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The Wellbeing budget

Written By: - Date published: 1:42 pm, May 30th, 2019 - 169 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour - Tags:

So what is in the Wellbeing budget and what do you think about it?


The details are rolling in.

  • Increased funding for schools
  • $1 billion for rail
  • Indexing of benefits to the average wage and removal of punitive measures
  •  $1.9 billion over five years on a wide-ranging mental health package.  Includes an extra $200 million for new and existing mental health and addiction facilities, and $128.3 million for Corrections to spend on improving prisoner mental health.
  • $1 billion over five years to improve the wellbeing of Kiwi kids, including increasing funding to decile 1-7 schools so they don’t need to ask for parental donations.
  • A commitment to reduce material hardship to 10.3 per cent by 2021 and to 6 per cent by 2028.


169 comments on “The Wellbeing budget ”

  1. marty mars 1

    Great that Mental Health is getting more resource. So needed and even more so into the future. More is always needed and this will be well used to help our people.

    Among the major initiatives in mental health, the Government has promised to set up a new universal frontline mental health service, expected to help 325,000 people with mild to moderate mental health needs by 2024. That will see trained mental health providers placed into doctors' clinics, iwi health providers and other health services.

    But it came with the caveat from the Government to address a chronic skills shortage – it recognised the need "to train more qualified mental health workers and build new facilities".

    A further $200m will be pumped into existing mental health facilities, and $40m over four years will go into suicide prevention services.


    • The Chairman 1.1

      So a little bit there to address mental health needs but little there to address the triggers resulting in a growing amount of mental health sufferers.

      So while the agencies and service providers get their slice of the pie, the actual sufferers merely get better access.

      If you are under stress and suffering mental health issues due to money problems, better access to mental health services isn't really much help.

      • The Al1en 1.1.1

        A little? You're sinking fast this afternoon. How low can you go?

        It's a great start in helping our most vulnerable. You wouldn't even get close to that under your nat party.

        • The Chairman

          I'm not with the Nats. And clearly the left need far better representation if this is the best Labour and the Greens can do.

          • The Al1en

            Sure? You're such a convincing nat.

            Well, if you insist you're left, who you gonna vote for? Act. lol

            This budget is showing you up.

            • The Chairman

              Get it right. This Budget is showing the Government up.

              As for voting, to early to decide. Hoping the Greens will smell the coffee and up their game.

              And here is a little challenge for them. Lets see if they can get the Government to at least bring forward the re-indexing of benefits to wages.

              • The Al1en

                No, it's not showing up the government at all, not to real labour and green voters.

                • Iankerawshark

                  Actually if you have a mental health disorder you need treatment. The service providers do a demanding job, aren't paid that well and if the are competent make a huge difference in people's lives. Sometimes save lives

      • Janet 1.1.3

        "Address the triggers' was exactly my thoughts too.

  2. calltoaccount 2

    Let's keep this thread on topic as regarding the actual contents of the budget.

    The title of the post looked promising, the first few comments not so. Hacks, who is on the cover, etc, just keep for another day. A quick google of the word 'budget' shows the problem, National's attack lines and not much else.

    Let's do this!

    [lprent: I noticed and moved those topics of discussion to a future date so they didn’t clog up the top of the post. I may have to start simply indiscriminately banning those until next year for those who persistently stray way off topic in the first couple of comments. It feels like there is somewhat too much playing of games. ]

  3. Sam 3

    Kiwi rail gets a billion dollar modernisation programme. Richard Prebble won't like that – excellent 😌

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      Im all for that ..but its announced as a 10 yr program to give them stability over that time rather than waiting each year to see what comes out.

      The Auckland CRL isnt really part of Kiwirail but its extra funding over 5 years is included.

  4. MickeyBoyle 4

    And what does the Herald lead with? Good news for beneficiaries ffs.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Why are you upset about that?

      • Muttonbird 4.1.1

        I expect he wishes them bad news.

      • MickeyBoyle 4.1.2

        Because that type of headline will not sit well with middle NZ, and should not have been the headline after this budget. The headline should've been, Mental Health taken seriously. Dont get me wrong the welfare changes were great, but that's not the story of this budget. Just my opinion.

      • The Chairman 4.1.3

        I'm upset it's so minimal.

        Benefits to be indexed to the average wage instead of inflation. Expected to put about an extra $10-$17 more a week than under current CPI increases by 2023.

        The Greens must have been pushing really hard to get that little win.

        Coming after the welfare report, what a piss poor effort. This Government sucks.

        • The Al1en

          Is that you, Soimon?

          • Siobhan

            How is spelling out the actual facts, the actual reality of the benefit increase 'soimonish'?

            • The Al1en

              Part of a pattern that reflects a certain similarity of thought.

              The fact that linking benefits to wages have been an often called for move from the left for labour in government, it's a particularly churlish smear to demean it when it's finally announced.

              • The Chairman

                You've taken that the wrong way. I'm happy that the indexing is being changed but that alone doesn't go far enough (as shown). However, that's all they offered. Despite the recent recommendations of the welfare report. It's a really poor effort.

                • Gabby

                  Well nobody in a nicely fitting suit wants benefits people could live on cherry, not in any party.

            • McFlock

              In TC's case, it's soimonish because any relationship between the outrage and reality is purely coincidental.

        • Muttonbird

          Any money for the Otaki – Levin motorway?

          • The Chairman

            They deferred that, remember? Meaning it will come in at greater cost going forward while further denying better access via commute times to cheaper homes.

            • Muttonbird

              Perhaps deferring it has allowed them to index the dole to wages? A win for beneficiaries, not that it makes you happy.

              • The Chairman

                They could have taken the money from elsewhere, leaving the improved access to cheaper homes a reality now.

                The reason I'm not happy with the win for beneficiaries is it isn't enough. I'm sure many others will agree. Are you telling us you are happy with that piss poor effort?

                • Muttonbird

                  It's about right compared to wages which are also low.

                  The real problem for low income people in this country is the basic cost of living – rent, food, utilities.

                  • The Chairman

                    It's about right compared to wages which are also low

                    No. That has been shown to be wrong. And doesn't make up for the loss in comparison to wages since the cuts Ruth made. Showing how left you are to think so.

                    The real problem for low income people in this country is the basic cost of living – rent, food, utilities.

                    Yes, and seeing as the Government is doing little but talk and adding costs to housing, more money is what people really need.

                  • s y d

                    surely the real problem for low income people, is their pathetically low income?

                    indexing benefits to low wages FTW

                • solkta

                  I'm sure the many just agree that you are a really smelly troll.

