “That sort of mistake trivialises minor parties,” Hoek says. “It is little wonder that the public have become cynical about poll results and more reluctant to participate in surveys.”

    The tendency of New Zealanders to switch allegiance is growing every year, says Vowles, whose research on the 2002 election showed 48 per cent voted differently from 1999, and a huge 61 per cent made up their mind during the campaign.

    He believes the real explanation is increasing reluctance to take part – meaning the participants are self-selecting. “People are just more annoyed with strangers calling them up on the phone and asking them to do things,” Vowles says.

  87. T-rex 87

    “20% of Labour voters say they are likely, or very likely to switch parties before the election. “

    I’m not surprised by it at all. These are the same sort of people as those who’ve already switched, they’re just on the other side of the line.

    They’ve been tricked, and hopefully they’ll be untricked before it’s too late.

  88. Hey that’s great news, well down Labour. I’d like to see them trumpet this sort of welfare success as it is important. Does it mean that welfare reform could be introduced without too much pain now?

    How about a graph of sickness benefit and DPB to make us feel really good. Would be good to include everything. Do you have the numbers?

  89. dave 89

    Yes, he does have the numbers, has the numbers for the invalids benefit as well, but he doesn’t want to graph it

    I wonder why… But what he could do is graph the support in 1981 of Social Credit and compare it with Labour in 2008.. Now THAT would be interesting given that Social Credits support in terms of the polls then was higher than Labours is now…

  90. r0b 90

    But what he could do is graph the support in 1981 of Social Credit and compare it with Labour in 2008.. Now THAT would be interesting given that Social Credits support in terms of the polls then was higher than Labours is now

    Wrong as usual. There was one poll that recorded 30% for SC, but by the 1981 elections their support had fallen back, and SC only got 20.55% in the 1981 election. (Hey – almost as much as National’s 20.93% in 2002!).

  91. dave 91

    Wrong as usual…actually the poll was around the same time in the election cycle as this years second to last poll. SC got 20.7% in 1981, not 20.55% – but this government is the only government in living memory where its main party has polled below a third party of an earlier year – at lest in an election year.

  92. r0b 92

    SC got 20.7% in 1981, not 20.55%

    So you’re worried about 0.15% of a vote in an election 27 years ago? It is listed as 20.55% here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_Party_(New_Zealand)
    and 20.65% here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election_1981
    though we can call it 20.7% for the sake of argument if it’s important to you dave.

    but this government is the only government in living memory where its main party has polled below a third party of an earlier year – at lest in an election year.

    Kapowie! And 2002 was the first time one of the main 2 parties in NZ scored an effective tie with a third party in an election of an earlier year. Boom! Biff!

  93. dave 93

    well that proves you don’t source your facts from wikipedia, then…an effective tie is not a poll where a main party has polled below a third party…… Boof, biff, bang, splat, pow, thwack!!!…. [pick up the mess….]

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