        • SPC

          It's a good win in the long term.

          And a nice way to give the fingers to National and their focus on tax threshold indexation.

      • McFlock 4.1.4

        I'm wondering how much of the benefit indexing is a funding slide, anyway, like the nat benefit" increases".

        If it increases the benefit but that just gets offset by a corresponding decrease in the accommodation supplement, that's just some of the same fixed amount from one line item to another, with no actual change in money in the hand.

        With housing being so fucked at the moment, we really need an "after housing costs" income indexing.

        • greywarshark

          Definitely a hear, hear suggestion. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taEzumJoRNA

        • The Chairman

          Good points.

        • Kay

          Temporary Additional Support is the first thing to be slashed, even with a $1/week increase to the core benefit. And given how many people are reliant on that on top of the max accommodation supplement these days to pay the rent, then yeah, any 'increase' will be cancelled out and we'll be no better off. Not to mention the small detail that our rents will have increased more by 2020. They've done their numbers, seen this is going to be pretty budget neutral and can go around saying aren't we so kind to those poor beneficiaries.

        • SPC

          Sure, but if there is also an indexing of the AS to rental movements then that should not occur.

          • McFlock

            Fair point, but then the AS should be the exception rather than the norm. The base benefit should be enough for all the basics (whereas at the moment it doesn't even meet the essentials, rather than the basics e.g. field trips/after school activities), including shelter.

        • patricia bremner

          Agreed McFlock. "After housing indexing " would help.

  5. ianmac 5

    "The 2019 Budget has allocated $5b of capital spending for education over the five-year horizon eclipsing heavy spends in the usual suspects of defence and transport.

    That replaces the government's Kiwibuild housing programme, which has failed to fire and was last year's cornerstone of capital investment."


    • Sam 5.1

      All those kiwi build nutters going the sky is falling, okay. National dosnt have a housing policy. Kiwi build is producing warm, dry modern houses. Kiwi build is a game changer for the aesthetics of the national architecture. Sure it's got it's teething problems but what national building programs across every city in the nation wouldn't have issues I ask? If we don't persever and learn from a national program of this magnitude we can just screw up any global initiatives on climate and walk away.

      • AB 5.1.1

        "National doesnt have a housing policy."

        Indeed it did -a two-phase policy:

        1.) make housing a plaything of the speculator/investor classes, wink behind the hand at the private banks so they keep lending, and get rich as your rental portfolio skyrockets in value

        2.) Allow used car dealers to import lots of Toyota Estimas for people priced out of housing to sleep in.

        Win, win – especially if you are both a landlord and a car importer.

        • Sam

          I am unaware of any social contract or philosophy that would portray an unrestrained National Party policy agenda as a desirable, attractive island nation that is great for kids to grow up in.

          What was the question again?

        • gsays

          Chur AB, a lovely dark chuckle on my Friday night.

      • patricia bremner 5.1.2

        Agreed Sam. Turning the Titanic around to miss the iceberg is no mean feat Cheers.

        • Dukeofurl

          Good points

          The media seems to jump every time a kiwbuild development has one house left unsold.

          Any real estate agent will tell you thats how it works, getting 100% sales can take 18 months.

          High rise developers start building at say 65% pre sales, another 15% sell during construction and the remaining units sell slowly over the 18 months or so.

          Those KB homes will still be available for new buyers to market till all sold of course

  6. cleangreen 6

    Hurray for Labour coalition government, this Budget for our well-being’ was a godsend for our pubically owned rail services to our regions.

    One billion Dollars for regional rail to restore our rail instrustructure that National ran down deliberately during their nine years of "slash and burn".

    National will be spewing out bile over their beers tonight after parliament.

    Ha ha ha ha, bugger off national you rail haters.

    Here’s our regional transport group letter to you to ponder on National.


    Scoop Regional Contact About ScoopPro

    CEAC Calls for a Rail Inland Port for HB
    Monday, 27 May 2019, 8:55 pm
    Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
    “CEAC Calls for a Rail Inland Port for HB.”
    Why is an “inland port” needed?
    After talking with Kiwi Rail Management recently they advised our centre that why they were building an “inland port” at Palmerston North costing many millions, – they advised that the plan was to have a supply chain from the trucking industry feeding there new logistics Inland Port with export freight that Kiwi Rail were offering to send by rail to other export Inland Ports to transfer onto regional export ports, so HB does not yet have an ‘Inland Port’ hence there needs to be a “connectivity” between other Inland Port centres to each export regional export Port.
    After the latest warning that “Current 2030 emissions targets unlikely to be met”
    This week we saw this stark warning to Government that was received on 16th May but it was kept quiet, but now needs the light of day.
    First published in Energy and Environment on May 16, 2019.
    Quote; “Officials have told ministers NZ is not on track to meet is current commitments under the Paris Agreement.
    NZ has agreed under the Paris Agreement to a Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing emissions by 30% below 2005 levels (equivalent to 11% of 1990 levels) by 2030.
    In the climate change legislation Regulatory Impact Assessment, Officials said: “NZ cannot rely on afforestation to deliver the necessary offsets over the next twelve years to meet its NDC, or on major innovations being market-ready and adopted (such as a methane vaccine or widespread adoption of electric or autonomous vehicles).” ; Unquote.

    So; we already know that rail freight can lower freight emissions five to eight times less than road freight, moving the same size and weight of freight, so we are now requesting to Government to use rail more actively now to lower our emissions.
    Government already know that rail is the answer here and the right thing to do when they received the hidden document that the National government had requested from (EY) Economic & Financial consultants for Kiwi Rail in 2016. – That document showed that Rail saved our economy $1.5 Billion Dollars every year then. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11948096
    Quote The benefits far exceed what the taxpayer is spending on rail, KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes says. The largest contribution rail was making was the reduction of road use, he said.
    “Rail is taking cars off the road and it’s taking trucks off the road. That is saving the country $1.3 billion a year because it cuts congestion for all road users, including other freight movers,” Janes said.
    “Using rail cuts New Zealand’s carbon emissions by 488,000 tonnes a year. That is the equivalent of taking 87,000 cars off the road, saving millions of dollars,” he said.
    “Rail freight has 66 per cent fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight which is useful for New Zealand reaching its ambitious climate change targets.”
    The study found that without rail there would be an additional 100,000 daily car trips on the road each year – the equivalent of 76 million light vehicle hours reduced through rail, and 57 million of those hours were on Auckland roads. Unquote

    National instead kept encouraging yet more trucks onto our roads, so If we continue on this path to use more trucks at 10% more trucks every year instead of using less, who will pay for the carbon emissions if we exceed our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) emissions target?
    Government are now buying overseas ‘carbon credits’ to keep our emission target within the limits and the cost per carbon credit is about to massively increase shortly according to warnings sent in the brief to Government.
    Whereas each tonne of carbon was about $25 to $85 dollars in the past, it will rise to over $850 a tonne in the future, claim the report so we as taxpayers will wind up being bankrupted by subsidising truck freight companies continuing to use roads to move freight.
    So our governments best plan should be to offer the road freight companies an incentive to use rail to move their customers freight to our export ports rather than road freighting it, which causes many negative effects of road noise and pollution for residents to contends with.
    Especially when we are witnessing the crazy plan by some Port Directors to still plan to expand truck freight yet more as Napier port had wrongly stated last January 2019 in this article.
    This 187% increased expansion of truck freight by 2027 being announced by Napier Port Board last January 2019 when in partnership with NZTA is now threatening to our Napier residents and our NGO.

    Our HB Port Napier Port must have complete modal freight ‘connectivity to Palmerston North to the NZ network for us all to thrive in a rail rich future.

    As to the road safety side of this issue remember this;
    We are now calling for urgent action be taken by Government over the spiralling truck volumes causing danger and accidents plaguing NZ today.
    • Government needs to force a total “reset” of NZTA because they are now clearly dysfunctional after many cases of wellbeing;
    • failing truck brakes.
    • Warrant of Fitness.
    • trailer hitches.
    • Truck drivers found cheating of log books, & drivers found working outside of regulatory hours,
    • Several trucks catching fire.
    • Increased fatalities showing no sign of being lowered.
    • Lack of NZTA acting for residents reasonable resolutions for community ‘wellbeing’ mitigation.

    • gsays 6.1

      Hey cleangreen, I am stoked you're happy with the budget.

      Gotta admit I didn't supress a smile when I heard the RNZ summary of budget @ 4pm.

      The KiwiRail investment was heartening.

  7. ianmac 7

    Oh dear! Simon back to usual hysterical outburst.

    • Kat 7.1

      Just imagine the screeching idiot in Jacinda Arderns place………………please be mindful where you throw up. Look for the National party members taking up the new mental health services.

    • Muttonbird 7.2

      Has he made it about him again?

  8. SHG 8

    The first rule of Kiwibuild is we do not mention Kiwibuild.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    '$128.3 million for Corrections to spend on improving prisoner mental health'

    No no no no no no no, that money (and more) should be going to get the mentally disabled (or whatever is the latest term du jour) out of prisons and into hospitals

    • SHG 9.1

      As if that money will be spent on anything remotely connected to mental health.

    • Rosemary McDonald 9.2

      But, but, but, but, but…they shut down most of the mental hospitals and put most into 'community care'.

      Good call though PR.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1

        Yes National did and yes it was a very bad decision but Labour didn't bring the hospitals back nor did National and it looks like it won't be happening under Ardern either

        A pox on both their houses

    • ankerawshark 9.3

      Why Pukish when its well known rates of mental illness in prison is very high. Its not like they are not giving money to people with mental health issues in the community.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.3.1

        That is correct but I believe that prison is not the best place for the mentally ill, I believe hospitals are best places for the mentally ill

        • ankerawshark

          I see your point. But someone who has committed a serious crime, likely has not been found guilty by reason of insanity, cause they knew what they were doing when they committed the crime, so go to jail. They may have a mental health disorder. And the forensic unit such as the Mason Clinic is for people who were found not guilty by reason of insanity.

    • Dukeofurl 9.4

      "should be going to get the mentally disabled (or whatever is the latest term du jour) out of prisons and into hospitals"

      Thats not how modern mental hospitals work, treatment in community is for all but the most severely mentally unwell people. Prisoners who are in that category will be locked forensic care.

      You can see why we cant treat prisoners 'in the community' if they have a long sentence and are a risk to the community.

      • Dukeofurl 9.4.1

        As well , the mental health is a catch all for drug and alcohol treatment as well.

        Could cover treatment so motivated inmates discover their causes of offending outside of deeper psychological problems.

        Things like anger management courses would be very useful

  10. Rosemary McDonald 10

    If anyone sees an announcement regarding the promised repeal of Part 4 of the Public Health and Disability Act can you hit the reply button below please?

    I'm not seeing anything and the tears make it hard to read.


    • MickeyBoyle 10.1

      My wife is disabled, I've learnt to deal with disappointment from both sides in parliament. Sorry Rosemary.

    • Kat 10.2

      Well I have tears in my eyes as well, tears of joy……


      • MickeyBoyle 10.2.1

        Until National gets back in, then the merry go round starts again.

        • Kat

          Nationals current "merry go round" approach should keep them out for a long time.

      • Rosemary McDonald 10.2.2

        Congratulations Kat…I b'lieve the choo choo party is down the page at 15.

        How dare you bring sunshine to our rainy parade. crying

    • Macro 10.3

      Rosemary – this is a completely different sort of Budget to what has been presented in the past – It takes a much wider view than the traditional budgets where individual expenditures were gone through item by item line by line. Having said that there is a big increase in operating expenditure:

      Total new spend: $25.6b over four years. This includes $15.2b in new operating expenditure and a $10.4b capital expenditure envelope. The operating allowance has grown from $2.4b each year to $3.8b since the last budget – quite a growth.

      So while the main items of the new expenditures are highlighted, like expenditure on Mental Health Rail etc I would not give up hope that the repeal of Part 4 of the Public Health and Disability Act will not eventuate – that would not be something that would be part of passing this legislation anyway. That will need a separate Bill. From what I can gather, there is quite a large chunk of money being set aside for operational expenditure targeted for improving well-being across all sectors. That is why it is being called the Well -Being Budget.

      • Augustus 10.3.1

        Well I hope you are right in that it's not the end of hope, but I wouldn't hold my breath. There are many things that wouldn't cost much at all and would make a difference of perception in welfare politics. None have even been hinted at. Example: A person born with a disability can never have a partner, unless that partner is a masochist. They will become financially responsible for the disabled person if they enter a relationship, at 16 years of age. As if it didn't take enough of a special person in some cases. Then there's the designated doctors ruse, deliberately set-up by National to dis-entitle people. Where else would it be acceptable to contradict an expert with half-baked gut-based opinions (apart from climate policy of course)? And how about WINZ actually engaged in a bit of work brokering? Oh, wait, that would compete with the private sector and temporary work outfits taking half the wages on offer.

        I don't expect any of these to be addressed with the new spending.

        • Macro

          I think you actually need to look a little more closely at just how different this budget is from previous ones

          here is a graphic that highlights the way the new way of actually investing in the people of NZ is envisaged:


          And here is how it is intended to work:
          “The Government also intends to amend the Public Finance Act to ensure wellbeing remains a focus in future Budgets. This will mean future Governments have to set out how their wellbeing objectives, together with their fiscal objectives, guide their Budgets and fiscal policy. Additionally, the Treasury will be required to report on New Zealand’s wellbeing data at least every four years.

          Achieving meaningful change requires the State sector to make progress more quickly on priorities that improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Government intends to reform the State Sector Act 1988 to support a public service that puts people at the heart of how it organises services. These changes will join the public service together around citizen-focused outcomes and services and support new models for working across sectors.

          Finally, we will implement a work programme across government to embed wellbeing. This will include changes to the way agencies plan, report and measure their progress. More information on these changes will be released in the coming months.”

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Achieving meaningful change requires the State sector to make progress more quickly on priorities that improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders

            How about simply reversing the legislation enacted by National wankers after years of Labour wankers playing Pilate over the issue?

            You do remember the issue went to the HRT, the HRRT, the High Court+++ and the Court Of Appeal++?

            You do remember Our Side won?

            You do remember the Outrage from the Other Side of The House that day in 2013?

            I do believe that Catherine Delahunty was the only genuine voice.

            The rest merely garnering political capital from pretending to give a shit.

            This government is as committed to the status quo as the last.

            Keep every $ for disability going through the books of the Contracted Providers.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          There are many things that wouldn't cost much at all and would make a difference of perception in welfare politics

          Well said Augustus, and when it comes to paying family carers for providing the supports the person has been exhaustively assessed as needing, the costs would be minimal.

          The ones who could potentially 'suffer' are the Contracted Providers of Ministry of Health Disability Support Services…every dollar not going through their accounts they consider stolen from them.

          Nevermind the fact that some of us are providing advanced level supports that they, the 'professionals', refuse to provide.

          Julie Anne Genter was the Assoc. Min of Health (Disability) and while I see she met with the Contracted Providers, she only had the one meeting with disabled…and the lead disabled representative was an ACC client….completely inappropriate.

      • Macro 10.3.2

        Here is the budget announcement Rosemary

        • Disability Support Services – We are investing $464.3 million over four years so Disability Support Services can continue to deliver services in the face of increasing demand. This supports 34,000 people receiving Ministry of Health support through Needs Assessment Service Coordination organisations, 7,500 of whom are in residential care. More than 75,000 people receive Environmental Support Services, including equipment like mobility and positioning, hearing and vision support, equipment for daily living and housing and vehicle modifications. This funding will also meet increasing costs of delivering disability support services due a growth in In-Between Travel between clients and the minimum wage increase. In addition, child development services will be delivered to an additional 1,150 children.
        • Firepig

          However – https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/undoctored/people-dementia-obviously-dont-count

          Another growing area to be addressed sometime. The toll on the caregiver at home is as huge as that for any other condition and sometimes the caregiver has to cope with spouse and/or parent/s for years. The toll doesn't go away even with the patients in care. The timeline is open-ended, while the caregiver ages in a job they didn't ask for or were trained for. It can be a lonely, isolating existing for all.

          • Macro

            Look I completely understand that. That is why I have been searching these past 2 hours for what the Budget does have to say on the matter. One of my best friends partner is tetraplegic. My wife worked in special needs education for over a decade – and these where high needs children – so I know very well what stress this places on family.

            Like everyone I hope that this Budget is not just words and that positive changes will actually eventuate for all. The thing I take from this is that this is not the final say on the matter and that there will be a continuing cycle of constant assessment to ensure that the wellbeing of all – especially the vulnerable will be improved.

            • Sacha

              "a continuing cycle of constant assessment to ensure that the wellbeing of all"

              – of those paid as assessors, anyway.

            • A

              ♡ It would be nice to think that one day needs would come before business

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Err, yes. I read that earlier. There's nothing new. Just a few more dollars going to the same under performing profit seekers. As I said, as per usual the Ministers are speaking with the same 'advisors' that have been advising Ministers for the past twenty years.

          That's why the system isn't working, especially for those with the highest and most complex needs.

        • Sacha

          Thank you. Do you have a link to that?

          I can see from p73 of the main Budget Initiatives Summary doc (from https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/summary-initiatives.htm) that they have allocated $72m/yr to cover cost and population increases.

          “Disability Support Service: Maintaining Health Services for Disabled New Zealanders

          Led by the Minister of Health. This initiative will maintain services to people with long-term physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment who require ongoing support. This will be done through providing funding for price and volume pressures in response to increased demand on Disability Support Services (DSS).”

          Purely business as usual. Not one cent for any improvement. Do we know if Sepuloni asked for anything?

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Sepuloni? She'd be in charge of the Office for Spinning Positive Disability Stories…it is Genter whois Ass.Min for Health. (Confession, I stalk her Diaries.blush)

            • Sacha

              Yes, but Genter would only have been responsible for that DSS top-up; Sepuloni for everything else – the other $2b/yr of disability-related funding across govt.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                It'd be nice to see where that is spent…'disability related' could mean just about anything.

                I heard about Sepuloni and Lees- Galloway meeting with some worthies from the Spinal Trust (99% ACC) and I believe they participated in the biennial 'Pretending to be Crippled Gives Me True Insight' exercise….


                Yesterday, Labour ministers Carmel Sepuloni and Iain Lees-Galloway were invited by the Spinal Trust to spend the day in wheelchairs, in order to highlight the challenges a wheelchair user might face getting around parliament. A well-intentioned PR stunt that no politician, particularly given the fortnight Labour has had, could easily turn down. After all, how could anyone resist the temptation to make a gag about “sitting by his statements”, eh minister? That said, as a veteran wheelchair user myself, I reckon there is only one context in which it is OK to “have a go” in a wheelchair, and it is this:

                • You are a curious nine-year-old.

                That just might be as good as it gets.

                • Sacha

                  It is based on detailed collation done by a visiting German with ODI and rolled into other policy work for the last half-decade or so. Covers many departments. Helps put DSS into perspective even though many DPOs and advocates treat that as the only important focus.

                • Sacha

                  to “have a go” in a wheelchair

                  – suggests appalling advice to a Disability Minister.

    • A 10.4

      Hey not to worry. The government is paying for a team of advocates to help everyone.

    • Dukeofurl 10.5

      The HRA would be better called the Human Rights & exceptions Act

  11. greywarshark 11

    I uploaded something with a lot of images and have deleted it for anyone who noticed it. Too much for the site to bother with.

  12. AB 12

    All good – sometimes throwing extra money at problems is exactly the best thing to do. Just to dull the pain a bit.

    Problem is it's very easy for the Nats to reverse some time in the future using a Billy English 'austerity lite' approach. (i.e. it's unaffordable because it stops us giving tax cuts to the rich).

    So somebody sometime has to make irreversible structural changes that result in a radical downwards redistribution of wealth and power – and it's that very redistribution itself that stops any reversal.

  13. WeTheBleeple 13


    Choo Choo!


    • Kat 13.1

      Those train "glory days" are coming by again…………..

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        Arlo Guthrie doing the train they call The City of New Orleans. My favourite version. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvMS_ykiLiQ

        This is a great story about the song, the train, and the writer and apparently the composer, Steve Goodman.

        • Goodman wrote the lyrics on a sketch pad after his wife fell asleep on the Illinois Central train, where they were going to visit his wife's grandmother. Goodman wrote about what he saw looking out the windows of the train and playing cards in the club car. Everything in the song actually happened on the ride.

          After he returned home, Goodman heard that the train was scheduled to be decommissioned due to lack of passengers. He was encouraged to use this song to save the train, so he retouched the lyrics and released it on his first album in 1971.

        • Steve Goodman released his version as a single in 1972, but it was Arlo Guthrie's cover that same year that popularized the song and brought attention to rail lines that were vanishing across middle America. Many people who lived in rural areas relied on them to travel.
        • Steve Goodman died on September 20, 1984 at the age of 36 after a long battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. That same year, Willie Nelson covered this song and made it the title track of his album. Nelson's version was a #1 Country hit and won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song, which is a songwriting category and thus an honor bestowed posthumously to Goodman.

          Nelson was one of many high-profile fans of Goodman, who released 11 albums in his lifetime. Diagnosed with leukemia in 1969, Goodman underwent chemotherapy and his cancer stayed in remission for 13 years thanks to an unpleasant regimen of drugs and treatment. When his cancer returned, Goodman continued performing and stayed in high spirits. This song, written after he was diagnosed, is a great example of his positive outlook, demonstrating a mindfulness and vitality of someone who appreciates the time he has left.

        • https://www.songfacts.com/facts/arlo-guthrie/city-of-new-orleans

        Another interesting story about the Illinois railroad and Casey Jones for train fans – Jones whistle he tailormade.

        • Rapunzel

          I love that song it comes to mind every time the rail issue comes up, it is one of those songs that captures the whole mood of rail travel.

        • greywarshark

          The Illinois Central continued and was merged in 1972 with other railroads which had various changes of ownership. In 1998 the IC was bought by Canadian National Railway for $2.4 billion in cash and shares and that company still runs it and others in the Southern and Mid-Western United States…

          CN was government-owned, having been a Canadian Crown Corporation from its founding to its privatization in 1995. In 2011, Bill Gates was the largest single shareholder of CN stock.

          There were changes and now there are connections going through to Texas. British Columbia sold its trains and kept its tracks and land to CN and other railway companies and Canadian Pacific Railway complained the bidding was rigged. Documents relating to the case are under court seal, as they are connected to a parallel marijuana grow-op investigation connected with two senior government aides also involved in the sale of BC Rail.

          Then there have been complications with one railway owning 11km of track that CN needed, and to get it they had to buy the whole company.

          The history of it all is quite fascinating so I have put in highlights for those rail fans. Politics are in there too just as interesting. And accidents and controversies abound.


  14. Exkiwiforces 14

    Well it’s good to see Rail finally get some real to money to fix up its rail infrastructure after yrs or decades of neglect, new wagons and loco’s. I hope this means ramping back up the Hillside Workshops?

    Doc and Border Security get some coin as well, but

    I feel that the Police Buy Back of Firearms maybe underfunded especially when one considers that the Police really have no idea how many firearms are out there.

    Defence has some money for Capital Equipment updates/ upgrades to sustain overall capability of the NZDF, but new money for replacing the 55+ year old C130 which are a bit of a ticking time bomb as they will finally run out of airframe hrs sometime after 2020- 2025 onwards.

    But there has been a deceased in the operational budget in aka for the Iraq and Afghan training missions, and other UN sponsored missions with the Greater Middle East as well so the troops maybe coming home soon? From a personal POV a about bloody time we pop smoke from that region before they turn it into a 2 way range yet again and start looking after our front and backyards

    • Sam 14.1

      I see vote defence has gone from about 3 billion last year to just over 4 billion this year although admittedly the increase looks like $1.3 billion of new capital. Wonder what that could be for. Heard a viscous rumour about something to do with tanks. All jokes aside I think Ron Marks is going to get his preferred plane, the C-130J.

      • Macro 14.1.1

        $1.7 billion to purchase Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

        • Gabby

          Hopefully they're less crashy than those 737s Boingboing have been testing on the public.

          • Sam

            The 737 MAX is a 50 year old design. The avionics is from the Stone Age. The flight system is wire pulled instead of modern hydraulic flyby wire. The auto pilot sequence has a 7 switch process instead of a modern single switch on/off process. The 737 is ancient (that's me to lazy to list the capability gaps between the 737 and A320). The P-8 dosnt have these issues. It's got all military specs, mil spec avionics, under cage, new wings. The only thing the 737 and P-8 have in common is aluminium and plastic.

          • Macro

            It's based on the original versions of the 737 and not the MAX 8 crashy version with the enormous engine pods which upset its flight characteristics. So all ok. 🙂

          • Exkiwiforces

            The P8 is based on the current in service 737-800 and 900 EXR pax aircraft with new wings design for low level flying (I have my doubts with this claim by Boeing for sometime now) while the new 737 Max is a totally new aircraft design by the Boeing's bean counters and their mates in DC IOT to reduce FAA over slight in the design of the new 737 Max aircraft. Anyway I can't wait for the book to come out as its going to be an interesting read about whats wrong about the free market B/S in the aviation industry. In other words this is aviation's version of Pike River Coal Mine F*** up.

      • Exkiwiforces 14.1.2

        I think its to do with the next's installment of monies for the x4 P8 Poseidon A/C as old ronnie is using a new funding policy as before the MOD/ NZDF had to front up with the full cost of whatever new equipment they needed. Doing it this way by spreading the cost of new capital equipment –

        a, doesn't break the bank or give the muppets over at Treasury a reason to cut further capability.

        b, it allows the other 2 arms of the NZDF to bid for new or upgrade equipment within the capital equipment budget and or,

        c, fund other government depts as the MOD/NZDF doesn't need to front up with the up front costs at the expense of other government depts as what has happen in the past and it gives the MOD/NZDF a bit of a more long term funding cycle for new or upgrade equipment. I understand its something that Goff and the Mapp/ Roy team both wanted to do when they were the MoD.

        I also notice that the Army want a new Armoured Mobility vehicle to replace the useless up armoured piniz's which were quietly retired last yr and to a lot people i know within the RNZAC/ QAMR including me should've never brought in the first place. Sorry another Labour F*** up under that twit Mark whats his name and those Infantry officers wankers who competely F*** up the NZDF for a decade and half.

        I think the 5 new J Models are almost a dead cert now, but since this project is in two parts it would quite interesting to what they do with the second part either the A400 or the Jap C2 Heavy Airlifter. It would be very funny if the RNZAF ends up with the J Model as NZ GofD had an option for 8 J Models on the tail end of the Australian back in 97-2000 which got caned under Labour back then and i love to see the VfM costings back then and now to see what was the cheapest option?

        • Sam

          Well it's still the National Parties defence policy that Robertson is budgeting for. There's some slight variations like going with a secound hand commercial build for the hydrographic vessel but the braid strokes are still there. Unfortunately National just wasn't hearing it about climate change. There is no way that NZDF can lift anything close to regular and persistent climate change with 2 fixed wings (C-130J, P8) and 3 rotary craft (MH90, AW109, Sea Sprites) and 2 Ofdshore Patrol Vessels. We are supposed to have 10 MH90 but we've only got 8 so defence capital is about a third underweight. The Minister of Finance and Defence can not let these bureaucratic nobodies run the place. Defence just has to grow and adapt to the times.

          • Exkiwiforces

            I was thinking it more inline with NZF Defence policy goals than the "No Mates Party"?

            I actually like the new dive/mine warfare/ Hydrographic ship as its massive step up compare to the last two ships, but in say that i would be quite interesting to found out what they had in mind if the Frigate upgrade didn't have a cost blow out.

            Yes we are about 10- 14 NH-90's short as ten was the bare number to cover all the raise, train and sustain IOT to maintain co-current ops at home and overseas at the same time.

            Its a real shame that short term politics came into during the first Labour Col in 1999 as we could've had 8 J Models in service atm with possibly 3-5 heavy airlifters to be ordered about this time IOT move the NH-90's and 3-6 short haul airlifters to replace the old Andovers. These small airlifters could've been quite useful with the last lot of earthquakes or those's floods down the west coast.

            Yes CC events is going to get worst before they get better and that's a big if according to the current trends i had seen (close source reports) before I got the boot last yr weren't pretty, even doing war gaming/ planning ex's/ doing SEWT's and TEWT's all ended much the same. When chuck a natural event such as an earthquake or volcano etc and or when you throw in outside nation states or their third state proxies grabbing fishing grounds, POL/ coal and land conquests then its real interesting across the short to long term.

            Your last statement is correct the NZDF must be allow to grow and adapt. The middle class, the rich pricks, civil service and the political classes need to understand this situation that we face atm and the need to pull their collective heads out of the sand. CC is rather like a slow- slip earthquake event with a big one around the corner which would tip the earth possibly pass the point of no return.

            • Sam

              Yeah, so I mentioned it was a National policy because Bill English, Joyce, Brownley or Mitchel or who ever put $20 billion in the forward estimates for defence which included a little over $2bln for the Maritime Surveillance Project (P-8) and the Air Modility Project (C-130 replacement) and by my laymens eye there's about $100 million left over in the Maritine Patrol kitty.

              The Jamaicans bought a KA350WR maritime thingy for $16.9 million. Let's call it NZD$20 million and with spares training and through life costs let's say there's enough in the kitty for a Hi-Lo mix of 4x P-8s and 3x KA350WR.

              There's by my eye about $700 million left in the Air Mobility Kitty. I heard through the grape vine AirNZ is selling its fleet of 772s which can layover in Antartic for $20m each so RNZAF could easily buy 3x 772s for $100 million and still have some left over to expand the KA350 transports and perhaps buy some more AW109s, marinised and armed and shit.

              So there's a lot of wriggle room. We just have to keep on Jacinda’s case, and Robertsons case and Ron Marks case so that they know we ain't stupid.

              • I think honestly Ron Mark probably knows a lot of this, but he is hamstrung in that a coalition Government is at LEAST a two way – in this case three way – compromise on policy. Yes, the N.Z.D.F. needs to grow and adapt but with the weight of the Greens on Jacinda's left flank I do not think she has much wriggle room to announce substantive new policy or spending. The Greens treat Defence like A.C.T. treats the environment.

                Ideally though the Defence budget per annum needs to be about 2x what it currently is. I am still concerned, 20 years after Labour announced the cancellation of the F-16's that New Zealand still has not figured out how to adequately train the Defence Force in dealing with hostile air power and working with friendly air forces.

                • Sam

                  The agreement between Labour and NZ1st included the $20 billion defence recapitalisation fund contained in Bill / Joyce forward estimates of budget 2017 / 18 and has largely been rolled out at a little quicker pace. Until the Defence Capabilty Plane is released which will outline what capabilities defence will be planning for and procuring out to 2030 / 35 which will include new frigates. We sit and wait. But like most things with this years budget there is still a lot of fat to deliver on. There's high expectations for next years budget and it will have to be an improvement.

    • gsays 14.2

      “I feel that the Police Buy Back of Firearms maybe underfunded especially when one considers that the Police really have no idea how many firearms are out there.”

      Hi xkf, surely it doesn't cost too much to bend the barrel and make the weapon inoperable?

      • Exkiwiforces 14.2.1

        It's paying the cost/ compo of buying the firearms of the owners when they hand them over as the destroying part is fairly easy to do. I think from the Australian buyback went over budget when they restricted Semi Auto's etc as every tom, dick and harry handed over all sorts of firearms and some of the stories i have heard of little old ladies rocking up to the cop shops alot of WW1 and WW2 weapons still loaded, hand grenades or Anti Armour Weapons etc are piss funny.

  15. Peter 15

    I don't know if the announcements about Mental Health cover intellectual well-being and impairment. If they do Matthew Hooton will be happy that help may be at hand.

    "Human wellbeing" is beyond him as are "social capital", "sustainability" and "innovation." Needless to say "community well-being" will be beyond his ken too. Actually, second thoughts already, he won't be happy. That's also a BS expression that's defied the world's greatest minds for at least 4000 years.

    If it ain't black numbers on the bottom of the column it ain't important or it don't exist. I trust when his cobbers win the next election he can get them in all their education moves to expel all the other airy-fairy, intangible notions from the curriculum, have them banned from existence – those funny things that Aristotle, the Buddha, Confucius and Bentham might have regarded like resilience and strength and respect and wisdom and example.

    He says, "Defining wellbeing is something human beings have tried to do since they first evolved to be speculative. The suggestion that where Aristotle, the Buddha, Confucius and Bentham may have failed, Ardern, Robertson and Makhlouf have succeeded would be comical were it not for the likely perverse effects on tens of billions of dollars of public spending."

    He chucks the names of famous thinkers around at the other end of a piece where he has muppets as one of his first words. He doesn't get it. He is the muppet.


    • ankerawshark 15.1

      Peter, really enjoy and most often agree with your comments.

      To Hooten, I wonder what happens when you or your familyor friends require mental health treatment. Then you might understand the ideal of striving for well being.

  16. A 16

    According to the email that hit my inbox earlier $548.702 million for initiatives that directly affect disabled people.

    Given past experiences I think they mean people who gather around the trough feeding off disabled. The email continues:

    “It includes $6.48 million investment over four years into the work of the Office for Disability Issues, funding to support the work of the Disabled Peoples Organisation’s (DPO) Coalition, and funding for the New Zealand Sign Language Board and Strategy.

    The disability sector benefits from strong advocacy within government through the Office for Disability Issues and the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) coalition advocacy on behalf of the disability community.

    It means that the experiences and views of disabled people are heard in government and inform government policy and services.

    This gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and the progress of the Convention through the New Zealand Disability Strategy (2016-2026) and the under development Disability Action Plan (2019-2022).”

    FFS that's insulting.

    • Rosemary McDonald 16.1

      FFS you're right.

      That is literally the same shit yet on a different day I read a few hours ago…that prompted the tears.

      And it is beyond insulting. "Strong advocacy" my arse.

    • A 16.2

      And while I'm in bitch mode there are other disabilities besides being blind or deaf.

      • Rosemary McDonald 16.2.1

        There are? You hardly ever seem to see or hear about them.

        Seriously though…it is an actual thing. I have no idea why…perhaps better advocacy?

        Perhaps requires less in the way of modifying the built environment to get up close and personal with a pollie?

        • Sacha

          Some of it is history and socioeconomics – including physically, mentally and developmentally disabled children surviving into adulthood less than deaf and blind kids did. Hard to make a fuss from six feet under.

    • Sacha 16.3

      The powerpoint file downloadable from this page (which says the same as the email) has a diagram of selected spending across govt: https://www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/budget-2019-548-702-million-for-initiatives-that-directly-affect-disabled-people

      None of it does anything more than tread water as pressure increases. ODI calling that 'initiatives' is misleading.

      So far I have only seen one place that mentions this telling detail: (may be paywalled) https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/news/bit-budget-nitty-gritty

      Redesigning disability support: $551,000 reduction

      • Sacha 16.3.1

        To be fair, they may be waiting for the major health system review by Heather Simpson – but then they could have said that.

  17. feijoa 17

    Well, true to form the main article on Stuff website is what SIMON and National think about the budget.

    I despair if this constant bias- Everything Labour do, they only ask what National thinks about it. – never ask Labour or give them a chance to put their view across.

    • Rapunzel 17.1

      and they still don't ask what happened to National's internal review(s?)

    • The Chairman 17.2

      The way Jacinda treated the media (and by way the NZ public) today it doesn't comes as a surprise. She doesn't think New Zealanders can focus on more than one issue at a time and are not interested in any other news today except for the Budget.

  18. NickS 18

    So on one hand benefits get a slight increase, but frankly is no where near enough of an increase, and is only meant to kick in fully by 2023. Because $11-17 more a week will not go that far. While there’s also increased spending in other critical social services bits, though also not to the extent there should be outside of mental health.

    But you know what I don’t fucking see? Any State Housing initiatives, because as has been shown every other fucking time building (well designed) public housing by the government is the quickest and often cheapest way of solving housing issues. So why the fuck haven’t they made that a policy plank when kiwibuild’s been extremely lacklustre?

    Blah. And this is because it’s still political suicide to even hint at raising taxes because the boomers still can’t grasp progressive taxation or that wealth distribution is the no. 1 means of preventing revolutions where the rich get eaten. Thus the government is restricted in raising more money for fixing all the shit that’s gone downhill under National’s 9 years of stupidity.

  19. Herodotus 19

    Incase there are some out there looking for some of the detail


    I cannot see anywhere provision for implementation of the Tomorrow's Schools reform. Does that mean that these reforms are not being implemented ?

    I hope for all that the social objectives of the budget are achieved.

    • millsy 19.1

      Next year these reforms will be (forced) through (hopefully).

      The hubs will ensure that 95% of the teachers issues are resolved accordingly.

  20. ianmac 20

    And did anyone compare the leaked documents with the actual?

  21. Dennis Frank 21

    My overall impression of the budget is that it seems sensible and appropriate. It transcends the classic neoliberal design of the last one, and could reasonably be called socialist. Not that I mean that as condemnation – just trying to be accurate. I'm not a socialist, so how would I really know?

    I was sympathetic to the critique developed by Bernard Hickey on the RNZ panel. He seemed to feel GR was being too prudent. Said the govt ought to borrow more @ 1.7% since such opportunities are rare. Once in a generation, sometimes none – seems to me that's a valid point. Cameron Bagrie also talked up the same economic logic the day before when Garner interviewed him (http://www.bagrieeconomics.co.nz/#cb).

    For a considered analysis (check out the current one), this is the best space to watch tomorrow: https://croakingcassandra.com/

  22. Cinny 22

    Today's budget made me cry, still makes my eyes well up with tears thinking about it.


    This bit….. having mental health workers at the Dr's.

    Having such would have prevented my suicide attempt in my early 20's, in all honesty I shouldn't be alive, am only alive by pure chance in that instance. I had been to the hospital begging for help a month prior, they told me I had to wait to get help. So I ended up trying to take my own life, lucky a friend came around to visit me that day, 10 more minutes and the pills would have killed me, instead the ambulance came.

    Having such would have helped with my severe post natal depression in my 30's. 12 trips to the Dr's and not once did they diagnose me with it, instead I was prescribed sleeping pills. My mum saved my life on that occasion, she rang the men in white coats to help me because my Dr was useless.

    Having such will save lives.

    Thank you to our government for caring about people, thank you for the tears of relief that I've been crying. Thank you government for the hope you bring. Thank you with all of my heart.

    • A 22.1

      Glad you are alive Cinny ♥

      This area of health is so run down for so long I wonder how long it will take to notice differences in the speed of intake.

    • patricia bremner 22.2

      Thank you Cinny for your overwhelming honesty. Counting our blessings is a good thing. Most of us should do that more often.

  23. sumsuch 23

    Flashed through comments above. RNZ journalists were more accusative than you. They said the Govt could have done much more. Put to shame by Richard Griffin's lamed MSM journalists.

    The poor have to wait again. Labour was meant to stop that eternal condition. What is their point, again?

  24. Incognito 24

    PHARMAC’s budget will increase only $10m per year over the next four years.

  25. millsy 25

    What do I think of the "Wellbeing Budget"?

    Slightly less underwhelmed than I was at the first one.

    Third time lucky next year I suppose.

    And I dont get the fuss over the cover pic. It was just a stock photo purchased by an agency. No one knew who it was of or their life circumstances.

  26. R.P Mcmurphy 26

    it is just another budget. a bit of this and bit of that while Labour tries to remedy the gross malformations of the last nationals administration.

  27. The Fiscal Budget was an honest start at addressing a set of problems that were allowed to grow under National. And their reaction to the Budget tells me they are no closer to understanding well being than they were the day they left the Beehive in 2017.

    In saying that I think Labour made a mistake dumping the C.G.T. Too many right leaning commentators rubbished the social good it was going to do and in the end New Zealanders believed it. I honestly wonder how many actually gave any thought about how the C.G.T. might work.

    Too late now. Assuming this Government lasts three terms, and the next National Government two or three terms, it will be the better part of a generation before we get another crack at the C.G.T.


  28. tsmithfield 28

    Not surpisingly, being a right winger, there is not that much I like about the budget.

    But what I am willing to give them credit for is the increased focus on mental health. I think this is an area that has been grossly underfunded by successive governments for generations. So, it is good to see this area getting some much needed attention.

    I just hope it is spent effectively.

  29. BM 29

    Not a great choice for the cover photo.

    [lprent: off-topic – moved to next month. ]

    • Muttonbird 29.1

      I disagree. This budget is supposed to help exactly the people that small family represents.

      • Sam 29.1.1

        Is this another one of those looky looky Iv got the wonderful piece of paper moments?

  30. SHG 30

    The woman on the cover of the Government's Wellbeing Budget says she had to give up New Zealand because she couldn't afford to live here – and moved to Australia.

    Vicky Freeman admitted she had given up on New Zealand.

    "Honestly, I'm a single mum, so that photo is true, it's just me and my girl, that's us."

    As for the photo on the cover of today's Budget, she said she initially felt it was out of context but then she saw that the Budget was all about happiness and wellbeing which both she and her daughter had now found in Australia.

    [lprent: Vaguely on topic – but since it was 2018 – I moved this to tomorrow ]

    • mickysavage 30.1

      After a decade of National's rule she had no alternative but to leave. Hopefully she will be back soon.

      • MickeyBoyle 30.1.1

        She left in 2018…

      • ianmac 30.1.2

        What no one has asked is when did the pressure on her to give up on NZ happen?

        Surely since she left in 2018 it was after years of disappointment during the previous Government's reign rather than a sudden post election decision.

    • The Chairman 30.2

      The Budget was all about happiness and wellbeing which both she and her daughter had now found in Australia.

      Is the use of this image what Labour are advertently telling us, if you want happiness and wellbeing move to Australia?

      • The Al1en 30.2.1

        If you're an actress and can't get work in NZ, maybe, but if you're really good at it, I'd suggest Hollywood.

        • Rapunzel

          I agree, enough of the "gotcha moments" they are meaning less and less by the day.

      • gsays 30.2.2

        Is the use of this image what Labour are advertently telling us, if you want happiness and wellbeing move to Australia?

        Perhaps if you went chairman, it would improve the average happiness of both countries?

        • Dukeofurl

          From what I can understand she hasnt found more money in Australia

          The problem is the Gig economy for actors , Im not surprised.

  31. SPC 31

    The use of wage movement to increase benefit levels rather than CPI sounds like a neo-liberal bi-partisan thing. It was something the last Labour government should have done.

    There has been a real cut in benefit level for decades, about 1% pa, because CPI movements were lower than the necessity costs faced by the poor – food, power and housing. If we had had an increase based on wage movements this real cut would not have occurred.

    All it does is prevent a further real fall in benefit levels. It’s better than what we have had.

    It’s sad to say, but maybe only National can increase mainline benefit levels (because Labour will agree and take the politics out of it), and they did it (for those with children) in their last term so they could say they did something to reduce child poverty.

    What Labour has done this term is the winter power income supplement.

  32. 1/ $1 billion for rail.

    Cleangreen will be a little more happier with this , – but its still only a drop in the bucket to redevelop rail and dismantle the destructive 'privatized trucking firms led by John Key' , – and his wrecking of rail. At a time when road congestion and toxic diesel fumes and rubber tire by products are rampant, this needs to be sorted. What a joke , – as modern industrial Europe utilizes rail , – this country wants to go back to the horse and cart.

    2/ Indexing of benefits to the average wage and removal of punitive measures.

    WHAT ? !!?

    They want to index benefits to the already ridiculously low waged economy of NZ? Removal of 'punitive measures' that NEVER should have been there in the first place OK , – but using the shitty low waged economy of this country as some sort of authoritative yardstick to set benefits by ?!!?

    WTF ?


    FFS !!!


    You march right back on into that dunny that some low payed cleaner sanitized for your privileged arse to sit on , old son , – and rewrite and underscore those benefits as being tied to inflation and the ACTUAL COSTS OF LIVING !!! IE : Rents, food, power , rates , transport costs and the like . Because that's what we PAY you and ELECTED you to do. In a nutshell – to do your damn JOB.

    And that AFTER you've implemented the LIVING WAGE across the board , ( and again , – tied to the realistic costs of living ) , dismantled destructive anti union legislation and decided to cease and desist in cupping the balls of your neo liberal overlords.

    Maybe then we wont all die of laughing at the con job your'e trying to put over us.

    We don't do Jenny Shipley or Ruth Richardson in these parts, kid.

    We like to keep up with the times.

    Not live in the past.

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